|Image from the Poldark Facebook Page (PBS/BBC)|
But who am I kidding. No matter what happens on the show, I will probably keep tuning in for the costumes, scenery and music even if certain characters are...proving frustrating.
If you have not watched the latest episode of Poldark, season 3, BE WARNED. Spoilers to follow! (In the US, we are one episode shy of the finale, which will air on Sunday night.)
Oh boy. What a mess we are in. Season 3 started out with great promise. Redemption for our hero, just desserts for our villains, and interesting (or at least amusing) new characters. I'll admit, after Ross's infidelity in Season 2, my husband and I almost stopped watching. It was a character arc that really made it difficult to enjoy or even be interested in watching Ross Poldark do anything anymore.
Now, to be fair, we've always known that Ross is an anti-hero. That's part of his charm. Yet, despite his problems, he remained a man of integrity. Sleeping with Elizabeth, especially in a way that removed much of her agency, was a brutal destruction of that integrity. I honestly didn't think they could redeem the character in any watchable way from that.
And yet...he had a beautiful moment of reconciliation and apology with Demelza that made me think "Okay. There's hope left here. I can keep watching. He's not perfect, but he wants to do better. And Demelza doesn't allow people to walk all over her, so if she is willing to accept him back....then so am I."
Season 3 started off far better than I anticipated. Although it's had some rough editing (the Dwight-in-prison sequences were cut in very oddly), the show has managed to reclaim my interest and devotion.
Yet two weeks ago my husband noted his annoyance that Demelza and Ross were once again having marital problems. "I feel like they are just going over the same territory again and again," he said. "There's nothing new about this plot, and it's not enjoyable."
At the time, the baby-faced Lieutenant Armitage was a small enough character that I wasn't too concerned. After all, there was plenty of other plot craziness to follow. Yet Demelza--sensible, loyal Demelza--continued to encourage him. And I just couldn't believe it. I don't want to watch a show where the core of what I've always adored about Demelza is gone.
Yet, even so, I remain fascinated by all of the threads in this story and I want to see how they play out... if only because I really cannot understand what the heck is going on with Morwenna's sister. What is that girl's play? And Morwenna! Oh my goodness. Her subplot has taken a frightening turn. Watching her systematic rape every week is incredibly disturbing. I really hope that whatever her sister is up to is going to save Morwenna from her brutal fate, or else I really will give up on the show. Because if Ross and Demelza fall apart AND Morwenna dies or continues to be abused, there just is too much darkness for me to continue.
And yet...Poldark does this. The show loves to get tremendously dark, raise the stakes...and then pull off a happy ending with almost no consequences.
Well. Except for Baby Valentine. Really, I'm fascinated with how Elizabeth is always toting him around. Most mothers of that class at that time wouldn't be carrying around their babies all the time, would they? And yet there Valentine is, as though to constantly remind us "LOOK AT THIS TIME BOMB."
Now, yes, I know that there are books. And I tried to get some from my library, but apparently they were just not popular enough to be in stock. And right now the show is so beautiful that I kind of want to wait and just watch it that way. At least I get pretty costumes and scenery and music and tremendous acting...right?
Oh boy. I don't know. The finale next week is really going to have to pull off some awesomeness and bring hope back into the show. Because without hope, why would I ever tune into Season 4?
What do you think?