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Poldark - Episode 2.05 - Advance Preview + Teasers

© BBC Pictures

As some of you are already probably aware, when I am covering a series which is an adaptation from a popular novel I tend to include slightly more detail than I would with my other previews. Therefore, if you are not familiar with the material, or haven’t read the press releases issued, then please be aware that the following will contain some spoilers for the episode.

This episode marks the halfway point of the season, and though it’s one that’s sure to stick in the memory for various reasons, it’s the third act with its uneasy sense of foreboding as it leads to its tragic conclusion that makes this instalment an instant classic in my eyes.

Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) has been away in London for the last year, though how she has put up with the insufferable drip Unwin (Hugh Skinner) for that long is anyone’s guess. It’s no wonder that she longs to return to Cornwall, where the rather more interesting and dashing Dwight resides. Someone who has forced her to rethink her sheltered, privileged upbringing, whom challenges both her intellect and wit, unlike that dolt of an MP her guardian is pressuring her to marry.

In fact, Ray Penvenen (John Nettles) is so sure that the proposal is on the cards that he has thrown an engagement party, inviting all the gentry in the area to witness the deed. It turns out to be a series of disasters, however, when not only does Caroline turn him down, leading him to do a bunk in an attempt to avoid embarrassment in front of his ‘pal’ George and all his constituents, but Ross also gets into his fair share of trouble too. The more serious matter, for the immediate future anyhow, is that he and George have another run in. And, although this time it is only limited to words opposed to fists, that hackneyed old saying of “the pen is mightier than the sword” turns out to have real menace behind it when Cary Warleggan (Pip Torrens) and George buy out Ross’ promissory note for the thousand pound debt in a rage after the spat.

The other, possibly more contentious, quagmire that Ross gets himself involved in at the party is when he finds himself seated next to old flame Elizabeth at the feast, while Demelza looks on from her place next to Captain McNeil (Henry Garrett). We’ve seen the general gist of what happens here in the promos for this season, with Elizabeth teasing that a person can love two people at the same time. It’s a theme that runs through the books from the very start of Ross and Demelza’s marriage that was dialled down considerably during the first season, but for necessity's sake has to rear its head now in order for the plot to proceed this time round. I won’t say any more than that here as I don’t want to spoil things too much for my readers, but I am happy to continue any thoughts in the comments below, as I know that this is a situation that many are finding a talking point.

The smuggling business has hit a problem, hence why Captain McNeil is a significant character this week again, albeit hanging around in the shadows for much of it. It appears that there could be an informant among the tenants, which is understandably going to cause the odd argument and rumours to spread throughout the villages. Especially after the arrests start, as we know how the Reverend Halse (Robin Ellis) treats this kind of behaviour when it comes up in his courtroom. Luckily for Ted Carkeek (Lewis Peek), the first to be nabbed this week and face the austere judge, there is a friendly face on the bench serving as the second magistrate.

There was a time during the first season when I would have happily seen Francis Poldark drink himself into oblivion after his selfish and jealous obsessions lost him his mine, his family’s trust and his own self-respect. He became nothing more than a manipulated plaything for George to use as he pleased, and his part in bringing down the Carnmore Copper Company shareholders saw him sink to a low that I didn’t think he could ever recover from. Yet over just a few short hours this year we have seen Kyle Soller and the production team turn the character around, arguably raising him higher than he was before and making him the man old pa Poldark thought he could never become.

His scene with Robin Ellis this week is a gem, a real treat for those who have come to love this new and confidant Francis, who takes this new place on the Magistrate Bench as seriously as he does father, husband, business partner, prospector and landowner. The two actors seem to enjoy their brief verbal sparring – as do the spectators in the court – with the younger man tying the Reverend up in knots over the fine detail in law, the current civil unrest in France and the punishment due not only for the miscreant in question, but as a deterrent for all others of his kind. It’s a delight to see Soller excel with this side of the role, and makes me only adore his character all the more.

There’s more to enjoy during a later scene with Demelza too, where the tone shifts from playful to a more serious one, during which she boldly asks him if he thinks Ross still loves her. I say serious as this is where the underlining vibes of what is to come by the close of the episode are felt more than ever, yet the scene itself is otherwise one filled with hope and promise of prosperity to come. There is no trace of the jealousy the old Francis once harboured, and he speaks words of wisdom that we can only hope that Demelza will always remember as I fear they may be some of the most important she hears this season.

Episode 2.05 airs 2nd October at 9pm, below are a few teasers to see you through until then. If you want to have a go at guessed who said what with the dialogue ones, I will fill in any correct answers before TX. Please don't forget to come back to vote in our poll after you have seen the episode and let us know what you thought.

“The cards, today they threaten some impending ill. Which perhaps only you can prevent” Aunt Agatha

“I’ve never had the courage to come and tell you outright, but you can’t rebuild a friendship by ignoring what destroyed it. So…so, now you know” Francis

George has very grand plans after his stay in London. He thinks that it’s time Truro opened its first bank, under the Warleggan name, no doubt.

“We thank you for your diligence Mr Becker, you may stand down. A straightforward case I think. Context of the monstrous events still unfolding in France” Rev. Halse

“Ross? I knew you’d come” Francis

“At any rate, the rumours make people tetchy. Whoever gave Vigus a beating must have strong suspicions to his involvement in the trade”

“I take my hat off to you Francis. You played him at his own game, something I’d never achieve” Ross

Aunt Agatha is not feeling well, and the only thing that will make her better is an extended visit from Verity.

“I believe I saw him heading for his horse. Oh dear, I hope that I haven’t said anything to upset him. Shall we have dancing?” Caroline

“But, Elizabeth is, so lovely, well-bred. And she’s Ross’ first love. How can I compete with perfection?” Demelza

“If you come to me with a sore throat, I know what to do. If I meet you in a drawing room, you are a creature whose moods and manners I’ve never learnt to decipher” Dwight

“Goodbye old woman. I hope when I next call you’ll be six feet below” George

About the Author - Sandi
Sandi is part of the Senior Staff at SpoilerTV having been a contributor from back in the Lost days of DarkUFO, and who now writes previews for Vikings, Knightfall, Poldark, Doctor Who and other UK shows. She also enjoys watching and commenting on other shows such as Orphan Black, Game of Thrones and The Flash.
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