Doc Martin

Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode 23: 'Better the Devil'

Previously on "Doc Martin"
In what was perhaps the biggest let down of a season finale, Louisa and Martin didn't go through with the wedding. They both got cold feet and decided it wasn't right. Louisa left Portwenn and wanted nothing to do with Martin, while Martin stayed in town and continued his work as the world's grumpiest G.P.

This week's episode: "Better the Devil"
Written by: Dominic Minghella and Ben Bolt

The episode opens with Martin's (Martin Clunes) two favorite things in life: blood and dogs. Martin has a bag with a bloody something in it, and he hauls it back to his practice...followed by a pack of dogs. It looks like it's liver in the bag - part of his attempt to get over his dear of blood. Unfortunately, once Martin gets into the office he vomits.

Aunt Joan (Stephanie Cole) stops by (impeccable timing) and she has a new dog with her named Buddy. Buddy ends up eating the liver -- and thoroughly upsetting Martin.

Bert (Ian McNeice) goes to see Martin about a "suspicious" mole. Of course, it's nothing, but he insists that he has a bad feeling about it. Pauline (Katherine Parkinson) barges in with an emergency at the elementary school - there's a student with a pencil stuck in her face, bleeding profusely. When Martin sees the girl, he has a bout of queasiness. And man, that pencil is really in there.

The girl doesn't even care, she just wants her favorite pink, sparkly pencil back.

Buddy can't seem to stop following Martin around. He's taken a shine to the good doctor, but it's no secret that he hates all things canine. Martin grabs the dog, puts him in the car and drives him back to Joan's house. Joan's friend Barbara (Georgie Glen) is there, and apparently she's a dog whisperer -- or, actually, a behavioral therapist...for dogs.

Later on, as Barbara bikes through town, she quite literally runs into a problem. Mrs. Tishell's (Selina Cadell) husband, Clive (Malcolm Storry), is nearly deaf and can't hear her ringing the bike bell to get out of the way. He swerves to the right, and she crashes into him, falls off her bike and passes out. Buddy the dog comes running down the street shortly after and won't leave Martin alone -- causing him to trip. Martin falls on a pile of broken glass and needs stitches for his hand. The nurse who does he stitches at the hospital isn't the brightest, and she messes up the sutures. His hand starts to bleed. Great.

Barbara wakes up in the hospital shortly after, but she's not well. Her stomach hurts and she's flushed.

Martin, meanwhile, runs into an old colleague from London -- Dr. Montgomery (Lia Williams). She ends up being Barbara's doctor.

And speaking of Mrs. Tishell's husband, he's back for good, it seems. His hearing's so bad that they can't use him as a general safety officer anymore so he has to stay home. On top of that, Clive is stubborn and won't see Martin about his problem. That really, really irks Mrs. Tishell. Pauline, meanwhile, is having sleeping issues because her brother snores. He got kicked out of the military because of his snoring problem, and now sleeps on the couch at home. It's become so bad that she starts falling asleep at the restaurant and at work.

One night, she decides to smother him with a pillow (always so reasonable, that Pauline). He wakes up, understandably miffed, and they fight over his snoring.

At this point, it really seems like the dog is obsessed with Martin. He's sitting outside the door, when Dr. Montgomery walks into Martin's patient room. She's kind of sassy and pedantic (remind you of anyone?), and asks him if they pay him in chickens in Portwenn. She came all that way to tell Martin that Barbara has a cyst and she's going to operate to remove it.

Back at the restaurant, Bert tells Al (Joe Absolom) he misses female companionship. He wants a girlfriend and asks Al if he can set him up. Al suggests a date with a woman named Kaitlin, but Bert's picky and says she's not his type. He ends up going out with her anyway, though, and she's pretty forward. In fact, she wants to take him home after one date.

Barbara runs into Martin in the afternoon, and tells him Dr. Montgomery didn't give her a CT scan to rule out any other illnesses before diagnosing her with a cyst. When Martin confronts her about the rash decision to solve a problem with surgery, she says to leave the surgery to the grown ups.

Martin won't take "no" for an answers. He goes to see Dr. Montgomery to get her to actually run tests. He insists she gives a CT, but she doesn't care for his opinion.

So what does he do? He hijacks Barbara and takes her for a CT on his own, completely bypassing all protocol. And of course, Martin is right. It's not a cyst. Barbara has diverticulitis, and she has be treated with medication.

Mrs. Tishell is completely fed up with Clive. She makes her husband's ear bleed by cleaning it it too hard, because she's convinced he just has a bunch of wax built up in there. She hides what she did from Martin and blames in on Clive. It turns out, his hearing problems aren't from the loud machines at work - he has an infection behind his ear drum.

Martin gets a call saying there's an opening in London for a surgeon position -- head of vascular. He's interested, despite his fear of blood, and starts to think it's time to move on from Portwenn. Montgomery shows up at his door to apologize for being rude and not listening to him about the CT. She wonders if he's ready for the position in London, given his problem. Before they can really discuss it, there's a knock at the door...it's Louisa (Caroline Catz). She's pregnant.

How's that for a season premiere?

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About the Author

Sarah Parvini is a Web Producer for KCET'S "SoCal Connected" and an award-winning multimedia journalist who has reported from different pockets around the globe.
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