We're back to Doctor Foster, quite a bit happened last time and now we've got the happy couple playing Happy Families again, what could possibly go wrong? Rolling after the break
A metric tonne of things happened last time, let's see if I can get them in to one long run-on sentence! Carly befriended Kate, giving her the strength to abort Simon's baby as he hadn't yet told Gemma; Gemma shagged her neighbour and accountant to blackmail him into access to Simon's financial records, which revealed just how much Simon succeeding has on the line; Gemma euthanized Simon's mum and someone's been posting nasty shite about Gemma's doctoring abilities online. Woo hoo, we did it! Ready for the new? Right, on we go
Gemma's so happy things are back to normal that she can barely stand it, watching Simon and Tom banter in the kitchen while she stares as their pictures of when they were young and ecstatic to be together. She joins in, Happy Families once again.
Ros is all up in her grill at work, how can Gemma just take him back? With this MASSIVE secret between them? That's a bit funny, since Ros has been after Gemma to treat it like a fling since the beginning and just leave it alone, what's changed her tune now? Gemma defends her decision, they have a child and 14 years together, she has to try. I wonder if the fact that Simon has looted absolutely everything possible from the family finances has something to do with that. Tom's education fund, a second mortgage, all those things are pretty scary to look at in halfsies.
Their colleague Nick (Peter DeJersey) has been hovering, there's been another complaint. But it's not just online this time, someone came in and made a complaint in person, which ups the ante considerably. That in combination with the online postings, and her Mother In Law's death...it's been kicked upstairs. Well damnit, I was just thinking that at least she had her good job if things went entirely south with Simon. Looks like someone is after that too.
This new complaint is personal, though, it's about her life, her marriage, but the accuser has requested anonymity. So. Hmm, that changes things a bit. I would guess Anwar, given that line, but I can't see him going after her, they have all that palpable chemistry. Who I originally thought was responsible for the online attacks was Carly's ex-boyfriend Daniel, whom Doctor Foster booted out quite firmly, but this adds a wrinkle. Is Chris Parks, Kate's dad, a viable option? Maybe Gordon of the googled rashes. I BET IF I KEEP WATCHING I'LL FIND OUT!
Gemma's made the mistake of looking at all those terrible reviews on ratemyGP.com (shouldn't that be co.uk? Little help from my British pals?), it's all very general, but there are a lot of them. A knock jars her out of her pity party; it's Gordon again.
She starts off sarcastic "long time no see," but he calls her on it, saying it's usually the others that do that? She relents and they begin again, what's the trouble? His shoes don't fit any more.
Back at home, Simon's telling Tom the story of how he and Gemma met; there was a lot of booze and the chair that Gemma was standing on allowed her to spy the best looking man in the room: Simon. She attempted some ABBA chair dancing and was rescued by Best Looking Simon, who suggested a curry. And there we are, 14 years later and she boiled the rice over and then dumped it into the sink, she's slightly distracted. Simon stares holes at his plate, he's just figured out that today is the anniversary of that date and he was supposed to get her a card...he looks crestfallen while she murmurs lame excuses on his behalf; he's been busy, no big deal, etc etc. He pulls out a card, awww, he's so sweet, he DIDN'T forget and the card says "I REALLY FCUKING FANCY YOU" which NO, Tom will not be seeing.
Later we know there will be the secks, he watches her undress and then it's all very romantic and loving and not the least feral. There's a part where they're both underneath the covers and it's so lovely if claustrophobic looking. They're creating their own beautiful little world and all is well within that little cocoon. That's the good part of marriage, having someone who knows every part of you, good and bad, under a blanket in low light and it's magic.
I feel bad because I was thinking "well, I guess he's all excited, he's not used to missing his 4:30 pm piece."
After, they cuddle and his phone chimes. He texts someone back and it's just work, some problem. Looks like more than one somebody has decided to give Simon another chance.
The next morning at work, Doctor Foster has her disciplinary meeting, she has to sit on the other side, where Jack did when he was fired. Ah and it was Carly's ex-boyfriend who made the complaint, the lit cigarette is mentioned. The GMC is concerned on a deeper level, the online comments are giving a deeper context to the in-person complaint, and the fact that the police were in sniffing about re: Simon's mother's suicide. She's being asked to take an informal leave of absence; the alternative being a forced suspension. It's effective immediately and she collects her things and goes.
That was a pretty stupid thing to do with Carly's ex, everyone is vulnerable in some fashion, but there was a part of me that cheered for her getting rid of that abusive arsehole for Carly.
Ros will become senior managing partner now, FINALLY Gemma's realised that Ros isn't on her side. In fact, Ros is who talked to the police about her, sorting through Gemma's handbag one day and seeing some pills.
What if this is all a set-up by Ros to get Simon? She's a local, she already said everyone was bouncing on everyone back in the day. There was also a weird vibe when she was talking to Simon the other evening.
Anyway, the pills she saw were the ones Gemma took from Jack, the sleeping pills and anti-sickness medication. She can't find them now, though, pawing through her bag while Ros makes That Face again. Ros helps her find them, but it's odd, very odd what's happening with these two.
Gordon's distressed at her departure, she's the only doctor that didn't laugh at him and would listen. She advises him to Google her to find out why.
She goes straight to Carly's house, Daniel is indeed there. Sober now, he says, and she begs for another chance. Carly's there in the doorway now, looking grave and not at all on our doctor's side. Gemma's desperate now, taking out her wallet: how much? Carly looks her in the face, she really needs to stop offering her money.
Carly knows everything and now she's not on TeamGemma any longer, this is not good at all for our intrepid heroine. Who hasn't done that, though, trusted the wrong person because you were in extremis and you just wanted someone to LISTEN and you were too upset to notice all the cues that showed the other person was not TeamYou?
We're at Tom's game, now, Gemma looks relaxed and light, but she won't for long. She says hello to Chris and Susie, who asks when they will all get together? She'll email. Er-ooh, and here comes Kate. Gemma keeps a straight face, asking how she's doing, and asking if Kate's going out? With her fancy skirt? Ah but of course Simon wasn't expecting Gemma there, perhaps that's why Kate was wearing said skirt.
She fills Simon in on what's been going on at work, she cries and he holds her, until his phone buzzes. There's an angry Kate on the other end, she figures, he ups the ante by offering her the phone to look at, but Tom comes up first. Oh and now Simon can't come for pizza, he has a crisis and will be a couple of hours. Tom is disappointed, but that's not a bit of what Gemma is feeling.
She follows him out of the parking lot, Tom waving and quite obviously in sight. Simon won't be seeing Kate and that fancy skirt today if she can help it.
She races to Simon's office, Becky about drops a watermelon out of her bum when she sees Gemma. Gemma sees her opening and presses; has Simon been bullying Becky? Gemma was really upset about work and needing his comfort, but instead, he's in there having sex with Kate Parks again, isn't she? It's written all over Becky's face.
Gemma rushes into Simon's office; he's not there. They had a system, one enabled by Becky, he would leave by the back entrance. Gemma looks out the window to see Simon and Kate kissing on a bench in the back, so light, carefree, so romantic. Gemma moancries as her wedding band beats a tattoo against the glass.
Gemma and I can't believe he left her alone on this awful day to go play silly buggers with Kate and her stupid leopard-print sunglasses.
She gathers herself, right, Becky went on holiday with them, where did they go? It was France, Chris and Susie have a place there and Becky has all the pictures. So. Neil, Anna, Becky and Ros all knew about this relationship of very long standing: can NOBODY keep a bloody secret? Well, I guess they did, though, all ruint by that one long blonde hair.
Chris doesn't know, though, he'd kill Simon if he did, and that's something. Let's file that away for future works.
Tom bursts in just then; where's dad and why is Gemma being such a mad bitch right now??
Gemma's skidding right now, she bullies Becky (as Simon does) into texting Simon; she's going on a work conference and she'll be back in a couple of days. She rushes back to tell the actual truth; she and Becky are going to lie because Mum needs some time away, she can't handle everything that's happening right now. Honesty is key, but she's putting her kiddo in an untenable position. He agrees to not tell Simon.
Gemma drives and cries and picks at her fingers as Simon calls again and again. Why not turn it off?
Gemma's gone to see Jack on his vacation, he's spearfishing (poorly) on the dock when she arrives. He was staying with Mary, can she stay too? Who was / is Mary? Close enough of a friend to have pictures of Gemma everywhere and for her to tell about Simon's infidelity. Is that Gemma's mum? Mary was just shouting about her husband being dead, that would be an unfortunate time for Gemma to have arrived. No, no, I remember now, Gemma's parents are both dead, so who's this Mary who's close enough to turn off Gemma's phone? And chide her for not turning around immediately and gathering up Tom? You know, he's in the care of another parent, why do people assume only mums know how to care for their children?
They talk about Jack, he's struggling with letting go of his boyfriend David who died, and Mary advises "when you're going through hell, you've got to keep going" and true that. No wine, though, Gemma! Another cuppa or some squash. I've yet to hear of someone drowning their sorrows in gourds, but then I'm not English.
Becky's sent the pictures of the holiday in France, Gemma scrolls through them, zooming in on a sign behind Becky that says "La Pierre Blanche" but we don't find out what the significance of that is because Jack strolls up just then. He gently makes fun of her always being on her phone, she mutely shows him the pictures.
So this is where Doctor Foster came from; Mary was a family friend who helped when Gemma's parents died in a car accident when she was 16. Like Caroline in Last Tango in Halifax, she loves her house. It symbolises something to them both, to Gemma it's safety and security. Well, I suppose most of us feel like that about our homes. And even though everyone in Simon's town refers to Gemma as from "away", he may have met her in London, but this is where we're all from, aren't we? Somewhere small that shaped us that we couldn't wait to get away from, but that calls at us from our very roots.
Jack's doing better, his health has improved since the not drinking, and he wants to stay here forever. Just not with Her (Mary) *sidelong look over his shoulder*. Moving on, he highly recommends it. I wish that for her, to walk away and have her son and be happy.
Mary and Jack are debating what Gemma should do, Jack says take Tom and go, Mary thinks Gemma got married for better or worse and if ONE more person says Simon made a mistake, I shall go mad. He created and nurtured a two year relationship that resulted in a child, willfully deceiving Gemma and including their shared friends in his duplicity. That's not a mistake.
Gemma goes on to say that her loss is so much harder to deal with than Jack's boyfriend dying, coughing up blood after months of pain, she never knew Simon, everything was a lie, and besides, her parents died, she knows about being left. I get where she's going with that, but she needs to STFU. After Jack retreats in anger, Mary warns her; she needs to be more careful when she's upset. Gemma has always known how to hurt people. Gemma is left alone in the low light.
Two things: I wonder if Gemma "always" knowing how to hurt people is why she became a doctor? And if she HAS always known how to hurt someone, I hope she unleashes that on Simon. I was willing to give Gemma a tentative pass in case she was concerned about the money, standing by her man to make sure her family was solvent again, but once the shenanigans and complete lack of regard for her and her pain surfaced...burn it to the ground.
Gemma's up and staring outside; then at pictures of herself.
Small aside: what is Gemma, raised by the sea and all about it, doing with Simon, who can't swim? And I thought THAT was how they met, her saving his soggy arse, not the drunken night in the pub? I may have my wires crossed or the wrong end of the stick there. How awful that first dinner party is now, with Anna and Neil fully aware that Simon absolutely is okay with going away to the seaside, with them even, and his 23 year old girlfriend.
She walks along the beach, and I was slightly worried about her walking in kind of thing, but her phone rings, I thought Mary fixed that? This time she answers, telling him she's at a hotel for the convention, remember? She gives him one more chance to tell her "any news?" and then cries like she's been stabbed in the chest when he says no. She hangs up, bent over and sobbing with pain, how can she keep doing this to herself?
She throws her phone back onto in anguish and wades into the water, flailing about and then finally calm and sinking beneath the waves
Jack comes out, bracing his face against the wind and calling out for her. He finds her phone by the water and we're all worried until just then, when we see her, standing and dripping by the water. She wanted to drown, but no. Now she's going home.
She drives straight to Tom's school, where she sees Becky about to pick up Tom, Simon's sent her. Gemma wants Becky's help, she owes her.
Gemma goes home and puts on her game face and a MAC forcefield; Simon arriving home to find her preternaturally calm. She changed her mind and she's all over the place these days, but go put on a shirt, they have a dinner. He's on edge, coming down to find Becky and her daughter there to take care of Tom, see? She's including everyone who was complicit in Simon's deception. His uneasiness increases.
They pull up in front of the house where they are having dinner, it's the Parks. You know, they were invited yesterday at the football. Simon says he can't, hey look, there's Kate's car there! Oh and dinner is next week, but Gemma pushes in anyway, Susie and Chris insist they stay for supper! Look! The kids are in and everything!
What follows is the most uncomfortable dinner party ever for Simon and Kate, but Gemma looks gorgeous and relaxed. She's having a great time! You can practically hear the blood beating in Simon's ears. And we're oot.
So. I don't know, this was an uneven episode for me, I love Gemma's movement, and I suspect her path forward will be bloody, but it's played superbly by Suranne Jones and I have faith it is in good hands. However. Simon sitting on a bench cuddling and kissing with his Other Woman who just aborted their baby against his wishes to get back at him for not leaving his wife...uneven, see? Especially when he just raced away from his wife, who was in extreme distress and whom he swears he loves equally. I understand it's a plot device to show how strong the draw is to Kate and how evil and duplicitous Simon is, but I just don't buy that someone can switch emotions so quickly. But yay more screen time for Jack!
One other small note, I know I'm supposed to be angry about the online harassment and complaint about Doctor Foster, but she absolutely should have taken time off, not gotten involved with the unknown Carly, giving her drugs and money for her help. And yay getting rid of abusive boyfriend, it seems we've all forgotten, when young: we don't usually get rid of boyfriends, just set them aside for awhile. That's a sweeping generalization, I'm just suggesting that relationships at ALL ages are complicated and you can't expect people to stay gone at any point. And you probably shouldn't use your real name when you're threatening them with a lit cigarette.
Until next time! Cheers