If you’ve just watched episode five of Poldark then you’re probably still recovering from the tragic series of events that just unfolded.
“T’aint right, t’ain’t fair, t’ain’t proper” some might cry, having sat down expecting a nice evening of Sunday night Cornish drama – and perhaps another gratuitous shot of Ross Poldark’s torso – and been dealt a mightily dramatic blow instead.
Not watched episode five just yet? Then you’d best look away now. Here’s a gratuitous shot of Captain Poldark in the bath to protect you from the MASSIVE SPOILER that lies beneath it.
Have you quite recovered? Do you need the smelling salts?
Right then, here we go.
Francis Poldark is dead, having tragically drowned just after discovering copper in Wheal Grace, and all is not right with the world.
But shocking and heart-breaking as his demise may seem, we kinda saw it coming…
1. Firstly, Francis made the mistake of telling his son he’d be home to read him a bedtime story…
Oh Francis, don’t you know that everyone who looks upon their child with such naivety and tells them not to wake mum before heading off to do dangerous work is heading for the “on the day he was due to retire” demise?
2. Then he uttered the phrase “I’ll set the fuses myself!”
You, the man who has done the least mining, should indeed be the one to play with the dangerous explosives.
3. “I have a feeling our fortunes will change today,” he beamed to cousin Ross
Have we taught you NOTHING of the dangers of extreme optimism, Francis? Your cousin described Grace as a temperamental mine, and you yourself referred to her as “the curse of the Poldarks”.
If fortunes were going to change, it wasn’t going to be for the better.
4. And then there was that VERY emotional and altogether quite momentous chat with Demelza
Francis rode to Nampara in search of Ross, but Captain Poldark was in Truro discovering George Warleggan had him over a barrel with that promissory note, so he came face-to-face with Demelza instead.
Francis proceeded to confess his Warleggan sins, make peace with his cousin’s wife, AND reassure her that she was more than worthy of the ancient family name.
‘Twas an altogether quite sweet and emotional encounter, which one might expect to watch just before a jubilant Matthew Crawley type fatally sends his motor car crashing into a tree just moments after becoming a father for the first time.
The Grim Reaper might as well have been waiting by the door…
5. Verity returned to Trenwith just in time for Aunt Agatha’s prediction…
Now reconciled with her brother, Verity was finally able to visit Trenwith tonight – and not a moment too soon either. “The cards threaten some impending ill”, Aunt Agatha warned her.
And then Francis went tip-toeing down a deep dark tunnel…
6. And those seemingly innocent childhood flashbacks suddenly made sense…
How sweet it was to see a young and curly haired Ross and Francis playing on the sand on the Cornish coast in the episode’s opening moments.
At least until the little boys returned as Francis struggled to hold on for dear life, and we realised they were there to remind us that the poor bloke still couldn’t swim.
RIP Francis. You’ll be sadly missed.
Poldark continues on BBC1 on Sundays at 9pm