Thursday, July 16, 2015

Masters of Sex #301 07 12 15 “'Parliament of Owls”

Masaters of Sex
One Big Happy Family

by Catherine Giordano

Season 3 picks up four years later after the end of Season 2 and nothing has changed and everything has changed. I call this review “One Big Happy Family” with more than a little sarcasm. 

Spoiler Alert: The recap and review of the Season 3 premiere of Masters of Sex which aired on July 12, 2015 discusses key plot points.  

The Book

Human Sexual Response book
to look inside
Human Sexual Response is about to be published. The episode begins with Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson holding a press conference. There is a lot of hostility in the room. For the most part, the reporters are scandalized even though the book is a very dry read of medical terminology and statistics. Masters and Johnson did everything they could to keep the book from being salacious.
The hostility is not just between Masters and Johnson and the reporters but also between Dr. Masters and Mrs.Johnson. Masters is the senior partner in this enterprise, but Johnson fights for equal billing. She makes sure that she takes half of the talking time, often jumping in with her answers before Masters can speak. When she is not doing that, she is adding to what he has said as it he had forgotten to mention some important points.

Their professional and private relationship resembles that of a contentious marriage; they have a strong bond to each other, but they fight for dominance in the relationship.

The Home Front
The Masters (Bill and his wife Libby and their two kids) and the Johnsons (Virginia and her two kids) are taking a vacation together at a lake house. It is apparently something they do every year. The action of the episode jumps back and forth between that summer vacation and the press conference. 

They may be on vacation but all Bill wants to do is work on the galley proofs of the book. The last thing he wants to do is be with his wife and kids He holes-up in one of the bedrooms all day, and at night he goes outside to sleep in a lawn chair. The room he is using as his office is the bedroom of Tessa, Virginia’s daughter, so he can’t sleep there. He won’t sleep with his wife, and so he ends up sleeping outside in a lawn chair. How hurt must Libby feel that he’d rather sleep outside and get eaten alive by mosquitoes that sleep in the same bed, or even room, with her? 

Libby has made her peace with it. She knows what is going on between Bill and Virginia, but it is something she never speaks of. Libby is very depressed (clinically depressed) and Virginia is probably her best, and only, friend. 

It is very much a ménage a trios although there are only two people in the same bed at one time. Libby comes into Virginia’s room to talk and gets into bed with her. It’s very chaste; she stays on her side of the double bed. She speaks cryptically, but Virginia knows what she is talking about. Libby talks about how important it is to her to keep her sham marriage intact. For the sake of the children. 

Then Libby leans over and kisses Virginia on the lips. Her husband won’t kiss her, so the next best thing is to kiss the lips that kiss her husband’s lips. Libby leaves the bed immediately after. In a way, it is a dominance play on Libby’s part.   
The Kids are Alright
No, the kids are NOT alright.

Virginia’s two sweet children, Tessa and Henry, are now 15 and 17 years old. They are rebellious and getting involved sexually. Virginia blames their bad behavior on their father who won custody of the children at the end of Season 2.  

Henry has is having sex with a local young woman, a single mother. He previously had an intellectual bent, but now he does not want to continue his schooling and he won’t keep a job. He has gone behind his parent’s back to meet with a military recruiter.  

Henry gets hit by a car, no serious damage is done, but he has to visit the emergency room and Virginia’s ex-husband is called. He comes out to the lake house  and the family is now bigger, if not happier. At the end of the episode, Henry’s parents have agreed to let him join the military, mainly because they can’t stop him. He will be 18 in a few months. 

Tessa has been having her own sexual experimentation. Virginia wants Bill to talk to her about boys and sex because the girl won’t listen to her. Besides, Bill is a gynecologist and knows about these things. (Virginia knows a thing or two herself, but she is backing away from her responsibility.) Bill wants no part of Tessa’s sex education. 

Unfortunately, Tessa forces him to get involved. She gets drunk and disrobes and kisses Bill. Perhaps this is her dominance play against her mother, trying to have sex with her mother’s lover. Bill recoils, but not before Bill’s young son sees the kiss. 

Bill is cold to his children and the children don’t like it. The kiss is the breaking point for Bill’s 8 year old son, Johnny. “You won’t kiss Mommy, but you kiss her, he screams. The boy grabs the galley proofs and runs out of the house with them. They are what his father loves more than him. He throws the papers into the lake.   

Bill, his face contorted with rage, raises his fist to his child. He catches himself before punching him. He is struck with the realization that he is treating his son the way his father treated him. He just walks away.  

I think we will see more problems with these kids in the future. Plus, another big shocker. There may be more kids coming to this family. Virginia is pregnant. 

At the end of the episode, the credits inform the viewers that these are fictional children. That is good because these kids are messed up.

Stay Tuned
One big happy family

It is a family of sorts. But happy has nothing to do with it.

Masters of Sex Book
to look inside

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