Thursday, October 24, 2013

Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” #104 “Thank You for Coming”

Nicholas D'Agosto as Ethan Haas on "Masters of Sex"
“Unwelcome Visitors”
by Catherine Giordano

There are plenty of nasty surprises on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, episode #104, titled “Thank You for Coming”, which aired on October 20, 1913. The fist might be the title, a crude pun, and somewhat of a cliché. But perhaps quite apt because there are quite a few unwelcome people who come to visit.

William Maters mother comes for a visit. Libby seems quite pleased, but William is seething despite his placid demeanor. It gets worse. She lives in another state, but has decided to buy a house in the neighborhood and move so she can be close enough to help with the baby. William feels a lot of anger towards his mother because his father beat him as a child and his mother did nothing to stop it.

Perhaps that is why he helps a pregnant patient ho ants a tubal ligation so she will have no more children.  Her husband is abusive, this is her second child and she hopes one day to escape from her marriage. She knows with a third or fourth child, that will be impossible. William refuses at first, but during the delivery, he claims she is bleeding and performs the procedure. The other doctors can see that there is no problem, but masters angrily refutes their observations shutting them down with a “Are you questioning my authority?”

Virginia has some unexpected and unwanted company also. He ex-husband has shown up and is dead broke with no place to live.  She tells him he cannot stay with her. She wants him to leave, but she lets him into her bed for sex. Then she is surprised when he refuses to leave.

The ex learns that volunteers are being paid to participate in the sex study at the hospital and gets the job. He uses an assumed name. Virginia is shocked to see him in the hospital, but she plays along and does not reveal him. Later she thinks better of it and tells William that her ex-husband was one of the men in the study, but she refuses to say which one. 

William’s curiosity is aroused (perhaps more than his curiosity—on darn, now I’ve gone and made a bad pun.) He goes through the confidential files and figures out which subject is the ex and calls him in for a one on one interview without Virginia present. He wants to learn more about what Virginia is like in bed. This is the “do-I sense-a-dangerous-obsession-in-the-making?” moment of the week.

Libby has decided to give a little dinner party. She invites Ethan and Virginia.  She is setting them up. She knows nothing about their past history together. Needless to say, this goes very badly. Both are upset to find that the other one has been invited. Ethan is still carrying the torch for her, and Libby is cruelly cold to him. When Ethan offers to drive her home, she insists on taking the bus until William steps in and says he will drive her home.

Ethan is very drunk, but drives himself home to find he has a visitor also. A candy striper, 19 years old and the daughter of Provost Scully, is waiting outside his home. Ethan invites her in. She clearly wants to be seduced and Ethan obliges but not in a loving or even lustful way. He coldly orders her to take off her blouse and bra. Then he pours Scotch on her chest and licks it off. Things would   have proceeded from there if not for a phone call.  There is an emergency at the hospital and he must come in to operate.

Read the book
Ethan arrives at the hospital and scrubs up but before he can enter the operating room, he barfs violently into a trash can. He then goes in and does the operation. Miraculously, or maybe due to some very smart nurses, the operation is successful.

These unwelcome visitors aren’t likely to leave soon and they will most likely cause further trouble. Tune in next week! 

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