By David Oliver
HOLY PLOT. After stringing us along for a few episodes, “Masters of Sex” delivers an episode-ending twist that changes what’s next for this titled sex study, cleans up some dangling threads from the season prior and offers the show a new direction. Are you ready?
Ohhh, boy. Our female lead has a bad dream where Bill is questioning her application for the continuation of the study and says “under current occupation you wrote mistress.” OUCH, but true. In what I thought would be the biggest shocker of the episode. Langham sees Bill and Virginia leave the hotel together, obviously putting two and two together. Virginia later tries to cover her tracks, but Langham doesn’t buy it. After tossing a few drinks back with a self-deprecating Lillian, he reveals Bill and Virginia’s secret, assuming she knew. Lillian tries to coax it out of Virginia, but when she fails, she gives away her study to a doctor in Florida, presumably as punishment. “I didn’t go into medicine to see my name on a study, Virginia,” she says. Low blow, Lill. Virginia is losing opportunities by the minute here.
Oh, Libby. You’re even more racist than we though. She hosts a luncheon for the doctors’ wives from Bill’s new hospital, but all they want to talk about is the study. That is, until Coral comes along. “Coral she doesn’t want your family history, she was being polite,” she scoffs. But that’s the least of her problems, because poor John has lice…and Libby blames Coral. It looks like Bill’s able to calm Libby down, but no – she asks Coral to use special shampoo. When Coral doesn’t comply, Libby makes her sit by the sink and does it for her. “How can I trust anything you say to me anymore?” “We don’t need to involve Bill.” I’m sensing a breakdown coming for this housewife scorned – it’s like “Mad Men’s” Betty 2.0, but worse because this isn’t funny, it’s just plain off.
The truth is out for the Morettis. Bill tells the couple they are infertile because of Betty, even though at first Betty wants him to tell Gene that he’s the culprit. But Gene has the bigger secret: he knew she was a prostitute. “I never thought you were a good Christian girl I just thought you were the love of my life.” Aww(?) I think.
Bill’s troubles at work are far from over. One of his patients for the study insists a woman be present, and then he later forgets to warm the device because Virginia always did. Not to mention the fact Greathouse is observing his every move. He tries to ward him off, but ultimately Greathouse brings a bunch of other doctors in to eat and watch a woman masturbate. “This is a scientific study, not a stag film in a frat house,” Bill says, begging him to hire Virginia and give the study privacy. When that doesn’t work, Bill force feeds one of the doctors and punches out Dr. Greathouse! We don’t need Donald Trump to announce anything for us, Bill’s canned. Meanwhile, Libby invited Langham for dinner, who tries to have a heart-to-heart with Bill about marriage, thinking he could be cured by marrying Elise of his teenage antics. To Langham’s surprise, he and Bill aren’t different. Later, Libby snaps at Bill after learning of his firing. “Why do I have to hear everything about my husband third hand?” “When exactly will everything be fine?”
Cut to Bill’s next job at a black hospital. “Masters of Sex” is not shying away from the social issues this season, and something tells me Libby isn’t going to be happy with this next heap of story – which is going to make this season that much more exciting.