Fandom: The Watcher in the Woods
Summary: The woods, a ghost, a solar eclipse, and Bette Davis. This movie has two different endings. Both exist simultaneously in different dimensions.
Reccer's Comments: This is awesome! (and it works really well for me even though I've never seen the source)
Note: the recaps this season are written from the British airings, which often have 6-10 minutes that the US airings do not. If you’re reading this and going “Hey, I don’t remember that!” that’s probably why.
Previously: Enys is alive! And imprisoned! George is social climbing like whoa. Elizabeth is using opiates to manage her anxiety.
This episode uses a lot of short scenes and quick cuts, which makes great visuals but is hell to recap. I did my best, but this sucker is LONG.
The waves crash angrily on the cliffs, and people shiver while holding their hands over fires. A man yells that the grain ship is in, and people grab pans and buckets and start running.
At Wheal Grace, Henshawe tells Ross the the Princess Charlotte, a ship, was ambushed when pulling into port. Ross is like yeah, it’s a grain ship. Of course it was ambushed.
George proclaims a group of people guilty of rioting and theft, “Crimes for which there can be no justification.”
Ross and Henshawe provide some justifications: failed harvest, and the worst winter in 30 years. People are starving.
George continues to lecture.
Sam, who is with Ross and Henshawe, asks how else people are to get food in their bellies? Ross: “No doubt they pay dearly for it.”
They pay with musket balls in their backs. There’s a scene of soldiers shooting and killing people clutching bowls of grain. Henshawe says the 20 died in riot, some shot, some trampled. Ross asks if the Princess Charlotte was a Warleggan ship. It was, so that means any survivors of the ambush will also pay.
George sends the survivors to trial at the assizes with a recommendation for 15 years transportation. Bodies lie in the street.
At Nampara, D is digging in the garden, when a contraction takes her. She calls for Purdie and asks her to make sure everything is ready. Prudie doesn’t like the current birth plan, and thinks D should “take wise.” D: “It isn’t wise to endure the ramblings of Doctor Choake.” She’s right. Ross wouldn’t want her birthing alone, but “What he don’t know can’t hurt him.”
Henshawe asks if George Warleggan can’t see the link between riots over grain and his decision to hoard grain. “I can assure you he does not.” They both look at Wheal Leisure, still chugging along, “Once a Poldark mine on Poldark land” which could provide decent work and decent wage, and now it’s held by an asshole who thinks workers are chaff and profits are God.
(I’m refraining from making a bunch of editorial comments about the shame and abuses of capitalism and how employers want capitalism for themselves and feudalism for their workers, and making parallels between current events and this show, but hey.)
A group of men pulling a cart with a body on it pass them, and Ross asks what he died of. “Starvation?” George happens to ride by and announces, “Pneumonia! I’m told he’d been fading for weeks, but he refused to stay home and rest.” Ross: “So he has only himself to blame.” “It would appear so.”
Look, asshole, there have been some many times when I’ve worked low-paying contract positions that had no sick time, so I would have to come in INCREDIBLY sick, because I couldn’t afford to take a day off to get well. Thank the voters of Massachusetts that earned sick time is now a thing, even for contract employees, and I guess I’m going to be editorializing a bunch anyway because I want to punch George in the THROAT. A LOT.
Ross tells George that Leisure used to be a good mine, and George is like, bro, it was a vaguely adequate mine. “Oh, the famous red copper… that made her such a rarity? That’s gone.” George draws some comparisons between a played out mine and Ross, and they aren’t flattering, but it’s super over-rehearsed. Ross thinks he rushed it a bit. George sniffs that now no doubt Ross wants to tell him to get off his land, but the land belongs to the mine, and the mine belongs to George! See how that works!
“How do you sleep at night, George?” “Perhaps you should ask Elizabeth.” Henshawe hauls Ross away.
Ross comes home, calling for D, and she’s not in the kitchen. Prudie runs behind hi and out the door, saying “Miss Demelza says you should go upstairs and bring her a plate of soup!” Ross is like, “Isn’t that your job?” but the door slams behind her before he can say it. He shrugs and brings the soup up to D, who is in the bed and looking VERY satisfied with herself.
“Thank ye kindly, my man.” He asks if she’s unwell, and she’s like no, never better. “Can I do anything else for your ladyship?” “Well, you could say good day to your daughter.” She moves the blanket, and there’s a tiny pick cheeked burrito baby, named Clowance. Ross looks completely poleaxed. “Where was Doctor Chaoke?” “It was all over before we could send for him!” Ross picks up tiny Clowance while D grins.
Baby Val is fussy. George would like to know why Val is fussy. Elizabeth says that Doctor Choake says that “some babies are willful” and that they should “put their foot down.” She sends the baby off with a maid to be kept warm and quiet.
These fucking people. HE’S A BABY.
Elizabeth has plans for tea and for dinner and cards, but they have not received any invitations from the Godolphins, despite George letting their son get away with rape. But Christmas is coming, they’ll have a ball, and the Godolphins will be invited, of course. “But will they accept?” Elizabeth looks at him challengingly. George puts down his teacup with some force and looks petulant. I mean, more than usual. He leaves, because he’s got a Wheal Leisure shareholders meeting, which will be sad without one Ross Vennor Poldark. “How I miss the days when I had him at my mercy.” This obsession with Ross is not becoming, George.
Drake knocks on the door at Trenwith, and Geoffy-Chuck answers! Drake brought toads for Aggie. “You did say your aunt do love a toad.” That seems fake, but okay. Morwenna comes to the door, and he presents her with a posy of primroses. “If you ever wish for more, I’ll comb the earth in search of them.” D’awwwwww.
In front of the fire, Geoffy-Chuck is holding a toad, while Aggie grins in delight. I guess she really do love a toad! Geoffy-Chuck says that George hates toads and had them cleared from the pond. Morwenna isn’t sure the George would approve of their…guest. Geoffy-Chuck: Aunt won’t tell him. “Did you know that Geoffy-Chuck’s friend is related to my nephew?” Morwenna doesn’t answer, and Aggie’s like, yeah you do, because this FRIEND tells you a great deal. “Tell my nephew that his aunt is MUCH AGGRIEVED by his neglect.”
Said nephew and said nephew’s wife are entertaining Caroline Penvenen, who has a note from one Member of Parliament Unwin Trevaunance (“who you JILTED” “I may have led him to believe he’s got another chance”) who has gotten news of a certain naval officer. Unwin has brought all his influence down on the Admiralty, and our people are talking to their people and soon all of the officers will be brought home. “In time for Christmas?” D asks. “Or shortly thereafter.” Ross looks faintly dubious, but Caro is glowing. “Unwin has his uses after all!”
In the prison, things are dire. Enys is cauterizing a wound, and there’s a line of men to see him. He’s exhausted.
At Trenwith, Morwenna gets a note when she comes in with G-C and Drake trailing behind her. She and G-C are to go to Truro for Christmas and the carriage is coming for them on Saturday. Drake asks how long they’ll be gone. A few weeks, maybe more. Drake would come to see them off, but Clowance’s christening is that day. “Your cousin, Master Geoffrey.” G-C says that if they won’t see him again before Christmas, then Drake must have his present now. “There’s no need!” “OH THERE IS.” Morwenna and Drake are left alone, and Drake is ashamed he has nothing to give Morwenna.
“Oh, but you gave me this!” she says, touching the bracelet. Drake asks if she ever takes it off, and she does not. “And I never will.” Drake kisses her hand, letting it go as Geoffy-Chuck runs back with some paper and envelopes. “So you can write to us while we’re away.” Geoffy-Chuck notes that Morwenna’s cheeks are flushed. “Do you have a fever?” Morwenna ducks her head and smiles at Drake.
Drake saunters home, and passes Sam, who’s washing in a barrel. “Be that the light of God in your eyes?” No, but it’s sacred to Drake anyway. “But is she worth the risk to your mortal soul?” Lighten up, dude. Get laid. “Reckon so!” says Drake cheerfully.
Ross writes to Aggie, inviting her to the christening. D asks if this is wise, and Ross is like, fuck wise. She’s a Poldark, and my aunt, and George has brought Leisure to it’s knees, and I will be damned if he does the same to my aunt. Why shouldn’t she come to my daughter’s christening?
Prudie knocks on the door at Trenwith, and it’s answered by Constable Goon, who takes the letter, and he and Prudie have a stand-off for a moment. As soon as Prudie’s back is turned, he crumples the letter.
Ross, D, Jeremy, and Prudie (and baby Clowance) walk to the church.
At the Warleggan townhouse, footmen unload baskets of holly and oranges and other decorations, under George’s watchful eye. He tells Elizabeth that he’s sent the carriage to fetch Morwenna and G-C, as she requested.
At Trenwith, G-C has some other plans for his day. Clowance is his cousin, and there’s no good reason to not go to her christening. He tells Morwenna she doesn’t need to come. “I don’t think either of us should!” “I’m GOING, ‘Wenna! No one needs to know!”
At the church, Clowance is baptised, and Caro assures Ross and that Enys is there in spirit. “As godfather in absentia.” Ross agrees. The door opens, and G-C and Morwenna enter. D notes that Morwenna and Drake are smiling at each other.
After the service, Morwenna apologizes for bursting in, and Ross assures her that no, it’s totally fine, and invites them to Nampara for the reception. G-C, of course, wants to go, and Drake wants them to, but she knows that time is short. There’s some back and forth and Drake says, “only a half hour?” which never goes well, and Ross and D exchange a look, and Ross nods slightly. Without missing a beat, D hands Ross the baby, and he leads G-C away. D gently guides Morwenna off to the side.
“My brother is a gentle soul… and were he of your station, I would wish nothing more. But he’s far beneath your station, and cannot aspire so high. You know it.” Morwenna had a wide-eyed innocent “whatever do you mean” thing going on, but lets that fall. “I know it.” D says it’s good that they’re going away for a bit. “T’will break the bond.” “That’s what I tell myself.” They curtsy, and Morwenna collects G-C. “We’re very late.” He forgot his hat, though, and he pops into the church to get it, and Drake follows. “I’ll come visit?” She does not think that’s a good idea. “This must stop.” Drake asks if she can stop. “Yes.” He kisses her, and she kisses him back for a half second before running out.
At the reception, Caro is cuddling the baby and saying that Unwin has assured her that it’s only a matter of time before Enys is released, and in the meantime, he’s receiving the best possible treatment
He is not, though. Enys is performing surgery and doing the best he can, but conditions are terrible. Lt. Armitage comes by, and Enys says he ordered Armitage to rest. Armitage asks who orders Enys to rest, but Enys will not, because there’s no one else. Armitage offers to watch and learn from Enys so he can have some help.
D opines to Ross that this is good news about Enys, and Ross is as cynical as I am: “If it’s true. I’ve been a prisoner of war, myself.” D asks if Enys wouldn’t get special privileges. Ross sighs, and looks over at Caro, who is telling Henshawe that she will open her house to all emigre nobles fleeing the Reign of Terror. D also sighs. “She hates to feel useless.” Ross: “I know the feeling.”
At the Warleggan townhouse, Elizabeth is getting ready for their ball, and puts more of her tranquilizers in her port and chugs. George watches, judgily (I don’t know if he knows what that stuff is, but he’s judgey), and Elizabeth is like what? You don’t like my gown? It’s a red and dark red striped gown, and yes, it’s very pretty. George says “I cannot permit you to dance tonight…with anyone but I.”
At Nampara, Ross is chuckling over G-C’s spiritedness, and then suddenly remembers that Aggie never replied. “Perhaps she never received the note,” says D the Realist. Ross: fuck this, let’s go get her. D: THEY’LL SHOOT YOU. Caro, using her privilege for good, notes they wouldn’t dare if she’s with him, and off they go.
G-C and Morwenna arrive in Truro, and Elizabeth hugs her son, and then shoos him upstairs to change before the guests arrive. “Guests?” asks Morwenna. Yes, for the ball, and there’s a new dress waiting for her upstairs. “Oh.” Morwenna is perplexed.
Ross and Caro ride to Trenwith, and the footman opening the door is bowled over by Ross and Caro smiles politely. “Captain Poldark is here to visit his aunt. A glass of canary and a blazing fire, if you please!”
Aggie is in her room, swathed in blankets and sitting before her cold fireplace. “Of course I never received your invitation! Do you think I’d pass up an opportunity to drink port and eat heavy cake?” Aggie has her priorities in order. Ross notes that the room is freezing, and Aggie tells him that the maids don’t light her a fire. Ross: George’s plan is to kill you with cold and infection. (Aggie: Pluttthhththt.) Ross asks her to come live at Nampara, at least. Aggie, still with reasonable priorities: “And lose the chance to torment him? I was born in the house and I will die in this house. If it costs me cake and a few hot coals….”
Ross: what must Geoffy-Chuck think, seeing that asshole strut about his home? Aggie: And the baby? Ross: I feel sorry for any kid with THAT as a father.
In Truro, the turnout is…light. No Godolphins, nor any of the other ancient families that the Warleggans are desperate to cultivate.
(Seriously, the parallels between the Warleggans and Certain Other Families are so thick.)
Cary looks at Elizabeth and Morwenna and intones, “Very eye-catching.” George takes this to mean Elizabeth, but Cary means Morwenna. G-C wanders over to Morwenna and declares that he’s bored and he wishes they were at Uncle Ross’ party. Morwenna says that they shouldn’t have gone, and G-C says that he wants to get to know his cousin Clowance better. “I wager that she’s less dull than Valentine.” George overhears this and gets that look on his face that means he’s going to use this blow to his delicate masculinity to fuck with everyone some more. “First thing tomorrow, I’ll write to Harrow. I want that brat out of my house.”
Ross comes down stairs and sees Caro standing with a maid. Ross reminds the maid that it’s her job to look after his aunt, and he’ll be making regular visits, and if she fucks up, he’ll have her dismissed. How? Unclear. But the maid looks suitably terrified.
Back at the ball of sadness, George asks Elizabeth if Morwenna enjoyed the christening. Elizabeth: what now? George: Oh, I thought she told you, they trotted down to the church to see the latest Poldark brat get baptized. Elizabeth chews on the fact that Ross and D have a daughter. “Let’s hope they are less careless with this one.” FUCK YOU. Elizabeth states that G-C can’t be blamed for going to the christening. It’s Morwenna, she needs to be punished! George: “Oh, she will be.”
A rotund, officious looking man enters the party- one Reverend Whitworth, who is recently widowed. Elizabeth expresses her condolences and asks after his two little girls. “As well as could be expected. It’s only been a week. Only your kind invitation could have forced me to leave the house today.” George nods that life must go on. “My very thought when I chose this waistcoat!” Welp.
Ross and Caro ride back to Nampara, and happen on Constable Goon marching some unfortunates through the woods. They were caught robbing another Warleggan grain ship. Ross and Caro look disgusted, but Ross shrugs: George is within his rights to protect his property. Caro asks if George is aware the harvest failed, and Ross says yeah, he’s super aware. “That’s why he’s importing and selling to the highest bidder.” Caro ponders what would be the best way to help people.
George advises Elizabeth to say nothing to Morwenna about her “misdemeanor.” (God, George, you’re worse than first year law students in in their first week of Criminal Law.) No, they need to think about ‘Wenna’s future, like when G-C goes to school, what will happen to her then? George is sure Elizabeth would want to see her well-matched. He eyes Wentworth, who is a “highly respected young man, and his mother is a Godolphin!” Gross. George introduces Morwenna to Whitworth, who makes the SLIMMEST bow, and asks her to dance the gavotte. She is not fond of dancing. “It can only be because your partners thus far have lacked the expertise. Allow a master to induct you into the pleasures.” He holds out a hand, Morwenna looks at Elizabeth in alarm. I throw up. Elizabeth merely raises an eyebrow and Morwenna takes his hand.
At Nampara, everyone is singing “here we come a wassailing” and tiny Jeremy is SO CUTE AND SO PROUD. Sam is pouty because it’s too cheerful for his methodist heart. Caro wonders how Enys will keep Christmas, and the answer is with roasted rat.
In the village, the Nampara crew passes out bread to the hungry as soldiers drag someone else off. D says she’s never seen it this bad, and Samuel Carne loftily says that sinners must pay the price. Ugh. D demands to know what sin? “They should all examine their consciences to see if they be without blame.” Drake says that his conscience is fine.
Ross gathers his chosen family- D, Caro, the Brothers Carne, Prudie, Henshawe, Tholly, and outlines a plan. It’s a plan that can’t feed all of Cornwall, but it’ll help some, but they need to keep it secret. Ross clearly has a speech planned, but Henshawe’s like dude. We’re all in. Shut up. Ross says cool, I gotta go check with an old friend and see what he thinks.
It’s Trencrom, the leader of last season’s smuggling ring, who tells him that he’s out of his goddamn mind. Ross: “That’s promising.” Trencrom lists out the problems- getting “it” in war time is hard, getting it across the channel is hard, not having an actual delivery date is hard, and the cost is prohibitive. Ross: We’re on that part, don’t worry.
In France, Enys is dozing next to a patient, who wakes him up begging for water.
At Wheal Leisure, where even the sign is in bad repair, Ross looks out over the above ground workers, who look tired and downtrodden. His face gets determined, and he rides over to Sam’s meetinghouse. Ross says it’ll be perfect for his devices, and Sam snits that he doesn’t like the idea of a House of God being used as a cache. “Nevertheless, it will be so used.” Sam doesn’t like it, and Ross is like, fucking get used to it.
D and Caro are arming themselves for battle. D is wearing one of Caro’s reddingcotes, the silver one, and one of Caro’s fancy hats. Caro wonder’s what Enys would think of them, and D grins that they look the part of highwaymen, since it’s their goal to part as many men from their money as possible.
And here’s another set of scenes quick cut together, so: here we go. Each new paragraph represents a cut.
Wentworth simpers into George’s office, saying it’s a fine day to address the topic of matrimony (ew). George barely covers his disdain of Wentworth, but Wentworth is so enamoured of himself that he doesn’t notice.
Drake sits on a cliff, thinking sad thoughts and holding a shell. Morwenna sits in the parlor of the Truro townhouse and touches her shell bracelet and also looks sad.
George offers a settlement of 2,000 pounds as a settlement for Morwenna. Whitworth says “Ah” and explains very earnestly that a man in his position must look the part and carry himself in such a way as to inspire awe. “Must he?” Besides, Whitworth has debts of over 1,000 pounds, so he can’t possibly accept a penny less than 6,000. George does not laugh in his face.
D, sitting next to Caro, explains to a Sir John that their goal is the help the poor survive the worst winter in living memory. They both have wide eyes.
Whitworth: MY MOTHER IS A GODOLPHIN. George: MORWENNA IS A CHYNOWETH. “Devout, healthy, fond of motherless children” but hey, if you can find another girl of similar pedigree and virtue to yoke yourself to, by all means, go find her.
Caro to an unseen rich person: We pledged 50 guineas each, and a large donation in my late uncle’s name, so you might be able to kick in….? D: You wouldn’t want to be lacking in your own generosity, would you?
The music turns jaunty, and Whitworth stalks out of George’s office. Drake looks at an envelope with the direction to the Warleggan townhouse in Truro and starts walking.
D: We wouldn’t want to tell you, Sir Phillip, how much to pledge, BUT Sir John kicked in 20 guineas!
Whitworth comes back with a counter offer.
Caro: “My dear, you do him wrong. I believe he offered 25.”
Whitworth: How about 4,000? George: Economic times being what they are, go fuck yourself.
D: I was just telling Caroline that there isn’t a kindlier man than Sir Hugh!
Whitworth: I cannot exist on so paltry a sum! George: Find an heiress, then. Wentworth leaves.
Caro: 30 guineas, then? Excellent.
Whitworth comes BACK. I can accept 3,500? George: “GOOD GOD MAN, DO YOU IMAGINE I HAVE MONEY TO BURN.” I mean, yes?
Drake has made it Truro and to the townhouse, where Morwenna is looking dreamily out the window, but not toward the street.
Inside, George is crowing to Elizabeth that they finally have a deal. He was willing to go higher for a connection to the Godolphins, but “the idiot settled for 3,000 pounds!” So Elizabeth can inform the bride now. Elizabeth: uh, you came up with this plan so you do it. “I would not, for the world, deprive you of this happy task!”
Drake approaches the front door, and a footman is like CAN I HELP YOU. Inside, Elizabeth calls for Morwenna, and Drake skitters away.
Morwenna: “Marry? Mr. Whitworth?” Elizabeth is like, girl, you’d be making the jump from governess to lady of the town, it would be a help your POOR STARVING MOTHER and your UNMARRIED SISTERS and also George was VERY NICE to give you settlement so be grateful we’re whoring you out to someone in society! “Does Mr. Whitworth’s love mean nothing at all?” Morwenna: we haven’t talked barely at all! Elizabeth: I mean, you’ve talked enough that he’s willing to marry you, so what are you on about? Also your mother is very happy with the idea. Morwenna: My mom is okay with this? Elizabeth: Why wouldn’t she be? Morwenna thinks her mother would be all over it if she thought that Morwenna loved Mr. Whitworth, “But I do not!”
Elizabeth: I think your mother would be dismayed if you found fault in a good match because of this idea you have about love and shit. Morwenna: “Is it wrong to hope for love in a marriage?” Elizabeth takes a second, because there are a bunch of thoughts crowding her head – Francis, Ross, and George and her reasons for picking (or not) each one. “When you wed Francis, did you not marry for love?” Elizabeth hardens her voice: “I married for what I thought was love….it lasted barely a year. My marriage to Mr. Warleggan is not founded on love, yet it is altogether more successful.”
Elizabeth goes into George’s study, where’s he got a letter from Caro, asking for 30 guineas to “help the poor.” Elizabeth snaps that he spent 3,000 on a dowry, so will another 30 bankrupt him? “No doubt she expects your refusal.” “Then I shall disappoint her!” George crows. God. He’s dumb and mean.
Caro is counting money. George sent 50 guineas. D snarks that he’s not interested in “concern for the poor” he just wants to make sure everyone knows he sent the most. Caro: we have his money, so he can think whatever he wants. D grins that they should become footpads, they’re pretty good at it. “Now all we need is the goods.”
Elizabeth doses her port and stares off into the middle distance as Val cries. This poor kid.
At the meetinghouse, Ross and Zacky worry a bit about if the goods will be safe. Ross says they’ll be safe enough for one night. Tomorrow, they’ll be done, and Zacky’s like yeah, landing a cargo of extreme value in utmost secrecy.
At sunset, Ross and the boys are at the cove, and D, Caro, and Prudie are waiting in the kitchen at Nampara. D says the girls should be away, and Prudie’s like, uh, Ross said to stay put? D: “He did. He also said that I’m the mother of two small children and ought to start behaving as one. Daniel’s upstairs with Clowance and Jeremy, and we’re away to the meetinghouse.”
At the cove, the boys see the ship, and Zacky signals with a light.
At the meeting house, the girls sing and sing with a handful of the congregation.
On the beach, the goods are loaded into carts, and everyone hustles off. The girls continue to sing. In the woods, the goods are being moved, and Constable Goon sights them.
The girls finish the song, and D calls for the congregation to put out the candles and be quiet. “If anyone be watching, let’s hope we throw them off the scent.”
Constable Goon rides off.
Zacky peeks into the meeting house and tells the girls the boys are on the way “With no one the wiser.”
Constable Goon reports to George what he saw, and that Ross is definitely the ringleader, and that “there’s no mistaking the goods.”
At the meeting house, where many hands are stacking the goods, Ross eyes D. “Did I not bid you to stay at home?” “Yes, Ross, as often I bid you, and see how well that works.” BURN. Prudie and Caro explain that they’ve been decoys and singing at their top of their lungs.
George decides that he’s going to get some sleep, and that as resident magistrate he must have his wits about him when he busts Ross’ smuggling ring.
In the morning, Ross rides off, and George gets his morning report from Constable Goon: the soldiers will be at the meeting house soon, and George intends to meet them there. Why miss all the fun? Morwenna comes down the stairs, and George also informs her that Wentworth will be calling that day, so she can see for herself what an amiable man he is. He leaves, and she sighs heavily.
At Nampara, D checks with her brothers that they know what to do, and also that the villagers are to keep quiet. Drake’s like yeah, of course they will, or all hell with break loose. Sam snits that it isn’t fit for the the Lord’s House to be used for such a purpose, and D and I make identical sounds of disgust. “Get ye gone!”
Whitworth arrives while Morwenna is reading, and he’s SUPER officious, posing in the doorway and generally being a turd on the doorstep.
On the road to the meetinghouse, George finds himself preceded by poor people running holding plates and pans, urging each other to hurry. The thought of dragging Ross away in chains is giving George such a boner, I’m surprised he can ride at all.
Whitworth is prattling on about a game of cards he played once, while Morwenna looks down at her hands.
He then says that he detects the Hand of God in leading him to the Warleggan ball, and to wear the lemon silk “So you could not help but to notice me” (and Morwenna looks like she might actually throw up on his shoes, which she has every right to do, I AM JUST SAYING ’WENNA) and that she could comfort him as only a wife could. “And now that I know my sentiments are returned!” Morwenna says that she is not sure they ARE returned, and he’s like no, it is only your delicate sensibilities, all women approach matrimony with a hint of shyness. “As a man of feeling, and a man of God, I assure you, my love will be returned.”
Whitworth and Mr. Collins read the same books, I see. God, I hope he dies soon. Horribly.
He slimes a kiss on her hand, and Morwenna’s finally like NOPE ‘WENNA OUT, and runs out of the room, only barely not hip-checking Elizabeth.
Elizabeth asks Whitworth if Morwenna refused him, and he’s like, I am not discouraged. She’ll come around. “Proceed with arrangements as planned.”
At the meetinghouse, George and Constable Goon ride up to see the soldiers leaving, and Ross shaking hands with the captain, saying he’s sorry the captain was sent on a fool’s errand. What Ross and his people are handing out is grain, not riches. D and Caro smile brightly at George. “See the fruits of your generosity? Have you come to make further donation?” George: Donation? Yes, see, they bought a load of rain and are now selling it at half the market price. Caro: shall we put you down for 70 guineas next time?
George snits that there won’t BE a next time, because HE is not in the habit of pandering to wastrels and lazyasses who can’t earn their own bread. Ross: what are you doing trespassing on Nampara land? You’re a magistrate, go away, or I’ll call back the soldiers and have you both arrested. George and Constable Goon turn and leave, while Zacky cheerfully shouts, “BYE!” which is my favorite part of this scene, even more than D and Caro’s shit-eating grins.
Back in Truro, George snaps and snits and throws a tantrum about how this whole scheme was a deliberate attempt to humiliate him. Elizabeth, reasonably, offers that it might also have been an attempt to avoid a riot? Bah, George doesn’t care about riots. “He made me think he was breaking the law, and then made me look a fool when I attempted to bring him to heel! Well, he’s overplayed his hand this time.”
Caro stares out over the water, and Enys dozes. Armitage comes over and tries to send Enys to bed, and Enys is like, I said I’d keep watch over this patient. Armitage says the reason he offered to help Enys was so that Enys could get “one hour’s sleep in twenty” and be able to keep doctoring. Enys: “with no fresh water? No medicine? No supplies?” The French guards blather, and Armitage says they’re taking bets on which prisoner will be the next to die.
At the meeting house, Zacky brings news that George has decided to close Wheal Leisure. Immediately, ending 70 jobs. D asks why, and Ross is like, because he CAN, and the profits are small. And it used to belong to Ross. “So to spite Ross, George would put 70 families into direst poverty?” Yes, yes, he would.
Morwenna gets told by Elizabeth that she’s being sent back to Trenwith, and when told to start packing, she begins to cry as she goes up the stairs. Upon being told this, George is like, yeah, she’s being sent back to the tedium of Trenwith after the “happy bustle of Truro.” Elizabeth is unconvinced by this logic. “She’ll soon see the error of her ways and be begging us for the date of her wedding.”
At Nampara, D feels like they’ve done what they set out to do: five villages will survive. Ross is still poleaxed at the cost. This was set into motion by their grain venture and George’s fragile masculinity.
SERIOUSLY GEORGE APOLOGISTS. JUSTIFY THIS.
Ross and D begin thinking about what they could do for the 70 families that just lost their income, when Caro runs into to tell them that she’s off for London. D asks if she’s had word about Enys, and Caro has gotten word from Unwin saying that she has no cause for concern, but she’s going to the Admiralty and start negotiating for a ransom. Ross and D wish her luck, but after she’s left, Ross’s face turns grim. “The Admiralty doesn’t deal in ransoms.”
Enys has managed to get some water to another prisoner, but the French have decided that the prisoners Enys has been trying to keep alive will be the next to go, so they shoot him, right in front of Enys and Armitage. Enys begins to weep and crumples to the ground.
At Wheal Grace, Ross walks up to Henshawe and Zacky, and says he’s got an idea. They’re already over-manned as it is, and if they get more miners, and get more ore, they might flood the market and bring prices down. But there’s a few parts of the mine that have made indications of new lodes (“Which may not come to anything” Zacky says) so, maybe, with 30 extra men they could pay for if Ross doesn’t take his profit dividend… Henshawe and Zacky worry that D might actually kill him for this, and Ross, for once, talked to D and she’s on board.
A driver pushes on a carriage stuck in the mud (and, I note, had made no effort to make the load lighter or have the other driver get off to lead the horses or even make them pull at ALL), and Drake, Sam, and D walk along the road (with Drake and D singing together and it’s ADORABLE). Sam smacks his brother and goes to help, and yes, in the carriage is G-C and Morwenna. Morwenna’s face shines like the moon when she sees Drake.
D is a little dismayed, and Sam does all the pushing. The carriage gets unstuck (“Thanks for all the help, brother.”) and the kids go on their way, while Drake grins to himself.
George demands of Elizabeth to know how long Morwenna will need, and she’s like a few weeks, but “I’m not overly enamored of him…there’s something about him that makes my skin crawl.” THIS IS THE MOST ACCURATE STATEMENT ELIZABETH HAS EVER MADE. George is like yeah, he’s a reptile and prig, but he’s also a Godolphin. Morwenna will realize how lucky she is.
How lucky she is, is a suitor telling his tailor to make a waistcoat of gold brocade and trousers tight enough to inspire in his bride “awe and anticipation.” The tailor is a TOUCH rough in measuring the inseam, but honestly, could have been rougher and perhaps careless with his scissors?
D tells Ross that she likes Morwenna, she seems to be kind and sweet, but she worries about what this return will mean for Drake. Ross: It’ll piss the holy hell out of George, and that’s good enough for me. D is more concerned with class divisions (reasonable, given the amount of work she put in so that she could fit in with Ross’s class), and that George would lose his shit over a miner’s son aspiring to his wife’s cousin. Ross: How about a lowly mine owner aspiring to a great lady? He kisses her hand, and she grins at him. “That’s different.” She hopes Morwenna takes care to stay out of Drake’s way.
GUESS WHAT: she does not. Drake and Morwenna run to each other on the beach, and hug, and they kiss.
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Reese/Finch
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: b/w digital drawing
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: kimilog's art tag
Why this piece is awesome: Kimilog often throws us right into the middle of a scene with her Reese/Finch pieces, an unfinished moment, captured while the events are unfolding. In this case, it's a Reese/Finch kiss on a couch (in the library? at a safe house?), the papers Harold was working on still in the process of tumbling to the floor.
It’s Whatcha Reading time, where we discuss all the highs and lows of our month’s reading. We all hope you’ve had some good book noises this month, but we know sometimes that doesn’t happen. Feel free to rage and gripe as much as you want. However, we can’t be held responsible if your TBR pile doubles in size from the book recommendations you’ll most likely get.
Sarah: I am reading a nonfiction and a romance, because my brain is tired and stressed. The nonfiction is Deep Work by Cal Newport (insert all jokes here) (insert jokes about inserting jokes here) (fin). On one hand, the reframing of what is deeply focused work and what is shallow, distracting work is interesting and very helpful to my own feelings of productivity and accomplishment, especially when paired with a recent podcast interview with Basecamp CEO Jason Fried.
Carrie: I am reading Chasing Power, a YA by Sarah Beth Durst ( A | BN | K | G | iB ), and also What She Ate, a nonfiction about six historical women and their relationship to food. The former is entertaining but uneven and the latter is excellent.
Sarah: I’m also currently reading The Offer by Sara Portman ( A | BN | K | G | iB ), which is coming out on 10/24. The heroine is a penniless vicar’s daughter who opens the story in the strange position of deeply envying her best friend, now a duchess, who is in the midst of horrible morning sickness. The hero is also in debt, and not in a position to offer for anyone unless that person comes with several wagonloads of money, so OF COURSE they are going to be drawn to each other. I just started it, and am very curious, so ahoy, more reading time for me.
Sarah: I read the first chapter of that book and so wanted to continue, but it was giving me the “your brain is going to wake you up with nightmares” feeling with some of the violence. But the women in that first chapter are SO INCREDIBLE.
Elyse: One of the things that I found really fascinating and relevant is that the authoritarian regime bans reading as a means of controlling its populace
Sarah: YES. This is a perfect example of a book that I wanted to read but knew would give my brain middle-of-the-night freakouts.
Amanda: Can I just say that I love these little conversations we have about books? What we like, what we don’t like, what aspects work of us as readers. It gives me the warm and fuzzies.
In the past year I have learned so much about how to work with my brain and my brain chemistry. it’s life-changing on a very basic level.
But knowing when something violent is going to exacerbate my anxiety to the point of losing sleep is a big help, much as I want to read this book.
Redheadedgirl: So…I maaaaaaaaay be at “one book bought per day of trip” so that’s a lot?
Amanda: I just finished an exhausting week in South Florida, cleaning out my late grandparents home where they lived for over 40 years. On the cool side, I found my great grandmother’s bible from 1917. On the bad side, who knew just looking at belongings could sap so much energy. Because of this, I’m waffling between two different types of reads – dark and gritty to channel some of my negative feelings. And reading an autobuy author for some comfort.A | BN | K | G | iB ). It has a magical NYC and a heroine who wants to destroy the current magical system.
For the latter, I have Roomies by Christina Lauren. They write such great modern romances that make me laugh and cry. It’s like a hug in book form and something that I totally need right now.
What have you been reading this month? Something spooky? A comfort read? Let us know in the comments!
By request, since we can’t link to every book you mention in the comments, here are bookstore links that help support the site with your purchases. If you use them, thank you so much, and if you’d prefer not to, no worries. Thanks for being a part of SBTB and hopefully, you’ve found some great books to read!
( Spoilers )
I bet it would be fascinating to listen to the whole story again, see how it all looks different now that I know the background, especially because I listened to most of it at work and definitely missed some details. (Not sure I will, at least not right away, because there's a lot of other stuff I want to listen too (live session and Q&As from TAZ alone), but I'll see.)
We’ve selected With This Curse by Amanda DeWees for our October read for the SBTB book club. Our official selection post has some more information on the book, including Elyse’s thoughts on why it’s a great Gothic pick for the month of October.
Our chat will occur on Wednesday, October 25 from 8:00pm – 9:30pm EDT. That afternoon, we’ll post the chat link on the site and it will go live around 8:00pm. Sarah will lead a discussion of the book for around an hour, and then author Amanda DeWees will pop in for a Q&A!
We hope to see you there!
The transcript for Podcast 269. One More Reader Rec Request, A Book Squee, A DNF Warning, and Listener Email has been posted!
This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.