MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Four

MASTERS OF SEX, Episode Four
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Secrets and lies abound in this episode.

Virginia wakes from a dream in a panic. She dreamt Masters told her he couldn’t hire her for the study. She was under qualified and had listed her current job as “mistress” on her job application. Unnerved, she argues with Masters that he shouldn’t have let her fall asleep. They are there to work and nothing more. Masters and Virginia go to her car to get the supplies and paperwork needed to once again start the study. Virginia asks when she will be able to start working with him. Masters assures her he’s doing what he can to get her hired. Virginia tries to get Masters to take all the paperwork for the study with him but he rejects the idea. He tells Virginia he wants her to keep it and put it in order. Virginia is appalled Masters won’t let her work with him but still wants the perks of having her as his secretary. Masters says he just wants her to still be close to the study. I have to side with Virginia on this one: Masters is acting like an ass. (File your own damn paperwork, Bill!) Masters finds the diet pills in Virginia’s car and she tells him she can’t afford rent if she doesn’t sell the pills. (What’s that Bill? You feel like a jerk now? Well, you should.)

In Masters’ office a woman who participated in the study tells Bill she has to quit. When Virginia was watching her it was okay, but with just a man watching her it’s weird. Dr. Greathouse comes in as the participant runs out. Masters shares his frustration with Greathouse over losing the woman. He asks again if Greathouse has talked to the board about hiring Virginia. Masters reiterates that Virginia is “indispensable” to the study. Bill also alludes to his secretary being hired by Greathouse for something besides her less than stellar secretarial skills.

Austin sits with Virginia at lunch and says he saw her at the hotel with Masters. Virginia tries to play it off and says Austin should have said hi, they were just working and the three of them could have had drinks. She goes on to explain why meeting at the hotel works best; she isn’t welcome at Masters work, he isn’t welcome at the hospital anymore, Masters has a baby at home, she has children at her house. Austin continues to question her and even though she falters once she sticks to her story. He seems to believe her. Even I thought she had him fooled. Later, Virginia tells Masters that Austin saw them at the hotel. Bill begins to panic saying if Austin saw them then anyone could have watched them. I wanted to shake Bill. You’re seriously just realizing this now? Masters also talks down to Virginia making it seem as though he has much more to loose than she does if they get caught. I don’t know how she puts up with him sometimes.

At the Masters house, Libby is getting ready for a luncheon with the other wives from Bill’s hospital. She corrects Coral, the nanny, on her speech again. At the lunch the women want Libby to gossip with them about the sex study. Libby tells them it’s very boring, mostly paperwork. The women don’t seem impressed – in fact, they seem a little annoyed. After the women eat Coral brings out the baby. One of the women asks how Coral got to be so good with children as she herself is so young. Coral begins talking but Libby rudely interrupts, saying the woman was only being polite. Coral sasses her back, telling her the woman asked. She clearly mispronounces the word “ask” in defiance of Libby’s obsession to make her speak properly. One of the women looks down and comments that something is crawling in the baby’s hair. Later, Masters comes home to a mess. Libby has a mountain of laundry surrounding her. She tells Masters that Coral gave the baby lice. The baby then starts to cry and Bill seems to be more afraid of Johnny than anything. Libby starts to melt down. Totally out of character, Masters comforts Libby and calms her. Why can’t he just be a nice guy all the time?

Betty and her husband, the Pretzel King, come in for fertility testing. Betty surprises Masters by telling him her husband is to get tested today because he was getting antsy just waiting. Looks like PK will be giving a sperm sample. While walking into his office his secretary tells Bill that Greathouse wants to watch the study tonight and would like to know who the study will be focusing on. After struggling for his secretary to understand him he finally yells that they will be watching “old men masturbating.” (Unfortunately, Bill’s plan to deter Greathouse doesn’t work. Greathouse still shows up to the study and makes fun of the post-menopausal woman Bill is studying). Betty and Masters argue about the results of her husband’s test. Betty wants Masters to just lie. She tells him to just look at “it” with a magnifying glass if he has to. The Pretzel King comes into Masters office with a jar of . . . little swimmers. Cut to PK and Betty’s response after Masters told them Betty is infertile. Betty’s acting skills are horrendously fabulous. She laments over her husbands inactive “baby batter.” Before they go Masters gives them a parting gift, PK’s jar-o-sperm. In the hall PK tells Betty he’s going to go pay their medical bill. Betty tries to stop him since there won’t be anything to pay because there have been no tests.

Austin, who seems to be popping up everywhere this episode, bothers Dr. DuPaul in her office late at night. At first, I thought Lillian was annoyed but instead she asked Austin to drink with her. I’m loving this new Lillian. After a few drinks the two get on the topic of Virginia. Lillian says she was wrong about her, she though Virginia only wanted to cling to a man who could pull her to the top. Austin says Dr. DuPaul was right and asks her how long she has known. DuPaul, not understanding but playing along tells Austin she’s known for a very long time. Austin then spills the beans about seeing Virginia and Bill at the hotel. He also confides that he thinks they’ve been sleeping together far longer. Seems Austin didn’t quite believe Virginia’s story after all.

At her next radiation appointment Lillian tells Virginia that she cheated on a test in college. She then says that it was a “shortcut” and that a small indiscretion doesn’t diminish what came after.  It is a kind way of trying to tell Virginia that even though she may have slept with Masters, her work after sleeping with him doesn’t have to be tainted by one bad decision. Lillian urges Virginia to tell her a secret. For a moment it looks as if Virginia will tell her, but she ultimately says nothing. Lillian is hurt that she has shared so much with Virginia (all of her doctor’s appointments, being sick in front of her, etc.) and she still won’t confide in her. Later, Dr. DuPaul meets with Dr. Papanikolaou. He had been one of her most admired teachers and she wanted to share her cervical cancer prevention program with him. The first meeting was with Lillian, Papanikolaou, and Virginia. Now that Lillian feels Virginia has broken her trust she calls for another meeting with Dr. Papanikolaou alone this time. Lillian wants Dr. Papanikolaou to take her program to Miami with him. He tells her that if he takes it the program will no longer be hers, he may call her with updates but the program is ultimately his. DuPaul understands. When Virginia finds out what Lillian has done she’s speechless. She though Dr.  DuPaul and she were partners. Virginia tries to sway Lillian by saying once Dr. Papanikolaou has the program Dr. DuPaul’s name won’t even be a byline. Lillian takes a jab at Virginia by saying she didn’t become a doctor to put her “name on a study.” Which is exactly what Bill did for Virginia when he presented the sex study.

At Master’s house Libby gives Coral medicated shampoo. While she doesn’t come out and say it, Libby indicates that she thinks Coral gave the baby lice. The next day Libby notices Coral didn’t shampoo her hair. Coral says her brother checked and she doesn’t have lice. Coral then brings Bill into the argument when she says black people can’t get lice. Masters backs her up and says he read about it in a medical journal. Later, Libby calls Coral into the bathroom. She tells Coral to either let her shampoo her hair with the medicated shampoo or she will lose her job. Coral shamefully agrees to have Libby shampoo her hair. Libby also tells Coral to not bring Mr. Masters into their arguments again. I have no idea what has set Libby off this season. She went from kind-hearted, seemingly oblivious housewife to potential racist in just a few episodes. I’m not sure I like where her character is headed.

Masters tries to keep Greathouse away from his study again. This time, he tells Greathouse that watching the study could make him gay. Masters thinks Greathouse will finally stay away only to be greeted by him and four other doctors eating Chinese food in the observation room when he arrives for the study. Masters is livid. Greathouse really doesn’t care what Bill thinks. He tells Masters maybe he was a big deal at his last job but in this hospital he’s in charge. They argue and Bill tells Greathouse to go to the board and tell them to hire Virginia. Greathouse tells Masters you don’t make up fake jobs to promote your secretary. He also admits he never even asked the board about Virginia. Masters punches Greathouse in the face (after he shoved an egg roll down another doctor’s throat!) and gets fired. Did anyone else see that coming?

At PK and Betty’s house they are sitting down to eat a TV dinner. The mood is tense as PK must have found out Betty isn’t having fertility treatments. This is the first time I’ve felt more for the Pretzel King besides mild amusement. It was awful to watch him so hurt from Betty’s lies. Betty explains that she knew he wouldn’t want to get married if he thought she couldn’t have children. She knows he was looking for a good Christian woman as they met at a church potluck. PK disagrees and says they met long before that. Betty doesn’t understand. PK says he was always bad with women so he thought he’d try a brothel. We learn PK actually met Betty when she was a prostitute and that he loved her anyway. It made me want to cry right along with Betty. PK then tells her, “I never though you were a good Christian girl. I just though you were the love of my life.” I take back every bad thing I ever though about the Pretzel King.

Masters returns home that night after being fired. He tries to tell Libby what happened but Austin comes in holding baby Johnny. Swoon! Seriously, could that man get any more attractive? After convincing Bill to come outside, Austin admits he used to wish he were more like Masters, but now he sees Bill is just like him. He cautions Masters to not let what happened to himself happen to Bill. He asks Masters if what he has with Virginia is worth what he would lose with Libby and their child. The next morning Masters wakes up to a phone ringing. He comes to the kitchen to find a livid wife. Libby says she just found out from Greathouse’s wife that Bill punched him and was then fired. She can’t believe that he wouldn’t tell her. Masters makes excuses but Libby doesn’t want to hear it. Only when it looks like Bill is having a panic attack does Libby stop. This actually may be the most emotionally shaken I’ve ever seen Masters. Maybe the talk with Austin the night before bothered him up more than he thought. He promises Libby he will always take care of her.

We conclude with Masters walking into Buell Green Hospital, which seems to be predominantly black. Masters welcomes the board and says he and his partner are excited to start working. Partner? Hmmmm, seems like the next episode is going to be interesting.


 A native of North Dakota, Meagan Burgad currently resides in North Carolina with her husband. When not traveling the world she is reading a book or blogging for Love Between the Sheets.

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