‘Poldark’ Season 3 Episode 1 Review: 5 Takeaways From The PBS Premiere [Opinion]

The season premiere of Poldark brought about a new era for the costume drama, as the repercussions of Season 2 made their way to the rocky shores of Season 3. Episode 1 makes quite a few things clear: Poldark will never be the same or recover from those events. They have irrevocably changed the series’ central couple and will continue to play a role in their future.

Nothing that has been set in motion can end well for any of Poldark‘s lead characters. How long it will take for the truth to inevitably be unearthed remains unclear. One thing is more certain: these are five of the biggest takeaways from the Season 3 premiere on PBS.

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Poldark Season 3.

Takeaway No. 1: Valentine is definitely Ross’ baby

Born a month early and with dark hair, baby Valentine is clearly Ross’ biological son. A modern DNA test could not make this truth any more obvious.

Ross (Aidan Turner) and Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) cannot even bring themselves to say it out loud or discuss it during Episode 1. Ross’ long run down the beach, before collapsing under the weight of this newfound reality, and his decision to cut ties with Elizabeth (Heida Reed) only bolsters that truth.

Elizabeth’s reaction to Ross withdrawing from the lives of those at Trenwith and her treatment of baby Valentine serves as even more evidence that Elizabeth knows Ross is the biological father of her son. The only odd thing about the episode’s seeming decisiveness on the matter is that Aunt Agatha curses baby Valentine, even though she clearly believes he is the son of her favorite nephew.

George (Jack Farthing) got everything he wanted in the Season 3 premiere of 'Poldark'
[Image by Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE]

Takeaway No. 2: George is pretty much unstoppable

George (Jack Farthing) is married to the woman Ross loves, is raising his child, and just took a position Ross foolishly turned down, which will give him more power than he has ever had. As far as Episode 1 goes, George is the biggest winner.

Takeaway No. 3: Star-crossed lovers continue

Dwight (Luke Norris) and Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) have finally gotten married and there are already two new star-crossed lovers ready to fill their shoes. Demelza’s brother Drake (Harry Richardson) arrived in Cornwall and only five minutes after arriving has already set his eyes on Elizabeth’s cousin Morwenna (Ellise Chappell).

As juicy as this plot appears at first, Demelza’s brother is now infatuated with her rival’s cousin — hasn’t this been done before? It just seems a bit superfluous, especially if Drake and Morwenna’s relationship has the same fairytale ending as Dwight and Caroline’s.

Takeaway No. 4: Ross’ decision jeopardizes his family

By the end of the episode, Ross decides to take off on a dangerous rescue mission to save Dwight, putting others before Demelza and his young, expanding family. Demelza is clearly conflicted over his decision and tears fall down her face as Ross heads out to sea.

Ross (Aidan Turner) decided to leave his family to rescue Dwight in Season 3, Episode 1 of 'Poldark'
[Image by

Demelza’s long-term health is in a precarious position. She is pregnant and the chances of something life-threatening befalling her are high. Elizabeth barely survived childbirth in this very episode.

If Ross were to die on this mission, he could leave his children without a father, and given the state of his wife, they could be left without a mother. Is Ross right to risk his entire family’s well-being for a friend?

It’s not like Ross is Dwight’s only hope to attain freedom. Caroline can afford to hire a team of men to track down and rescue her husband.

Takeaway No. 5: The Poldark cast is exceptionally talented

The performances in this episode were nothing short of profound, with Aidan Turner excellently conveying Ross’ inner turmoil at the realization his night with Elizabeth will live on forever.

Eleanor Tomlinson also has many great moments in Episode 1, although none are as touching or devastatingly poignant as the wordless glance Demelza exchanges with Elizabeth. In this brief scene, Tomlinson nails the electric tension of Mrs. Poldark seeing the mother of Ross’ new child for the first time.

[Image by Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE]

While Demelza has played second-fiddle to Ross’ affections for a long time, there has been one thing between them he and Elizabeth had not shared, until now. Demelza was the one and only mother of all his children. The loss of the only connection that separated her and Elizabeth spells the end of an era and Tomlinson’s Demelza knows it.

Elsewhere, Heida Reed and Jack Farthing give immaculate performances: Reed as the jilted ex and struggling new mom Elizabeth and Farthing as George Warleggan, the brilliantly calm counterbalance to his nemesis’ stormy temperament.

Will George’s Episode 1 winning streak continue? Will Ross be able to rescue Dwight? The official synopsis posted on PBS’ press site for Episode 2 hints that both men will be very busy with their latest missions.

Poldark Season 3 continues on PBS Masterpiece with Episode 2 premiering on October 8 at 9 p.m. EST. To read a full recap of the Season 3 premiere on the Inquisitr, click here.

[Featured Image by Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE]