A Look at Masters of Sex- Season 2, Episode 2: “Kyrie Eleison”

This week’s “Kyrie Eleison” dials back the multiple storylines and focuses on how we, as people, should not see ourselves solely by looking at our greatest flaw. Being an outsider or living outside the norm isn’t as horrifying or taboo as some make it seem.

The episode is about more than a doctor living up to his code to do no harm or a woman being shut out from almost everyone around her- it’s about realizing that, even though we do need help once in a while, we ultimately have control of our own lives. We make the call and define ourselves. What society thinks is none of our concern. Let’s dig right in.

Kyrie Eleison- Dinner with the Palmateer Family- Anne, played by Melinda Page Hamilton, Rose, played by Ana Valentine Walczak, and Paul, played by Larry Poindexter

The episode begins with dinner at the Palmateer residence. The mother, Anne, played by Melinda Page Hamilton, asks her daughter, Rose, played by Ana Valentine Walczak, about a pair of gloves. Rose, finding blood on her fingers, wishes to be excused, but her mother and father, Paul, played by Larry Poindexter, tell her to sit down and finish her steak. Steak is important to family dinners, don’t you know?

Kyrie Eleison- Virginia and Bill discuss Barton Scully's leave of absence

At the Chancery Park Plaza Hotel, Bill and Virginia discuss Barton Scully’s sudden absence.   Each time Virginia asked about him, the secretary gave a different excuse. Then again, Virginia doesn’t have many friends among the secretaries nowadays, anyway. Bill isn’t getting anywhere with constant phone calls, either.

The two then discuss the upcoming first day at Gateway Memorial Hospital, but Virginia is hesitant to leave Dr. DePaul, who relies on her a lot more these days. She plans to be delicate, but will at least give the good doctor plenty of notice. Problem is that Doug felt that he stuck out his neck enough just to get Bill to continue the study. It’s not possible for Virginia to come work at Gateway right now.

Bill’s trying to fix the mistaken impression the board holds that Virginia has no credentials to justify her employment as a research aide. Sure, Virginia’s name is on the study, but Bill mentioned that. Even worse, Virginia can’t even come on as a secretary, as Bill already has one. Virginia’s legitimately upset: she knows the structure of the study and has Dr. Ditmer in need of her intelligence. And she won’t have Bill fighting this battle for her- she will do it herself…by taking the new secretary to lunch.

Kyrie Eleison- Bill meets the new nanny, Coral, played by Keke Palmer

Libby must have had no problem finding a new nanny so quickly, because she finds it in the form of a young, Negro girl named Coral, played by Keke Palmer. Bill, now distracted from looking for his Jay Jacobs shirt, tells Libby that a girl of Coral’s age is too young to be watching a child. But Libby is sure that Coral, already 18 years of age, will do a great job helping her out.

Kyrie Eleison- Gene and Betty run into Bill on his first day of work

First day at Gateway Hospital and Bill runs straight into Gene and Betty. After some small talk, Betty and Bill head inside. Betty has been telling Gene that she’s undergoing fertility treatments, conveniently leaving out that she’s sterile. Bill doesn’t see this as his problem, but if the past is any indication, Betty won’t let him off that easy. Also, Gene did write a pretty big check to get Bill back into a hospital, so he owes Betty. Bill gives her three days, but no dice. Betty will be done when she says she’s done, unless Bill would like to return to the brothel. Um, yes! That’s what I’ve wanted all along!

Kyrie Eleison- Bill's new secretary, Barbara Sanderson, played by Betty Brandt

We’re then introduced to Bill’s new secretary, Barbara Sanderson, played by Betsy Brandt. Bill’s office is still filled with unpacked boxes, which Barbara promises to get to eventually.

Kyrie Eleison- Doug tells Bill that he'll be operating on the daughter of a Very Important Donor

Doug is already waiting for Bill in the office. He planned to show Bill around, but there’s some bleeding in the emergency room. At least this way, Bill can get his feet wet by operating on the daughter of a V.I.D.: very important donor. That’s a new one.

Kyrie Eleison- Bill questions Anne Palmateer about her daughter's terminated pregnancy

The daughter in question is the previously introduced Rose, who is in shock while Bill is unable to feel the girl’s uterus. As the girl is rushed away, Bill questions Anne about her daughter’s behavior. Rose didn’t come down for breakfast this morning. Anne is in for a shock when Bill tells her that the blood loss is due to her perforated uterus, and another shock when it’s revealed that she terminated her pregnancy.

Kyrie Eleison- Dr. DePaul is not a fan of makeup

Meanwhile, Dr. DePaul recites a script for an instructional film that will be filmed soon. Virginia, always one to break the good doctor out of her shell, applies some makeup, even if it has nothing to do with medicine. DePaul is still convinced that giving out pamphlets is a good idea, but she’s still ready to give this film a chance.

Kyrie Eleison- Dr. Langham works on Vivian's arm

Dr. Austin Langham works on Vivian Scully, who is sporting a cast on her left arm from a supposed tennis injury. Austin tries to sweeten her story by telling her to say that she hurt herself while trying to rescue an orphan child that was in the middle of traffic. Vivian, not dwelling on that too much, apologizes to Austin about his situation and we learn about his current relationship status: Elise took the kids and moved in with her mother in Alton, Illinois. Crap. Well, at least Elise ended on a high and loud note. More than that, she’s hired the best divorce attorney around. When Vivian asks if what Elise said was true, all Langham can say is that his sister-in-law is a spider and he got caught in her web. If I think really hard into that, that’s a very disgusting image to think of.

Virginia delays her meeting with Dr. Ditmer, as she’s already late for her lunch engagement and PSA shoot with Dr. DePaul.

Kyrie Eleison- Vivian argues with Virginia

But then Virginia’s day takes a turn for the worst when she runs into Vivian. Virginia asks about Barton, which Vivian attributes to a leave of absence to Venice. But Vivian goes on the offensive: first off, she doesn’t want Virginia talking to her like they’re friends. She hasn’t forgotten about Ethan and demands to know why Virginia slept with him. She then accuses Virginia of taking her future away and ruining it. But then, that’s Virginia in a nutshell, isn’t it? She doesn’t see the consequences of what havoc she’ll wreck. And, as Vivian adds, Virginia will do anything to get ahead.

Kyrie Eleison- Bill and Anne grapple over Rose's future

Back at Gateway, Bill explains to Anne that a hysterectomy is an uneasy process. Whoever performed the last one on Rose left a lot of tissue in the uterus, but he was able to remove it. Rose should be back on her feet soon and moving on with her life. Anne questions what kind of life that is, given that Rose is apparently prone to sneaking out to be with boys. At the tender age of 14, she’d already been caught naked with a boy. Anyway, Anne feels the best and only option for Rose is sterilization.

Bill is against this. Rose has the rest of her life ahead of her and should live her life the way she chooses. Even though Bill is new to the hospital, this is still a medical decision, not a parental one. He’s obliged to the patient’s well-being, not bending to the will of the parents. Doug tries to mediate the situation, but tells Anne that Bill will perform the surgery.

Kyrie Eleison- Virginia brings Barbara some files

Virginia arrives at Bill’s office and finds Barbara sorting through random files. Virginia brought her own files, but they’re for Barbara’s use only. In a reverse of fate, Barbara offers to treat Virginia to lunch, as she could use a friend.

Kyrie Eleison- Virginia arrives late for Dr. DePaul's PSA shoot

And after filling in Bill about her run-in with Vivian, Virginia arrives 20 minutes late to the PSA shoot. The director, played by Lucas Dixon, is all ready to shoot, but DePaul isn’t. She won’t say her name on film and flubs words, as if she’s going off-script. The shoot, to put it mildly, is a bust. DePaul storms off in tears.

Back in her office, DePaul and Virginia have a minor face-off, with DePaul noting the clear differences between them: DePaul wanted pamphlets. She wanted simplicity. But Virginia always wanted to shoot bigger. Virginia has her eyes on a bigger prize. However, Virginia won’t let herself get roped into this and tells Dr. DePaul that she wants her to see a doctor- a doctor that isn’t overfilled with pride.

Kyrie Eleison- Bill speaks with Rose

Bill speaks with Rose in private. The bleeding has stopped. To Bill’s surprise, Rose wants the same surgery that her mother wants for her. She thinks it will help, even though Bill believes she just needs protection. But no, Rose says. She has a dark thing inside of her and whenever she thinks of a boy or man, she can’t stop until she has him. Bill tries to appeal to her, saying that if she goes through with this surgery, she’ll never be able to have kids. Rose just doesn’t want to feel ashamed. If this surgery will end her suffering, she wants it done.

Kyrie Eleison- Libby and Coral bond

Coral and Libby compare burns before switching to the subject of men. Coral was taught that hard men do the best doctoring. That’s what drew Libby to Bill in the first place: he wasn’t at all into the small talk. But talking, Libby says, can be essential. As she’s still vague on Bill’s childhood, she doesn’t have much to go off of. Libby thought that having a baby would help Bill open up, but it seems to have cut him off even more, as if Bill was afraid of a baby. Perish the thought.

Kyrie Eleison- Vivian gets surprise visit from Bill

Vivian leaves a class for the evening and gets an unexpected surprise when she finds Dr. Masters waiting for her. Bill can tell straight away that Vivian is lying about her injury, so she admits what happened when she and her mother found Barton hanging by an electrical cord. She couldn’t process what happened. What she does know is that when Bill left, it hit Barton really hard. All Vivian wants is for her father to get better.

Kyrie Eleison- Bill and Betty about to enter hospital

The next day, Betty again goes to make small talk with Bill, but he tells her straight away that he has real patients to deal with. The charade ends today, and if Betty won’t tell Gene, he will. Betty calls Bill’s bluff, saying he won’t tell Gene because he wants to protect his dopey study. Bill defends his work, telling Betty that she has no idea how people suffer.

That gets under Betty’s skin. What she’s seen of suffering would make everything else look like child’s play.

Kyrie Eleison- Doug talks with Bill about Rose's surgery and, then, the sex study

Somehow, the two are still able to get on the elevator and enter Bill’s office together without killing each other. Doug is waiting for Bill and he’s furious with Bill for not performing the agreed upon surgery that Bill never agreed to. Now Doug has a giant mess to clean up, but Bill still believes that Rose deserves a normal life. But what is normal? Acting like a whore?

Doug calls Rose’s type a deviant, amoral, a whore, while Bill sees her as someone who falls outside the boundary of normal sexual behavior, but not a lost cause. In Doug’s eyes, Bill is taking a deficiency of character and labeling it a disease. Even if that’s true, it would put the truth center stage, no matter how uncomfortable. In the end, to placate the board, Doug will oversee Bill’s surgeries for a few months until the board is off his back.

Now that things are a bit calmer, Doug brings up the sex study. Bill’s study generated 26 physiological responses to internal and external stimulation to sex. Doug’s read the study, but wants to know about different kinds of sex, as in points of entry. Bill explains that the penis’ position as it enters the vagina can vary, even if, as Doug suggests, people want to do it while hanging from their ankles off MacArthur Bridge. If that example comes from real life experiences, all I can say is bravo. Despite his earlier anger, Doug is satisfied with the study’s direction.

Kyrie Eleison- Virginia hands Ulysses to Dr. Ditmer

Oh, as all this is happening, we also watch Dr. Ditmer get more and more interested in Ulysses. He presses Virginia to explain how women reacted to the phallus, even though he would be using it for gastroenterology. He gets further and further off-topic until he lets out a shudder, as if he suddenly needs a new change of pants.

Kyrie Eleison- Party in Langham's office

Virginia stops by to update Dr. DePaul on her upcoming oncologist appointment before running into Langham. He invites her into his office, where some of the staff is partying. This is how Austin Langham picks himself up after his wife leaves him. But hey, when you lose control of your car, what do you do?

You steer into the skid so the car straightens out. For Austin, he and Virginia have just hit a rough patch, but they’ll bounce back. After all, they’re lone wolves, driven from their pack because they refused to conform. Even though they don’t play nice with the pack, lone wolves are unpredictable, so they will be fine.

Kyrie Eleison- Bill won't break his oath just to bring harm to Rose's life

Once again, Bill speaks to Rose in private. Per the Hippocratic Oath and his pledge to do no harm, he couldn’t live with hurting her. He mentions that, four years ago, the polio virus wiped out 1.5 million people each year. Thanks to Dr. Jones Salk, polio will soon be eradicated in their lifetime.

He then gives Rose an Intrauterine Device- I.U.D.- which has been in use before, but Dr. Jack Lippes refined it by using thermoplastics, making it the most effective and simple method of birth control.

Even though Rose’s mother wouldn’t allow it, Rose is 18 years old and can make her own decisions. This is the first step in solving her problem. Rose still doesn’t think this will stop her from acting like a whore, prompting Bill to pretty much demand that she stop saying that word. He sees so much promise in Rose and while they wait for answers down the road, the least they can do is make sure Rose won’t get pregnant again.

Kyrie Eleison- Libby and Coral struggle with the baby

Libby, meanwhile, probably now wishes she never was pregnant, as she and Coral struggle to quiet her wailing son. As Libby goes to heat up a bottle, Bill arrives later than expected. Soon, the crying stops. Coral knows a thing or two about kids and swaddle, which just needed to be tighter, something that Bill apparently mentioned.

When two are alone, Bill has second thoughts on Coral and now finds her competent. That may be the best compliment she’ll ever get from Bill Masters in a long time.

Kyrie Eleison- Bill tells Betty that he won't discuss his patients with her. Ever

You know, Betty should at least have a magazine on hand while she’s waiting for Bill to arrive. She wants to talk about Rose, but Bill doesn’t plan to discuss his patients. Before Betty can get far, has a run in with a man named Elliot Draper, played by Will Doughty. Elliot recognizes Betty from a previous encounter, but Betty tries to downplay her past. When Bill heads into his office, Betty pulls Rose’s file from Barbara’s desk and begins to read it.

Kyrie Eleison- Coral irons while Libby smokes

Coral irons while Libby smokes and watches stories. It’s a story that Coral’s familiar with, but doesn’t get to watch as often. Luckily, she occasionally would ax her Aunt if she could watch it at her house. Ahem. Libby corrects Coral’s grammar in a sort of awkward moment, but there’s no malice behind it: Libby’s only doing it because, let’s face it; she and Coral will be the ones taking care of the baby, so it would help if they spoke the same way.

Kyrie Eleison- Lillian and Virginia visit Dr. Lyons, played by Gareth Williams

Virginia and DePaul visit Dr. Lyons, played by Gareth Williams. And DePaul’s cancer situation has not improved. But then, DePaul always knew that metastasis was a possibility. DePaul makes it clear to Virginia that no one must know. Virginia at least knows what she’ll research, and like Dr. DePaul, she’s a fighter. However, as Dr. DePaul tells Virginia, if they’re going to get anywhere first, they’re going to need pizza, which DePaul herself doesn’t even like.

Kyrie Eleison- Betty talks with Rose

Betty snatches a random vase of flowers and heads to Rose’s room under the guise of working with Dr. Masters. After closing the door, Betty shares a sweet tale about her mother, bless her heart. She was once in a hospital after an accident blinded her in one eye. It was so bad the doctors ended up having to remove the eye, so Mom had a glass eye.

Oh, and Betty’s the cause of it. Why? Because one day, she just got tired of her mother making her feel lousy by calling her things like ‘tramp’ or ‘disgrace.’ Turns out that Betty just decided to stop listening to her mother’s opinion, but gave one of her own in the form of a pump to the eye. There’s a life lesson in there, somewhere.

Not a sweet tale, really.

Though Betty’s words are helpful, Rose is still grateful to Dr. Masters for telling her that she isn’t her worst part.

Bill tells Libby that he’ll be late from work, so no need for her to wait up. As he hangs up, he eyes a photo of his wife before heading out.

Kyrie Eleison- Virginia speaks with nanny Pam, played by Kandice Erickson

Elsewhere, Virginia heads off to finish some paperwork and leaves the kids in the hands of nanny Pam, played by Kandice Erickson, before she also leaves.

Soon, Bill and Virginia meet up and head for the Chancery Park Plaza Hotel.

What is it that Virginia’s said, time and time again? The work matters. Despite the craziness of a new job, trouble at home, and losing people close to you, the work perseveres. We’re driven to work as hard as we can, but also to be the best people we can without caring what others think of us. But, the episode asks, is it possible for us to be more than what society paints us as, especially if it’s in a negative light? Are the whores, sluts and immoral really just that, or something much more? Something that has promise. The episode doesn’t try to decide for you, but through the perspective of William Masters, he views these so-called amoral types as real people with real issues, not society’s parasites.

Though I appreciate the premiere taking its time with multiple characters, “Kyrie Eleison” takes things back to basics by focusing on lesser characters and putting most of its attention on Bill and Virginia’s dilemmas and how they inevitably affect the lives of those around them. The series has been reestablished, so it’s time to take these characters forward.

Kyrie Eleison- Doug smokes

While this episode was mostly serious, it had its share of funny moments, the standout being the juxtaposition of Bill’s talk with Doug played against Ditmer speaking with Virginia. And Ditmer’s orgasm followed up by Doug smoking a cigarette? That’s some great editing and imagery.

Whether through Betty’s story about her mother or Rose’s situation, the episode dealt with acceptance- accepting who we are instead of trying to be what others expect of us. What we may perceive as normal and carefree can go south through one action. We see this play through with Barton’s attempted suicide and how it’s affected his family. On the surface level, the Scullys embody the ideal American family: happy wife and husband with a well-mannered kid. Go deeper, and it’s about a man wrestling with his inner demons and trying to be someone that he, at his core, isn’t.

Kyrie Eleison- Rose doesn't want to feel ashamed of herself anymore

This week, Rose tries to be the ideal daughter that obeys her parents’ desires, but she has sex on the brain. Society at this point-and even now- calls her a whore, a deviant, a pervert. Essentially, Rose is going through what some refer to now as ‘slut-shaming.’ Now, I’m not gonna get into the debate over the word ‘slut’ and that whole conversation because I really have no opinion on it, but Rose doesn’t see any solution and believes that she’s a problem.

She can’t come to terms with the fact that there are others like her or that she doesn’t have to change her behavior just because society deems her immoral. She sticks out among her otherwise bland family, a family that is so stuck in maintaining its image that they don’t even fully grasp what their daughter is going through.

As Bill mentions, just because someone falls outside the norm of human sexual behavior doesn’t mean they should be labeled as a deviant. Betty certainly doesn’t give a damn about how the world views her, but Rose is still young. Sure, she’s 18, but a child in the eyes of her parents. Their word is law and if they say something is wrong with her, then it must be true. Her scenes with Bill show how conflicted she is with herself, with Walczak giving a good performance as the lost woman who only sees shame in how she behaves.

Bill’s words about how we’re not the worst part of ourselves is applicable for more characters besides Rose. Some want to believe that people are, at their core, good people and only see the positive side of them. However, as we see through Bill’s actions, it’s not impossible to see the good in people despite their flaws.

Kyrie Eleison- Langham tells Vivian that he got caught in Rosemary's web

Langham is someone who acknowledges that he’s very flawed, no doubt, but he also sees himself as a lone wolf. I hope he doesn’t fancy himself a rebel because he slept with family. I do like that he’s not wallowing in his own pity after getting kicked out of the house. Side-note, where is Austin staying now? I mean, if Elise moved back with her mother, why would Austin even be kicked out of the house in the first place? Not like Elise is gonna need it.

But back to Mr. Langham, time doesn’t stop for him just because he cheated on his wife. Again. Cheated on his wife again. You don’t get extra brownie points for feeling sorry for yourself- Langham knows this, so he looks at the positive side. Like Bill and Virginia, he sees himself as someone who refuses to conform.

I’m sure there’s a group of people somewhere that wouldn’t see Langham’s behavior as deplorable, but he’s not in that pack. Until then, he’s making the most of his situation by partying- perfectly in character. Austin doesn’t strike me as the type to let life get him down if one woman has shown him the door.

While I’m upset Elise seems to be gone for the moment, it’s certainly no accident that she’s relocated to the same area where Bill and Virginia meet as Mr. And Mrs. Holden. That should be a fun encounter, should we get one.

Kyrie Eleison- Vivian's sort of unjustified anger at Virginia

I don’t understand Vivian’s anger with Virginia. First off, I think this might be the first time these two have directly interacted, so I understand why Vivian would take offense at the idea that the two are friends. All right, fine. But Vivian looked to be over Ethan, so why would she even bring it up? Seemed just convenient to give the two some conflict, when both of them should have been over Ethan Haas a long time ago.

She blames Virginia for taking Ethan away from her. Fair enough, given his original reason for breaking up with her was just an excuse to get back to Virginia. But what does she know of Virginia personally that she hasn’t just heard from someone else? It seems unfair to pass judgment on hearsay. At least get to know Virginia before trying to tear her down. I say trying because Virginia wasn’t going to let someone like Vivian tear her down, especially when she already has the hospital staff doing that.

I get why she’d want to stay quiet about her father, same as Margaret when she wouldn’t tell Bill about Barton’s sudden absence. As far as I know, she isn’t as clued in to his homosexuality as Margaret is, so she’s convinced that with a little bit of rest, her father will be fine. Vivian seems to believe that whatever troubles her father can just go away. If only it were that simple. She can’t process what she doesn’t fully understand. Given how she thinks what happened was an accident, I’m not sure she even wants to understand it.

Kyrie Eleison- Lillian under pressure

Dr. DePaul is slowly self-destructing. It could be the cancer or just pent up anger, but she’s beginning to unravel, as we see when she continually flubs the PSA shoot and leaves the room in tears. DePaul knows that her life is on the clock, but combined with the cancer and taking a chance on Virginia’s methods, everything is moving too fast with her. She has a lot of frustration and Nicholson does a great job showing DePaul’s anger, but keeping it in check so she doesn’t lose her cool.

For as much as Dr. DePaul believes the world is against her, she’s never once raised her voice or lashed out at anyone. She’s not that kind of woman, she never was. It’s why she’ll never fully comply with Virginia’s approach and why she didn’t even like Virginia when they first met. DePaul likes to take her time. It’s not the practical approach that some would prefer, but as we learned from the doctor last season, it’s honest work. She doesn’t want to become a pioneer- she just wants to get the job done.

Kyrie Eleison- Libby 'Betty Draper' Masters

Libby, however, has one job this week and she’s struggling to get that done. She’s less Libby Masters and more Betty Draper with her command of the household, or attempted command, as she’s unable to quiet the baby or remember where she placed her husband’s shirt.

I like the slow growth of her friendship and partnership with Coral, even if some scenes come off as awkward. Some people have said that Libby came off as condescending when she corrected Coral on her words, but I don’t see it. Coral may be 18, yes, but she’s still prone to errors, regardless of how much she knows about swaddling. Plus, Coral never professed to be an expert speller or master of the English language.

Akeelah and the Bee

Wait…

I hope the writers aren’t trying to make Libby come off as antagonistic, given everything she’s been through. She’s endured a lot and this baby was supposed to be another chance at happiness for her and Bill, yet the two grow further apart. She has no idea how right on the ball she was when she asked how anyone could be afraid of a baby.

Kyrie Eleison- Bill relieved that the baby has stopped crying

Only Bill could be. The first day on the job and the man is already having problems with authority. And yet, I enjoyed it all the same. Really, as entertaining and humorous as the sexual situations on this show can be, I find Bill to be at his best when he’s being a doctor. Though the ‘patient of the week’ scenarios were a bit formulaic in the first season, they each served a purpose that allowed Bill to use his medical expertise to help someone in need.

He does the same here, sticking to the Hippocratic Oath, but applies what he’s learned from the study when he tells Rose that there’s so much promise in a young woman that society has labeled a deviant.

Kyrie Eleison- Bill tells Rose to never call herself a whore again

As cold as Bill can be, he genuinely does care about his patients.   We see this when he lashes out at Rose’s mother about not knowing about her daughter’s condition, but also at Rose herself. There was real admonishment in his voice when he told Rose to not call herself a whore, but it wasn’t done out of spite or hate. He actually sees a bright future for Rose and wants her to live her life the way she wants to live it.

That can’t happen if she’s constantly looking down on herself, the way the world looks down on her behavior. Bill has already been down this road with Betty. Like back then, he doesn’t see the worst in the people he helps. He’s a doctor first and is about pushing the boundaries, regardless of how society may not be ready for it.

I sort of see Bill as a bringer of life. Yes, he already is that when he’s a doctor, but through his words, he brings out a side of people that they try to bury. Even if Rose saw herself as a lost cause at first, the least Bill could do is help her not get pregnant again.

Bill’s ethical decisions put him at a crossroads with Doug, who is more concerned about donors than a patient’s well-being. I think Doug seems to get where Bill is coming from, but because the Palmateers have money, that’s where his focus lies. Doug is speaking from the perspective of your everyday Americans that would consider sneaking out to sleep with boys a sinful act.

Is that the wrong way to see it? That’s for you to decide, but Doug shares the prevalent mindset of most Americans compared to today. It wouldn’t be fair to judge his perspective through the lens of people today who are a bit more accepting and forgiving.

And yet, for all of Bill’s efforts to lend a hand to others, home is not where his heart is. I don’t get why he cares that Libby got a sitter so quickly or that she did it by herself, given how that’s exactly what he wanted. I didn’t think he’d want to play a part in the decision making. He’ll go out of his way to a young woman at the hospital with her problems, but not his own wife and newborn child. It just shows the growing disconnect between Bill and Libby and how there’s little to no emotional attachment between the two, at least from Bill’s perspective.

That said, I do appreciate that he still cares for Barton’s well-being and went out of his way to talk with Vivian about her father. Bill was never on board for Barton’s shock therapy, and to hear that his longtime friend tried to kill himself is painful news, even more painful because Bill knows why Barton tried to do it.

Kyrie Eleison- Betty reads over Rose's file

Betty seems to be filling the shoes of Virginia and Jane for now. Don’t get me wrong, Barbara is a fine lady and it’s unfair to say much after only her first appearance, but she’s no Jane. Anyway, Betty is still hiding her secret from Gene, so she’s tagging along with Bill every day. Luckily, she’s not just there to sit around.

Kyrie Eleison- Betty sits around

All right, she’s kind of here to sit around. She mostly sits in Bill’s office and overhears his conversations, but she serves a purpose. Betty has been down the road that Rose is currently on.

Kyrie Eleison- Betty gets reminder of her past work, run-in with Elliot Draper, played by Will Doughty

In fact, she got an unfortunate reminder of that when she ran into Elliot Draper. The look on her face during that encounter showed that she would prefer to put that part of her life behind her. She’s not denying it, but she’s not openly bragging about it, either. Betty still has a rough life and knows about suffering.

To see Rose going through a similar path gave her an opportunity to lift her self-esteem. She had a point about not caring what others thought of her, although I hope stabbing her mother in the eye in retaliation wasn’t the first thing she thought to do. Otherwise, remind me to never piss Betty off. She doesn’t owe anyone an explanation about what she does, and, in her mind, neither should Rose.

Kyrie Eleison- Betty won't be lectured on suffering

As was the case last season, I like the combative relationship between her and Bill. I get that the two may not be fond of one another, with Bill thinking of Betty as a nuisance and Betty thinking of Bill as, well, an asshole. The two at least still appear to have a mutual respect for one another. Bill may be cold, but like in “Standard Deviation,” he cares for Betty. And Betty seemed genuinely glad that Bill had kind words to say to Rose long before she did.

Kyrie Eleison- Virginia learns she won't be joining Bill at Gateway Hospital right now

Virginia, however, doesn’t get any sort of breaks. Whether enduring her own slut-shaming from Vivian, being kept out of the elevator by the other women at the hospital or being chastised by DePaul for thinking bigger, Virginia walks from one unfortunate event to another this week. Hell, she doesn’t even get to join Bill at Gateway yet, and she had a legitimate reason to be upset about that. Her only solace seemed to be at Langham’s party.

Kyrie Eleison- Virginia and Vivian

As was the case last week, she only seems to be at peace when with Bill, as the two complete each other. She’s still seen as someone who uses her feminine wiles to get ahead, as hard as she tries to shatter that notion. In a way, she’s going through the similar sort of treatment that DePaul has had to endure her entire life. Only now, instead of being flanked because she’s a woman, Virginia is being flanked because of her supposed reckless and immoral behavior.

Kyrie Eleison- Ditmer wants to hear more about vaginas

And the one time it appears that she’ll be putting her smarts to good use, it’s only for Ditmer to get himself off. A shame, really, as Ditmer seemed to be genuinely interested in looking to Virginia for advice, but no. The man just wanted to get his rocks off and got too curious about Ulysses.

Sometimes, you need a break away from all of the sex. With less focus on seeing people between the sheets and more time spent on character interactions, “Kyrie Eleison” is a fantastic episode that provided a similar level of enjoyment that I got from “Standard Deviation.” Not saying it’s as good as that one- too soon to tell. But strong performances all around and the focus on not accepting our worst part showed us a more human side to Masters of Sex. You can’t always get that if all of the focus is in the bedroom.

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