Are Threats Acceptable if Fully Warranted?
Coral’s boyfriend, Robert, pays Libby Masters an ominous visit to discuss Licegate 1958. He threatens her so gently, you don’t even realize it’s a threat at first. Of course Libby acts as if it’s completely unwarranted, and Coral straight-up trolls her when confronted about Robert. Playing dumb at first, Coral tears into a monologue about how Robert loses his temper sometimes, but she can’t leave him when the night comes and he softens up. The tantalizing things Coral says about Robert’s soft hands and whispers between the sheets are enough to inspire Libby to initiate sex — unfulfilling, missionary-style sex — with Bill. Her claim of silent orgasm in that position was the comic highlight of “Giants.”
Libby eventually tells Bill about Robert’s visit, but he sides with Coral — Libby should never have forced her head under the faucet. Frustratingly, Libby turns it into a “you never take my side” fight, instead of merely addressing her racism. When she eventually apologizes to Robert, he tells her it should be directed at Coral. For some reason, Libby blows up, screaming about how Coral disobeyed her. Robert’s response is, essentially, “white people don’t fucking get it.” And Libby’s reaction? To scream at his taillights, “My husband works at the negro hospital.” Robert’s initial low-key warning did not seem like the out of line move here, and I’m sick of Libby trying and failing to understand why she’s racist.
Is Using Someone as Leverage Wrong if It Benefits an Admirable Cause?
Buell Green boss Dr. Andrews launches into a speech that starts with a MLK quote and ends with him demanding that Bill’s patients be integrated as aggressively as possible, despite a dust-up between black and white patients in the waiting room. Virginia smiles and agrees that she has her work cut out for her, later ribbing Bill about attending the next MLK rally in St. Louis. His response is that of a man so selfish, he couldn’t dedicate his time to another’s cause if he wanted: “That isn’t our fight, but if we can help Dr. Andrews’ cause too, all the better.”
In the episode’s closing shot, Andrews is shown tearing down fliers for Masters’ sex study. His motivations for bringing him to Buell Green are political, and while his cause is a necessary one, why must he destroy the study? Andrews talks a big game about being progressive, but could he find the study disgusting? Or is he merely trying to keep Bill focused on his goal of integration? Whatever the case, let’s hope this doesn’t mean another hospital move for Bill.