Recap Season 1 of 'Masters Of Sex' Before You Climb Into Bed With Season 2
Ready for round two? Unlike the first season, which premiered in September of 2013, Showtime has shifted its schedule around to give Season 2 of Masters of Sex a summer premiere. The steamy weather perfectly compliments the steamy show, and we couldn't be more excited to climb back into bed with Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson. But the shift from fall to summer means we've only had seven months to catch our breath after the epic Season 1 Masters of Sex finale (as opposed to the usual nine months between seasons of cable shows). I sure hope you've got your stamina back despite the shortened hiatus, because you're definitely gonna need it — Season 2 is about to shift the show into high gear.
Maybe a brief refresher on where we left off is a good idea before plunging headfirst into the new season. Not that you'd ever forget anything about this unforgettable series — but you'd be forgiven if more recent seasons of other obsession-worthy shows like True Detective, Game Of Thrones, and Fargo have perhaps elbowed Masters out of your brain's spotlight. A brief recap never hurt anybody, right? In that spirit, here's how things stand after the Season 1 finale, "Manhigh."
Bill's study climaxes in a disastrous presentation.
Bill finally presented his pioneering sex study to his colleagues at Washington University — and it actually went surprisingly well. His fellow doctors seemed to be eating it up — until he went one step too far and showed that video of Virginia masturbating, that is. Apparently female pleasure is just too much for the stodgy WashU gents, and they practically rioted in their seats. Chancellor Fitzhugh tried to fire both Bill and Provost Scully, but the good doctor threw himself under the bus to save his mentor. Barton got to keep his position, but Bill's out of a job.
Ethan gets down on his knees.
When the young doc's residency is over, Barton passes him over for a permanent position at the University. Ethan's afraid that it's because he broke the Provost's daughter's heart, but Barton says it's because he failed his performance review. Ethan starts looking for a position elsewhere, but not before punching out Bill. He also grows closer to Virginia, despite a failed (and physically abusive) relationship at the beginning of the season. The two start dating again, and he bonds with her children. In the finale, Ethan calls Virginia from California, where he's been offered a job at UCLA. He wants her to move there with him, and proposes to her over the phone. Okay, so he doesn't actually get down on his knees since he's inside a phone booth, but you get the idea.
Barton's sex life is shocking.
Margaret Scully finally put the pieces together and realized that her husband isn't attracted to her because he's attracted to men. Barton tells his wife that he's going to undergo conversion therapy, which involves receiving electroconvulsive shocks to help stem his "unnatural urges." But after a visit to his doc, where he outlines the risks of the treatment, including memory loss, Margaret changes her mind. She pleads with Barton not to undergo the procedure, but the Provost informs Bill that he intends to go through with it anyway.
Libby delivers in bed.
She delivers a baby, that is. After a horrific miscarriage earlier in the season, the dissatisfied housewife finally got what she'd always wanted: a healthy child. However, before the delivery, Libby saw her husband's presentation and confronted him about the identity of the masturbating woman. Despite his protestations, she seems to know that the subject was Virginia herself. After their fight, Libby can't get in touch with Bill when she goes into labor, so he misses the birth of his child. (You'll remember Libby also had a brief flirtation with her handyman and dance instructor Walter earlier in the season.)
Lillian's got penis envy.
Literally. The ambitious doctor has to put on a stoic face to compete in a man's world, but her success has made her an object of fascination for the equally ambitious Virginia. The two grew closer after Bill ousted Virginia from his study, and she became Dr. DePaul's assistant instead. The pair travelled to Tennessee together to speak about Lillian's pap smear proposal at a doctors' conference.
Unfortunately, they miss the event, which Lillian blames on Bill. That's when Virginia jokingly accuses the doctor of having penis envy. "Who wouldn't?" Lillian responds sincerely. She then revealed to her assistant that when she was in her twenties, she found out she had cervical cancer. She got a hysterectomy, but recently found out the cancer is back — and terminal this time.
Virginia receives pleasure orally.
The episode ended with Bill showing up on Virginia's doorstep in the pouring rain. Virginia had just been proposed to, Bill had just been fired, and he had also just (unknowingly) become a father. The two had been spatting for what seemed like ages, but Virginia finally got some good news when she saw that Bill had printed her name on the front page of the study — right alongside his own. When Bill arrives at her house, she gets some more good news, this time orally. The doctor finally says the words she's always longed to hear: "There is one thing I can't live without. It's you. You."
Was Bill's confession a grand declaration of love? Or was he merely admitting that he needs Virginia to continue his all-important work? Or both? Does the distinction even matter to Virginia? She's been waiting all season long for validation of some sort from her demanding boss, and now she has it. Where does the pair go from here? We'll find out when Masters of Sex Season 2 premieres this Sunday night.
Images: Showtime (7)