'Poldark' Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: Ready to Run

Demelza deep in thought about how much life in the 1700s sucks. (Masterpiece)

In the previous episode of Poldark, a half-naked Ross emerged from the waves to work on repairing his marriage, a lot of horny love poems made their way to Demelza, and a new character named Jago was unjustly hanged because he was craving some bread. Will Ross and Rachel Demelza have an argument over whether they were on a break? Will Prison Bestie realize his true calling: writing those sexy, sappy, supermarket romance novels with Fabio on the cover? Will Jago's ghost team up with Agatha's spirit to haunt Malfoy for eternity? Only one way to find out! On with the show!

This episode begins just like the last: with a shot of crashing waves. Only this time, there's 100% less of Ross' hairy chest.

Things are even bleaker over at Prison Bestie's house. His I'm-going-blind headaches are getting worse. Doc offers a couple of prescriptions: Go easy on the opium and try writing horny poetry during the day, instead of by the dimmest of candlelight. Prison Bestie doesn't like any of this advice because drugs can be fun and nighttime is the best time to think of saucy rhymes. He sends for the doctor who routinely tortures people for a second opinion.

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Across town, Blondie has an announcement.

She's pregnant!

And very unhappy about it!

"I don't want the brat," she says. "Really. I cannot bear babies. Wrinkled, greedy, red-faced little tyrants."

In summary:

In the most random of B-plots, Demelza's Bible-thumping brother, Sam, agrees to wrestle Malfoy's evil sidekick, Slytherin Crony. The prize: converting the girl who desperately needed some dry shampoo last season to Christianity. I told you it was random.

Elsewhere, in an effort to take her mind off of the "wrinkled, greedy, red-faced little tyrant" growing inside her, Blondie dreams up an elaborate scheme to help Prison Bestie win the election against Malfoy. It would be a win-win; everyone would get to see Malfoy ugly cry when he loses and Prison Bestie would move to London and stop reminding Demelza that her kink is sleeping with partially blind hotties on sand dunes.

Speaking of Mr. Sand Dune Seducer, he's getting that second opinion he wanted, and it's not pretty.

Dr. Choke's idea of a health care plan:

12:00 pm: Blistering.

12:30 pm: Purging.

01:00 pm: Vomiting.

02:00 pm: Poulticing.

02:30 pm: Bleeding.

If none of this works (spoiler: it absolutely won't), there's always Plan B: Shaving Prison Bestie's pretty little head and then drilling a hole into it.

Meanwhile, Blondie is hard at work, implementing her election meddling plan.

Step 1: Invite the donor behind Malfoy's bid and the donor behind Prison Bestie's bid over for tea.

Step 2: Distract them from their opposing political views by serving lots and lots of booze.

Step 3: Once they're properly tanked, bring up how much Malfoy sucks and allow mutual hatred to bring them together.

At the local pub, Ross and Malfoy are also getting tanked (separately). Remember that time in Season 2 when they got into a huge fight at this same pub and Malfoy tried to gouge Ross' eyes out? Or that time Ross almost put Malfoy's entire head into a burning fireplace? Ding, ding! Let's hear it for Round 3!

Ugh, false alarm! You can put your popcorn away. Nothing happens, other than some light smack talk. Malfoy heckles Ross about how Jago deserved to die and maybe Ross could have prevented the hanging if he ever ran for office instead of just whining from the sidelines. Wait, what's this strange feeling? Am I halfway agreeing with Malfoy on something?

Instead of murdering Malfoy and then drinking wine out of his skull (can you tell I watched all of Game of Thrones this year?), Ross settles for a less gory approach to getting even: placing bets on the wrestling match and donating the proceeds to a local hospital!

Ross is really invested in beating Malfoy, so he trains Sam to become the WWE Champion. Because the Poldark writers won't give us any queer characters, some of us are left to purposefully take this scene out of context.

The next day, it's time to rumble for real. Wrestlemania 1790 is on!

Sam wins the first match (he also wins Best Dressed, thanks to those breathtaking fluorescent neon tassels). But the good guys don't get to celebrate for long. Slytherin Crony tries to gouge Sam's eyes out! Several times! Then he gouges Sam's heart out by looking at Dry Shampoo Girl and saying, "You're welcome to her soul. I've already had her body." Sam can't even handle the idea of innocent kissing, let alone something of this caliber, so it's a TKO.

Someone else who's down and out is Prison Bestie. Turns out having leeches all over your body doesn't cure brain fever or a broken heart. Doc says he needs to want to get better. Prison Bestie responds by humming "How Do I Live Without You" by LeAnn Rimes, while thinking of Demelza. Okay, that's a great song, and Demelza is a great girl, but these dramatics are a little over the top, don't you think?

On a beach, Drake runs into his ex, Morwenna, and because it's the 18th-century, they proceed to have very awkward small talk about a hanging:

Morwenna: Hey, I saw you at your execution. Sorry I didn't say hi.

Drake: Oh, that's okay. I was kind of busy waiting to be put to death and all. Anyway, is your husband still terrorizing your feet?

Before she can answer, Gross Goblin screams "WIFE!" and then rants about how the locals are barbarians. This would be a great time for a giant anvil to randomly fall out of the sky and onto his head.

Across town, Ross and Demelza drop in to check on Prison Bestie, who immediately asks if he can be alone with Demelza. He gets his wish (because #OpenRelationship) and immediately hands her another horny love poem (you gotta hand it to the guy; even on death's door, he finds the time). Meanwhile, in the hallway, his uncle convinces Ross to run in the election.

*puts tin-foil hat on*

Conspiracy Theory Time!

What if Prison Bestie is pretending to be ill so that he doesn't have to move to London to be a politician, knowing that Ross will take his place, thus leaving Demelza for months at a time and paving the way for more sand dune sex?!?

*removes tin-foil hat*

Later that night, Demelza finally gets some alone time to read Prison Bestie's latest poem. It's basically the lyrics to "My Heart Will Go On." Demelza doesn't even get to the "Near, far, wherever you are" part before Ross bursts in. She immediately crumbles the paper up and sits on it (because that's not suspicious at all) and then runs out of the room. Um, Demelza, this is not how you sneak around. Did you learn nothing from watching Ross sneak around for years??

Ross reads the poem...

...and is actually pretty chill about it!

You know who has failed to grow or develop as a human being over the past three seasons? Elizabeth! After discovering that Ross is running in the election, she offers to help blackmail and threaten rich white people to vote in Malfoy's favor.

Be right back; I have to have a little chat with Elizabeth:

YOU were the one who got engaged to Ross' cousin when Ross took too long to survive the war.

YOU were the one who killed Julia, Ross and Demelza's kid, with your germs.

YOU were the one who thanked Demelza for nursing you and your child back to health by sleeping with her man and then pressuring him to dump her.

Some people in this narrative should be angry, and none of them are YOU.

So get over yourself!! Goodbye!!

Sorry y'all had to hear all of that. I just don't get her gripe with Ross.

ANYWAY...

Election Day has come! 17 rich white dudes get to decide whether Ross or Malfoy will reign supreme because that seems like a fair process. A bunch of them vote for Malfoy, until the dude Blondie plied with booze switches his vote to Ross. The remaining voters look at each other and think, Oh, we don't have to be evil anymore and all it took to realize that is one person doing the right thing? Sounds legit! By a vote of nine to eight, Ross squeaks out a victory!

Malfoy and Elizabeth are SHOCKED!

Malfoy rants about how prejudice and privilege are the reason he lost.

Unfortunately, Ross' victory lap gets interrupted by the news that Prison Bestie DIED! WTF! I thought he was just pretending! Or needed Lasik surgery! Noooo! Things are going to be so boring now!

So if Demelza's love affair partner dies, it's only fair that Ross' also dies, right?

Like me, Ross confesses that he thought Prison Bestie was exaggerating to get Demelza's attention. Doc says not to feel too bad because now Prison Bestie will be immortal and Ross will always look pale in comparison. Good luck with that!

Back to the random B-plot we all forgot was still going on: Dry Shampoo Girl lets Sam know that, despite what was said in the wrestling ring, she is still a virgin. Praise baby Jesus! But she doesn't want to be saved. Taking back that baby Jesus praise! She announces that she's about to move away forever, and then kisses him. Why did she go and do that?! You know how many Haily Marys he's gonna have to say now to repent for that? He hates kissing! Demelza and her brothers sure are cursed in the love department.

Speaking of sex, like I said last week, PBS seems to edit out any sexy scenes, but for some reason, they left in this shot of Gross Goblin gobbling up a sex worker's foot!

In other Ewwwww news, Elizabeth is still very much alive and wants to make another baby.

Again:

Because I'm not rolling my eyes enough already, Morwenna's no-good sister Jennifer Lawrence crawls back from under her rock to tell Gross Goblin she was never pregnant last season and just said so to blackmail him. That's fine. He deserves it, but why do evil scammer things and not help your sister at all? Whatever, loser. You're dead to me.

It's time for Ross and Demelza's weekly sit by the fire, where they hash out really intense emotional issues that could destroy their marriage at any moment. Ross wants to know the whole truth of her love affair with Prison Bestie. Demelza confesses that he did touch her heart (...and a few other things), and that she did love him, but in a different iambic pentameter way. She explains that she's not only sobbing for Prison Bestie, but also for Julia (thanks, Elizabeth!) and also for the broken unjust world in general. Ross can't bring back her dead lover or her dead daughter, but maybe he can bring back democracy! Coming soon to a television screen near you: Mr. Smith Poldark Goes to Washington Westminster.

End scene!

After every episode, it’s only right to reward characters who’ve impressed and diss the ones that haven’t, so here goes:

PIECE OF COAL: Jennifer Lawrence. I thought she was plotting some huge revenge plot against Gross Goblin the entirety of last season and it was all so she could get a bit of pocket change? Still pissed about it.

HONORABLE MENTION: Sam. He almost got his eyes gouged out, failed to save Dry Shampoo Girl's soul and went to first base before marriage. A pretty rough week, all in all, so he deserves some kind of award.

BRONZE: Blondie. I can pretend that this award is for influencing the election in a positive way or being a much-needed support for Demelza, but let's be real, it's for that iconic anti-baby speech. 

SILVER: Demelza. Sorry about... well, everything. #ItGetsBetter. *looks around 2018* Actually, it doesn't, so here's a silver medal.

GOLD: Prison Bestie. You came (*knowing look*), you saw (kind of), you conquered (the Cornwall poetry scene). We will never forget your unmatched horniness. Say hi to Agatha and Jago for us, please!

Until next week! If you miss my thoughts on Poldark or pop culture in general, follow me on Twitter @xcusemybeauty, listen to my podcast The Cooler, or read all my other Poldark recaps below!

More recaps:

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'Poldark' Season 4 Episode 4 Recap: Cry Me A River

'Poldark' Season 4 Episode 3 Recap: Homeward Bound

'Poldark' Season 4 Premiere Recap: You Keep Me Hangin' On

'Poldark' Season 3 Finale Recap: Look What You Made Me Do

'Poldark' Season 3 Episode 7 Recap: I Wanna Sex You Up

'Poldark' Season 3 Episode 6 Recap: You Give Love A Bad Name

'Poldark' Season 3 Episode 5 Recap: The One That Got Away

'Poldark' Season 3 Episode 4 Recap: Break Free

'Poldark' Season 3 Episode 3 Recap: Kiss the Girl

‘Poldark’ Season 3 Episode 2 Recap: Voulez-vous Coucher Avec Moi?

‘Poldark’ Season 3 Premiere Recap: Same Old Mistakes

‘Poldark’ Season 2 Finale Recap: Burn Baby Burn

'Poldark' Season 2, Episode 8 Recap: Man! I Feel Like A Woman!

'Poldark' Season 2, Episode 7 Recap: I'm In Love With A Monster

'Poldark' Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: Informer

'Poldark' Season 2, Episode 5 Recap: Before He Cheats

'Poldark' Season 2, Episode 4 Recap: Sink or Swim

'Poldark' Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: Miss Independent

'Poldark' Season 2, Episode 2 Recap: You Don't Bring Me Flowers

'Poldark' Season 2, Episode 1 Recap: Court and Spark

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