As you can imagine the subject of human sexuality has always been one that interests people, causes controversy and is not always spoken about. Imagine living in the 50s when beliefs about human sexuality were ruled by out of touch and maybe woman haters like Freud. I shudder to think about it. It was that way until Dr. William Masters (played by Michael Sheen) hooks up (in more ways than one) with Virginia Johnson (played by Lizzy Caplan) to do an extensive study into human sexuality and the way the male and female bodies respond to sex. It was highly controversial and they had to fight against everyone – the medical community, the public and even their own hospital – to get people to think of their study as more than pornography. Diligent and thorough they plodded on and went on to write two very important books about human sexuality that became best sellers. This is their story.
Episode 1: Pilot: His gut tells the straight-laced and very serious Dr. William Masters to hire the twice-divorced Virginia Johnson as his secretary. They begin to work together on pioneering sexual response studies that would bring about the sexual revolution.
Episode 2: Race to Space: Provost Scully (played by Beau Bridges) refuses to sanction Masters’ study so he moves it to a St. Louis brothel. Masters also has to rehire Virginia in order to keep the study going.
Episode 3: Standard Deviation: A new female doctor, Dr. DePaul (played by Julianne Nicholson), is hired at the hospital and she and Virginia butt heads. Dr. Haas (played by Nicholas D’Agosto) fights hard to be the doctor to deliver the quadrupets.
Episode 4: Thank You for Coming: Based on his own childhood, Masters wonders if he will make a good father. Virginia is less than thrilled when her ex-husband (played by Mather Zickel) shows up for a visit.
Episode 5: Catherine: Childhood trauma continues to haunt Masters. Haas does something that will be great or awful for his career by dating Scully’s daughter (played by Rose McIver).
Episode 6: Brave New World: Masters and Libby (played by Caitlin FitzGerald) deal with her miscarriage in very different ways. Margaret Scully (played by Allison Janney), unhappy with her sex life, volunteers for the study.
Episode 7: All Together Now: Masters and Johnson begin to study their own sexual responses. With Scully going away on a conference Margaret uses the time alone to be with Dr. Langham ( played by Teddy Sears).
Episode 8: Love and Marriage: Masters and Johnson begin filming their work. Margaret’s extra marital affair ends and it brings her closer to finding out Scully’s secret.
Episode 9: Involuntary: A crimp is put into Vivian and Haas’ wedding plans when he tells her he is Jewish. Libby keeps it a secret from Masters that she is pregnant again.
Episode 10: Fallout: Most of the hospital staff is preoccupied with the potential for a nuclear attack and are participating in a series of drills. Haas’ finds out that he is not going to be hired as a doctor at the hospital.
Episode 11: Phallic Victories: Masters carries on with his study without Virginia and is not very successful. Virginia takes a job as Dr. DePaul’s secretary and helps her work on the promotion of women’s health.
Episode 12: Manhigh: Masters’ presentation of his study to his colleagues causes much protest and ends with Bill being fired. Haas is looking for a job in California.
Special Features: Making Masters of Sex, Deleted Scenes, A Masterful Portrayal: Michael Sheen as Dr. Masters, Ahead of Her Time: Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson, A Real Masters: A Conversation with Thomas Maier, Surprising Facts About Sex: The Masters’ Great Discoveries, Previews of Masters of Sex, House of Cards, That Awkward Moment, About Last Night