Langham Catches Bill and Virginia
It was bound to happen. Bill and Virginia’s non-affair was always going to be caught, especially since their efforts to hide it were shallow at best. But who could have predicted that Dr. Langham, the resident horn-dog, would be the one to uncover what was happening, even if it was only part of the truth. He handles it as well as you’d expect. First, he goes to Virginia to subtly point out what he saw, but he doesn’t get the dirty details that he’s looking for. She masterfully lies on the spot without so much as a furrowed brow about working on the study (technically true) in the hotel because their respective hospitals aren’t hospitable and their homes have children.
So Langham goes elsewhere to get his gossip fix. He goes to Dr. DePaul, assuming that she already knows, to giggle about the fact that he was right all along about the reason behind the strange relationship between doctor and secretary. This information devastates Lillian, presumably because it’s a secret her best friend didn’t share, not because she respects Virginia any less.
Lastly, Langham heads to Bill’s house and discusses the affair with Libby a few feet away. The scene is even framed with Libby visible from the window behind them. Langham tells Bill that he tried to fight his permanent wandering eye, but it proved futile. He wanted to be like Bill. “Why can’t I be more like Bill? Then I realized I’d been punishing myself for no reason. You and me are the same. Two men trying our best. How about that? I’m not better or worse than Bill Masters.”
His little speech has the exact opposite effect on Bill. Who would want to be compared to a man like Langham? It leaves Bill to contemplate whether his non-affair with Virginia is worth losing his wife and child over. History says yes, but it’s good to know that it’s not an easy decision.
The Coral v Libby Faceoff Continues
Remember in season 1 when Libby was likeable? Apparently pregnancy allowed some sort of demon to take over her body and now she’s a monster. It’s not really surprising that she’s lashing out at the most innocent person around her, since her husband hasn’t bonded with her band aid baby and she’s left alone most of the time. But it’s still so difficult to watch the once sweet natured character turn into a mess.
When Libby has some of her friends over, one of them asks Coral why she’s so good with children. As she begins to answer, Libby stops her and says nobody wants to hear her life story. “She axed,” Coral says deliberately in the most cheer-worthy moment of the episode. The ask/axe debacle from their last on screen interaction has spilled over to “Dirty Jobs” and allows for the perfect moment for defiance on Coral’s part.
Unfortunately the demon formerly known as Libby takes her revenge on Coral when it’s discovered that Johnny has lice. Libby is certain that Coral must be responsible and tries to get Coral to use lice shampoo. Coral comes into work the next day with her hair the same as ever, which pisses off the monster residing in Libby’s body. Coral is certain that black people don’t get lice and Bill backs her up. Coral works hard to afford her weekly $4 hair appointment and doesn’t want to mess it up just because Libby is an insecure wreck. Libby’s response is to force Coral into shampooing her hair with the threat of her losing her job. Libby hands her a $5 bill at the end of it like the perfect little abuser she’s become.
The Virginia and Lillian Rift
Like a stab to the heart, the partnership between Lillian and Virginia has seen its first major blow. It begins with Lillian shows around a former teacher of hers during med school, in order to impress him with her pap smear program. She’s still having difficulty with her words, so Virginia is there to pick things up without missing a beat. Virginia later confronts the doctor with nothing but praise for Lillian. He claims not to remember her at all, but is glad she thought of him as a mentor. Virginia sets him straight: “No I didn’t say mentor. And neither did Dr. DePaul. She said she never had a mentor since mentors, I believe, were reserved for the male students.”
They’re the perfect partnership, bound by mutual respect, so of course it was going to crash and burn eventually. Langham’s revelation that Virginia has been secretly seeing Bill wounds Lillian. She has shared every part of her life with her secretary, from her program to her battle with cancer. She even gives Virginia an opportunity to open up, but she doesn’t take it. In return, Lillian gives over the study to a different doctor and hospital, knowing full well that she’ll never be a significant part of it ever again.
Sometimes it can be tough to root for Bill and Virginia as a pair or individuals, but the Lillian and Virginia pairing has always been a bright spot on the series. It’s heartbreaking to see it break apart in favor for Virginia and Bill reuniting as colleagues.
Betty’s charade has finally come to an end. She reveals to Gene that she’s infertile. But the best part comes later when the newlyweds are having dinner. He’s cold with her, as she expected, but she’s not going to let their relationship end over this. She never wanted to destroy his image of her as the good Christian girl. “I never thought you were the good Christian girl. I just thought you were the love of my life.” He divulges that they didn’t meet in church as she originally thought. He, having had problems talking to girls, was a client of hers from years back. (Not a memorable one, apparently.) When he saw her in church, he believed it was fate. It’s a shocking twist in what could have been a predictable storyline. Gee, hopefully these two crazy kids can work it out.
Bill Deals With Dirty Pervs
From the moment Bill took the job from Dr. Greathouse, it was clear that he wasn’t interested in the medical implications of the sex study. In “Dirty Jobs” he proves to not only be extremely unprofessional, but also a huge pervert. Despite Bill’s claim that the study would just be old men masturbating, Greathouse shows up to watch. Bill does his best to deter him from showing up, including a hilarious scene where Bill heavily implies that watching women masturbate could turn him gay. (“You mean like in wrestling.”) When Bill finds Greathouse and a few other Dr. Perverts have come to violate the confidentiality of his subjects, he gets violent and gives Greathouse the punch in the face he so rightly deserves.
Bill gets fired, but he’s in a new hospital by the end of the episode. This time he’s working for an all-black hospital, which will likely not have great funding, but may put up with more in order to have a prestigious doctor like Bill Masters on their roster.