Doc Martin

Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode 39: 'Sickness and Health'

Catch up on episodes of "Doc Martin" via our recaps here.

Previously on "Doc Martin"

Martin (Martin Clunes) defused a hostage situation involving an over-medicated Mrs. Tishell (Selina Cadell). In doing so, he finally one back the heart of fair Louisa (Caroline Catz).

For more, read the full episode recap here.

This week's episode: "Sickness and Health"
Directed by: Nigel Cole
Written by: Jack Lothian

Ah. And here we are, so many months later and so many cyclings and re-cyclings of the entire series run of "Doc Martin" later -- thanks for watching BTW! -- finally ready to return to Portwenn. Who would have thought that it would be so lovely to spend time in a quaint English seaside town with such a grumpy man?

So what has changed in Portwenn since the Mrs. Tishell incident? In some ways, not a whole lot. There are still gangs of slackjawed, teenaged girls wandering about, and Martin's still being a pill to his patients.

On the other hand, he's also putting on his absolute best suit and heading to the church. Yes, Martin is getting married.

In the walk up, we get reacquainted with all the "Doc Martin" regulars -- the Larges, PC Penhale, Aunt Ruth and Morwenna (a.k.a. Receptionist No. 3) -- and soon enough we (Martin included) are gazing upon the bridal radiance of Louisa. After the minister makes sure that both Louisa and Martin do, in fact, want to get married, he pronounces them husband and wife.


The reception goes well, by Portwenn standards. (Sample interaction, during Martin and Louisa's first dance as married couple: "Did you have dance lessons as a child? ... I thought not.") And it even concludes with a surprise that makes Martin resent humanity a little less, at least for a few minutes: The townspeople actually chipped in to purchase Martin and Louisa a honeymoon.

Bert Large himself chauffeurs the couple to what he claims in the most romantic spot in the area. They drive and drive through increasingly rural settings to arrive at a shack that wouldn't look out of place in a slasher movie. Louisa finds it charming, however, and Martin hardly has time to react when Bert mentions that Martin can "pay him later" for the "gift." Oh yeah, in his haste, Bert also neglects to unload the couple's luggage, meaning they must wear their wedding clothes for the duration of the honeymoon.

At this point, the action splits between the "romantic getaway" and life back in town.

In Portwenn:

Aunt Ruth is trying and failing to prove her worth as a babysitter. You'd be forgiven for wondering why the baby was entrusted to the least maternal woman in town, though she at least agrees that the baby food taste terrible.

When the power goes out, Ruth calls Al Large to fix the problem. He can't, and soon enough Penhale shows up as well to investigate. Soon enough, Bert shows up as well, as does a hunky electrician, Mike Pruddy (Felix Scott). Ruth, as you might guess, is not amused.

The electrician does get the lights on, however, and also offers Ruth advice on how to get the baby to stop crying: Rub vanilla essence on his gums. The baby, you see, is teething, and while the electrician could spot the symptoms instantly, a non-maternal woman such as Ruth couldn't spot the problem. The baby stops crying, all right. (And yes, I checked: Vanilla extract really is a folk remedy for teething pain.) Ruth, finally relieved: "If I hadn't been raised to show no emotion, I might cry myself."

And over at the love nest:

An attempt at a romantic fire fills the room with smoke. A walk in the country proves problematic on account of the fact that Louisa is *still* wearing her wedding dresses and heels. Then it gets dark. Then Martin's path back to civilization leads them to a river. Apparently keen to play the part of a dashing husband, Martin offers to carry Louisa over.

He promptly slings her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and while he successfully wades through the water, he only ends up taking Louisa onto the property of a gun-toting, trespasser-hatin' farmer.

Pointing a loaded rifle at Martin, the farmer orders him to repair a fence he broke when he stumbled onto the property. But when the farmer sets the firearm down for a moment to demonstrate proper manual labor form to Martin, Louisa seizes the opportunity to grab the gun. Now holding the farmer at gunpoint, she orders him to fix his own fence and apologize to Martin.

Of course, the farmer promptly dislocates his arm, forcing Martin to jam it back into place. And that's followed by Martin stumbling into a support on the man's porch, bringing down a shower of crazy pack rat junk onto everyone. The farmer scarcely has time to curse Martin's clumsiness when it's revealed that he's bleeding from his carotid artery. "In a few minutes, he'll either have a stroke or bleed out," Martin announces. With Louisa serving as surgical assistant (and her hair ornament serving as an arterial clip), Martin snips and clips the leaky tubing.

By morning, the bloodstained bride and groom are rolling the farmer in a wheelbarrow down a country road, hoping to get him to a hospital. It wasn't the perfect honeymoon, Louisa agrees, but it certain was memorable. And eventually a truck picks them up. "We're fine. It's not our blood." That's how they greet everyone back in Portwenn. And yes, that's how you return from a honeymoon and slip back into life per usual in Portwenn.

Welcome back!

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About the Author

Drew Mackie, associate producer of new media, liked shows about old British people before it became fashionable. He also says silly things on Twitter.
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