The ‘final’ episode of Poldark, review by Jim Shelley
‘I will return!’ Ross stopped the French invasion and brought his enemies to justice. But the hero saved the best news until last in the ‘final’ episode of Poldark, by Jim Shelley
Poldark said goodbye the one way none of us expected – with Aidan Turner insisting it wasn’t over and the hero would be back.
‘I swear to you I will return!’ he vowed, or rather Ross did, and to Demelza not to us.
Still, it was something that fans could cling to. A Christmas special next year perhaps if the work dries up instead of panto? Or a reunion on the debut episode’s 10th anniversary in 2025 (March 8th).
Return: Poldark said goodbye the one way none of us expected – with Aidan Turner insisting it wasn’t over and the hero would be back
For now, like every other actor with his own BBC1 drama (Tom Hiddleston, James Norton, Idris Elba), Turner had his eye on replacing Daniel Craig.
‘Poldark’ writer Debbie Horsfield had provided him with plenty of opportunities to show Barbara Broccoli his qualifications for the role: fencing skills, hairy chest etc. Plus in this series she had even made Ross a spy for MI6.
Poldark’s final scene took place on the beach, heading for France on a secret mission for His Majesty’s Secret Service – ‘to observe the build-up of Napoleon’s troops and preserve the peace of Amiens’ he said, so not that secret.
‘The past has gone,’ he reiterated to Demelza. ‘Tomorrow doesn’t exist’ – a phrase that could even be the title of his first film as 007.
Vow: ‘I swear to you I will return!’ he vowed, or rather Ross did, and to Demelza not to us
This aside, pretty much everyone lived happily ever after, as expected. The final episode featured three babies (in various stages), a wedding, and no funerals – as no one died after all.
Against the odds, Ross brought Joseph Merceron and Ralph Hanson to justice – his reward primarily for stopping the French invading Cornwall (mainly thanks to unexpected interventions by Demelza and of all people George Warleggan).
George provided the episode’s highlight saving his rival’s skin, by bursting through the door with a pistol in each hand, practically shouting ‘meet my little friends’, like a fey, posh, version of Scarface.
Poldark’s scheme had involved posing as a French sympathizer, gaining crucial information about their invasion by planning it with General Toussant.
You might think Poldark’s plan was at best flawed, and Dr. Enys agreed.
‘How can you possibly think this will work?!’ he cried.
‘There’s no other way,’ argued Ross. This didn’t mean it would work of course, and it didn’t.
Wait for it: A Christmas special next year perhaps if the work dries up instead of panto? Or a reunion on the debut episode’s 10th anniversary in 2025 (March 8th)
In fact it was foiled almost immediately by Hanson & Merceron.
Ross’ plan also had unforeseen down sides.
He had carelessly let Demelza sneak into the mine and hear him sucking up to Tess (as it were). A flirtation that was a high-risk strategy given that the rebellious peasant (who was also working with the French) was more than happy to believe Ross’ intentions were less than honorable.
‘Dare thy body and I’ll dare mine!’ the feisty young local yokel challenged him. ‘For we both know we long for it.’
Growing pale, Ross gulped, before hastily insisting: ‘because of that, let us find a more fitting place so we can take our time.’
Nice: This aside, pretty much everyone lived happily ever after, as expected. The final episode featured three babies (in various stages), a wedding, and no funerals – as no one died after all
Unsurprisingly, back at home, Ross found himself being nagged by Demelza.
‘How was the mine?’ she probed over dinner, looking unsure whether his reply (‘deep, dark, cold, and damp’) meant he had actually had sex with Tess.
Shortly afterward Mrs Poldark (as no-one calls her) moved out.
‘When did I lose you Ross?’ Demelza sighed. ‘When I look in your face, I see a stranger.’
In fact, he did look different: more French somehow.
Half an hour later though, the invasion had been scuppered and Merceron & Hansen were in handcuffs.
Farewell: Poldark’s final scene found Demelza on the beach waving Ross off (to France), sounding inappropriately optimistic about the future
Poldark’s final scene found Demelza on the beach waving Ross off (to France), sounding inappropriately optimistic about the future.
‘We’re here. We’re alive. We have blood in our veins!’ she trilled.
‘And the past has gone!’ Ross cheered. ‘Tomorrow doesn’t exist. All that matters is now.’
‘And we!’ trilled Demelza. ‘Two hearts, one beat.’
It sounded like a lyric from a Cheryl Cole song, frankly. Thankfully, Demelza didn’t sing it.
As her husband prepared to walk into the sunset – or, more accurately, row slowly towards it in a worryingly rickety wooden boat – she fretted: ‘Ross, you will come back?’
‘I swear to you my love,’ he promised. ‘I will return.’
With that, we watched as Aidan Turner walked to the boat. Or his back anyway…
For once, for the first time in four years, no longer recognizable as the hero of Poldark.
Just a mere silhouette…
Fight for this love: ‘And we!’ trilled Demelza. ‘Two hearts, one beat.’ It sounded like a lyric from a Cheryl Cole song, frankly. Thankfully, Demelza didn’t sing it
12 things we learnt from the last EVER episode of Poldark
1. ROSS BECAME A SPY
Hopefully his ‘covert’ mission in France will go better than his last one for MI6 boss William Wickham
2. DR. ENYS WAS STILL TAGGING ALONG AFTER HIM, LIKE A LOVESICK PUPPY
Doctor Dwight said he was travelling with Poldark ‘in the guise of studying at a famous mental asylum.’ Although it sounded as if that is actually what he was doing.
3. DEMELZA WAS PREGNANT
‘If it’s a boy we will call him Henry!’ cheered Ross, which was better than ‘Valentine’ I suppose.
4. CAROLINE DID NOT LEAVE HER HUSBAND FOR HORACE (HER PET PUG) BUT WAS RE-UNITED AND TRYING FOR A BABY (WITH DOCTOR DWIGHT)
The snooty beauty told her husband that she had been distant/mean to him as a way of protecting herself (from having the issue of trying to have another baby).
‘Another loss would kill me,’ she told him.
‘And me,’ Dwight simpered – making it all about him, as usual.
Spy: 1. ROSS BECAME A SPY Hopefully his ‘covert’ mission in France will go better than his last one for MI6 boss William Wickham
5. DEMELZA HAD STILL GOT IT (THE CHARMS THAT GOT HER OUT OF SERVITUDE)
As soon as we heard General Toussant was ‘a noted military strategist and exceptional swordsman’ we knew he and Ross would have a duel and that Toussant would win. Admittedly not the fact he did it with his weaker hand.
Luckily, someone had mentioned the General’s only weaknesses were ‘a certain arrogance, a fondness for ladies, good wine, and soft beds.’
So quite a few then…
Inevitably, this allowed Demelza to stop him from polishing off her husband (as it were).
‘Sir, from the bottom of my heart I bless you,’ she cooed to Toussant, fluttering her eyelashes, enjoying herself rather too much as she described Poldark as a ‘fiend’, ‘a liar’, and ‘a bully.’
‘He repeatedly breaks his marriage vows and my heart. So yes I despise him.’
She moved close enough to whisper in his ear: ‘I would like to see him… humiliated.’
‘Nothing would give me greater pleasure,’ Toussant purred, although we can all think of one thing that would have.
6. GEORGE WARLEGGAN FINALLY GOT TO MAN UP/ PLAY THE HERO
Poldark’s ignominy was complete when it turned out to be weedy George Warleggan who ultimately saved his bacon, bursting through the door with a pistol in each hand, misquoting AL Pacino shouting ‘say hell to my leetle friends’, and shooting both General Toussant (dead) and Ralph Hansen (sadly not).
7. ROSS LOST VALENTINE FOR GOOD (BUT DIDN’T SEEM THAT UPSET)
The down side of George Warleggan growing some balls was that he told Ross he was moving away from Trenwith.
‘Valentine has expressed a wish to visit. I would be grateful if you refused him,’ Warleggan told Ross, adding pointedly: ‘He is after all no relation.’
Ross agreed and to be honest seemed almost relieved.
Pistol: Poldark’s ignominy was complete when it turned out to be weedy George Warleggan who ultimately saved his bacon, bursting through the door with a pistol
8. MORWENNA & DRAKE HAD A BABY GIRL BUT DID NOT CALL HER ‘RIHANNA’
‘What a day!’ cried Drake to Morwenna after the birth of their daughter. ‘What a love! That’s what we’ll call her.’
Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.
She won’t thank you for it.
9. ROSINA PROPOSED TO, AND MARRIED, SAM – LEAVING TESS ALONE AGAIN NATURALLY
To compound this, the feisty local yokel finally realized Ross had been stringing her along.
10. ROSS CLEARED HIS NAME
William Wickham confirmed that by scuppering the French invasion, Ross had ‘redeemed himself in the eyes of the crown.’ Too late for Ned Despard of course but then it wasn’t his series.
Redeemed: William Wickham confirmed that by scuppering the French invasion, Ross had ‘redeemed himself in the eyes of the crown’
11. JOSEPH MERCERON AND RALPH HANSON HAD A TASTE OF THEIR OWN MEDECINE/BRANDY
Besides his new gig as a spy, Poldark’s reward for foiling the French was vengeance against the men who had sent Ned Despard to the gallows. Well two of them anyway. (Ross seemed to have forgotten about the other two: George Warleggan and Wickham himself.) The slave-owner and corrupt magistrate were stitched up by the judge (confusingly known as Reverend Halse) – arrested for being ‘in possession of smuggled brandy’ (i.e. when it wasn’t meant to be duty free). To their horror they learnt they would be awaiting trial in Truro jail. It was at this point Poldark emerged to announce the real list of charges. ‘Bribery, corruption, fraud, blackmail, false witness, mistreatment of prisoners, and murder.’
Apart from that, they had nothing on them.
12. AIDAN TURNER AND HIS PREDECESSOR IN THE PART SHARED ONE LAST SCENE
It was a nice touch seeing Robin Ellis (as the judge) and Aidan Turner mark the occasion, practically with a toast.
‘Your servant sir!’
‘And yours sir!’
Robin Ellis had of course played Poldark between 1975-1977 and Turner since 2015.
Who knows, one day there may yet be a third.
Third time’s the charm: Robin Ellis had of course played Poldark between 1975-1977 and Turner since 2015. Who knows, one day there may yet be a third
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