BWW Recaps: MASTERS OF SEX Learns A Lot; Annaleigh Ashford Sings!
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Hello, "Masters of Sex" fans! Let's get to recapping the fifth episode of this fantastic season. This episode packed in a few (what I like to call) "Oh, snap" moments. The title of the episode is called "Giants" and I'd say that it's aptly titled. It's almost one full hour clocking in at 55 minutes so let's try to hit every minute.
The show opens with a visit from Libby to Virginia and she brings along the baby. Libby assumes that Bill's taking Virginia to the new hospital but Virginia seems surprised. It's clear she and Bill haven't discussed her new position at Buell Green... okay, it's clear they haven't talked about Buell Green at all. Libby only sees him going down in position having worked at a prestigious hospital and downgrading to the negro hospital.
Bill drops the bomb on Virginia by handing her a key to the new office. He just assumes she'll quit right away, stop selling the diet pills, and follow him wherever he goes since that was the problem at the last hospital. She insists she needs stability and she needs it in writing in an employee contract. It's insulting to her that he calls and she should come running. He didn't even ask! Oh, Bill. Such a misstep with someone as sharp as Virginia. And then the bomb drops, "She knows about us, about the work we're doing...upstairs." The look on Virginia's face? Oh, snap.
Gene insists on sleeping on the couch, clearly still upset about Betty not telling him the truth about not being able to have children. But she placates him by singing him Cole Porter's "You're the Top" and I only mention it because we have Annaleigh Ashford singing! Okay, time to hand her the role of Reno now. Let's go. All right, let's get back on track. Betty seems desperate; a Betty we haven't really seen before. She mentions she's open to adoption as long as they'll be happy together. He agrees.
In Bill's new office, we're introduced to the talented Courtney B. Vance's character, Charles Hendricks. He's made a previous appearance at the boardroom table but he's front and center here, the man responsible for accepting Dr. Masters at the hospital. He's equip Bill with everything he may need and the exchange is that Bill brings his patients to the hospital. A similar deal had been made with Dr. Greathouse so let's hope this doesn't end the same way. Though Charles says they don't offer contracts to anyone in the support staff, Virginia will be the exception. Bill makes sure of it this time. He will have her involved in this project and he's able to get it done at this hospital. While in the office, we're introduced to Dr. Cyril Franklin who works in the same department as Bill, and Bill manages to insult his new office space. Good job, Bill. Don't keep that up. You were just kicked out of the last place, remember?
One scene where the title of the episode seems fitting is the following scene between Virginia and Lillian. They're two strong women with strong personalities and strong convictions. Lillian has always been forthcoming in what she believes in and she makes that very clear to Virginia when she reveals she knows about Virginia's participation in the study. Virginia defends their out of office activities by talking about the study and Lillian replies, "So let me understand. It's okay because you're taking notes?" Sarcasm's a great look on her. She believes Virginia slept her way into Bill's study as she's always seemed to suspect but had no evidence until Austin opened his mouth in last week's episode. Lillian has gotten where she has through her own merit and I think she's always found that kinship with Virginia but it seems to be deteriorating in front of her eyes. Everyone in the office can hear them shouting and Virginia storms out.
We meet special guest star Sarah Silverman looking like she belongs in Life magazine circa 1959. She's beautiful and she's a psychic, apparently. Gene's completely buying into it and it's pretty adorable how childlike and innocent he seems sometimes. Betty's not as receptive to receiving her friend and I'm unsure why that is until Helen says, "Oh, no. I was recently jilted." She sent a very poignant look at Betty and BOOM. Oh, SNAP. They were lovers! Okay, so she's upset Betty married Gene and wants to see her life. Gene tries to set her up with his friend Al and they plan to go on a double date. Betty does not look pleased.
Virginia is clearly still thinking about the conversation in Lillian's office and says she wants to put a stop to their participation in the study. She asks him flat out if her participation a condition of her employment with Bill. At first, he says "no." She seems to accept that response but he quickly changes it to "what I meant was yes." I didn't take this as a misogynistic response or even a threatening response. They both want to continue their non-affair-affair and they need the mask of the study to have a reason to continue.
At first, Virginia still seems upset in the following scene. Bill begins to take off his clothes. Virginia doesn't take off hers. She sits in the chair and tells him to strip, clipboard in hand, a stopwatch in hand. She's all business and he's clearly not. At first, he thinks that she's joking but he goes along with it anyway. What starts off as a serious part of the study takes a turn as she directs him, gives him orders and he complies with every one of them. She tells him to stop and that's when she stands and takes control. She knows she has attained a certain amount of power in her position and her power extends sexually as he's on his knees in front of her. She pushes on his shoulders, directing him to do what she wants. We see him pleasuring her. Bill's not the only one with power. She towers over him, a giant, challenging him, and he follows her.