May 1, 2020
Masters Of Sex Recap: This Is The One With The Hot Gay Boys
Masters of Sex! Sexy! Mastery!
Did I not notice before what a really long titles sequence this has, complete with not-at-all-thinly-veiled references to the doing of sex? Are these things from the same people that did the Dexter titles? It feels the same, with that slyness that is initially appealing and then after a few seasons sends you lurching for the remote to turn the damn thing OFF because it is too loud and too long. I flailed around on the keyboard a bit over at IMDB but still can’t figure out if it is the same people. Let’s just say it is and move on.
Flashback time! Masters circa 1945. He has fluffier curlier hair. It isn’t a good look. He’s watching bunnies fuck
…with what can only be described as an unwarranted excess of enthusiasm. We do learn, however, that the dude bunny passes out stone cold asleep the very second after he comes. Smart move, bunny.
The flashback exists to explain that all Masters cares about is doing and understanding the sexing, because courtship and deciding what necktie to wear is too hard and he has been dumped. Seems as good an origin story as any.
Present (well, present for the show) day: abrupt, unable to recognize or process human emotions Masters is seeing a patient who is maybe someday going to have sex but only when she is married, but wants to finish college first. Masters explains that ancient Inuits practiced birth control by throwing unwanted children into the Arctic, so therefore you shouldn’t be ashamed of condoms. Seems reasonable to me! We then go through a parade of 1950s birth control with a squeamish co-ed.
Betty is here and it is time to have an angry walk and talk with Masters
…because he has been hiding from her because he does not want to reverse her tubal ligation nosiree, what with her being a lesbian slut and all. She gave him prostitutes to watch do the sex, he owes her an operation. He’s unsurprisingly a total dick about the whole thing and takes the opportunity to remind her that she is indeed a lesbian slut.
Now Masters and Johnson are interviewing the prostitutes to get them entered into the sexy study, but Masters is such an insanely stiff human being that he can’t deviate from the prepared hospital script, so he asks the ladies if they’re married and if they’re sexually active. They look at him like he is a cockroach from another planet. He also asks how often they have sex and seems utterly gobsmacked that it is several times per day. Is he confused about how prostitution works, generally?
Masturbation montage! Some ladies are good at it and have the orgasms! Some do not! Some require that Masters spank them to prime the pump, so to speak.
Orgasm montage! Complete with timing! Except for the part where one of the ladies was just faking it, but faking it really really good.
Mrs. DraperMasters is back with Dr. Haas, but is still sadly not pregnant and is really wistful about it – and rightly so, since everyone correctly perceives that her inability to conceive is a personal failing. A woman has literally wandered into the hospital carrying quadruplets (IS THIS PART EVEN REAL? COME ON!) and Haas wants the case, because he is a cocky bastard. This is his time to shine!! He gets the case, and I can only assume this means something really bad for those babies down the line.
Julianne Nicholson is here! She’s a lady doctor who has come from Cornell to do lady doctoring (as in doctoring of the ladies, just like Masters). She looks severe, yet still hot.
Johnson would like to bond with LadyDoctor, and rightly so! This hospital is no place for women, professionally, but LadyDoctor freezes her out and demands that Johnson get her a coffee. LadyDoctor, I’m not going to like you very much if you keep this up.
We’re back doing intake questions with the prostitutes and it is time for what this show is really doing well at – that little twist in the conversation, the pinprick of sadness about the lot of women in this era. The woman, barely 20, explains matter-of-factly that she was raised by her uncle, who never had much use for her until she filled out, at which point he began raping her. It is her very matter-of-factness, the lack of affect, that makes the scene all the better and all the sadder.
None of the girls from the brothel have a clean bill of health, which again seems to surprise Masters, but he’s got a solution: make Betty find some menz that are clean and “statistically average.” Masters being Masters, he asks her this as she’s rolling into the tubal ligation surgery he has grudgingly agreed to provide. There’s a shot of Betty on the hospital bed, hair tucked under the surgical cap, and it’s so striking how young and vulnerable she looks stripped of the blond hair and brassiness.
During the surgery, Masters has a couple other doctors assisting, and they make the usual fucking terrible awful hooker jokes about how at least she is comfortable on her back. Masters, in a rare display of human empathy, tells the other surgeons to get the hell out. Oh fuck. The surgery has now stretched to 4+ hours, and everything seems all wrong. Surgery ends abruptly, and you’re praying to god Betty didn’t die. Fuck you if you’re not praying to god that Betty didn’t die.
Betty’s fiance is here, and fuck you Masters, he is too a real person, no matter what you insinuated. He really is the pretzel king, he really loves Betty, and he really wants to have babies. He also really thinks Betty is here for an appendix removal, sadly.
Betty is alive, but that doesn’t seem to make anything better. Masters explains to her that she has a chronic inflammation of her fallopian tubes caused by pelvic infection. For the first time in any of his dealings with a patient, Masters displays complex emotions and is as closed to choked up as he will ever get as he explains to Betty that it won’t be possible for her to get pregnant…and there goes that twist of the knife, that taut string of sadness, as Betty turns to face the wall.
Oh Jesus, Masters, stop being such a dick. You just had emotions! Like a real live boy! But now he’s back to yelling at Johnson about how the whole operation was a waste of hospital resources and Betty probably got him bad male subjects for his study. Please become a better human soon, Mr. Masters.
Of course the male subjects Betty scared up are fantastic, because screw you, Masters, including a fantastically dressed gay boy prostitute.
Haha all the handsome new male subjects are gay as can be! This is the fucking best, and leads to a whole new round of Masters being awkward and clueless about how teh gheys have sex, which teh gheys helpfully solve by offering to have hot gay sex in front of Masters. Now THIS is the fucking best. Except for the part where Masters has to go on a rant about how the gays are too far from the norm, too misfit-y, for him to study. I have a limited yet foreboding understanding of how Masters goes on to deal with the gays in the future and it isn’t good.
Oh, shit. Remember Dr. Haas? I forgot all about Dr. Haas and his boring quadruplets thing because there was hot gay boy kissing. There’s already a reporter sniffing around about the birth of the quads, because Haas is an attention whore, but this is the first Masters has heard of it. You will not be even a little bit surprised to learn that the woman’s pregnancy is insanely high-risk but Haas needs to be covered in glory and is therefore positively mad to bits that Masters ends up doing a c-section ASAP so that the quad-pregnant lady doesn’t do something inconvenient like die.
Mrs. DraperMasters is on bedrest at home, and Johnson stops by with some food. There’s a deep sadness to the fact that these women seem to like each other quite well and Johnson is really the only person who will listen to Mrs. Masters and how wrecked she is that she can’t get pregnant. Masters still hasn’t bothered to let his wife know that he’s the problem, with the blank-shooting and all, so she’s just perpetually devastated at the thought that she can’t conceive…and Johnson is just going to stone cold tell Mrs. Masters (I think I’m done making fun of her, because she’s actually really vibrant and strong and sad, so I’m going to call her by her actual name – Libby – from now on) that Masters is actually the problem, what with his lousy sperm count. Yessssss.
One of the gorgeous gay boys has come to talk to Masters about how he’d very much like to be in the study and has others that would be too. He never thought he’d be something a scientist wants to study, and Masters reminds him that he does NOT want to study him because he isn’t normal. It is a good thing Masters is an actual factual person instead of just a character, because if he was a character, I’d pitch the teevee across the room.
There is indeed oodles of publicity for the puppy pile of quad babies that Masters successfully got out of a lady, but it is all for Masters, while Haas looks on and exudes hate with the fire of a thousand suns. I’m happy Haas is sad, but equally unhappy Masters is getting any positive reinforcement for anything because he is terrible.
Betty is ready to leave the hospital, and she’s just going to ditch her girlfriend, lie to the pretzel king about how she can’t get pregnant, and marry him anyway, because the only way to get anywhere is to attach herself to a man – just like Johnson does with Masters, she reminds her. Except that isn’t a dig, just the truth of the times, and Johnson and Betty share a sad little moment of connection over that fact as the pretzel king whisks Betty away. Johnson is inspired to call Masters out on the fact that during the day, he treats her like a secretary, complete with demanding she take care of the dirty lab coats, but at night she’s a research assistant. Masters responds by being an asshole.
Masters is also engaged in some sort of dick-measuring contest with the head of the hospital and demanding again that he get to do his study in house because he is a celebrity superstar doctor who just delivered quadruplets. Oh, and he’s going to blackmail the University’s provost, who is his boss and longtime friend AND the person that got him his incredibly great job, because one of the handsome gay prostitutes tipped Masters off that Mr. Provost is a customer. I never want Bill Masters to be my friend.
Um, you guys? Libby is pregnant. I am so confused, and now I have to wait a week to figure out how that happened. So do you.