Masters of Sex

Masters of Sex

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The year is 1956 and renowned obstetrician Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) seeks to expand his pioneering research on human sexuality. However, he must first overcome resistance from his colleagues at Washington University and find an assistant who won’t balk at helping document his controversial work. As he presses for the university’s support, Masters hires Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), a divorced mother of two whose career ambitions and liberated sexual attitudes make her an ideal partner for their study. While moving from the hospital to a brothel and back again to conduct their research, they cope with their complicated personal lives and their own increasingly complex and intimate relationship. Yet as Masters faces backlash from his work at nearly every turn, he and Johnson produce groundbreaking research that blazes a trail for the coming sexual revolution. Also starring Beau Bridges and Allison Janney.

Synopsis

The year is 1956 and renowned obstetrician Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) seeks to expand his pioneering research on human sexuality. However, he must first overcome resistance from his colleagues at Washington University and find an assistant who won’t balk at helping document his controversial work. As he presses for the university’s support, Masters hires Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), a divorced mother of two whose career ambitions and liberated sexual attitudes make her an ideal partner for their study. While moving from the hospital to a brothel and back again to conduct their research, they cope with their complicated personal lives and their own increasingly complex and intimate relationship. Yet as Masters faces backlash from his work at nearly every turn, he and Johnson produce groundbreaking research that blazes a trail for the coming sexual revolution. Also starring Beau Bridges and Allison Janney.

season 2 (12 episodes)

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  • 1Parallax

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    The ramifications of Masters’ disastrous presentation ripple beyond his firing from Maternity Hospital as Libby, worried about supporting their new baby, pushes him to get another job. Johnson, still working for Dr. DePaul, must fight off the advances and innuendos stemming from the belief that she was the woman in the film.

  • 2Kyrie Eleison

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    Masters begins his new job at Memorial Hospital under Betty’s extortive terms only to find his boss insisting he leave Johnson behind in favor of a handpicked secretary. Johnson, still alienated at Maternity, is torn between pressing Masters to rehire her and staying by DePaul’s side as her condition worsens.

  • 3Fight

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    Masters delivers a baby with ambiguous genitalia and urges the parents not to surgically assign the child a sex out of fear or convenience. Upon meeting Johnson at a hotel for a secret rendezvous, the two divide their attention between sexual roleplay and a championship boxing match, prompting Johnson to unearth Masters’ troubled childhood.

  • 4Dirty Jobs

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    Langham sees Masters and Johnson exiting a hotel room after an evening tryst. He brings his suspicions to DePaul, causing problems between the two women and putting Johnson’s job in jeopardy. Masters is thwarted by the head of the hospital -- a man with a prurient interest in the study -- when he tries to bring Johnson on as his assistant. Betty attempts to conceal her infertility from Gene.

  • 5Giants

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    Masters continues to break new ground by continuing his study as the only white physician in a Negro hospital, but at the cost of his gynecology practice. Libby is confronted by Coral’s brother, Robert, over her poor treatment of Coral. Betty reunites with her former lover, and Johnson struggles to right her relationship with DePaul, who is newly aware of Johnson’s ongoing affair with Masters.

  • 6Blackbird

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    After Hendricks bans Masters from using black participants in his study, Masters contacts a journalist to promote his efforts, using the debunking of black sexual stereotypes as the lure. Johnson is forced to accept DePaul’s choice to end her chemotherapy treatments. Gene uncovers the truth about Betty and Helen’s relationship. Libby fires Coral after discovering she lied about Robert being her lover.

  • 7Asterion

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    In the wake of Masters’ (Michael Sheen) discovery that Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) has continued to have romantic relationships with other men, he becomes impotent without her knowledge and cuts off their sexual work together. He tries to keep his new clinic solvent over the course of three years by borrowing against his house, offering medical services to the hotel and finally accepting money from his mother.

  • 8Mirror, Mirror

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    Masters (Michael Sheen) privately treats a couple for infertility, without revealing his relationship to them. Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) realizes her work with Masters can be used to help people suffering from sexual dysfunction, but quickly gets in over her head when she attempts to treat Barbara Sanderson (Betsy Brandt) on her own. Libby (Caitlin Fitzgerald) is unnerved after witnessing a hate crime that is then whitewashed by the police.

  • 9Story of My Life

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    While mining their shared history over a family dinner, Masters (Michael Sheen) bristles at Frank’s insinuations about his and Estabrooks’ demons. Virginia (Lizzy Caplan) continues to impersonate a patient’s case history in order to glean advice from a psychiatrist. Betty (Annaleigh Ashford) and Masters attempt to help Lester (Kevin Christy) remedy his impotence by hiring a prostitute, rattling him even further. The legal counsel at CORE gives Libby the third degree when she offers her eyewitness testimony regarding the beaten man. Barbara Sanderson (Betsy Brandt) wrestles with an unsettling diagnosis that exposes a chain of secrets and causes Masters and Johnson to clash over their treatment strategy.

  • 10Below the Belt

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    As a therapist gets Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) to reveal the details of her relationship with Masters (Michael Sheen), Betty’s (Annaleigh Ashford) efforts to shore up the clinic’s shaky finances threaten to attract some undesirable tenants. With Masters hiring a publicist to put him and the study in the headlines, his increasingly contentious relationship with his brother produces some unexpected results in his battle with impotence.

  • 11One for the Money, Two for the Show

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    A television camera crew arrives at the clinic to document Masters (Michael Sheen) and Johnson’s (Lizzy Caplan) work treating sexual dysfunction. Masters considers this publicity premature and himself unsuitable as a television presence – especially in the wake of lessons learned about the power of television from the Nixon-Kennedy debates. Johnson deals with the consequences of having prioritized her work over her parenting when her ex-husband, George (Mather Zickel), argues to take their children on an extended trip with him and his new wife. Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald) feels replaced as Bill’s partner by Virginia and finds in Robert an appreciation for what she has to offer. Langham (Teddy Sears) realizes there’s no way out of his sexual contract with Flo (Artemis Pebdani).

  • 12The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

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    After watching an early cut of the documentary, Masters (Michael Sheen) is disturbed by the whitewashing of his work. Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) moves to solidify her custody arrangement with George (Mather Zickel) only to see it backfire. Libby (Caitlin Fitzgerald) continues her relationship with Robert (Jocko Sims), finding justification in Masters’ distraction. Langham (Teddy Sears) discovers Flo’s (Artemis Pebdani) family’s wealth and connections, causing him to re-evaluate his relationship with her. And Masters and Johnson, after repeated testing of their protocol to cure impotence, are finally ready to pass their findings on to the world.