Episode spoiler warning: Ross and Demelza finally give in to their feelings and turn rumours and innuendo into fact. Oh, and the infamous shirtless scything scene!
Wheal Leisure is finally open for business. Grambler, meanwhile, continues to struggle. Behind in paying their wages, miners begin to defect to work at Leisure instead. Elizabeth gives birth to a baby boy but Francis looks anything but happy. Elizabeth tells Ross she had hoped that he would be the baby’s godfather but Francis chose George, who never seems to be far from his side.
In the middle of his speech at the baby’s christening, Charles collapses from a heart attack. He tells a terrified Francis that he needs to step up and start paying more attention to the running of Grambler. As if Francis is not already jealous enough of his cousin, his own father tells him to take a look at how Ross is running his own mine – by rolling up his sleeves and working alongside his workers. This is how you earn their loyalty.Back at the poorer end of town, Ross finds out Jim’s girlfriend, Jinny (Gracee O’Brien), is pregnant and he is poaching pheasants on nearby properties, which is a capital offense, to raise money to support his family. Ross offers one of his abandoned cottages to Jim and Jinny to be its caretakers so that they can be married and live together and stop poaching.
Unfortunately, Jim breaks his promise and is caught red-handed. Ross tries to plead for leniency with the magistrate who is also the owner of the property on which Jim was found, to no avail. A hasty trial is scheduled. Ross testifies to Jim’s character in court and tells them that Jim would not survive time in prison due to ill health. When the magistrate refuses to accept Ross’ testimony as an excuse for the crime, Ross loses his temper and Jim receives a two-year sentence.
Returning home a little worse for wear after getting drunk at the Red Lion, Ross finds Demelza wearing a beautiful silk dress which she had taken from his chest. He angrily accuses her of crossing the line, rifling through his personal effects, and threatens to send her back to her father. Feeling immediately contrite, he attempts to apologise. He kisses her but quickly withdraws, feeling the inappropriateness of his actions.
As Ross continues to digest all the things that happened that day, Demelza enters his room, asking for help to remove her dress. (Side note: Demelza claims she needs help to undo the ties behind her dress but somehow she had put it on that way without help. Minor technicality – all we wanted was for the next bit to happen!) Ross tells Demelza that he did not take her away from her father so that he could bed her which is all that the entire community thinks is happening. Demelza puts up no argument. If that is what everyone already believes is happening anyway, then why not let it be the truth?
The morning-after can be an awkward thing. Demelza chooses to sneak away from Ross’ bed quietly and bask in her glow with Garrick, her best friend, her dog. For Ross, there is still work to be done, and that work of clearing the fields is a sweaty job. Who knew that scything could look so sexy? Never mind the countless scything experts that have come out and protested the nature of shirtless scything – it is a spectator sport in Nampara and we all got a front row seat.
Hours have past and finally Ross asks for Demelza. Jud and Prudie tell him the last they saw of her, she was leaving with her dog. Ross follows and finds her with her belongings, leaving him behind. She tells him she can no longer be his servant after what happened between them. Ross agrees – and makes her his wife.