‘Poldark’ episode 4 review: Is Ross actually falling for Demelza?

Four episodes in, and the biggest achievement we feel we can give the BBC’s “Poldark” credit for is doing a fairly solid job of moving beyond just its source material. We never watched the original series, and we therefore do not have to watch it with the burden of knowing whether or not the original was something fantastic or sorely lacking.

Instead, all we know is what we’ve seen so far, and that is a fairly solid piece of entertainment about a complicated-but-dashing leading man still in need of some answers. Part of Ross Poldark’s head still clearly lies with Elizabeth, but at the same time, is he actually starting to develop some genuine feelings for Demelza? If nothing else, he is showing some appreciation, and that is a nice step. Maybe some of the singing managed to finally get to him.

The dynamic between these three characters is what the show does best, mostly because it is not a picture painted to be a teenage love triangle filled with angst and drama. Elizabeth and Demelza in their own way do have a natural rapport, and one of our favorite scenes tonight featured the two of them. Meanwhile, the toughest scene to watch was Poldark’s declarations that Elizabeth was born “to be admired.”

As we move into riots and potential violence next week, this series has set up fans in an interesting place. We care deeply about the characters, but also the emotional landscape that they find themselves in. Cornwall also remains a fascinating setting, one that stems with grand physical beauty but suffers amidst inner chaos. This is a place still suffering to find an identity in a post-Revolutionary Britain, much in the same way as Poldark himself. Episode Grade: B+.

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