There have been some tough nights in Cornwall and few are tougher than the death of a baby.
We have been here before of course. Poor Julia, Ross and Demelza’s child, died in series one from the horribly-named disease “putrid throat”. Now in series four we had to reach for the hankies again when poor Sarah Enys passed away.
Her fate looked dicey last week when her father kept frowning at something he had seen. Had the dog been at her? Did he have doubts about her paternity? Sadly not. All of these would have been bearable. The simple fact was that the good medical man had noticed that she had a weak heart – any challenge to her system and she was doomed.
It says a lot for Enys’s medical skills that he could diagnose a “congenital defect of the heart” – language which really belongs more to the 21st Century rather than an age when the likes of Dr Choake are doing the medical rounds with leeches in their kit bags. But he is a very modern man, our Dwight.
And so, in episode four, she was taken from the earth because of the sniffles. And it was hard for us not to sniffle too as the parents coped with the unbearable grief. Caroline insisted on putting on a brave face, not wanting Demelza around because Demelza would cry and that would not do.
The funeral scene as poor Sarah’s tiny coffin was taken into the church in the drenching rain was another UPM – Unforgettable Poldark Moment.
Dwight was simply sodden with grief – crying into his pillow each night while Caroline went to London to try and forget the loss amid ballgowns and society chit chat. Each to their own, I suppose.
But in a cruel moment of irony, Dwight showed that he was able to save a life. While he could do nothing to save his daughter, a mine accident saw him don the hero’s mantle and save Bobby, the young lad hauled out of the flooded works.
The boy came out still and lifeless, but Dr Enys persevered and he was saved.
The flood has also upset Ross’s fortunes – the mine is out of action, the clear-up will be costly and they men need to be paid. Our Ross doesn’t not pay his men now, does he?
In another ironic twist however this latest setback may be the saving of Ross, financially speaking anyway. As we learned earlier in the episode, Osborne Whitworth has been feeding George information from an ailing parishioner who happens to be in charge of Pascoe’s Bank.
The bank is in trouble, creditors have been fleeced, and once the old boy carks it, George is ready to swoop on the moneyhouse which, he gleefully observed, contains Ross’s “nest egg”. He even came up with a new insult for Demelza while he was at it – “impudent kitchen troll” – which was nice of him.
But here’s the looming twist. Because Ross now needs ready cash it looks likely that he will withdraw all his funds, to pay the men and keep the mine going. You see, being a goodie can have his benefits. But with George now buying his borough and set to return to Parliament, all bets are off when it comes to who will come out on top. A showdown in the Commons is surely on the cards.
Elsewhere, the oily Rev Whitworth is having his wicked way with his wife’s sister Rosina – a fact which appears not to have gone unnoticed by Rosina’s husband, who caught sight of the chubby vicar exiting their house. This is a story which looks set to explode any minute and it’s deliciously funny, in no small measure thanks to a brilliant performance from Christian Brassington as Ossie.
He also made a failed attempt to have Morwenna committed to an asylum. Even Dr Choake was reluctant to do this, and demanded a second opinion from Doctor Enys who was obviously not keen, the cruel denigration of women not being something he does very easily.
The bad Rev also elicited perhaps the greatest understatement in all Poldark. During a visit by the new Geoffrey Charles and Elizabeth, Morwenna observed: “Osborne is a strange man.” Yes, that’s one word for it.
Here’s hoping the Rev gets his comeuppance, goes away for a long time or preferably carks it, allowing for Morwenna and Drake to be reunited – although it better be quick.
They both seem to like each other very much and you could virtually see their young hearts fluttering as they took their clifftop walk.
We also left the night hoping that Demelza’s heart won’t be fluttering for a while. Ross has gone back to London and we last saw her with Doctor Enys, standing in the doorway and observing with a palpable sigh: “Here we are, all deserted”.
Next week’s teaser sees her and Enys embrace, with Demelza saying: “Is it a sin to seek happiness for ourselves?”
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