The first season of Masters of Sex began airing in the United States on September 29, 2013. The series is the television adaptation of Thomas Maier's biography Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love. It stars Michael Sheen as Dr. William Masters and Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson.
The first season takes place in 1956 and 1957.
In 1956, a nationally renowned fertility specialist, William Masters, met a former nightclub singer, Virginia Johnson. Bill proposes a controversial new study on human sexuality but is rejected by the university. He begins the study anyway with his new secretary. The study goes to a brothel, where he meets Betty DiMello, and goes back to the study after blackmailing provost Barton Scully with his homosexuality.
Bill's wife, Libby Masters, wants a child, but Bill cannot tell her that his sperm count will make it impossible to conceive a child. She eventually becomes pregnant through fertility treatments, but suffers from a miscarriage. Despite Bill not wanting to try again, Libby becomes pregnant again and gives birth at the end of the season.
Bill and Virginia begin having sex themselves for research in the study. However, after Bill pays her for her work (as they do to all their subjects), Virginia feels demeaned, and later quits. Bill is unable to cope with Virginia's departure. The presentation of the study at the University turns out to be a disaster, and Bill is fired from Washington University. The season ends with Bill on Virginia's door step saying he can't live without her.
|Picture||#||No.||Title||Original Air Date|
|1||1||Pilot||September 29, 2013|
|In October 1956, Washington University researcher Dr. William "Bill" Masters proposes a controversial study of human sexuality but is rejected by his university. Undaunted, he begins the study anyway and hires Virginia Johnson, a nightclub singer-turned-secretary, as his assistant.|
|2||2||Race to Space||October 6, 2013|
|Virginia has trouble telling Bill that she cannot accept his proposal, but Bill informs her that Scully has cancelled the study because he found out they were monitoring couples having sex.|
|3||3||Standard Deviation||October 13, 2013|
|Bill and Virginia continue working at the brothel but Bill grows increasingly frustrated with the conditions. Betty recruits some men for the study but Bill is nonplussed to learn they are homosexual prostitutes.|
|4||4||Thank You For Coming||October 20, 2013|
|With the study back in the hospital, Bill and Virginia recruit new participants on campus. Virginia has a one-night tryst with her ex-husband, George, who appears at the hospital, having signed up as a study participant.|
|5||5||Catherine||October 27, 2013|
|Bill experiences anxiety about becoming a father. Ethan is worried about dating Barton Scully's daughter, Vivian, but she reassures him that they were meant to be together. Libby suffers a miscarriage.|
|6||6||Brave New World||November 3, 2013|
|In the aftermath of the miscarriage, Libby and Bill vacation in Miami, but Masters is drawn back into his work by a sexually adventurous couple next door. Virginia enlists Jane in an effort to debunk Freud's theory that a vaginal orgasm is more mature one than a clitoral one.|
|7||7||All Together Now||November 10, 2013|
|Virginia tries to find a new secretary. Bill tries to balance the study and his affair with his home life. Austin continues his sexual relationship with Margaret Scully, while Barton Scully is stabbed by a trio of gay-bashing thugs.|
|8||8||Love and Marriage||November 17, 2013|
|Bill and Virginia decide that the best way to record their study findings is to film them, but to do so they have to hire a cameraman.|
|9||9||Involuntary||November 24, 2013|
|Bill and Virginia decide to film external bodily reactions in the study, and hire a filmmaker named Lester to film Jane masturbating. Vivian wants a Christian wedding, and after Ethan reveals he's Jewish, he agrees to convert to Christianity.|
|10||10||Fallout||December 1, 2013|
|A young woman named Flora Banks tells Bill and Virginia that she got pregnant from her participation in the study, and wants to know the identity of the father. Bill and Virginia disagree as to whether to maintain study confidentiality or divulge the father’s identity to Flora.|
|11||11||Phallic Victories||December 8, 2013|
|With Virginia no longer a part of his office, Bill accepts Libby's offer to temporarily serve as his secretary, in order to help him help compile the study work for a hospital-wide presentation. However, in the course of her work, she learns of a file on a couple who had sex in the study 23 times.|
|12||12||Manhigh||December 15, 2013|
|Bill gives the presentation on his and Virginia's research to the hospital, but it does not get the response he had hoped. Jane is shocked to see that the footage of her that she thought was destroyed is used in the presentation.|