TIME Television

Catch Up: What Happened on Masters of Sex Last Year

Masters of Sex
Michael Sheen as Dr. William Masters and Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson in Masters of Sex Michael Desmond—Showtime

Get ready to jump back in the sack

This post contains spoilers for season 1 of Masters of Sex, which is the whole point.

Showtime’s acclaimed series Masters of Sex comes back for its second season this weekend — so if all you can remember about the first season is that there was a lot of sex in it, here’s everything you’ll need to remember:

  • Everyone saw Virginia naked: And not just the television audience. In a quest to secure funding and recognition for his sex study, Dr. Masters went all-out on his presentation to the staff, providing martinis and live-action video. Though the doctors in the room were comfortable while he discussed male sexuality, his open discussion of female sexuality crossed a line — especially when he showed the video footage he took of Virginia Johnson reacting to orgasm. Though Virginia’s face was never shown, somehow everyone seems to have guessed who that anonymous volunteer was. Libby, Masters’ wife, asked him directly whether the woman was Virginia, but he couldn’t reveal the identity of a study participant.
  • Bill really saw Virginia naked: Of course, Libby’s right. That was Virginia, and not just for science: Masters and Johnson are having an affair. At the season’s end, she discovered that he had given her proper credit for her work on the study — and that he wants her to come back, to work with him and presumably more.
  • Bill’s not the only contender for Virginia’s affections: Ethan still loves Virginia, and he asked her to marry him and move to California (with her kids, natch) to be with him.
  • There’s a new character: After a devastating miscarriage earlier in the season, the pregnant Libby Masters — Dr. Bill Masters’ wife — ended the season going into early labor. We know that the baby made it through, but when the season ended Bill, who was with Virginia at the time, didn’t even know the baby had been born.
  • Dr. DePaul has given Virginia a mission: Lillian DePaul revealed that her cervical cancer — the reason for her quest to make pap smears more common — is terminal. She asked Virginia to make sure her work continues after she’s gone, which may be difficult considering her study has no institutional support and she’s unable to attract patients who are wary of a female gynecologist.
  • Barton may be in danger: Barton Scully, Bill’s boss, had been considering electroshock therapy to cure him of his homosexual desires, even though his wife Margaret thinks he should try another route. Foreshadowing?
  • …But not as much danger as the study is in. After the super racy presentation, Bill was fired from the hospital.

Season two kicks off on July 13.

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