Doc Martin

Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode 30: 'The Wrong Goodbye'

This episode will be streaming online for three weeks from October 30 to November 20. Catch episodes of "Doc Martin" that aren't currently streaming via our recaps here.

Previously on "Doc Martin"

When Louisa finally learns that Martin is leaving Portwenn for London, their relationship collapses, leaving the security of their unborn child in question.

(Read the full episode recap of "Do Not Disturb" here.)

This week's episode: "The Wrong Goodbye"
Written by: Jack Lothian
Directed by: Ben Bolt

It's Martin's (Martin Clunes) last day in Portwenn before he relocates to Imperial College London, and his Surgery is now overstuffed with prospective patients. But first, he must deal with the falling out between him and ex-fiancée Edith Montgomery (Lia Williams), having recently refused her advances in a hotel room setting. He tells her that he had his reasons for denying her, and she tells him he's afraid of intimacy, accepts his [non-]apology, and tells him she'll see him soon in London.

As the day goes on, Martin continues to see patients (many of whom have no actual medical complaints), one of whom is brought in by Tommy (Nigel Betts), who is struggling to keep his one-car taxi fleet afloat. Suffering from constant migraines, he asks Pauline (Katherine Parkinson) for some medication, only to be intercepted by the good doctor. Advising him to save his liver by not taking too much medication, especially since a quick examination reveals the culprit may not be migraines, Martin tells him that next time he gets a headache, perhaps the best medicine would be to simply wait for them to go away.

Across town at the school, a very pregnant Louisa (Caroline Catz) speaks with Tasha (Sophie Thompson), who has been run ragged trying to teach the schoolchildren a choreographed dance for that day's Harbor Day festival. With Pauline giving Martin an extra-long lunch as a present on his final day, Martin stops by the school to talk with Louisa about financial considerations for their soon-for-this-world child. Handing her over an envelope with a spreadsheet and post-dated checks, he finally opens up. "I appreciate that you may be somewhat upset with me," he tells her, to which she responds that she feels sorry for him, that he won't be there to hold his baby and create a lifelong connection at the moment of delivery. He calls bollocks on that pseudo-science, informing her that a number of studies say that babies can't make person connections that early in life, to which Louisa scoffs and turns away. Wishing each other good luck, they leave in opposite directions.

After diagnosing one final patient (who decided to treat his hernia by putting a cricket ball down the front of his pants), Martin and Pauline say their goodbyes. With Martin pausing a tad too long to thank her for all the help she's provided, Pauline turns the tables on him one last time, pretending to insinuate that he was hitting on her. With a final laugh, their business relationship ends. As he packs up his belongings, Auntie Joan (Stephanie Cole) stops by with one final dinner, along with advice that he should face up to his responsibilities and be there for Louisa and their unborn child.

But the town isn't done with him yet, and when Martin stops by the Chemist to settle his outstanding bill, Mrs. Tishell (Selina Cadell) hands him a homemade yellow jumper with the words "MARTIN" stitched into it, then steals a kiss from him. Bolting out of the Chemist, Martin wanders by the school and sees Tasha nearly pass out. Pointing out that she's slurring her words, Martin is still stumped as to what ails her. She never drinks, she says, but has a long history of low blood pressure. It's simply her lot in life.

With the Harbor Day festival finally up and running, Martin gets into his car and takes his leave. But as he passes by the beach, Martin witnesses Tasha, having inserted herself into the dance number because none of the kids were doing the choreography correctly, collapse to the ground. Rushing to her aid, he can't seem to find her blood pressure. Something must be happening to the part of her brain that controls speech and balance, but what? Learning finally that Tasha is married to Tommy (of Tommy's Taxis), he asks if she has ingested any cleaning chemicals. But since this is Portwenn, the truth is far stranger. Bert (Ian McNeice) and Al Large (Jo Absolom), who are at the festival selling vodka-and-cranberry-infused lemonade, admit to selling their leftover chip oil to Tommy so he can make his own taxi fuel. Martin begins screaming at them, informing them that Tommy and Tasha have been inhaling methanol fumes. The only way to counteract the illness is to have them drink alcohol, telling them that "the alcohol stops the body converting the methanol to formaldehyde, which is a poison. Bert hands over a bottle of vodka, and Martin creates a makeshift vodka IV drip.

But that's not all. Where's Tommy? Why, he's in his taxi driving Louisa to the airport. Handing over the IV drip to Pauline, Martin grabs another bottle of vodka, jumps into his car, and races after the taxi, hoping above all hopes that Tommy and his pregnant ex-girlfriend aren't yet dead.

Along the road, Louisa receives a call from Martin, but as they are in a cell phone black spot, she cannot hear Martin's instructions. No matter, as Tommy begins hallucinating behind the wheel, says it's snowing, and crashes his taxi into a boulder. Martin arrives at the scene of the accident to see that while Pauline is fine, Tommy is not. Alas, the bottle of vodka broke in the back of Martin's car, and so he calls Pauline back in Portwenn, gives her his location, and asks as to where the nearest pub is.

On their way to the pub, Martin forgets to turn off his cell phone, and so Pauline can hear everything happening on Martin's end of the call. Turning it on speakerphone and holding it up to a microphone for all of Portwenn to hear, the town listens as Martin brings an unconscious Tommy into the pub, where he immediately begins arguing with and insulting the bartender. Upset with the medical ignorance of Portwenn, Martin declares his frustrations. "Idiots like this think they can do what they want regardless of the consequences," his voice echoes throughout Portwenn as he forces pure alcohol into Tommy's system, "so long as they're saving money, leaving people like me to clean up their mess." Angrily informing him that people makes mistakes, and that's what makes them human beings, Pauline suddenly doubles over. Her contractions have started.

As the ambulance arrives at the pub for Tommy, the paramedics find that they now have two medical emergencies to attend to. With Martin bombarding her with instructions and questions, Pauline demands that she can take it no longer, and that Martin must wait outside while she births their child. Helping a paramedic get the overweight Tommy into the ambulance, Martin returns to the door, listening to the delivery but unable to do anything. But just as Pauline begins to feel guilty for her treatment of Martin, he opens the door with force and comes back inside.

"I know you don't want me in here," he tells her, "but I have to tell you I was wrong. I was wrong about you, about leaving, about everything. When I saw that taxi, I feared the worst." They kiss. As the delivery proceeds with the town listening in, Bert starts going around taking bets on baby names. "Martin, 500 to 1," he cries out with glee. And when the delivery concludes, and Martin declares that the child is a boy, the town cheers in triumph.

However, Martin's hemophilia returns, and he hands the child to Louisa, goes outside, and vomits. As the bartender pops a bottle of champagne, Martin returns, where Louisa tries to hand him their boy. After stating that he doesn't think he's very good with babies, he finally relents, holds the child before him, and as the two beings stare at each other, a moment occurs, and Martin manages to smile...barely.

"Don't worry," Louisa tells the baby, "You'll get used to him eventually."

"Head's a bit misshapen," Martin tells Louisa. "Should rectify itself in six weeks or so. If not, he might need a small procedure." Louisa glares at him. "What?"

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Sophie Thompson, who plays Tasha, is Emma Thompson's younger sister and an Olivier award-winner of the stage ("Into the Woods," "Dancing at Lughnasa"). Her television work includes "Nelson's Column," "A Traveller in Time," and 87 episodes of "EastEnders" as well as performances in such films as "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," "Eat Pray Love," "Gosford Park," "Emma," "Persuasion," and "Four Weddings and a Funeral."

Nigel Betts, who plays Tommy of Tommy's Taxis, is best known for playing Eddie Maurice Hope on "Emmerdale," as well as work on "Grease Monkeys," "The Eustace Brothers," and "Paradise Heights."

Like Doc Martin? Donate to KCET and choose a related thank you gift.

Choose a gift

About the Author

Marcus Gorman is a pop culture writer and the author of the novel triceratops.
RSS icon