TV Club: Masters Of Sex: “Surrogacy”

It’s odd that Bill’s storyline this week, in which he makes a unilateral decision to launch a therapeutic sex surrogacy program, never offers a strong sense of Virginia’s objections to the new venture. Bill and Virginia discussed the topic of surrogates in “Monkey Business,” but glancingly so, and in tonight’s episode her concerns are represented only by Betty’s indistinct reminder that Virginia’s not gonna like this. This elision works out, though. By eschewing the usual Masters vs. Johnson ethical debates, Masters Of Sex gives itself more time to directly explore the phenomenon of surrogacy, with varied but sometimes insightful results.

Masters recruits surrogates because he believes in the power of a stand-in—someone who can play the role of a partner without the baggage that a “real” companion would bring. The theory is that a surrogate allows self-exploration without obligation. Accordingly, this week the …

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