Previously on "Doc Martin"...
Martin tried to treat Mr. Cooke for his god-awful stench. Turns out, his pet bird had been caught in his bag, died and was rotting. Portwenn public radio personality Caroline was suspected by most of the town to be an alcoholic. Even Martin thought so. He was wrong, and she was suffering from ketoacidosis. Need to catch up more? Read the episode ten recap here.
This week's episode is a frustrating one -- more so than usual, actually. Martin (Kathleen Parkinson) calls to tell him of another visit he needs to make but he has no reception (which is among the worst of first-world problems). To make matters worse, he has a run in with the dog he loves so much and walks past Louisa (Caroline Catz) and Danny (Tristan Sturrock) sitting on a bench having a moment together.
Martin gets to the next house call, where Phil Pratt (Roger Lloyd-Pack) says his wife can't get out of bed because she's weak and breathless. Martin begins to lecture Helen Pratt (Jean Trend) for not coming in to the office when she first started feeling sick, but she's having a stroke in the interim. She dies right there, and Aunt Joan (Stephanie Cole) walks in to see it.
Phil starts day drinking -- can you blame him? -- but then he gets angry and kicks both Martin and Joan out. He somehow has it in his mind that Martin could have prevented Helen's death. Joan is understandably upset over her friend's passing. Martin has no tact, so the most comforting response he can muster is, "Well, life goes on -- not for Mrs. Pratt, obviously." Because that's what people in mourning want to hear.
Back at the office, Pauline finds out she's been accepted to the Portwenn lifeboat crew. She's really excited about it, but Al (Joe Absolom) seems a little jealous of the attention she's giving to Ross (Finlay Robertson), who is also part of the crew and whom you may remember as the surfer dude paramour of Mrs. Brading in the "Doc Martin pilot.
Martin gets called to another emergency, this time at the school. There's a fishbone stuck in a student's throat, and Louisa is freaking out. The good doctor successfully removes the bone, but the kid also throws up on him. So much for gratitude, eh? Don't worry Martin, it could be worse: It could have been blood.
While all this is going on, Louisa introduces Martin to a new teacher, Tricia Soames (Rebecca Callard). She seems a bit off, and she has problems with sore on her hands. But Martin is bitter about all these housecalls he's been making, so he won't give her the time of day until she makes an appointment at his office. So professional, and not petty at all.
Phil Pratt is still having a hard time coming to terms with his wife's death. In fact, it's turned him into quite the jerk. He throws a plate through Joan's window and goes off about how he doesn't want her near his house. Clearly, he feels guilty about something--we just don't know what...yet. A little later, Joan is driving down the road when a truck loaded with pesticides nearly drives her off the road in a fit of what can only be described as pure L.A. road rage. He's honking and tailgating until she pulls over. Joan goes straight to Phil's house to give him a piece of her mind, only to be disinvited from Helen's funeral. Low blow, Phil. Not cool. Because that's not bad enough, Joan later realizes that someone has slashed her tires. Wonder who did that?
Back at school, Tricia passes out during a fire drill. Louisa has Martin come down --again -- only to have Tricia brush it off and pin it on forgetting to eat lunch. But then she starts acting strange, and Martin suspects something is up. Of course, Louisa is mad at him again for being insensitive. She tells him he needs to learn to be nice to patients and have proper bedside manner. He retorts with this: "Bedside manner can't cure you."
But then things get real. He continues, "I find you hard to understand, at the best of times. Very little of what you say or do makes much sense to me." Louisa is confused because she doesn't know if Martin is talking about their relationship or something else.
They decide to meet up the next night at the pub to discuss their feelings. Yes, you heard right. Martin is going to talk about how he feels about Louisa. Get the popcorn ready.
Martin heads over to visit Aunt Joan. We find out that Phil had an affair and he hit Helen once. Martin is incredibly upset at this news -- he can't have his aunt living next to a man who has a gun, beat his wife and is slashing her tires. Meanwhile, Pauline is getting closer to Ross. Al sees them flirting and cuddling as she studies for her upcoming test to officially join the crew. She calls him out and says he should be jealous, and if he's still waiting for Elaine, he should just come clean and spare them both the trouble. Ouch. (Elaine -- or at least the actress who played her, Lucy Punch -- is going to be on the new Fox sitcom "Ben & Kate," so it seems unlikely that she's heading back to Portwenn anytime soon, eh?)
Poor Joan is still dealing with Phil's sabotage. His dogs are now attacking her chickens, and that's the last straw. She hikes down to his house to lay into him, only to find him on the dirt, impaled by some sort of contraption he was trying to fix.
She calls Martin and he races over with Al to help. Phil seems like he's going to be fine, although Martin is having a hard time with of the blood and keeps gagging.
Then the pesticide truck guy shows up. He sees what's going on and he runs over, freaking out. He grabs Phil's hand and strokes his face.
Turns out Phill was having an affair...with a man.
Back in town, Pauline is taking her test. She passes -- yay! -- and Ross decides to make a move on her. She turns him down, and tells Ross she was using him all along, just to make Al jealous. Mission accomplished, Pauline. She and Al have a little chat, and he admits he's been jealous all along. He explains how Elaine hurt him and he was scared to put himself out there again. Pauline understands, but as he leans in for a kiss, she gets paged to the boats. Can't the disasters wait?
Dear honorary Portwenn residents...the time has come. It's the end of the day, and Martin is packing up to meet Louisa for drinks. She's at the bar and has a nice spot by the water. Everything is falling in to place. It's romantic, the sun is going down and she has wine ready. They're finally going to show their cards.
Except that would never happen because the writers are cruel human beings who won't give us any satisfaction.
Just as Martin is leaving, Tricia walks into the office. She finally admits that she has OCD and that it's so bad she has to jump from school to school. Martin explains he can't stay because he has plans, but she persists. She goes on about the details of the OCD -- how she has to leave a building on the half-hour or the hour, and she weird thing about touching doorknobs.
Meanwhile, Louisa is waiting for Martin to show up. He's clearly late. But if that's not bad enough, Danny shows up and takes his seat.
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