As disgruntled, as dissatisfied as Episode 6 left me—and I admit I was crotchety about it—the double helping of Poldark in the Season One finale left me emotionally drained but looking forward to what comes next.
At one point my husband, who watches from the sidelines while he "works" at his computer, came over and gave my fingers a squeeze. "Sad episode?" he asked. At the time silent tears were streaming down my face and I'm sure I looked like quite the tragic heroine myself.
Poor Demelza! Poor Poldark! Poor Francis! Poor Elizabeth! Poor Mark! Poor Dr. Enys!
And yet... Happy Verity!
The episode begins beautifully with Verity making her escape and marrying her captain, to the applause of the ship's crew. She's positively glowing, finally enjoying some happiness and her moment in the sun.
But hearing the news Francis is furious. Learning that Demelza has been helping the pair pass notes back and forth, he assumes Poldark is behind it which leads him to betray Poldark, divulging the name of the investors in the mine deal to that slime bag George Warleggan. The Warleggans use the information against them, destroying any chance Poldark and his associates have for success.
Demelza confesses to Francis, that it was she, not Ross, behind Verity's elopement. Rather than accept her apology, and aware of the damage his misunderstanding has caused, Francis screams at her to get out of the house, never to return.
Ross is angry too, more at Demelza's interference rather than Francis' unreasonable behavior. It's not fair but Francis seems to have become to be that short-wired weirdo that everyone treads carefully around, fearful of saying the wrong thing. If he blows up, it's your fault for setting him off.
We knew things would come to no good with Mark's wife, that trollope Keren, offering herself to the the good doctor. I predicted they'd sleep together and that Mark would be angry enough to kill him. Well I had that bit wrong, didn't I? I never imagined he'd kill her instead. That's Keren's character arc over and done with and now Mark has escaped to France, not likely to return to the show either.
The doctor won't leave though. He's redeemed himself in my eyes by acknowledging his mistake and insisting on staying in town to care for the villagers coming down with the 'putrid throat'. Ah, the putrid throat. That's where the real heartache starts. What begins with a throat that closes up and makes it hard to swallow more often than not ends in death.
Hearing that Francis, Elizabeth and their little boy are sick with the 'putrid throat', with their all their household servants too sick to care for them, Demelza goes to look after them. Such a kind, open-hearted thing to do. And yet...
Demelza comes down with it herself as does their baby Julia, which make for the most heartbreaking moments of the episode.
Seeing Poldark carry that tiny coffin while back home the sickness still held sway over Demelza was mitigated only by the sight of Francis at the funeral, squeezing Poldark's shoulder. A gesture that told me not just that he was sorry, but that somehow the two families would come together again.
It will be easier now that Poldark seems to be well and truly over Elizabeth. When we discover that Elizabeth has been helping Dr. Enys look after Demelza, we see Ross finally acknowledging how deeply he loves Demelza, thanking Elizabeth tearfully for looking after the love of his life.
In the final moments of the show Ross, who has carried Demelza to the cliffs to say a final goodbye to Julia, was arrested for murder and colluding with the starving miners to pilch whatever they can from a shipwreck. The wrecking party went awfully awry, ending up with a murder, a murder of a Warleggan no less. So as teary-eyed as I was watching the show, I'm eager to see what comes next. I just wish next, meant next week, or even next month. Sadly it means next year.
Previously on Poldark:
Episode One: I'd Wait for Him
Episode Two: Poldark and his Women
Episode Three: Say Yes to the Dress!
Episode Four: Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows
Episode Five: More Precious For Being Less Certain
Episode Six: Characters without Character