In the previous episode of Poldark, Ross was really terrible at spying in France and almost got guillotined. Will he risk his neck one more time to save Doc and his new beard? Will Drake and Morwenna finally make out (with Geoffrey Charles awkwardly watching, of course)? Will Demelza and Blondie star in Thelma and Louise: The Prequel, even though their husbands aren’t dead? Will Agatha let out another cute, prolonged fart? Only one way to find out! On with the show!
How many minutes into this week’s episode before something terrible happens to poor people? Answer: Not even one! Cold and starving, a few villagers snag some grain from one of Malfoy’s boats so they don’t have to die. They die anyway because soldiers shoot them in the street. The ones that survive are sentenced to fifteen years by Malfoy. Someone hold me back.
Across town, Demelza is doing manual labor while being in labor. Now that Doc is a French captive and the only other doctor in town always manages to kill people by accident, Demelza has decided to secretly do it herself. I am still very emotional over the last time a Masterpiece show killed off a birthing mother (rest in power forever and always, Sybil from Downton Abbey; I hope you’re wearing cool harem pants in heaven), so here’s hoping the writers leave Demelza — and Valentine’s new half-sibling — alone.
On a cliffside, Ross tsk-tsks as sick workers from the mine he sold to Malfoy cart off a dead colleague. Not one to miss an opportunity to gloat over the corpse of a poor person, Malfoy materializes and picks a fight by calling Ross a copper mine, “full of noise but ultimately lacking in substance.”
When that barb falls flat, he tries poking at an old, very tired wound:
Ross: “How do you sleep at night?”
Malfoy: “Perhaps you should ask Elizabeth.”
As with all things relating to Elizabeth, Ross instantly hears the Kill Bill I’m-so-going-to-murder-you-right-now music in his head.
But Ross’ friend reminds him of Michelle Obama’s aphorism, “When they go low, we go high.” Ross forces himself to stop fantasizing about putting a knife in Malfoy’s eyeball and decides to wait ’til the season finale to murder him instead. A fine compromise!
Ross heads home and can’t find Demelza anywhere. Please don’t be dead. Please don’t be dead. Please don’t be dead.
She’s not! She’s casually kicking back, watching Netflix with her new daughter, Clowance (a name that only Morwenna’s mom and this lover of jumbling random syllables could love). Ross comes in and finds Demelza making this cause-I-slay face:
Ross can’t believe she was able to deliver her own baby. Demelza responds:
At chez Malfoy, Elizabeth continues to refuse to touch Valentine. Haters gonna hate, sociopaths gonna sociopath.
Elsewhere, the throuple of Drake, Morwenna, and Geoffrey Charles becomes a fourple with the inclusion of Agatha. There’s apparently enough of Drake to go around, which Agatha is more than pleased to know. I mean, just look at the way she looks at him:
Over at Ross’ place, Blondie excitedly tells Ross and Demelza that the Parliament Wannabe she refused to marry is going to pull some strings and have Doc released from the French prison-of-war camp. Ross and Demelza, who both know a thing or two about things never working out that easily, give her the “Sure, Jan” treatment.
In France, Doc cauterizes the festering wounds of his fellow prisoners with a hot spoon, thinking to himself FML and I miss Horace the Pug (we all do; where is he?!??).
Channel-surfing back to Everybody Loves Drake, news arrives that Morwenna has to go celebrate Christmas at Malfoy’s new digs for a few weeks. Geoffrey Charles takes a break from cock-blocking by briefly leaving the room for a few seconds (finally!). This is your moment, Drake and Morwenna! Make out! Before it’s too late!
Drake leans in…
… and kisses…
… her hand.
But Morwenna is like, You know what? No. We’re doing this. She goes in for the kiss, and right before their lips touch… Geoffrey Charles comes running back in.
Later that day, Sam scolds Drake for risking his immortal soul with all the hand-kissing. At least that’s what I think he said. I couldn’t hear over the sound of his wet half-nakedness.
Across town, Ross writes Agatha an invitation to Clowance’s baptism. Upon delivery, Malfoy’s Slytherin crony breaks the eleventh commandment (thou shalt not mess with another’s snail mail) and crumples the letter up!
Fast forward to the baptism! (Time sure does fly when you’re poor in the 18th century!) Morwenna and Drake send I-kiss-before-marriage looks back and forth across the church. Sam tries to expunge any signs of whoredom out of his brother by staring at the side of his face like a maniac.
Demelza takes Morwenna to the side and explains the state of things: You’re rich, my brother is poor. This will only end with both of you writing wistful Taylor Swift breakup songs. Morwenna is too polite to bring up the fact that both Demelza and Ross and Blondie and Doc have cross-class marriages. Instead, she agrees to break up with Drake immediately.
But it’s one thing to resolve to crush Drake’s heart when he’s not in eyesight; it’s quite another to do it to his beautiful face. Morwenna tells him they need to stop seeing each other, each word becoming less convincing as Drake’s cute mug gets closer and closer to hers, until THEY KISS WITHOUT GEOFFREY CHARLES WATCHING! Victory!
Meanwhile, in France, Doc is still poking at festering wounds, missing Horace (and Blondie too, I guess).
At chez Elizabeth, Malfoy is hosting a ball, but no super-rich people show up (boo hoo!), and the people who do look like they’ve just seen a Schindler’s List / Titanic / Beaches triple feature.
Right in front of Malfoy, Morwenna and Geoffrey Charles loudly talk about how they disobeyed his orders and secretly went to the baptism to hang out with Ross and co. I realize they’re head over heels for Drake, and infatuation makes people do dumb things, but get it together!
Geoffrey Charles also loudly proclaims that Valentine drools (figuratively, but also literally) and Clowance rules. How dare he diss my heir who’s suspiciously too dark to actually be mine?! Malfoy vows to send Geoffrey Charles off to boarding school, which means Drake and Morwenna might actually get to second base before they’re 70!
Back in the countryside, Ross figures out Agatha didn’t come to the baptism because someone evil broke the eleventh commandment. He rides over there in a huff to spend some much-needed quality time. We’re about to get this episode’s New Reason to Love Agatha Above All Others™ in 3, 2, 1…
“Of course I never had your invitation! Do you think I’d miss a chance to drink port and eat heavy cake?!” There it is! I hope Agatha lives as long as the Countess from Downton Abbey (a.k.a. forever).
Apparently, Malfoy didn’t get the Agatha-is-immortal memo ’cause he’s trying to kill her by having his Slytherin cronies refuse to light fires for her in the dead of winter. Ross invites Agatha to come live with him, to which Agatha remarks, “And lose the chance to torment him?! Nahhhh.” Bonus New Reason to Love Agatha Above All Others™! Life is good.
Ross tells Agatha he feels bad that Geoffrey Charles has to deal with such a “gamecock” stepdad. Agatha asks, Uhhh, what about Valentine?, and gives him this Girl, who are you kidding? look:
Back at the ball, Malfoy runs to Elizabeth and tattles about Morwenna and Geoffrey Charles attending the baptism. Elizabeth misses the point and gets furious that Ross has a new daughter. Don’t worry, Liz, you can just kill this one with your germs too and never say sorry like last time. Never one to not dance on an infant’s grave, Malfoy says this despicable thing: “Let’s hope they’re less careless with this one.”
They agree to punish Morwenna. With a hair shirt or by forcing her to sleep on a bed of nails or some other kind of medieval torture? Not quite, but close enough. They’re going to force her to marry a gross goblin, who is drinking and flirting up a storm a mere week after his wife died.
Over at Ross’ place, everyone is chowing down on a huge turkey and singing whatever the 18th-century “Despacito” equivalent is. Blondie wonders aloud what Doc is up to. Answer: watching his friends die and eating rats.
Later, Ross and friends head into town to pass out food to the starving (which turns out to be everyone). Ross devises a secret plan to pass out even more loafs of bread and heal leprosy with a single touch and stuff. Dear Ross, Jesus called, he wants his storyline back.
Demelza and Blondie get ready to play their part in the let’s-stuff-everyone-with-bread plan by dressing up as “highwaymen” and getting ugly rich dudes to give them money. They enjoyed and signed onto my Thelma and Louise: The Prequel pitch! Very exciting news, but not quite as exciting as the fact that HORACE THE PUG IS IN THE HOUSE!!! Look at him yawn and show off his beautiful curves!
Back at Voldemort Headquarters, Elizabeth informs Morwenna that they sold her hand in marriage for a few bucks. When Morwenna begins to weep, Elizabeth shows off the gold medal she won in the Sociopath Olympics by asking, “Do our kind thoughts displease you?”
Morwenna asks, “Is it wrong to hope for love in a marriage? When you wed Frances, did you not marry for love?” Elizabeth is like, LOL definitely not! Every time I marry, I do it for hard cash and to get a rise out of Ross, duh! After she grows bored of pointing and laughing at Morwenna’s pain, Elizabeth goes to her room, takes a shot of liquid Xanax and ignores Valentine some more.
The following day, Gross Goblin salivates in front of Morwenna about the prospect of her raising his two daughters and “comfort[ing] me as only a wife can.” Morwenna runs from the room cause the vomit in her mouth has to go somewhere. I feel you, girl.
Over at Millennials <3 Jesus headquarters, Ross and co. are passing out food to the poor, paid for by all the donations Thelma and Louise raised. Under the impression that the food was obtained illegally, Malfoy rides up to ruin everyone’s day. Before he can say Ha ha! I’m still going to find a way to ensure that you all starve!, Thelma and Louise let him know that he and his rich friends unwittingly made all of this possible. Ross follows up that slap with a Get the F off my land before I put your entire head into a blazing fireplace like last season.
Over in France, Doc and friends are REALLY thirsty. The guards take bets on who will the be the next prisoner to die. Elizabeth should totally get an internship with them. I bet she’d fit right in.
To get even with Ross, Malfoy closes the Poldark family mine, as if to say, The poor people you fed might not die of starvation, but these 70 poor workers will! Gotcha! Way to make Voldemort smile with pride.
Back in France, Doc finally has cause to celebrate! A friend that he’s nursed back to health from the brink of death is going to live! But before he can get to the second y in YAAAAAYYYY!, a random French guard strolls over and shoots Doc’s friend to death. Yikes! Remember when the darkest thing on this show was love triangle jealousy?
Over in Cornwall, Ross just hires all the fired poor dudes. Huh, that was easy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
On a muddy lane, Drake, Sam, and Demelza come across a carriage stuck in the mud, which is carrying… Morwenna! Drake is over the moon and one step closer to second base. Sam and all the apostles strongly disapprove.
In the city, Malfoy calls Gross Goblin “a reptile and a prig,” and smiles at the thought of still forcing Morwenna to marry him. Cut to a scene absolutely no one asked for, in which a tailor accidentally bumps Gross Goblin’s testicles.
On their secret sexy beach, Drake and Morwenna run in slow motion towards each other. Geoffrey Charles is nowhere to be seen. Is this a dream? Could this really be?
It could! They smash their faces into each other and feel each other up. Second base at long last.
After every episode, it’s only right to reward characters who’ve impressed and diss the ones that haven’t, so here goes:
PIECE OF COAL: Murderous French guard. Be cool. Don’t be all, like, uncool.
HONORABLE MENTION: Geoffrey Charles. I think Etta James’ “At Last” is about him finally taking the hint and staying home for once. Good going!
BRONZE: Horace the Pug. Glad to have you back, you beautiful being you. Can’t wait to watch you yawn some more next week.
SILVER: Demelza. She can deliver her own children, sing like Ariana Grande, and resist the urge to kill Ross every time he deserves it (usually three times a week). Is there anything she can’t do?
GOLD: Agatha. This could have gone to Ross for helping more poor people than Mother Teresa in a single day, but Agatha’s love of booze, cake, and risking her life just for the opportunity to be petty is so relatable and deserves something shiny.