The relationships on Masters of Sex this season are, for lack of a better term, ghost couplings – surrogate connections that attempt to substitute for real relationships. Bill and Libby, Ginny and George, Ginny and Bill, Ginny and Dan, Paul and Libby – people passing hours with varying partners, thinking they understand how those partners work, but never connecting with them truly in the ways they need.
Ginny, for example, believes that she can manipulate Bill into giving her a day off to play girlfriend with Dan while he is actually relieved by her absence as a chance to go forward with his fertility study. Given the underlying tensions of their private lives, I am willing to wager this dodge is going to have consequences. Likewise, Dan thinks that ordering up a morning of mistress-level pampering diversions is the key to wooing Ginny. Good for her for canceling his plans and enjoying Vegas on her terms in the form of field work.
Like all things in Masters’ world, all that glitters must turn dark. Dan foiling an attempted robbery leads to Ginny confronting her own worst fears about Henry. Bill’s surrogacy study reveals a little girl whose grown up to be more interested in sex than anyone could have anticipated. Is she going to be Bill’s little diversion? Surely there must be some retribution when he discovers just how things have gone down with Dan and Ginny.
As for Helen and Austin, their farcical marriage for fertility purposes was derailed by a literal barrier. It was worth it if only for Betty’s heartfelt, angry plea that for once Bill put on blinders for her, as she has for him. The trio coupling at the end was surprisingly tender despite all its awkwardness.
Libby’s affair with Paul is so painfully empty, particularly in contrast with her torrid tryst with Robert last season. Speaking of Robert, turns out he’s dead. My prediction from episode one, where Libby fell to pieces after Henry was hit by car, was not completely accurate, but was in the ballpark. Caitlin Fitzgerald is winning this season in these small scenes and her performance this episode was brief but particularly poignant.
My final thought is how worried I am for Virginia. Granted, while her current actions are understandable, she is making a habit of deception more so than she ever has before – lying to Bill, to Dan, to her family – does she even tell herself the truth anymore? It is as if the only time we see her in the moment and honest is when she is working, be it in a casino or in an exam room. With all the shade thrown by her mother about the shambles of her personal life in contrast with her professional world, there exists some truth in her mother’s interpretation of her life. Be careful, Ginny. Burning powerful men, particularly those you work with, could have a cost.
Until next week . . .
Masters of Sex airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TMN (Canada) and Showtime (U.S.), as well as 10 p.m. MT/9 p.m PT on Movie Central (Western Canada).