BWW Recap: MASTERS OF SEX Skips Ahead and Leaves Nothing Behind
One of my favorite television devices of all time is a time jump. I love, love, love a good time jump and when they're utilized well -- as it was in this week's Master of Sex -- it really works to advance the story without sacrificing important plotlines.
We've advanced five months and learn Bill has officially branched out on his own and opened his own clinic. He's operating on his own steam and it proves difficult for him financially and personally. Last we left Bill and Virginia, Bill had knocked on her door and her boyfriend answers! It is clear they are no longer sleeping together because of that incident, and my Bill-and-Virginia-loving heart is absolutely crushed. I think I've said it before, but it's two steps forward and two steps back for these two.
Bill is not taking it well. He's at the bar of the hotel where they used to "participate in their study" and talking to the bartender about his relationship with his "wife," Mrs. Holden, the alias they used at the hotel. He talks about her really seeing him for who he is and how she has "betrayed" him and her "betrayal" is unforgivable. Harsh, Bill. Harsh. He sees her as betraying him, betraying their relationship, but he seems to be very black and white on the subject, as if he was actually living in the life they created together in that hotel. For him, it was as if they really were Mr. and Mrs. Francis Holden.
Bill seems to do everything to get Virginia out of his mind, even going so far as to hire a prostitute for sex. But nothing's happening below the waist. He just can't perform. Bill manages to hurl insult after insult at Virginia, calling her an unfit mother because of her revolving door of boyfriends, and I'm side-eyeing Bill so hard. Bill might be under pressure because of his new business, because his mother's come back into his life, because he's still fighting with Libby about everything, but it's no excuse to take it out on Virginia. He is not living the life he wants to live, and it is wholly unfair to blame Virginia for satisfying her own needs.
She says as much when they're in the office together. I think Virginia let him off the hook way too easy by giving him that hotel room key. He had been aggressive in his anger, extremely insulting, and she forgives him. She lays everything out on the table and they have their first honest conversion. Virginia still manages to make the conversation about the work they're doing together and how they will always come first. But she said something that had me pumping my fist in the air. She said it is unfair that he goes home to Libby, and she goes home to no one. I mean...yes! It is unfair, and it shocks me that Bill is so egomaniacal that he can't see that. Bill talks about Virginia's ability to see him and he completely misses seeing her. A moment of realization finally hit in the office during that conversation, and it couldn't have come soon enough. It makes it a little bit easier to forgive him, and his lack of understanding and compassion - a complaint often made about doctors in general - but Bill still needs to take a few strides when it comes to forgiveness. In other words, Virginia may have forgiven him as proven by the subsequent hotel room scene, but I haven't yet!
We also take a look into the lives of our resident regular St. Louis characters. Lester's back! Remember Lester and Jane? Well, Lester's back and delivers the line of the episode when Virginia tells him she's heard from Jane. He responds, "I didn't know they had postcards in Bitch Town." Oh, Lester. Not bitter at all, are we?
Betty and Gene are officially splitsville and she's working for Bill, officially, and earning her accounting degree. Libby asks for another baby and in another time lapse, Bill delivers. They have a daughter together a year later. She and Bill continue to have their intimacy issues, but still stick together despite their constant fighting. And Essie, Bill's mother, returns to ask forgiveness and she sticks around this time! He even invited her to little Johnny Masters' birthday party. Betsy Brant returns to try to participate in the study but is denied due to her own sexual dysfunction. This isn't the last we'll see of Barbara, and I'm really excited to see what she'll reveal to us.
There were a lot of parallels made in Austin's storyline. While Bill and Virginia move forward together in their relationship, Austin takes several steps back when he tries to get back together with his wife. Austin learns he can't go back and fix everything. And I've also learned this week that Austin is best in small doses. Focusing on his previous storyline with Allison Janney was fantastic, because, frankly, they involved Emmy Award-winner... Allison Janney, but Austin on his own doesn't generate any interest from me. Love Teddy Sears, but I hope they'll give him something more interesting in the following episodes.
Let's face it, this episode was all about Bill and Virginia, and the fallout from the previous episode. There was some reprieve from last week's episode and with the time lapse, they managed to resolve Bill and Virginia in 60 minutes. Thank you, writers! The pacing of their story this week worked beautifully; and speaking of beautiful, how did everyone like those transitions in the lobby of Bill's building? Applause and acknowledgment go to the effects team for making that happen! I had to rewind it several times to really appreciate what I saw. Overall, a really outstanding episode that stands out among those that have already aired. Can't wait for next week!
What did you think of our fast forwarding episode? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Until next week!