At the center of Poldark season 4 episode 2 was a key question: Who would represent Cornwall in the election? George Warleggan has not exactly made many friends, but the problem with Hugh Armitage at this point is fairly clear: His health is failing. Someone sick is rarely ever thought of as the best candidate for public office. (Warning: SPOILERS ahead!)
As this episode progressed, it became all the clearer that Ross was probably also a more suitable candidate for this actual post. Dwight Enys came up with his own plan of treating Hugh, but unfortunately, not everyone else had the same plan. This meant that we ended up seeing Hugh “treated” with leeches, which is certainly something that was far from ideal.
Eventually, though, it became clear that he was not going to be able to lead, and that meant having to choose someone else who could be a worthy leader: Ross Poldark himself! He is an incredible leader and popular around Cornwall, even if he does not perceive himself in such a way. Part of the problem here, though, is that there are a lot of ideological differences between Ross and everyone else in Parliament. He doesn’t want to transform into one of those heartless politicians who is above it all.
Beyond just that, Ross also has to be okay with the idea of spending a significant amount of time separate from his wife. He doesn’t love that and vice-versa, but they seem on some level to see the value of something that is bigger than himself.
As Hugh started to die, he left Hugh with what was a final letter for Demelza, making it clear precisely how much he loved her and valued their time together. The problem, alas, was that Ross ended up seeing this said note. That troubled him, and the trouble did continue as Demelza visited Hugh while he was on his deathbed. Meanwhile, Ross had to be present for the results of the vote … one that he assumed he would lose. In some ways, he even welcomed that idea. It wasn’t exactly like the speech advocating for Ross was altogether convincing.
Yet, here’s where things get a little shocking: While the vote was close, Ross actually won! George was blindsided by the result, thinking that he had the votes in advance. Ross seemed happy enough with the result, if largely unprepared for what would be coming next. George lost, at least from our vantage point, just because he was so difficult to like.
The moment Ross won, at least based on the show’s beautiful editing, seemed to be the moment that Hugh died. This is a devastating loss for Demelza, largely in that Hugh provided something for her that Ross often did not. Ross and Demelza did come together at the end of the episode and it was one heartbreak after the next. She had to mourn Hugh, and to along with that learn that her husband won the election and was therefore leaving.
For those of you who love to see someone fight for the people that they love, you absolutely saw that for this character here. Over the course of this episode he decided to do just about anything he could for the sake of Emma, including engaging with a battle against Tom Harry. Tom plays dirty, and that included spending much of his time trying to gauge out his eyes. That’s not the sort of thing that any normal person recovers from. Harry won the battle in as brutal a fashion as possible … and then proceeded to drink his life away after the fact.
While Tom did win the battle, that did not mean in the slightest that Emma was willing to marry him. Instead, she told Sam that she was set to head off to Tahiti instead for a year, and maybe at some point after that fact the two parties could reconvene and start to think more in terms of what their future could hold. One of the big problems between the two was a religious one, and we’re not sure that we see that changing.
She managed a brief reprieve from Whitworth tonight … unfortunately, the operative word there was “brief.” It was clear just how much love was still there, but unfortunately, Whitworth turned up soon enough. Later on in the episode, Ossie learned that Rowella was not actually with child, and thus had blackmailed him out of much of what he sought. There’s very little we love more than an extremely angry Ossie when things don’t go his way.
Poldark season 4 episode 2 was every bit the emotional journey that we hoped it would be going into it. Demelza had to reconcile her feelings for two men, and Eleanor Tomlinson completely dominated in all aspects.
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