MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Thank You For Coming”

     October 20, 2013


If you liked Masters of Sex’s “Standard Deviation” last week, “Thank You For Coming” will likely come as a bit of a disappointment.  How can a show about sex (that shows so much nudity — female nudity, anyway) be so boring?  “Thank You For Coming” devoted itself to character development, with mixed results.  We met Ginny’s ex-husband George, a deadbeat who looks to her for money and shelter (and human comforts), as well as Bill’s mother, who Bill finds to be infinitely irritating.  Scully has a persistent daughter who chases after Ethan, and is rewarded by him continuing to be the worst.  And Libby, of course, continues to suffer under Bill’s cold disregard.  When does the fun start?  Hit the jump for more.

masters-of-sex-poster“Thank You For Coming” was a building block episode that didn’t really build much.  George gushes about Ginny’s sexual authority when Bill conducts his creepy one-on-one follow-up, but we already knew about Ginny’s “advanced” knowledge of her sexuality through her relationship with Ethan.  Beyond that, what did George really tell us about Ginny or her family?  Almost nothing, except as a living example that her “taking the lead” seems to lead her to some men who can’t get themselves together.

In other drop-ins, Bill’s mother arrives and bonds with Libby as Bill frets and sleepwalks and ignores them both.  He, perhaps rightfully, blames his mother for her passivity while his father physically abused him, yet continues to resent her desire to make a life for herself now that he’s gone.  Just like the other reveal from Bill’s past last week that his devotion to this one project has hardened and soured him, the knowledge that his father beat him and humiliated him shows more pain from his past, but is it meant to excuse his terrible behavior?  Because it doesn’t.

Speaking of bad behavior, Ethan has gone off the rails quickly, hasn’t he?  He whines and whimpers over his loss of Ginny and the inability of any woman to ever come close to her, which makes Libby want to set him up with someone … who happens to be Ginny.  But Ethan’s night was only beginning — after being repeatedly rejected by Ginny and her children, he drives home drunk, fondles Scully’s daughter, then performs surgery drunk.  As Mad Men has taught us, all of that is fine and without consequence (…), as it is for Ethan here.  But is Ethan likable enough for us to care about his emotional whims or embarrassments at work?  Or will he just be another Bill, someone who needs desperately to be redeemed, but who has buried themselves so deeply that it seems unlikely that will ever happen?

masters-of-sex-thank-you-for-coming-1Even the science of sex took a hit this week, with the study getting shuffled aside and reduced to some orgasm faces and measuring of hardened nipples.  There weren’t even any good stories to be heard from the participants.  The Birth of the Week (as there seems to always be) was also of little consequence.  Just like with Betty, Bill fusses and denies his female patient what she wants, only to be moved at the last second to perform the operation she requested so that she can or can’t have any more children, whatever the desire of the day may be.  But the question remains: so?

Masters of Sex is still finding itself, but while it does, something to keep it jazzy without resorting solely to female nudity would be appreciated. Even if something new isn’t going to be revealed about our characters, let something of interest happen.  Lizzy Caplan’s nudity can only carry things so far, and that’s saying something.

Episode Rating: C

Masters of Sex 1x04 - Thank You For ComingMusings and Miscellanea:

— 14.8cm is approximately 6 inches, by the way.

— Bill is so creepy, isn’t he?  Not the sleepwalking, which, fine, but the voyeurism and wanting Ginny’s ex to intimately describe their sex life so he can listen to it and look at her while he does.  Yikes.

— The foul-mouthed kid made me laugh until I realized he was the victim of abuse.  Yikes again.

— “Once you’ve seen Oz, who wants to go back to Kansas?” – Ethan.

— Doesn’t something about Vivian seem a little off?  Ethan also reacted really strangely to pretty much all of their interactions.

— Libby looked especially beautiful in this episode.

— “Sometimes you’ve just got to show a man how its done” – Ginny.