This week’s episode could quite possibly be the highlight of season four. Masters of Sex “Topeka” follows Bill and Gini as they go undercover to stop pseudo specialists using their techniques. On top of them protecting their legacy, a number of other things come to light.
Bill and Gini try to attend sessions seperately and learn that all the imposters will only see couples. They change their plans and got to Topeka as a “married couple.”
They leave the clinic in Nancy and Art’s hands. After Bill and Gini leave Austin comes in and pushes to have his penis pump “patent pending” advertised in the reception area.
Art and Nancy treat the Clavermore’s. His case history is used by Bill and Virginia in their undercover counseling. Back at their clinic, Nancy moves to have Mr. Clavermore partner with her and Art to open their own clinic in New York.
Art is outraged.
Guy is thinking of being a volunteer for the homosexual study to be run by Art. Nancy uses what Gini told her about her husband to manipulate him into leaving the practice.
She tells him that she hates swinging, copying how Art really feels about Nancy being with other men, and later goes to have sex with her partner from the coat party.
Lester punches Austin Langham after he talks about Lester’s wife, who he had sex with as part of the Masters and Johnson study. Linden tells Guy not to volunteer. “It changes you,” he says, “having sex behind the glass.”
He knows from bitter experience that this is true.
Meanwhile, Libby and Abe continue to see each other. During lunch, Abe’s crown is cracked by a walnut shell in his food. Libby wants to sue.
Libby learns that Abe is still married to his third wife as he refuses to negotiate with her. She wants his suit of armor and his grandmother’s jade earrings.
She talks to his wife and manages persuade her to let him have the armor in exchange for the cadillac. Abe is overjoyed and impressed.
In Topeka, Bill and Gini put on disguises and meet the local specialists. After the first session they are allowed to return to their hotel room to “practice.” Virginia tries to get Bill to join her for dinner but he has other plans.
Dody arrives. She and Bill talk about what happened 30 years ago and it appears that they both assumed too much. Bill learns that she never got the roses or his proposal letter. Dody is distraught as she really thought Bill just left with no explanation.
After they talk, she wants to have sex and Bill explains that is not why he wanted to meet with her. Dody is crushed.
Outside the Topeka hotel room, Virginia has trouble with the ice machine and Dody’s husband helps her. She is outraged that he has allowed Dody to meet with Bill in his hotel room.
Gini is upset with Bill, jealous that he is with Dody and in the morning she confronts him. Suddenly Gina realizes what she put Bill through.
“I’m so sorry,” she says softly.
The second day of the undercover session ends with a reluctant Bill agreeing to have sex with Virginia behind the glass. As they go through the “treatment” Gini whispers to Bill that she loves him.
Lizzy Caplan was magnificent in this episode. Her anger when she spoke to Dody’s husband and her reaction when talking to Bill later were spot on. Later, when they have sex for the faux specialists, we believe that she really does love Bill.
Kevin Christy also knocked it out of the park in this one. His impassioned plea and the story of his wife’s change after participating in the study was heartbreaking.
“Topeka” was also about the reality of Art and Nancy’s marriage. The way she manipulated him, using what she knew from her talk with Virginia was so coldblooded. It was a sad moment and one that showed Nancy’s true colors.
It will be interesting to how Virginia’s declaration of love changes Bill’s actions. He is, after all, a little slow on the uptake.
Masters of Sex airs Sundays on Showtime.
- Michael Sheen – Dr. William Masters
- Lizzy Caplan – Virginia Johnson
- Caitlin FitzGerald – Libby Masters
- Annaleigh Ashford – Betty DiMello
- Jeremy Strong – Art Dreesen
- Betty Gilpin – Nancy
- Kevin Christy – Lester Linden
- Nick Clifford – Guy
- David Walton – Abe Perlman