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Saturday, August 1, 2015
Masters of Sex #303 07/26/15 “The Excitement of Release”
by Catherine Giordano
Love Sweet Love
As the credits roll at the end of Showtime’s’ Masters of Sex
episode 303 “The Excitement of Release” which aired on July 26, 2015, the sound
track plays a familiar song from the era, “Love Sweet Love.” It’s anything but
love sweet love on this episode of the show.
Virginia Johnston’s daughter Tessa is 16 years old and the
daughter of the “Sex Mom.” It’s easy to see why boys at her school think she is
sexually experienced and easy. Except she isn’t. She’s 16, she has a crush on a
boy, and the boy seems to like her. He barely has the r thing down. Tessa is
sitting in the boy’s car and Tessa may be hoping for a shy first kiss. Instead,
the boy forces her to perform oral sex, forcing her head down into his lap area.
Afterwards Tessa flees and vomits all over her new prom dress that her mother bought
for her as a peace offering because there have been a lot of mother daughter
squabbles. (Tessa seems to be all over the map with her sexuality—in the first
episode of season three, she was trying to force herself on Bill Masters now
sex play is making her ill.) Love, sweet love? Far from it.
Remember Barton, the medical director at the hospital where
Dr. Masters used to work. Barton has hung onto his job, but lost his wife. Bill
goes to see Barton and discovers Barton has a nice middle age lady with whom he
is “keeping company.” Is this love sweet love? Far from it. Barton as you will
remember is a homosexual, but he apparently is doing his best to stay in the
closet. Does his lady friend want to do more than cook meals for him? What does
Barton tell her.? Maybe something like, “I’m old-fashioned. I respect you too
much for that.”
Bill wants to improve sales for the book. He thinks it
should be a text book at medical schools for the sex-ed classes. However
medical schools don’t teach doctors about sex. Bill enlists Barton to help him
get to the executives at the hospital where Barton works and where Bill used to
work. Barton brings him to a cocktail party. The executive treats Barton like a
lackey; Barton has kept his job, but not his secret. His boss is contemptuous
of him and treats him like a lackey. Bill can’t stand to see his old friend and
mentor treated so badly, so he makes a scene and storms out. He invited Barton
to join his medical practice. There is still some love left between these two.
There is no love between Bill and his wife Libby, although
to the outside world they look like a happily married couple. They keep up the
pretense, their marriage as much a marriage of convenience as the relationship
between Barton and his new girlfriend. Libby has become friends with Joy, a
woman who lives next door. The woman confides to Libby that she is going to
leave her husband. Libby tries to talk her out of it--perhaps just she talked
her own self out of it—but the woman insists she will leave.
Lester and Jane
Remember Lester, the photographer and Jane, the subject in
the early experiments of female sexual response. The two had run off together
to Hollywood so Jan could become a star—it was true love, but not for long.
Soon Lester returned because Jane had dumped him for the casting couch. Lester
took up with the “incest girl.” When Lester said he was working late to avoid
going home to a nagging wife, I thought he had married incest girl. Instead it
turns out, Jane is his wife. No love sweet love there. But Jane is hired to
respond to the tons of mail masters and Johnson are getting. One night she
reads aloud one of the letters, a very salacious one, and that is the spark
that lights Lester and Jane’s fire. Now that the sex has returned, will the
Bill and Virginia are looking for investors. They take a
meeting with Hugh Hefner at a bunny club. You never want to bring Virginia Johnson
to a bunny club. No way she will get into bed with Heffner, and I mean get into
business with him. Fortunately, Bill thinks that being associated with Hef is
not the kind of thing that will give him and his work respect. So, pass!
Someone else is sniffing around. Dan Logan is an executive
from a flavors and fragrances firm. He wants to get the smell of sex into a bottle.
There is clearly sexual tension between him and Virginia. Will she be willing
to get into bed with him? I mean that both ways--as a bed partner, as a sex
partner, or both.
Masters and Johnston
There’s not much sex going on between Masters and Johnson. It
has probably been at least a year since they had sex (or made love). Masters was
squeamish about it while she was pregnant with another man’s baby. Or maybe he
was just being extra-careful that there would be no scandal during the release
of the book. Now the baby has been born and the book has been birthed. Time to
hit the hay again.
In the first scene of the episode, Bill and Virginia are in
bed together, but Virginia begs off saying her body still doesn’t feel right
after the birth of the baby. “It’s been eight weeks since you had the baby,”
Bill tersely says. “It’s OK for you to have sex now.” It’s clearly connects to
the later scene between Tessa and her date when Tessa’s date demands that she
gratify him. Bill is demanding the same of Virginia. I
The last scene takes us back to the first scene. Bill and
Virginia are in bed. The baby cries and she has to get out of bed to tend to
the baby. She brings the baby to bed with her, and places the baby between them.
It is like they are a family. Bill must love her baby, if he is to love her.