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Masters of Sex – Recap: Moving to Virginia

Masters of Sex continued tonight with an episode that saw some unfavorable repercussions to our characters’ impulsive actions. Some consequences aren’t as pleasurable as the involuntary reactions of great sex. A couple of scratches on the back are good for you!

Episode 9 of Season 1 of Masters of Sex, “Involuntary,” continued Masters’ (Michael Sheen) affair with Virginia (Lizzy Caplan), but like scratches on a back after a steamy romp, the aftermath of an affair comes with some painful wounds. Meanwhile, Ethan (Nicholas D’Agosto) and Vivian (Rose McIver) suffered their own relationship catastrophe this week, and even Jane (Helene Yorke) revealed some limits when it comes to her sexualities. Libby’s (Caitlin Fitzgerald) bond with Masters’ mother, Essie (Ann Dowd), led to new revelations and discoveries. Here is the Recap and Review of Season 1 Episode 9 of Masters of Sex, “Involuntary”!

To begin the recap, Masters and Virginia decided to take their study films to a new level. In recruiting Jane as a neck-down nude participant in a video filming the involuntary physical reactions to sexual stimulation, the two planned on carefully concocting a scientific piece of footage that evaded the stigmas of the common porno. Jane was initially all for another turn as a movie star, yet this new process would call for some boundaries and a pay raise. It seems everything in this sexual study has come to new extremes. Masters and Virginia have taken their own participation from rigid and uncomfortable to downright steamy. Virginia, leaving the initial scratches on Bill’s back that inevitably led to the new leg of their study, seemed to be getting a little too comfortable having sex with her boss.

Meanwhile, Ethan and Vivian hit a roadblock in their wedding plans to begin Episode 9. Ethan, obviously not invested in absolutely anything to do with this relationship to begin with, certainly couldn’t be bothered with choosing from a variety of cakes. Vivian, on the other hand, was caught off-guard after learning of the Jewish ritual of circumcision after accidentally stumbling upon an uncut old man in the hospital. Ethan, a Jew by birth, has no religion in the present. He is a doctor! Vivian, distraught over the lack of faith and, more so, the lack of an explanation on Ethan’s part, spent the better part of Episode 9 attempting to find a means to overcome their religious issues.

The man you are going to marry is nothing!

Showtime "Masters of Sex"

Showtime “Masters of Sex”

Said with such confident pride, yet heard with an unnerving clarity. Ethan has no idea who he truly is as a man. Vivian subsequently attempted to learn a bit more about Ethan’s parents’ faith, crashing the all-male party at an orthodox temple, much to her displeasure. Ethan, on the other hand, inevitably turned to the concept of Catholic conversion as a means of, well, shutting up his fiancé, who seemed set on a church wedding. In the end, a traumatizing experience in which Ethan bumped a man to the ground while backing out of a parking space landed Haas in the hospital following a dizzy spell. There, he spoke with another patient, an actual Catholic who helped him come to the realization that his entire life has been a bit of a non-event. He’s been floating, and only boats float. The only time he’d ever taken a true risk was in his pursuit of Virginia, and that inevitably blew up in his face. Later in the episode, Ethan manned up and gave it to Vivian straight. The two ended their engagement in Ethan’s first act to rectify his complacency in life.

Libby spent some time with Essie this week in a few moments that eventually burst the bubble on her pregnancy secret. Libby, wishing to protect the baby in her womb without jinxing the pregnancy, had planned on keeping the child a secret from Bill for as long as she could; however, the impending onslaught of morning sickness combined with her fears of, say, reaching above the cabinets to grab a coffee machine for Bill’s mother, gave her away. Bill’s mother agreed to keep her secret while she could, realizing why Libby feared her own excitement.

Showtime "Masters of Sex"

Showtime “Masters of Sex”

After a bird had crashed into the Masters’ home window, killing itself in a neck-snapping instant, Libby revealed more of her deeper feelings. The guilt of going behind Bill’s back seemed to begin to eat away at her, even driving her to confess the truth of her own daddy issues. After her mother had passed away when Libby was just a young girl, her father went missing. Eventually, a neighbor tracked him down and filled Libby and her sisters in on the truth. Their father had simply moved away… to Virginia. Funny, as Bill, the man she affectionately refers to as “daddy,” also seems to have moved on to Virginia. Well, this heartbreaking story would seem a whole lot trashier if our leading lady was named Tennessee.

Showtime "Masters of Sex"

Showtime “Masters of Sex”

Curious to get to know her son better, Bill’s mother surprised the team at the office just after Jane had finished her first filming session. There, she became privy to all of the sparks flying between Bill and Virginia. Virginia’s glowing staff evaluation from Bill, of course, only served to reaffirm the chemistry between the two. After the dinner, Bill and Virginia traveled over to a porn dealer in order to develop the footage. There, Bill even grew a pair, just for a moment, man-handling the cashier after he very inappropriately suggested that “his girl” should try the adult film world on for size. Later, Bill’s mother ventured to the hospital yet again. This time, though, she was looking to right a wrong of her own. She’d sat by idly as Bill’s abusive father ruined his childhood. Now, she’d step in to prevent any sort of affair from destroying Libby’s world and her son’s true life and future. Bill, much to his utter rage, has come to resemble his father more than he’d realized.

Showtime "Masters of Sex"

Showtime “Masters of Sex”

As the study progressed, Virginia also continued her class work in Dr. DePaul’s (Julianne Nicholson) anatomy class. Virginia’s aptitude for her studies landed her stellar scores. Surrounded by young male students looking to succeed, Virignia found herself as the leader of a study group. Mostly, this arc played out a bit like comic relief this week. I thought the boys were going to give Virginia a truly hard time about having some sort of a feminist sisterhood bond with DePaul, but really Ginny simply ended up lending them some notes to help their grades. Mostly, the arc served to set up a quick lunch scene between Virginia and DePaul, who was also quite used to eating alone as a pioneering woman dedicated to her work.

At home, Bill became privy to Libby’s pregnant status, but as a fertility doctor, he recognized that some sort of tampering must have been done to make this miracle happen. Masters of Sex had Libby talk about her private procedures with Ethan like it was some sort of sexual affair, almost making me question the time frame of last week’s episode when she got super flirtatious with the gardener. If Libby ends up birthing a half black child, I called it here. Bill, frustrated that Libby had clearly gone to desperate measures to conceive, had his anger squashed by Libby’s desperation for love in both their lives.

Showtime "Masters of Sex"

Showtime “Masters of Sex”

Jane, disgusted by the sight of herself in action, decided to pull the footage from the project. Virginia agreed, recognizing that Jane had sacrificed enough for the study, and inevitably decided to step in herself, realizing that, as Dr. DePaul claimed, the work endures. This time, though, Lester the cameraman would need to sit out. Virginia politely asked Bill to do the filming of her masturbation session alone.

To close the recap, Episode 9 of Masters of Sex ended with Virginia receiving an unlikely compensation from Bill in the form of cold hard cash. Virginia, taken aback by Bill’s decision to treat her as though she’d been selling her body rather than conducting the study as his partner, left the payment on his desk and took to her car for a decent sob session. There, Ethan lent a shoulder to cry on. At home, Virginia rewrote the perfect evaluation Bill had given her to include the fact that she’d let her passion cloud her judgment. In private, Bill watched the edited footage of Virginia’s “scientific” masturbation session; however, we became privy to one shocking invasion of privacy. Bill decided to include Virginia’s face in a selfish and despicable move. Yikes, this guy is unlikable.

 

What did you think of Masters of Sex Episode 9 of Season 1, “Involuntary”? Has Bill crossed the line beyond belief? What’s the deal with Libby’s pregnancy? Are Virginia and Ethan going to be a legitimate item?

Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of Masters of Sex Episode 9 of Season 1, “Involuntary”!

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2 comments
bluearcher
bluearcher

I like that you pointed out that "sketchy" pregnancy issue of Libby.. wonder what she was talking about.. or our minds just too playful. I hope it's not that she hooked up with someone. Oh god

JoeTranch
JoeTranch moderator

@bluearcher I'm not crazy, right? And I don't think it's poor writing. Something is up.