Libby and Essie spend days together, until Libby's forced to reveal her pregnancy and urges Essie, once again, to bond with her son. Bill's attempt to scare her to death with the shocking details of his professional life backfires, and she gets very into the Study and what it's all about, which makes him the frowniest frowner of all who've frowned. But while butting into their research, she picks up on the vibe between Bill and Virginia, and decides to put her foot down. While it's nice to see her finally fess up and apologize for neglecting Bill's care as a youngster, it's only a shortstop before she's blaming Francis's mistress for the whole thing, and comparing her to poor Virginia.
Gini, meanwhile, is breaking the curve in a major way over in DePaul's Anatomy class, eventually earning her the confused admiration of the whole tribe of Lost Boys -- including certified dreamboat Gil McKinney -- and an invitation to head their study group. Of course, they're pre-med and can only meet at night, and she's too busy fucking or watching those who are fucking at night, so she can't be friends with the boys after all. The secretaries won't have her, since she's not really a girl anymore either, and she's forced to have her lunch with Dr. DePaul, which they both openly hate and secretly love.
Libby reveals to Essie that her father vanished to Virginia after her mother's death, which is one reason she's so obsessive about family; when Bill finally gets the truth out of her about the pregnancy, she goes off on him also about his torture experiments from the first act of the season, which is fairly gratifying indeed but ends up with a fairly basic, awfully maudlin -- but also very true -- monologue about how she and the baby are the only things keeping him tethered to the Earth at all.
Ethan -- after getting the Riot Act from a truly amazing cake decorator about his nuptial ambivalence -- reveals to Vivian in passing that he's Jewish, although not in the religious and barely in the cultural sense. She goes Vivian on that shit immediately, and after getting tossed on her tuchas for barging into the local Orthodox Temple with her blonde hair a-tossin', she drags Ethan to a Presbyterian minister for some indoctrination. He claims to be cool with converting, but after a fainting spell and a bizarre conversation with a Catholic patient, he decides to be both Jewish and no-longer-affianced. Turns out they both kinda knew that she'd nabbed herself a doctor, and he was settling for the best girl he didn't really love that much, so it's bloodless. (At least for now.) Hopefully he'll go back to stalking and whining at Virginia every week, because that was so attractive.
But the Masters & Johnson A-plot this week is really where it's at: After Virginia scratches hell out of Bill during a session, they mind-meld and decide they need to start filming people from outside their vaginas during sex, to see if those kind of things are performative, primitive, or involuntary. (They are all three.) Of course, Bill is hoping that it means his dick is magic, but Virginia's convinced they're completely neurological.
It takes a while to convince Jane to go for it -- since we have now graduated to pretty much just straight-up porn -- and then Lester balks at filming it, but in the end Gini and Bill get it figured out, and take a field trip to a porn store outside town to get it developed. After seeing her first performance, Jane exits the Study entirely, so Virginia jumps in for her in a sort of frenzy of science. Bill loves it a little too much, and ends up trying to pay her an honorarium for her on-camera work.
The intention -- to put a money wall between the two of them, ease the pressure on his marriage, get Essie off his back, and provoke Virginia in like five different ways -- is accomplished, but way too hard than he was expecting, and Gini seems to exit their work altogether. But after a desperate moment or two, she pulls herself together, and writes herself a performance review to elucidate their relationship in a way he'd never argue... While he's still at the office, watching her masturbate, on repeat, in a movie he shot himself, and tried to pay her for. Classic Masters!
Next Week: A civil defense lockdown drill amplifies conflicts across the staff, Ethan's contract isn't renewed, and Gini and Bill consider breaking confidentiality to figure out which subject impregnated another one. (I'm guessing it's Jane, and the daddy is Austin, but only because they're the only ones we know.) Meanwhile, Margaret seeks answers about Barton's deal from "an unlikely source" that I'm hoping is Dale -- because I don't know if you've noticed, but I love the shit out of Dale -- but could also easily be Bill, which would be just as weird and maybe even cooler.
The team brought in aspiring auteur Lester Linden to film women's internal reactions during sex, but you know it's not gonna stop there. Libby's just about figured out what Bill's baby-ambivalence is really about, which is good because his mom's in town now and Libby just got miraculously pregnant again. Bill's getting jealous of Virginia's medical education, regardless of how much she's impressing the reluctant Dr. DePaul, or her continued participation in the study.
Virginia: "So you know how we were doing it a minute ago? For science?"
(Helpful visual aids.)
Virginia: "I had this thing. I have had it before."
Masters: "Is it that horrible face I make?"
Virginia: "No, I can overlook that for science. This is a fuzziness in my vision."
Masters: "This is my penis being magical?"
Virginia: "No, before, um, bearing down. Stage one, this kind of numbness."
Masters: "Can you not say that in a cooler way? Like, a loss of sensory acuity."
Virginia: "That's a valid description."
Masters: "That way it sounds like I fucked you blin... Shit! You got me."
Bill's got a werewolf claw situation going down his back. He's ever so proud of them. His little scars. Like five A-plusses on either side, in red pen. A performance review. Flying colors.
Virginia: "Oh, like I haven't come away with war wounds. Remember the bruises on my hip after vaginal rear entry, male superior?"
Masters: "Yeah, that was outta sight! But seriously, cut your nails."
Virginia: "You should put that in my performance review. Mrs. Johnson's manicure has proven problematic in research sessions."
Masters: "You're going to have to keep nagging me about that. I hate doing it, and not for the reasons you might think."
Virginia: "I don't see why you feel insecure. I'm the one being graded."
Masters: "And I just got ten A-plusses. Still. Asking me, Bill Masters, to put into words what I can barely hear myself feeling is like asking a housecat to do math."
Virginia: "And yet until you make that clear, it's going to look like I don't matter."
MASTERS MASTER BATH
Libby: "Bill? Are you in there?"
Bill: "I am looking at my scars and wondering if I'm a perv for getting turned on."