Doc Martin Redux S7E2: A Man on a Mission



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Enjoy our look back at the second episode of Doc Martin Season 7 but, beware, there are numerous spoilers ahead. You can watch Doc Martin S7E2 here first through Wednesday, December 30.

Martin is a man on a mission. This mission, however, does not involve racing back to the office to treat a patient. Instead, he is moving quickly with his attempt to become a better husband and father for Louisa and James.

Still reeling (in his own way) about Louisa and James being in Spain, Martin sits down with therapist, Dr. Rachel Timoney. As one could expect from Martin and his sandpaper-gentle personality, the pair’s first appointment begins more like an inquisition, than a session.

After Timoney quizzically asks Martin why he is seeking treatment, the stoic and suited Doc begins reciting Timoney’s qualifications. As the back and forth grows into a stall tactic, Timoney assertively puts this to Martin: “This hour is about you. Why are you here?” In true Martin fashion, he responds, “I would’ve thought that’s obvious.”

Timoney refuses to let Martin off the hook.

“Don’t you find it frustrating when a patient needs treatment,” begins Timoney, “but either refuses it, or…”

“You don’t have to patronize me to make your point,” injects Martin, before informing Timoney about a childhood wrecked by poor parenting and his inability to make relationships with women work. Martin expects a diagnosis of Detachment Disorder, before asking how long it’ll take to fix him.

Timoney holds her ground, noting that in order for her to treat Martin’s marriage, she must also see Louisa. Considering Louisa’s thoughtful nature and desire to improve her marriage’s struggles, one has to think she’d leap at the chance for assistance.

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Elsewhere in Portwenn, Martin’s fellow villagers are up to their usual unintentional hilarity. PC Penhale feels a new sense of pride after receiving a high-powered taser gun; Al gets ready to welcome his bed and breakfast’s first guests despite a mouse sighting and Bert looks to boost his restaurant with a voucher-driven lobster dinner. What could possibly go wrong? Soon enough, everything – stay tuned.

In case Martin’s life wasn’t already stressful enough, a chance encounter with his Aunt Ruth reveals a possible ailment that had yet to be properly diagnosed. Martin, not wasting any time, orders Ruth back to his office. After preliminary testing, Martin is convinced she has Polymyalgia. Seeing as Ruth is as hard headed as her nephew, she ignores his concerns and informs him of plans to take a job in London. Martin is less than enthused. He fears this will only harm her health, but it’s easy to argue that Martin also wants to keep Ruth’s support nearby as he struggles with his marriage.

Martin’s work is soon stopped in its tracks by the surprise return of Louisa and James. After exiting the room of would be gossipers, the communication between Louisa and Martin is still strained.

“It’s filled with salt and fats and God knows what,” says Martin upon receiving a package of chorizos from Louisa. Smooth…

Louisa responds: “It’s a gift Martin.”

Clearly, the at-odds couple is having trouble breaking the ice. Martin realizes he is falling back into old behavioural patterns and dials back. You can sense that he understands what’s at stake.

As the two prepare to sit together for dinner, Martin jumps right into it: “Are we staying together, Louisa?”

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Louisa opens up, suggesting that they live apart for the time being, until things get better. Martin agrees and immediately takes strides at showing Louisa some improvement by offering to help her find a place, and to personally sleep in the nursery until her living arrangements are sorted out. These efforts, as Louisa’s facial expressions reveal, are not lost upon her.

When back to business, Martin confirms that Ruth is battling Polymyalgia – he also notices an issue with her jaw. Martin suspects it’s Grant Cell Arthritis, but Ruth remains defiant up to and through the moment in which her nephew performs a biopsy on her. Against Martin’s opinion, Ruth is still intent on going to London.

As for Al and Bert, neither can catch a break. At the B&B, Al continually muffs up the stay for his first guests, while Bert is informed that he can no longer acquire the load of lobster he was promised. However, the Larges don’t toss in the towel. Al offers to take his disenchanted guests on a boat trip, while Bert tries to talk customers out of ordering lobster.

Nothing, unfortunately, goes according to plan. Al’s guests begin to fight on the boat, resulting in Al accidentally hitting the flustered wife in the nose. Meanwhile, talking customers out of lobster isn’t working well for Bert.

During the apartment hunt for Louisa, she and Martin stumble across a rather drab residence. Immediately, it’s clear that this place is not fit for Louisa and James. After exiting, Martin volunteers to move into that place and have Louisa and James stay at the house. Louisa seems stunned by this generosity.

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This moment of graciousness is cut short, however, as Martin’s summoned to Bert’s restaurant. You see, Al’s B&B guests got into an altercation with Bert regarding the only two lobsters available at his restaurant. Joe tries to step in and bring order, but instead blasts the wife with the taser. Whoops! Apart from having her mood ruined, she would walk away from the incident with nothing but a charge.

After that shocking experience, Martin gets word that Ruth does in fact have Giant Cell Arthritis, a condition that could lead to her losing vision. In the nick of time, Martin races to the train station and stops Ruth from heading off to London.

After a rather heroic series of events for Martin, his day concludes by moving into his new, barely modest pad. You can sense that Martin is on the right course to becoming a better man, but sticking to it may become the greatest challenge of his life.

-Adam Grant

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