Recap for 'Doc Martin,' Episode 32: 'Dry Your Tears'

This episode will be streaming online for three weeks from November 13 to December 4. Catch episodes of "Doc Martin" that aren't currently streaming via our recaps here.

Previously on "Doc Martin"
Martin struggled to come to terms with fatherhood. On top of that, he had serious doubts about the competency of the new GP after she misdiagnosed a patient, and dished out prescriptions for totally inappropriate drugs. In the midst of all the drama (and agreeing to stick around until a better doctor can be found), Martin's unprepared for Aunt Joan's shocking death.

This week's episode: "Dry Your Tears"
Written by: Dominic Minghella and Ben Bolt


The town gathers to pay their respects to Joan (Stephanie Cole) at her funeral. As people trickle in, P.C. Penhale (John Marquez) tells Mrs. Tishell (Selina Cadell) he'd like for something violent to happen for once, where he'd actually be of use (totally appropriate conversation). Even worse, the hearst shows up late, which Martin (Martin Clunes), understandably, isn't too happy about.

His aunt Ruth (Eileen Atkins), another Dr. Ellingham, has a chronic case of social awkwardness. Naturally it's uncomfortable when Louisa (Caroline Catz) sits next to her in the church trying to make small talk. She prattles on about how she either alienates or overshares, and discusses her "quasi-sexual encounters." Whatever that means.

Things take a turn for the horrible when the procession begins. One of the pallbearers, Harry (Chris Ashby), drops Joan's casket after getting a cramp in his back. This town can't even have a normal funeral.

When it comes time for Martin to deliver the eulogy, he uses it as a soapbox from which to preach about the perils of heart disease. It's not exactly the heartfelt speech one would expect.

"Joan was overweight refused to exercise and had a poor diet," he explains.


Louisa steps outside with the still-unnamed baby because he starts crying in the middle of the ceremony. She finds the pallbearer who hurt his back, and explains he should see Martin since he will be in town until Friday. Meanwhile, the good doctor is still inside explaining heart ideas. He doesn't participate when the attendees start singing hymns --neither does his aunt.


At the reception, Martin asks Louisa to stay with him for the short time he has left in town. She agrees that it would be for the best, but then Martin takes it a step further and says she could also move with him to London, where there are also schools and students "just as dim" as the ones she's used to.

As he's leaving, Martin tells Ruth her sister left her the farm. She seems totally shocked -- especially because she has no intention of staying in Portwenn. And speaking of inheritance, Martin seems to have inherited Joan's dog, who keeps following him.


Ruth stops by the farm later, where she runs in to Al (Joe Absolom)
who's feeding the chicken. She decides to stay a week to sort things out, and tells Al he'd better stick around and help her with the animals in the meantime.


Harry goes to see Martin at the surgery for his back condition. Louisa decides to help him out, acting as interim receptionist in Pauline's absence. Martin assesses the patient's back, turns away for a moment and then trips over him when tries to give him his prescription. He howls in pain -- apparently Martin has really messed up the guy's knee. In fact, he's probably fractured it. Ouch.

When he returns from the hospital with x-rays, Martin realizes the break is the result of a larger issue--someone Harry's age shouldn't have such brittle bones, and he shouldn't get a fracture just from falling over. He sends him back to the hospital for a closer look. And his back pain is because he has kidney stones.


The next day, Martin gets a call that there's an emergency with Harry at his house. He heads over only to find out that he's been drinking three protein shakes a day. That extra protein has been making his blood acidic, which has lead his bones to release calcium --hence, the fracture.


Al heads back to the farm to help Ruth out with the plumbing (there are some hot water issues that Joan struggled with). While he's taking a look at the pipes, Ruth completely loses her coordination -- and the grip on the jar she's holding -- breaking glass all over the floor. Al asks if she has arthritis, but she insists she's just clumsy. She cuts herself on a shard, but doesn't even notice. Paired with her bleeding tongue, dry eyes and severe cough, it seems like something is definitely up.


Al takes her to get stitches at Martin's surgery, and he realizes she can't feel the pain. When he prods her, she admits that she has lupus and she's dying. The thing is, she diagnosed herself. While she's telling Martin about how she's so sorry to do this to him after he's just lost an aunt, he realizes her symptoms are indicative of something else: Sjogren's Syndrome. She gives him a big hug, unofficially thanking him for figuring out what was really wrong.

Ruth decides to stay in Portwenn, and enlists Al as her handyman, tending to the farm daily. Louisa hires a new receptionist for Martin, which is definitely necessary considering Martin is now staying in town for two months.

Upcoming Airdates

Uneasy Lies the Head

Season 4, Episode 2

Doc Martin struggles to deal with the news of Louisa's pregnancy and is conflicted over what action to take. But Louisa is adamant that she doesn't want Martin involved. Doc's aunt Joan, however, insists that she help Louisa through the pregnancy.

Louisa accepts a job back at Portwenn Primary School, where the principal is causing public concern over his increasingly erratic behavior. Martin realizes the headmaster is unwell based on his blue urine sample. Things take a frightening turn when he takes a class of students to the beach.

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  • 2016-10-24T18:02:00-07:00

Perish Together as Fools

Season 4, Episode 3

Doc Martin is shocked to find Louisa and aunt Joan knocking at his door hours before his office has opened. Louisa has had a medical scare and wants Martin's reassurance that everything is fine with the pregnancy.

P.C. Penhale, still officially the world's worst policeman, gets an unexpected visit from his older brother Sam. Martin notices that Sam has some problems with memory and coordination, and realizes that there's a slight possibility that he has a rare genetic disease.

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  • 2016-10-31T18:00:00-07:00

Driving Mr. McLynn

Season 4, Episode 4

Louisa calls Martin to her new home after she has a dizzy spell while moving furniture. The doc urges her to slow down and is appalled to discover that Louisa has interviewed for her former teaching job.

Aunt Joan is involved in a car crash with the McLynns, an elegant elderly couple. When P.C. Penhale rushes to the scene and tries to impose his authority, he's ignored by both drivers. Martin later finds Mr. and Mrs. McLynn behaving oddly, and makes an astonishing diagnosis.

  • 2016-11-03T13:00:00-07:00
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  • 2016-11-07T04:00:00-08:00
  • 2016-11-07T17:00:00-08:00

The Departed

Season 4, Episode 5

Martin heads to London to meet with Robert Dashwood, who's leading the selection process for the prestigious surgeon job that he's applied for. Pleased that Martin has finally conquered his debilitating blood phobia, Robert is confident that he'll be hired in no time.

On the train back to Cornwall, the doc is annoyed to be seated next to one of his patients, a sheep farmer named Jim Selkirk. Jim falls asleep slumped onto Martin's shoulder, but never wakes up. He ends up dying of a heart attack.

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  • 2016-11-14T04:00:00-08:00
  • 2016-11-14T17:00:00-08:00

Midwife Crisis

Season 4, Episode 6

Martin and Louisa's new midwife don't exactly see eye-to-eye when it comes to baby care. In fact, Martin is dismissive of her profession.

The doc's cognitive behavioral exercises to overcome his blood phobia have been paying off; he's able to draw blood from P.C. Penhale without filching. Martin visits aunt Joan at her farm and breaks the news that he intends to become a surgeon in London again. She's supportive, but urges him to tell Louisa. He misses his chance when Louisa overhears Edith congratulating him that he got the job.

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  • 2016-11-18T07:00:00-08:00