Ever since Ross (Aidan Turner) returned to Cornwall, Francis (Kyle Soller) has often appeared insecure when dealing with matters related to his tall, dark and handsome cousin. The biggest matter in that mix has to do with his wife Elizabeth (Heida Reed). Considering that she and Ross were once in love, Francis has a tough time feeling adequate in his marriage.
On more than one occasion, Francis has dramatically presented these feelings to Elizabeth before promptly disregarding her attempts at setting the record straight. Rather than try to make things right with Elizabeth, Francis has turned to gambling and a prostitute for solace. Elizabeth suspects her husband is being unfaithful, but is yet to have concrete proof of any extra-marital dalliances.
One day, a distressed Francis encounters Ross while on his way to tend the family’s mine. Immediately, Francis becomes defensive and paranoid.
Francis: “Did my father send you?”
Ross: “Why would he?”
Francis: “[To] read me the riot act: tell me what I’m doing wrong. Or was it my wife, huh? Does she think I’m falling short of the mark?”
Ross: “Is she wrong to be concerned?”
Francis: “What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”
Ross: “What she suspects, might.”
As Francis continues down the path of defending his actions, he is stunned to learn about Ross’ marriage to Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), a servant turned bride.
Francis: “Gaming, whoring…what gentleman doesn’t occasionally indulge?”
Ross: “This one.”
Francis: “Since when?”
Ross: “Since my wedding.”
Francis: “Your kitchen maid? Ross, surely you must see – with such a wife, you cannot hope to have entry into any respectable gathering. You will cut yourself out of society. You would consign yourself to…”
Ross: “To a life of peace and seclusion? I must try to bear it as best as I can.”
In this moment, Francis has opted to theorize what Ross’ marriage to Demelza will mean for his cousin, instead of paying more attention to the troubled state of his union with Elizabeth. With that in mind, do you think Francis should focus more on fixing his struggling marriage and less on Ross’ joyous nuptial?
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