Poldark season 4, episode 7 recap: Ten Duel Commandments


On Poldark, a predator comes after Demelza with deadly consequences. George falls apart on the brink of getting everything he’d ever wanted.

I never anticipated being able to use a Hamilton reference in one my Poldark recaps, but it is quite apropos for this week’s episode. While Ross (Aidan Turner) and Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) initially enjoy the diversion that London has to offer, their happiness is soon threatened by Monk Adderley (Max Bennett), that sleazy M.P. who never actually shows up at Westminster and loves partying.

Meanwhile, George (Jack Farthing) grows more powerful than ever, but an old wound threatens to ruin his happiness. Morwenna (Ellise Chappell) tells Drake (Harry Richardson) the truth about her marriage to Whitworth (Christian Brassington). Here’s a look at what went down on the penultimate episode of Poldark‘s fourth season. (CW: Sexual harassment and assault)

Demelza & Ross vs. Adderley

When the Poldarks attend a charity ball thrown by George, George’s friend Adderley tries to seduce Demelza. Already feeling uncomfortable at such a posh event, Demelza isn’t sure how to handle Adderley’s advances. She doesn’t want to appear rude or make a scene, and Caroline had told her not to take Adderley “seriously.” She tries to remain friendly while repeatedly making clear that she is happily married.

When Demelza confides in Ross about the uncomfortable situation, he makes matters even worse by admitting that he could “imagine” Demelza cheating on him with Adderley. Demelza is devastated and notes that Ross is being entirely “unfair,” especially given that he did not prepare her at all for London society. Ross swiftly apologizes, but the damage is already done.

light. Read. Poldark season 4, episode 6 recap: A run on the bank

More from Recap

Adderley later shocks Demelza when she finds him waiting for her inside her own home. Demelza tells him to leave in no uncertain terms, but he refuses to do so until she rings for a servant to see him out. Demelza is shaken, fearing she’d accidentally given him the wrong idea by being friendly earlier, but Ross assures she that is not at fault for Adderley’s behavior.

The following day Adderley seeks out Ross at Westminster and purposefully provokes him. Ross stops short of hitting Adderley but grabs him by his collar in front of the entire Parliament. Adderley, a seasoned dueler, immediately sends a letter challenging Ross; and in one of his not-so-rare moments of impulsive stupidity, Ross immediately accepts.

Ross asks Dwight (Luke Norris) to be his second, and Dwight accepts only so he can try to prevent the duel through negotiation. However, Adderley and Ross prove equally stubborn in their unwillingness to appear cowardly. In the duel, both men succeed in shooting the other, but Ross wounds Adderley more severely.

Adderley later dies from his injury and but not before deciding on a narrative: he accidentally shot himself while practicing his marksmanship alone. Rumors of a duel still circulate, but there is no evidence to be found, so Ross appears to be in the clear. Dwight still suggests that Ross return to Cornwall, but Ross insists that would only make him look more guilty.

Dwight himself returns to Cornwall, though, and Demelza secretly goes with him. She leaves Ross a note explaining that she is “out of her depth in London society” and is still deeply hurt by how little he trusts her. She notes that they can “see if there’s anything to be done” to save their marriage when he returns.

George vs. Ross

George tries to get Ross brought up on criminal charges for dueling, but he can’t find anyone willing to take action without concrete evidence of Ross’s guilt.

Meanwhile, as his influence in Parliament continues to grow, George requests an audience with the Prime Minister. Even Elizabeth (Heida Reed) is surprised by George’s boldness, but the Prime Minister accepts, making George hopeful he will be knighted.

His euphoria quickly fades, however, when Geoffrey Charles inadvertently pours salt in an old wound. Geoffrey innocently remarks that Valentine is “the spitting image” of Ross, assuming it to just be a funny coincidence. But, of course, it’s not a coincidence, and the resemblance is undeniable.

George does not confront Elizabeth about the subject yet again but instead stops speaking to her entirely. George also attacks Ross the next time he sees him, leaving Ross utterly baffled. When Ross asks Elizabeth what’s wrong, she says there’s “nothing [he] can do.”

Shown from left to right: Harry Richardson as Drake and Ellise Chappell as Morwenna

Photo courtesy of Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

Morwenna & Drake

Lady Whitworth (Rebecca Front) plans to have Morwenna sent to an asylum after she gives birth, but Morwenna’s poor health results in a miscarriage, thus moving up the timetable. Morwenna escapes and seeks out Drake to tell him the truth about why she still can’t be with him.

Drake assumes he approached her too soon after her husband’s death, but Morwenna explains that she cared nothing for Whitworth because “abused [her] in every possible way.” However, Morwenna says the abuse is also the reason why she now can’t be in a relationship with Drake or anyone, ever again.

Next. Poldark season 4, episode 1 premiere recap: “Is it now too late?”. dark

As is tragically very common for survivors of sexual assault, Morwenna explains that she will never again be able to be touched by a man, even Drake who she knows loves her, without thinking of what Whitworth did to her. She begs Drake to “forgive” her and runs off. Drake calls out after Morwenna, clearly worried about her, but he doesn’t know what he can do to help.

What did you think of this week’s Poldark? How do you think is in store for next week’s season four finale? Let us know in the comments section below.