Doctor Foster S1:E3 Bouncing As Blackmail Recap

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We're back with Suranne Jones as the clever cheatee in a suddenly unhappy marriage in Doctor Foster, let's see what she has up her sleeve.

So. Last time all kinds of insane things happened. Turns out this "passing fancy" is pregnant, and instead of letting the Other Woman sort things out on her own, Gemma decided she was morally obligated to have Simon find out about the baby. Kate had planned to not birth the Simon-spawn, but Simon's put an end to that, fankyouverymuch. I don't understand Gemma's decision to do that, but maybe she has more feelings for Simon than I do. She is starting to put things in motion, however, after meeting dishy divorce attorney Anwar, and helping out her old pal Jack Renyolds with a trip to rehab in the country instead of just yelling at and firing him.She also found out that Simon and Kate have been carrying on for two years, not three months, from HIS MOTHER, who absolutely knows about this not-quite-illicit affair. It seems only outsider Gemma from "away" has been left out of Simon's duplicitous loop. She managed to work up the nerve to ask Simon about it head-on, suggesting they could work through things, if he just be honest. He was unable to be honest with her. Onward into this tangled web Simon's has woven!

We open with Gemma leaving home early, Neil's out for a run and stops to say hi. He's all sweaty and one of his nipples is staring directly at us, but he still manages a compliment for her smart suit. She blushes, hmmm. History there? He's gross, by the way. All bad, cheesy jokes and single erect nipples, just the worst. He watches her away.

She's leaving early but is stopped by a motorcycle accident on the side of the road. She calls an ambulance and tells the hurt driver to stay still, she's worried about nerve damage and also her shirt, she has a very important meeting. He very helpfully projectile vomits all over her and I'm taking it as a credit to my Motherhood Stockholm Syndrome that I immediately thought "oh good, I thought it might be blood, she'd NEVER get that out. Some pale vomit: no problem." I once drove across three states in the USA covered in kiddo bile and it never even occurred to me to change out of that outfit until we parked for the night. I'm not a dirtbag, I just have different priorities. I tell myself.

Ah and her important meeting IS with Anwar, as I suspected. Tiny bit of backstory, Anwar is a patient of Doctor Foster's. She overstepped bounds by calling his pregnant wife and telling her Anwar had a brain tumah. Funny how THAT doesn't bother me, but the whole telling on the pregnant mistress does.

ANYWAY, Gemma's trying to work out what to do, she's driving herself mad going over the last two years, knowing they had sex, she told him she loved him, she was open and naked walking around with him, and the whole time, he was involved with this other woman. That might sound silly, but to be physically and emotionally naked like that in front of someone who is not actually with you is devastating. She apologizes to Anwar, who just wants her financial details. She doesn't have them, she's always let Simon handle the money, since he thinks he's better at it. She doesn't even know the particulars of his work or current project Academy Green. She doesn't know ANYTHING. SHE'S A DOCTOR, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! She fell for THAT??

He yells at her too; how can she not know her own financial situation?? In a divorce, the default is 50/50, is she happy with that? No, he's the one that cheated. BUT! It could and probably is worse than that, given that Simon alone is handling all their money, odds are that he has already been moving money around in preparation. Especially now, with another financial dependent on the way. Anwar advises her that she has an unusual advantage: she has time to figure all of this out, to find the money and start protecting it. He asks what she wants: she wants her house, her money, her dignity and I agree with all of that save the house. Perhaps a new start somewhere else where all your friends didn't help your husband shag an almost-teenager for two years. He tells her to play the dutiful wife and if he hands her a pot of lubricant, I am not responsible for my actions.

A small aside: I don't think she dressed up for this important meeting, I think she dressed up for Anwar. There is an undeniable chemistry there.

Simon's having a ribbon ceremony at Academy Green; it's a school! Gemma watches, ever dutiful, while Neil leers at her and fixes his hair. He makes a run at her in the lobby and she takes the opportunity to ask about her accounts; could he take her through them? Perhaps over supper? So many looks cross his face; hope, then yeah? then yeah, sure, you sure? and then desire settles in. She seals it by asking him to not mention it to Simon, wouldn't do to have Simon think she doesn't trust them AND WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WERE THEY THINKING GIVING THEIR INVESTMENTS TO A CLOSE (and smarmy) FRIEND, ONE WHO LIVES ACROSS THE STREET EVEN?? What an incestuous tiny little town this is. He leaves, a little lighter in the loafers now that all the blood in his body has re-centered itself, and now I think Gemma might projectile vomit. Thank goodness, I was hoping she had better taste than that.

Ros comes over to reminisce about handies in the school parking lot, small town, you see, nothing to do but each other and I just said that!! MOVE, Gemma! Ros and everyone else has probably banged the gong slowly with your hubs: YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS HERE.

I'm awfully shouty today, better kick it down a notch or you lot will skidootch.

Ros will be undercover tomorrow for Gemma, and Kate's due in the surgery.

Simon and Gemma have a moment with Tom, I can just imagine what that cost her to accept his lame thanks and smile at him. What he really meant was "thank you for being here, my girlfriend's pregnant and really moody about not being able to see me all the time, so I'm sure glad you could come here and be my morally appropriate stable-looking cover. Fanks"

Carly has a new assignment; she's to make friends with Kate and drop in that she's pregnant. Gemma needs to find out about any of Kate and Simon's future plans, kind of genius, really. Carly approaches Kate's condo again while Gemma gets a text, what time for supper? This must be Neil.

Carly does it! She's made initial contact with Kate and managed to work in that she's pregnant. Carly asks how she knew to do that, it's because that's what Gemma did when she first moved there and was pregnant: made friends. Well. She thought they were friends. How awful. I won't say it again, but any part of moving forward absolutely has to involve her moving away, I can't see any other path forward.

They're in to see Simon's mum's doctors, it's not looking good. Gemma's extry dutiful, patting Simon like a child and holding his hand and the usual sort of thing. Simon's mother is in a great deal of pain, and she doesn't want to be any more. Simon won't listen to any of that, but Gemma whisper-promises to talk to her about it later.

Gemma's getting dressed up for her date dinner meeting with Neil. Tom says she doesn't look normal. That's how kids tell you that you look nice, I gather. Simon is even more forthcoming; he comments on her heels and says she looks really... what?? Looks really what?? Gemma and I want to know! Does NOBODY know how to give a compliment in this day and age? Here, I'll start "You look lovely, Gemma, your hair shines!" Now one of you go!

She walks out, angry now, managing to key Simon's car as she goes along and I bet that's really satisfying, but: shared marital assets. Wait until the settlement then go to town on HIS half. Or somefing. The cab driver watches as fun music plays.

Undercover friends time! Carly approaches Kate again with a copy of the book "I Love Being Pregnant", she's got a spare! Does Kate want one? Ros makes her move then too, ringing Simon's doorbell. Oh, Gemma's out? Too bad. Told her yet? Ros invites herself in for a cuppa, just as Kate invites Carly in, but maybe smarmy old Ros will have a G&T *knowing smile* *herk*.

I'm impressed, Gemma's quite the organizer, arranging all this for the same evening! She arrives to find Neil already into a bottle of wine, looking sleazy and self-contented watching her approach as sacrificial lamb.

Carly spins a tale of a night drinking gone permanent to explain the paternity of her "baby", what's up with Kate? Er-oooh it's complicated...yeah. Meanwhile, Simon's explaining that he loves both Kate and Gemma equally, he won't tell Gemma what's going on because once he tells her, he knows he's lost her. Well. Is he keeping her in case things don't work out with Kate? Chances are, if you are keeping both, neither one is quite right for you. Who knows? Emotions are complicated.

He accuses Ros of being there on Gemma's behalf, nooo noo! And then she spills; yes, Gemma did ask her to come there, but not because she suspects an affair, Gemma wants to know about money. Simon's been looking stressed lately, Gemma wants to know if the money is the problem. Completely plausible, sure. And the money IS a problem, everything is thisfar from fcuked. Well.

Neil is their accountant, can they go over their figures now? There's only one figure he wants to know about, and he's not being very subtle. He's being somewhat cautious, he wants her to say it first, why he thinks they're there. Aww, he's forgotten to bring all his files with them, so they'll just have to enjoy the food.

Neil's intrigued by how Simon described Gemma when he first met her; Simon called her an animal; feral even. Gemma smiles her first real smile in ages, it's just lovely and really does seem to light up the room. He doesn't see her that way. She switches focus; how is Simon doing at work? That ambition of Simon is driving him into this new project, she wants to know it won't all go south.

He invokes privilege and hey! He can't invoke privilege when it's HER money, can he? I am going to need to calm down again or I won't make it through. Yesterday with Last Tango in Halifax was bad enough. He doesn't want to talk about Simon, though, not at all, and if that's why she's here...

She's got Fear of Missing Out, though, she swears, she doesn't care what they talk about, she just wants to be out. I could not understand more. He gives her a test then, he'll tell her what HE'S there for and if she's offended, she can just go off home and I almost liked him just then. I do like straightforward people.

He's thought a lot about her these last five years, and he's gotten to the point he needs to know what's going on under her dress and he is there, Gemma, because he thinks they could have a great time fcuking.

Bravo, Neil, all the slow claps for putting it right out there. I can't stand it when people waste time with the back and forth. Just then, the server approaches, would they like the main course? Neil waits, his penis on a platter, will Gemma order, or bolt? She says she thinks they're ready for supper, yes. He looks surprised AND confused.

Kate is explaining her and Simon's relationship; she describes Gemma as arrogant and cold. Is that why Simon wanted someone else, asks Carly? But no! Simon wasn't looking to cheat, it wasn't like that, it was just that they got on, see, I'm sure they had loads in common, him being twice her age and all. She told him he HAD to break it off with Gemma two years ago...still waiting. He talked her into keeping the baby with the promise he's tell Gemma, two weeks later...still waiting. Simon has no intention of giving up either situation.

Kate asks Carly how she felt after she broke up with her BabyDaddy? "Awful," says Carly (whut?? Don't say that!!) "for two days. And then I felt better" (whew!) which makes Kate think.

Simon thinks all will be fine in another six months, they just need to be able to sell some flats! Simon and Ros are sitting very close together on the couch and he seems to be speaking into her cleavage. In walks Tom, startling them apart guiltily. Simon pops up and he's crying; this money sitch is very, very bad.

Neil throws his gonads on the platter with his penis; he's booked a room. She knew that, though, she checked when she went to the washroom. When she first got there, so he's embarrassed, knowing that she knew all along what his intentions were. She's known them for five years, he's not exactly subtle, is he?

Now an excruciating conversation; there have been other women for Neil, yes? Yes, there have. What does Neil do with these other women, what's he "into" *meaningful headtilt*. He says "pleasure", but she presses, "let me be specific" which lights him up like a firecracker. Nothing too weird (shame, she says into her knuckle), but something physical, not soft and gentle and loving, as Anna wants. Something like what a feral animal might be into, perhaps? This sort of conversation is better handled Doing, rather than Talking, so...

Now they're up in the room, he suggests they start the usual way and take off their clothes. She's married, though, she made a promise. He's sure there are only two types of men, however, those that cheat on their wives and those that are better at hiding it. All men in a long term relationship have been unfaithful because apparently only men like sex. He just wants her to know that it's all very common, without specifically saying "hey, I went vacationing with your hubs and his young chippie, why not get back at him by bouncing on my johnson?!"

It's up to her; what will she do? She sips her wine and...takes off her dress. He takes off his shirt with a flourish (I may have checked out nipples) and they kiss and I understand how it must feel to her; to be desired so plainly. But I don't think that's the only reason she's there, besides all the slow-motion orgasms we see, she made a grab at his pants pocket too. Once, during, there's a moment where she stares at the ceiling instead of him and I have to wonder if that's to NOT look at Neil or if it's to keep the nausea at bay.

They wake up the next morning, she's got to go to work. In that dress? No, home first, and he was hoping they'd have a chance for another go? No fanks, and when do we tell Anna? Er-ooh, or Simon, he suggests, but she's serious. He doesn't understand what she's playing at, but he doesn't like it. She doesn't want to lie and if he wants her to, he'll have to give her something. How about all of Simon's accounts by this afternoon? He finally gets it, he'll have those documents to her that afternoon, at home, while Anna is out. Feral indeed.

She gets home, grabbing water and curling up on the couch. Simon and Tom wake her at 8 am, what Tom wanted to talk to Simon about last night is a bunch of bad ratings on RateMyMD.com, it must be Carly's ex-boyfriend or Kate, but they'll get to the bottom of it.

Luke from Gemma's doctor's office has been handling Simon's mother's case, it's really not looking good at all. Ros swans in, tapping him on the belly and wishing him a "brizzy (?) morning", following that with "I give up" as he walks away. He turns then, to confront her. He's not comfortable with flirting, not at work, and good on him for saying something. She's a senior doctor openly pursing a junior colleague and it's supposed to be funny, but I've been the junior and it's really not. I understand about the systemic oppression of women and yay some are getting their own back! But it's actually really shitty to make someone feel like that while they're trying to work and good for him for speaking up. I never did, probably because he's still much more likely to keep his job after than a woman, isn't he?

Ros fills Gemma in on the Simon news, but she again chooses the Simon Side, fudging the details as he begged. Ros tells Gemma he still loves her, and "it's good to be loved, Gemma. It really is" and can we be done with Ros already? I have no idea why Gemma trusts her whatsoever, a blind man could have seen that Ros was lying about the state of Simon and Gemma's financial affairs. She keeps encouraging Gemma to stay with Simon, even though she must KNOW that isn't what is best for Gemma at this point. He has a baby on the way with another woman! There is no way that will be resolved in 6 months, especially since there actually WILL be a baby in 6 months, give or take.

Going over the financial reports with Neil later, it's worse than even Simon let on. Tom's education fund (from Gemma's parents when they died) is gone, he and Gemma have re-mortgaged the house (look! She signed and everything!), and it's even worse than that. There is no money. However, a little while ago an investor called Whitestone started dumping in cash, a million dollars already. Huh. If Whitestone keeps dumping in cash, Simon WILL be able to keep things afloat until they start selling flats, but if not: they will be bankrupt within a week. He doesn't know who Whitestone is, they're registered offshore. Is this some kind of a pyramid scheme? Is Whitestone a shell set up to funnel more prospective buyers cash back through? Or is it Kate's rich daddy footing that bill?

Neil asks if maybe they can meet again? She laughs; "Neil. I'm blackmailing you" and he doesn't care, he doesn't like Simon and he DID enjoy last night, sooo. She asks him to check out Whitestone, so maybe they have a kind of barter system in place. I hate that I'm starting to understand the attraction in his long looks. Anna walks in just then, confused to find Gemma standing there with her husband. There are lots of files there but Anna isn't fooled, staring at Neil in Gemma's wake.

Simon's mother wanted to see Gemma, she ALSO knew about the financial shenanigans too, about the forging of her signature and sinking of Tom's education fund into Academy Green. I suppose I should be glad Simon's nice and close to his mother, but it just reaffirms my opinion of mother-in-laws. She begs Gemma to go easy on Simon. I mean. Gemma calls Anwar on the way home and leaves a message: she wants to proceed.

Kate's in to see Carly at work, that's it, she's done it! Carly's all whhuutttt? She broke up with Simon, and just then the man himself bursts in; she can't do this to him. Wait. Did she have the abortion or break up with Simon? Or both? She says it's gone, now, and I think she DID abort the baby already. She presses; is he going to go and tell her? And finally he comes out with it: he's not going to tell Gemma, and walks out saying no, she shouldn't wait any longer. Wow. Wow. It's one thing to decide to have an abortion without telling your partner (Mimi-Rose on Girls), it's another thing to plan one, tell your partner then sort of blackmail them to leave their wife, then do it anyway because he didn't do it in a timely fashion. WOW.

Carly passes all that on to Gemma, who says it really doesn't matter anyway. She arrives home to find Simon moping and Tom oblivious, watching TV. She starts getting supper ready (why is she preparing supper when he was sitting there that whole time?) and he approaches, hoping he's still got something to cling to.

The next morning his phone rings at 5 am, it's his mother, she's died. Luke comes in to inform them that it wasn't her condition, she actually committed suicide with sleeping pills. Simon asks where his mum got the pills (and we're all pretty sure it was Gemma), but the suicide note said she'd been storing up pills, so no suspicion for Gemma. They tell Tom together later and it seems like Gemma's reconsidering.

She comforts Tom later while Simon stares at the stars and contemplates the the mess his life has become. She joins him outside, telling him about a journal she was advised to begin when her parents died and taking his hand.

Anwar calls her back just then, no, no, she's changed her mind, they're going to try again. Simon cries in her lap and she comforts him. Tom joins them and she holds them all together. We're oot.

Well, that's that, isn't it? He's left the other woman, there's no baby coming and if they stick together and pull through this next six months, they just might make it. I think at least part of Gemma's decision to try again had to do with sleeping with Neil, and by the way WHY THE SAM HILL DID SHE HAVE TO HAVE SEX WITH HER ACCOUNTANT TO GET HER OWN FINANCIAL RECORDS?? Okay, okay, I'm hoping there was some kind of attraction there as well, although to be honest, I couldn't exactly tell. I'm slightly concerned that Kate knows where Carly works, since Carly's not exactly been forthcoming about her life, and Kate seems awfully lonely, taking the advice of a near-stranger re: the baby and Simon. So. We'll see if that ends up a sticky wicket for Carly. And who / what is Whitestone? Until next time, keep WELL ABREAST OF YOUR FINANCIAL DETAILS or at least make sure you fancy your accountant. Cheers!