Masters Of Sex did tick-up in quality slightly this year from the Dan Logan-Centric previous season but unfortunately the year also doubled-down on soapy intrigue and melodramatic shenanigans. The season finale had a rushed-up feel. Subtlety gave way to easy closures and bizarrely unexpected detours.
Libby Masters JD-
When did Libby’s deep love of the law begin, two episodes ago?. Libby was formerly the queen of domestic complacency; spending the past 3 seasons doing absolutely nothing except smoking, and inwardly brooding about her condition. This season, the staid former housewife however, suddenly decided to head on down to Woodstock and… eschewing the counter culture phrase, “Turn on, tune in, drop out”, instead decided to…become a lawyer. If you troubled to ask, I’m sure people’s first impulse after dazedly emerging from the mushroom /mud infused grounds of Woodstock was probably not to decide to buckle down to 3 years of intense study and preparation for the Bar Exam. Talk about your bad trip!
Johnny Masters- from neglected child to teenage martyr
In this hyper-melodramatic finale, Johnny Masters (estranged son of Bill) overhears his parents bickering and -apparently because he has an extremely low tolerance for parental discord- completely freaks; jumping into his dad’s Jaguar and driving off in some wacky vehicular tantrum. I’m not sure why Master’s son (absent all season) was suddenly called in for this melodrama. Maybe due to some child labor laws in AFTRA, kids must appear in at least one episode per season to be granted health coverage. Johnny’s sole scene depicted him overhearing that his mom (kids in tow) would move halfway across the country to attend law school. Its hard to believe that Johnny’s character, so long estranged and even insulted by his father, would get so worked up about the fight that Johnny would both freak and -in some bizarre magnanimous impulse-volunteer to live with his dad to ease his fatherly loneliness. Luckily, the still “paternally ambivalent” Bill Masters quickly put the kibosh to any “The Courtship Of Eddies Father” scenario by announcing that despite Johnny’s kind offer, Dad would now be keeping house with former mistress, fellow sexpert, Virginia Johnson. Music to any estranged kids ears!
Dr Nancy- Going Off “Half cocked”
After a whole season of sniping at Virginia and de-masculating husband Art, what was Dr Nancy’s exit strategy this season? Just steal Master’s and Johnson’s Clients, move to another city and set up shop using their approaches? Great plan! Good luck getting a good job recommendation/employer referral after that one! . This year, Dr Nancy and Art already won my award for least fun, open-marriage swingers ever. Nancy was cold blooded, stone-faced, and ambitious and Art was devoted, ethical, and soul searching. Instead, Masters could have tapped into the more casual, promiscuous vibe of this era and even added some “far outs” or “groovys” to add some tacky flavor and more of a smarmy groove. Unfortunately, the show apparently wanted to end the season by making Dr Nancy, Betty Gilpin, the single least likable woman on cable; aborting her husband’s baby without his knowledge/consent and stealing her bosses clients. On the plus side though, she did like her some “open marriage sex”.
Masters And Johnson- How About A Wedding Quickie?
What do you get for the couple whose relationship was sizzling, bubbling, percolating for 4 seasons (spanning 10+ years)? a quickie marriage in the clerk’s office of City Hall and presided over by a grumbly functionary. Yeah, that hit the spot! Seems satisfying. I guess the writers wanted to avoid any needless romantic proclamations by Masters or any earnest love-filled vows by Virginia to keep female fans of the show happy. No, we don’t want that! Look, They got hitched. Isn’t that enough? The show didn’t even go to the trouble of throwing up any last minute roadblocks. No last minute Dan Logan or “Dotie” objections to clog up the works and kill any remote dramatic tension. No last minute Barton Scully indignant meltdowns at the courthouse (always good for a laugh) Bill was late to the ceremony. that’s it. It would probably be a more dramatic payoff if Masters suddenly realized he forgotten his beloved bow tie.
Betty- What, Did Her Invite To the Finale/Wedding Get Lost In The Mail?
Killing her lesbian lover in childbirth, losing custody of her new baby to her lover’s hateful, intolerant parents…They did everything to Betty this season but chuck her head-first down a flight of stairs. What happened here? who’d she piss off? Did she accidentally drop a #2 in the Toilet of Lizzy Caplan’s private dressing room? The show didn’t even have the courtesy to invite her to the courthouse nuptials of Masters and Johnson. Screw Scully or Guy, Betty deserved to be there.