Masters of Sex Season 2 Review “Below the Belt”

Masters of Sex Season 2 Episode 10 Below the Belt-3

On the latest episode of “Masters of Sex,” the problems “Below the Belt” continued in more than a few areas, as per usual, given the show’s writers excellence at multi-tasking. Of course, there was the obvious interpretation, Masters’ ongoing issues with sexual dysfunction, as well as Lester’s and Barbara’s. There wasn’t a whole lot of forward movement on those fronts, though I smell a love connection in the making with the latter two, and Masters & Johnson are clearly starting to get somewhere, finally. Dr. Austin also got into a sticky situation south of the border with Flo, but his equipment seemed to be in working order, no matter what issues his mind were having.

Those weren’t the only “Below the Belt” situations going on, however. Also hitting below the belt were Masters and brother Frank, when the former goaded the latter into pummeling him when Francis accused both Masters and his mother of also being alcoholics. Still, something good did come out of it, as it forced Masters to come to terms with his leaving Francis behind to face the wrath of their father in his wake. Francis may have forgiven him, but he hadn’t quite forgiven himself, which he finally admitted to Johnson later on, leading to a breakthrough of sorts between the two, with their having seemingly been able to consummate their sexual activity on both ends for the first time in some time.

Another strike below the belt landed courtesy of a fellow doctor, Joseph Kaufman, who got his own sex study published in a respectable journal, much to Masters’ dismay, relegating he and Johnson to a mere footnote in the process, which he wasn’t happy about at all. In his eyes, the first to get their work noticed was the one who would end up being remembered for it. As such, it was time to step up their game, so Masters hired a Public Relations man, Shep Tally (Adam Arkin) to raise their profile. His suggestion: a television profile, teaching people about sex from a scientific perspective, which Masters wasn’t too keen on, but a wise Johnson realized could actually work quite well on their behalf.

Lord knows they need the publicity, between the newfound competition and the bills breathing down their necks, which constituted taking on yet another tenant, and almost got their lights turned off for good. If Libby keeps up her political crusade with Robert, it might also bring some publicity to the building of a more unwanted kind- not in the least if she continues down the other path she seems to be headed in, which looks to be more of a romantic nature. On the other hand, it might be a way out for Masters to be with Johnson for real, so maybe it would be a plus on the whole. But even so, that whole situation is a recipe for disaster.

All in all, it was a pretty decent episode. As ever, I love the way that the show manages to tie the disparate plot elements together in often unexpected ways, with each of them reflecting what’s going on in the overall story as a whole. Yes, occasionally, it can be a bit of a stretch- as ever, the Libby plotline sticks out like a sore thumb as fairly unnecessary- but basically, the story gets it right most of the time, so I don’t have a lot of complaints.

I mean, I get that they feel compelled to give Libby something to do, and it’s not like the actress playing her, Caitlin FitzGerald, is without talent. It’s just that she suffers from “Mad Men” syndrome, a la that show’s Betty (January Jones), in that the actress is fine in the role but she rarely has much to do and when she does, you only want to get back to the other characters.

I do think that an interracial romance might be a step up from what they’re doing now, which is trying too hard to make Libby into one of those saintly white people characters in period pieces that help the poor black man with their struggles because, obviously, they are incapable of doing it themselves (he said sarcastically, so save your angry comments). That sort of thing is a pet peeve of mine, so it makes me roll my eyes when I see it, and Libby is certainly no exception.

What did you think of “Masters of Sex” this week? Did you like the way the show dealt with the various forms of sexual dysfunction? What did you make of the Flo and Austin combination? What will the TV crowd at the time make of Masters and Johnson, the show? What about Libby, for that matter? Does Johnson have an idea of what’s going on between Libby and Robert? (Not that there is anything, yet, but she sure seemed to have taken note of it more than a few times.) Will Masters and his mom get help with their drinking issues? Will Masters and Francis ever mend fences? Will Lester and Barbara become a couple? Will Masters and Johnson ever really work their issues out? Sound off below and see you next week!