Episode Recaps

'The Durrells in Corfu': Season 3 Finale Recap

Last week the Durrells had their hands full. Two friends needed rescuing - one from jail and one from dispair. Plus disappointing news arrived from England concerning an expected financial windfall was not to be after all. The full recap of last week's installment of The Durrells in Corfu can be found here. 

This week's season finale, on the other hand, turned out to be something like a chain reaction of toppling love dominos. Louisa and her three eldest children find themselves in the thick of relationship highs and lows while Gerry is concerned for the emotional welfare of their most recent animal lodger, Frank the sloth. But first, let’s examine the how the Durrells came to join the circus.

'Poldark': Season 4 Finale Recap

Ross doing what he does best, brooding (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE))

Previously on Poldark: Ross ends up in a duel with local London sexual harasser Monk Adderley after getting all kinds of jealous and suspicious that Adderley wanted to hook up with Demelza. Adderley dies from his gunshot wound, because it’s definitely fine for the hero of our story to be a man who kills people. Elsewhere, Morwenna flees her mother-in-law’s house before the odious Lady Whitworth can have her committed, but even though she runs straight to Drake, she still insists she can’t be with him, because she doesn’t think she can let a man touch her ever again. (Need more details? You can read our full recap of Episode 7 here.) 

'Poldark' Recap: Season 4, Episode 7

Dwight and Caroline are goals in all things (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Poldark: George hatched a plot to wreck the town bank and predictably failed because he has the finesse of a Scooby Doo villain a lot of the time and we all know Ross is basically invincible. Elizabeth learns she’s pregnant and is surprisingly fine with it, as long as her condition doesn’t accidentally remind her husband about that time he thought their son wasn’t his.  And even with her odious husband finally kicking it, Morwenna still can’t catch a break as she too discovers she’s with child. (Need more details? Here’s our full recap of Season 4, Episode 6).

For all that this is a show called Poldark, it features a lead character that is beyond troublesome. One might even use the word problematic. As viewers, we’re all conditioned to root for Ross, to hope for his happiness, and to expect that at some point on this multi-season journey, he will ultimately become a better person. That he will learn from his mistakes. That he is, in fact, capable of growth. The fact that much of that hasn’t really seemed to happen yet is not only disappointing, but also intensely frustrating. How many more times can we be expected to happily watch Ross make increasingly terrible choices, behave rashly and repeatedly disrespect the person he claims to love most?

This week, Ross brings Demelza to London and though the two spend the episodes opening scenes acting like newlyweds – early mornings and late nights in bed, magical strolls through a variety of exciting and exotic metropolitan entertainments – like most things on this show, the happiness cannot last more than a few moments.

'The Durrells in Corfu': Season 3, Episode 7 Recap

 Louisa Durrell (KEELEY HAWES) & Spiro (ALEXIS GEORGOULIS)                 Credit: Courtesy of Joss Barratt for Sid Gentle Films & MASTERPIECE

In this episode, we find Louisa Durrell a woman focused on at least two missions – the release of her former fiancé from police custody and the task of bringing her best friend, and very obvious object of her affection, out of the downward spiral he finds himself in. Add to this a philosophical feud between to her two oldest sons, hosting famous American writer and nudist Henry Miller (Trevor White) as a houseguest, waiting to discover the fate of a long-awaited inheritance and trying to break her youngest child of a rather inconvenient vegetarian habit and you realize it’s just a typical week for The Durrells in Corfu.

‘Poldark’: Season 4, Episode 6 Recap

Elizabeth finally got interesting this season (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Poldark: Ross finally goes to Parliament and does his job, which appears to be making a lot of progressive speeches and inventing what is essentially welfare. Drake decides to marry the nice but drippy Rosina, but can’t go through with the ceremony after he learns that the odious Reverend Whitworth has died (thank goodness!) and Morwenna is free. The newly widowed Mrs. Whitworth, however, is convinced she’s now damaged goods, and rejects Drake, because this show can literally never let us be happy for more than five minutes. (Need more details? Last week’s recap is this way.)

This episode of Poldark is as almost as full of ridiculous twists as last week’s was, and is at least as soapy. So why isn’t it as fun? Part of the problem is that it returns the focus on the story to the neverending feud between Ross and George Warleggan which, let’s be honest, isn’t as entertaining as it once was. I mean, let’s be real: These are grown men. Grown, adult men, who still spend their time plotting the local downfall and creation of banking institutions to get back at one another. Get hobbies, guys! Read a book!

'The Durrells in Corfu': Season 3 Episode 6 Recap

This week on The Durrells in Corfu, we find the island has been descended upon by a plague-like swarm of mosquitos. The Durrells, suited up in full-on beekeeping gear, are undeterred in their preparations for Gerry’s birthday celebration. Though Louisa finally concedes they’ll have to move the party indoors, she is bound and determined to make this day a memorable one for her little boy, even as Lugaretiza warns that Gerry has changed. More to the point, he’s growing up without his mother noticing. Larry says in other cultures Gerry would be put through terrifying rituals at his age from teeth filing to adolescent circumcision. Meanwhile, Louisa is planning activities suitable for a five-year-old rather than a newly minted teenager.

'Poldark': Season 4, Episode 5 Recap

Ross and George are so extra it hurts (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Previously, on Poldark: We are officially in the Bad Place, as awful, terrible things happen to virtually everyone except George Warleggan, which is in and of itself an awful, terrible thing. Dwight hides the fact that his infant daughter has a deadly heart defeat, and only tells his wife just in time for the baby to die in her arms. Caroline subsequently leaves for London in an attempt to outrun her grief, just as Vile George manages to buy himself a fresh seat in Parliament thanks to an overly complicated scheme involving buying up a random township elsewhere. (Need more details? The full recap is this way.)

This week, Poldark finally realizes what I’ve been saying all along: This show is a soap opera. There is still no shortage of dreadful things taking place in Season 4’s fifth episode, but somehow – finally – the show seems to have decided to have some fun with them, rather than playing it all straight. Perhaps that’s because someone behind the scenes realized just how extremely ridiculous the plot developments are this week – Adultery! A jilted wedding! A teen vomiting at a fancy party! – that even they couldn’t take it it all seriously anymore. And you know what? This is the best, most entertaining episode of the season, and downright fun to watch.

'The Durrells in Corfu': Season 3 Episode 5 Recap

Spiro (ALEXIS GEORGOULIS) & Louisa Durrell (KEELEY HAWES) (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Joss Barratt for Sid Gentle Films & MASTERPIECE)

The theme of this week’s The Durrells in Corfu episode seems to be infatuation - be it puppy love, a girl crush or that perceived perfection that makes you take a look at your own imperfect life.

We find Mrs. Durrell enjoying a leisurely weekend breakfast with her children though Leslie tells her she doesn’t need them anymore since Frank (the sloth) came along. She insists her hobby will always be her children which she refers to as “my own darling sloths.” The lately absent Spiro shows up at the Durrell abode and gets a big hug from Margo. He informs them he’s been chauffeuring a new family from Italy who, like them, have come to the island to start a new life. The Ferraris live in the expensive villa across the way. And according to Spiro, they are charming, perfect and the Durrells will love them. This seems highly unlikely, however; as Louisa already looks a tad jealous.

'Poldark': Season 4, Episode 4 Recap

Eleanor Tomlinson does such a great upset face. (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Poldark: Ross officially becomes an MP, but gets weirdly jealous that his new status as a member of his country’s representative government means that he doesn’t get invited to the village beach parties anymore. George researches how to buy his way back into Parliament, with the help of a new friend, Captain Monk Adderley. Ross and Demelza’s marriage turns frosty once more, but at least they sort of work things out – again – by the end of the episode. Oh, and Dwight gets to run through the surf shirtless as part of the onscreen celebrations surrounding the birth of his daughter, because this is Poldark and that’s what happens. Obviously. (If you need a more in-depth version of things, our recap of last week's installment is right here.)

Perhaps we should all just accept that Poldark is not a happy story, and isn’t meant to be. Maybe this is just a show that’s good at telling over-the-top dramatic stories, and for those to really land, the characters involved have to suffer. But that suffering might be easier to take – or even more emotionally affecting – if anyone was allowed to experience any joy for any substantial period of time. Alas, that is not to be. In fact, this episode is even darker and more heartbreaking than usual, and the only person who gets anything even remotely resembling good news is George Warleggan.

So, you know, take that for the warning that it is. 

'The Durrells in Corfu': Season 3, Episode 4 Recap

Louisa (Keeley Hawes), Headmistress (Noni Ioannidou) & Gerry (Milo Parker)  (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Joss Barratt for Sid Gentle Films & MASTERPIECE)

In this week's episode of The Durrells in Corfu, we find Louisa basking in the beauty of her adopted home, relaxing with what she calls “sunshine in a glass.” Only Gerry’s ever-present menagerie can harsh her mellow. Soon Margo and Leslie come home from their fulfilling new jobs with talk of furballs and shoplifters. Leslie is also the bearer of a telegram from Larry, currently on holiday in Athens. He’s met Indian Prince Jeejeebuoy and informs them he’ll be arriving for a short stay tomorrow. Though she’s not making any concessions just because he’s royalty, Louisa thinks there’s no harm in a little spring clean. Her children are not likewise inspired.

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