BWW Recap: MASTERS OF SEX Welcomes Christian Borle for a Not-So-Happy Reunion
It is the day I've been waiting for; Christian Borle finally makes an appearance on tonight's episode as Bill's brother, Frank! Or Francis. Francis, the name Bill used in his and Virginia's roleplaying game. Yep. It wasn't some arbitrary name he insisted on calling himself. Christian Borle (I "full-name" people I really like), as Frank, has a very complicated relationship with Bill - who doesn't? It is obvious they haven't seen each other in years and the meeting in the café is a little more than playing catch-up. We learn Frank's from Kansas City and he's a plastic surgeon and after years of bachelorhood, he's settled down with his wife and they can't get pregnant. Who better to help him with his problem than his brother?
It seems like such a simple question and a simple solution but it's not. It is never simple with Bill Masters. He never reveals Franks identity to Virginia or Betty and even schedules him under the name "Mason." Bill seems determined to keep his brother's identity a secret from everyone, leaving Betty and Virginia to speculate that he's an old friend of Bill's from University. Frank's an alcoholic and you can see it written on Bill's face that he doesn't think this is the "disease" that Frank thinks it is. Frank's position on it is clear. You can hear the conviction in his voice and how it's affected his life. We look at Bill and there's disbelief there. We can already see this family reunion is not going to go well. But we've got Christian Borle on our small screens again! I can't wait to see how their story unfolds because there's so much more than meets the eye. So far, we're just laying down the foundation of their relationship.
This episode is all about establishing and laying down information for us about what's to come. Libby becomes an accidental witness when she drives by a crime in progress. Robert, Coral's brother, is involved as a civic leader and asks her to help by stepping forward as a witness. The entire case is so socially relevant to 2014, it's difficult not to notice the similarities between 1960s America and now. Is this intentional? No. I don't think it is. Could it be? Sure. Either way, I think it's an important point to make an important storyline in Libby's life. As a woman coming into 1960s America, as a woman who's supposed to represent the typical American housewife, she is very much trying to be open to change. She's taking the steps she needs to move forward in her life. She makes this great point to Bill that she never involved herself in his work and she should be allowed the same. Yes! Yes, she should and good for her! It's only appropriate she brings up her involvment in the case in the middle of a party where Bill is trying to gain important people for his board of directors.
But, really, let's give it up for guest star Betsy Brant of BREAKING BAD fame for really surprising us and showing a dramatic shift in character. So far, she's portrayed as a little mousy, quiet, contained. Barbara has a condition called vaginismus, a condition that doesn't allow her to have penetrative sex. After Virginia approaches her about allowing her into their study, she opens the flood gates. She gives a powerful performance in Virginia's house, admitting the reason she isn't able to have sex is because of an incestuous relationship with her brother. She believes she's being punished by God and Virginia believes it's completely psychological. Virginia's even going so far as to consult a psychiatrist pretending to be Barbara to get advice. Virginia believes in psychological treatment while Bill believes in the physical treatment. Will these two manage to meld the two or at least be able to work on a solution to cure using both of their methods?
Best, most appropriate but also inconsequential moment of the episode is Dr. Austin Langham is now the spokesperson for Cal-O-Metrics. Finally, Austin, being fawned over by women everywhere. His life goal is achieved.
Can't wait to see what's going to develop from all of these upcoming storylines but if I know MASTERS OF SEX as well as I do, it's going to be pretty damn incredible. What'd you like best about Christian Borle's appearance? Did Barbara break your heart like she did mine? Let's chat about it!