What a dramatic episode! After starting off relatively positive, with only the problem of a smuggling informant to worry about, events took a devastating turn. Francis’ death was one we thought had happened episodes earlier when he tried to commit suicide, but ironically now he had settled and was happy, death chose him.
Francis was a character that was becoming more likeable with each episode, so his death was quite a shock (unless you read the books or saw the old TV series). He was settled with his family having resolved matters with Verity and improving relations with Elizabeth, he had just found copper in Weald Grace (might have been better for him if he hadn’t….), he proved himself a popular magistrate by persuading against ruling the death sentence, and he had freed himself from George Warleggan, in spirit if not in actuality. With things going so much better, it was inevitable it couldn’t last; no one in Poldark stays happy for long! Aunt Agatha saw in the cards a devasting event, in which moment we all thought, Francis get out of that mine! The death scenes themselves were hard to watch, particularly the flashback of Ross and Francis in the sea, and in the present when Francis reached out to Ross, who sadly only existed in his imagination. The real Ross came too late. Francis’ death will have a devastating impact on most characters which will pave the way for new and exciting developments. But for now, it’s goodbye Francis, and lots of credit to Kyle Soller for creating such a brilliant character.
Other events of the episode pale in significance to the death, but they were nonetheless important. One of these was the ever growing power of George Warleggan. George is never going to beat Ross in a fight (though he is still persisting with fighting lessons!) but in terms of money, influence, and pure deviousness George has the upper hand. By acquiring Ross’ debt, he now has Ross at his mercy, which suits George just fine! George also continued to seek ‘friendship’ with Elizabeth, something which seems more likely now Francis is dead. Maybe George had some hand in Francis’ death to achieve this? Probably not, but with him being so evil to Aunt Agatha and wishing her dead, who can put it past him? Seriously though, what did Aunt Agatha do to him to deserve what he said?! George should watch his back even closer than normal now…
George may not have it all his own way with Elizabeth as she made it clear at the Penvenan dinner that she still loved Ross. Can a woman not love two men? she asked. Well, I suppose yes you can, but not if you act on it and cause drama and chaos! Now Francis is gone what will Elizabeth do? One of the men she ‘loves’ is dead which means one is left, but sadly for her he is taken! How will this impact on Demelza? At the funeral Elizabeth turned to Ross in her grief, which did not go unnoticed by Demelza. Before his death Francis and Demelza had a heartfelt conversation about themselves and their respective partners, which was a lovely scene. This should have helped her, but events will undoubtedly wear this away so she feels inferior to Elizabeth again.
A spot of happiness in the episode was the return of Caroline Penvenen from town. It was quite eventful for her as she jilted the weak sap Unwin, though does it count if they weren’t even engaged? Either way it opened the way for her and Dr Enys to up their romance. After a very eloquent speech from Dr Enys saying the only things he “disliked” about her were that he couldn’t get her out of his head etc etc, Caroline told him to meet her in the woods. This he did and there they shared a kiss (yayyy!) His face when she told him she wasn’t engaged was a picture. “Nothing will have changed by December” he said as she said she will return then. “One thing will. I come of age in December” she replied. Oooooo! I love this storyline and Luke Norris and Gabriella Wilde play their characters perfectly. A bright spot in the usual doom of the programme.
-that soldier friend of Ross’ must be bad news and involved with the informant on the smuggling, he is far too smarmy!
– Aiden Turner clearly lied when he said there were no topless scenes as, alongside the one in episode 1, he was in a bath in this episode being washed by Demelza, no shirt in sight!
After the shocking events of this episode it leaves many questions for the next. How will Elizabeth cope with being a widow? Will she turn to Ross and/or George? Will Ross and/or George take advantage of her? How will Demelza feel about the newly single status of her love rival? Will George exploit his power over Ross? What will happen to Weald Grace? What will happen to the smuggling situation? Will Dr Enys and Caroline live happily ever after? And will Aunt Agatha predict any more events in the episode?
Photo Credit to BBC.