Oh Dr. Masters, you desperate, unraveling man!
Bill took another step closer to the edge of sanity in Masters of Sex Season 3 Episode 10.
While, Bill used his work to maintain a sense of control over Virginia, she got a wake up call of her own when it came to her daughter.
It's not a good sign when the main characters of the show you're watching become more infuriating week after week. There were some emotional, self-realization moments that didn't have the impact they would have last season.
Let's talk about Bill first. Here's a man we've watched grow more paranoid and desperate as each episode goes by. He continued to use his work as a way of controlling Virginia's time, but failed to recognize that he can't control her affections.
Does this sound familiar? It should because this is the same pattern of behavior we've been witnessing for three seasons. I understand the need for steady character development, but their comes a point when you just want to shout at the characters to get on with it.
Bill's outburst of love for Virginia, after almost having sex with an over-the-top, needy Nora, came off as pathetic. It's been clear from the beginning that Bill was always more attached to Virginia than she was to him.
The one thing, the only thing I've done right is loving someone so completely with as much of my broken soul as I can muster, and if I give up on that... I can't, I can't give up on that or I'll have nothing. I'll be nothing.Bill
It's painful to watch her give into Bill sexually for fear of him shutting her out of their research. We know according to interviews that the real Virginia Johnson said she never loved William Masters, and maybe that's why the writers have written their relationship on the show in such a frustrating way.
However, narrative momentum is important, even when you're telling a story based on real people. Bill's unleashing of emotion for Virginia does nothing to further the plot. The audience already knows this man cares about nothing else other than maintaining his relationship with Virginia.
The question lies in the follow-through. With Bill having dreams about his father, how will this affect his mindset going forward? Will Bill continue to use passive-aggressive behavior to force Virginia to continue to have sex with him?
Meanwhile, we have Virginia, who's moment of self-actualization should have had a greater impact than it did. The realization that Tessa has known about her relationship with Bill felt like a plot point that came too little too late.
Virginia's constant state of denial is unbearably tedious. Did she really think that little of her daughter's intelligence? She couldn't fool Dr. DuPaul. Why would she think people like Daniel or Tessa or Betty wouldn't be able to tell?
When I think of how she must see me, how she must look at me, it's as if I am seeing myself, clearly, for the very first time.Virginia
Virginia acts like an independent, strong woman, but she's so scared of being truthful with anyone, least alone Bill. God forbid those two actually have a real, honest conversation about their relationship.
Right now, the only person I can root for is Libby, and I'm not even sure she'll be able to leave Bill by season's end. It wouldn't surprise me if we had to wait for another five year time jump in order to get the ball rolling.
It would be nice if Libby could find happiness for herself since she's been trapped in a loveless marriage for more than a decade. Paul is the type of man Libby should have always been married to.
I'm crossing my fingers that Libby walks out on Bill before the end of the finale. It would be thrilling for someone on this show to make actual progression in their life.
We can't count on Barton, who's petrified of admitting to himself what he really wants. Betty's speech to him was lovely, but I want to see her words have a real impact on him.
I don't question the acting on the show. I've never had a problem with the delivery of the lines or the believability of the characters' emotions. I question where the writing is going.
It's time for the series to do something drastic with its characters. Let Bill and Libby divorce. Let Bill and Virginia speak openly with each other. Let these people get off the hamster wheel that keeps spinning in the same direction.
So over to you guys! What did you think of the episode? Do you agree or disagree with the lack of narrative development? Were you surprised by Bill's emotional outburst? What are your predictions for Masters of Sex Season 3 Episode 11?
Sound off below, and don't forget you can catch up on any missed 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.