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Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode Fifteen B: "On the Edge: Part 2"

Previously on "Doc Martin"

Pauline considers pursuing an education in nursing. The Colonel finds a nest of choughs (rare birds) along the cliffs, and will do anything to keep them from poachers and the money-hungry Bert Large. Louisa's estranged father comes into town (along with his bipolar lodger Jonathan) for mysterious and nefarious purposes. Martin gets a visit from the Cause for Concern Initiative, who responding to complaints about the brusque manner in which Martin treats his patients.

(Read the full recap for "On the Edge: Part 1" here.)

This week's episode: "On the Edge: Part 2"
Written by: Jack Lothian
Directed by: Ben Bolt

Concerned that the love of his life might be leaving town, Al Large (Jo Absolom) invites Pauline (Katherine Parkinson) over for some marinara, only to surprise her with a ring box. Opening it, she is relieved to find a key inside. Perhaps if she moved in with him, Al posits, she wouldn't have to leave. "I just don't want to stay in Portwenn forever," Pauline responds. "I'll come back. You could go off if you wanted to and it'd be okay with me." Suggesting that they instead take the wine and go out to the beach, Pauline looks around for a jumper and discovers her university application, which Al never sent in. Furious, Pauline leaves.

Still confused that Martin (Martin Clunes) would join in the town's gossip, Louisa (Caroline Catz) asks her father Terry (Kenneth Cranham) if the rumors were true. Did he steal money from a charity and then leave town in shame? He denies the accusation, but when she reveals her information that Joan (Stephanie Cole) caught him red-handed, Terry has no choice but to confess. "I had gambling debts," he tells his daughter. "There was this horse. A sure thing. When it won, I was going to pay the money back." Upset, Louisa decries him for letting her "make a fool of myself in front of my friends, in front of the whole village," then demands that he leave town the following morning. As he packs up his things back at the bed & breakfast, Terry has a run-in with Jonathan (Chris O'Dowd) and admonishing him for not taking his lithium. Although Jonathan thinks Terry is only pretending to leave in order to keep Jonathan from helping out with their mysterious "job," Terry scoffs at him, gets into the car, and leaves Portwenn.

On his way to the Cause for Concern Initiative review panel, Martin sees that the annual pasty-eating contest has commenced, despite diagnosing the baker (Paul Rider) with a potential stomach infection and advising him to cease work for the time being. Concerned that the baker could cause a serious health and safety risk, Martin confiscates all the pasties into a trash bag, much to the chagrin of the villagers. Martin was acting on the village's best interest, but it also means he shows up ten minutes late to his review panel. At the panel, Gavin Peters (Jonathan Arias) of the CCI expresses his concerns, saying that the villagers find Martin condescending and rude, and that he must go the extra yard and not simply treat patients in such a clinical degree. Despite Martin's defense of his tactics, Gavin directs Martin to take a two-week people skills course, after which Gavin will return to do another checkup. If Martin refuses, he will be removed as Portwenn's doctor.

Martin storms back into his office with Louisa close behind, advising him on how serious these accusations are. "I think you deliberately wanted that review to go wrong," she yells, "and I think you want them to replace you and to send you away from here. Well, Martin, for what it's worth, I would like you to stay. So there!" Alas, this potentially heartwarming moment is ruined upon the arrival of Jonathan, who grabs Louisa, holds a knife to her, and demand that they call Terry and bring him back to Portwenn. "The boat leaves at 12," Jonathan growls into the phone. "Don't be late."

Using some surgical tape, Jonathan ties up Martin, Louisa, and Pauline, when the fax machine goes off. Paranoid that the government (or whoever) is spying on him, Jonathan freaks out, even though Martin assures him that it's the results of the baker's bacterial test. Lo and behold, it has tested positive for campylobacter, a bacterial infection associated with raw chicken and bird feces. Suddenly, Gavin knocks at the door, looking for Martin. Temporarily untying him, Jonathan allows Martin to go into the reception room to send Gavin away, but the only way Martin knows how to do that is to glumly accept the two-week people skills training. Gavin accepts and leaves.

Returning to the examination room, Martin unsuccessfully tries throwing a lamp at Jonathan (it was still attached to the wall), prompting him to get tied up again. But with a second burst of heroism, Martin tries to grab Jonathan's knife. Jonathan tackles Martin to the ground and grabs the knife, only to hear somebody yell out his name. Spinning to the source of the shout, Jonathan plunges the knife...into the recently arrived Terry's shoulder. With little choice (if Terry takes out the knife, it'll rupture the artery), Jonathan unties Martin once again so he can tend to Terry's wound. With Martin vomiting at the sight of blood (the very condition that ended his surgery career and sent him to Portwenn in the first place), Jonathan looks around the office and stumbles upon the Colonel's shotgun, which Martin was supposed to bring to the police the day earlier. Brandishing the shotgun, Jonathan tries to figure out who can do the "boat job" now that Terry is incapacitated. It can't be Jonathan, because otherwise everybody else would just call the cops. Just then, Al knocks at the door wanting to talk to Pauline. Jonathan has his man.

"[The boat is] three miles up the coast," Terry details. "A Spanish trawler about a half a mile from Nelson's point. Tell them Terry sent you. Say 'Terry me mands...uh...por el paquete,'" a Spanish phrase that the simple Al must get right, even though Martin and Louisa are sure it's technically poor Spanish grammar. Finally, Terry reveals what's in the package they are retrieving from the boat: explosives. "We're bank robbers," Jonathan exclaims gleefully. "It isn't a bank," Terry corrects. "It's a warehouse. It has a safe in it." But all Pauline needs to hear is the contents of the package. Knowing Al, there's a very good chance he might blow himself up.

As is to be expected, Al takes the motorboat to the Spanish trawler and mangles the Spanish phrase, but mentions Terry's name and receives the package anyway, mishandling it so much that the man onboard the trawler starts yelling at him to be careful. On his way back to the beach, Al spots a commotion along the cliffs. It seems that the baker is climbing the cliff in order to steal the chough eggs, but when the Colonel catches him and yells from above, the baker slips and falls, hitting a small patch of land just above the craggy rocks below. Having witnessed this event, a worried Al calls Martin's office and updates them on the situation. Somebody needs medical help.

Jonathan and the kidnapped party make their way to Porter's Cove to treat the patient as well as intercept the package full of explosives. Looking down at the patch of land, where Al is tending to the baker, Martin worries that the baker might be hemorrhaging. Claiming that the radio signals in his brain have increased upon arriving in Portwenn, Jonathan demands that Martin go down the cliff and remove the transmitter chip from the baker's brain. With a quick call to Bert Large (Ian McNeice), who arrives with a rope tied to his van, Martin makes his way down the cliff with a drill in hand. Examining the body, Martin deduces that the baker's optic nerve has swollen "due to the increased intercranial pressure," and that the only way to save him is to drill into his head. "How do you know if you've gone far enough?" asks Al. "His eyes will open." With careful precision, Martin drills into the baker. After a tense moment, the baker awakens, and Martin covers the wound.

Dragging the baker back up the cliff, Martin surprises Jonathan and takes possession of the shotgun and tells Pauline to call an ambulance, not only for the baker, but for Jonathan, who needs to be sectioned (British speak for "committed") immediately. While the jig is up for him, Jonathan looks down and is suddenly elated to find a chough egg. "It's the chip!" he cries out, then grabs the egg and breaks it, ceasing whatever radio waves were racing through his brain.

As Terry and Louisa make up, as well as Pauline and Al, Jonathan walks off, pries Martin's car open with a crowbar, and returns with the explosives. Overtaking him again, Martin grabs the bag and tosses it off the cliff. But instead of hitting the water, the bag hits the chough nest and explodes. Oh well...

Hey! I Know That Actor!

The Scottish Kenneth Cranham, who plays Louisa's estranged father Terry, made his film debut in David Lean's "Oliver!" and continued his illustrious career in such films as "Peer Gynt," "Hellbound: Hellraiser II," "Propsero's Books," "The Boxer," "Layer Cake," "Hot Fuzz," and the upcoming Sleeping Beauty adaptation "Maleficent." On television, Cranham has been seen on "Danger UXB," "El C.I.D.," "Our Mutual Friend," HBO's "Rome," and the title role on "Shine on Harvey Moon."

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About the Author

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