Recap: Episode 8
Our tricorns overfloweth with tears in a season finale that put us through the wringer with a wish and a wedding, a birth and the death of a character about whom we can lovingly can say, with true admiration, “She was a Poldark.” Make a self-care plan, then revisit the episode’s most powerful moments below.
Tale as Old as Time
It’s an unexpected delight when a flashback reunites our gang, even our dearly departed, at a party before Ross leaves for the war. For the first time, we get to see how truly, deeply in love Ross and Elizabeth had been. It was a time of innocence, of possibility, of Ross sporting a hairstyle more popular with fans. Yet even in this idyll, Aunt Agatha’s cards foretell what will become Elizabeth’s doom: “She’ll break a few hearts. And bear beautiful children.”
Fun Fact: Aidan Turner used to be a competitive ballroom dancer!
A Wish in the Holy Well
When Morwenna finds Drake at their wishing well, she flees but he follows and bears his heart, offering a marriage “in name only.” Though she can’t take his hand, she ventures to walk with him. There be hope!
Talk about awkward! Demelza runs into Elizabeth and mini-Ross Valentine at the churchyard. But there’s no bitterness in this powerful moment between the two former friends, as Demelza works to put Elizabeth at ease with her kindness to Valentine. They part wishing each other genuine happiness.
A letter from the Prime Minister brings George news signifying the very pinnacle of his aspirations: He’s to receive a knighthood. That’s right, there’s Sir Galahad, Sir Lancelot, and soon, Sir Warleggan…
All the Rage
When Ross darkens George’s door in search of Morwenna, he’s insulted, threatened, and pushed to a standoff, prodding, “You have my family’s home, my family’s mine. And you have Elizabeth…What more do you want?” George’s rage is about to erupt.
It's About Time.
In a heartbreaking moment, Ross begs Elizabeth’s forgiveness and she grants it. But by the episode’s end, I don’t know if we can. After all, as Dwight so astutely observes, her undoing “was seeded long ago.” By Ross!
Unleash the Harrys, Unleash the Hounds
After George ordered his double-named minion to torment Morwenna (and his footman to fetch a bottle of the ’94 claret), the long-suffering former governess was hunted down by Harry Harry and his vicious pack of dogs. But Drake saves the day, brandishing a branch at H2 and scaring the brute into a sulking retreat. “You’re safe now,” he assures Morwenna, and us, because we can only take so much!
Exit, Preceded by a (She) Bear
After drinking her labor-inducing potion (You remember, the one she was cautioned to take only under a doctor’s supervision), Elizabeth delivers a small but healthy daughter, Ursula, who appears to be—like her brother, wink wink—an early birth. George, repentant, is finally convinced of Valentine’s parentage. But in a gruesome and tragic turn, Elizabeth suffers from the potion and dies. Now excuse me while I take to my cliff-top and sob in front of the heaving, beautiful, indifferent sea.
In a gallop more frantic than any frantic gallop before, Ross races to Trenwith to see the gravely ill Elizabeth. But he’s too late, and—surprise!—unwelcome, barging in on George’s raw grief only minutes after Elizabeth’s death.
Shock & Awful
Is this pity that we feel for the nefarious villain who in this very same episode basically shouted “Unleash the hounds!” upon a defenseless young woman? Yes! And yet, through it all, George’s love for Elizabeth has been indisputable, and his heartbreak (yes, it turns out he has a heart) is profound.
It’s all just too sad.
From Darkness, Light. And Horace.
Reaffirming the cycle of life, Caroline tentatively reveals that she may be ready to bring a new life into their family. Horace approves.
A moment of happiness, an affirmation of hope, and a union we’ve all hoped for: #Drowenna! And Verity, bless her heart, with the best tribute to Elizabeth imaginable: “She was a Poldark.”
If you’re gutted and bereft and need a something to cheer you up, look no further:
- Listen to actress Heida Reed’s interview with the MASTERPIECE Studio Podcast.
- Remember it’s all just fiction when you see candids of Poldark’s actors having fun together offscreen throughout the years (via Heida Reed’s Instagram).
- Watch Ross & Demelza’s romantic moments video again. Works every time!