"Masters of Sex" One for the Money, Two for the Show (TV Episode 2014) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A television crew arrives at the clinic to document Masters and Johnson's work treating sexual dysfunction. Masters considers the publicity premature, and himself unsuitable as a television presence. Virginia deals with the fallout of having prioritized her work over her parenting when George argues to take their children on a trip with his new wife. Plus, Libby finds in Robert an appreciation for what she has to offer. And Langham realizes there's no way out of his sexual contract with Flo.

  • William frustratingly finds his single sexual performance with Virginia insufficient to build on in bed. Thanks to chance, a national TV network plans to to air Dr. Masters presenting his studies, which also excites Lester, who hopes to learn professional recording standards. Alas, petty concerns with appearance and grueling (self-)censorship soon compromise the whole point of presenting the study, and William's austerely academic manner and appearance are a period TV director's nightmare. Dr. Austin Langham is horrified that his diet pills firm boss Flo's insatiable appetite, inspired by decaying Hollywood idol Clark Gable, demands him to engage in kinky fantasies. Virginia is delighted that the children's now happily married father George spends quality time with them again, but they want more.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Masters and Johnson meet in a hotel room. They discuss his brother, who has gone back to Kansas City. They undress and go to bed. He wants to know how it was last time for her, after the sex. He touches himself. They begin to get aroused, but then you see them frustrated because it failed.

    Bill wakes up with a black eye from fighting with his brother. He applies makeup to his bruises.

    Virginia is at home with her kids. Her ex-husband arrives to take the kids for awhile. Virginia thinks that it is nice that George is spending more time with the kids.

    CBS arrives to film Masters and Johnson at their office. Dr. Masters is nervous about being filmed. He is advised to be personable so that people would like to invite him into their homes. They want Bill to wear a straight tie rather than a bow tie. Bill says "I'm not a salesman."

    Dr. Austin Langham is in the office with his boss, Flo. She reads that Clark Gable had a heart attack. She idolizes Clark Gable because of "Gone with the Wind." Austin never saw it. She insinuates that he is not a "man's man." Flo tells him that he will come to her house and re-enact "Gone with the Wind" scenes with her.

    The CBS director coaches Masters and Johnson.

    Libby meets with the black CORE activists. She doesn't know what is going on with Martin Luther King but knows all about Clark Gable's heart attack.

    They ask Johnson to describe how she first met Dr. Masters. She is fully animated, but he looks like a sour puss. They ask him to explain his work, but every term is uses will not get past the censors. Lester works with a CBS videographer, who wants to sanitize everything. Lester objects and says his approach is not honest.

    Libby puts a tie on Bill; he complains about being censored so much he can't describe the work. Bill is very sweaty.

    They begin filming and Bill is very flat. He tries to explain the vocabulary of sex should be plainly spoken. He says censorship generates shame and people should not shy away from the language of love. He gets more animated as he speaks. Libby looks on sadly as the interviewer asks if they are usually assumed to be a couple themselves.

    Virginia's ex-husband comes to the office during the filming and meets Libby. She is complimented on her looks by both George and one of the CBS directors. They imply that she would easily win a race over Virginia.

    Libby goes downstairs to the black activists' office where they are trying to get news of Dr. Martin Luther King's arrest in Atlanta on the radio. They believe he is still being held.

    Lester and Dr. Masters are in the men's room where Lester is complaining loudly about the CBS filmmakers' editing of his footage. Dr. Masters says maybe they know what they are doing. Lester takes offense and walks out.

    George, Virginia's ex, finally gets to talk to her about taking the kids on a European vacation with him and his new wife for six weeks. She is resistant. George chides her on her late hours and that the kids see more of the babysitter than they do of her.

    Dr. Langham enters Flo's house and she begins sexual role play. He tries to go along but is confused by her words and moves and is generally exasperated by the whole thing.

    Masters and Johnson meet with the CBS filmmakers who want them to re-enact a couple coming to see them for help with an actor and actress. Dr. Masters says "we don't help people to have sex, we observe people having sex." Dr. Masters objects that he would never film a couple meeting with him because they meet in absolute confidentiality and that a film of that would say absolutely the opposite.

    Virginia consults the resident friendly Lawyer in the building about her kids going to Europe with their father for six weeks over Thanksgiving and Christmas and he advises her to give her permission. Meanwhile, in the CORE black activists' office, everyone is leaving for the night. Robert offers to give Libby a ride home.

    Dr Masters argues with his publicist about filming a 'fake' couples interview. His publicist tells him we are all salesmen to some degree and it is a good compromise. Dr Masters objects to saying that they cure sexual dysfunction when they are just beginning to work on it. His publicist says, "You've got to be first."

    Robert drives Libby home; they discuss Dr. King's situation and beliefs. Libby notes that Robert tests her knowledge of civil rights jargon all the time. She insists that she knows what the fight is about and that she believes in it. While they sit in the car outside her house, a police officer knocks on the window and asks to see his license and registration. The policeman is very rude to Robert and hassles him, Libby invites Robert into the house to resolve the situation.

    The CBS filmmakers are having dinner brought in. The camera man goes into Dr. Masters office and asks him what its like to watch people 'doing it' all day next to a beautiful woman like Virginia Johnson. Dr. Masters insists that she is a serious professional and he is also. The camera man says people assume because she is so good-looking and he is not that there is something going on between them.

    Robert goes inside with Libby but is very nervous about what the neighbors think and what the babysitter thinks. Libby wants him to take off his shirt so she can fix the buttons the cop ripped off. He refuses.

    Virginia's kids are very excited about going to Europe. They sing the praises of George's new wife, Audrey. She makes them eat vegetables and go to bed on time. Virginia gets sad. They want to know what she will do for Christmas and who will give her presents.

    Robert and Libby talk in the kitchen and she seems to be attracted by his 'bad boy' past. She is tired of being the "good girl" who gets ignored by everyone and her husband. She wants someone to see her and not be invisible. She seems to be trying to seduce Robert. She impulsively kisses him and he kisses back.

    Flo and Austin are resting after being intimate. He doesn't get the role-playing stuff. She says she isn't finished with him yet though it would be nice if he gave a damn.

    Libby and Robert make love on the kitchen floor and she seems to enjoy it very much.

    Late at night, Virginia finds Bill in the office lab having torn off his sweaty shirt and tie. He is worried about presenting themselves as the saviors of the sexually dysfunctional when they haven't cured anyone including himself. He is worried that he has no "twinkle in his eye," does not smile and is not appealing to viewers. He has an emotional breakdown of confidence because he believes he is unattractive and impotent. Virginia comforts him like a mother holds a child while he cries.

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