Rattled Relationships — “Doc Martin” (S6E5) Review —

“The Practice around the Corner”

(Acorn TV streams new episodes of DM Series 6 every Monday morning. Episodes are available 24×7.)

The centerpiece of rattled relationships is the return of Mrs. Tischell, poignantly portrayed by Selina Cadell, who needs to heal her relationship with Louisa and Martin. She begins by resolutely tearing down the news clippings about the “Doc” pinned up in her cupboard.

She meets Louisa and apologies for taking James, but when she learns that Louisa and Martin are married, she snaps her cognitive behavior therapy wrist band.

She then bursts into the surgery to “clear the air” with the “Doc” and asks him to tell theDoc_Martin_ep5pharmacy regulators that she is fine to work alone. He refuses. She leaves and vents her wrath by putting Buddy, the dog, inside the door.

The giggly girls are back and torment Mrs. Tischell. But she fires back, “I know your mothers!”

Mrs. Tischell’s other rattled relationship is with Jennifer, the “watchdog” pharmacist, whom she constantly insults.

Al and Morwena sign up for Cornish Couples, an Internet dating service. When Al explains to Bert that couples use fake names and his date calls herself “Nefetari,” Bert says, “I think I put a tenner on a horse with that name at the Grand National.”

Al, alias “Colin, the entrepreneur,” and Morwenna, alias “Nefetari, the medical professional,” arrive at the pub and are dismayed to find they are each other’s date.

“So, you wouldn’t be interested unless I had a fancy job. That’s a bit shallow,” Al tells Morwenna.

“No, Nefetari didn’t agree to meet Colin because of his job. He actually seemed quite witty and charming in his messages.”

“And in real life?”

“No, because in real life, he’s Al.”

Rattled, Al moves out the next afternoon. Morwenna appears sad at work and tells a patient, “I’m not the best judge of character.”

P.C. Penhale goes into the wilderness to train for an elite force. Rattled, he accidentally shoots himself in the foot. He applies moist moss to the injury. Back in the surgery, “Doc” says the moss has left him with fungal spores in his system. When Al tells Penhale he is homeless, Penhale invites him to use his spare room.  “Portwenn’s two most eligible bachelors sharing life’s ups and downs.” Reluctant, but with nowhere else to go, Al agrees.

Perhaps not “rattled,” but a curious relationship develops between the “Doc” and patient, Lorna Gillett (Julia Swift). It’s the first time we have seen the “Doc” engage in repartee with a patient. Beachcomber Lorna collects oddments (or “detritus,” according to the “Doc”) to make jewelry. He treats her cut foot, but she returns the next day with swollen ankles and joint pain. He takes a blood sample. When she collapses on the beach, he learns she has been taking iron tablets. “That’s incredibly stupid. Your ferritin levels are through the roof. . . ”

“2,000 is high?”

“You could have set off a metal detector.”

“Doc” even initiates a conversation with Mike, who is entertaining James with blocks. “How long have you had OCD?” he asks.

“All my life.  . . . That’s why I thought the Army would suit me. . . . It didn’t work out as planned. My first girlfriend left me because she couldn’t handle it. I said to her, ‘Make sure you close the door five times on your way out.’” No response from the “Doc.” “You’re not a fan of jokes, are you?”

“I didn’t know it was a joke.”

Conversations between Martin and Louisa in Episodes 2, 3, 4 have been sadly lacking.DM5Finally, we see Martin, in the middle of the night, trying to allay Louisa’s fears about Mrs. Tischell. The next day, Martin admits to Louisa that Ruth wants him to see a psychiatrist because his blood sensitivity has returned. “When did it come back?” asks Louisa.

“A while ago.”

“Why didn’t you talk to me?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t want to worry you.”

“I’m your wife,” replies Louisa.

Their relationship appears to be the most rattled of all.

A very fine episode that rates 100. thermometer-2


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