BWW Recap: MASTERS OF SEX Gives & Takes Away; Palmer Leaves, Goldsberry Comes
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I admit, this was a tough episode to watch, but also, the kind of episode that makes this show so great. There was a lot of loss, and we said goodbye to some key performers. It was such a well-constructed episode that it brought on the tears. Let's get to it...
There's a lot of Betty and Gene and he's clearly upset about not having children. As I said in my last recap, Gene has a childlike demeanor; he wanted the dream. He wanted this woman he thought was his soulmate and he wanted to have children with this woman because he was in love. He tells Betty he doesn't want to adopt and tells her, "You're enough." All Gene wants is Betty, and Betty CLEARLY wants someone else. One meeting with Helen and she's right back in bed giving her the best orgasms of her life; if her moaning is any indication. It's clear that Betty's in love with Helen, and if this was another time, they'd be the couple we're rooting for. Well, I'm still rooting for them. But in the 1950s, that's difficult to do and Helen always makes that very clear, not wanting to be Betty's piece on the side, not wanting to be her mistress. It's clear that these two aren't in for a happy ending.
They do this great back and forth between Betty and Helen, and then we see Lillian in the hospital getting treatment for her cancer. She's giving up, too, just like Helen, but in a different way. Helen's giving up Betty because she knows she'll never have her the way she wants; Lillian's giving up Virginia, and is grateful for having her in her life. The scene that really drove this home was Virginia in bed crying over Lillian, afraid of losing her, admitting that she had let her into her heart. I love every minute of this scene. Virginia's vulnerable and Bill just allows her to be vulnerable.
In last week's episode "The Fight," Virginia says that Bill listens to her and takes her seriously, and he is what she needs. They kiss! They kiss for the FIRST TIME! This is extremely important. He knows her. He does know her, and there's so much love between them, that's the kind of intimacy that we have been waiting for since they first got together. It was so, so good, and they said nothing afterward. The moment didn't need anything but silence. I love the way Gini had her fingers around his shirt while they looked at one another...
But I digress.
There's a lot of loss in this episode. There's so much loss it made the episode feel extremely heavy but in a thoughtful way. We lose two important and talented actresses -- Keke Palmer and the really wonderful Julianne Nicholson. She played her last scenes with so much heart, and that's why it was even more difficult when we lost her. Lillian decided to take charge, just as Virginia wanted, and decided to end her life before she no longer recognized herself. Lillian has always known who she was, so to know that she was going to lose that sense of self in the end, she couldn't live with that. I absolutely do not blame her for that, and I felt like curling up with Lillian just like Virginia did; loving her until the end. We then lost Coral due to Libby's insecurities, and her unreasonable fear of Robert, who we learn (as we sort-of expected) is Coral's brother, and not her lover. Bye, Coral. Good luck on Broadway, Keke!
Bill loses his job. Again. We meet a journalist played by the immensely talented (and one of my favorite "Rent" Mimis of all-time) Renée Elise Goldsberry! She was a delightful surprise on the show- confident, smart, and gets underneath Bill's skin. Bill's really at his lowest point here, and sinks pretty low, threatening the editor of the newspaper so the story won't come out. It's a story about him, and Bill Masters has worked too hard to have his reputation completely tarnished. Due to the threats, he loses his job. He goes straight to Virginia's house only to meet... VIRGINIA'S BOYFRIEND?! WHAT?! I cannot control the volume of my voice. Matt Camden from "7th Heaven"- I mean, Barry Watson- plays her boyfriend who we briefly met in "The Fight" episode. Honestly, I didn't even recognize him until now, and I already dislike him because he's yet another obstacle between Virginia and Bill. I mean, we get a kiss and the show has to punch us all with THIS revelation? Oh. My heart just broke right in two. Will it ever work out for them?
Lillian loses her battle, Virginia loses Lillian, Betty loses Helen and Gene, Coral loses her job, and Bill loses the two things he loves the most- his job and Virginia. How will we recover from this? Will we recover from this? I'm sure we will. The writers on this show are incredible and I trust them to take us out of this and give us some uplifting news next week! How did it make you feel? How upset were you with Bill when he threatened to confirm claims against black men? How sad were you when Lillian made her decision? I'm still recovering. Let's recover together.