Giovanni Sermonti is established as a healthy man who runs to take care of himself both physically and emotionally and to balance the long hours he spends with clients in practice as a psychoanalyst. Giovanni, his beautiful wife Paola, their daughter Irene and Andrea continue to gather at meal times and enjoy each other's company. He is different and tries to cope alone, cutting himself off emotionally from his wife, daughter and clients. Giovanni is a kind, if slightly weary psychoanalyst with a clientele who keep him fully occupied. His counselling room is reached from the family apartment. Giovanni cannot quite set aside his worries about his son, doubtful that he is acting as a normal boy of his age should. When Andrea enters a tennis tournament, Giovanni is deeply bothered by the adolescent's relaxed attitude in playing so casually that he loses.