We may, for what feels like the first time this series, have been spared a death in episode six. We may have also had a lot of talk of banks and bonds.
But, by the points of my Tricorn hat, everything is gearing up to an explosive final two episodes and no mistake. Get strapped in, Poldark fans. It’s going to be a racy ride…
The penultimate Poldark is always a bit of a smasher, so here’s to next week. But the latest instalment wasn’t bad either – slightly uneventful, yes, but the ground has been laid nicely. Elizabeth is pregnant, malicious Monk Adderley is causing some top-grade mischief and given what we saw in the what’s-to come-recap for next week– he and Ross are heading for a final reckoning on the duelling field, begad.
The rather convoluted bank plotline tonight meant much talk of bonds and credit and ended with George getting a bloody nose. Which is always good. And it won’t be long before he gets his own back on Ross. As George’s wife Elizabeth observed tonight, you can see it in his face, that look he gives when plotting against Aidan Turner’s character. It’s like he has suddenly smelled something really bad.
To Poldark fans, though, our hero is like a breath of fresh Cornish air. And it was nice to see him returning to his native lands tonight, sweetly bringing back his nephew Geoffrey Charles who had been cajoled into London drunkenness by the awful Monk Adderley at one of those nighttime soirees with beer and torchlights that, in this series, has always denoted the capital’s raucousness.
Dropping off Geoffrey Charles to Trenwith meant Ross paid a semi-clandestine visit to Elizabeth (though without that sex scene of yester-series), and also gave him the first proper look at young Valentine.
And the wee lad may as well be called Mini Ross from now on, so much does he look like Aidan Turner’s character. Give the whelp a small scythe and he’d be the full deal – confirming all George’s angsty suspicions that he is indeed the product of a dalliance with Elizabeth. Ross did look slightly sheepish about the whole thing.
Ross was nearly caught by George during the visit, of course. The two men’s carriages just narrowly passed the other in the driveway with the kind of symbolism that probably wasn’t lost on Elizabeth. Not the best moment to reveal she was pregnant, was it? To have one child by Ross Poldark is unfortunate, but suspicions of a second would have seen George give more than just a ‘who’s farted’ look, I’d say.
Still, George does seem to love her and his delight at the pregnancy shows that a chink of humanity does lurk in the old blaggard’s icy heart.
Though Elizabeth will have to lay off the tincture – the drink she seems to have a fair bit of trouble with – now she’s up the duff. Her health doesn’t seem the strongest, so here’s hoping she lives through series four to tell the tale.
Elsewhere, the Drake storyline gathers apace. Morwenna, too, is pregnant, by the dreaded (and deaded) Rev Whitworth. She sent her erstwhile Carne lover off with such sorrow in her eyes (and his), but he still doesn’t look likely to head back to Rosina, the local girl he jilted in last week’s episode but who rather nobly saw fit to forgive him.
“Hush thy creamin’,” she said with admirable forcefulness. “Tis I were jilted not thee. And if I can bear it, so can ‘ee.”
Quite right too, though I’m still not sure what creamin’ actually means.
By the close of the action it looked as if London would be playing host to two of Poldark’s top couples. Ross invited Demelza (and promptly had sex with her on the floor of his London lodging house); and Caroline and Dwight took to be headed that way together as well.
But not before Sir Francis Bassett saved Pascoe’s bank, brought in Ross (now a banker and an MP his wife mockingly noted) and our Cornish hero threw a big party for the mineworkers. They were given extra money, some time off, and a barrel of ale and the fabled Stargazy Pie – a Cornish delicacy where the heads of herrings or pilchards stick out of short crust pastry, so creating a star effect since you ask.
Ross may be struggling as an MP but he knows how to do socialism in action round a Cornish bonfire.
But I wouldn’t bet on things remaining harmonious for too long given what we saw in the upcoming recap. Monk looks like he’s going to get a bit Stargazy on Demelza. And it seems there will be pistols at dawn. Let’s hope Ross makes pie filling of him. Or, at the very least, that mad, malicious Monk ends up seeing stars…
Poldark season four airs on Sundays, 9/8c, Masterpiece on PBS
This article was originally published on 13 July 2018
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