“I’m fierce and proud and steadfast and true and I’ll not settle for second best,” thundered Eleanor Tomlinson’s Demelza in tonight’s final episode. Good for her. And in the end she didn’t have to. She got her man back.
Her (ahem) marital problems with wayward Ross appeared to be solved by the close of tonight’s episode as Aidan Turner’s hero finally came clear about why he took (and I used the word loosely) Elizabeth to bed in that oh-so-controversial way back in episode eight.
Elizabeth was an idealised love, he explained, while Demelza was the real deal. Which is one way of putting it, though not perhaps the most flattering. Demelza deserves the best and in many ways, thanks to Tomlinson’s superb acting work, she has been the real hero(ine) of series two.
But Ross and Demelza were not the only two young lovers sorting themselves out. Dwight Enys and Caroline were reconciled – engaged with a string of leather just before he agreed to go away to sea. Ahh…
In a sense, too, Elizabeth (Heida Reed) also fulfilled her heart’s desire with her marriage to George (Jack Farthing). Only, of course, theirs is a cold and sterile union. If this were Star Wars (and I am not suggesting for a minute that it is) she would have joined the Dark Side and Warleggan would be the Emperor. Or something like that.
But it wasn’t all billowy shirts and romance – there was a bit of violence too as Ross bested George in a bout of fisticuffs, and was poised to burn his face in the hearth before the latter’s servants dragged him away. You get the feeling that George is always going to have his serving men on hand in times to come.
But even they would not have been enough to stop the riot proposed by unlikely revolutionary firebrand Jud Paynter (Phil Davies). He was seeking revenge on ghastly George following his slights on Jud’s mistress Demelza. I say slights, the fiend’s men shot at her, burning her hand, and clunked too many of the other locals with musket butts for comfort as he enclosed the land around the Trenwith estate.
“Them Frenchies had the right idea,” said Jud, dreaming of guillotines.
Only of course the battle of Trenwith was avoided, the day was saved, by Ross of course. He returned from a planned re-enlistment to the army (below), riding and saving many a local’s head from the hangman’s noose. Following his terrible behaviour earlier this series, his actions represented redemption of a sort for our flawed hero who took Demelza away before explaining his night with Elizabeth. But not before calling George a “sorry excuse for a man” which I rather liked.
It’s neatly poised for series 3.
Elizabeth is now with child, and it is probably Ross’s if her look of alarm when Aunt Agatha brought up the “dates” is anything to go by (can that really not have crossed her mind?). If her unborn child is Ross’s then the look on George’s face is worth waiting for.
The signs are that she is starting to see what a sorry excuse for a man George is, and must surely be keeping the flame of love alive for Ross, especially as she now knows that he was the one who anonymously purchased her worthless mine shares when they were both on their uppers.
Will Dr Enys survive the war and claim Caroline? Will Demelza and Ross cement their re-found love? And will Aunt Agatha (brilliant Caroline Blakiston) finally get her own back on grim George? After all, we know that she has a firearm of her own kept handy. And she doesn’t strike me as a woman unafraid to use it.
Poldark series 3 returns to BBC1 next year