At the beginning of the 8th episode, Ross (Aidan Turner) receives a letter regarding the smuggling operation. He tells Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) and is admonished for even considering the new proposal. George tells his uncle about his dealings with Elizabeth. George insists he has already set his foundation and will soon have the woman eating out of the palm of his hand. Ross and Demelza head into town for the court hearing. Ross’s name is called and he is ridiculed severely for his unthinkable behavior. Nonetheless, he manages to produce three witnesses, who insist he was out of town during the event. Ross is cleared and Dwight (Luke Norris) is next to have his say. Dwight doesn’t fare so well. He is given a fifty pound fine for setting the fire and alerting the smugglers. Outside, Trencrom (Richard McCabe) offers to pay Dwight’s fine, but his offer is refused.
Ross attempts to convince Dwight to rethink his decision, but again he refuses. He insists Trencrom isn’t his friend and he never tried to help him. Dwight then makes the couple aware that his wedding with Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) is off. Ross and Demelza return home for dinner. During their meal, Captain Henshawe (John Hollingworth) interrupts. He reveals that tin has been discovered inside of Wheal Grace. Ross is unhappy with tin and its value, but admits he must accept whatever he can get. The trio heads back to the mine, before Demelza visits Betty Carkeek (Rose Reynolds), who is visibly pregnant. Dwight joins the group and questions Rosina (Amelia Clarkson) about her leg. She confirms she has had no further trouble. Ross inspects the mine and confirms the presence of tin. However, he admits the discovery has come too late to save their venture.
Dwight and Demelza discuss Dwight’s abilities, before Rosina admits she didn’t know about Charlie being the informer. Dwight pretends to be fine with Caroline’s departure. He returns home and receives a stack full of letters. One is from Caroline, while the others are those he wrote to her. He reads the letter and learns that Caroline has given up on their relationship. She urges him to cease all correspondence with her. Demelza encounters Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and her mother in town. Elizabeth attempts to thank Demelza, but she receives a snarky comment in return. George (Jack Farthing) arrives and praises Ross and his ability to escape justice. Demelza departs, as George spoils his godson with goodies. That night, Ross and Demelza discuss the mine. Ross doesn’t seem too thrilled with their chances. Demelza confronts Ross about selling his shares in Wheal Leisure. Ross is finally forced to tell the truth. Demelza isn’t happy that Ross would put himself in a risky situation for Elizabeth’s sake.
In the morning, Ross watches Jeremy, while Demelza and Prudie (Beatie Edney) head out. Jud (Phil Davis) arrives and alerts Ross that someone is looking for him. Jud cares for the child, while Ross leaves. Demelza and Prudie arrives at Betty’s place. The woman is ready to pop. Dwight enters and Betty gives birth to her first child. During this time, Ross speaks with Henshawe and learns that the Captain is willing to put up 100 pounds to keep the mine operating. Ross accepts his offer. Ted (Lewis Peek) is thrilled with his new child and the prospect of the mine having one more month. Cary (Pip Torrens) speaks with George about the prospect of war. George confirms he has no intention of enlisting. Cary confirms his forces have been deployed. Several miners arrive on Elizabeth’s land and being digging the land for ore. Elizabeth becomes enraged with her responsibilities. When her mother sees the peasants outside, he loses it and collapses to the floor.
Henshawe and Ross finally have hope. Dwight examines Elizabeth’s mother and admits she will need constant care. Elizabeth immediately accepts the responsibility against the will of Aunt Agatha (Caroline Blakiston). Elizabeth insists she must speak with Ross, but Dwight asks if there is someone else she can turn to. Moments later, George speaks with Elizabeth. He learns about Elizabeth’s mother, before proposing. George professes his love for Elizabeth, but departs without receiving an answer. Aunt Agatha belittles Elizabeth for even considering the offer. Meanwhile, Henshawe and Ross examine the mine and concur it is becoming unsafe. Both admit they need timber, but they agree to continue working without it. Verity (Ruby Bentall) and James Blamey (Alexander Morris) arrive at Elizabeth’s home. James is very excited to meet with Verity’s family. Verity speaks with Elizabeth, while James play cards with Agatha.
Elizabeth reveals her mother now has a nurse and maid. She doesn’t tell Verity how she has been able to afford their services. Next, Verity and James pay a visit to Ross and Demelza. Ross shows James his cabin, while Verity speaks with Demelza. During this time, Dwight strolls around alone and dwells in his sorrows. Demelza tells Verity about her jealously for Elizabeth. Verity attempts to calm her nerves, but Demelza contemplates whether Ross would choose Elizabeth over her. Verity also reveals Elizabeth seems to believe her circumstances will soon change. Dwight interrupts Ross and James. He learns about the war and is invited to enlist. Dwight admits he needs blood and gore, but doesn’t want the honor and glory. Verity reveals to Demelza that she is pregnant. That night, Demelza continues to worry about Elizabeth coming between herself and Ross. Demelza receives a visit from Captain McNeil (Henry Garrett) the following day.
McNeil jokes about Ross and his ability to evade the law. He also admits he could’ve ordered a guard to watch the house the entire night, but did not for Demelza’s sake. He also confirms he is a soldier. He doesn’t like being a spy. During their conversation, Demelza learns about Elizabeth’s engagement to George. She tells Prudie and the pair agrees to keep it a secret. Ross emerges from the mine and chats with Dwight. During this time, the mine begins to give way. Nonetheless, Ted and the others continue pounding away. Moments later, the mine begins to collapse. Ted and the miners attempt to make a run for it, but it is simply too late. Dwight tries to care for the miners. Ted and another miner dies, while five others are seriously injured. George visits Elizabeth and breaks the news. Back at the mine, Ross blames himself for the situation. Henshawe tells him he should not, since they all knew the risks.
As George departs, Agatha reveals the devil card. Back at home, George tells Cary that his engagement to Elizabeth will deliver a devastating blow to Ross. He congratulates himself for his achievement. Ross returns home and receives a letter from Elizabeth. He learns about her engagement and immediately plans to visit her. Demelza attempts to stop him, but Ross refuses to take no for an answer. Ross and Elizabeth have a heated conversation. Their angry quickly transforms into passion. Ross pushes Elizabeth to the bed and they allow themselves to do the unthinkable. Demelza paces back and forth, before finally going to bed. She awakes alone in the morning. Ross finally returns home and tells Demelza he did what he had to do. Demelza smashes her husband in the face and leaves him sprawled out on the ground.
The 8th episode of Poldark’s 2nd season was yet another disaster for the Poldark family and their mining operation. While Ross and Henshawe were able to discover tin, their lack of funds forced them to cut corners. Their decision led to death and numerous injuries. And of course, George finally sunk his fangs into Elizabeth. With her situation more dire than ever before, Elizabeth succumbed to George’s will and accepted his marriage proposal.
Ross quickly set out to prevent the marriage from coming to fruition. While Ross may have achieved this goal, he has potentially ruined his own marriage in the process. Will Demelza ever forgive her husband? Or will she turn to Captain McNeil for revenge? Another gloomy episode. An 8 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of Poldark right away!