Poldark, series three episode 5 recap: Warleggan’s sniping blew up in his face, but is there more villainy to come?

Jack Farthing as George Warleggan - 5
Jack Farthing as George Warleggan - 5

An firecracker of a fifth episode had everything you possibly want or expect of Poldark, from the swashbuckling high adventure of a dramatic prison break to young love’s bitterest pangs and a death scene to wring tears from a stone. There was even a pretty song (albeit a sad one) at the close and the promise of lots more trouble to come.

Oh my word, that was a corker of an episode, wasn’t it?

And some. Season three was managing to be a bit too much of a slow burn until last week’s episode reminded us how good Poldark can be. Now it’s as if the whole thing has suddenly caught fire again. This really must rank as one of the best episodes ever.

Who else but Ross Poldark would mount his very own invasion of France, eh?

Indeed. His earlier escapade in Roscoff seemed like such a damp squib but this more than made up for it, with Cap’n Ross (Aidan Turnerleading a band of our favourite characters across the Channel to break Dr Enys out of that hell hole of a French prison. And it was brilliantly filmed, with tension and excitement and a strong vein of tragedy, too.

Ross and co embark on their rescue mission
Ross and co embark on their rescue mission

Ah yes, poor Captain Henshawe – a noble fellow, he’ll be missed won’t he?

Yes, Henshawe (John Hollingworth) was one of the nicest characters in Poldark, a stalwart friend and supporter of Cap’n Ross’s from the very beginning, a rare example of man loyal from top to toe. He’ll be much missed – by audiences as much as by Cap’n Ross – but he died well. Enough to make most viewers shed a secret tear or two, I’ll warrant.

I was expecting young Drake to go the same way, weren’t you?

Too right. Especially after Morwenna (Ellise Chappell) went and did the “right” thing on Aunt Agatha’s (Caroline Blakiston) advice and dumped him. Poor Drake’s (Harry Richardson) heartbreak was genuinely affecting. So when he turned up a stowaway amid Ross’s rescue team, I was convinced he was going to be a goner. Sacrificed on the altar of love. Lucky to come away with a bullet wound if you ask me.

Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza
Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza

So do you suppose it was all worth it, to save Dr Enys, then?

Well, Henshawe’s wife might not agree, but it certainly made for great drama. And don’t forget, it wasn’t just Dwight Enys (Luke Norris) who was rescued. There was his comrade as well, Lieutenant Armitage (Josh Whitehouse) who, it turns out, is “a person of great importance”, no less. 

Haha! Yes, meaning all George Warleggan’s sniping blew up in his face, didn’t they?

Yes, that was one of the most delightfully developed strands of the series so far, making Armitage the nephew of Lord Falmouth (James Wilby) – whose good books George (Jack Farthing) had been hoping to sleaze his way into by undermining Ross.

Well, that’s all going to change now Ross has made such a powerful friend, isn’t it?

Who knows? Ross has a unique ability to reverse almost every step forward he makes, instantly. But yes, we have to think that it can’t work against him at least. And certainly every time he gets one over on sneaky George we all want to cheer.

Aidan Turner as Ross
Aidan Turner as Ross

No doubt George has lots more villainy up his sleeve?

I think we can more or less guarantee that’s the case. So long as George still has Aunt Agatha, Geoffrey Charles and Morwenna in his clutches, Ross remains vulnerable.

Still he has powerful friends than ever on his side, like Caroline Enys, right?

Yes, although signs are she may have a lot to deal with herself now. Dr Enys always was a sensitive chap, and he seems pretty traumatised by his experiences in France. There’s trouble and strife  to come for those two, I’m sure of it.

There’s always a thread of sadness in Poldark, even down to that lovely scene at the end, no?

Yes, Anne Dudley’s music has always been a key part of the emotional make up of Poldark, so it was nice to see it come to the fore for once and actually be part of the drama at Henshawe’s funeral. It was a subtly beautiful note on which to finish such a strong episode.

Who's who in Poldark?
Who's who in Poldark?