'Poldark' Season 2 Finale Recap: Burn Baby Burn

 (Photo: Masterpiece)

In the previous episode of Poldark, Demelza briefly got her groove back, but then almost got raped (*sigh*). Will Demelza stumble upon a time machine with the ability to transport her to a time when women are truly equal and don't have to worry about that kind of stuff (not 2016, evidently)? Will Demelza finally get an annulment and go on a fun Thelma and Louise-style road trip with Verity, minus the explosive ending? Will some merciful disaster occur inside the mine so it can close forever, sparing us from more boring underground storylines? Only one way to find out! On with the show!

We kick things off with a scene of Demelza picking flowers. Maybe she's planning on leaving them on Ross' grave after she rightfully murders him dead? No one would blame you, Demelza. Just do it.

At the newly successful mine, everyone is acting like they're in a Rihanna music video, coins falling all over their twerking bodies. Ross is still sad, though, because he's a miserable person and, as the aphorism goes, mo' money, mo' problems.

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Over at Elizabeth's mansion, Malfoy has officially moved in, causing Elizabeth's son to ask two really important questions: 1. Who dis? and 2. Are you two serious? Malfoy answers the second question with a strong yes, as he orders servants to take down the portrait of the boy's father, who was unceremoniously murdered by a random puddle just a few episodes ago.

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In a nearby forest, Malfoy has instructed his Slytherin cronies to construct a fence around Elizabeth's property. The poor people are like, Um, no, we hang out here. One of the cronies responds by smashing a rifle butt into their faces.

Across town, Ross takes out a big sack of coins and tries to use their shininess to distract Demelza from the fact that he's a monster. Just like in the last episode, Demelza does not fall for it.

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Over at Blondie's former home, Horace the Pug is nowhere to be found (*sob*). But Blondie's uncle is there, oversharing details about his "unusually sweet" urine with Doc. He apparently has "the sugar sickness," which is the karmic price you pay when you stand in the way of Horace's mom's marriage. Sorry not sorry.

Because Doc is saving his life and all, Blondie's uncle is like, So, hey, sorry about calling you trash a few weeks ago and promising to destroy you. Anywho, Blondie is engaged to someone who is definitely not you. K, thanks for all the help, bye!

Doc immediately enlists in the war, a move that's drama queen-y enough without what he says while doing it: "I may not return to these shores for years. Or at all!" And to think all of this could have been avoided if he had an outlet like LiveJournal to vent all his emo feelings.

Meanwhile, Malfoy and Ross spend days and days sending sassy notes back and forth to each other. Finally, they agree to meet. Malfoy wants to get his hands on some of Ross' mine shares because he, too, wants to know what it feels like to be in a Rihanna music video.

For the umpteenth time, the phrase "scullery maid" is used as a pejorative. I'm sick of this show's uninspired trash talk, and so is Ross, who punches Malfoy in the face. Malfoy smashes Ross' head into a grandfather clock (cool!), Ross smashes Malfoy into a bookshelf (eh, not as cool, but ok!), and then Ross grabs Malfoy and tries to set his head on fire in the fireplace (THE COOLEST!). I hate you, Ross, but thanks for at least keeping things interesting.

After a few Slytherin cronies haul Ross out of the house, Malfoy runs upstairs to brag to Elizabeth about how he totally clobbered Ross. "I hope he will have learned his lesson," she replies, despite the fact that she just found out Ross let his own family starve so that she could have some pocket change. Elizabeth, congratulations on being the worst on a show full of horrible people!

Back at chez Ross, Doc tells Demelza he's off to die in the war. Demelza is bummed because he's the only person left around these parts that she can stand. Their convo is interrupted by a bloody Ross. Demelza's entire body turns into a I'm-so-tired-of-your-crap eye roll.

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Later that night, Ross finds her upstairs and tries to get a reaction out of her by threatening to go to war. Demelza handles it like a boss.

Demelza: "Why? Cause your dearest friend is running away and so must you?"

Ross: "Obviously the thought of leaving you and Jeremy..."

Demelza: "Wouldn't be the first time you've considered such a thing. Go to war, Ross. Play soldiers. Or stay home and save all of Cornwall. What it is to be married to such a great man."

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Game, set, match.

The following day, Ross finds out Blondie was the secret benefactor who helped save him from debtor's prison. He goes home to tell Demelza, but the conversation veers off into her gleefully confessing to "kissing and caressing" Overly Trimmed Mustache. Ross and his man-baby ego go nuclear: "I tell you, I do not admire you for this! It does you no credit!" I guess that whole pot-kettle saying wasn't invented yet? Then both Demelza and Ross wonder why they are married. Welcome, you two. I've been wondering the same thing for MANY WEEKS OF MY LIFE.

*takes deep breath* Anyway, where were we? Ah, yes. Ross storms off to brattily try on a military uniform. And Demelza storms off to casually deliver Verity's baby. No big deal.

Speaking of babies, Elizabeth is pregnant. Whatever.

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The following day, Ross heads to London to thank Blondie for the money. (Horace must have had a previous engagement because he's nowhere to be found.) It is revealed that Blondie is not, in fact, engaged because it's hard to find another hot dude who's obsessed with helping poor people (her new type). Ross mentions that Doc is so upset about not getting to hang out with Horace (and her, I guess) that he's heading off to war to get shot in the face.

Back at Verity's house, she becomes the Yoda to Demelza's Luke Skywalker: Follow your heart, you must!  

Demelza decides her heart is telling her to go over to Elizabeth's house and rip her a new one. She catches Elizabeth in the garden and their conversation goes a little something like this:

Elizabeth: Eek!

Demelza: That's right. It's me. Let's do this. *cracks knuckles*

Elizabeth: Um, does your husband know you're out and about without his permission?

Demelza: I'm a feminist and I do what I want.

Elizabeth: I'm not a feminist. I'm a humanist.

Demelza: *eye roll* Anyway, I came here to say I hate your guts and that you can have Ross because being married to him suuuuuucks and you deserve to feel that punishment. I'm moving back home to record my 18th century version of a Taylor Swift breakup album. Talk to ya never!

Demelza walks off, thinking Nailed it! to herself. She climbs over the new property fence on her way home and GETS SHOT (!!!) by one of Malfoy's Slytherin cronies, who then walks up and threatens to shoot her again until she's dead. Someone please Amazon Prime this dude a crate of chill.

Meanwhile, in town, Doc is getting drunk with all his other comrades who are also about to get shot in the face. Ross shows up because drinking and avoiding responsibility is his jam. They take a few tequila shots and then Ross complicates Doc's buzz by telling him he went to see Blondie and that's she's not actually engaged. Lesson: Remember to make sure gossip is true before you dramatically sign up to die in a war.

But that's not all! Blondie appears amid the soon-to-be-dead soldiers. Surprise! We're getting back together! Now let's go to your room and have sex before you sail off to your death! Yay!

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In the village pub, all the poor people are really drunk and really pissed about the fence shooter trying to kill all of them for weeks. They decide to recreate the mob scene from Beauty and the Beast.

Demelza finds out and runs to warn Malfoy and Elizabeth, because when they go low, she goes high. But Malfoy and Elizabeth stay low by telling her that she's just jealous and is a liar and should go back to her scullery. All right then, enjoy being murdered and spending eternity in the ninth circle of Hell (that's the one for the treacherous; I looked it up).

Right on cue, the villagers set fire to the fence (and the rain). Malfoy and his Slytherin cronies meet them outside and threaten to shoot them. Demelza stands in the way of their guns because she's a good person and somehow isn't super jaded yet. A shot rings out.

It's Ross (it's cool he's doing something heroic and all, but still: ugh). He saves the day by calling off the mob, grabs Demelza and rides off. Elizabeth watches the whole thing go down from an upstairs window and has a Veruca Salt-level tantrum on the inside. Why can't she have Ross and Malfoy's money at the same time?! Waaaah!!

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Later that night, Elizabeth has something real to cry about. Malfoy has decided Francis Jr. is too tight with Elizabeth and too girly and must be sent away to boarding school ASAP to "toughen up" and to make room for Malfoy's spawn. Elizabeth stops herself from disagreeing because men have much bigger brains and know best.

Over at chez Ross, Demelza packs all her things. Ross eventually takes his head out of his butt long enough to notice.

Ross: "You're leaving me? I came back for you! I chose not to go to war!"

Demelza: "It's not my concern what you choose, only what I choose."

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After an entire season of always saying the worst possible thing, Ross finally uses his words to apologize and let Demelza know he loves her and won't let Elizabeth come between them anymore. IT'S ABOUT TIME! WAS THAT SO HARD?? JESUS.

Back at Elizabeth's, Agatha swoops in to tell Elizabeth I told you so! about Malfoy. Still in deep denial, Elizabeth says that she thinks Malfoy will chill on all the evil plotting by the time their baby is born and maybe won't banish Francis Jr. away forever? Agatha is like, HA HA HA HA, you suck at basic math and biology. Then Agatha invites Maury Povich out from behind a curtain to proclaim: Malfoy IS NOT the father! Ross is! 

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The next day, Demelza and Ross make out at the edge of a cliff. They both still hate their lives, but they have decided to hate their lives together. Glad this all sort of, kind of, but not really worked out for everyone.

End scene.

Since the season is now over, it’s only right to reward characters who’ve impressed and diss the ones that haven’t, so here goes:

PIECE OF COAL: Ross. He put us through so much this season: the glacially paced adultery, the terrible life decisions, the man-baby tantrums, all that boring mining. No amount of shirtless scything will make it right. Actually, fill season 3 with that and I might revisit my pledge to hate Ross for life.

HONORABLE MENTION: Blondie. Props to her for giving up the whole I-wish-all-poor-people-would-just-die thing and transforming into a decent person. Here's hoping her boo doesn't get shot in the face.

BRONZE: Horace. He is the light of my life, the fire of my loins. Um, scratch that last part; too creepy. The point is: I love this dog. He deserves a spin-off. Maybe Jill Stein can raise enough money to make it happen?

SILVER: Agatha. I want to grow up to be a no-nonsense lush who's always right about everything, don't you?

GOLD: Demelza. I mean, duh. 

That’s all, folks! It’s been a pleasure watching along with you this season. I'll be back in the recapping saddle starting January 15, 2017 for Victoria. Until then, keep up with my other work all over KQED Pop. You can also hear my opinions on all things pop culture on The Cooler podcast. And if Twitter is your thing, follow me!

More recaps:

'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

 '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

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