Life continues to be harsh for the villagers in Sawle. Some have taken to smuggling as the war in France rages. The lawmakers are taking a hard line on smuggling and are making their presence felt with frequent arrests. In addition to this, malnutrition has seen villagers fall victim to scurvy, something that Dwight has limited power to cure.
In her own little world, Caroline Penvenen is sulking over Dwight’s neglect of her since his fish bone extraction three months earlier. She writes to him and demands that he pays her a visit with a follow-up examination. He dutifully obliges and explains that he has had patients with more serious conditions to tend to. He tells her of the villagers who can scarce afford fresh fruits. She responds matter-of-factly that the poor should spend their money on oranges instead of gin and breed less. Dwight is offended by her attitude and returns the fee that she insisted on paying him for attending to her.While Ross has been busying himself with the mine, Demelza has taken upon herself to go fishing for pilchards by herself in order to keep the family fed. When Ross finds out he is angry. They fight as she retorts that at least one of them needs to make sure the household is looked after.
At Trenwith, Francis has a new gadget – a metal-detector. Aunt Agatha (Caroline Blakiston) is concerned that George has the power to send the family out on the streets, and suggests that Elizabeth pay him a visit. She is also missing Verity, who is happily settled with Captain Blamey (Richard Harrington) and nervously anticipating a visit from his adult children.
Despite all Ross’s hard work, they are still not having much luck with Wheal Leisure. To make matters worse, yet another shareholder has sold his shares to Tankard, George’s representative. Discussing their lack of success at Leisure, Ross and Zacky Martin (Tristan Sturrock) believe Mark Daniel (Matthew Wilson), who has been missing since he accidentally killed his wife in a fit of jealousy, may be their only hope. He had mentioned seeing copper in Wheal Grace just before his escape and may yet be able to confirm whether there is any hope for them.
While they consider this, smuggler Trencrom (Richard McCabe) comes to Nampara with an offer for Ross. He wants to use Nampara Cove as a landing spot for his ship, and his library as a hiding place for his smuggled goods. In exchange, Ross would be paid £200 – quite a hefty sum, especially back in the day. He accepts the deal despite Demelza’s protests of the risks of getting caught smuggling.
After seeing Dwight deliver what little fresh fruit he could gather to his patients in Sawle, Caroline asks Uncle Ray for some money and she secretly buys a barrel load of oranges and had them delivered to the villagers. At first, Dwight thinks it is Ross’s doing until he points out that his benefactor is someone else.
Dwight goes to Killewarren to thank Caroline for her oranges. He may decline her payment but she knows he would not deny his patients her gifts. In a long-awaited admission after months of flirtation, Dwight finally tells her that he likes her, too, but is rudely interrupted by Unwin and George (and makes me really want to punch him out! Thankfully, we do not have to wait long before Ross takes care of this as well).
Knowing that he cannot beat George on his own, Ross decides to sell half his shares in Wheal Leisure to George and uses the proceeds to re-open Wheal Grace. He convinces Francis to partner with him – two Poldarks are better than one! Francis accepts and is about to confess to Ross about his part in the demise of his Carnemore Copper Company when Ross stops him. He does not want to dwell on the past.
On his way to celebrate the new partnership with Francis, Ross bumps into George at the Red Lion. The banker boasts about buying more Wheal Leisure shares then tells Ross what Francis was about to confess to him. This enrages Ross, who gives up all restraint and a fight ensues. George’s boxing training is clearly paying off, giving as good as he got until the tavern owner kicks Ross out.
Outside, Ross runs into Dwight and then Blamey. Ross sends Dwight over to fetch Francis. Surprised by the encounter with his brother-in-law, Francis is about to turn to leave when Ross advises that it is time to put the past behind them and make a fresh start, just as he has forgiven Francis for his betrayal.
When Ross finally returns home, he finds Demelza has gone out to sea again. Now heavily pregnant, she is caught by the waves and is having difficulty returning to shore when she starts to go into labour. Ross rescues her even as they continue to argue. Once home, Dwight delivers a healthy baby boy – Jeremy.
The whole family is there to celebrate the baby’s christening and the opening of Wheal Grace. Ross tells Demelza his father had named the mine after his mother, who was his North Star and guiding light. He jokes that the Dog star is the brightest which is fitting because he found his guiding light in a dog fight. Happy ending!