Masters of Sex has returned for its fourth season and Showtime have aired an early premiere episode one, “Freefall.” Which is exactly what William is experiencing as he and Virginia attempt to go their separate ways. Not to say that the Johnson of “Masters and Johnson” is having an easy time of it. Hers is slightly less chaotic than William’s.
Masters is still facing the prostitution charges, although as he says later in court, he is hiring an attorney.
Libby has changed the locks on their door, given all her husband’s clothes to Goodwill and is actively seeking a divorce.
Amusingly, she copes with the breakup by telling everyone that William died after suffering greatly. Libby hires a lawyer and seeks help through a ladies support group. She is surprised to see that the group smoke pot and drink wine at their sessions.
Libby tries leave the meeting only to be challenged by the leader to get rid of her bra. After a moment of hesitation, she does.
Virginia is in Las Vegas, on her own, Dan is nowhere to be seen, and in a short amount of time sleeps with the bartender and then dumps him. She then “outs” a charlatan “sex-pert” and signs a lot of her books after doing so.
She then calls Hugh Hefner and talks to him about writing a column, something the fake “expert” was doing. Johnson flies to Chicago to see Hef at his invitation. Once there, Virginia learns that Hefner thought Bill was coming as well. Hef’s right-hand woman tells Johnson to write a first column as an audition piece.
Betty is left alone to run the ship. With both Virginia and Bill MIA she has to fend off existing clients, new ones, bill collectors and process servers. In the absence of Masters and Johnson, she not only keeps things running, she farms out a myriad of excuses as to why Bill and Virginia are not there.
Masters lurches from one disaster to another. He gets very drunk and then drives “home.” After almost wrecking the car, he drives towards an oncoming vehicle, he is then hit by another driver. His car destroys the St Joseph statue in front of the church school.
In court, the judge sentences Bill to 90 A.A. sessions in a row, and community service. Masters also loses his license for three months and has to pay the costs for the damage incurred. Bill volunteers to do this even though, as he says, it was the other driver who was responsible.
At A.A. Bill meets Louise Brown and she goes on the offensive when he refuses to play along. She also tells Bill that she will drive him to each meeting. Later, he breaks into his old home to find clothes and there are none to be found.
He sees Libby who refuses to talk to him and he stops by his office. Betty collars Bill and forces him to see a couple that Virginia normally treats. Afterward, Masters gets a call from Hugh Hefner. He wants Bill to fly to Chicago.
Bill arrives, after finding his suits in Goodwill, and Hefner reveals that he will only invest in the Masters and Johnson business if the two continue to work together. Neither are too enamored with this proposition but eventually they come to an uneasy alliance of sorts.
Masters of Sex is a brilliantly written show. It may well be a sex soap opera, based on the biography of Masters and Johnson, but the cast combine beautifully with the show’s writers to deliver an addictive show.
It may not cover things exactly as they happened and some thing may have been altered s in the spirit of poetic license but who cares. Sheen and Caplan are perfect together and it helps sell this bio-drama.
Masters of Sex airs Sundays on Showtime (the proper premiere date of episode one is September 11) and should be seen as required viewing. Sheen, Caplan, FitzGerald and Ashford crackle in this show. Do not miss out.
- Michael Sheen – Dr. William Masters
- Lizzy Caplan – Virginia Johnson
- Caitlin FitzGerald – Libby Masters
- Annaleigh Ashford – Betty DiMello