Why Won't My Dick Work! What We Learned From This Week's 'Masters of Sex'
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Why Won't My Dick Work! What We Learned From This Week's 'Masters of Sex'

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | October 28, 2013 | Comments ()


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I Am Not a Sexual Lemon — No, you’re not Dr. Langham. What you are suffering from is something we in the 21st century refer to as “feelings,” which is often lost on the men of this show. Masters of Sex is as much about the males in this series coming to terms with their emotions as it is about the journey toward a sexual awakening for women. Dr. Langham can’t get it up because he’s fallen in love with Jane, and that is presenting some internal issues, and even guilt, because when he’s with another woman, he feels like he’s cheating on Jane, and when he’s with Jane, he feels (rightfully) like he’s cheating on his wife.

One of the major themes in this episode was how to isolate the physiology of sex from the chemistry and attraction couples feel for one another. Libby thinks that sexual attraction should factor in, and Masters believes that emotional connections present too many complications. I think they’re both right.

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You Deflowered the Provost’s Daughter? — Speaking of chemistry, poor Ethan “Pussy Whiskers” Haas doesn’t have it for the provost’s daughter, Vivian, which is a shame because Vivian is luminous. Unfortunately, she did just as Dr. Haas feared: She parlayed her V-card into a relationship. Vivian’s mom (more on her in a moment) convinced Vivian that she needed to make Dr. Haas “want” her, and naive little Vivian went about that the exact wrong way. “You have my devotion, because you and I are meant to be together.” RUN DR. HAAS. RUN! That is not going to work long-term with Ethan because he’s a cad (who is at times a very charming cad), though it will work in the short-term because Ethan likes his job very much.

Meanwhile, Vivian’s busted hymen gave us the first of two blood splatters on the night.

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JANNEY — Isn’t the Provost’s wife lovely? If only she knew her husband liked fellas. Or maybe it’s OK that she doesn’t. Look, it’s the ’50s. If the provost can get some gay strange on the side without upsetting the marriage, and they have managed to maintain their relationship for 30 years, why not just continue with the charade? No harm, no foul. Everyone seems to be happy with the arrangement, except Bill Masters, but Dr. Masters can be a bit of a prick. For Allison Janney, I’d pretend to be straight, too (wait. That didn’t come out right).

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What’s the Point of Even Having a Mom? — I know, right? Virginia’s son is upset because his mother spends too much time in the office, and not enough time taking him out for ALL the cherry pie. He wants to live with his Dad, but his Dad is kind of an asshole, but he is a fun asshole. Virginia is having a helluva time trying to balance her work with her home life, and so far, it’s her poor kids who are suffering. “I’m not meant to do this alone,” she says, and it’s hard to disagree. Ethan uses this particular weakness of Virginia’s as an opportunity to get closer to her through her son. It’s obviously a play, but I like to think that Ethan has some genuine affection for the little nerd, too. How could you not? Plus, these two really do make a sweet-looking couple, don’t they?

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God Cannot Be That Cruel — Oh, but he can, Libby. I wasn’t ready for this episode, yet, although I did sense that it was coming.

(REAL-LIFE SPOILERS For the record, Bill Masters does have a son (with Virginia, actually) who has been arrested twice for public masturbation. END REAL-LIFE SPOILERS)

It was at this moment that my heart fell into my stomach and didn’t crawl back out until the episode had ended.

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Libby lost the baby, and I had hoped that this — of all things — would finally bring Masters’ emotions out. It eventually did, but not with the woman that deserved to see Bill cry. LIBBY EARNED THAT, GODDAMNIT. We understand why, because Bill was raised by an abusive father and a mother who had conditioned him to stick his head in the sand, though his repressed feelings seep out from time to time in his sleepwalking.

But Libby. God. I know you’re just a character in a television show, but still, I am so, so sorry. No television character should have to go through that. And Bill, how did you manage this moment without falling to your fucking knees and sobbing until the end of the universe?

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I am the biggest sucker on the face of the planet for the stone-cold, emotionally repressed father finally coming to terms with his emotions trope (see, e,g., Billy Elliot, or even October Sky), so when Masters finally broke down in front of Virginia, well, as they say, cry and the whole world cries like madmen with you.

Yes, I might have popped off a sympathetic sob or two. Look away, ladies. Men look like monsters when our souls break in half.

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RIP Katherine Masters.



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