Sunday, August 16, 2015

Masters of Sex #305 08/09/15 “Matters of Gravity”

Where is the Love?

by Catherine Giordano

Episode 305 of Showtime’s Masters of Sex asks us to look at love--sexual love, marital love, motherly love, fatherly love, sexual love, and more.
Bill Masters has been given a chance to erase the disgrace heaped upon him when he was fired years ago because of his sex work when he is invited to receive an award and speak at a dinner at Washington University. He’s invited because he is famous now. Also, because the man who fired him is the hospital chancellor who fired him now needs his services as a fertility specialist. His daughter-in-law needs to get pregnant in a hurry so his son can receive a draft deferment and avoid Vietnam.

After the speech, Bill takes a question. “Why is there no mention of love in the book?" He gives a magnificent poetic answer. "Love cannot be rendered into columns and graphs as if it were the same as blood pressure, or heart rate.” Alluding to gravity, he says. “Love is not a force exerted by one body onto another; it is the very fabric of those bodies. Love is that which carves the lines and grooves, the curvature of our desire."

Margaret is learning about love. She has learned that love is not about letting someone else’s desires rule over your own. She stands up to her lover Graham who has brought a third person, a young woman into their relationship, for a polyamorous relationship. She walks out on him, but still wonders if being alone is better than being demeaned.

Although Margaret divorced her husband, Barton, when she discovered that he was a homosexual, there is still love between them. It’s hard to und the habits of a 20-year marriage. She worries about him—is he taking care of himself, getting enough to eat, and the like. She also misses him. They had a sexless marriage, not a loveless one. Barton still cares for Margaret. At the end of the episode, we see him making a call to their daughter. He is going to tell her that her parent’s marriage ended not because her mother was unfaithful, but because he was unfaithful to Margaret…with men. Margaret sits alongside him like a loving wife, holding his hand, to give him the courage to make this confession to their daughter.

Virginia’s parents have come for an unexpected visit. There is a lot of tension between Virginia and her mother. Old resentments from Virginia’s childhood surface. Virginia berates her mother for forcing her to enter a child beauty pageant and pushing her to succeed while criticizing her for not being good enough. Her mother remembers it differently. Virginia was the one who entered the beauty pageant on her own. Her mother was only trying to help her succeed so that Virginia would not be disappointed. It seems Virginia’s mother’s version of events is the correct one

Bill has to deal with some issues from his childhood also. A larger older boy has been bullying Bill’s son. Bill finds the boy and gives him a talking to. Bill was bullied as a child, especially from his own father. He knows he must destroy this bully. Bill treats this boy as his father treated him, short of smacking him around, of course. He berates and frightens the boy so badly, it is a wonder the boy does not pee his pants. The boy tells his parents and now there will be consequences for Bill.

Virginia continues to have problems with her daughter Tessa. The girl has figured out that her Virginia is having an affair with Bill and she deliberately leaves clues so that Virginia’s mother can figure it out also. Virginia’s mother is shocked, but sees opportunity here. She gets a moment alone with Virginia and tells her to get Bill to leave his wife and marry her. She urges Virginia to “strike while the iron is hot. Act now because Bill may tire of her. Virginia’s professional success means nothing; she must secure her position in the world with marriage to a successful man.

Where is the love? It is in the very fabric of our lives. Love is that which carves the lines and grooves into all of our relationships.

Masters of Sex Book
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Human Sexual Response book
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Showtime's Masters of Sex Season One dvd
to buy DVD