Doc Martin

Doc Martin Rewind - Episode 23: "Better The Devil"

Welcome to another installment of KCET's Doc Martin episode recaps! Check back every week for new entries going live after the show every Thursday.

Phew, what a whirlwind we went through as viewers at the conclusion of season 3 last week. Doc had asked Louisa to marry him, then all of a sudden they both decided it wasn't a good idea -- This is after Doc's scuffle with the minister and a number of other misfortunes.

Louisa promptly leaves town for a while, and who blames her? A failed wedding can be quite a mortifying experience in a small town where everyone knows your name and your personal business.

Life goes on, however. In this first episode of season 4, Doc is still seeing the same crazy patients and still blowing people off with his trademark attitude. One difference is he is finally trying to get a handle on his hemophobia. We see him hauling some unidentified organs (looks like a liver) to his office so he can poke around and resist the urge to puke (it's still not working very well at this point).

Pauline always looks bored when she's sitting in her receptionist's chair, but this time around she's especially tired and lethargic. Her brother has moved back into the house after being kicked out of the army, and his snoring has been keeping Pauline from sleeping through the night.

While Doc is examining a suspicious mole for Bert Large, he gets a call that there's an emergency at the school. He runs down the hill to find a small female student with a pencil stuck in her cheek. He takes a moment to hold back from puking and gets to work removing the pencil. As he's leaving the school he peeks into a classroom and sees what he thinks is the back of Louisa's head. Suffice it to say as soon as he opens the door he realizes its not her, but only after he manager to slam a kid's nose in the door.

Doc heads to Mrs. Tishell's pharmacy to pick up more supplies where he meets Tishell's loud and looming husband, Clive. He has gone deaf in one of his ears due to his work around heavy and loud machinery. Both Doc and Mrs. Tishell are visibly annoyed by Clive's need to yell, and Doc can't get out of there fast enough.

Al Large and Pauline continue their relationship, and it seems that Al's ready to take it to the next level. He cleverly throws a key to his place into the pot as they're playing poker. Pauline flubs her hand and allows Al to take the pot, including the key to his place, saying "maybe some other time." I think it was a rather cute way of asking a girl to move in, but I'm sure Pauline has her reasons for declining his offer.

Meanwhile, Doc is walking through town when he --literally-- runs into Clive. Doc chastises him for his clumsiness and yells at him to get his ears looked at. Before he can walk 20 feet away, Clive manages to get into an accident with local woman Barbara, who happens to be one of Aunt Joan's good friends. An ambulance is called and Barbara is taken to the hospital. Doc is seeing that she is taken care of when he trips over a dog and falls on broken glass, cutting open his hand.

Doc gets his hand stitched up at the hospital and checks on Barbara when he runs into an old acquaintance, Edith Montgomery, who is now a surgeon. Doc takes off pretty quickly after a fairly awkward exchange. He gets back to Portwenn and heads straight to Mrs. Tishell's pharmacy to give her husband the third degree about his condition.

Barbara gets out of the hospital the next day and runs into Doc on the street. She thanks him for his help, but tells him she's feeling strange about Edith's bedside manner. Apparently, Edith didn't do a CT scan before recommending that Barbara have surgery. Doc calls Edith and verifies this info, telling her she really should do a CT scan to rule out another cause of Barbara's continuing abdominal pain.

Barbara then goes to the hospital to wait for her surgery when Doc barges in, puts her in a wheelchair and wheels her down to the CT scanning room. The technicians argue with Doc until he drops Dr. Edith Montgomery's name. Doc manages to get the CT scan done and when Edith comes in to protest he shows her the screen: turns out Barbara doesn't need surgery because her problem is not a cyst, it's diverticulitis.

Back in Portwenn, Mrs. Tishell has had enough of her husbands shouting and forcibly swabs out his ear, causing him to bleed (eek!). She takes him to Doc's office where Doc orders him to have surgery to clean out an infection in his ear canal. With his hearing fixed he can then go back to work (much to Mrs. Tishell's pleasure).

After what seems like a very tiring day, Doc gets a visit from Edith. She has come to his surgery to apologize and catch up. He just gets finished telling her how he's planning on getting back into surgery as soon as possible when there's a knock on the door. It's Louisa. And she's pregnant. OMG!

That's where the episode ends, maddening of course. What's she going to say! What happens next! and more importantly. Who's baby!? Guess we'll just have to wait until next week to find out.


Best Doc rant: "Do you have any chest pain, dizziness or nausea? Then pull up your trousers and go away."

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I live walking distance to Dodger Stadium and have little dog named Dobby.
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