Previously on Poldark: There was a lot. Like, a whole lot. New characters, new romances, new villains, a couple of weddings, several adulterous affairs and even a death or two rocked our favorite Cornish period drama. In short: It’s way too much to try to summarize, so if you’re feeling a bit lost, it’s probably time to skim the recaps from last year before diving in to the new season.
Poldark Season 3 was a dark place, where almost everyone was miserable, and its few lighthearted moments were stamped out almost before we could enjoy them. We watched the Poldarks’ marriage spiral once again, as Ross generally ignored his wife and Demelza caught feelings for a sensitive local poet. The show introduced a swoony new romance in Drake and Morwenna. Too bad they were only allowed to be happy together for roughly 1.5 episodes before Morwenna was forced to marry a lecherous, abusive minister to save Drake’s life. Romance in Cornwall is grand!
On the surface, the Season 4 premiere has everything we have come to expect from a Poldark episode: There’s shirtless Aiden Turner, beautiful shots of the Cornish beach and countryside, and dramatic slow-motion shots of someone riding a horse. Eleanor Tomlinson looks tremendously lovely as Demelza frolics with her adorable children on a beach. But, Ross Poldark remains as stoically insufferable as ever, and it’s hard to tell if any of the hard-earned lessons from the end of last season were actually, well, learned.