'Poldark': Season 3, Episode 4 Recap

Aidan Turner, looking dreamy and rescuing folks. (Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Episode Four Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 9pm ET With Dwight languishing in a French prison, Ross takes a desperate gamble. Drake joins Ross’s mission after Morwenna breaks with him. George jockeys for a triumph in politics. Shown: Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark For editorial use only. Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE

Previously on Poldark: Vile George decides to offer Morwenna in marriage to a particularly awful and odious man named Reverend Whitworth, just because he has rich family connections. This plan runs into a small roadblock in the form of Morwenna who, possessing free will and insisting she doesn’t love this creep, runs into Drake’s arms the first chance she gets. Elsewhere, Ross saves the day by helping to bring grain to starving villagers and giving a bunch of former Wheal Leisure employees jobs after George fires them. And Warleggan wonders why people like Ross best. You can read the rest of our recap from last week here, if you need more detail.

This week’s episode of Poldark is slightly less fun than last week’s, if only because the really long boring battle scenes where people fire guns at each other in poorly lit confined spaces are back, and they add less than nothing to the show. 

Morwenna makes a hard choice. Instead of being sad and bored back at Trenwith as George assumed, Morwenna is busy canoodling with Drake, catching (ugh, what) frogs with Geoffrey Charles and just generally living her best life. Or, at least, she is until Aunt Agatha decides to give her The Talk about how inappropriate her relationship with Drake is. She highlights not only their differences in station, but the fact that Vile George is a cruel jerk, who will doubtless make Drake’s life a living hell once he finds out about Drawenna’s love affair, for the simple reason that Drake is connected to Ross.

Morwenna, having met George before, realizes that Aunt Agatha is right. So she does her best to break things off with Drake, telling him that she never loved him, not really, even though she was totally just making out with him yesterday. This is like that scene in Game of Thrones where Arya has to drive her direwolf away by throwing rocks at it, and it’s very sad to watch Drake's face crumble as he takes in her words. (Why, exactly, he’s so quick to believe Morwenna’s word’s despite all her actions up to this point saying otherwise, is probably a question best left for another day. Have a little faith, kiddo.)

Drawke and Morwenna are the cutest.  (Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)
Drawke and Morwenna are the cutest.  (Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

And we’re back to Action Ross again. Realizing that the British government is probably not going to do much to save Dwight or any of the other prisoners in France, Ross decides that the obvious thing to do is to round up some friends and put together a rescue mission. Prison Break this is not, however, as there doesn’t seem to be much to their grand plan beyond landing a rowboat in the woods near the French jail and walking straight into it. Sure, why not, I guess? They try and keep all the prisoners who are otherwise delirious with pain quiet while they look for Dwight, because they’re not here to stage a large scale breakout or anything, just grab their friend. I must admit that I have zero idea why they thought this plan would work – surely the imprisoned Brits would notice five strangers wandering through their hellish campsite for no obvious reason? I’m only really amazed that it took as long as it did for someone to start hollering ESCAPE at the top of their lungs. Ross is really not that great at plans, y’all.

Once the Redshirt Redhead raises the alarm, French guards appear out of nowhere as the other prisoners stumble around, ostensibly trying to also escape, but in an extremely unclear and directionless way. That nice young man named Armitage leads Ross and company to Dwight, who’s currently two steps from a breakdown, and they all pack up and head out. Except for young Armitage, who somehow very calmly and easily accepts that these guys aren’t here for him, and watches them head off into the darkness of the night.

The night is so dark, in fact, that it’s almost impossible to see what’s going on during the next scene, as Ross, his friends and a bunch of Frenchmen all shoot at each other, other than the fact that in general the French have terrible aim. Seriously, these guys are Stormtroopers in Star Wars levels of bad. Maybe they couldn’t see anything either? To give this trip some meaningful stakes, Ross’ friend Henshawe is shot and killed, and everyone has a sad about that, while also being focused on the fact that Drake – who came aboard their ship as a stowaway was also shot. 

Thank goodness Dwight wont be in this dark prison anymore. Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE
Thank goodness Dwight wont be in this dark prison anymore.  (Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Wherein Drake is extremely emo. Yes, surprise, Drake – seeking to express his sudden new death wish following his breakup with Morwenna – snuck aboard the Rescue Dwight Express.  it seems pretty safe to say that he’s not taking the loss of Morwenna well. But it turns out that Drake is actually pretty handy to have around for the bulk of the trip, dramatically tossing guns to Ross and solving logistical problems, before getting himself shot while dragging Henshawe’s bleeding and dying form away.

Back in Cornwall, Morwenna and Demelza run into each other on that one beach that people go to all the time. And Demelza, displaying an amazing range of emotional sensitivity, decides to both applaud Morwenna for finally ending things with Drake, and also cry about how her brother will probably die on this rescue mission to France he’s decided to join solely because Morwenna dumped him.

What is up with Demelza this season, y’all? I get that people are automatically more protective of their younger siblings than, say, strangers, but her attitude about Drake generally and his relationship with Morwenna specifically is just weird. I’ve said this before, but given that she was a kitchen maid who married her boss, Demelza throwing stones at her brother loving someone above his station just seems bizarre. And if she’s so anti the whole Morwenna thing why even tell her about Drake’s impromptu trip to France at all?  

At any rate, thanks to the medical prowess of our own now quite scraggly Dr. Enys, Drake’s wound won’t kill him. So maybe he’ll still get the chance to die of a broken heart. Or maybe not, if Morwenna’s tortured and tragic expression on the hilltop as she watches his return is any indication. Just a guess. 

Everyone is sad.  (Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)
Everyone is sad.  (Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

And a happy ending of course (almost). Henshawe’s funeral is a somber and sad affair as Sam, Demelza and some other randoms sing in four part harmony and everyone cries as Ross wrestles with the guilt that’s surely going to haunt him for the rest of the season now. I know I’m probably supposed to care more about this random character death than I do, but here’s a secret. I am pretty sure I only even learned this guy’s name this week. (At least he was identifiable as Ross’s friend and often partner in business, crime or whatever else was needed, but it’s also not like he ever even had his own storyline, you know? Maybe I’m just heartless.) Afterwards, handsome Hugh Armitage chats with Ross and Demelza and she admonishes him to use the new chance at life that Henshawe gave him well. He promises to do so while staring very pointedly in her direction, and definitely looks a lot dreamier now that he’s not covered with dirt and blood.

Elsewhere, George’s plans to ruin Ross take another hit when it’s revealed that Hottie Hugh is actually the imprisoned nephew of Lord Falmouth, the rich dude he was trying so hard to suck up to at the fancy dress party he and Elizabeth attended. Who is probably not going to be inclined to think Ross is garbage, after this, and will likely help Ross out with any political ambitions he may discover or harbor in the future. Ha ha, George. Even your wife thinks you’re a moron. (Can we get more of Elizabeth judging George’s awfulness rather than going along with it, please? She’s much more bearable this way.)

And, finally, Dwight and Caroline are reunited, and her obvious joy and charming joke about her prescription for scurvy is perfect. (In short: I love them so much, please let them just plant flowers and raise puppies for the rest of the season, thank you.)

Of course, that will totally never happen, just as I also know that Morwenna probably isn’t going to be able to avoid human trashpile Reverend Whitworth forever. But, I can dream, right?

What did you all think of this week’s episode? Let’s discuss in the comments. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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