Poldark Season 3 Episode 4 Recap: Prison Break 1793
Under the cover of darkness, Poldark went James Bond, while Warleggan did his best impression of Magistrate No.
After last week’s surprise decision for Ross to stay home and waggle his grain stores in George’s general direction in the fight against “the man,” this week on Poldark Season 3, it was back to France. Last week checked, Caroline had a completely ridiculous notion her husband would be home in time for Christmas like the good old fashioned 1950s jingles promised, and Ross is the Santa Claus to make it happen. Abandoning his responsibilities to get his friends killed while he survives is one of his trademarks, after all.
Henshawe: “Minin’s a risk, lovin’s a risk, livin’s a risk, so tonight I’ll take my chance.”
Stop worrying, Dwight Enys survives, though not because he makes it easy for everyone. The over-honorable idiot takes it to extremes even Ross finds silly, insisting he cannot be rescued at this inconvenient juncture, he has patients to see to or some such ridiculousness. As if the first half of the episode didn’t already establish he’s basically keeping his fellow prisoners alive for French soldier bloodsport. One might think his determination heralded that he was doing it deliberately.
But Ross ain’t having it. One does not simply walk in France (or swim) multiple times, and leave one’s friend behind. If Dwight won’t come alone, Ross will just have to rescue all of them, and they’ll prison break for England. (Well, two of them will. The other twenty are more or less let out and then left on their own, but we’ll learn their freedom counts towards Ross’ score.) How’s that for a hard Brexit? Sorry, Friends of Ross, he is altering the agreement he made. Pray he does not alter it further and get everyone killed.
Ross manages to only get one person killed this week, and the sacrificial character was Captain Henshawe, the man who has been Ross’ right-hand man at mining and at war. Up until then, most assumed it would be Morwenna’s newly dumped ex Drake Carne, who literally chose to go along on the mission as a form of passive-aggressive suicidal behavior.
Instead, he gets to come home and he and Sam form a two-man boyband, singing a lovely harmony at the funeral. (For their next performance, they’ll be singing at Aunt Agatha’s 100 birthday party, doing the Simon and Garfunkel hit “The Sounds of Silence” while Elizabeth and George stare moodily out the windows of Trenwith. Also, by the way, Demelza’s got a debut folk album on the way, probably out next year.)
George: “Will he ever grow up?”
Demelza: “I don’t know, George, will you?”
Yes, Morwenna will be a good girl and marry the odious toad she’s been sold to by George, who all but admits this week he’s doing it because she’s not allowed to be happy. (Cut immediately to one of Morwenna’s last moments of happiness.) Moreover, Morwenna seems to have caught a case of the self-righteous behaviors from somewhere. (Aunt Agatha? Cousin Ross?) So she’ll be dumb enough to do it a virgin, instead of grabbing what little happiness she might have gotten beforehand.
(Though considering Elizabeth’s dilemma at the beginning of the season, perhaps Morwenna’s determination to keep herself unseeded prior to marriage was for the best.)
But that’s only the tip of the Evil George iceberg this week. Upon learning that Ross has done Yet Another Dumb But Brave Thing, George is convinced this time he’s got his man right where he wants him. (As if we didn’t see how that worked out last week.) At the latest soiree, George attempts to have Elizabeth button down the heretofore-never-met Lord Falmouth (James Wilby) and push himself forward in line to reach one of those seats in parliament. Chynoweths, he observes, can walk in where Warleggans fear to tread. Have we considered that’s less to do with class resentment and more because Warleggans are terrible people? Whatever, the point is to angle for George to get the parliament seat Ross could simply have by asking.
But Ross isn’t here, is he? He’s off getting himself killed in France like a moron. George, on the other hand, is here playing his cards right, telling Morwenna’s groom to be Whitworth, just loud enough for Falmouth to hear, all about Ross’ foolish mission in France. Ninety-nine percent of success in life is showing up, and all that.
Except! Remember how Dwight made it so Ross had to rescue everyone, not just himself? One of those extras, Armitage (Josh Whitehouse), the one who actually was far more helpful in helping Ross get everyone back to England than Dwight was? You guessed it: he’s Falmouth’s nephew. Now, why couldn’t George have sold Morwenna to that guy?
Caroline: Dr. Enys! Do I detect scorbatus?
Enys: I’m afraid so.
We end with Dwight now home and Caroline overjoyed. But will the joy last? She’s got ideas of what her husband should be, and he’s got PTSD. This cannot possibly end well. But still! Ross has returned to England a hero, having made not only a key friend of Caroline and her high social position, but now also Lord Falmouth, and his parliament seat giving out ways. Not to mention Armitage, who will happily help Ross with whatever he needs as well. George is left grinding his teeth in a corner, wondering what an evil dude has to do to get a leg up around these parts.