Masters Of Sex Recap: The Truth Always Hurts

Masters and Johnson are as chilly can be after last week’s Masters of Sex episode when Masters thought it was a dandy idea to reduce Virginia to nothing but the help – both in the office and in the sack – by paying her. They snark and snipe at each other while a helpless couple waits to have sexytime for the study. Nothing is hotter than listening to two people carping at each other.

Johnson gets home and oh hey looks like Dr. Haas is back in her good graces, AKA her bed. Haas just found out that his fellowship has ended and he didn’t get a permanent job at the University, which means he’s fired in a nice complicated polite way. This may or may not be due to the fact that he chose not to marry the provost’s daughter. Ouch. Will Dr. Haas be departing the cast soon?

The good doctors and nurses and admin staff of the hospital are all crammed into a room watching a civil defense film.

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You know the kind. An oldie but a goodie that explains that if they’d just known how to hide under their desks and shake out their hair, the residents of Hiroshima would have been just fine. Hospital personnel are going to get to do a nuclear holocaust fallout drill. Fun!

Back at the Scully household, the ladies are playing mahjong and gossiping about other ladies and what how their husbands keep stepping out. Fun convo for Mrs. Scully! One of their friends is getting divorced, and her friends and daughter have stopped talking to her because divorce equals scandal or failure or both. Fun preview of what’s in store if she divorces Provost Scully.

One of Masters’ study subjects from three months back has shown up asking for his assistance in dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, which he stiffly informs her is not his bag. Except she’s three months pregnant, and you can all do the math as well as Masters can. Virginia wanders in at this point and let’s see how Masters is going to make this Virginia’s fault in only the way he can. Well, we all have our special talents.

Unwanted pregnancy lady may or may not have been seeking out Masters for an abortion, but she for sure came around to ask him if he would give her the info as to who she’d been paired with in the study. Not his problem, explains Masters to Virginia. Anonymity, sacred, he’d do the same if it was a guy, yadda yadda. Johnson dryly points out that the situation can’t really be reversed since the dude will not get pregnant. Masters does not care, and spews out some statistics about how diaphragms have a 6% failure rate so it was bound to happen and lalalalala.

Haas goes to try to talk to Provost Scully about the fact that he’s losing his job for not marrying his daughter. Provost Scully reacts as warmly to this discussion as Masters did to Virginia. However, it isn’t the Provost that has cockblocked Haas’ job, says he. Turns out the hospital’s board didn’t recommend Haas. He failed his performance review, which is conducted by his senior colleagues including yep, you guessed it, Masters. So Masters wants nothing to do with Virginia except to treat her like a servant and a whore, but he still cares enough to block Haas out of pique over Haas dating Virginia again.

Speaking of Virginia, look who is breaking into Masters’ safe in order to figure out who the daddy is.

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While this does not seem like the best idea ever, at this point we’re in favor of anything that is anti-Masters. Can you guess who the dad is? Of course you can, because it is the philandering Dr. Langham, who wrecks everything and everyone he touches. Virginia turns over mom’s name and number, but we have little to no faith that Langham will do the right thing, no matter what that right thing might be.

Fallout drill training! It’s as informative and useful as you think it would be. Put a plate out your window to see if you have fallout? Lolwhut? Poor Jane is stuck herding people around during this thing, but at least she gets a fetching hat.

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Civil defense training is not sitting well with Masters, who orders Jane back to her desk until there’s an actual bomb because he’s such a great boss. Mercifully, the drill starts soon and all work shuts down as everyone goes and hides under a desk, for safety and freedom. Virginia ends up sharing some floor space with Dr. DePaul. DePaul has finally got her pap smear pilot program approved, but the funding is absurdly low. Virginia tries to explain that perhaps being friendlier to the administration might help, but DePaul just takes another opportunity to remind her that she’s a secretary.

Mid-nuclear-explosion-end-of-life-on-Earth drill, Masters has actual surgery to perform, even though the rest of his staff are trying to crawl under the surgical table to avoid an imaginary bomb. Langham has hunted Bill down to find out if he is protected from any pesky liability from knocking up another study participant. Masters tells him that he is protected by the forms he signed and there’s nothing to worry about. Bleh. Just two great guys, having a great conversation.

Masters’ second for this surgery is missing as he’s stuck playing a casualty in the civil defense drill, so the only option to assist is Haas. Masters throws a little temper tantrum about this, but it isn’t like he can just fly solo.

Mrs. Scully is out drinking alone in the hotel bar – a hotel bar where ladies of the night are rumored to hang out. Poor Margaret is hoping that she can quiz one of the women for tips and tricks about how to please her man. There’s an extended metaphor about how men are like cars and they all have wheels but some need their keys jiggled in a different way, until we get around to understanding that long ago, on the rare occasions they sexed, the provost liked to turn Margaret around so she faced away from him. She also lets the working girl know that in Tahiti her husband couldn’t even be arsed to look at all the nekkid ladies around him. Working girl informs Margaret that the provost is gay as the day is long, and Margaret is never going to be able to give him what he wants.

Post-surgery, Haas is just stone-cold taunting Masters about giving him a shitty performance review because he’s mad about Haas boning Virginia. But Masters isn’t mad about Virginia – or at least he’s also mad about something else, which is that he’s pissed that Haas helped get Libby, Masters’ wife, pregnant again. NO NOT IN THAT WAY DUMMY. In the medical helping way, not the sexytime way. This is a distinction without a difference to Masters.

A newer kinder gentler Dr. DePaul is trying to chat up the Chancellor. She spends about 2 seconds trying to soften him up before asking for some money for her cancer study, but the Chancellor just decides she’s hitting on him instead and also too insults her cancer study by calling a study of cervical cancer “dabbling” in cancer studies. Winner.

Masters is mad mad mad about Virginia going to Langham and telling him about his impending fatherhood, but his millionth snit of this episode is thwarted by the civil defense drill gearing back up again. We’ve never been so happy about the prospect of nuclear war in our lives. Also, all the faux casualties have adorable little signs so you know what harm has befallen them as they come in for imaginary triage.

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Langham is prowling around the darkened hospital. Isn’t he supposed to be performing fake surgery on all the fake nuclear fallout victims? He catches sight, as he wanders, of one of the many many women he sexed in the study, and it is of course the mother of his child, so Langham bails and goes to find…Margaret? Wait what? Langham, you’re such a dick. Do you do anything without demanding that a woman fuck you or take care of you? NO YOU DO NOT. She does not tell him to fuck off because she is nicer than we are.

Virginia goes to find the woman carrying Langham’s child to tell her she can’t give her the info about who the father is. She does give her some money, but lets her know it is never enough. Virginia tells her it is from the man responsible for her pregnancy. After that, she goes back in and tells Masters that she never felt smaller than when he paid her for her participation in the study. She calls him out on the fact that he clearly feels guilty for developing an attachment to her and that they had an affair, not a medical study. Oh, and also too she gave one Ms. Flora Banks, she of the unwanted pregnancy, $2,000 from Masters’ discretionary fund to help with the expense of raising a child. Yes, Virginia is a fucking Santa Claus. Oh, and she quits. Good for you, Virginia.

Langham and Margaret are hanging out in the University swimming pool discussing who has had a worse day.

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Margaret. For sure.

Virginia’s packing up and moving out of Masters’ office. Once again, we have to remind ourselves that not only does she eventually continue to work with this guy for eons, she fucking marries him too. Jesus. Virginia wanders down to DePaul’s office, box in hand, and talks her way into being DePaul’s secretary in about 30 seconds flat.

As with the last few episodes, we end with Masters alone. This week, he’s walking out of the darkened hospital alone, and you can muster no sympathy for him whatsoever.

TV Show: Masters of Sex

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  • Yeah, re his marrying Virginia, I’m thinking the television show Masters is about as close to the “real” Masters as Nucky Thompson is to Nucky Johnson. In both cases the real life counterparts were no angels, but not nearly as bad as as seen on TV.

    • That’s kind of my lingering problem with the show. Either he was really that terrible, in which case it is difficult to see how they ever really connect, or he isn’t that terrible, and the entire set of subplots – libby pregnancy, virginia-haas, blackmailing the provost – are all just stuffed into a series that is theoretically based on an actual book.