Monday, September 22, 2014

Masters of Sex #211 "One for the Money..."

Masters of Sex Bill and Virginia's TV Interview
Bill on Virginia
do a TV interview
“See Me!”

by Catherine Giordano

My review and recap for episode 210 of Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” was titled “Fix Me.” The title for episode 211—“One for the Money, Two for the Show” has to be “See Me.”  A lot of the characters are feeling like they are invisible, like they are misunderstood, like they are not appreciated.

The TV Interview
The main event in the episode is a TV film crew at Dr. Masters’ offices.  In an effort to get publicity for their work, a P.R. consultant has arranged for them to be interviewed for “Sixty Minutes.”  Virginia is totally comfortable with this. Bill is not. He feels that he is being asked to be inauthentic because it will make for “better TV.” He wants to be seen as his real self; he wants his work to be portrayed honestly. 

Bill is particularly annoyed that during the warm up, he is told many times “You can’t say that on TV.” The clinical terms for sex, like “”orgasm”, are taboo. Bill protests that this is exactly what his work is about-abolishing the shame and secrecy concerning sex.  Masters and Johnson will largely succeed at that, but not this time.  The taboos remain in place for the interview.

Masters of Sex Flo and Austin
Flo wants Austin to role play
Flo and Austin
Flo is also someone who wants to be seen for who she truly is. She and Austin are having sex twice a week, but they don’t see each other. Flo tells Austin about how Clark Gable in “Gone with the Wind” is every girls (and woman’s) fantasy. She wants him to role play with her—break into her home and drag her by her hair to the bedroom and ravish her. Austin makes a lame attempt—his job at Cal-O-Metric depends on his ability to keep his boss, Flo, happy in the bedroom, but he just can’t work up enough enthusiasm. Flo desperately wants to be the kind of woman who is so desirable that men lose all control around her. It how she sees her self—on the inside anyway—but no one else can see her that way. 

Libby and Robert

Masters of Sex Robert and Libby Encounter a Policeman
Robert and Libby and
one very pissed policeman.
Libby has spent her whole life being “the good girl.” She feels invisible. She works diligently at CORE, but she feels Robert, who heads up the office just sees her as a “do-gooder” with nothing much to contribute.  One night, Robert gives her a ride home and they are sitting outside her home in his car for a moment discussing Martin Luther King. A policeman comes by, none to happy to see a black man with a white woman. He is itching to cause trouble for Robert. All he can see is a black man with a white woman. Libby defies the policeman and says, Robert will not be on his way because she has invited him in. Robert goes in with her because it would be dangerous for him to be left alone with that policeman.

Robert is very wary about being alone with a white woman. He wants to leave, but Libby starts pouring her heart out to him about how she is invisible. She asks him to kiss her. If he kisses her then maybe she can feel as if she is seen. Robert is reluctant, so Libby kisses him.  And then nature takes its course—right on the living room floor.. It is the passionate love-making that Flo wanted from Austin and didn’t get.

We can’t blame Libby too much. She is a beautiful young woman and her husband has not made love to her in a year, maybe two years by now. I only hope this does not turn out badly for Robert. Remember back in season one when Libby invited a young black man into her home for dance lessons. All they did was dance, and any nosy neighbors thought he was just the handyman doing repairs. It may not work out so well this time.    

Masters of Sex Bill and Virginia
Compare this earlier scene
 to the scene in this episode.
Virginia and Bill
The most intense scene involved Bill and Virginia alone in the medical office.  Bill, after an exhausting day of pretending for the cameras, can’t contain his self-loathing anymore. He feels like a failure as a doctor because e hasn’t been able to cure anyone of sexual dysfunction. His sexual impotence has made him feel like less than a man. He can’t imagine what a beautiful woman like Virginia sees in him. He has a total emotional breakdown in front of the bewildered Virginia. 

All Virginia can do is cradle him in her arms as they sit on the floor, perhaps at the same moment that Libby and Robert are making love on the floor). She holds his head in her lap as he lays in fetal position, a scene that reminds me of an earlier episode when she embraced him post-coitus. “I’m here.” “I’m here.” She says it over and over. She is telling him and she knows him completely and sees him completely and accepts him completely.    

See Me
It’s what we all want and it is all we want: To be seen and to be loved.  

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Masters of Sex Book
to look inside

Human Sexual Response book
to look inside

Showtime's Masters of Sex Season One dvd
to buy DVD