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

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 (Photo: Masterpiece)

In the previous episode of Poldark, Demelza gave Ross a sensual sponge bath, Blondie and Doc made out next to a horse's butt, and, oh yeah, Francis DIED. Will Ross make newly-widowed Pinky Ring his second wife, found a religion that permits polygamy, and move to Utah? Will Francis' ghost not realize he's dead and spend a lot of time trying to help a kid who sees dead people? Only one way to find out! On with the show!

It's been a few weeks since Francis drowned in a puddle and everyone is still really bummed about it. But they can surely take heart in the fact that he died discovering copper, right? Yeah, not so much. Turns out it was "fool's copper." Francis' short life in a nutshell:


Bright and early, Ross informs Demelza that he's heading off to see Pinky Ring. Demelza is unamused: "Is Verity's company not enough for her?" Translation: Can we just skip this whole you-cheat-on-me-in-a-moment-of-weakness-and-lie-about-it-for-months thing? I'm tired.

In anticipation of Ross' visit, Pinky Ring makes sure her hair is on point and pinches her cheeks so that her coloring is as enticing as possible. Verity delivers an express package of Girl, really? side-eye.



Ross and Pinky Ring have apparently been galloping around Cornwall twice a week. Pinky Ring says it's to keep her four-year-old son abreast of the state of the mine. Verity, Agatha, Demelza and anyone else with eyes knows these field trips are actually about Ross keeping himself abreast of Pinky Ring's breasts.

Across town, Malfoy and his uncle are really jazzed about sending Ross to debtor's prison for failing to pay his debts. Would modern day people spend this much time being evil, if we didn't have Netflix to distract us?

At the mine, Ross and Pinky Ring flirt and pretend that they're not going to ruin Demelza's life really soon. Francis Jr. is an awkward plus-one on this date:


On a beach, Doc finds a dead body (maybe from a shipwreck?). Before we can get any answers, Doc takes out a saw and starts cutting off the corpse's leg.


At chez Ross, Demelza advises Ross to just ask one of his rich friends to help him stay out of debtor's prison. For the umpteenth time, Ross lets her know he doesn't value her opinion and hates when she talks.

Over at Doc's bachelor pad, he's putting his fingers all in the corpse's severed leg. Then he has an Oprah A-ha! Moment™. He uses what he learned from this exercise in anatomy to fix some random villager's wonky knee.


In prison, Ross visits some random dude and says, I'm probably also going to be in jail pretty soon! LOL! The prisoner tries to reason with him. Surely Ross can just sell his mine shares and avoid ruining his wife's life? Ross responds with, Nah, I prefer living in a constant state of chaos. And I haven't given a damn about my wife in months! LOL!

On his way home, he runs into Horace the Pug!!! Blondie's there too.


Back at home, Doc tells Ross and Demelza about his huge crush on Blondie. (WE GET IT! GEEZ!) Then, Ross pretends Demelza doesn't exist and talks about how pointless life is, in light of how quickly you can drown in a puddle. Demelza looks at him like this for a really long time:


I hate him, too, girl.

Over at Pinky Ring's house, Malfoy has returned to say evil things to Tarot Card Agatha's face. "I think it's high time the coffin-maker started taking measurements, old hag."


Even if she was deaf, which she's not, she would probably be able to read lips pretty well. I cannot wait for whatever witchcraft she will use to murder this twerp.

The reason for his visit: to give Pinky Ring some weird candy and remind her that she can pay off what Francis owed him via Visa, MasterCard, or preferably sexual favors.

At chez Ross, Demelza tells Verity that the main pillar of a happy marriage is pretending to believe your husband isn't a cheating bastard.

Across town, Pinky Ring explains to her son that she plans to smile less around the house so that she doesn't get wrinkles. Her son is just old enough to realize she's lost it.


In a forest, Doc and Blondie make out next to a horse's butt. Again. This has become their thing.


They eventually unlock their lips long enough for Blondie to speak some truth about Demelza and the futility of marrying men: "She seems to be universally adored. She's the sort of woman that all men desire, except her husband. So often happens; no great incentive for marriage."

Just as I'm starting to like her, she goes back to her rich-people-rule-poor-people-drool routine. She thinks Doc's desire to help the needy is cute and all, but that he should move somewhere fancy and help "his own kind" instead. Making out next to horse butts seems fun, but surely they both realize their values are in such opposition that this could never work, right?

Turns out they're still in the you're-so-hot-that-I-can't-recognize-any-of-your-obvious-flaws stage of their relationship. They celebrate their blissful ignorance by randomly racing each other on horseback (Blondie on side-saddle, of course, because she's not a harlot).

Always full of terrible ideas, Ross comes up with a plan. More illegal trading + storing stolen goods at home = lots of money and zero jail time. Demelza is like, Um, I'm barely literate and terrible at math, but that equation makes no goddamn sense! Just ask your rich friends for help, you proud idiot!

Then this amazing exchange, which I've been anticipating for so long, takes place:

Ross: "Do I have your consent?"


Then she throws a rake at his face!


I'm so very proud.


And things just get better with this close-up of Horace's face!


What's that, you say? I'm too obsessed with this magical pug? Tell it to my new socks:

Anyway, Blondie tells her uncle about wanting to hang out with Doc the following day. Her uncle freaks out: But everyone will think you're a whore! Next, you'll tell me you've stopped riding side-saddle. *male tears* They agree to disagree.

At Pinky Ring's house, Verity lets everyone know she is going home tomorrow. Agatha's responds with my new favorite saying: "FIDDLESTICKS!"

But Verity isn't backing down and shares her plans to make up for lost time with her husband by having lots and lots of sex. Agatha chokes:

Across town, Malfoy is annoyed at his uncle for inviting a bunch of 17-year-old girls to their Christmas party. Never one to miss an opportunity to be disgusting, his uncle says: "Prime breeding stock. You may examine their teeth, if you choose." Can we speed up the advent of feminism, pretty please? Absolutely not? Oh. Okay then.

After another flirty hang with Pinky Ring, during which she complains about how her son isn't going to have as fat a trust fund as previously thought (#WhitePeopleProblems), Ross runs to his banker and tells him to sell a bunch of his mine shares and give all the money to Pinky Ring. The banker speaks for the audience at home:

Banker: "You have your own wife and child to care for. Would it not seem that you value your cousin-in-law's comfort over hers?"

Ross: "[Demelza] is a miner's daughter. She has learned to survive. Pinky Ring is a gentlewoman."

Banker: "And you're a mad man."


At Blondie's house, Doc arrives after being summoned by her uncle. The interaction goes a little something like this:

Uncle: You better not have sex with my niece!

Doc: Sorry, but I'm definitely going to. Probably next to a horse's butt.

Uncle: Don't you dare! I will cut off her inheritance!

Doc: Her trust fund is the most annoying part about her, so knock yourself out. Later!

Elsewhere, Malfoy butters up Pinky Ring's mom, but who cares about that when Horace's the Pug's life partner just made his/her debut?


Over at Pinky Ring's house, Verity is taking off. She gives Francis Jr. a kiss, gives Pinky Ring a look and says, Try not to be a homewrecker. Okay, bye! 

Back at chez Ross, Ross and his criminal buddies dig a huge hole in the living room to store illegal goods. Demelza knew he wouldn't listen to her, even after she screamed and threw a rake at his face. She watches him make yet another idiotic decision and shoots daggers into his back.


A bit later, some hot guy named Charlie shows up unannounced and sees the big hole in the living room. Judging by the sinister music, there's a 98% probability he's the Judas.

That night, Ross takes off his shirt (I hate him so much these days, I don't even care to see his hairy chest anymore) and goes to bed in the brattiest way possible. His response to Demelza's touch:


Whatever, dude.

The next morning, he runs off to see Pinky Ring because duh. She just got a bunch of money from an anonymous person. Ross pretends it isn't him and then reminds her that he really wishes Demelza didn't exist:

Ross: "I regret that the circumstances are such that I cannot take care of you as I might wish."

Pinky Ring: "We both regret that, Ross."

And I regret that both of you haven't been murdered by a puddle yet.

Ross then makes out with her hand.



Fast forward a bit and it's Christmas! Maybe Ross will take a break from being the worst for one day? Yeah, no.

Ross: "War now seems inevitable."

Demelza: *rolls eyes and sighs* "Merry Christmas, Ross."

Ross: "Now we know our last hope is gone."

Demelza: "Siri, remind me to draft up divorce papers."

Okay, fine, she didn't actually say that last line, but a boy can dream.

Over at Pinky Ring's house, Agatha continues being the MVP of this entire show.

Agatha: "Rose water?! Do I require a fumigant?"

Pinky Ring: "No, aunt, but..."

Agatha: "Francis always knew what I liked. Brandy wine, port and canary, preferably all three!"


And Agatha has more bon mots where that came from. Malfoy comes in and Agatha grabs Francis Jr. and says, "Sit by me, child. Beware that man's pitchfork and his tail."

Malfoy whisks Pinky Ring to a party so she can watch him examine 17-year-old girls' teeth. She gets jealous, just like he planned. Oy vey, Pinky Ring, Francis JUST died!!! Sure, he was boring, but come on.

In town, Ross and Demelza head to the banker's office to get things in order before Ross is taken to debtor's prison. But -- curveball -- Blondie anonymously bought his debt! She has a soul! Hurrah! (Although Ross does kind of deserve a jail sentence for his attitude at this point.)

Ross and Demelza skip on over to Malfoy's to revel in their sudden good fortune:

Ross: "I regret to say I am unable to give you the satisfaction..."

Malfoy: "Most unfortunate."

Ross: "...of visiting me in prison. You'll have to make due with this."

Uncle: "What is this foolery?"

Ross: "Repayment. In full. With interest.

Malfoy & Uncle: "...."

Ross: "We wish you both the compliments of the season."


Uncle freaks out in a major way, but Malfoy reassures him that he'll get revenge by marrying Ross' ex. You can have her, bro.

Cut to Pinky Ring's house, where she receives a care package from Malfoy. I'll let Agatha's eye roll speak on my behalf:

Back at chez Ross, he wants to make amends for being such a jerk this past year. He gives Demelza sexy stockings and seductively helps her put them on. Then they have kinky sex.

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: Ross. It's going to take more than a pair of stockings and a roll in the hay to make up for all the crap he's been pulling.

HONORABLE MENTION: Demelza's Forgotten Dog. What ever happened to him? We haven't seen him for several episodes. Did a puddle murder him? I hope he's okay.

BRONZE: DemelzaIf her singing career doesn't pan out, she should be a yoga teacher, 'cause she has mastered the art of breathing through other people's BS.

SILVER: Blondie. She did good. Now, all she has to do is abstain from giving her opinion on the poor and there won't be any problems.

GOLD: Agatha. She coined a catchphrase ("Fiddlesticks!"), threw shade at Malfoy, served up a healthy dose of side-eye, and gave an impassioned speech about her favorite types of booze. No one else comes close.

Until next week! If you miss my thoughts on Poldark, follow me on Twitter @xcusemybeauty or read all the other recaps below!

More recaps:

'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

 'Poldark' Season 1, Episode 4 Recap: Send My Love to Your New Lover

‘Poldark’ Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: Oops, There Goes My Shirt

‘Poldark’ Season 1, Episode 2 Recap: Bang Bang


‘Poldark’ Season 1 Premiere Recap: Stayin’ Alive

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