Poldark season 4, episode 4 recap: A matter of hours


A devastating loss tears Caroline and Dwight apart. Ross’ mining venture has unforeseen consequences, and Drake tries to move on from Morwenna in Poldark.

Poldark delivered its most heartbreaking episode of the season tonight in a callback to season one. Dwight (Luke Norris) reveals his daughter’s prognosis to Ross (Aidan Turner) but struggles with how to tell Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) before it’s too late.

Meanwhile, several lives are put in jeopardy at the mine. Whitworth (Christian Brassington) schemes to get rid of Morwenna (Ellise Chappell). Demelza’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) matchmaking starts to pay off for Drake (Harry Richardson), and George (Jack Farthing) secures his route back to Parliament.

“A matter of hours”

The reason baby Sarah’s ailment wasn’t obvious last week is because it wasn’t meant to be. She has a congenital heart defect, which Dwight seemingly only noticed because he’s a doctor. Today, such defects can often be treated. Sadly, in Poldark‘s time, it was a death sentence.

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The already weakened heart would become overtaxed while trying to fight off even a minor infection. Thus, when Sarah gets a cold, Dwight finally breaks the news to Caroline that the baby she’s come to love hasn’t long to live.

After the funeral, Caroline announces, quite understandably, that she needs some time alone “to forget… not her, [but rather] the lack of her.” She moves back to London, planning to stay for potentially many months.

Demelza also struggles with Sarah’s loss, having lost her own infant daughter Julia back in season one. When she voices that pain, though, Ross asks if she’s not still mourning for Hugh (Josh Whitehouse) as well. Demelza calls him out for it, but he doesn’t apologize.

I sincerely wish I could’ve slapped Ross through the TV screen. He was there for Dwight the whole time, but apparently, he couldn’t extend the same sympathy to his own wife.

A disaster

Ross’ last-ditch effort to strike tin at the new mining location doesn’t exactly pan out. He and Sam accidentally tap into an underground water reservoir, which rapidly floods the mine. They manage to get everyone else out but not quickly enough.

Dwight arrives on the scene just after having told Caroline about Sarah’s prognosis. Motivated by his agony over not being able to save his dying daughter, Dwight refuses to give up on the drowning victim and is able to get him breathing again.

However, the mine’s financial situation remains dire with one location officially tin-less and the new one now ruined.

A sure thing?

Through schmoozing and blatant blackmailing, George buys St. Michael’s borough and persuades one of its current MPs to not run in the next election cycle. He confidently tells Elizabeth (Heida Reed) that he will be back in Westminster in due time.

Well, we shall see. As much as I hate George, though, I concede it would be fun to see him and Ross go head-to-head in Parliament.

Morwenna & Drake

Unfortunately, my favorite ship may be getting further from reuniting. Drake decides it’s finally time to move on. Admittedly, he’s right. He deserves another chance at happiness. He starts spending more time with Rosina (Amelia Clarkson) to Demelza’s delight.

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Meanwhile, Whitworth resumes his relationship with Rowella (Esme Coy), essentially acting her as a sugar daddy. Rowella’s husband Arthur (Will Merrick) spots Whitworth leaving their house in the middle of the day. He doesn’t confront Whitworth but looks shell-shocked, seemingly having put two and two together.

Deciding he is no longer in need of a wife, Whitworth tries to have Morwenna committed to an insane asylum. Fortunately, Dwight saves her by refusing to sign off on it.