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

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Photo: Masterpiece

In the previous episode of Poldark, Ross rescued Doc from a life of eating French rats and cauterizing festering wounds with a spoon, Drake got broken up with and shot in the back, and Demelza wondered if she'll ever be able to enjoy a single day without worrying about everyone she loves dropping dead (short answer: nope). Will Doc's PTSD make him distant from Horace the Pug? Will Drake finally release a rap album his 21st-century namesake can be proud of? Will Demelza take some much-needed me-time at a spa and catch up on her stack of US Weekly magazines? Only one way to find out! On with the show!

Still recuperating from a bullet wound / breakup double whammy, Drake informs Ross and Demelza that he plans to move far, far away to a land where no one ever gets dumped or shot. Good luck with that.

Ross makes his own proclamation-that'll-never-come-true: he plans to stop doing dangerous things.


This has nothing to do with the narrative, but am I the only one who has a visceral reaction to Demelza's sad, flat hat?

I mean, just look at it! Did it get run over by a horse and carriage? Are they so poor that she has to wear a place setting on her head? Is anyone else craving a crepe with Nutella right now, after staring at this thing? Just me? Okay, cool. Back to the story!

Ross rides over to chez Malfoy to hang out with Agatha (i.e. get drunk and pull a tarot card or two). He doesn't know it, but, upstairs, Malfoy and Elizabeth are being gross in bed. No, not having sex; they definitely never do that. They're eating strawberries fully clothed and indulging in their two favorite pastimes: complaining about Ross (how dare he free Doc's rich prison bestie from captivity!) and plotting to marry Morwenna to Gross Goblin to advance their never-ending social-climbing ambitions. At this point, even the Devil himself is like, Ew, you two, take it down a few notches.

Downstairs, Broken Record Ross tells Agatha all about a new plan to help poor people (this time, it's turning one of his fields into a public garden!). Like me, Agatha is bored by this. She decides to spice things up by informing Ross that Malfoy and Elizabeth are right above their heads. Ross can't believe Agatha didn't warn him. A pair of Deal-With-It sunglasses fall from the sky onto Agatha's face. Someone has to stir the pot around here.

Making a hasty exit, Ross spots a crying Valentine and, for .003 seconds, feels bad for abandoning him, but quickly gets over it. Valentine is going to have sooo much to tell his therapist when he grows up.

Across town, a beardless (and -- let's be real -- less hot) Doc is suffering with traumatic flashbacks of his time in prison. Because Oprah won't get around to producing a special on PTSD for a few centuries, Blondie doesn't understand why Doc bristles when she asks whether they should snack on almond biscuits or marzipan for lunch. I'M STILL DIGESTING MY RAT DINNER! DON'T YOU GET IT?!

Right before Doc blows up, Demelza and her Nutella crepe hat walk in. She immediately experiences that feeling you get when you stroll up on two friends who are clearly in a fight, but are now pretending they're not for your sake, and you wish you could just retreat backwards really slowly, but you're stuck forever and might die of awkwardness.

Blondie mentions that Doc's worst nightmare is cards. Internally, Doc screams, UM! NO! IT'S PROBABLY WHEN THE GUARDS KILLED MY FRIEND FOR HAVING BROWN EYES!!! Blondie also mentions that silly ol' Doc wants to rejoin the Navy once he's fully recovered, and asks Demelza to scold him. Again:

Over at chez Malfoy, word has gotten out about Ross regularly visiting Agatha. Elizabeth decides someone should pay. That someone is Morwenna, who will be married off against her will at once! Malfoy yells at Morwenna about how much Gross Goblin is suffering, while awaiting a response to his proposal: "He is quite distraught and hardly knows what to do with himself!"

Cut to Gross Goblin knowing exactly what to do with himself, mainly sucking on a prostitute's big toe. That's all I'll say about that because ew. But I finally know why this dude looks so familiar. He's the ancestor of this character from Dune:

Back at the Malfoy property, there are toads everywhere. Apparently, Drake released a bunch of them to make Morwenna smile. Wow, life was that dull before Netflix that the best entertainment you could hope for was... amphibians? As a famous politician (who also looks a bit like the guy from Dune) says: Sad!

While Morwenna and Geoffrey Charles are inexplicably cracking up at the toads, Drake pops out from behind a bush. He has his heart set on one final romantic gesture before he moves away forever. Morwenna and Drake have so much to say to each other, but third-wheel-extraordinaire / decorated cock-block Geoffrey Charles is standing right in the middle of things and not taking the hint.

Thankfully, someone from the house calls for Geoffrey Charles, leaving the two lovebirds alone. Drake shares a few lines from the rap album he's working on:

"All I could think of is you. Day. Night. Sun. Moon. Sleeping. Waking. Working. Dreaming."

Morwenna pretends like she doesn't want to immediately download it on iTunes. They are from different classes! It will never work! Rules > Love! But who is she kidding? That rap song is fire. She smashes her mouth into his and they make out for a long time.

Across town, making out is also on the agenda.

Blondie: "My love, shall we to bed?"

Doc: "Forgive me. I'm so accustomed at being awake at all hours of the night, I barely know how to sleep these days."

Blondie: "I was not suggesting sleep."

Doc: "I think I'll go downstairs and read a while."

Brutal! Our thoughts and prayers go out to Horace the Pug's mom at this difficult time.

Over at Ross' place, Demelza asks if Blondie and Doc are ill-suited. Ross's theory is that Blondie loves him, but it doesn't matter; war veterans lose the capacity to receive or give love, and end up resenting their wives for no good reason. Demelza makes the kind of face reserved for the moment your teacher hands back a test and  you get a load of all the answers you should have known but got wrong. "But if a man's wife can't help him, who can?" she asks. Again, you know this answer, girl. His trifling, jealous ex, duh!

Speaking of the devil, Elizabeth is startled awake by Malfoy's screaming about the toads again. Their ribbits are messing with his beauty sleep! He has no idea that, in a few centuries, people will pay good money for sleep machines that mimic swamp sounds.

Malfoy of course thinks Ross is behind the toads. Somewhere, Ross is like:

In a field, Sam is very upset about Drake's soul, now that he's tongue wrestling again. Demelza thinks Sam should get a hobby that isn't wringing his hands over who is playing tonsil hockey at any given moment.

Sam: But sex is evil and sinful and bad!!!

Demelza: If sex is wrong, I don't want to be right!

Sam: Not your soul too! 


Back at Blondie's pad, Doc is staring into the fireplace, reminiscing about all his dead friends again. Blondie decides it's a good idea to sneak up behind him and say "CAUGHT YOU!" You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that phrase might be a smidge triggering for a prisoner-of-war. Doc understandably freaks out, wishes for opium so he can drug himself into oblivion, and storms out. R.I.P. Honeymoon period. Also R.I.P. Any chance these two will have sex a third time.

Ever the savior, Ross brings over Doc's prison bestie to help make Doc feel better. It works, which bums Blondie out even more.

Across town, Agatha takes a minute out of her busy boozing schedule to bully Malfoy, and I'm 100% here for it. She points out that the reason everyone hated him in childhood wasn't because his grandfather was poor, but because he was ashamed that his grandfather was poor. There's a difference. Also, his face was really annoying and punchable.

On a beach, Morwenna tells Drake that Malfoy has a phobia of toads because Ross used to fill his pants with them at school (I don't condone bullying, but touché, young Ross). She warns him to stop putting them in the pond to make her laugh because a.) he'll get caught and b.) they're not that funny. Drake wants to keep doing it because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . "Did we not agree? Some things are worth the risk," he proclaims. Love and destroying classism, sure, but relocating toads?

Meanwhile, Geoffrey Charles is running all over Cornwall, trying to warn Drake about a trap Malfoy has set. But it's too late. Drake is already letting more toads loose because HA HA HA LOL HILARIOUS! He soon discovers that there are three armed Slytherin cronies waiting to kill him. Dude, you just got shot last week and you're courting another bullet over toads?! Early aughts rapper Eve was right: Love is blind and it will take over your mind.

Luckily for Drake, Demelza receives Geoffrey Charles' warning and rushes to help get her stupid-in-love brother out of another pickle. Demelza throws a rock to distract the guards and runs off into the woods with Drake! A Slytherin crony shoots and misses Drake's skull! Everyone really needs to calm down! They're just toads! Slytherin crony throws a club at Drake's back! Drake falls! Slytherin crony lifts his club to crack Drake's skull! Out of nowhere, Ross knocks Slytherin crony out! Ross, Demelza, and Drake escape!

The next morning, Malfoy is livid. He lashes out by announcing Geoffrey Charles will be sent to boarding school to have his pants filled with toads too. The circle of life!

Geoffrey Charles runs to tell Drake that he's being sent away, gives him a parting gift, and also casually mentions that Morwenna is going to marry Gross Goblin. Okay, so Geoffrey Charles is either really dumb or really sneaky. Either he hasn't once, during all those throuple dates, picked up on the fact that Drake and Morwenna are into each other in a way that Sam would find sinful. Or he has picked up on that and wants Drake all for himself. I mean, his mother is Elizabeth. I wouldn't put it past him.

The next time Drake and Morwenna meet, Drake takes off his shirt to show her his new club wound because no one has taken off their shirt in a while and the Poldark writers know what the audience wants. Drake and Morwenna make out for a while before he is like, Um, you forgot to tell me you're getting married to someone who's not me. What gives?! She tries to explain: You're poor and I'm not. So sayonara love, hello toe sucking! Drake tells her he'll try to make some money so she will deign to pick him over Gross Goblin. Morwenna is like, Yes! Stop being poor!

On a nearby hill, Slytherin crony spots Drake in all his shirtlessness and club woundedness and runs home to report the hot gossip. Here we go...

When Morwenna gets back home, Elizabeth and Malfoy basically call her a whore and tell her she'll be sent back to her mother because they don't want to be associated with such immoral behavior. Um, Elizabeth, did you forget your whole home-wrecking adventure last season? Surely, your new baby, who isn't at all related to your husband, should be enough of a reminder?

Morwenna takes the scolding in stride and agrees to go back home. Elizabeth is annoyed that Morwenna didn't sob or anything. How is she supposed to get a high from torturing people, if they don't show signs of suffering? #FirstWorldVillainProblems

Across town, Doc loudly tells Prison Bestie how he never realized how unimaginative and boring Blondie is. Of course, Blondie is nearby and hears the whole thing. Prison Bestie is like, Way harsh, Tai. Maybe try talking to her?

The next day, Elizabeth asks Geoffrey Charles where his fancy Bible went. Cut to Slytherin crony trespassing into Drake's house and finding Geoffrey Charles' unopened gift. Drake is taken into custody for "stealing." Because the Bible is worth more than 40 shillings, the punishment is most likely death.

So to review:

The price for letting toads loose: DEATH.

The price for accepting an only-sort-of-expensive gift: DEATH.

The price for mining without common sense: DEATH (R.I.P. Francis).

The price for having a mom nice enough to nurse a sick Elizabeth and Geoffrey Charles back to life: BABY DEATH (R.I.P. Julia).

In summary, the 1700s were the worst!

Demelza vows to give a statement in front of the magistrate that she saw Geoffrey Charles give Drake the Bible as a present. Easy! Glad that's all sorted! she thinks, before Ross bursts her bubble by reminding her that Malfoy is the magistrate. Demelza blows up at Ross for being too noble or whatever to accept the position when it was offered to him. Yeah, Ross, WTF!!

Ross rides over to Malfoy's place. They argue over many points that, as always, boil down to who has the bigger penis.

Later, Malfoy makes Morwenna a proposition: He'll let Drake live, if she marries Gross Goblin. You know, this whole mess would come to a nice, swift conclusion if Morwenna just stabbed Malfoy to death. Just saying.

Over at Blondie's, Doc opens up about his survivor's guilt and admits that, while high thread counts and macarons and sex all are odious to him at the moment, he hopes to begin enjoying all three again soon -- maybe even at the same time.

Back at Ross' farm, Sam consoles Demelza by saying there's nothing they can do about Drake's imminent execution except pray. Actually, there's a lot both of you could do, but whatever. Right then, Drake walks up, a free man! Everyone celebrates! Morwenna will be moving in soon! All's well that ends well! Yay!

Not so fast. Mid jubilation, a letter comes inviting everyone to church. What they find is the end of Morwenna's wedding ceremony to Gross Goblin. Malfoy walks by a devastated Drake and co. with this smug look on his face.

Print it out and give it a good punch.

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: Malfoy and Elizabeth (Again! Surprise!). Every villain has a good origin story, an early trauma that causes them to unleash terror. This week, we found out that Malfoy's reason was... someone put a toad in his pants one time. Grow a thicker skin, dude. Geez. As for Elizabeth, everything she's done on this show has been entirely self-centered and awful. Marrying Ross' first cousin 'cause he took too long surviving the war? Repaying Demelza for nursing her back to life and sacrificing her own baby in the process by boinking her husband? Gleefully marrying off Morwenna in order to be invited to cooler parties? Get these two a one-way ticket to the ninth circle of Hell (that one is for the treacherous; I looked it up).

HONORABLE MENTION: Nameless Prostitute. Having her toes gobbled on by Gross Goblin must have been hard.

BRONZE: Blondie. It's not her fault she's all Let them eat macarons! Just one season ago, she thought poor people were gross and should die. She's come a long way. Give her a break, Doc! (Horace the Pug may or may not have slipped me a shilling or two to write this.)

SILVER: Ross. I vowed to hate him forever last season, but he's Good Samaritan-ed his way back into my heart. Now if he could come over and turn all the water that comes out of my kitchen faucet into wine, all will be officially forgiven.

GOLD: Drake. Shot in the back, clubbed in the back, broken up with every other day, jailed, sentenced to death, and robbed of his one true love. The material for his rap album is just piling up, and it'll all be worth it when he walks home with eight Grammys (which are worth way more than Geoffrey Charles' dumb little Bible). Hang in there, Drake! It gets better (*whispers* actually, it might not).

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:

'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

 '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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