Poldark season 4, episode 2 recap: ‘Everything will change’


Sam agrees to a wrestling match with a dangerous opponent. Demelza and Caroline’s political maneuvering leads to a surprising outcome.

Poldark‘s latest episode upends the lives of several major characters. As the Parliament election approaches, Hugh’s (Josh Whitehouse) health continues to worsen, leaving George’s (Jack Farthing) victory all but assured until a new opponent enters the race.

Meanwhile, Sam (Tom York) rashly agrees to a wrestling match with Tom Harry (Turlough Convery) to save the soul of a woman he cares for, and Drake (Harry Richardson) and Morwenna (Ellise Chappell) finally get a moment alone.

Here’s a look at what went down in the game-changing Poldark episode.

The election

With Hugh’s condition deteriorating and Sir Francis Bassett (John Hopkins) feeling reluctant to back George again, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) and Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) see an opportunity. Pretending to have mixed up the dates, the ladies have both Bassett and Hugh’s uncle, Lord Falmouth (James Wilby), join with them for tea.

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Delmelza and Caroline try to convince them that it would be in everyone’s best interest if the men put aside their differences and put forward a new candidate together. The men agree and to no one’s surprise, except apparently Ross (Aidan Turner) and Delmelza’s, they nominate Ross.

Ross rather rashly agrees and swiftly regrets doing so because of what it could mean for his family. If elected, Ross would have to live in London, hundreds of miles away, while Demelza and the children remained in Cornwall. (Poldark is, of course, set in the transportation via horse-drawn-carriage era, so it’s a big deal.)

George has already done everything in his power to get elected, including threatening voters, while Elizabeth (Heida Reed) has done her fair share schmoozing. In the end, though, it’s all for naught. Ross wins. Ross’ immediate shock turns to excitement, but the feeling is short-lived. Ross soon learns that Hugh has died.

Ross is plagued with guilt for assuming that Hugh had been exaggerating his condition to earn Delmelza’s sympathy. Demelza, who had been by Hugh’s bedside in his final hours, is utterly devastated. She goes to Caroline’s and grieves for hours before heading back home.

When she and Ross finally talk it over, a tearful Demelza assures him that she didn’t “love” Hugh but admits that “he did touch [her] heart.” Ross, in turn, gently assures her that her pain “will mend” in time.

Ross has truly become a new person this season, quite distinct from the hothead who I couldn’t help but dislike early on. Parliament will surely be a test of how long he can remain this better person, though. The episode ends with him reluctantly departing for London.

George and Elizabeth, meanwhile, decide they will also move to London as they planned to and will continue trying to have another child.

The wrestling match

I thought Sam would have been able to rise above something as ridiculousness as a fight over a girl but apparently not. When Tom Harry challenges Sam to a match, he initially declines until the woman he has a crush on, Emma (Ciara Charteris), says she’ll start going to church if Sam wins.

So, Sam goes up against the thug who’s twice his size. Harry even plays dirty by jamming his thumb in Sam’s eye repeatedly, but it seems like Sam may just triumph after all. However, in the final moment, he loses his will to win when Harry reveals that he has already hooked up with Emma. I guess Sam feels cuckolded, even though he’s not actually in a relationship with Emma?

The one good thing to come out of the match is that George finally fires Harry, at Elizabeth’s behest, on account of his brutish behavior.

Emma, meanwhile, approaches Sam later and reveals that she has decided to start a new life as a maid in another town. She hopes that the two may be meet again someday.

Morwenna & Drake

As I’ve said before, Morwenna and Drake are my favorite Poldark couple, so I will be devoting a section to them every week. This week, at the wrestling match, they finally get a chance to talk for the first time since she was forced to marry Whitworth (Christian Brassington).

In a moment alone on the beach, they confess how much still care for one another.

"I saw ye at the hanging.I thought… if was the last time I should ever see you…Knowing ye were there, I’da died content."

A somber Morwenna reminds Drake that they can’t be seen together and begins to walk away. Drake asks if Whitworth is treating her any better, but before Morwenna can respond, Whitworth himself arrives. Morwenna says she was “collecting shells,” and fortunately Whitworth doesn’t seem to suspect otherwise.

As for Whitworth, he is now frequenting brothels. Near the end of the episode, though, he runs into Morwenna’s sister, Rowella (Esme Coy). She tells him that she had apparently been mistaken about being pregnant with his child.

A furious Whitworth accuses her of scamming him when she asked him to pay for her shotgun wedding to another man. Rowella definitely did scam him, but she pretends to be offended that he would think so lowly of her, and he immediately apologizes.

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It’s unclear where exactly this storyline might be headed, but as long as it ends with Whitworth dying a very painful death or being otherwise separated from Morwenna, I’ll be satisfied.

What did you think of Poldark season 4 ur so far? Let us know in the comments section, and be sure to check back here for weekly recaps.