Welcome to another installment of KCET's Doc Martin episode recaps! Check back every week for new entries going live after the show every week.
By now, it has become clear that every episode of Doc Martin follows the same template. There's a unifying plot centered on some kind of medical emergency of sorts, and within that ongoing conflict there's Doc's annoyance with everyone he encounters and plenty of Doc-Louisa sexual tension.
Here in episode 8, the medical emergency is an outbreak of a skin infection that has left many of the village schoolchildren covered in painful blisters. First it starts with Bobby and spreads to Peter Cronk and a handful of kids.
At the same time this infective outbreak is happening, Louisa is vying for the headmaster/mistress job at her school. Doc Martin just happens to be on the board tasked with interviewing and hiring for the position, but of course he makes sure that Louisa doesn't expect any favors from him (what an arse!).
Things get messier in Portwenn when Peter Cronk's mother accidentally burns her hand in hot oil at their fish & chips shop. Doc rushes to her side, but she has to spend a few days in the hospital on account of her burns and her severe asthma. This leaves Peter Cronk on his own and in Doc's care.
Of course, being the child-hating grump he is, Doc pawns Peter off on Louisa, who is busy preparing for her grueling upcoming interview for the headmistress gig. After being told to leave the room by Louisa, Peter sneaks out of the house and shows up on Doc's doorstep. Peter has taken a liking to Doc and seems to look up to him, despite always being treated like a nuisance.
The skin infection has spread to many other children in the school, including Peter Cronk. The problem being that many of the parents can't afford to keep the kids home from school -- they all have to work and can't spare the expense of hiring a babysitter. Doc gives Louisa the third-degree for allowing the children to remain in the classroom.
As he always does, Doc talks over Louisa when she tries to explain that she has taken precautions to keep the sick kids away from the healthy ones. Doc is always perturbed that people don't listen to his medical advice, but he, too, has a hard time listening to what other people have to say. Maybe he should take some of his own advice.
After yelling at Louisa more than once in this episode, Doc learns that the skin infection is not the contagious Impetigo he thought all along, but instead a staph infection passed from animals to humans. That bloody dog!
All Doc has to do is inject the schoolkids with penicillin and they're cured. But first he has to sit on the board while candidates for the headmaster/mistress positions are interviewed. During Louisa's interview, one of the boardmembers firmly questions her decision to ignore Doc's recommendation to keep the kids home from school.
She has an equally firm answer back, showing that she knows not only the schoolchildren, but the parents and she is sympathetic to the needs of the families.
Gulp! Doc Martin knows he's in big trouble now.
After getting an earful from an angered and betrayed Louisa (Doc totally told on her to the board!), Doc goes about his business to cure all the ailing kids. After finishing with Peter Cronk, Louisa comes in and apologizes because she got the job!
She invites him for a drink at the pub, but of course he doesn't go. Instead he just gazes down at her from his office, they make eye contact and he goes inside. What is WRONG with this guy?
Best Doc Rant: Pauline, get PC Mark Mylow on the phone. Tell him there's a dangerous dog on the loose. I want it caught and put to sleep ... Destroyed, Pauline. Killed. Sent to that big doggy basket in the sky!
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