This is a recap of Poldark: Season 1, Episodes 1-2. If you have not watched Poldark: Season 1, shame on you. Go watch it right now. This recap contains spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Poldark: Episode 1
The Hero Returns
The dashing Ross Venner Poldark (played by Aidan Turner) finally returns home to Cornwall after three years of fighting in the American Revolutionary War. He hears the news about his father’s death, so he heads to his uncle Charles’ estate, Trenwith. It seems that Ross has interrupted the engagement party of his cousin to his beloved Elizabeth.
Everyone is happy to see that Ross is still alive, especially Elizabeth. Days later she is strolling around hoping that Ross will come over and save her from marrying boring Francis. Uncle Charles is afraid of the same thing. He knows that Ross’s return could mean a problem for Francis’ marriage, so he offers Ross enough money to move away and start a new life in London.
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Lost Love Unrequited
Ross’s love for Elizabeth kept him going during the war. She consumed his thoughts. Even though she married his cousin, Ross still loves Elizabeth. To be fair, Elizabeth thought he was dead. Forming a good marriage is the only option open to a girl in her circumstances. Frances is a good catch, yet she still has feelings for Ross. What’s a girl to do with two Poldarks?
The beautiful Icelandic actress, Heida Reed plays Elizabeth subtly. We are not quite sure if Elizabeth really loves Francis, maybe she still loves Ross. I don’t think she really knows. But her mother is always reminding her what a good catch Francis is. AKA Francis is the Cornwall Ritchie Rich $$$
An Urchin and Her Dog, Garrick
What’s left for Ross? He must repair his estate, work his land and try to make a living from his derelict copper mine. So he heads to town with what few valuables Jud and Prudie haven’t stolen, hoping to raise some cash to buy supplies.
The locals have found what looks like a stray dog for their dogfight. But the mutt belongs to a street urchin, who we soon learn is a young girl named Delemza. Ross takes pity on her and instead of taking her back to her town, he offers her a job as a kitchen maid. A decision that will change his life in many ways.
One of Ross’s many flaws is that he is impulsive and doesn’t think things through. A man, especially a gentleman can’t just take in an underage girl without her father’s consent. He goes to ask his uncle’s advice on the matter and Elizabeth is there. Old feelings come to the surface and Ross confronts her.
“Did we not mean those things we said?”
When Ross returns to Nampara, Demelza is nowhere to be found. But Tom Carne, her father is waiting for him, along with his freakishly large brothers and a crowd of Illugan miners. Ross is already in a bad mood after dealing with Elizabeth and her ever-changing affections, so he blows off some steam in a fight with Demelza’s father.
Prudie convinces Demelza that she is nothing but trouble and should leave Nampara. So Demelza grabs Garrick and hits the road back to Illugan.
Ross’s roots are in Cornwall and he decides to stay. Unlike other men of his status, Ross is more comfortable with the miners and country folk he grew up with than in the company of the gentry. He somehow feels responsible for their sad lot in life. He makes up his mind to open his derelict copper mine, Wheal Leisure.
Poldark: Episode 2
Wheal Leasure: A Risky Business
Mining is a costly endeavor and like many of the other Cornwall mine owners, Charles Poldark has borrowed money from Warlerggan’s bank. When the money is not repaid, the Warleggan’s seize the property. If Ross is to reopen his mine, Wheal Leisure he’ll need cash. He calls upon his old friend and banker, Harris Pascoe for a loan. Ross doesn’t want the Warleggans involved, so he secretly finds investors to help reopen the mine.
Ross invites Francis to join him in reopening Wheal Leisure. But poor, weak-minded Francis lets his so-called friend, George Warleggan casts doubts about Ross’s loyalty.
The Ball: Gentle Folk is Strange
Verity asks Ross to accompany her to a fancy dress ball. At least she could get out of the house and away from her overbearing father for one night.
Ruth Teague and the other single ladies have their eyes on Ross. Broke or not, he’s a Poldark and that makes him a catch in Cornwall. But poor, lovesick Ross only has eyes for Elizabeth. They step out on the dance floor and it becomes obvious that Lizzie still has feelings for Ross too. [At least she enjoys his attention].
While the ladies are checking out Ross as prospective husband material, Verity attracts the attention of a sea captain, Andrew Blamey (a man with a past). It’s love at first sight! This is a miracle. For a plain, quiet girl approaching 30, husbands don’t come along every day.
Ross and Elizabeth have the Cornwall tongues wagging. And George Warleggan doesn’t help matters. He’s ever ready with a sly comment to Francis or a dig at Ross.
Ross has had enough of polite society and off he goes to The Red Lion Pub to seek more easy-going company in the arms (and bed) of Margaret, the Ho.
The course of true love never did run smooth
Verity begins sneaking off to town to meet him. She even asks Ross if she and the Captain can meet at his home. But Uncle Charles and Francis care. They are not interested in having a possible wife-murdering sea captain as an in-law.
Elizabeth comes running to Ross asking for his help. Ross rides off to Trenwith, mistakingly thinking that she was declaring her love for him…poor stupid Ross.
The poop hits the fan when Charles and Francis catch Verity and her man at Ross’ house. Family drama…name calling…crying and handkerchief-wringing ends in a duel between Captain Blamey (a trained navy officer) and Francis (the pampered Poldark).
I guess Blamey didn’t want to kill his future brother-in-law, no matter how much of a jerk Francis was being. He clipped on the neck.
All hell breaks loose…Prudie’s afeared of the blood… leaving Ross and Demelza to tend to Francis’ wound.
Now here comes Elizabeth looking all woeful and forlorn (she is the queen of woeful and forlorn) dropping the bomb that she is having a baby! Well, that tears it for Ross and he knows that he and Elizabeth can never be together. He has to make his fortune and his future without her.