“Masters of Sex” recap (4.2): The Buck Stops Here


Hello, dears. As promised, this will be an abbreviated recap, owing both to the fact that Betty appears only briefly in this week’s episode and the show walked back from a few promising developments we explored last week. Namely: they brought back eternal thorns in my side Lester, Johnny, and Tessa. Fortunately, in the cases of Johnny and Tessa, we can dare to hope that they were brought back mostly for the purpose of bidding them adieu.

The episode was, after all, called “Inventory,” and while it was basically as exciting as the name promises, I do prefer proper sendoffs to characters being abruptly disappeared. However, we are starting down an interesting path, which takes Ginny’s stunted emotional life from passive (being unable to love) to active (being totally able to hurt and humiliate her psychiatrist).

For the second episode in a row, Masters of Sex makes the clever choice giving us a Betty scene early on, I guess because they understand that she provides so much of the fun the show is trying to bring back this season. This week, Betty is eating for three, and does not want ANYONE TO GIVE HER SHIT ABOUT IT. Helen, it turns out, is suffering from severe nausea as a result of her pregnancy and is taking it out on her loving partner. (Readers who have been pregnant or held hands during a partner’s pregnancy: please share horror stories in the comments.) Betty’s stress is compounded by the fact that she is now the sole breadwinner in her house, has to keep straight which lies she told to all the people currently furious with Masters and Johnson, and hasn’t received a raise since women won the right to vote.  We’ll circle back to that later on.

Bill and Ginny’s chief storylines this week concern the dissolving of old partnerships and the forging of new ones. For Bill’s part, he is baffled, BAFFLED! at why his children want nothing to do with him. What about all the fun they had last season, learning about human anatomy and occasionally being allowed to touch Bill’s baseball cards? He goes to Libby for a shoulder to cry on, but those days are over for Lib. She informs him that she is no longer accepting either pity or bullshit, and then goes into lengthy and detailed descriptions of all the sex she was having while Bill was conducting his “secret” affair with Ginny. It is clearly designed to hurt Bill, but unlike Ginny’s little machination, Libby deserves all the revenge she can get her hands on.


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