Masters Of Sex Recap: You Don't Know Me
Remember on Masters of Sex last week when Virginia quit? That was the best. However, it means that poor Jane is now without any buffer between her and the condescending manchild Masters. Sorry Jane.
Virginia is working for Doctor DePaul right now and she’s already kicking ass of course, because of what how she is Virginia. Virginia has managed to wrangle DePaul a speaking slot at a big medical conference shindig, which may help DePaul advance her pap smear study. Lady powers unite! DePaul wants Virginia to come along to the conference, but Virginia explains that overnight trips are impossible because of children. DePaul asks why she can’t just leave the children alone, or with a random lady from the secretarial pool who has dogs that she has not yet killed. Suddenly we love Dr. DePaul more than we had previously.
Poor put-upon Jane has to hunt Virginia down so they can meet in seekrit in some darkened lab-type room so Virginia can help Jane figure out what the hell the volatile Mr. Masters might want and where he might have put it.
Dr. Haas is saying goodbye to everyone at the hospital thanks to Masters having cockblocked his future employment there. Libby comes by the hospital to wish him well, which seems like it would be a tiny bit awkward because Masters flattened Haas’ job chances because Haas helped get Libby pregnant (WITH SCIENCE, PEOPLE. WITH SCIENCE) but Haas is very gentle and gracious about the whole thing. Haas also lets slip that he’s in loooovvvvveee, which leads Libby down to see the ungentle and ungracious Masters, who is in his office yelling at Jane, natch.
Libby offers to help out in the office as Jane is clearly swamped. Bill agrees, but only after having a flashback/hallucination/fantasy of Virginia sitting in her former place in his office, being saucy.
Please, show, we beg of you, do not make Masters’ interior monologue a series of flashbacks where he just sees Virginia in all the old familiar places. Come ON.
Masters is prepping for some enormous presentation that involves a lot of index cards and forgetting to eat. Libby wants to know what all the work is for. Not in some sort of meta way, but in terms of what the hell happens next and when he slows down, when he stops behaving as if there’s always something to prove. Never. Never is the answer.
Haas and Virginia have advanced to sleepover stage, though they’re still fooling her kids by having him leave while they’re still sleeping and then come back for breakfast a short while later. Does that actually work, people with children?? Haas offers to watch the kids while Virginia goes to the conference with DePaul. This seems like it is the prelude to something going really wrong, doesn’t it?
Masters is prepping for his presentation by going and watching another doctor’s presentation, which is so stultifying that everyone just literally walks out while he’s talking. Bill realizes he is going to need to sex his presentation up (SEE WHAT WE DID THERE HMMMM?) in order to keep people in the room. Bill’s big idea: put the film of the inside of Jane’s vag in the presentation and then he’s proposing a new bit o’ studying going forward, custom-designed to keep the other doctors interested: does dick size matter where lady pleasuring is concerned? Question for the ages, really.
Virginia’s ex-husband has dropped by while Ethan is watching the kids. He’s as boorish and cocky as he was the last time we met him, and he’s trying to bully Ethan into letting him take the kids, even though he never mentioned to Virginia he might be dropping by and spiriting them away.
DePaul and Virginia are en route to the conference via overnight bus, which seems like an odd choice until you realize that it gives the showrunners another opportunity to show that DePaul does not understand other humans as she insists on keeping the lights on and bullying people by aggressively explaining her presentation.
Oh god, Masters is still getting ready for his presentation. So scribbling. Such notecards. Jane frantics her way into the office to tell him that there’s no way they can do more than 12 participants in the bigger is better study by the time Bill has to present. Flashback fantasy Virginia reminds him that’s not a big enough sample size, so Masters brushes off imaginary Virginia in a fit of pique and decides 12 is adequate, because that is how science is done.
Meanwhile Libby is still working in Masters’ office, and she’s tasked with going through the past study participants to see who is the best choice to masturbate with a small version of the testing dildo and then a larger one. These seem anonymized, but how long is it before Libby runs across Virginia’s anonymous record and awkward silences/flashback Virginias ensue? Probably soon, as Libby is now just thumbing through the files, as is Jane. And yep, here it is. They’ve found the file of someone who participated in the study 23 times with the same male study subject. You know full well Libby has figured out that something’s odd here.
Ex-husband and Haas are eating TV dinner with the kids and fighting over who is more manly by talking about how to shave. Nice job, guys.
Libby and Masters are in the sad weird separate twin beds that people apparently really slept in back in the late 1950s and early 1960s? Here we thought it was just a TV trope to get past censors. Virginia has a grown-up size bed that other people occupy, as did Haas, so maybe this is just a Masters household thing. Libby decides this is a great time to ask about the repeat study participants who had sexytime 23 different times. Libby says they must have fallen in love, but Masters tells her that question is outside his area of inquiry. Masters, she knows. SHE KNOWS. She doesn’t know it is Virginia, but she TOTALLY knows it is you.
The bus DePaul and Virginia were riding broke down, because of course it did, which forces DePaul, Virginia, and a random lady they met on the bus to spend the night in a seedy hotel room that only sports one double bed.
Random lady is a hairdresser who offers to do DePaul’s hair, which leads to some complicated hopscotch of a conversation where we end up talking about how Masters isn’t paid a salary by the hotel, but instead is allowed to collect directly from patients. More patients, more monies.
DePaul figures out pretty quickly that this is some bullshit. Masters can divert funds to anything he wants since he gets all his money directly without a pesky hospital middleman or salary, but the rest of the doctors – like DePaul – have to go cap in hand to get money for studies.
The replacement Haas is here, and he’s one of those guys that yells his hale happy heartiness. He’s going to be the worst.
Bus troubles mean that DePaul and Virginia get to the presentation when it is already over. DePaul is pissed, and rightly so, because she got such a pittance for her study that taking the train was out of the question. Finally the bus thing makes sense. DePaul’s ire focuses on Masters and on being a woman and the disadvantages thereof, particularly the betrayal of her body parts, thanks to the cancer she has that we haven’t heard about in ages.
Since they missed the presentation, Virginia takes DePaul to where all the presentation doctor wives are taking tea, so that they can slyly big up the study to the ladies so they will take it home to their man. Clever girl, that Virginia.
More ex-husband George versus Haas squabbling. Haas decides this is a great time to explain that he’s going to marry Virginia, even though he hasn’t asked her yet, and he will then maybe move the whole family out of state for another job. Romantic!!
Different phallus size test time, which is the opportunity for another Masters flashback. This time, imaginary Virginia is taunting him about how he’s hanging about to see which size she chooses first and if that reflects any sort of preference. Imaginary Virginia also takes another stab at telling him that 12 people is still a far too small a sample. Masters, arguing with imaginary people, reveals that he’s just going to stone cold tell the lecture-listeners that dick size doesn’t matter, because that’s what people want to hear, and it will make them love his study. SCIENCE.
Now the imaginary conversation has turned to whether Masters or Haas is better in bed. Jesus, get us out of Masters’ head.
DePaul and Virginia are headed back home. Virginia’s wife hookup has scored them at least 6 rural doctors who now are advocates for DePaul’s pap smear study. ACTUAL SCIENCE. DePaul finally reveals to Virginia – to anyone, really, that she has cervical cancer, now too far advanced to treat. She found out from, of course, a pap smear in her 20s, before she went to med school. She’s not going to live to see her study completed, but maybe Virginia will.
Haas and ex-husband George have stopped short of fisticuffs and are at the awkward handshake stage.
About time you played nice, boys. George takes one last potshot, though, and basically tells Haas that Virginia used to be fun when he met her as a young nightclub singer, but then she got a career and is now all ambitious AND FRIGID. Ok, he doesn’t quite say that last part, but duh.
Masters can’t sleep, so he’s just standing and staring out the bedroom window. Libby thinks this is a great time to tell Masters that his penis size is juussssstttt right. Everyone in this show has the worst sense of timing.
It’s the night for bedroom conversations, apparently. Now it is Virginia and Haas. Haas tells her he wants to take care of everything, which we think is creepy until he tells her that if she wants to quit her job and go to school full time, he’s down with that. If she wants to stay home, he’s down with that. Go Haas. He’s driven, clearly, by his own recent realization that not doing what you want with your life just leads you nowhere.
We end with another flashback/fantasy/whatever, but this time it’s Virginia, daydreaming about singing at a carnival, her ex, Haas, and the kids all around, when in real life she’s in the elevator a few feet from Bill. The elevator doors close as the song – “You Don’t Know Me” – ends, and you’re left wondering: is it Haas or Masters that doesn’t know her? Or both? Maybe next week’s finale will clear that up.