MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Five
Even though there were big changes for Masters, for me this episode was all about Libby and her dramatic change from the first season to the present.
We begin with Masters giving Virginia a key to her office at Buell Green Hospital. Instead of being excited Virginia is upset Masters would just assume she would leave Memorial. Virginia wants a contract detailing her job description as well as assurance that if Bill were to leave the hospital she would still have a job. While I understand Virginia’s apprehension over leaving her secure job at Memorial for this new endeavor with Bill, I was surprised with how upset Virginia became. Hasn’t she been complaining this whole time that Masters has been stringing her along? Now that she has the chance to work with Bill she isn’t as excited as I thought she would be. Masters also tells Virginia that Lillian knows they have been sleeping together for the study. Lillian’s odd behavior now makes more sense to Virginia.
At Memorial, Virginia confronts Lillian. Virginia doesn’t think what she does outside the office should affect her work with Lillian. Lillian doesn’t think what Virginia and Masters are doing is work. (I have to agree.) Virginia and Lillian begin to argue so loud the secretarial pool can hear them. Virginia accuses Lillian of having resources to get ahead that most women would not, such as a supporting family and money. Lillian says Virginia is using her sexuality to get ahead with Masters. Some of what Lillian said must have resonated with Virginia because when she and Masters meet later she asks if their sleeping together, oh excuse me I meant working together, was part of her job. Masters says yes. Upstairs in their room Virginia refuses to have sex. Instead she orders Masters to masturbate in front of her. It’s clearly a power play to convince herself that they are meeting for the sake of the study and not because they are having an affair. Virginia takes out a stopwatch to observe Bill. Talk about performance anxiety. When Virginia asks Masters what he thinks about when he touches himself, he says he thinks of her. Virginia then orders Masters to start taking off her clothes. It’s clear what they share is about more than just science.
At the Masters home Coral’s boyfriend, Robert, stops by to pay Libby a visit. He tells Libby he knows about the lice shampoo incident (Libby forced Coral to wash her hair in the bathroom sink or Coral would lose her job). Robert tells Libby he doesn’t want an incident like that to happen again. When Coral comes to work Libby tells her about Robert’s visit. Libby then tells Coral she should leave Robert because he is an angry man and not good for her. Coral admits Robert can be a bit abrasive and hot tempered. She then goads Libby by saying that Robert’s passion makes their intimate moments spectacular and it’s hard to give that up. Of course Libby would have no idea about being satisfied in the bedroom since her husband seems to save all his passion for his study. Later, Libby asks Masters about angry makeup sex. Masters agrees to have sex with Libby but it’s anything but passionate. In fact, Libby fakes an orgasm. She tells Bill she was quiet when she came because she didn’t want to wake the baby.
At Buell Green, Masters and Virginia are having problems with their patients. Many of Bill’s gynecology and obstetric patients don’t want to come to a predominantly black hospital. One of his patient’s husbands even gets into a fight with a black man in the waiting room. Bill gets punched in the face with he tries to step in and stop the fighting. Virginia also finds the flyers she put up for the study in the garbage. She assumes the deliveryman that watched her post the flyers took them down because he had a very disapproving face. When Masters and Virginia come to work the day after the fight they find their waiting room has been segregated. A fact Masters is not happy with.
Back in the Pretzel King household things are still tense. After PK found out Betty was lying to him about being sterile he began to sleep on the couch. Betty pleads with him to come back to their bed. After discussing adopting children PK seems to feel better and they go back to normal — until Betty’s ex lesbian lover shows up. I am so in love with the idea of Sarah Silverman joining the show as Helen, Betty’s lover! But anyway, Helen shows up and tells Betty she wants her back. It’s clear Betty still has feelings for Helen. Betty even admits to Helen that she only married PK because of financial stability. When PK sets Helen up with his friend Al, Betty is a nervous wreck, even going so far as to *gasp* vacuum. Betty also tries to keep the blind date from happening by telling PK that Helen only occasionally bathes and that she has a gambling problem. PK brushes it off and the four of the go out for supper at a fancy restaurant. At dinner the women alternate between throwing verbal jabs and inside jokes. The men try to keep up but don’t have much of an idea what’s going on. When it becomes too much for Betty she escapes to the bathroom to cry. Helen goes after her and the two share a kiss. Will this be just another secret Betty has to keep from the Pretzel King?
Masters comes home from the hospital and tells Libby about the fight. Libby then tells Bill that Robert, Coral’s boyfriend, threatened her. When Libby tells Masters why Robert threatened her, Bill says he would have done the same thing. Masters tells Libby she was wrong to force Coral to wash her hair and that she should apologize. Libby yells at Bill because she always sticks up for him but he never sticks up for her. When Robert picks up Coral from work Libby apologizes for the way she treated Coral. Robert tells Libby she should be apologizing to Coral, not him. Libby still believes Coral was wrong in refusing to wash her hair so she won’t apologize. Robert tells Coral this is an example of white people not being able to take responsibility for their actions. Libby is enraged.
At Buell Green, Virginia receives an emergency call. She rushes over to Memorial Hospital. It turns out Lillian passed out in the women’s bathroom. Virginia asks her if she had a seizure. Lillian replies, with her special brand of dry wit, that she has no idea, only that she woke to a ten-year-old screaming because she thought Lillian was dead. Lillian then tells Virginia that she’s going to resign from Memorial before they have to ask her to quit. Lillian wants to keep some of her dignity. Lillian also admits that even though she doesn’t approve of what Virginia is doing with Bill, she has too little time left to stay mad at her. It’s a touching moment. I’m going to miss Lillian so much when she leaves the show.
Back at Buell Green, Masters tells his boss, Mr. Hendricks that he is resigned to lose some of his patients because of moving to a new hospital. Mr. Hendricks doesn’t agree with Bill. He tells Masters the hospital will be integrated and he will help with the process. Masters admits he’s not the best when it comes to speaking with the patient, but that Virginia excels in the area. Virginia is touched that Masters would speak highly of her in front of another doctor. While it seems that Mr. Hendricks is a fan of Dr. Masters work the future might reveal differently. As Mr. Hendricks leaves the hospital we see him pulling down the flyers for the sex study and throwing them away in the garbage.
A native of North Dakota, Meagan Burgad currently resides in North Carolina with her husband. When not traveling the world she is reading a book or blogging for Love Between the Sheets.