Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode Seventeen: 'Movement'

Previously on Doc Martin...

Portwenn has a new police officer after Mark Mylow. His replacement is PC Joseph Penhale, who appears to have an odd affliction that causes him to fall asleep suddenly at strange times. The doctor discovers that he has narcolepsy brought on by a kick to the head from a horse suffered two years earlier. Village plumber Bert Large is having a midlife crisis. His son Al has left the village on his travels round the world and Bert feels left out in the cold.

This week's episode: "Movement"
Written by: Ben Bolt
Directed by: Nick Vivian and Dominic Minghella

Martin (Martin Clunes) starts off his day with an encounter with his favorite mangy mongrel. After tricking the dog into leaving him alone -- by trapping him in a front yard -- Martin heads over to Bert's (Ian McNeice) new water-front restaurant. He's given up the plumbing business in lieu of an entrepreneurial career, in light of Martin's advice to grab life by the horns. Clearly, this will go off without a hitch. Why wouldn't it?

After he leaves, Martin runs into Louisa (Caroline Catz). Things are going well with them, and they make plans for dinner later that day.

Pauline (Katherine Parkinson) gets ready to go out of town for her phlebotomy certificate, but before she goes she has to semi-train her temporary replacement, Poppy (Emily Head). She's actually pretty good, and it seems to bother Pauline. She has fresh ideas for organizing patient files and even serves everyone tea while they wait. A little worried, eh Pauline?

Meanwhile, a girl comes into the practice to get birth control from Martin. Small problem: she's 15, and that's too young for a prescription. Naturally, she throws a small fit and leaves. In comes a new, brooding type for Portwenn's gals to swoon over. He has a gash on his stomach -- apparently he got it during a fight. He's fresh out of prison and on parole. Strong, silent type...maybe?

Back at Louisa's, our favorite teacher is cooking up a storm. Everything is on track and she's ready for Martin to show up for their dinner date, but then the electricity cuts out. When Martin gets there, he tries to fix things, but he ends up getting shocked on the oven, so he and Louisa go to Bert's new place. It's pretty packed for a new spot, and the cook is frantic and overworked. She's doing her best, but she ends up cutting herself while making everyone's food. Of course, Martin gets a salad with a pool of blood in it. (Gross). Martin loses it -- and rightfully so -- and he storms off to treat the cook back at his office.

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Poppy comes in late on day two of her job at Martin's practice. She's nauseous and can't hold it together. Her mom comes in sick, too. In fact, the entire lobby is filled with people who are nauseous... and they were all eating at Bert's. (BTW, let's not forget that this would be the second time that Bert has given a sizable portion of the Portwenn population a case of the trots. The first time was back in episode three.)

On that note, Bert thinks he needs to close up shop after losing his cook and dealing with contaminated food. He doesn't even have a liquor license. But his waitress, Mandy, has an idea. Why not hire the guy on parole as the chef? He did drop by to offer his skills.

Martin stops by Bert's to tell him he needs to shut down. But Mick Mabley (Joseph Morgan), the new cook, has everything under control. He's organized the necessary certificates, set up a first aid kit and all that jazz.

Before he can really find something wrong, Martin gets a call from Louisa. She's sick, too, and needs some help. Of course, Martin runs over to her place to take care of her. How sweet!

As he's taking care of her, Louisa mentions that she wished her mom could make her feel better and bring her a piece of toast. Martin offers to make her some (another point for you, sir!) but she declines, at which point he very awkwardly mentions he needs a stool sample from her...

Pauline gets back to Portwenn, fully certified. She has no idea what she's missed in the day or two she's been gone. There's a lobby filled with nauseous people, and Mandie (Daisy Head), the new waitress at Bert's, took an entire pack of birth control pills; she's not doing so well either.

Why on earth would she do that? Well, apparently her awesome friends have been making fun of her lack of a womanly bosom, and she figured taking birth control would help her add some definition to her frame. She starts crying, so Martin gives her some pills that could help her out.

Back at the restaurant, Bert isn't doing so hot. He starts breathing heavily and eventually has to go to Martin's to see what's wrong. He explains that it was a panic attack, not a heart attack. What does Bert have to be stressed about? Oh, I don't know. Maybe the fact that he's losing his money in this restaurant that he has to shut down?

As if that's not bad enough, Martin gets a call about what is wrong with the nauseous people of Portwenn: they all have a virus contracted from sewage and fecal matter. Somehow it got into all their food or drink at the restaurant. Or so it would seem...

Suddenly, the dishwasher in the office goes nuts. It starts shaking and looks like it's about to break. Thankfully, Bert is on it. He detaches and unplugs the machine, only to find that there was wastepipe pump backup and a pressure buildup from improper installation. Fun fact: Martin was the one who installed it wrong.

So that illness? The one passed on from fecal matter? It was contracted at Martin's practice, because Poppy was giving people mugs of tea washed in filthy sewage water.

Yum.

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About the Author

Sarah Parvini is a multimedia journalist who currently serves as deputy editor for USC’s award-winning news site, Neon Tommy.
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