By David Oliver
Last week’s shocking ending was only the beginning for our beloved (?) characters on “Masters of Sex” this week.
Buell Green, the minority hospital isn’t exactly perfect for Bill – for the first time, he’s learning to share. And that includes the waiting room. But sharing isn’t easy for everyone, especially when one of Bill’s white patients starts a fight with another doctor’s black patient in the waiting room, causing a ruckus and leading to segregation. Side note: watching this unfold organically only reminds us of the horror this time was – and continues to be – for people who are perceived as “different.” Bill and Virginia discuss including black patients in the study. With patients leaving left and right, Bill wants to take the time to focus on the study – but his new boss has other intentions, encouraging Bill to call the patients and get them back: “you exposed the truth!” But why does he rip up the sex study flyer?! He may now be the worst character on the show. Oh wait…
OK, Libby is officially the worst character on this show. Ever. First, she compares the “negro hospital” as a small step up from the “state penitentiary.” Later, Coral’s boyfriend confronts her about the hair-washing incident, and Libby recommends Coral dump the man. Coral retorts by discussing intimate details about their relationship, teasing Libby about her own marriage: “And once I finish making Dr. Masters’ bed, should I make yours too?” SNAP. This prompts one of the more awkward sex scenes I’ve seen on television between Libby and Bill. Chemistry-less and a clearly unhappy Libby, who tells Coral she’ll take care of the bedroom from now on. And just when you start to feel sorry for her, she lies and says “I didn’t force her head under the faucet” to Bill. Um, yes you did. Anyway, after some prodding from Bill, Libby decides to apologize – but only to Coral’s boyfriend, not Coral herself, citing their problems are between them. After he drives Coral away, Libby shrieks, “My husband works for a negro hospital!” Because that justifies racism? Come on, Libs. Here’s hoping she evolves a bit, otherwise it’s going to grow more and more painful to watch. You know who isn’t a painful character…
“You shouldn’t just assume that I’ll come running whenever you call, Bill,” Virginia says as the two discuss her new contract, which includes more hotel stays. In one intense scene – which for this show, there are many – Bill asks Virginia, “Aren’t you going to take off your clothes?” She says, “I don’t want to.” Bill proceeds to masturbate in front of her as she times it, and promptly goes down on her after. Hey, you knew what channel you turned to. Bill earlier revealed Lillian knew about the duo’s real relationship, causing Lillian and Virginia to fight loudly about women in the workplace, Lillian claiming to know “she would always follow Bill.” Despite the fight, Virginia shows up to take Lillian to her doctor’s appointment. “‘Cause I’m the type of person to skip out on a cancer patient,” Virginia says sarcastically. When Lillian later has a fainting incident, she decides she cannot return to the hospital. “I am scared though for what’s ahead,” she says, and admits she can’t afford to be upset with Virginia. I know Lillian’s arc is probably ending soon, and I’m really going to miss this character and actress.
Betty, Betty, Betty. We got a glimpse into the ex-prostitute’s past this week with the introduction of Sarah Silverman’s Helen, a sort of psychic who also happens to be a lesbian. She and Betty were in love and it ended badly – clearly with unresolved feelings. On a double date with Betty, Gene, Helen and a fix-up for Helen from Gene, Betty and Helen re-connect and later kiss in the bathroom. The relationship is similar to the Piper/Alex dynamic on “Orange is the New Black” – as if the characters can’t stay away from each other for long.