Masters of Sex‘s Virginia Johnson and Bill Masters have always been very forthright and non-judgmental about sex. And in Season 4, portrayer Lizzy Caplan says, the world is finally going to catch up to them.
“Now we’re in the swinging ’60s, and everybody is f–king everybody,” Caplan joked during a Television Critics Association panel Thursday. “All of a sudden, the world is reflecting a lot of the stuff these two people were doing behind closed doors.”
Caplan and co-star Michael Sheen, as well as showrunner Michelle Ashford, previewed that both halves of the series’ central couple are not in good places when the Showtime drama returns on Sunday, Sept. 11 (10/9c).
Picking up “pretty much” where the Season 3 finale left off, Sheen says, Bill “got to a point at the end of the last season where he’d lost his marriage, he’d lost the woman he loves, it looks like maybe he’s lost his job and his career.” Also, “he’s being accused of pedophilia and prostitution. That’s a pretty low point for a man, but strangely, there’s liberation in that, as well.”
Hitting rock bottom “starts to loosen certain things up in him,” Sheen previewed. “He comes back, having had his 40 days in the wilderness, and has maybe a new outlook on things.” (Also? “Bill smokes pot,” Sheen proudly announced, and this season will incorporate historical events like the 1968 feminist protest at the Miss America pageant.)
Meanwhile, Virginia and Dan’s plans to marry won’t come to fruition, Caplan says. “Because our show is based on real people, we know the endgame. And the endgame is not that Virginia runs off with Dan Logan.”
Ashford, Caplan and Sheen hinted that the season would be one of rebuilding the “bridges burned between” Masters and Johnson; Caplan added that “the most interesting stuff to play has been realizing that all these men that have loved Virginia. Men tend to become very obsessed with Virginia, they tend to fixate on one part of who she is. There’s sonly one man who knows Virginia in her entirety and still feels a great deal of love for her, and that is Bill.”