‘Poldark’ season 2, episode 8 review: The controversial Ross – Elizabeth scene arrives

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For most of this season of “Poldark,” you have likely heard a thing or two regarding the scene between Ross and Elizabeth in tonight’s episode in advance. After all, this was a scene that would be almost impossible to translate to television in a way that was favorable to the title character.

Let’s go ahead and get the basic facts out of the way: Tonight’s episode ended with Ross cheating on Demelza with Elizabeth, and doing so in a way that constitutes rape. While she eventually gave in to what he wanted, before that she did resist and say “no” to the act. This was less graphic than what was in the source material, but we’d hardly call it romantic. It was uncomfortable, painful, and it does drastically change our opinion of Ross as a person.

To us, there’s a difference between rooting for a flawed character who makes a series of business mistakes and someone who engages in infidelity, especially in this particular form. This was just a step too far from him; we understand that there were some unresolved feelings here, but there is a pretty clear difference in our mind between there being some feelings and then also acting on said feelings and destroying the family that was there between Ross and Demelza.

Were there some other moments in the episode? Sure. For one, we saw Dwight continue to suffer courtesy of the end of things with Caroline, there was another incident at the mine, and George eventually convinced Elizabeth to marry him, which is precisely how we ended up getting into this particular mess in the first place. There was some good news on the Verity front, but for this episode as a whole, we’d say that this was more or less few and far between.

Ultimately, we cannot say that we found this episode to be particularly enjoyable; instead, it was uncomfortable. This will likely be the most controversial moment in the entire series, and in all honesty, it’s hard to root for Ross after this. It’s also hard to grade the episode as a whole.

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