Masters of Sex Season 1 Review “Love & Marriage”

You know, it’s funny how “Masters of Sex” can knock you for a loop sometimes, by zigging when you thought it would zag, catching you off guard. There were a number of moments like that on tonight’s episode, “Love & Marriage,” and I must say, I really appreciate a show that can do that, especially if it’s one you thought you were getting the hang of, as it were.

After all, we’re eight episodes in at this point, over half the season. By now, even the vag-cam doesn’t surprise me, but other things here did. Okay, maybe it was a little surprising that they showed the footage, but that Masters & Johnson would think to film it in the first place and subsequently find a way to do so wasn’t that surprising, because that’s just the type of show this is.

But really, it was the little things that got my attention. For instance, I thought for sure that Dr. Haas would run screaming from his girlfriend when he saw her cooking and dancing while blaring the song “Love & Marriage”- hence the title of the show- and merrily singing along. Instead, he went and got a ring and planned his proposal- an engagement Vivian, on the other hand, found wholly predictable to the point she saw it coming a mile away, thus somewhat negating his even going through with the actual act!

Meanwhile, I thought Austin had maybe learned from his experience with Margaret and was growing as a person. When Dr. Haas told him to buy his wife something nice that was a bit more personal, and he later waxed nostalgic at the jewelry store, I thought for sure that he’d go home with romance on his mind and make up with her. Instead, he completely reverted back to his natural horn-dog self and went back to the store and nailed the shop girl!

Then he went to Johnson and asked to be part of the study again to boot. Jane or no Jane, he was back in business. Sigh. Oh well, I guess you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Clearly, his wife is used to this nonsense, to the point of rolling her eyes about it and chalking up another notch in her husband’s bedpost of extracurricular affairs. Poor woman.

On the Masters & Johnson front, these two continue to duck and dive like prize fighters. After Masters left her feeling vulnerable after her own suggestion he should be spending more time with his wife, all it took was a quick talk with Jane about a secretary she knew fired for fooling around with her boss, thinking he’d choose her over his wife, and she was back on the straight and narrow. Taking classes with Dr. DePaul on the sly, she quickly became one of her ace students, though Lillian was her usual grumpy self- not without good reason.

Masters, found out about it, of course, and told her to go right ahead with her studies and by all means take some time off- only to ask Dr. DePaul to let him know if she got a bit carried away with the class taking at the expense of his study. These two are a cagey lot- no wonder they ended up together in the end.

Speaking of which, so is Dr. DePaul. Though if it had been a dog it would have bit me, I didn’t put two and two together about the fact that the reason she was pushing so hard for pap smears was because she herself had terminal cancer that could have been prevented, had doctors caught it sooner. The way they revealed it was beautifully done, as it turned out those who attended her seminar had viewed her own slide of her illness, which, as if to prove her point, a doctor in the audience immediately identified as cancer.

Suddenly, Lillian’s demeanor is a lot more understandable. I had chalked it up to trying to fit in at what was primarily a boys’ club at the time, but it’s clearly more personal than that. I also liked her begrudgingly admitting to Masters that Johnson was her best student. Ditto her quid pro quo with Masters over funding in exchange for keeping tabs on Johnson. I’d like to think that Johnson earned that 100% on her test, though she might have had her wheel greased a bit because of the whole Masters thing.

I was also surprised by the news that Libby was pregnant again. Definitely didn’t see that coming. If anything, I thought her miscarriage would be the thing that ultimately broke them up. Well, besides Masters’ relationship with Johnson, of course. Will she have another miscarriage? That remains to be seen, I suppose.

More predictable was the end of Margaret’s dalliance with Austin, which led to an unexpected showdown with her husband after she caught him meeting up with Dale. I thought for sure she would figure out what was going on, but Scully claimed it was his pimp and she bought it. Still, it wasn’t enough to change anything, as Margaret took it to mean Scully wasn’t attracted to her sexually anymore, if he ever was. Gee, I wonder why?

It’s insane to think there was a time where it was easier- and more comforting- to believe one’s husband was sleeping with hookers than being gay. I don’t even think she considered it as an option, really, which is crazy. Meanwhile, poor Scully actually thought he could use medicine or therapy to gay-proof himself or whatever. Good luck with that. Dale certainly wasn’t having it, and I can’t say I blame him. Can you imagine someone being so sick at the sight of you they literally threw up? Pretty harsh.

On the more amusing side, there was the aforementioned coochie-cam, in which film guy Lester had to get ready for his close-up in record time. Hitchcock my foot- more like Russ Meyer. Or better yet, Larry Flynt. I loved Jane in this episode, from labeling her vag “Beave St. Marie” to accepting the task before her by saying: “In high school, I was voted most likely to be in pictures.” I’ll say. Yikes! Nice touch also, converting Ulysses into the camera casing, though I can see why Lester had an unsteady hand, manning that monster! “I thought you had to remove the vibration?” asked Johnson. “I did,” replied a straight-faced Masters. LOL. “Vaginas don’t bite,” indeed. (Well, save maybe this one.)

So, another great episode of “Masters of Sex” for the books. What did you think of the show tonight? Still like the direction things are headed in? Were you surprised by Libby’s second pregnancy? How about Dr. Haas’ pseudo-proposal? Or Dr. Austin’s swift turn-around? Did you feel for poor Lester? (Or envy him, as the case may be…) Are Margaret and Scully doomed? Let me know what you think in the comments section!