Previously on "Doc Martin"...
Last we saw the good doctor, he was treating auntie Joan's friend for dementia. As it turned out, it wasn't dementia and she was just severely dehydrated. Everything turned out okay. Meanwhile, all is not quiet on the romantic front. Things are awkward between Martin and Louisa, and before he can fix it she moves on with Danny, the nephew of the dehydrated-but-not-demented women. Whomp whomp.
This week's episode: "In Loco"
This week's episode begins with a shot of Martin's favorite creature, the shaggy dog who has been mysteriously lingering around Martin's home in Portwenn ever since he moved in. His importance will be revealed later. Cut to Martin (Martin Clunes) at his practice, where he sees a little boy for a skin infection, impetigo, which Martin explains is highly contagious. He can't go to school, and shouldn't come into contact with others. Too late for that, because he's been petting the dog, who also happens to be sitting right next to him in the office. (That's important, I promise.)
Down the street at the local fish and chip shop, Mrs. Cronk (Mary Woodvine) is having a back and forth with her son, Peter (Kurtis O'Brien) about the bills. She's not fully paying attention -- always a good idea when you have a boiling vat of oil in front of you -- and ends up sticking her hand and part of her arm into the fryer.
Martin rushes over and says she needs an ambulance. Mrs. Cronk, however, is stubborn, and says she can't leave the shop. Always the charmer, he shushes her. She proceeds to have an asthma attack. Great.
Mrs. Cronk is taken to the hospital, after all, and Martin orders her to stay there for a few days, per Martin's orders. But that means Peter needs a place to stay. Naturally, Martin says the equivalent of "Yeah, ok, when pigs fly." Instead, he pawns him off on Louisa (Caroline Catz), who, don't forget, is also Peter's teacher. Poor Louisa is already stressed out because she's studying for an interview. She's in the running to be promoted to headmistress at the school; the last thing she needed was for a student to be staying with her. Of course, he begins to pester her, asking her a hundred questions ("What are you reading?" "What are you working on?").
She promptly shushes him, which seems to be a trend in this episode.
Peter isn't happy after a scolding from Louisa, so he runs away to Martin's house. Martin can't seem to catch a break. He calls Louisa, asking her to come and get him when she's done working. No dice. Peter falls asleep on his couch. Score for Louisa.
In the morning, Martin walks Peter to school (aww). They bicker about whom Peter will be staying with (That's more like the Martin we know.) Upon arriving at school, Martin sees that the child he's treating for impetigo has disobeyed him -- he's not isolated at home. Apparently, it's because Louisa said it would be fine to come to class. Uh oh. It gets worse. Not only is the kid at school, he's fighting with other students. Yes. The germs, they are a-spreadin'.
After school, Martin and Peter go to visit Mrs. Cronk. Bert (Ian McNeice) and Al (Joe Absolom) are supposed to be watching her shop while she's at the hospital, but she feels uneasy about it. To make matters worse, Martin lets it slip that the duo isn't working together and that Bert is royally messing up. He can't even turn the oven on properly, bless his heart. Mrs. Cronk goes into an asthma attack. Nice one, Martin.
Good thing she has no idea that Bert drops fish on the floor and proceeds to cook it anyway....
Louisa and Martin have something of a heart-to-heart later on. She confesses that she likes him the way he is -- grumpiness and all. She also says that she would never try to disobey his doctor's orders or jeopardize her students' safety. Martin manages to mess up a nice conversation (again) by saying he's only going to give her support for the headmistress gig if she's the best candidate. Visibly upset, Louisa asks him why he always does this and then leaves.
Good question, Louisa. The world may never know.
Did I mention Peter also has the mystery rash now? It's spreading through town. Back at school, Louisa keeps telling kids it's ok to come to class. Martin is livid -- especially after their last convo, where she said she respected his opinion == and proceeds to berate her. He gets a few good hits in, but his best line by far is: "In years to come, when archaeologists unearth the ruins of Portwenn, someone will ask: 'How did this unspeakable disaster occur?' How? Because Ms. Glasson said."
Small note, though. That rash? It's not impetigo. Martin was -- dare I say it? -- wrong.
Suddenly, everything is great down at the fish and chip shop. Bert is selling like crazy, and people are lined up to get some of his fish. Al suspects something is up, but his dad says "it's all in the wrist" and he's managed to perfect the art of frying.
Mrs. Cronk comes back to find her shop thriving, but she can't take over for another week, so Bert continues to run the place.
Al decides to follow Bert around to get to the bottom of things. Turns out Bert has been paying the pub for fish and chips -- and paying more for them than Mrs. Cronk sells them for. Yes, he's selling at a loss. Only he's not...because Al later discovers that he's been getting the food at-cost and doesn't owe a penny. So this whole time, Bert has been scheming to get cash from Al.
Results come back from the lab, confirming that the mystery illness is a form of zoonosis -- any infection disease that travels between species and especially between humans and animals. In this case, i9t's a rash that is passed through animals to humans. Or, as Martin puts it because he's so charming, it's "passed most commonly to children because they're disgusting."
Wondering how the kids got a rash from an animal? It was Martin's mangy mutt, of course. Martin wants him "destroyed," but the dog can be treated very easily. He's told that he can't put the dog down based on the Dangerous Dog Act of 1991 (seriously), so he resorts to giving the dog medicine.
Side note: The people of Portwenn, like many of those from the U.K., pronounce "law" as "lawr." It sounds kind of like "lore." Thank goodness for subtitles, eh?
After a heated interrogation by the Board of Governors (which includes Martin), Louisa is offered the headmistress position. She's calmed down since their last spat, and even extends him an invitation to come down to the pub and celebrate with her.
Later on at the pub, everyone is toasting her success--except Martin. What's his deal? She looks on to see him in front of his office, looking down at the crowd. He walks into his office, opting not to celebrate.
Of course, the dog is waiting for him.
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