Poldark Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: She Ain’t Thinkin’ Bout You


In this week’s episode of Poldark, we return to the escapism, with a beautifully costumed and staged high end ball, as Demelza gets her I Ain’t Sorry on.

After PBS’ decision last week to go out on a limb and erase all suggestions from the original scene that what passed between Ross and Elizabeth was anything less that completely consensual, we are, by the nature of recapping via the American schedule, to go with it. And considering that Elizabeth seems to think that Ross may in fact leave Demelza for her, at least at the beginning of the episode, it’s not totally out of the question that things are at least majorly complicated. After all, Elizabeth would sort of like that. She doesn’t really want to marry George, she just doesn’t see any better options. (And since Dr. Enys is basically taken, there are none.)

"Prudie: “It’s been so long since the mistress made me bake that I’ve mislaid all me skillage.”"

But though Ross’ bizarrely unfazed reaction to the events of last week seem extra strange, now that we’ve made him in the aftermath of cheating on Demelza, instead of in massive denial that he raped the woman he’s idolized since he was a teenager, that doesn’t mean anyone else is. Jud and Prudie, for example, are so Team Demelza they might as well make shirts and wander around wearing them while they glare at Ross.  Though to be sure, Prudie’s meal for him was probably inedible since well, Prudie can’t exactly cook.

Image via BBC

There’s really no help for it. Ross has disappointed everyone, and continues to disappoint Elizabeth as a bonus by not leaving Demelza for good. Instead he runs away to bury himself in the disaster that is his mining corporation. (“We can re-open Grace!” I feel like this we only includes you, dear.) In most instances, being left Ross-less has been not the best choice for a show called “Poldark.” But in this instance it works beautifully for all of us, as that means the other Poldark… Mistress Poldark thank you kindly, gets to take center stage.

"Sir Hugh: “I’ve never known a woman to promise so much and deliver so little.”"

Call it the Lemonade of the 1790s, as Demelza finds herself in the possession of an invitation to Sir Hugh Bodregun’s soiree, and no reason not to go. In another timeline, she might have quietly pitched such a missive, especially after how handsy Bodregun was over the matter of her buying a cow. But right now what Demelza wants is that idea that Ross might trip because another brother noticed her. She’ll be up on him, he’ll be up on her, and Ross can just not pay it any attention. She’s cried her tears after two good years. He can’t be mad at her.

Image via BBC

What she doesn’t count on is that the ball will be filled with men ready to hang all over her as a Lady In Red. Not only Bodregun, and his already established lust for life, but also George’s Wormtail, who’s there for the party so he can hang off of George in a creepy manner. He’s mostly in to Demleza for the hope of cuckolding Ross on George’s behalf, but that doesn’t mean his pallid creepiness isn’t on display for all to see.

"Aunt Agatha: “It’s the better man we long for, is it not?”"

Rounding out the trio of suitors is Captain MacNeil, who has been Ross’ object of jealousy every time he comes around to see Demelza. With the stolen goods no longer an issue, and Ross firmly in the “Stop interrupting my grinding” category this evening, Demelza turns her flirting on MacNeil with a vengeance. Not that MacNeil turns out to be much of a catch. His idea of come ons might explain why Ross is the one ending up with all the women around here. “Would you consider calling me Malcolm?” Well, I suppose it could be worse.

Image via BBC

And so it is an hour of ballgowns galore, wigs to the ceiling (both men and women), and those faux beauty marks that were all the rage at the end of the 18th century, as the heaving bosoms and turned ankles party like it’s 1799. But once Demelza has been put up in the Red Room (REDRUM!), and the bill starts to come due, the scene stops being cute and starts getting real. After all there’s not just one, not just two, but three men causing a traffic jam right outside her bedroom door, and someone is bound to notice. Though the show doesn’t emphasize it either, there’s a touch of class snobbery going on here–a real lady would not have been so easily assumed easy by quite so many men, quite so at the same time.

"Demelza: “To think I did always look up to you.”"

Demelza might have once looked up to Ross, but with this predicament, it turns out she’s the one he should be looking up to. MacNeil turns out to be a better gentleman than assumed as well, and does the honors of distracting Hugh and Wormtail long enough for Demelza to go out the window and do a Walk of NonShame back along the glorious coastline of Cornwall, shoes in hand, and honor intact.

Image via BBC

Meanwhile, over in Trenwith, Elizabeth is done with waiting for Ross to do the right thing. Her speech to Agatha that Ross has taken something he had no right to may only make sense if you know how the scene last week should have played, but it also suggests that getting married might be more of an emergency situation than we realize yet. Either way, the answer to George goes from “Hold Up” to wedding bells (and a dismal depressing soundtrack) in a right hurry. Elizabeth, in short order, finds herself Mrs Warleggan and touring London, just like her mother always dreamed for her. It also gives us an excuse to visit with Caroline and Horace, both of whom are side-eyeing the new couple in a delightful manner.

"Caroline: “Marriage lasts a lifetime. A lady must be sure she is making the right choice!”"

But the days of London are numbered. By the end of the episode, not only are the new couple back in Cornwall (and Elizabeth sporting a large a shapely new hat) but back in Trenwith, as George decides to move the hell on into the official Poldark manor home. And there’s Ross sitting on a horse, smoldering in the background, scar flashing in the sunlight. Now he might want to call her crying, but he’s got to see her wildling. Elizabeth turns away. She ain’t thinkin bout you.

Next: Poldark Season 2, Episode 7 Recap: Original Sin

Next week, grab your pitchforks and your torches. Ross Poldark is leading the rioting charge against Trenwith and George Warleggan. What happens when a not-so-good-man goes to war?