We’re just a few short weeks away from the final season of Poldark, which means that we’ve all got to start preparing our emotions to say goodbye to Cornwall, and all the tricorner hats, gorgeous countryside and endless horseback rides that go along with it.
Season 5 begins on Sunday, September 29 on Masterpiece, and will follow the story of the Poldarks into truly unchartered territory – the historical gap that takes place between books seven and eight of author Winston Graham’s beloved series of novels. Yup, in order to avoid an awkward time jump that would require everybody to wear aging makeup, creator Debbie Horsfield has decided to explore the decade or so that passes between The Angry Tide and The Stranger From the Sea.
To be fair Stranger From the Sea does make reference to several events that happen in this timeframe, and there are plenty of historical moments from the period that could serve as the basis for a variety of plots, as well as real-life figures who could show up.
Regardless this is the first time that Poldark fans – including those that watched the original 1970s series and those that read the books – are kind of going in blind. No one knows what might happen. And that’s pretty exciting, because Season 5 has some work to do before the series is over.
Here are our suggestions for some must-have moments before the final credits of Poldark roll.
Ross and Demelza Get Along for Once. I don’t know about the rest of you, but at this point, after five seasons of strife and angst I’m really ready for some peace in the Poldark marriage. Ross and Demelza have fought, made up, cheated on one another, apologized, fought and made up again. So much, so, in fact, that this item was also part of our Season 4 wishlist last year! We've been waiting for this for pretty much F O R E V E R.
Which basically means that it’s time – nay, well past time – for Poldark’s premiere couple to get something else to do. What that story looks like is relatively unimportant, just as long as it is something else besides the two of them trapped in an endless cycle of marital misery together that we’ve, quite frankly, seen before. Let’s just accept that they love one another, despite their very obvious and glaring flaws, and move on to something else. Can we finally see them work together toward a goal? Be partners in action as well as in name?
Morwenna and Drake Experience Some Joy. It’s hard to imagine any pair of characters who’ve suffered as much over the course of Poldark’s run as poor Morwenna Chenowyth and Drake Carne. It feels as though everything possible has conspired against their happiness, as Morwenna was forced to marry the lecherous Osborne Whitworth to save Drake’s life. Her new husband was a garbage person who repeatedly raped her, threatened to have her committed to an asylum, had her son taken away and slept with her sister. Even though the two have finally wed (thank goodness), Morwenna is still so traumatized she can’t allow Drake to touch her, and though they’re making the best of it, there’s still something of a pall over their union.
Just let them have some happiness, show!!!
Seriously, when was the last time these two were happy? The first half of Season 3? Poldark cannot possibly end without us seeing the sweetest couple the show has ever created finally have a storyline that isn’t abject misery 24/7??! Can it??
A New Path for George Warleggan. Now, this may be a controversial opinion, but I suspect it’s one I’m not alone in. Let’s just admit it: The Ross Poldark/George Warleggan feud is tired. It was tired last season when the two – who, let’s not forget, are literally both part of the deliberative body which makes laws in England – were still busy trying to ruin each others lives. Remember when George literally tried to make the banking industry in Cornwall fail so the Poldarks would be poor? These are GROWN MEN.
Now that Elizabeth’s no longer with us, perhaps it’s time to allow Poldark to move on from this central rivalry that’s driven so much of this story. Or at least reinvent it in a way that makes sense. Can we have them debate about politics? Argue over the upkeep of Trenwith? Literally anything that feels like a forward progression for either character after five years worth of show?
Furthermore, it’s time we let poor Jack Farthing play something else besides a posh version of Snidely Whiplash. His scenes with his infant daughter in the wake of Elizabeth’s death last season were astoundingly good and evidence that Farthing is an actor who could do a lot more than what’s generally asked of him on this show. Let the man have layers! Otherwise, what’s George even still doing in this story?
A Family for Dwight and Caroline. The Enyses’ marriage endured extreme heartbreak last season, losing their beloved infant daughter and struggling with the grief of her loss. Though Caroline often seems colder and harder than she was prior to her daughter’s death, she and Dwight have really worked on things between them, and they deserve another chance at happiness. We all know that Caroline will be a tremendous mother, and though a second child won’t replace the one they lost, there’s no pairing on this show that should get the chance to be parents more than these two.
Plus, we all deserve Dad!Dwight. He’s already the Poldark gold standard when it comes to relationships, since he manages to both remain his own person and be a supportive and solid partner to the woman he loves at the same time. Let him school them all in the art of fatherhood as well.
Some Romance, Please. For good or ill, one of the things we all expect from a good period drama is some romance. And Season 4 of Poldark was pretty much a complete disappointment in this area, as Ross and Demelza’s marriage continued to falter over disagreements and suspicions, Elizabeth Warleggan died in childbirth, Caroline and Dwight lost their baby daughter and poor Morwenna was repeatedly raped by her odious lecher of a husband. To say the constant suffering was a slog to get through is something of an understatement.
So now, as we find ourselves staring down the barrel of the last set of Poldark episodes we’ll ever get (or, at the very least, likely to get for quite some time), is it too much to ask that this show remember its romantic roots? Didn’t we all tune in to this show because we loved watching Ross pine over Elizabeth, or fall for Demelza? Weren’t we all swooning over Caroline and Dwight’s love story that defied all the proper social orders? And didn’t Morwenna and Drake’s adorably saccharine love affair warm all our hearts? What happened to that show? As Poldark winds down, wouldn’t it be rather lovely if we got back to that – at least a little bit?
There are, of course, plenty of other storylines that might happen in Season 5. Will Sam ever get a proper girlfriend? Do we care any more about Ross' political career? Will someone tell Valentine he's a good kid, ever?
What would you like to see in Poldark's final season? Let’s discuss in the comments.