Despite his disastrous introduction to life in the sleepy village of Portwenn, the former surgeon has decided to stay and give it a go. The waiting room is full with patients enjoying tea and biscuits served by Elaine. It seems the previous doctor allowed his patients to treat his office as a drop-in cafe to share their ailments, but not necessarily to seek medical treatment. Elaine's inefficiency pushes Martin over the edge and he fires her. News of her dismissal spreads around the village like wildfire, and Martin becomes universally disliked. The cafe won't serve him, and patients are canceling appointments and Elaine leaves town and will miss her father's wedding. Martin confides in a patient, telling him about the phobia that prevented him from continuing his surgical career. Elaine returns in time for the wedding and Martin asks her to return to work, but on the strict understanding that she adheres to his ground rules.