The theme this week in Masters of Sex is rebuilding. “Inventory” (which refers to a step in the A.A. program) sees Bill, Libby and Virginia making moves to get their lives back together. These steps forward are being made professionally as well as personally.
Some of them are more successful in this rebuilding process and by the end Virginia looks to still be struggling.
Libby has turned the kids against Bill and he moves from the lab bed to an apartment of Louise’s friend. All he has to do is water the plants and feed the cat. Masters is still fighting the A.A. process and refusing to take part in the meetings.
On a sidenote: Niecy Nash is beyond brilliant as A.A. leader Louise Bell. Nash’s adept skill as an actress has allowed her to thoroughly irritate as the annoying Denise Hemphill in Scream Queens and then go on to become a “Yoda-like” figure in Masters of Sex.
Nash does not speak awkwardly like the Jedi trainer but she does espouse some pretty deep wisdom. She is a caring and layered character that we like immediately.
Bill is making significant progress on a personal and professional level this week, precisely because of the A.A. template. It takes Louise to point that he needs to practice what the program preaches.
As Masters tries to clear the air with Libby, she drops a bombshell on him. His soon to be ex reveals a list of sordid affairs that went on behind his back. Bill is distraught at the news of her infidelity.
Later, Masters tells Libby that he accepts her sexual flings and is even glad that she found pleasure from another avenue.
Meanwhile Virginia tries wooing Dr. Madden (John Billingsley), her former therapist, into joining the Masters and Johnson team. He refuses. Virginia does not stop however and after getting the doctor drunk, and sleeping with him apparently, decides he would not do at all.
The verdict is that Madden is too judgmental. This sequence is revealing. Virginia obviously had no issue with using sex as a means to an end. Or, perhaps more accurately, as a tool/weapon.
This interlude also opens up just how manipulative she can be.
At the office, Betty makes her move for a raise and Virginia hires Art Dreesen as the company psychiatrist instead of Madden. He professes a sort of hero worship and has a “secret” connection with Nancy.
Bill and Nancy treat the couple with the shoe issues and she reaches out and touches Masters when the the two start to have excited sex. This leads to a questionnaire intended to keep the he and Nancy from getting too attached to one another.
After the revealing of backstory for each participant, Nancy then asks if Bill and Virginia ever had sex. Masters lies and says no.
Libby takes another step towards rebuilding her life by recruiting herself as the new secretary for her divorce lawyer.
Tessa (Isabelle Fuhrman) is furious with her mother for lying about Dan and moves out of the house. She goes to live with her father and Virginia is shocked and upset by her daughter’s decision.
Back at the offices, Virginia has Lester (Kevin Christy) install voice activated tape recorders in all the rooms. Bill questions this move, but Virginia points out that if they had them last year, he would not be facing criminal charges.
By the end of the episode, both Masters and Johnson have new partners and they are uneasily starting up business as usual.
Masters of Sex continues to deliver a series that, couched in the guise of a bio-drama, shows the real aspect of sex and relationships. At one point, in “Inventory” a couple are having sex in the background.
This couple consists of “normal” looking people, he is overweight and she is pretty much nondescript. No supermodel posers here, just average people having sex at the clinic.
Although it is interesting to note that all the staff at the office are very attractive. Which makes it abundantly clear that Dr. Madden would never have fit in as well as Dr. Dreesen.
Masters of Sex airs Sundays on Showtime.
- Michael Sheen – Dr. William Masters
- Lizzy Caplan – Virginia Johnson
- Caitlin FitzGerald – Libby Masters
- Annaleigh Ashford – Betty DiMello