Masters of Sex. 3×01. ‘Parliament of Owls’: Well, this is awkward.

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While it’s certainly true that Masters of Sex has never shied away from very awkward and uncomfortable situations, this season opener feels distinctly icky. Not only do we flash forward four years into the future with no warning, (one of my most hated storytelling devices) we also get treated to a super weird family vacation. It feels like the writers wrote themselves into a corner last season and are now trying to fight their way out of it. I understand it’s still the beginning of the new season, but we are missing crucial information here on some pretty major characters.

For example, we only get to see Betty for two seconds maybe, which is understandable. The kids are all grown up and now Tessa and Henry are getting into their fair share of trouble. But most upsetting, Libby’s lover from season two, Robert, doesn’t get any screen time or any mention at all. Their storyline was quickly becoming my favorite of the entire series but alas, who knows what happened to him. All we know for sure is that Libby is now very depressed and on anxiety medication which I’m thinking points to Robert’s death. Not surprising, because it is taking place during some of the bloodiest times of the Civil Rights Movement, but come on man…don’t kill him off. I couldn’t find any news related to Jocko Sims, the actor who plays Robert, leaving the series so I’m assuming he’ll be back. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, so in the midst of two very big events: Dr. Masters and Virginia’s book finally being published, and a family weekend out at the lake, we see a lot of stuff unfold. First, Tessa is now a borderline alcoholic and her brother Henry is running around town screwing a married

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

woman with children. Yikes. Not only that, he’s been fired from three jobs and in general just has a terrible attitude. I mean, I always sort of knew Virginia’s kids would be totally messed up from all of the stuff that happens to them but hey, it kind of sucks to see it actually happen. Meanwhile, Libby’s kids seem to be doing okay except for her oldest, John. He’s sort of cold and distant like his father and as we find out later, prone to irrational outbursts of anger and destruction. Hooray for terrible parenting!

Masters and Johnson present their book at a press conference filled with several big name outlets like the NYT and others. One of the reporters criticizes their book at every turn, which causes Virginia to become very upset. She ends up crying in the ladies room because she’s never quite completed her Bachelor’s degree and she feels terrible that it’s going to be used to discredit her despite her 12 years spent working on their study. Masters tries to comfort her but it’s no use, and when they return to face the press again, Virginia is still shaken but is very forceful in protecting the book. The reporters are impressed, including the critic who asks very stupid archaic questions like “will this book lead to the downfall of society?” Yuck. After the press conference, Virginia returns to the bathroom, this time to vomit. Masters follows her in there and asks her if she’s pregnant. Turns out, all of the sex will eventually lead to a baby.

Back four months before at the cabin, Henry gets hit by a car and gets taken to the nearest hospital. There, Virginia meets with Henry’s recruiter and finds out he plans to enlist. Something tells me Henry is going to die in Vietnam, or at the very least be injured seriously and sent home. At the same time, Tessa gets wasted and kisses Masters which John witnesses and grabs the manuscript for Master’s and Virginia’s book and throws it into the lake. Masters almost hauls off and hits him, but thankfully he controls his anger and just grounds John.

So far I’d say this season is off to a good, yet shaky, start. I’m really anxious to see some more character development and find out the fates of the characters that have not been mentioned yet. So what did you guys think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

Sarah S. is an aspiring couch potato and currently haunts the Midwestern United States. She spends way too much time watching TV and being a pop culture junkie. When she’s not ranting about movies and TV on social media, you can probably find her with an iced latte in hand or fixing everyone’s problems. Sometimes she writes really silly stuff on Twitter and Tumblr.

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