(American) Woman, Get Away From Me
Masters Of Sex Season 3 Episode 10 recap
“Oh, gee, Dr. Masters…is this how you touch a penis? Should I rub harder?”
I mean, come on now. It’s not that I think she wouldn’t say it, it’s that Bill is made of much stronger stuff than to fall for that line of garbage. I know we’re supposed to believe that he’s only this bad in a moment of intense weakness, because he’s so broken up over Virginia. And I also know that Nora is meant to be coming onto him, ripe with Daddy issues, and that they were eventually going to get here. But…I just wish she were a better seductress. Or maybe actress? Something about her feels very school play, and it’s not cute.
Especially since real high school students are much less guileful. The revelation –to Virginia, who’s dumber than the rest of us – that Tessa has long known that she’s sleeping with Bill Masters bowls Virginia over, but why? This is the part I don’t understand. She’s supposed to be a smart and savvy woman, who ostensibly brings up her children the same way (where is that baby!?) so why would she think she wouldn’t have the least idea that her mother was conducting an ill-advised emotional entanglement-plus-sex with her business partner?
It’s just a strange idea. That Virginia feels she’s fooling everyone. Bill, for his part, is a little more open to the idea that he’s a terrible husband, but in the wrong ways. Like knowing he’s been distant, so giving his wife more distance for her birthday. Sure Bill.
Are Bill and Virginia actually the greatest experiment because they’re so relationally idiotic? I’m not trying to be funny. Is there a hypothesis here that people who are comfortable and adept at sex are somehow socially impaired? It certainly would add up where Nora, lately in a bible thumper’s company (again?), is concerned.
If we are trying to say that, there are really nice parallels where Betty and Barton are concerned – people whose sex lives are so deeply under wraps and under unwanted scrutiny even so that they become experts around other people. I’d rather spend a day with either of them than anyone else in the cast – but does that mean all the great positive energy they have is just contained, contentedly seeing patients? I mean, happy doesn’t make for good TV but these people do, ostensibly, know Bill and Virginia and could yell at them more effectively than the guest stars du jour, right?
Having said that, I also need someone to yell at Libby because I’m the only one who’s not on board with this business. He’s only good because you get to go home and not be with him all the time! Sure he arranged a cute play (which is weird, PS) but everyone is cute in the beginning. Who are you actually marrying? What the hell do you think is going to happen? (Seriously, am I the only one repulsed by this ‘So Your Wife Is A Vegetable’ relationship? Sure, I get it, time has passed and they’ve grown closer, but…really the person you want to spend the rest of your life with after leaving your first, miserable marriage is literally your neighbour? No interest in going further afield? No?) The idea that women want sex and get involved with men who love them, or want to love them, is both novel and not that unusual actually, if we’re being realistic, but…it’s not like any of them winds up better for it, on this show. At least not this week.
This hilarious ridiculous mess of a show is going to continue to have crazy bible freaks involved next week, and I think that’s good. When it gets too mired in who knows what and why and nobody cares, it’s hard to have stakes – especially since nothing Virginia learns from or about Tessa is going to suddenly make her a better parent at this late date. Bill loves Virginia for real, yes, but as long as he manipulates her into being with him instead of letting her have free will, he’s worse off than if he didn’t have her….which I think he knows…?
The fact that none of these people have an endgame beyond their next orgasm is the most ridiculous and kind of original thing on TV. I’m so frequently frustrated, but I guess you wouldn’t call it predictable? Hell, the birth of the baby didn’t even come at the end of a season.
Attached - Lizzy Caplan at the premiere of Sleeping With Other People last week in LA.