Masters of Sex Season 2 Review “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

Masters of Sex Season 2 Finale 2014 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised-1

On the season finale of “Masters of Sex,” as Kennedy was elected president, the spirit of revolution was in the air, but in this case, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” as Masters was none too happy with the result of Shep’s TV dog-and-pony show and took matters into his own hands to stop it, without realizing just how high the cost of his actions would be.

While Masters stressed about the competition, Dr. Kaufman, and his own impending sex study soon to be published, he pulled some strings via old boss Barton (a welcome return from former series regular Beau Bridges), and got a peek at the as-of-yet unpublished treatise. Seeing it as under researched and little threat to his and Johnson’s own work, he opted to continue to focus on their work and do it right and thoroughly, rather than rush to get their work out before it was fully done.

As such, seeing little need for the TV profile as before, Masters opted to shoot it dead in its tracks, resulting in the piece being pulled, though it didn’t stop Kaufman from doing one of his own- with a decidedly unexpected guest star: another old, familiar face, Dr. Ethan Haas (Nicholas D’Agosto). Realizing that it was where Kaufman likely got some of his material, Johnson blamed herself, having once dated Ethan, after all, which wasn’t exactly the healthiest of relationships.

Of course, with Masters pulling the strings of getting their TV profile pulled, he shouldered a lot of the blame his own self, especially since, unbeknownst to him at the time, Johnson was counting on the piece to give her work some creditability in the midst of an ugly custody battle with her ex-husband over the kids. With the profile pulled and no book of their work on the immediate horizon, Johnson’s fate was as good as sealed, and she lost custody of the kids, after George threatened to drag her name through the mud by telling a judge was exactly it was she did for a living if she didn’t fully cooperate with his demands.

As it stands, she retained visitation rights, but just barely. It was heartbreaking watching all this, and Lizzy Caplan’s work here was stellar throughout, all but assuring that she’ll get another Emmy nod next awards season in my book. You couldn’t help but be moved by that scene where she broke the news to her kids and they basically shrugged it off, then the phone rang and she had to pull it together in a matter of seconds to talk to the caller. Now that was some first rate acting right there.

I very nearly lost it my own damn self, and even more so when she later on fell to pieces with Masters, little knowing he was part of the cause in the first place. I mean, he knew that he’d been taking her away from her kids to a certain degree obviously, because of the study, but he didn’t know she’d been counting so much on that TV profile or he probably wouldn’t have had it pulled like he did. The question is, will he ever admit it to Johnson? Probably not, I’m guessing, as it would likely be the end of their relationship.

Even more shocking was the revelation that Libby knew full well what was going on between Masters & Johnson all this time and hadn’t said a word. I don’t know about you, but I certainly didn’t see that coming. I mean, I thought maybe Libby was suspicious, when it showed her reaction to them working together on the TV profile, but I had no idea she’d known for all this time. Things really were different back then, because I don’t know many women that would put up with that sort of thing in this day and age, if any. Much less for a relationship in which they hadn’t had sex with their husband for over a year! Boy, there is certainly more to Libby than meets the eye. She is way more interesting than I thought at first glance. As for her and Robert, good for her for claiming something for herself, in light of how sad her personal life is otherwise.

I also liked how Austen’s opinion of Flo changed so radically in light of the new information he got about how her family was connected to the Kennedys. I loved it even more when she refused to take him to the election party because she didn’t think he could hold his own in such highfaluting company. The look on his face when he realized that he was the “dumb blonde” in their relationship equation was priceless. Serves him right, after all the philandering he did over the years.

Just as satisfying was the ongoing relationship between Lester and Barbara. I was really hoping those two would find their way to one another and they did, and while it was tough going at first, they finally managed to get to a mutually agreeable place that allowed them to be together sans sex- for now. I especially liked the compare-and-contrast film selections, “Pillow Talk” and “L’Avventura.”

I’m only vaguely familiar with the former, but I knew enough to know that it was a schmaltzy rom-com not much different from the tripe that continues to clog our movie screens year-after-year. However, I had to watch the latter in film school, and interestingly enough, I had a similar reaction to Barbara’s, in terms of the main characters. I also didn’t quite get it, and was like, this is a romantic drama? They seemingly hate each other!

Good on Lester for pointing out how real life love is messy and imperfect like that, and it was precisely that quality that made some relationships work. Even more props to the writers for using the perfect examples of illustrating a larger point symbolically without having to spell it out for viewers. You either got it or you didn’t, but even if you didn’t, you got the point being made. Nice work all around this season from the writers, I have to say. Few shows manage to tie in so many disparate elements in such a clever way as “Masters of Sex,” and that certainly includes its most obvious precedent, “Mad Men.”

That was about it for the episode, but there were some clever touches throughout, including Masters’ Kennedy-inspired fever dream; a call from none other than Hugh Hefner (might he be the way for M&J to get their study out unfiltered in the near-future?); Lester and Barbara’s old-school Hollywood-style sleeping together without “sleeping” together in the same bed overnight; the updates on various characters we hadn’t heard from in some time; the revelation that Isaac Newton was a virgin (!); and the usual first-rate plotting and interconnected storylines connecting in unexpected ways. Can’t wait for season three!

What did you think of “Masters of Sex” this season? Are you glad the show got renewed for a third season? What was your favorite moment of the season? Who is your favorite character? What was your favorite storyline? How about your least favorite? Where do you think the show will head next? Sound off below, and see you next season!