Doc Martin

Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode Eighteen: 'City Slickers'

Previously on 'Doc Martin'

In the last episode, "Movement," , people around town kept getting sick after going to Bert's new restaurant. Convinced it was because of a lack of cleanliness at the establishment, Martin orders Bert to close shop. It's not until later that he discovers it was his own shoddy dishwasher -- and the ensuing sewage washing -- that made everyone nauseous.

This week's episode: "City Slickers"
Written by: Dominic Minghella and Richard Stoneman
Directed by: Ben Bolt

Martin (Martin Clunes) starts off his day by treating an old lady with eczema, Mrs. Averill (Eileen Essell). But for an adorable elderly woman, she sure does have a nasty habit: She's a smoker. Of course, Martin is miffed because she's sick, coughing up a storm and still smoking. He ends up throwing away her cigarettes, but she takes them out of the trash before she leaves. What a spicy woman. She's also lost her cat, Tom Tom, apparently.

Meanwhile, Louisa (Caroline Catz) preps a barbeque for her and Martin at Chateau Du Glasson -- a.k.a. her place. (I would like to take this moment to point out how amazing the view is from her house.) Sad fact: Mrs. Averill was her neighbor, but when her husband died, she couldn't stand living in their old home without him, so she moved.

As Louisa is explaining this Martin, he's noticeably staring at her with admiration. But, since he's Martin, all he can muster up is, "You look...very...busy." Why are you so awkward, Martin?

In a well-timed coincidence, there' a knock at the door. It's Anthony (Karl Theobald) and Terri (Amy Marston) -- the new neighbors who moved into Mrs. Averill's old place, with their son, Sam (James Cronin). They've invited themselves over for dinner because their stuff is all still packed up.

Given Martin's love for cocky people (he absolutely abhors them), it's no surprise he adores Anthony (he can't stand him). Anthony prattles on about his first-world problem in academia ("It's publish or die!"), and Martin is clearly annoyed. Inside, Sam breaks one of Louisa's bowls, but he doesn't say sorry. When Louisa points this out, Anthony says they don't like to draw attention to Sam's mistakes; they're not "conventional parents." Of course not.

Later, Anthony stops by Martin's practice. He goes on and on about this research he did on Asperger's Syndrome, basically implying that Martin has it. Then he outright says it, and tells Martin he wants to research him and observe him for his book on the subject. Yeah, because that's going to go over well. Is this a joke?

Martin heads over to the school to treat a sick student. Louisa explains that the kid had a rash on his face and then he passed out. His parents are alarmed, but the dad is kind of weird and keeps assuming Martin is insulting his intelligence or accusing him of hitting his kid. (For once, Martin really isn't trying to condescend.) He explains that the kid has a viral infection called slapped cheek syndrome, which is a lot less abusive than it sounds. He'll be fine.

In non virus-related news, there's a vandal on the loose in Portwenn! Aunt Joan's (Stephanie Cole) car gets keyed, so she goes to see the new officer in town. He seems too busy for her, though, and won't come out to take a look at her car. Joan's car isn't an isolated incident. Bert (Ian McNeice) and Mick Mabley (Joseph Morgan) also discover the restaurant van has been keyed. Then, Martin notices his car has been damaged as well. I wonder who it could be? I suspect the hell child.

Martin goes to P.C. Penhale's (John Marquez) office and forces him to take a look at his car. Penhale starts getting weird and antsy when he steps outside. Martin notices, and calls him out on being agoraphobic.

On his way back from Penhale's, Martin sees Sam keying a car. He chases him all the way back home, only to find his mom burning a badger on a makeshift funeral pyre to "send off his soul." Apparently this is both normal and acceptable behavior. Who knew?

Anthony says he will talk to Sam about keying cars -- it's happened before == and he will explain that some people are "precious over their possessions." Yeah, because that's the problem here. Martin and the people who got their cars keyed are just materialistic, and that's why what Sam did is wrong.

Mrs. Averill is back at the practice in the morning (again), complaining that her eczema cream isn't working, but then she starts coughing up blood. (Never a good sign.) Martin gets a spit sample from her and sends it to a lab for testing. It ends up being tuberculosis, and she has to go to the hospital for treatment.

Terri stops by to tell Martin her son isn't a criminal. She doesn't want him to tell the cops about Sam's behavior, and explains he only scratches cars to get a rise and attention. (This is why you discipline your kid, instead of letting him run rampant and destroy property, but hey, what do I know?). Penhale also makes an appearance at the office to talk about his phobia with Martin, who agrees to not let his bosses know about the illness and to let him work while he's getting his psychological treatment -- after all, Martin knows what it's like to live and work with a major phobia.

Sam ends up getting sent home from school because he was sick. Louisa is convinced he also has tuberculosis. Martin heads over to the Oakwoods' house to take a look, and Anthony tells him he never had Sam get his tuberculosis shot. Apparently, Mrs. Averill's cat has been staying there, too, because it's in bed with Sam. Martin is pretty sure the cat gave both Sam and Mrs. Averill the sickness...which it probably got from the badger Terri was having a funeral for. Full circle!

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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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