Martin may be that one person in Portwenn who doesn’t believe that a dog can in fact be a man’s best friend. After waking up in a frosty mood, Martin can’t shake caring canine Buddy as he moves speedily towards the surgery. Gearing up for another couples therapy session with Louisa and Dr. Timoney, you can tell why Martin is even more unapproachable than usual.
Once at his destination, Martin barks orders at Morwenna, demanding that she find a veterinarian willing to euthanize Buddy. As you could imagine, Morwenna’s eyes grow big as disbelief crosses her mind – Martin is not thinking rationally.
Following a successful first couples therapy session, Martin and Louisa return to Dr. Timoney’s office. Out of the blue, Louisa promptly asks about Martin’s fear of blood. Dr. Timoney quickly connects Martin’s phobia with an inability to relinquish control.
“I disagree,” interjects Martin, before explaining what caused this phobia to meet him later in life. “I started recognizing the patients I was operating on as genuine human beings and not just bodies.”
After not buying that theory, Dr. Timoney gives Martin and Louisa a new task, one that would require the stubborn doctor to give up control. The therapist says she would like Louisa to pick one activity for her and Martin to do. Martin would then have to relinquish all control during that activity and let Louisa hold the reigns.
Dr. Timoney recognizes the scepticism coming from the couple and then asks Louisa if she purposely asks Martin to do things she knows he’ll struggle to complete. Louisa instantaneously begins to play defense, to which Dr. Timoney quickly counters by saying: “Your constant disappointment in him protects you from getting too close.”
As soon as that statement is uttered, Martin looks intrigued, as Louisa remains unimpressed. No less, the two agree to partake in this new assigned exercise.
Dr. Timoney appears to be onto something here. If psychological warfare is the major hindrance in Martin and Louisa’s marriage, kicking that to the side would be truly beneficial.
Elsewhere, a nervous yet smitten PC Penhale continues his hot pursuit of Janice. On the spot, the officer invites her to the “Penhale Pig Out” barbecue; an event he clearly made up on the spot, but claimed had a much bigger history. To his surprise, Janice accepts the invitation. As Janice exits, Penhale sincerely says “I love you” in her direction, but only loud enough for him to hear.
Returning to the surgery after his therapy session, Martin’s mood is still terse and Buddy is in the wrong place at the wrong time. With Morwenna unable to find a veterinarian willing to put down a dog for no reason, Martin decides to do the deed himself. He pulls the pup into his examination room and prepares a lethal injection. Fortunately for Buddy, this is when Louisa bursts in and stops Martin from committing a terrible act.
Like a hostage negotiator, Louisa convinces Martin that it’d be best to send Buddy elsewhere to live, as opposed to ending his life. Martin agrees and arrangements are made to drop the dog off at the home of veterinarian Angela Sim – who just so happens to be the daughter of the doctor Martin took over for.
Elsewhere, Ruth wants to boot Bert off her property. Upon forcefully entering his camper van, it’s discovered that the elder Large is illegally brewing whiskey. Ruth, unimpressed, disregards Bert’s offer of a new business partnership and once again orders him to leave.
Not leaving easily is Buddy, who somehow escapes from Angela’s residence and returns to Martin’s surgery, forcing the doctor to angrily drop the dog off again. As if this wasn’t frustrating enough, imagine how Martin reacted when Angela excused away the escape by claiming Buddy and Martin had “unresolved issues.”
To resolve issues between she and Martin, Louisa informs her husband that the activity she’d like to helm is a family picnic at the beach. After pranking Martin and first making him think she wanted to hold a giant party with the locals, he doesn’t seem too phased by a trip to the sand and sea.
Speaking of liquids, even though Ruth summarily dismissed Bert’s whiskey venture, that didn’t stop her from privately giving it a taste. Perked up by the drink, Ruth semi-commits to helping Bert with his new plan and allows him to remain on her property for a few weeks.
Following another run-in with the growingly strange Angela and Buddy, Martin, Louisa and James finally make it to the beach. Clearly not the owner of a speedo and flip-flops, Martin wears a suit and stands out like a sore thumb, hilariously analyzing sunburns and taking a Frisbee to the noggin.
Just as the picnic begins to hit its stride, Angela and Buddy once again turn up uninvited. This time, however, Angela has reached a whole new level of kooky. Having treated herself for an injury with pet medication, Angela is hallucinating mightily, telling the Doc how Buddy feels about him, while waving around a giant stick and claiming there are birds all around.
With awkwardness increasing at PC Penhale’s BBQ, he witnesses the commotion on the beach and races to help Martin settle the crazy veterinarian. This time, the officer keeps his taser holstered and instead tackles Angela in the ocean.
As the craziness calms back at the surgery, Martin and Louisa reflect.
Louisa: “Did you really think Buddy has talking to her? About you?”
Louisa: “So what did he say?”
Martin: “He thinks I’m lonely. It’s nonsense.”
No sooner are those words uttered, that Buddy once again gets free of Angela and charges toward the surgery. Still not willing to accept his companionship, Martin shuts the door on his fluffy wannabe friend.
While Buddy may be closed out for now, there is a chance that this playful, determined pup may help Martin realize that it’s okay to let others in and influence his life. Therapy is certainly useful, but it could be Buddy that ultimately assists Martin and Louisa move ahead.