[This is a review of Masters of Sex season 2, episode 7. There will be SPOILERS.]
Masters of Sex understands better than most that time is relative. Moving nearly two and a half years into the future might seem overwhelming to some, but this brilliant choice by creator Michelle Ashford proves that change is a slow process.
While Bill and Virginia may have a fancy new clinic to call their own, if one looks deeper at their lives, it's easy to see that as individuals not much has changed. Dr. Masters has more children, but he still exists in a loveless marriage with his wife Libby, who has issues of her own. For a man who does nothing but study the sexual actions of men and women, it's ironic that our once virile doctor can no longer get an erection.
Bill's back-alley escapades with prostitutes seemingly have no effect on his condition. Even when he and Virginia resume their "work" at the hotel, Masters just performs on Virginia, claiming that he needs to get re-acclimated to her body. Does he just need some Viagra (not yet invented), or is Bill facing a mental blockage of some kind? Either way, he's in a much darker place than he was two years ago. Perhaps the only glimmer of hope came at the end of the episode when he let his mother back into his life. Does this signal a sign of better things to come for the Masters family?
Virginia's predicament is not much better than Bill's, as she appears to keep cycling through men at an accelerated rate. She and Bill seem destined to destroy each other, but as what cost? Libby may have some adventures of her own in the coming weeks. Even with the time jump to 1960, the scene with her and Robert (Coral's brother) in last week's episode, shows that Mrs. Masters is ready for an adventure of her own.
The title of this week's hour is called 'Asterion'. There are several forms of interpretation for this usage, ranging from Greek Mythology meaning "starry," or "ruler of stars," to a medical term referring to a point on the human skull. All of these various terminologies are as ambiguous as the episode itself. This outing could easily be the most confounding, or excellent episode in the Masters of Sex series. What do you think?
One of the characters who genuinely seemed like he wanted to change was Dr. Austin Langham. After seeing his beautiful new girlfriend (Holly) in a erotic film at a bachelor party, the doctor decided he'd had enough of the "bachelor life." His confession to his wife seemed sincere, but her response was truthful to the core. There are just some things that can't be undone. In Austin's case, having an affair with your wife's sister is surely one of those instances.
Maybe that's Ashford's point after all, in relationship to time. Babies will be born, relationships come and go, but do we (human beings) ever truly change who we are? Ashford does not appear to be a nihilist, so hopefully there is a glimmer of hope for a few of our leading men and women at the end of this tunnel. We'll just have to wait and see.
With over two years time passing us by in just an hour of television, where do you see Masters of Sex going from here? Be sure to keep watching to find out what happens next.
Masters of Sex continues with 'Mirror, Mirror' next Sunday @10pm on Showtime.