So, without further ado, meet Hisstina Snakespeare:
Over at chez Ross, Mr. Pigpen is trying to make amends for his contribution to the Let's Murder Ross! campaign. His interaction with Ross goes like this:
Ross receives a letter from one of his investors, which basically reads like the lyrics to Rihanna's "Bitch Betta Have My Money." He has a few days to pay back £1,000. I converted how much that would be in today's money and it's around £56,000, so yeah, he's screwed.
Demelza walks in and Ross opens up about all his troubles because open communication is a cornerstone of any healthy marriage. Actually, that doesn't happen at all. Ross gives her the cold shoulder and acts like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, in a rush, with zero time for Demelza or the secret baby growing inside of her. He leaves without touching or kissing her. All that constant sex had to dry up at some point, I guess.
Ross attends a quarterly meeting of his mine's shareholders. The news is bad (as always) and Ross' message stays the same: If we can find a bunch of copper, it'll all be good! Uh, yeah, that's generally how mining works. Ross is really lucky he's hot because his business acumen leaves something to be desired.
Back at home, Demelza is minding her business when Ross' friend from the war gallops up. He wants to drink rum with her. Demelza knows this will make her seem whorish in the eyes of the Cornish, but thinks Screw it! Imma do me! 'cause her husband hasn't touched her in weeks.
Turns out War BFF wants Demelza to help Blondie's uncle's sick cow (???). Why would he assume Demelza knows anything about veterinary medicine? Is 'sick cow' a euphemism for something dirty? And how does War BFF even know Blondie's uncle?
Before we can get answers to these questions, Ross walks in and throws a passive-aggressive hissy fit. How dare Demelza be hospitable to one of his best friends?! He bets she has the hots for Blondie's uncle too! He storms out. Demelza resists breaking a bottle over his head and instead opts for the tried-and-true weapon of all wronged pacifists: the side-eye.
Across town, Blondie looks out from her coach and says, Ewww, poverty! Parliament Wannabe pleads with her to return to London, where she won't have to stomach such "loathsome sights." Blondie spots her crush, Doc, talking to some street urchins, and brainstorms potential couple-name portmanteaus. Blondoc? Dlocdie? Hmm, needs work, but there's no time for that now because it's that part of the episode where we get to revel in the cute overload of Horace the Pug!
Over at Pinky Ring's house, Backstabber Cousin is a walking, talking personification of the end of that sad egg Zoloft commercial.
He's loving life again, working hard in the fields, kicking it with his son, and no longer metaphorically shoving middle fingers in Pinky Ring's face for no reason all day long. Huzzah!
On the flip side of this coin, Malfoy/Hisstina is the walking, talking personification of the beginning of that sad egg Zoloft commercial. You see, Pinky Ring declined an invitation and still doesn't want to have sex with him. And all the money he spent on getting Parliament Wannabe elected isn't really coming to much. But -- take heart! -- there is something that always gets his spirits up: messing with Ross. He hatches a plan that involves Mr. Pigpen in some way. Uh-oh.
Back at the ranch, Demelza busts into Ross' office, puts her hands on her hips, and asks:
He replies that he is. He also suggests that, because Demelza is a common miner's daughter, she might not be able to control her lust around War BFF's fancy uniform. Does anyone have an Advil? I can't take much more of this man-baby.
Demelza and her cute, shy puppy are like, Forget this! We're out of here! They don't get very far before running into Pinky Ring, who doesn't waste any time getting into full-on gossip mode. Hey, girl! How's Ross handling the post-trial blues? And is he excited about your pregnancy? OMG, you haven't told him?! Well, sorry I kind of, sort of killed your first baby. Anyway, TTYL. Bye!
The next day, after pulling an all-nighter in the mine, Ross approaches Demelza and wants to apologize, not for treating her like the crap that was thrown into Parliament Wannabe's face last episode, but because he needs to sell all her nice things to pay off his loan.
Saint Demelza hatches another plan to save Ross' butt. She heads over to Blondie's uncle's house, takes one look at his sick cow and is like, Dump this one and get a new one. You can have mine... for a price. (See what she did there?) He creepily touches her face and then just goes ahead and grabs her butt. (See what he did there?) The price will be one roll in the hay. Demelza counter-offers:
I guess he likes it rough because he agrees to buy the cow. Ross and Demelza go into town to sell basically everything else they own: their chickens, pigs, goats, carpets, plates, and candle holders.
Emboldened by all the jiu-jitsu training he's been doing in pumps, Malfoy decides it's a good idea to strut on over to them and tell Ross the trial has made him look like crap. Demelza pulls Ross away and prevents this from taking place:
A few paces away, Blondie approaches Doc and says, "I have a tingling... in my throat." Mmhmm, I bet you do. He gives her all the I'm-just-not-that-into-you vibes, with a dash of you're-a-snob-and-a-half thrown in for good measure, and walks off.
In the woods, Mr. Pigpen is taking a stroll after a productive day at the bar when the two evil dudes who bribed him to testify against Ross jump out of the brush. They don't want their money back (they have plenty); they just want to kick all his organs in.
Across town, Ross is making faces about the dinner Demelza cooked for him. She's like, Dude, you sold all our animals and pots and pans and plates and things. What did you expect? Before she can reveal that she's not only pregnant but also filing for divorce, Twitter blows up with the news of Mr. Pigpen's death!
Later, everyone stands around Mr. Pigpen's dead body, as Mrs. Pigpen has a depressive mental breakdown. This evolves into an irate mental breakdown when the people who found his body reveal that he had 15 gold coins on him, and further evolves into a consumerist mental breakdown.
Ross reminisces about the time Mr. Pigpen taught him how to smoke when he was a child. Cool memory. Then, it finally dawns on him that the money was probably a bribe for testifying at the trial. I wish Ross was smarter.
Over at Malfoy's Manor, he's in drag again, practicing punching in a mirror. You better work, Hisstina Snakespeare!
The next day, Ross and Demelza decide to make amends with Backstabber Cousin and Pinky Ring because it'll piss Malfoy off. They happen upon Backstabber Cousin as he's scything. It's just like that time Ross was scything shirtless, only with absolutely zero-percent sex appeal. Now that they've reconciled, Backstabber Cousin is the end of that sad egg Zoloft commercial, but at double speed. He throws a block party and everyone twerks, dabs and dougies.
Across town, Malfoy gets word that his henchmen murdered Mr. Pigpen. They were only supposed to paralyze him! Now Malfoy is smoking-weed-for-the-first-time paranoid. Ross is going to kill him!! He's probably outside right now!! And the government probably has his room tapped!! There's a knock at the door. Malfoy grabs his pistol. But it's just Parliament Wannabe. Hisstina Snakespeare lives to lip-sync another day.
Elsewhere, Blondie pretends to be sick so she can be treated by Doc and then promptly lose her virginity to him. But who cares about that? Horace the Pug is getting more screen time!
At the party, Backstabber Cousin and Ross list the reasons why Malfoy sucks. In a different room, Tarot Card Agatha opens a door and yells, "Where's my port?!" (That isn't one of my jokes; that actually happens.) Bless her heart.
Pinky Ring's mother loudly proclaims how it's a shame her daughter has to hang out with maids and other riff-raff. Demelza is so over this. Get new material, people! She heads outside to get away from all the jerks and happens upon a hysterical Mrs. Pigpen. Someone has snatched Mr. Pigpen's corpse!!
Doc arrives to help Blondie and it turns out she wasn't faking after all. There was a fish bone stuck in her throat! Blondie is now feeling him for several reasons:
A. He's cute.
B. He's a doctor.
C. He took a fish bone out of her throat.
D. He asked, "Can I do anything for Horace while I'm here?"
The first three are whatever, but that last one is a real doozy. Horace better be the ring-bearer at their wedding.
Downstairs, Ross and Backstabber Cousin take shots and bond over mining and how boring they've become.
Back at home, Demelza, various poor people and Mrs. Pigpen are really freaked out by the missing corpse. And are even more freaked out when Mr. Pigpen busts in! He's alive? He's alive! What the hell is going on?
Back at the party, some rich dude is hysterical because he signed away his shares in Ross' mine to Malfoy. What else is new?
Mr. Pigpen shares the story of his Lazarus party trick. He woke up on the funeral prep table super thirsty for some gin, so he went down to the bar and everyone thought he was a ghost and ran off, which he was cool with 'cause that meant free booze. Then he came back home to find his wife all dressed up in widow gear and his friends eating a feast at the expense of his 15 coins. TL;DR version: People in the 1700s couldn't tell the difference between being blackout drunk and being dead. And almost dying doesn't make cheap alcoholics any less cheap or alcoholic.
The party is over and the only two people left awake are Ross and Pinky Ring. Ross tells Pinky Ring how hot she is and how he wonders what could've been if they had gotten together and how their love would have overcome the fact that he's kind of a prick and how much he appreciates that she's a lady and not just a scullery maid. Demelza is standing right outside the door and hears every word.
When Ross gets tired of coming onto his married ex, he goes upstairs. Demelza is waiting. Their interaction goes like this:
Demelza: Oh, hey. Mr. Pigpen is alive. Night.
Ross: OMG what?! Tell me everything!
Ross: Remember last time we were here?
Demelza: Yeah, you told me 'I love you' for the first time and you were stoked about my pregnancy. Crazy how everything's the opposite of that now.
Ross: Listen, every man has a roving eye. It's natural! Get over it! And -- wait a second -- you're pregnant again?!
Demelza: You told me you didn't want another one so I didn't tell you.
Ross: I didn't! And I still don't! UGH, this sucks!
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: Ross. The jury finds the defendant guilty on all counts of being the worst husband ever.
HONORABLE MENTION: Mr. Pigpen's liver. Hardest worker in all of Cornwall.
BRONZE: Horace. I hope you outlive all of these people, which would probably be hard since pugs only live 15 years max, but I can dream.
SILVER: Tarot Card Agatha. Is there anything more relatable than screaming "Where's my [insert booze of choice here]" at a party? No, there is not.
GOLD: Demelza. When TLC's Left Eye was fed up with her scrub of a man, she set his sneakers on fire, threw them into a fiberglass tub and accidentally burned down his entire mansion. I'm not advocating for arson, but... actually, I am. Burn it all down, Demelza!