Masters Of Sex Season 2 Episode 7 recap

It was a bad night to be switching between Masters and the VMAs because the timeline was jumping all over the damn place. To be honest, had I known, I could have almost gotten through it all while waiting for Beyonce but…what can you do?

Instead we broke our necks sailing through several years in the lives of Masters and Johnson. The net of this seems to be that I’ve been proven wrong about Betty – she was quite amusing in her continual many-outfit cameos – and, inversely, Bill’s mother wears a coat with a fur collar no matter what day or year it is.

I just don’t know what to do with this show. So little of it is about the sex: great, fine, wonderful. But then, all of it is about the pain. Everyone’s so self-righteous in their terribleness. And it almost felt like a movie of the week about these people instead  of an actual, focused episode that’s going somewhere.  

We know the marital and romantic status of everyone in the show, but do we actually care about anyone? Now that Libby’s been assassinated and something is up such that Bill’s mother now likes being treated abominably and Dr. Langham has tired of being a playboy …

Why are we talking about Dr. Langham?!? What is this show trying to do?  Sometimes people make rash decisions about their marriages and regret them.   Nobody is as happy as they look, with the exception of single people. Everyone has romantic hangups…


It’s taken me this long to realize that the problem is we’re never in anyone’s head.   We’re not in Virginia’s head, when she gabbles about money and then has an endless string of men by her side. I’m not calling it “a string of men” to be obnoxious like Bill – but because that’s all they are. We never know anything about them except their approximate hair colour and build. Even the one played by Matt Camden (shout it if you knew it) was basically hired to be bland.  

But we don’t know enough about Virginia’s likes or wants to understand why abusive asshole Bill Masters really does it for her. Why she keeps crawling back to his stoic stone face. I like Michael Sheen but man, that rock-person face he does is so exhausting.   

The thing is that nothing has any impact. Dr. De Paul dies, Bill has another child, Virginia tells him he’s an ass, neither of them change, and neither do the people around them.

And after all these people, these situations that they run into and investigations into the human condition, are we serious that nothing has changed for him? He still yells at his wife, hates his mother, is indifferent and absent to his children? That’s a fine place to start someone, I guess, but where to end them? Why is Bill no different? If he loves Virginia, even, shouldn’t that translate to the rest of his life? Shouldn’t he be happier? 

I don’t envy the writing team. Real people’s lives are notoriously difficult to try to translate onscreen, not least for this reason – there can be long periods of not much happening. But the faithfulness to character, if that’s what’s happening, is rendering me less and less interested in the show. If I wanted to watch a cruising snapshot of a life, well, Beyonce was on.

Attached - Lizzy Caplan at pre-Emmy events this weekend.