Premium cable TV--HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc. is my guilty pleasure. I watch too much. Now, I'll be watching even more as I give my reviews of various episodic shows. A list of the most popular reviews appears on the right side of page--check them out. If you'd like to follow by email, write your email address in the box below and click on submit.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Masters of Sex #209 “Story of My Life”
It''s all about the research, or is it?
by Catherine Giordano
Truth--what is true and what is not true--is the theme of
Showtime’s Masters of Sex, episode
209,” Story of My Life.” Here is the review and recap for the show that aired 9/7/14.
The truth about Bill
We learn more about Bill Master’s brother in this episode.
It seems they remember their childhoods differently. Bill shouts at Frank, “Is
it the truth or is it your truth?” There is a lot of sibling rivalry between
the two brothers. Frank is an alcoholic, one year sober. He tricks Bill into
attending an AA meeting with him. Franks knows that the only way he can talk to
his brother is from the podium at the meeting when he is invited to “share” in celebration
of his one year chip.
Frank thinks that Bill abandoned him. Bill thinks that Frank
was their father’s favorite because he bore his father’s name, Frank. “What
kind of father passes over his first-born son and gives his name to the second-born
son?” The anger in his voice is terrible; you just know that this is a
resentment that has been eating at him for years. Bill is also angry that Frank
told stories about his childhood relating events that happened to Bill as if
they had happened to him. Frank insists that they happened to him also.
The truth about Barbara
We also have the story of two other siblings who remember their
childhoods differently.Dr. Masters is
treating Barbara for her vagisimus by inserting speculums into her vagina and
trying to gradually stretch her. Virginia and Bill argue over this because
Virginia thinks they have to approach the problem with psychotherapy.
Barbara had sex with her brother, Paul, when she was 12
years old, multiple times. Barbara sees
her brother regularly, and she tells Virginia that the last time she met her
brother for dinner she talked to him about it. She says that her brother
remembered things differently. He did not force himself on her; she initiated
the sexual games. This conversation leads Barbara to remember the truth—she devised
the game so that Paul would stay with her and not go off to play with
others.“It worked,” she said. I fear, the
more Barbara remembers, the worse the outcome for her.
The truth about
Virginia and Bill
Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan
Virginia continues to visit the psychotherapist pretending
to be Barbara trying to get therapy for Barbara by proxy. The therapist sees right
through her lies because her emotional affect does not match what she is saying,
but he plays along. He asks Virginia a question that forces her to face the truth
about her relationship with Bill--They are not doing sex research; they are
having an affair.
Virginia always thought that the sex with Bill was not
taking anything from Libby because she did not want to marry Bill. She
confronts Bill on the issue, but he continues to insist that their sex is all
about the research and nothing else.
The truth about Lester
Bill is still hiding the truth about his impotence.He tires therapy by proxy also. He hires a
prostitute for Lester who is known for her ability to “cure” men with
impotence.Her attempt with Lester is disastrous.
The prostitute is not successful, and the whole ordeal shames Lester even
further. Only a true relationship can cure Lester.
The truth about LIbby
Libby is dealing with truth also.She witnessed some of the events leading up
to a black man from CORE being tossed, tied up, from a truck in front of the
building where Bill works and which also has the offices of CORE. In the previous
episode Robert, who works at CORE, had asked her to come forward as a witness.
She refused and now wants to help.
She meets with Robert and a black CORE lawyer. The lawyer
tries to lead her to report the events in a way that is less than true, but more
helpful in getting the white men who did this convicted. Robert takes Libby aside
and talks to her about this. Libby indicates that she is ready to lie. Robert
questions her as a D.A. would to prove to her that her lies would fall apart.
He says that she can be of no help to them.
Distressed that she cannot help with the case, Libby finds
another way to help--she volunteers to type, answer phones, etc.Robert disdains her help, but she insists. Finally,
he says, "There is one thing you can do. You can make a sandwich run.” He expects Libby to reject this demeaning task.
Instead she proves that she was speaking the truth about wanting to help by picking
up a pad and pencil and says, “What can I get you.”
The truth about
In the last scene, Bill and Virginia are in the hotel room.
They are fighting about the nature of their relationship. Virginia now sees it
as an affair and Bill insists it is research. He hints at the new focus of
their after-hours research—Virginia and he will experiment with curing male impotence.