WARNING: Spoilers for Masters of Sex Season 1, Episode 6
Margaret is trapped in a lustless marriage. Her husband obviously loves her, but he doesn’t lust after her. You can see that Margaret is deeply unhappy, so when she hears about the study, she sees a way to regain some happiness.
Her friend’s description of sex as a pair of shoes was outstanding. The imagery was just perfect. That your whole life you could think that something is for you, just because of the expectations of the people around you. Then, when you finally get what you really want, it’s like you’re taking your first breath in the real world.
Margaret runs into trouble, however, when filling out the questionnaire. She has to admit that she’s never had an orgasm. Her walk back to the elevator was heartbreaking.
Even her daughter, Vivian, can sense her parent’s unhappiness and tries to help by suggesting the movies. Provost Scully declines, but Margaret goes on her own anyway. After the movie, she runs into Ethan and they get to talking. They seem to click and Ethan makes a move. After only a moment’s hesistation, Margaret reciprocates and finally finds out what it’s like to try on a new pair of shoes.
Margaret’s look on her face at the end of this episode was as uplifting as Bill’s cry at the end of the previous episode was heartbreaking.
In the rest of the episode, Bill and Libby go on holidays to Florida, but Bill can’t leave work behind. Libby has finally had enough and sends him back alone. I wouldn’t think their marriage has long left.
No-one in the show has what you’d call a happy marriage. Taken as a whole, the show’s message seems to be that happiness is seldom found with a long-term partner. Instead, it’s found in illicit affairs and stolen kisses.
Virginia has been running the study in Bill’s absence, trying to disprove Sigmund Freud’s theory that orgasms can be immature. She runs afoul of Dr Lillian DePaul, who rats her out to Bill.
Rather than being angry, Bill decides that Virginia shouldn’t be just a secretary any more. He promotes her to research assistant, much to Virginia’s delight. She’s thrown herself wholeheartedly into the study, so she deserves the promotion.
All in all, a very uplifting episode.
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