Doc Martin

Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode Nine: 'Thicker Than Water'

Previously on "Doc Martin"...

At long last, Martin's de facto dog finally got a chance to shine! And by "shine," we mean "act a disease-carrying vector and infect the children of Portwenn with a skin ailment." It was fun. Martin and Louisa got into it when she encouraged the afflicted children to come to school even when Martin told them to stay home to reduce transmission. In the end, Louisa ended up getting hired as her school's new headmistress, though Martin declines to celebrate her promotion at the pub. (Poor Martin.)

This week's episode: "Blood Is Thicker"
Director: Ben Bolt
Writer: Jack Lothian

Life is not getting any easier for Martin ( Martin Clunes) in sleepy old Portwenn. As he heads out on a leisurely drive from Aunt Joan's house -- bam! -- he almost drives head-first into a pink sofa sitting in the middle of the road.

Luckily, Burt Large (Ian McNeice) is there to help him move the sofa out of the street, right? Wrong! As we learned early on in the series, the people of Portwenn are a kind people, but perhaps not the most helpful.

As if almost killing himself on the way to work wasn't enough, Doc walks into his office to find Pauline (Kathleen Parkinson) and Al Large (Joe Absolom) making out on his desk. Bold move, Pauline -- bold indeed. Looks like Al's over his infatuation with Elaine, at least for the time being.

Once the drama calms down, Doc sets to his daily routine of meeting and examining some of Portwenn's strangest inhabitants. Today he meets Wallace Flint (David Dawson), a wiry twenty-something complaining of "the runs." Apparently his brother is also ill and in need of a prescription, except "he's got blood coming out of him." Ew.

After gulping nervously at this mental image, Doc insists on visiting the Flint residence on the outskirts of town, or "the moors," as Wallace calls it. The house is a run-down old shack surrounded by junk, and an angry dog attached to a chain guards the entryway. Doc manages to dodge the salivating animal and makes it inside the Flint house.

Inside the dark, dank and creepy house, you get the sense that the Flints have an almost fanatical appreciation for taxidermy. Stuffed birds and beasts adorn the walls, and it appears that someone has been working on stuffing a canine on the kitchen table. That can't be sanitary!

Wallace's brother, Paddy (Del Synnott), is lying on the couch with severe stomach pains, but he looks quite displeased that Wallace has brought an outsider into the house. Wonder what this strange band of hillbillies has to hide? We probably don't want to know.

Soon Mr. Flint comes in looking peeved that his sons have allowed a doctor into the house. Being unafraid of confrontation, especially when it comes to medical needs, Doc tells Mr. Flint that his sons have salmonella poisoning and that if he could he'd like to examine. Mrs. Flint.

After being told over and over that seeing Mrs. Flint was completely out of the question, Doc finally makes his way out of this creepy and creaky old house.

Meanwhile, Al Large asks his dad for his birth certificate so he can get a savings account to buy a new bike. Burt changes the subject about the birth certificate and tells Al that he doesn't need a new bike. It seems that Al is starting to wonder whether Burt is actually his father -- Al has blue eyes and both his mother and Burt had brown eyes.

Another thorn in Doc's side is the town's holistic "doctor," who also happens to be Det. Mark Mylow's sister, Sandra (Julia St John). Doc is just about to barge into her office -- which happens to be in Mark's house -- when he sees that Louisa is there looking for a remedy for bad breath. Seems that Doc's insinuation that her breath was rank left quite an impression on her. Once Louisa leaves the room, Doc head into giving Sandra a piece of his mind. She's been prescribing herbs to people for ailments that should be handled by a doctor.

Doc heads back to the Flint residence to check on the boys. He goes back to the Flint residence. No one answers the door so he lets himself in. After walking through the house he decided to open one of the bedroom doors. Inside he finds Wallace and Paddy sitting in front of a woman -- perhaps Mrs. Flint? -- in a rocking chair. When they spot him they quickly jump up and move him out of the room.

Later that day, Doc passes Mr. Flint in town. Mr. Flint turns around call's Martin's name and proceeds to choke him up against a wall! He is upset that Doc showed up unannounced to his home, and he's even madder that he let himself in. Then, a split second later, Mr. Flint releases his grip and brushes Doc off, changing his tune from angry to civil and polite. Something tells us this Mr. Flint could use a mental examination.

The Flint saga continues. The next day, Doc gets a disturbing call from Wallace Flint, which sounds like someone is breaking furniture in the background. Doc grabs Mark and they head out to the Flint residence. Inside the house is trashed, and after a thorough search they find the boys in the bedroom, again sitting in front of a woman in a rocking chair. Doc moves around to the front of the chair and sees that it's Mr. Flint dressed like a woman!

Apparently Mrs. Flint left the family years ago, and Mr. Flint developed some kind of mental disorder that caused him to assume the identity of his estranged wife.

Mr. Flint is taken away for get help for his disorder, and Wallace and Paddy show their appreciation for Doc's help the only way they know how: By gifting him a stuffed dog.

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