This episode will be streaming online for three weeks from January 8 to 29. Catch episodes of "Doc Martin" that aren't currently streaming via our recaps here.
Previously on "Doc Martin"
With Bert Large unable to pay off a loan shark, Al takes matters into his own hands. Meanwhile, Martin and Louisa fight over Eleanor's child-rearing skills.
For more, read the full episode recap here.
After so many years of fawning over the good doctor (Martin Clunes), Mrs. Tishell (Selina Cadell) finally thinks she has a chance with him, now that his on-again-off-again relationship with Louisa (Caroline Catz) is firmly in the "off" position. In order to rise to his level, though, she has become interested in nootropics, prescribed pills that allegedly increase one's intelligence.
But this is a comedy, and it wouldn't be a comedy without complications, as evidenced by the sudden arrival of Mrs. Tishell's husband Clive (Malcolm Storry), back from months working on the oil rig. "I have decided to retire," he tells her, explaining he wants them to live large while they still have time. Despite Mrs. Tishell's objections, he wants to buy a mobile home and go exploring. But first, he has to see Dr. Ellingham about his arthritis.
At the Surgery, Martin deals grumpily with two young people on their honeymoon, Mallory and Michael Wilson (Louise Ford and Jamie Davis), the female half of which has come down with a rash on her face. Diagnosing it as stubble rash and sending them on their way (advising him to shave at least twice a day and the both of them to limit excessive kissing), Clive comes in and gets examined. Noticing that one of Clive's legs is swollen, Martin is sad to report that he may be suffering from deep vein thrombosis and needs to get scans immediately, lest he has a blood clot that could travel to his lungs and kill him instantly.
Meanwhile, a terrible case of the flu is going around the school, causing the lunchlady to call in sick. With little option, the school brings in Bert Large (Ian McNeice) to cook up lunch for the day, much to Louisa's chagrin. With no options, as she cannot let her and Martin's infant son spend one more minute in the disease-ridden school and since her mother is recovering from surgery, she brings baby James to Martin and asks him to look after him for the next couple days. But since he'll still have to treat patients, they decide to hand James over to receptionist Morwenna (Jessica Ransom). Still, Martin only has a couple weeks left before he leaves Portwenn forever and returns to London, so he should probably be getting as much time in with his son as possible.
Clive returns to the surgery with Mrs. Tishell, along with his hospital scans. Martin's diagnosis is confirmed, meaning that he must inject himself with heparin on a daily basis. Upset that he'd basically have to stab himself in the stomach every day for the rest of his life, Clive brings Mrs. Tishell in, who administers the injection for him. Meanwhile, Martin notices that Mrs. Tishell is getting along swimmingly with James, and when she offers to look after the child during Martin's busy day, he agrees, saying he'd swing by and collect him at lunch. Mrs. Tishell's eyes widen at the word "lunch," misunderstanding his words for a secret romantic advance.
At the school, Louisa is in the midst of battling Bert over his insistence of changing the menu (and thus influencing the schoolchildren's very strict school diet) when her mother Eleanor (Louise Jameson) arrives with some mad news: she's leaving Portwenn later that day, insisting that she can no longer face winter in their tiny little village and will be heading south. She insists she doesn't want Louisa to feel like everybody is deserting her, but now that it's been put into words, Louisa can't think of anything else.
At Mrs. Tishell's place of business, she is just about to close up for lunch when the honeymooners arrive, Mallory still having a rash. No worries, though, since the good doctor realized his misdiagnosis: since they're honeymooning at what they refer to as "the Castle," they have been using the free toiletries, many of which contain nuts. Short story, Mallory has a nut allergy, and he has sent them to the Chemist for a new prescription. Mrs. Tishell, however, woefully misunderstands their presence, and when she hears of their love for each other as well, that Martin "sent them" to her, and that they were at "the Castle," she thinks it a message directly from Martin to her, another declaration of love. As she gathers up her things to go to "the Castle" to meet her beloved, PC Penhale (John Marquez) comes in with his own prescription, one that would help his poor flu-infected eyes from their hurt, bloodshot state of being. On her way out, taking baby James along with her, Mrs. Tishell hastily throws his prescription at him and leaves.
But when Penhale nearly causes a traffic accident only moments later, Martin and Ruth (Eileen Atkins) arrive at the scene and realize what happened: Mrs. Tishell gave him pilocarpine instead of atropine, which in turn temporarily blinded Penhale. With no options, the three of them break into the Chemist, grab the correct eyedrops for Penhale, then look far and wide for Mrs. Tishell. Visiting the upstairs living quarters, Martin is shocked to find a shrine dedicated to him, a collection of newspaper clipping fastened onto the inside of Mrs. Tishell's armoire.
Looking through the belongings, Ruth stumbles upon the pills Mrs. Tishell has been taking paroxetine for social anxiety and modafinil for intelligence. Separately, those pills are harmless, but taken together, it causes psychosis. Basically, there's "a drugged-up lunatic running around town" with Martin's baby. And she's left a note.
I got your message, I will meet you at the Castle.
After assuring Clive that Martin has no intentions of bedding his wife, Martin et al stop by the school, tell Louisa the bad news, then take her along as they race to the fancy upper-class Castle Hotel, where they are sure they will find Mrs. Tishell and James. After arguing with the young, inexperienced front desk clerk, Martin, Louisa, Ruth, and Penhale learn that there is a "Mrs. Smith" who checked into the hotel asking for a baby cot. Not only that, but Mrs. Smith is checked in to join the Edmonson party downstairs. And so the Portwennians crash nothing less than a wedding reception screaming after a Mrs. Smith, who turns out to very much not be Mrs. Tishell.
Just then, Mrs. Tishell calls Martin and tells him that she's waiting for him. They're at the wrong "Castle," but what's the right one? Martin calls up Morwenna and asks where the young newlyweds were staying, learning that they were actually honeymooning at Pentire Castle.
Finally reaching Pentire Castle, the group finds Mrs. Tishell there, standing at a window high atop the tower. As Penhale finds a way to climb the tower, Louisa and Ruth hide while Martin tries to yell up to the woman experience the psychotic episode. But Mrs. Tishell, of course, mistakes this for a romantic gesture right out of "Romeo & Juliet." He tries talking her down, but the plan hits a snag when Mrs. Tishell sees Penhale climbing up to her. Asking why he called the police, Martin uses Louisa's advice and tells her that he brought Penhale so they could share their wonderful love.
And then Martin launches into a heartfelt monologue:
"I'm a difficult person, and I waited so long because I'm...an idiot. I think I've known how I've felt since the first time I met you. From the first time I saw you. And I know I'm hard to talk to sometimes. I'm aware of that. And I do hate Portwenn. I hate the people, their pinched faces and their ridiculous accents, and their unerring knack of catching any virus that comes with a five-mile radius! They spread contagion like a bush fire! But it's where I want to be, because you're here. Because when I'm with you [looks at Louisa], nothing else matters. What I'm trying to say is... I love you."
Moved by his words, Mrs. Tishell comes down, allowing Martin to grab James away from her. Not understanding what's going on, Ruth informs Mrs. Tishell of her dangerous pharmaceutical cocktail, then demands that Penhale *not* arrest her for kidnapping a minor. With Clive on his way, the terrible situation is finally over.
Walking around the castle, Louisa asks Martin if he really meant what he said. Yes, all of it. Moved, she tells him that she waited so long for him to say such nice things that she had just about given up, but now that she knows his true feelings, even if he told them to somebody else, perhaps they can start anew.
Hey! I Know That Actor!
Malcolm Storry, who plays Clive Tishell, has been seen on such British television programs as "The Shadow Line," "The Knock," "Dogfood Dan and the Carmarthen Cowboy," and "The Singing Detective." American audiences may know him better as Phelps in "The Last of the Mohicans" and as Yellin, the Chief Enforcer of Florin, in "The Princess Bride."
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