Is anyone else fully and completely baffled about this sudden plot twist of Ross masquerading as a French spy? We have ONE more episode! How are they ever going to wrap this up? I am on tenterhooks.
In case you, even with the help of an unusual-for-the-show flashback, also did not really remember who the hell this French guy is who’s all “We meet again, monsieur,” he’s from that very quick side plot we had in season three where Ross goes to rescue Dwight from the French Revolution and is briefly interrogated by someone with equally beautiful hair. This same beautiful-haired man is now hiding in a Cornish mine, preparing for the apparently inevitable French invasion.
If you’re saying, “Cornwall invaded by France? Is this historically accurate?” then we are of one mind! But buckle up, my friend, because the Battle of Fishguard in 1797 by the French was not only the “most recent landing on British soil by a hostile foreign force,” but also the “last invasion of mainland Britain.” True, it was in Wales and not Cornwall, but Cornwall is just a jot further south. Also, fun side note about the Battle of Fishguard: Welshwoman Jemima Nicholas went out and rounded up 12 French soldiers with a pitchfork. Now she’s a folk hero with her own Wikipedia page.
Oh right, but last time we left Ross, he was in a hole. In one of a series of massive coincidences, he finds the smuggled ore while walking around the mine Merceron’s men dumped him into. He eventually just kinda wanders out of the mine, making it once again clear that Merceron’s men are terrible at their job. (Remember when they tried to plant letters on Ross and Ned and failed at both?)
When he runs into Dwight, Ross tells him that Demelza cannot know he was shoved in a hole by his enemies. ROSS. We have been over this. Things work much better between you and your wife when you don’t hide huge facts from her! She has proven time and time again that she can not only deal with the truth, but help with whatever massively terrible new situation you’ve gotten yourself into. Why are you LIKE this? But true to form, as soon as Ross gets home, he straight-up lies to her and says he fell down a mine. Demelza, who after five seasons is accustomed to Ross’s terrible ways, immediately asks if there’s something he’s not telling her, and he says nope, I can’t think of anything. OMG.
There’s a bunch of time spent this episode on Merceron being the kingpin of East London, etc etc, he and Cecily’s dad are half-brothers, they’re in cahoots more than any of us realized. I don’t care about any of this because again, we have ONE more episode left of this entire series! I am infuriated that we are spending it on new characters when I could be watching more scenes of Caroline and Dwight and Caroline’s pug engaged in a dramatic staring contest that the pug inevitably wins.
Which reminds me: Did anyone else look around like maybe it was a joke when Merceron talked about putting a stop to Caroline’s work to bring him down, and his big plan is to have a guy walk in front of her horse in the park? Like. That was it. That was the whole plan. Then he’s like, well, my horse plan did not pan out, so let’s poison her dog. When I saw that pug lying there, I was fully prepared to be very sad about a Dog Death, but nope. The poisoning fails; Horace is fine. This brings Merceron’s count of failed plots up to three for this episode alone.
Speaking of the work to bring Merceron down, though, I was extremely uncomfortable with the way the show chose to contrast Caroline and Kitty’s efforts in the park. Kitty, a formerly enslaved black woman, fruitlessly shouts and alienates people, whereas wealthy white Caroline walks up to strangers to be (super richly and calmly) like, “Ahem excuse me, do you know that Mr. Merceron is torturing prisoners in the name of science?” It honestly felt like some racist b.s. on the part of the show.
I did, as a lover of soap-opera drama, appreciate Unscrupulous District Attorney Caroline accidentally seeing George’s medical diagnosis of insanity on Dwight’s desk and then using that information to blackmail George into agreeing to leave the Despards and Poldarks alone. True, in the end it doesn’t work out because Merceron would much rather have Geoffrey Charles brutally assaulted than get his hands on George’s money, but she still tries.
Oh right, Geoffrey Charles and Cecily try to run away, but he is beaten and she ends up on a boat to Jamaica with Kitty after breaking it off with him because her father threatened to kill him next time.
Meanwhile, Ross is on the Cornish shore and suddenly surrounded by some Frenchmen with guns. After meeting the interrogator from before, he semi-convinces him that he has in fact rethought his loyalties and is now on board with France invading England. Ross doesn’t tell Demelza that he has promised to be on the side of the French Revolution, because why would he? We end with him and this Frenchman on the cliffs, wishing for the French fleet on the horizon.
I mean. One more episode. We have one more! I have so many questions!
THE VERY FINAL QUESTIONS FOR NEXT TIME
• Will Ross ever stop lying to Demelza, or will she come across him helping French troops invade Truro and he’ll still be saying, “Oh no, you’re mistaken, this isn’t what I’m doing at all,” in true Rossian fashion?
• Will we have a surprise reunion with Geoffrey Charles and Cecily or are they done forever? They can’t be done forever, can they?
• Is there steady work for the people of Truro? There’s been a lot of concern around mining lately and I do not feel settled in their secure future, so that better be answered in the last episode.
• Will Caroline leave the cruel and inconsiderate Dwight and start her own law practice, using her pug Horace as its logo?
• What is going to happen to George! And why do I care!
• Can we get one more season?