“Do you ride, Doctor Enys?” fluttered Lady Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) at the handsome young medic. Oo-er. Yes, indeed he does.
For this was an episode of Poldark that was packed with more flickers of pent up passion and sexual desire than Truro jail has smugglers.
But the flirty-girty shenanigans between Lady C and Luke Norris’s Dwight Enys (“such a quaint name?” she remarked at the close, and she’s not wrong) was matched by Aidan Turner’s Ross.
He appears to be in love with two women – his wife Demelza and, of course, Elizabeth. Their unfinished business smouldered on in what was, for the most part, an unusually sunny visit to the Cornish folk.
Firstly, though, we had to watch Ross put his neck on the line with some rather stupid smuggling deal. Having just survived the hangman’s noose for his looting of the Warleggan shipwreck in series one, his money woes forced him to be in league with some salty sea dog type who called in at Nampara with an all-too tempting offer.
Fortunately it passed off well. The smuggling succeeded and Ross got 200 smackers to …well, he had hoped to plough it back into Wheal Leisure, his mining operation, but nasty George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) saw to that.
The fish-eyed wrong’un bought more shares in the enterprise, forcing Ross to go back into partnership with Kyle Soller’s Francis.
Even then, Warleggan hoped to scupper this venture from the off, telling Ross that his cousin’s investment was in fact the very cash he had given Francis to betray his relative in series one. But Ross was the bigger man. In every sense. He gave the shifty so-and-so a good punch in the chops and appeared capable of overlooking the betrayal. Viewers across the country must have cheered when Warleggan was sent flying, his earlier boxing training not being enough to help in man-to-man combat with our hero.
Elsewhere, a rejuvenated Francis also found it in his heart to reconcile himself with Blamey the (reformed) alcoholic, wife-murdering Sea Captain husband of his sister Verity.
And then Eleanor Tomlinson’s Demelza found her feistiness and disobeyed her husband’s instructions, setting out to sea in search of fish while heavily pregnant. Again disaster was averted, the rescue attempt allowing Ross to take his shirt off and rival Colin Firth for the all-time best wet shirt in a BBC period drama competition award.
Demelza also gave birth to the couple’s son, and there was a tender moment when the couple reflected on their love for each other.
Gazing up at the stars Ross remarked that the brightest jewel in the heavens is in fact the Dog Star and said that it was fitting that he had found his star in a “dog fight”.
But Poldark being Poldark there is always disaster round the corner.
If Ross and Elizabeth don’t do something unfaithful pretty soon I’d be surprised; and this seems bound to throw a spanner or two in the works of his new partnership with Francis. Having intimate relations with your partner’s wife tends not to be in most CBI-approved manuals for best business practice, I believe.
And I can’t see the Caroline/Dwight relationship working, either.
Yes, she did give the poorly fed, scurvy-ridden locals some oranges in a bid to ingratiate herself with the do-gooding medic. But there is something about her callous disregard for the poor benighted locals which suggests that their union may not be the greatest match in Cornish history.
“This is the last moment to wipe out the past,” said Ross to Francis at the moment of reconciliation.
I wouldn’t count on it…
Poldark continues on Sunday nights on BBC1 at 9pm