Doc Martin

Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode Seven: 'Old Dogs'

Previously on "Doc Martin"...

Martin and Louisa finally kissed! Naturally, he messed it up by inquiring about her dental hygiene because he can't handle something good happening. More importantly, everyone knows about Martin's little (big) blood problem now, thanks to Adrian Pitts. The cat's out of the bag, folks.

This week's episode: "Old Dogs"

Directed by: Ben Bolt
Written by: Dominic Minghella and Edana Minghella

We begin season two of "Doc Martin" (or series two, if you want to say it the way the Brits do) with a picturesque love scene. Martin (Martin Clunes) and Louisa (Caroline Catz) are sitting atop one of the town's rolling hills, enjoying a picnic with champagne. Suddenly, the earth splits and Louisa is falling down into the depths. Not to worry! Martin will save her! All the while looking like Wayne Rooney's older brother (the Man-U footballer, for those of you who aren't soccer buffs).

Of course, it was all a dream. But that doesn't mean Louisa isn't freaked out (because she totally likes him, come on!).

Meanwhile, Auntie Joan (Stephanie Cole) has has him to make a house visit to treat a friend of hers, Mrs. Steel (Margaret Tyzack). Apparently, she's having ankle problems and it just can't wait (except it can, because she only has a sprain). But don't worry -- that's not the last we've heard of this story.

After examining Mrs. Steel's ankle and making sure she doesn't have dementia either (because those two are frequently checked together, right?), our good doc heads down to the pharmacy. Who else does he see but Louisa, who is still pretty miffed at him. It probably doesn't help that she's buying enough Listerine to tide her over for the apocalypse -- but hey, they were three for the price of two!

Because it's never just one thing with Martin, he gets back to his practice to discover he has a receptionist problem. By that I mean Elaine's not there. She's in Pompeii, and her cousin Pauline (Katherine Parkinson) is filling in for her. Pauline, mind you, is just as odd as Elaine.

Just as Martin is about rip into her, a patient walks in: Eddie Rix (Gerard Horan). He's broken a rib or two and is sporting a mean black eye. Pauline can't mind her own business, so she keeps talking to him and trying to bring him things. Eddie tells her he was mugged, to which she gives the comforting response of, "In Portwenn? Cool." And then walks off.

Remember Mrs. Steel? Well, her son Danny (Tristan Sturrock) visits Martin to insist that she's dementing (because that's what it's called, who knew?). Martin keeps being stubborn and denies it. After making a stop at the store and bickering over why he can't use his credit card -- partially because of a manhunt for whoever mugged Eddie Rix -- Martin witnesses Mrs. Steel being pulled out of the sea. At this point, Martin knows he messed up, and Mrs. Steel is checked into a home.

But it's not what you think! All the signs point to dementia, but it turns out the people who work at the home are just completely inept. Mrs. Steel wasn't drinking liquids, and the nurse didn't catch it. All her problems were related to dehydration and not taking her medicine. Once that's figured out, Muriel is fine. Danny thanks Martin. Continuing his string of not-so-subtle religious remarks, he tells Doc, "Bless you," and walks away.

To which Martin has the perfect disgruntled comeback: "I didn't sneeze." You tell 'em, Doc.

Things aren't going so well for Eddie, though. Despite Doc's warning that there could be very serious things wrong -- like a brain tumor -- Eddie and his wife ignore the signs.

After learning that Elaine won't be coming back -- she left Pompeii to star opposite Cameron Diaz in movies about sexy teachers, apparently -- Martin gets news that Eddie is hurt yet again. "Now do you see the need for proper investigation?" he asks. Yes, Doc. Yes, we do.

Then again, maybe we don't... because Martin walks in on Eddie strapped to an elaborate S&M mechanism. This. Explains. Everything, just not in the way we wanted to see. Yes, the cracked ribs are because of this. The black eye, too. Even the burns. It seems Mr. Rix forgot his safety word.

Poor Martin, he can never catch a break. As if it's not bad enough that he had to walk in on a very strange and awkward sexual encounter, he also walks right into Louisa on the way home -- again.

They mumble back and forth, but before Martin can muster up the courage to finally say something of value to her, Danny the golden boy walks out of the shop. And off he and Louisa go to make a romantic dinner and enjoy a fancy bottle of wine. Cue the Debbie Downer theme here.

Hey! I know that actor!

I bet you do, "Doc Martin" fans. It was noted in earlier recaps that British shows recycle the same ten actors, and if you pay close enough attention, they start rolling into any given program. Well, consider this episode as proof. Surely you recognize Muriel Steel, no? If she seems familiar it's because you probably saw her when KCET aired "I, Claudius" last month. It may be about 30 years later, but Mrs. Steel is none other than Antonia. Sadly, Margaret Tyzack passed away just last year.

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About the Author

Sarah Parvini is a Web Producer for KCET'S "SoCal Connected" and an award-winning multimedia journalist who has reported from different pockets around the globe.
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