Caution: Spoilers for Poldark Season 3, Episode 5 on PBS Masterpiece are discussed below.
In Episode 5, Poldark threatened to take Drake (Harry Richardson) away to the gallows for a crime he did not commit. The incident was fabricated by George (Jack Farthing), who used the trumped-up charges to force Morwenna (Ellise Chappell) into agreeing to marry the unseemly Rev. Whitworth.
For an hour, the fate of Drake and Morwenna’s forbidden love tossed and turned from one direction to the next. Could they find a way to make the impossible happen and be together? Not this week. Episode 5 concluded with Morwenna walking up the aisle with her new husband, as a crestfallen Drake looked on.
So why did this moment of utter despair only register sympathy for Morwenna? Perhaps it’s because she is the one suffering the fallout of Drake spending the entire episode doing absolutely nothing to prevent this outcome.
He simply carried out obnoxious behavior other people had to bail him out of, all the while being warned by Morwenna to stop. If Episode 5 proved anything, it is that Drake is not an appropriate suitor for Miss Chynoweth.
He spent the entire episode either filling George’s pond with frogs like a little boy, or laying around with Morwenna at the beach, while his sister, brother-in-law, brother, and countless Cornwall denizens were busy clearing land so people could farm it to eat.
Ross (Aidan Turner) suggesting that he give shares of his mine to a young man, who cannot even be bothered to do any physical labor, is ridiculous. It is a reach of nepotism destined to doom his business should it ever go through.
How has a man as diligent, hard-working, and intelligent as Ross, bought into Drake’s tale of sorrow? Is it guilt over the wound Drake sustained helping rescue Dwight? It is the only justification besides his being written out of character.
There were so many weird occurrences in this episode. Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) suddenly changed her mind to support Drake’s infatuation with Morwenna, and Ross went along with it as well, despite clearly seeing Drake is incapable of financially providing for himself, let alone a wife, and her family.
Demelza pledging to support Drake when he has done nothing to earn it is yet another fallacy. As previously discussed on the Inquisitr, Drake has barely lifted a finger since arriving at Nampara. Episode 5 revealed that he has been reveling in this arrangement for a year. In that time he has done nothing to build up any nest egg to prove to Morwenna that he is capable of taking care of her, or himself.
Ross and Demelza should not be expected to provide for Drake, his wife, and her family. They have a family of their own, and participate in philanthropic efforts to aid those who actively contribute to the community. Those left unemployed by George’s most recent act of malice have proven much more worthy of Ross and Demelza’s help than Drake.
It was infuriating to see Demelza, Ross, and others working their hearts out in Episode 5, as Drake frolicked at the beach with Morwenna, only strolling in to do what little work was left, after his latest romantic rendezvous.
Speaking of those romantic moments, let’s contemplate the scene where Drake showed Morwenna the bruise he sustained running away from trespassing on George’s land to terrorize him with the frogs. Was that supposed to conjure sympathy for him?
He was told to stay away from the property and he did it anyway. Drake brought that injury on himself. He might as well have hit himself with the instrument using his own hands.
Drake Carne may be one of the least sympathetic characters that television has seen in 2017. It leads one to wonder what it is that Morwenna could possibly see in him.
He behaves like a child, yet with less maturity than Geoffrey Charles (Harry Marcus), whose heartfelt gift Drake never even opened. That crucial tidbit, which Drake and Demelza were quick to point toward to support his innocence of theft, also hinted at the lack of genuine feelings Drake has for Geoffrey Charles. It is rather obvious he only used the kind and lonely kid to get close to Morwenna.
Just think, in the time Geoffrey Charles had to give Drake’s note to Morwenna, Drake never opened Geoffrey Charles’ gift. Who was behaving more like a friend? We never learn Geoffrey Charles’ response to Drake’s thinly veiled slight, but given the boy’s intellect, it should not take him long to figure out that he has only been a pawn to Drake and never a real friend.
There is nothing attractive about Drake’s character. He is selfish, self-pitying, and needy. The fact Rev. Whitworth is not husband material does not automatically qualify Drake for consideration.
He had his chance to prove himself and he failed. Not even Demelza can argue his case. Find out if she continues to try when Poldark Season 3 continues. According to PBS’s press site, Episode 6 will air on November 11 at 9 p.m. EST on PBS Masterpiece.
[Featured Image by Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE]