Perhaps one of the most fascinating things about Bill and Virginia is how emotionally immature Bill is, particularly in contrast to Virginia. Many people in the Masters world seem under the impression that it is Virginia who does, or at least should, want to become the only woman in Bill’s life. In truth, she is much more progressive about sexual dynamics in her own life and seems to have no desire to become the next Mrs. Masters.
Yet still she feels the need to protect Bill from the truth about her relationship with Dan, she says, due to their upcoming second book pitch to Little, Brown. Her admission that Bill hinges their professional work together on her personal life was so matter-of-fact, it was was almost disturbing. The unsaid aspect of Bill’s exchange where he pleads the work in order to regain their intimate relationship is that he needs his connection to her. Virginia only seemed to desire the work and the freedom to detach from Bill’s needs to focus on her own.
For weeks the show has hinted at how and when Bill and Dan would discover each other. Dan’s knowledge seems to have existed since Tessa dropped the hint. Bill’s, however, was such a simple, sad moment. Watching from the shadows as Virginia climbed into Dan’s car and drove away from him left him jerking at his tie and slugging back cocktails in his office. As was also predetermined weeks ago, it sent him stumbling into the arms of young, eager to please surrogate Nora. But he can’t go through with it, not because Nora is slightly nuts for the doctor, but because he admits that he truly loves Virginia, as much as he is able. Major props to Michael Sheen for his work in this scene (and this season). Bonus points for his face as he listened to the endlessly ringing telephone in the show’s final moments.
So much of this show revolves around absence—people who are never where they say they will be or leave people in a constant state of waiting. Virginia’s absence from home left the door wide open for sexual experimentation with Tessa and Matt before it was interrupted by Dan. Good for Tessa that her unfortunate post-dance car encounter hasn’t made her a girl who can’t say no. Still, Virginia’s almost smug preaching to her daughter about sexual choices hit a raw note with both me and Tessa. I wanted to scream at her to just talk to her daughter like a person and not the face of the sexual revolution. Then maybe Tessa would have shown you her article and wouldn’t have decided to lose her virginity on your bed to a boy she doesn’t really seem that into. Thankfully Virginia seems to have realized the error of her ways. If nothing else, please let this season finally have Virginia connect with her daughter, just for a moment.
How vile for Libby that even her affair becomes a domestic dead end. Or does it? A surprise performance for her birthday from her children and lover is certainly what she deserves, but the scene was so surreal with the dialogue blotted out by the soundtrack. It was almost a fun house mirror of the life she wants but has never had. In the harsh light of morning, Bill’s attempt at being thoughtful with a solo trip for Libby misfires in a way he could not have anticipated. And so, for her 40th birthday, she finds herself being proposed to by the man who, at least for this birthday, seems ready to give her what she wants.
Yippee for Judy Greer joining as Dan’s wife next week! And why are the police looking for Bill? Do we think the good Christian protester has talked Nora into pressing charges?
Image courtesy of Showcase.
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).