Welcome to another installment of KCET's Doc Martin episode recaps! Check back every week for new entries going live after the show!Doc Martin Rewind - Episode 12: "The Family Way"
If you happened to peek at a synopsis for this episode, you'll know that we get to meet Doc Martin's parents this time, for perhaps a peek into why he is the way he is.
From the moment he picks his parents up from the train station you can sense that there is tension in the air. His mother is stone-faced and refuses to speak to anyone. His father is jovial, but finds pleasure in poking fun at Doc's decision to quit his job as a surgeon to come to Portwenn: "Hope you didn't have to reschedule any important patient care, sore throats, lumbago"
Doc mentions the fact that they haven't spoken in seven years. Wow, there must have been some falling out or drama that unfolded more than half a decade ago. Could this be one reason why Doc is such a grump?
While driving his parents to his home, Doc sees Danny stranded by the side of the road with a broken-down car. Danny runs to Doc's window and politely asks for a ride. Doc grunts the affirmative and Danny grabs a bunch of home improvement equipment from his trunk.
Danny gets in the car and proceed to cough and hack, leading Doc to ask him if he has a chest infection. Nah, Danny has just been doing some sanding at his house, he's not sick. Doc suggests that Danny start using a breathing mask, but Danny brushes off that advice.
Doc's first patient is school administrator, Maureen, who is complaining about feeling tired, bloated and lacking a period. Thinking it might be the thyroid, Doc grabs her hands to examine them and she snatches them back and storms out. Seems that Maureen is a bit shy of the doctor's office and misunderstood what Doc was trying to do.
With his patients out of the way, Doc and his pops go to the local bar, The Crab, to catch up and have dinner. Inside Doc and his father are met by an effervescent Mark Mylow, who tells them that he's planning on proposing to new girlfriend Julie Mitchell. Doc's dad insists on buying a drink for Mark. Mark is going to ask Julie to marry him. Doc's dad is very interested in all of Doc's friends.
With dad in good spirits, Doc tries to ask him what is wrong with mom; she hasn't said a word to either of them since they got to Portwenn. Doc's dad shrugs it off, saying she's just tired. He changes the subject to Doc, asking him why he's in Portwenn and whether his moving out to the country is part of a midlife crisis.
Doc even tries to get his mother to talk to him, but she just stands there will a peeved look on her face. This is getting annoying, right?
Maureen is back in Doc's office to finish the examination she stormed out of a few days prior. She's describing her symptoms: hot flashes, irregular periods. Doc thinks its menopause and takes a urine sample from her to run a few more tests.
Doc and his parents head to visit Joan on her farm. His mother is still not smiling or talking, and Joan does not seem happy to see either of them. They sit for tea and Doc's dad -- who we find out is named Christopher -- drops a bomb on poor aunt Joan. He reminds her that half of the farm is in his name and that he would like her to pay him off for his half.
Of course Joan doesn't have $500,000 lying around, so he's really telling her that she's going to have to sell the farm. Upset at Christopher's rude suggestion, Joan kicks Doc and his parents off her property.
After what was a shocking meeting between his family members, Doc is back in his office, checking on Maureen's test results. He heads out to find Maureen so that he can give her the results, but runs into Mark Mylow, who is ecstatic that Julie Mitchell said yes to his marriage proposal.
Doc finally finds Maureen at the town talent show. She's in her dressing room preparing for her musical number. Not wanting to upset her he tells her to come by his office when she's finished with the show. Of course, she wants to know now. Doc finally tells her that she's not menopausal at all: She's pregnant.
Just then Roger Fenn walks in and sees his lady with tears in her eyes. Immediately angry that Doc upset her before her performance, it all changes when she tells him the good news: That, despite being 50, she's in her third trimester of pregnancy. "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," anyone?
Joan finds Christopher at the golf course and decides to confront him about his proposition. It's clear that he holds it against Joan that she had an affair while she was married. No amount of reasoning will change Christopher's mind: he is after his half of the assets and he's going to get them even if that means putting his sister out on the street.
With dad off playing golf, Doc confronts his mother again. This time she's ready to talk. In a matter-of-fact tone she explains to Doc that things were perfect between her and his father, but only before he was born. Terrible woman! "So I decided to make things like they were before you were born," she says. She sent him to boarding school and to Joan's farm every summer, but even getting him out of the house wasn't enough. Doc's father never looked at his mother like she was attractive ever again.
She then explains to Doc that they're broke because of a bad investment his father made, but that the only asset they had left was the villa, which is in her name. She has decided to leave Doc's father and to live with a man she fell in love with. As the icing on the cake, she explains that she's wasted 40 years of her life clinging to Doc's father, and that those years were wasted because Doc was born.
Wow these two are pieces of work. They just waltz into Portwenn, disrupt their family's peaceful lives and drop bombs of bad news and insults. No wonder Doc is a grump!
Queen of bad timing, Louisa comes by to apologize to Doc just as he has just been given this news by his mother. Louisa offers an ear for Doc if he wants to complain about his parents, but he responds with "Louisa, shut up!" and walks away.
Louisa heads out to Dannys' house where he's been sanding his floors pretty much since Doc dropped him off in the morning. He's sanding, he grabs his chest and falls over. Louisa calls Doc he heads over. Doc martin thinks Danny may have a collapsed lung. Being the good Doc that he is, he pokes a hole in Danny's chest and stabilizes him. An ambulance finally shows up and carts him off to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Doc heads to town to find Maureen to give her the results of the menopause test he conducted earlier. He finds her in her dressing room, preening before her big singing debut at the town talent show.
Doc has big news for 50-year-old Maureen: She's pregnant! Roger Fenn is the father and its almost too adorable how excited he is that his lady is preggo. They don't make a big deal of her age, which feels strange to my American brain -- we've conditioned by society and medical science to believe that childbearing is best left to younger, under-40 women.
Almost all the conflict is resolved at this point, but there's still the unanswered question about what Doc's dad is going to do with Joan's farm. After his upsetting conversation with his mother, Doc has had enough of his parents' selfish ways. He tells his father that he is selling his flat in London and will settle Joan's debt with that money. He then tells his pop not to ever come back to Portwenn.
Yeah Doc! Way to put your foot down and stand up for Joan, who was more of a parent than both of your real parents combined.