Things They Can Tell By Looking At You
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Masters Of Sex Season 3 Episode 8 recap
Well, it wasn’t a boring episode of Masters of Sex – in fact, there were people and their relationships being explored all over the place. Sometimes I think it’s that this show tries to do too much, and so we wind up feeling unfulfilled about all of it.
Getting Virginia out from under Bill felt very refreshing, even if the Vegas vacation seemed a little tuneless – something that was meant to be Pretty Woman but didn’t wind up feeling like it. What did Virginia end up doing all day, after all?
And in her anxiety not to be a trophy wife or subscribe to the trappings of someone who doesn’t pay attention to her partner’s work, Virginia becomes a woman who keeps secrets. She’s caught between two men, she’s lying to them both (my revelation at the end of the episode that she isn’t confiding in Dan any of the realities about Bill Masters means that this is, like her first-season relationship, not actually real), and she’s disappointed in herself for being in this position again.
What would it take for Virginia to actually be truthful? Bill being above board? Leaving his wife? Giving her an equal stake in the company? Because Dan is offering her all of those things (well…maybe not quite the wife, just yet) and it’s not enough for her to tell Bill what’s going on.
Of course, the rest of the episode is about people who don’t tell the truth and get found out anyway. I know they’re supposed to be ‘bad’ for lying, but in fact it seems like kind of an acceptable method of getting people to know what you need them to know – just let yourself get found out.
Betty is the most interesting in this situation, (since nobody, but nobody, knows, cares, or could verify that Libby Masters is not only having an affair but is mourning the last one she had ) given that what she has on Bill and Virginia should be more than enough to warrant a favour. The solution they arrive at with Dr. Langham is startling, and should be one of those ‘OMG they’re doing it on TV’ moments, so why does it feel so airless? Is it because there’s no difficulty to it? Go find Dr. Langham, get him to impregnate you…no false starts or frustration. Nobody ever fails at doing something on this show, they just get despondent when they look at the results of their success.
I assume the same will be true for the Nora storyline. I already hate this character and her Mary Sue ‘I’m just studying! Sex is so wonderful!’ But given that we’ve been shown over and over again that Bill and Virginia will sabotage anything in their paths, I don’t look at these relationships with anything but exhaustion, waiting for the inevitable to come.
Attached - Lizzy Caplan at a screening of Sleeping With Other People last week in LA.