Poldark, Final Season, Ep. 2

ned

Much of the episode takes place in London, where Demelza and the two children just arrived. Ned is out of jail! But he needs to clear his name because he wasn’t exonerated, but just released it seems. Ross discovers that Ballentine, Ned’s former secretary just happens to be in London.  If Ross can find Balletine, then Ned’s sure to be in the clear.

When Ned is in the mood for fun and he takes his wife Kitty to the Pleasure Garden. Ross and Demelza, Caroline and Dwight join them. As you’d expect the Kitty, who’s African American is insulted and stared at. Kitty defuses a confrontation and Ned & Co. leave.

Back in Cornwall, Tess, a new snakelike servant that Demelza has helped by giving her a job, is plotting to seduce Ross. She dreams of being the lady of the house. Prudie is on to her though.

George is amenable to signing a contract with a devil, i.e. Hanson, who’s made a fortune across the pond trading who-knows-what and who has no problem with the slave trade. The ghost of Elizabeth convinces George not to sign, making Uncle Cary hit the ceiling. This grief-induced madness is not funny.

Geoffrey Charles and Hanson’s daughter Cecily are getting cozy. Both are going back to Cornwall, where they’ll picnic on the beach, but this romance is headed for rocky shores as Cecily’s father wants her to marry the rich George.

Ross finds Ballentine and eventually convinces him to do the right thing. Ballentine writes a letter to state what a noble, just man Ned is. Ross discreetly circulates the letter. He wants to protect Ballentine. However, Demelza figures all and sundry should know how great Ned is. She gets Kitty and Caroline to help her hand out copies of the letter, which given that some very powerful people oppose Ned and make a lot of money off of the slave trade, endangers Ballentine and Ned.

Morwenna shows her maternal side when Valentine, who’s the spitting image of Ross, tells her how he expects his mother Elizabeth to return. She tries to sympathetically break the truth to the boy. Drake dreams of starting a family, but Morwenna recoils much as she’d like to oblige. She’s still traumatized by odious Ossy’s fetishes. One day . . . In fact my guess is that the series may end with Morwenna giving birth or at least getting pregnant.

An incredible futurist, Dwight spoke about mental illness and how criminals should not be held culpable when they’re not of sound mind. Caroline beams with pride at his lecture. A lawyer hears him and gets him to testify at the trial for the man accused of attempting to assassinate the King. This does not go down well with the elite.

The episode had plenty to like and characters who infuriated. George is still dangerous and Tess should be sent packing. Ross better not give in to her “charms.” Ross and Dwight champion justice. Cecily’s complex so I don’t know if she belongs with Geoffrey Charles, but she seems to.

Dwight’s ideas about insanity seem too modern for the era.  The ghost of Elizabeth seems rather false, hard to buy, but I suppose the actress also had a five year contract, which doesn’t make much sense since if you read the books, you know she died.

SPOILER ALERT

Ballentine’s body washes up on the shore. That’s what you get for pointing a finger at the powerful.

Advertisements

The Guest Book

Susan Blake took 10 years to write her novel The Guest Book.

Yikes!

Although the cover of my advanced copy claimed this as the “New Great American Novel” I found the structure of the novel confusing, the characters stereotypes and the plot contrived. I would have abandoned it except I was reading it for a new book club that I’m facilitating.

The story was about a rich WASP family (the term WASP is used in the book itself) that suffers some tragedy early on and then refuse to take in a Jewish boy from Germany during WWII. The patriarch of the three generations shown is in finance and his company invests in a company in Nazi Germany throughout the war.

The family owns an island and big summer home there. The idyllic summer home is an idol. The book shines light on the guilt and bigotry of the family. The chapters jump from era to era and managed to both bore and confuse me.

All the characters seemed similar. One granddaughter had epilepsy and that was the mark for her character. Most characters blended into each other.

I wish I didn’t have to read this whole book, but feel as a book club facilitator I should. The guest book in question isn’t mentioned till the last 85% of the book.

I hope the next book is better.

Published

Although I became resigned to the fact that the Korean police weren’t going to exert themselves in investigating my cyber crime, one friend of mine kept trying to find ways to move forward. I knew it was a futile effort, but I also know that this friend is more or less stuck in Korea till he retires in 10 years and that he was getting some satisfaction from the project. Every now and then he’d ask me to provide information as he tried to get lawyer friends to intervene.

While it was a lost cause, sometimes I think people can’t be talked out of things and that circumstances are the best teacher. I often liken this to learning to walk. The best coach is gravity. You can’t tell a child “If you try to go to fast . . .” or “If you put your foot down like that, you’ll probably fall.” They need the experience not words to teach them. So finally, my friend has concluded that nothing can be done. He needed several lawyers to convince him. When I started to try, he thought I was a quitter. It was best to let it work out this way.

Well, I did see that that experience should not be for naught. Ne’er do wells got away with something and they’ll try again. Yet vengeance is is foolish. One big problem that was as bad as the crime itself was that the police didn’t follow through and acted in a strange fashion. They went to the crime scene and collected evidence. They did some interviews and never looked at what they collected. Also, they refused to contact the internet services like Yahoo! and Google to obtain evidence. They gave me a song and dance about not being able to obtain the evidence, but both companies told me what was needed and I found out that Korea and the U.S. have a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty so investigation beyond the evidence they sat on was possible. As time wore on it was easier to see that any foreigner and many Koreans would have been ignored.

The only thing I could do, though perhaps not all that effective would be to write to the newspaper. They did publish my editorial which objectively calls for better services for crime victims. I realize few will read it, but I have the satisfaction of having done all I could. Here’s the editorial. Not my best work, but okay.

Also, if there’s any crime victims who need the text of this treaty along with the form and directions on how the police should fill it out and submit it, contact me.