Masters of Sex
Season 2
Season 2 promotional poster
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes12
Release
Original networkShowtime
Original releaseJuly 13 (2014-07-13) –
September 28, 2014 (2014-09-28)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 1
Next →
Season 3
List of Masters of Sex episodes

The second season of the American television drama series Masters of Sex premiered on July 13, 2014, and concluded on September 28, 2014. Showtime broadcast the twelve episode second season on Sundays at 10:00 pm (ET) in the United States.[1] The second season was released on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1 on May 5, 2015.[2]

The series was developed for television by Michelle Ashford and is based on the biography Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love by Thomas Maier. Masters of Sex tells the story of Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), two pioneering researchers of human sexuality at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The second season takes place between 1958 and 1961.[3]

Cast

Main

Recurring

Guests

Production

Showtime renewed the series for a second season of 12 episodes on October 22, 2013.[4] In March 2014, Showtime announced the season would premiere in July 2014 as opposed to in the fall as the first season did.[5]

Casting

Annaleigh Ashford, who had a recurring role in the first season as Betty Dimello, was promoted to series regular for season two.[6] Nicholas D'Agosto, who portrays Dr. Ethan Haas does not return as a series regular in season two, however he has a voice-only role in the season premiere.[7] Several new recurring roles were cast for the second season, including Betsy Brandt and Keke Palmer in March 2014,[8][9] Sarah Silverman in April,[10] René Auberjonois, Christian Borle, and Courtney B. Vance in May,[11][12] and Erin Cummings in June.[13] Auberjonois and Cummings however, ultimately only appeared in single episodes.

Episodes

See also: List of Masters of Sex episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
131"Parallax"Michael AptedMichelle AshfordJuly 13, 2014 (2014-07-13)0.825[14]
The presentation continues to affect the reputations of both Bill and Virginia; Bill is urged to get a new job after being fired from Maternity at the end of season one; Bill and Virginia confront their feelings towards each other.
142"Kyrie Eleison"Michael AptedDavid FlebotteJuly 20, 2014 (2014-07-20)0.716[15]
Bill starts work at a new hospital but is disappointed to hear that Virginia, who is still working with Dr. DePaul at Maternity, can't join him.
153"Fight"Michael AptedAmy LippmanJuly 27, 2014 (2014-07-27)0.838[16]
A romantic night of role playing at a hotel takes a dark turn when Bill reveals memories from his childhood.
164"Dirty Jobs"Michael EnglerSteven LevensonAugust 3, 2014 (2014-08-03)0.706[17]
Bill continues to try to get Virginia hired at Memorial Hospital, much to the dismay of his bosses; Langham suspects that Virginia and Bill are having an affair.
175"Giants"Jeremy WebbBathsheba DoranAugust 10, 2014 (2014-08-10)0.971[18]
After being fired from Memorial Hospital, Bill starts work at a black hospital; Betty's former love interest returns; Dr. DePaul confronts Virginia about her affair with Bill.
186"Blackbird"Keith GordonEileen MyersAugust 17, 2014 (2014-08-17)0.793[19]
Virginia is left saddened as Dr. DePaul decides to quit her chemotherapy; New restrictions are put on Bill's study; Betty's relationship with Helen is outed.
197"Asterion"Michael DinnerDavid Flebotte & Michelle AshfordAugust 24, 2014 (2014-08-24)0.840[20]
Bill cuts ties with Virginia after finding out that she was having relationships with other people, and a surprise visit by his mother, who offers to give him money to pay for his new clinic, doesn't help.
208"Mirror, Mirror"Michael AptedSteven LevensonAugust 31, 2014 (2014-08-31)0.726[21]
Bill and Virginia, now officially working together, try to solve a patient's sexual dysfunction; Libby is caught in the middle of a racial dilemma.
219"Story of My Life"Jeremy WebbAmy LippmanSeptember 7, 2014 (2014-09-07)0.760[22]
Virginia keeps seeing a psychiatrist about Barbara's (Betsy Brandt) story, and the psychiatrist begins to have doubts that what's being told happened to Virginia. Bill explains his erection problems to Virginia by claiming to have just slept with Libby before coming to the hotel. Bill and Betty arrange a hooker to help Lester with his impotence. Robert (Jocko Sims) accompanies Libby to the police station, where she is asked to testify to more than she actually saw. Robert refuses her as a witness. Barbara begins treating her sexual dysfunction at the clinic. Frank (Christian Borle) and Bill attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting together, where Frank gives a speech about their father during which Bill leaves. Pauline tells Libby about how Frank's drinking affected their marriage. Libby decides to work for CORE. Bill admits his impotence to Virginia.
2210"Below the Belt"Adam ArkinBathsheba Doran & Eileen MyersSeptember 14, 2014 (2014-09-14)0.804[23]
Virginia admits to Dr. Madden that her narration is partially a lie. Austin is forced into sexual services for Flo (Artemis Pebdani). Virginia engages Bill in light BDSM but Bill can't cure his impotence. Lester meets Barbara. Libby takes part in CORE's action while Virginia lies to Bill about her whereabouts. Shep Tally (Adam Arkin), a PR expert, agrees to present Virginia and Bill on television. After treating their mother due to a car accident, Frank appeals to Bill about alcoholism being their family's curse and a fistfight between the two breaks loose. Bill later confesses to Virginia that he abandoned Frank in the face of his father.
2311"One for the Money, Two for the Show"Adam BernsteinAmy LippmanSeptember 21, 2014 (2014-09-21)0.714[24]
Frank leaves the city. Bill continues suffering from impotence. A remarried George Johnson (Mather Zickel) wants to take both his kids on a 6 week tour to Europe, but Virginia refuses. Virginia consults a divorce lawyer, who advises her to let her kids travel with George. While a television crew films Bill and Virginia's work, they have problems explaining their work while avoiding censorship. Lester is offended by being excluded from the filming process. Libby feels outdone by Virginia since she isn't interviewed as Bill's wife. Libby and Robert have sex.
2412"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"Adam ArkinMichelle AshfordSeptember 28, 2014 (2014-09-28)0.889[25]
Bill and Virginia begin addressing Bill's impotence in a structured manner. Libby reveals to Robert she is aware of Bill's infidelity, and the two continue their affair. Bill and Virginia agree to have the TV special aired. George wants full custody over his children and depicts Virginia's work as being unsuitable for a proper mother. Barbara and Lester start a platonic relationship. Bill offers to treat Lester's impotence. The Californian Dr. Kaufman, assisted by Ethan (Nicholas D'Agosto), airs a TV spot about his studies, making Bill and Virginia's work seem secondary. It turns out that Bill had asked Barton (Beau Bridges) to call in favors so that Kaufman's spot was aired first, thereby burying Bill and Virginia's special unaired.

Reception

Critical response

The second season of Masters of Sex has received acclaim from critics. The season has a Metacritic score of 89 out of 100 based on 15 reviews.[26] Alan Sepinwall of HitFix wrote that season 2 is even better than season 1, and that the series "has much more on its mind than simply the tumultuous relationship between its two famous central characters. But if it just had those two, it would still be among the best things you could watch on television this summer."[27] Hank Stuever of The Washington Post wrote "It is intelligent, witty, quick-paced and surprising; it is tragic without being emotionally devastating."[28] Verne Gay of Newsday wrote that season 2 is "Better, richer, more compelling than season one" and the season's third episode, "Fight", is the best episode the series has done to date.[29]

Accolades

For the 5th Critics' Choice Television Awards, Julianne Nicholson was nominated for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series.[30] For the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, Beau Bridges was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series and Allison Janney was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.[31]

References

  1. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (March 19, 2014). "Showtime to premiere 'Ray Donovan' & 'Masters of Sex' in July". HitFix. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  2. ^ Lambert, David (March 3, 2015). "Masters of Sex - The Showtime Series is Coming Again: 'Season 2' this Spring!". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  3. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (July 9, 2014). "New season of 'Masters of Sex' turns up the angst". USA Today. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 22, 2013). "Showtime Renews 'Homeland' & 'Masters Of Sex'". Deadline.com. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  5. ^ Ausiello, Michael (March 19, 2014). "Showtime Moves Masters of Sex Season 2 to Summer, Pairs It With Ray Donovan". TVLine. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 3, 2013). "Annaleigh Ashford Upped To Regular On 'Masters Of Sex', Will Depart 'Kinky Boots'". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  7. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise (July 11, 2014). "'Masters of Sex' Showrunner Reveals Three-Year Time Jump Midseason (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  8. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 18, 2014). "Breaking Bad's' Betsy Brandt Joins Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  9. ^ Bacardi, Francesca (March 12, 2014). "Keke Palmer Joins Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  10. ^ Friedlander, Whitney (April 28, 2014). "Sarah Silverman Joins 'Masters of Sex' Cast". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  11. ^ Pedersen, Erik (May 19, 2014). "Courtney B. Vance & Rene Auberjonois Set For Season 2 Of 'Masters Of Sex'". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Eames, Tom (May 23, 2014). "Masters of Sex casts Smash actor Christian Borle". Digital Spy. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Weinstein, Shelli (June 17, 2014). "Erin Cummings Joins Season 2 of 'Masters of Sex'". Variety. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  14. ^ Patten, Dominic (July 15, 2014). "Showtime's 'Ray Donovan' Dips & 'Masters Of Sex' Down In Season 2 Debuts". Deadline. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  15. ^ Kissell, Rick (July 23, 2014). "Fox Goes Deep With All-Star Game, Wins Week in Demos; TNT Cable's Scripted Leader". Variety. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  16. ^ Kissell, Rick (July 30, 2014). "'America's Got Talent' Still Ruling Summer Ratings as NBC Wins Week in Demos". Variety. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  17. ^ Kissell, Rick (August 6, 2014). "NFL, Hot Reality Shows Keep NBC On Top of Weekly Ratings". Variety. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  18. ^ Kissell, Rick (August 13, 2014). "CBS' 'Big Brother' Tops Weekly Ratings — At Least For Now". Variety. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  19. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (August 19, 2014). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Sunday Cable Originals - 8/17/14". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  20. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (August 26, 2014). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Saturday Cable Originals and Top 25 Sunday Cable Originals: 8.24.2014". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on August 30, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  21. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (September 3, 2014). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Sunday Cable Originals: 8.31.2014". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  22. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (September 9, 2014). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Sunday Cable Originals: 9.7.2014 (and Saturday 9.6.2014)". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  23. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (September 16, 2014). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Sunday Cable Originals: 9.14.2014". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on September 17, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  24. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (September 23, 2014). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Sunday Cable Originals: 9.21.2014". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on September 25, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  25. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (September 30, 2014). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Sunday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 9.28.2014". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on October 2, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  26. ^ "Masters of Sex - Season 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  27. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (July 11, 2014). "Review: Showtime's 'Masters of Sex' better than ever in season 2". HitFix. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  28. ^ Stuever, Hank (July 11, 2014). "'Masters of Sex,' season 2: We're all grown-ups here". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  29. ^ Stuever, Hank (July 8, 2014). "'Masters of Sex' review: Even more masterful in season 2 premiere". Newsday. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  30. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (May 31, 2015). "Critics' Choice Television Awards: HBO, Better Call Saul, Taraji P. Henson and Amy Schumer Among Big Winners". TVLine. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  31. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 16, 2015). "Emmy Nominations 2015 – Full List". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 16, 2015.