Poldark season 4, episode 8 recap: Who dies in the finale?

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Photo courtesy of Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE

Caroline & Dwight

Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) and Dwight (Luke Norris) also end season four on a positive note, reunited in Cornwall. At the end of the episode, Caroline tells Dwight that she wants to start trying to have another child.

Aside from the newly-married Morwenna and Drake, Caroline and Dwight have the healthiest relationship of any married couple on Poldark by far. They’ve had their fair share of hardships, and they’ve separated at times to work through their issues. But they’ve never been plagued by the pettiness and jealousy that Ross and George so frequently infect their relationships with.

Demelza & Ross

Ross (Aidan Turner) travels back to Cornwall with Caroline, but he’s not as excited to be returning home as she is. He first goes to see Falmouth (James Wilby). While Ross hasn’t been charged for dueling, suspicion has run rampant in London, thanks to George.

Given that Ross also hasn’t been voting as Falmouth wanted him to, he assumes Falmouth will want him to resign from Parliament. To Ross’ surprise, Falmouth has no such desire. But he tells Ross that when and if that time comes, Ross will know.

Ross finally reunites with Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) at Drake’s house, where she, Drake and Sam (Tom York) are nervously waiting for Morwenna to return from Trenwith. Night has fallen and Drake wants to go after her, but everyone’s worried about what George might do to him.

Ross volunteers to go instead, but by the time he arrives, Morwenna is gone. When he returns, she is back safe with Drake, so Demelza and Ross go home. They reflect on Drake and Morwenna’s relationship, and Demelza questions whether love is really enough to keep a relationship strong. Ross counters that love can actually be “too much.”

They resume their physical relationship and seem to be on the path to reconciliation, but the next morning brings a new complication. Caroline visits Nampara to inform Ross that Elizabeth has given birth to a healthy baby but isn’t doing well herself. With Demelza’s blessing, Ross rushes off to check on her.

Elizabeth & George

At the beginning of the episode, Elizabeth is eight months pregnant, and George is openly hostile to both her and Valentine. After Morwenna leaves, Elizabeth and George have it out, and she realizes George will never come around unless she can definitely “prove” that Valentine is his.

Having already obtained a risky concoction to induce labor, she drinks it and either faints or pretends to faint. George finds her on the floor and calls for Dr. Choake (Robert Daws). Choake is far away, though, so George brings in Dwight as back up. Elizabeth delivers the child, who she names Ursula, at eight months, just like she did Valentine, convincing George that his suspicions were unfounded.

Overjoyed and apologetic, he finally tells Elizabeth the reason he unexpectedly returned to Trenwith. The prime minister sent a letter expressing his intention to knight George. They are soon to be Sir and Lady Warleggan.

However, Elizabeth takes a turn for the worse, losing circulation to her extremities. Dwight eventually finds Elizabeth’s concoction, but she’s already too far gone. There’s nothing to be done.

When Ross arrives, he finds George in the dining room. George is as belligerent as ever, but when Ross asks to see Elizabeth he is caught off guard. After a moment, George bluntly states that Elizabeth is dead. When Ross asks if he can still see her, George says that he should. “Go! See what we’ve brought her to!”

Ross kisses Elizabeth, who is lying lifeless on her bed, then goes to the cliffs to mourn. Demelza finds him, and they walk home. Ross and Demelza reflect their respective bonds with Elizabeth and Hugh (Josh Whitehouse). Ross says that while Elizabeth was his “first love,” he chose that she would not be his “last” when he married Demelza.

Demelza, for her part, assures Ross that she did not stay with him “by default” because Hugh died. Ross is the only person who has ever “owned” her heart. The two then kiss. Hopefully, in season five, they (by which I mean Ross) will leave jealousy and insecurity in the past.

Back at Trenwith, a devastated George tells Dwight that everything he did was for Elizabeth. He finally has the life and the status he’s always wanted, but what’s the point if he can’t share it with her? Dwight reminds him that he still has people to share it with — his children.

The episode ends with George and Valentine visiting Elizabeth’s grave during Morwenna and Drake’s wedding. As Ross and Demelza walk out of the church, Ross moves to join their vigil. Demelza rightly stops him, though, telling him to let them have their moment alone.

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What did you think of Poldark‘s fourth season? Should Elizabeth have survived? Will George turn over a new leaf, or will he act more nefariously than ever? Will you be tuning in for season five? Let us know in the comments section below.