Poldark Recap: A Man for All Seasons


Episode 3
Season 3 Episode 3
Editor’s Rating 4 stars


Episode 3
Season 3 Episode 3
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: courtesy of Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

Okay, three episodes in, I feel comfortable officially calling it: This season is better than last season.

Is it still an incredibly annoying show in which the eponymous hunky hero is an actual nightmare husband? It is. But at least we’re seeing some forward character-development from everyone else! Ross? Well, Ross is still essentially the same young man who returned to Cornwall from the Americas: obsessed with Elizabeth, toting a chip on his shoulder that would run a hefty price down the mine, and determined to right all the wrongs of the world while also expecting everyone to see the wisdom of his path within seconds.

Ugh, the mine. Must we? I don’t care at all about the mine. Okay, I will knock this APPARENTLY IMPORTANT plotline out for you. IDK, guys, the mine is bad again? The stuff they need to get out of it isn’t coming out. The leathery old dudes look worried. Ross is in London, making ridiculous self-aggrandizing speeches about things I know I should agree with him about but his tedious self-regard makes that impossible. More tiny Cornish child slaves to work in the mine, I say! There are 160 crimes legally punishable by hanging? Make it 200!

Anyway, Ross comes back and is like, “I have an idea to fix the mine!” and the guys are all, “Oooooh look at Mister Fancy Member of Parliament, here to tell us about mining,” but the show is called Poldark and not Crusty Leathery Miners so Ross turns out to be right and then eventually he’s their friend again.

Don’t ever make me pay attention to the mining plot again.

I wish to share a beautiful revelation with you at the current time. In so many (most?) romances, there is a moment when the heroine suddenly sees the hero, a man she’s known all her life, and realizes all at once that he’s the one. It’s always been him, she just needed to see it.

Well, that’s me and Dwight Enys, MD. And no, it’s not just that we got to randomly see him blurry and nude, stepping out of the surf, this week. He’s always been a bit skinny for my taste anyway. No, it’s the realization that he’s just been wandering around Cornwall CRUSHING IT for YEARS.

Faultlessly loyal and devoted husband? Check.

Passionate about his work, which elevates his community? Check.

Extremely handsome in the face despite being a touch scrawny? Look, if he were with a woman who could cook … I digress.

The fact is, Dr. Enys is the pick of the county, and it’s never been more clear than today, when he has the flush of proud new fatherhood upon him. And, holy cats, I wish I had figured that out before the show kicked off what is certain to be an appallingly depressing plotline.


Something is terribly wrong with the baby! You saw the man’s face! He looks like he’s seen a ghost. The baby either has the mark of the beast carved on her sweet little neck or, more likely, Dwight has seen some unarguable symptom that will result in the baby’s slow decline and death. I can’t handle that! We just got used to losing Julia!

Let’s check in with the Whitworths, the worst family in England, shall we? Morwenna is pissy about having a governess in for her son, fine, and Ossie is trying to parlay deathbed confessionals into opportunities for personal financial gain, all of which seems normal enough. More interestingly, Rowella, the slutty sister WHO I ADORE, coolly glanced around at her boring husband and leaking roof and decided it was time to shake her brother-in-law’s tree once more, with feeling.

I love her shamelessness! Sticking a stocking-covered foot out from under her dress, knowing full well that Whitworth has a devotion to feet that surpasseth all understanding or reason. I must also confess that I have really come to appreciate the skill that Christian Brassington has brought to the role of Osborne. When he is suggesting a variety of sins his dying congregant may wish to repent of, the look and intonation of “cheating at whist?” is a master class in comedy.

Also busy with their hustle this week is our lad George, who is tired of pretending he doesn’t miss Parliament. The solution, outlined to him by the deliciously caddish Captain Monk Adderley (he is practically wearing a T-shirt saying “I AM A RAKE, LOCK UP YOUR WIVES”), is to cease faffing about running for office like a peon. The real power is in buying a whole borough. Adderley is able to connect him with a gentleman who would be willing to make the deal, which will put George in the extremely powerful position of having control of two seats in the House. Yes, George absolutely does look like he’s going to jizz himself at the prospect. He’s also hopped on a tip from Osborne and has a new handle on how to squeeze Ross as a result.

Ah, Ross. Time to discuss what really matters on this show: Demelza. The greatest flower of womanhood. I love this lady, and he has done her wrong repeatedly.

Their reunion (my feelings for her husband aside, I really had hoped it would be a warm one) is creaky and uncomfortable. They go to bed, but chastely. He thinks she’s made them strangers, grieving for Hugh, and she says it’s been over for over a year but he left and didn’t come back so she hasn’t been able to tell him.

You are, of course, assuming that Ross will dash back from his party/fisticuffs on the beach so that he can spend a quiet evening with his wife and begin the task of putting their marriage back on track? Even I, a woman who should honestly know better, thought so.

No. Ross decides to get good and lit and then trash the Warleggan’s very fancy party at Trenwith and corner Elizabeth in the garden and say leading things to her about Valentine, their illicit son. The only thing I can say in his favor is that he immediately told Demelza what he’d been up to, but he simply may not understand human emotions.

Demelza is like, “Why the fuck did you go to Trenwith,” and he’s like, “I saw Elizabeth! I talked to her! She was nice!” and you can just see Demelza processing this information like … “I am married to the world’s stupidest man.”

These two need to stop talking about sorting things out and SORT THINGS OUT, you know? ANYWAY, he brought her some earrings, at least, so now they’re fucking.

Did I mention Jeffrey Charles is home? How big he’s gotten!

See you next week.

Poldark Recap: A Man for All Seasons