Poldark Season 3 Episode 1 Recap: F*ck, Marry, Kill
It’s time once again to return to Cornwall and the Saga of the Poldark family, with our ongoing “Snarkin’ on Poldark” series.
Good evening and welcome back to another season of “Snarkin’ on Poldark” the recaps that love to love and hate the Poldarks of Cornwall, and the trials and tribulations of our star, Ross Poldark. It’s been over a year since our last season debuted, mostly due to the BBC. The first year they premiered it at the beginning of the Spring TV season. Last year, in a fit of Tory driven mania, they aired it at the beginning of the Autumn TV season, going head to head with ITV’s Victoria, only to get murdered in the ratings. Rather than risk the same this year (which, considering Victoria‘s cratering ratings might not have been an issue), they backed themselves up to June, and came in with a not one, not two, but all three tenants of high drama: Birth, Death and Marriage.
Mawwiage, as the Impressive Clergyman once noted, is what bwings us togethew today. In this case, it’s also what’s bringing Enys back from the Navy, which he left for at the end of Season 2. He’s come back to marry Caroline. Last season’s finale, she swore she’d wait, but apparently waiting was getting tedious. (One might think Ross was turning over a new leaf and not being a right bastard anymore for assisting with this. One would be wrong. But more on that in a moment.)
With wedding bells for our prettiest couple in Cornwall, fans might think that would also mean a wedding night for them as well. They would also be wrong. See, Caroline and Enys managed to get married at the most convenient time for everybody else’s problems, which means no one could even give them a quick 15 minutes to do the deed.
Everybody else’s problems cover the birth and death parts of our story. Let’s start with Death and Caroline’s killing in the name of… More than once in the episode, she remarked that if her benefactor Uncle Ray Penvenen knew she hadn’t gone to London, but was in fact marrying Dwight Enys, who he so heartily disapproved of due to bank account size, it would kill him. So when news arrives at the Poldarks that Dr. Choake was at her family home, choking the life out of yet another victim, she runs back, all pretense of London thrown to the wind.
Uncle Ray doesn’t even question this 11th hour miracle of her return to his bedside while dying, but he does remark that he’s awfully sorry to have screwed up her life, and that she didn’t get to marry that doctor she liked so much, now that it’s over and there’s no way she can anymore. So what does Caroline do? She shows him the ring, and how disobedient she’s been, and tells him not to worry, she married the man of her dreams despite all Uncle Ray did to stop her.
Upon receiving this news, Ray Penvenen promptly expires, as Caroline predicted he would. Perhaps from here on out Caroline can be the Cornwall Angel of Death to Enys’ Guardian Angel of the Living. He giveth life, and she taketh away.
Meanwhile, since Dr. Choake is off killing people, that means he can’t be around to deliver babies, as is demanded by George Warleggan. Why does Warleggan need a baby delivered? Let’s rewind to the beginning of the episode, where Ross accidentally saves a pregnant Elizabeth on her runaway horse, to her intense irritation.
Runaway horses while second trimestering are only the beginning. Elizabeth has also taken up other hobbies, such as standing on chairs to reach high places, climbing wobbly ladders in the library to fetch top shelf books, and other hilarious scenarios where she might “accidentally” fall, and fall hard enough that it bring about labor pains. Why is she acting in such a suicidal manner? Has marriage to George for seven months truly made her life so miserable?
No. But if Elizabeth Chynoweth Poldark Warleggan were to have her annual review with Aunt Agatha, she would be written up for what we might call Time Management and Project Management issues. Said time management issue might be well summed up by the following lyric from Oklahoma:
I’m just a girl who cain’t say ‘No’
I’m in a terrible fix!
She got married seven months ago, and is having her baby in six. Whoops. That’s terrible project management.
So here we are, on the same night as Caroline and Enys get married coincidentally, and she throws herself down the stairs (or stages that she fell down the stairs anyway) in either a fit of desperation and/or labor pains. (The staging aspect suggests it’s the latter.) Congratulations Ross, it’s a boy named Valentine. (And yes, Ross does snap and run over to lurk hardcore outside Trenwith House, because his math says full well that ain’t no baby of George’s. Don’t worry Ross, cuckoos do this parasite move of slipping their offspring onto other unsuspecting male birds all the time. Elizabeth surely won’t say anything.)
Ross’ spying does reveal one useful bit of information other than “get as far away from the problem as you can.” He learns that George is threatening good old Aunt Agatha, despite the fact that she once lead the rebellion that brought down an empire. (She was Mon Mothma, look it up!) So when he meets up to parlay with George, he nicely threatens Warleggan to leave the old biddy and her tarot cards alone, while still giving George what he thinks is a win –that Ross will never again bother them, as long as the Warleggans leave them alone for all time as well.
With such a resolution reached, it seems as if we’re all set for more Poldark adventures. Caroline and Enys are married, even though they’re now separated again since he heads back to the navy the next morning. We’ve got Ross and Demalza on this side of the fence, raising Jeremy, and pretending Valentine isn’t the baby they both did the math on, and know it is. And we’ve got George and Elizabeth on that side of the fence, raising Valentine and Geoffrey Charles…. oh wait.
There’s just one little problem. George brought in a poor Chenowyth relation to governess Geoffrey Charles on his way to separating mother and son, and removing the last of the Poldark blood from the house. (Little does he know.) But said governess, Morwenna, has just caught the eye of Demelza’s brother Drake Carne, who has taken to wandering around with brother Sam spreading the word of God since their own father died.
Well, that’s going to be awkward. But at least the hats will be fabulous!