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Masters of Sex recap: High Anxiety

Stripping, spying, and manipulating was the name of the game this week.

Posted on

Michael Desmond/Showtime

Masters of Sex

TV Show
Current Status:
On Hiatus
run date:
Lizzy Caplan, Michael Sheen
Showtime Networks Inc.

Everyone was freaking out in this week’s episode of Masters of Sex. Virginia was petrified, though she couldn’t admit it that Dan Logan was going to leave and go back to New York. Bill was resorting to spying on Virginia for fear that he was losing his lover. Libby was pulling away from Paul because she didn’t believe she was capable of handling yet another extra-marital relationship. And poor Austin Langham lost custody of his kids and hit rock bottom, squatting in a pink bathrobe in Helen and Betty’s apartment. No, all was not well among the St. Louis residents featured here this week but each one ended up better off at the end of the episode then they began. Let’s break it down.

Ahh, Virginia, if only the woman could come out and say what she wants. She’s clearly in love with Logan but is unable to emote. Was it all those years hiding her relationship with Bill that makes her wary to fall for yet another unhappily married man? Perhaps so. As such, Virginia would rather conjure up yet another experiment once she learns that Mr. Logan will be departing for New York if work no longer keeps him in River City. Yet something has changed with Virginia, in terms of how she feels about Bill. She’s not willing to bow down to him professionally and she reminds him tersely that she didn’t want Logan funding their operation but Hugh Hefner, a suggestion Bill ignored, yet again.

Bill sits forlorn in Virginia’s living room, waiting for her to return from her bathtub visit with Dan. She’s still angry that he set up the surrogacy program behind her back. He apologizes for it, though he has no intention of shutting it down. Rather, he asks her to keep an open mind as he tries to treat “the suffering male,” an idea Virginia clearly has contempt for. But Bill is visibly losing it. He can’t think straight when they are estranged, after all. Virginia placates him. She’s not ready to return their relationship to its professional origins. Yet, she’s so not into it. The two have sex, but she’s faking it and he’s not so clueless that he doesn’t realize it — which makes him even more nutso. He practically knocks out a bible beater for again bringing his message of fear and hate into the office, yelling, “I have been sent by God as a warning,” and then he asks Betty to spy on Virginia and find out the truth about what’s really going on between her and Dan. The surrogacy is not without its flaws and Virginia lets Bill know she’s not going to be involved with this research at all, but pursue her own experiments — the smell test kind — instead.

With Virginia all but abandoning Bill on the surrogacy project, he turns his full attention to young Nora, who seems to be excellent at her job. Yet, when she goes too far with a new client—an older man who is begging her to pay attention to what he believes may be “the only erection he will ever get” — Bill yells at her and is about to fire her from the project. The project he isn’t paying her to be a part of. It’s only later, over Chinese food, that Nora reveals that her own father hit her and left her and her mother and she’s spent a lifetime finding boyfriends with the same qualities as her dad. When she tells Bill that his yelling reminded her of her father, he should have probably been a bit more repulsed since he also had an abusive dad. Rather, he tries to be a father figure, which doesn’t really seem to play too well.

I should interject here that Bill’s attention to Dennis, at the expense of his son, is really so misguided. Really Bill, you have to be the one to explain to Dennis the inner-workings of his body while poor Johnny is huddling angrily in his bedroom. I love that this kid has no problem taking out his anger on his father but I do feel badly that Dennis is his target. First he kicks him out of his house, than he embarrasses him at school in front of a couple of girls. I get it. The bully is getting bullied, but it would be nice if Bill could have some awakening here that doesn’t involve Virginia. His son is certainly looking for some love.

NEXT: Now onto Libby’s love life