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Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode Sixteen: "The Apple Doesn't Fall"

Previously on "Doc Martin"

When Louisa's estranged father comes into town, bringing trouble along with him, Martin, Louisa, and Pauline finds themselves tied up and at the whim of a bipolar conspiracy theorist.

(Read the full recap for "On the Edge: Part 2" here.)

This week's episode: "The Apple Doesn't Fall"
Written by: Richard Stoneman
Directed by: Ben Bolt

After passing out in front of her schoolchildren and Martin (Martin Clunes) while doing storytime, Louisa (Caroline Catz) promises to stop by his office later in the evening, despite Martin's protest that the earlier she is diagnosed, the better. Regardless, Martin has plenty of patients to tend to at his office, the loudest and most aggressive of which is portly lunchlady Alison Lane (Debbie Chazen), whose young daughter Delph (Jaimee Colmer) has been suspended from school for being hyperactive, disruptive, and jumping on teachers' cars. She didn't used to be like this, Alison swears, but Martin says there's nothing wrong with the girl...other than the fact that she is very, very annoying.

Later at the office, Martin tries his best to avoid the nattering Bert Large (Ian McNeice), who wants to have a word with Martin about depression, and takes in Mr. Cleary (Patrick Godfrey), who he mistakenly insults for bringing a dog in before realizing that the man is blind. Diagnosing his injured toe with a pretty simple case of gout, Martin gives him a prescription for indomethacin and sends him on his way (but not before accidentally walking Mr. Cleary into a wall).

Taking a break from work, Martin steps outside his practice and finds a policeman sleeping in his van. Waking him up, Martin learns that this is Joseph Penhale (John Marquez), Portwenn's replacement Police Constable now that Mark Mylow has skipped town. Concerned about his daytime sleeping, Martin tries to diagnose him, but Penhale resists.

Finally able to do a checkup on Louisa, Martin submits she might be suffering from anemia. Alas, after asking doctor-mandated personal questions about her menstrual cycle, Louisa becomes notably uncomfortable and suggests that she see another doctor. It's hard to pursue a relationship when so little is left to the imagination, it seems. On her way out, she runs into PC Penhale on his way in, who after not seeing her in at least six years, pries into her personal life on whether or not she has a husband/boyfriend. She repels his flirtation, though, and goes about her merry way as he finally musters up the courage to seek a diagnosis from the Doc. Admitting that, a few years earlier, he suffered head trauma when he was kicked by a horse, Penhale receives a diagnosis of narcolepsy, is given a prescription, and told not to drive until the treatment is complete. In the waiting room, though, Penhale talks to Pauline (Katherine Parkinson) and expresses a distrust of medication, gets a call, and races out.

After witnessing a bit of a dust-up between Mrs. Tishell (Selina Cadell) and a frustrated Alison Lane while at the pharmacy (which culminates in a very wired Delph jumping on the back of a moving truck for fun), Pauline returns to Martin with worries that Delph may be suffering from ADHD and needs Ritalin. Not one to be told how to diagnose, Martin informs her that Delph's behavior needs to be assessed before he can prescribe anything. He is the doctor, after all. Let him do this thing. Some children are just a pain.

After a pain in Joan's (Stephanie Cole) leg leads to a series of unfortunate coincidences and a major traffic accident - at least in Portwenn - Martin examines Joan, forces her to agree to a scan and prescribes her hormone replacement against her will. It'll slow her bone loss and promote formation, he tells her, sending her out. In the lull between patients, Pauline comes in saying she has been doing her own research on Ritalin. Dammit, world. Let Martin be a doctor. But when Alison storms into the office demanding Ritalin for her child (she was fine as recently as two months ago), it seems that what little respect the people of Portwenn had for Martin's medical skills has dropped down to zero. Sternly restating he does not believe Delph has ADHD, Martin becomes frustrated, insinuates that the hyperactivity might be related to Alison and Delph's obvious dietary problems. He offends her in the process, telling her that there's nothing little about her daughter, and kicks her out to take care of the returning Mr. Cleary whose foot still smarts. Smelling the stench of mackerel emanating from Mr. Cleary's bag, Martin says no wonder his case of gout hasn't gone away. Mackerel is full of purines and is a terrible diagnosis. Who would tell him to do such a thing? Pauline, Mr. Cleary answers, who diagnosed him on her own accord and suggests, via internet research, that he eat more fish. Is this the last straw for Pauline?

In the village, Martin runs into Louisa, who informs him that Alison has been failing her duties as the school's lunchlady due to her constant visits to Martin and the pharmacy. Suggesting that she shouldn't meddle, Martin continues onto Mrs. Tishell's place, where he learns that Alison has just stopped by, asking for a stronger appetite suppressant. She had started buying diet pills a couple months earlier, but as her tolerance has grown, so too has her desire to up the dosage.

At that moment, Martin sees a seemingly out-of-control Delph jump onto a car, onto passing hay tractor, until she jumps back onto the ground and throws herself through a shop's glass door. Martin catches up with her and sees her passed out in the shop, bleeding profusely. After getting somebody to call an ambulance, Pauline arrives with the necessary equipment. Becoming woozy from the blood, Martin allows Pauline to take over while he goes and has words with Alison. Did he give his daughter cheap diet pills. Alison swears she didn't, although it's likely that Delph may have stolen a few pills away from her mother. However, she admits to giving her some Ritalin, something that induces hyperactivity in anybody above a certain age. But where did she get such medication? Why, right off Pauline's desk.

Back at the office after the hubbub dies down, Pauline is absolutely certain that Martin is going to fire her, even though she insists that he accidentally left the Ritalin on her desk while dealing with to other business. Surprisingly, Martin has no intention to terminate her. Instead, admiring of her skills tending to Delph at the scene of the accident, he has signed her up for a phlebotomy class, which would teach her to find arteries, administer needles and draw blood. Hell, somebody at that office has to do it, so why not her? While Martin and Pauline argue over whether or not this is a promotion (and thus means more money for Pauline), Louisa shows up with Alison, who is there to apologize to Martin. If it wasn't for him, the hospital has informed her, Delph would be dead.

With the chaos of the last few days behind them, Louisa tells Martin she has changed her mind. He will continue to be her doctor, regardless of some of the intimate questions he needs to ask.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Patrick Godfrey, who plays the blind Mr. Cleary, has appeared in countless notable British films including "A Room with a View," "Maurice," "The Remains of the Day," "Ever After," "The Important of Being Earnest," Polanski's "Oliver Twist," and "Les Misérables."

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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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