The eighth episode of “Masters of Sex” Season Two, “Mirror, Mirror,” was filled with interesting pairings of characters reflected in and contrasted with each other. Writer Steven Levinson and director Michael Apted played well with balancing plots and scenes to drive home the point of there being more than one side to a story — that there is more to a person’s struggles than meets the eye. Even the visuals were great, such as Libby appearing in light tones contrasted with Virginia in dark tones, and the sufficient creepiness of the Veiled Prophet Ball reflecting the racial tensions and injustices Libby witnesses.
Barb’s return last episode helped spur Virginia to the decision that those with sexual dysfunctions shouldn’t be excluded from the study, or at least not excluded from treatment. Of course, Virginia goes about “treating” Barb in typical Virginia fashion, not taking no or the fact that she isn’t a doctor for an answer. But it’s easy to understand her compassion, and Bill also changes his mind about moving toward treatment once Lester opens up to him about his impotency brought on by the idea of a woman he loves being with someone else. He can relate.
The Bill-Virginia-Libby “triumvirate” is headed toward a boiling point, however, just as more drama was thrown into the mix, Robert has returned to Libby’s life (in a story that hopefully shakes up her sheltered worldview for good), and Frances (Christian Borle), comes back into Bill’s. Did you guess he was Bill’s brother? And how long will Virginia keep up the ruse of being Barb to receive psychiatric help? And did you know the Veiled Prophet Ball is not only a real thing that still continues in St. Louis, but that Ellie Kemper was the Veiled Prophet Queen of 1999? It’s true!
Mallory Andrews, of cléo, and I discuss these topics and more in Podcasters of Sex. You can listen to our “Mirror, Mirror” discussion (and admiration of Robert’s quip about the robes and white hoods of the Veiled Prophet gang) here:
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Join us next week for episode nine, “Story of My Life.”
Sarah Carlson is Television Editor for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio. You can find her on Twitter.