The theme of bullying took center stage on Masters of Sex Season 3 Episode 5, as Virginia felt bullied by her mother's ever-present judgments.
Meanwhile, Bill found himself on both sides as the bully and the bullied.
So, did this not-so-subtle theme pay off? Let's discuss!
Before we get into Virginia and Bill's storylines, let's talk about Margaret. Margaret's long overdue exploration of her sexuality led her into the arms of Graham, a man who enjoyed the company of two women.
Margaret found herself defending her arrangement with Graham to Barton, which was a clear sign it wasn't going to work out. Margaret made progress with Graham in the bedroom, but the relationship no longer existed between the two of them, as Jo grew increasingly jealous.
In another beautifully acted scene by Allison Janney, we saw Margaret come to terms with her own issues. Her problems weren't over after she divorced Barton, they just manifested themselves differently in her relationship with Graham.
What's really broken, Barton, is me.Margaret
I would be remiss if I didn't say that a lot of the blame falls on Barton. Margaret wouldn't be as lost as she is if he hadn't deceived her for so many years. Graham represented the opposite of Barton, but the grass isn't always greener, as they say.
I hope Margaret can find some peace now that Barton has come clean to their daughter. It was unfair for Barton to let Margaret take the heat for their failed marriage in order to keep his secret.
Things with Virginia weren't going much better. The surprise visit from her parents was anything but welcome. Virginia seemed to have a good enough relationship with her father, but it was her mother who proved to be quite judgmental.
I enjoyed seeing Virginia's dynamic with her mother, since the show has been exploring Virginia's tense relationship with Tessa. Tessa managed to key her grandmother into Virginia's relationship with Bill via a conveniently placed (and purchased) bow tie.
What I didn't see coming was Edna's reaction to the affair. Instead of lecturing Virginia on sleeping with a married man, she urged Virginia to break up Bill and Libby and secure her place as the new Mrs. Masters.
My heart broke for Virginia in this moment because her career accomplishments would never make her mother proud. Her mother got more excited at the prospect of her working the mistress angle to secure her place as the wife. Does she seriously believe that Virginia has been working all these years alongside Bill as some sort of long con to break up his marriage?
Like any rebellious child, Virginia did the exact opposite of what her mother said and asked out Daniel. Although, it would be interesting to see if this would make Bill more eager to lock Virginia down for himself if he saw her happy with another man.
Meeting Virginia's parents was great for seeing what kind of home Virginia was brought up in, but I found her mother to be a bit of a caricature. There wasn't much surprising about the woman, other than her blatant excitement for Virginia possibly being a home wrecker.
Instead of his relationship with Virginia, Bill was more focused on his opportunity to rub his success in Washington University's face and making sure his son's bully knew who he was dealing with. Bill showed two very different sides to his personality.
Bill's confrontation with the child was unsettling. However, I would be lying if I said it wasn't awesome at the same time. I wish my parents had done something similar to kids who were mean to me growing up. Still, Bill scared that boy so much that he peed his pants.
By unleashing his frustrations upon the kid, Bill was able to stand up in front of all his former colleagues who turned their backs on him and prove them wrong in his speech. While the speech was well written, I found it a little far fetched for Bill to come up with such a beautiful reply to the question about love.
When we talk about sex, we do not talk about love, Dr. Farber, because love cannot be rendered into columns and graphs as if it were the same as blood pressure or heart rate. Love is not a force exerted by one body onto another. It is the very fabric of those bodies. Love is that which carves the lines and grooves; the curvature of our desire.Bill
Bill hasn't been shown to express a lot of romantic emotion. If he believes in love, he has a funny way of showing it, especially when it comes to Libby and Virginia.
The final scene between Bill and his son was a breakthrough moment for Bill, but I'm worried he'll revert since his son seemed weirded out by the fact that his father was speaking more than two sentences to him. Bill missed out on a meaningful relationship with his own father, so it would be wonderful to see him break the cycle and connect with his son.
So over to you guys! What did you think of "Matters of Gravity"? Do you think Virginia will take her mom's advice about Bill? Will Bill make more progress with his son? What are your predictions for Masters of Sex Season 3 Episode 6?
Sound off below, and don't forget you can catch up on episodes when you watch Masters of Sex online via TV Fanatic!
Amanda Steinmetz was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She went into retirement in June of 2027. Follow her on Twitter.