“Masters of Sex” fans are meeting plenty of new characters this season, but one familiar face returned: Betty, the prostitute from the first three episodes of the series, came back to Dr. Masters’ office. Betty isn’t going to have the easiest season, and her portrayer Annaleigh Ashford revealed that Betty is keeping a lot of secrets.
“The first couple of episodes shed light on the mountains of secrets that Betty has hidden away from her husband,” Ashford told the Wire. “Dramatically that’s interesting because you can only keep so many secrets for so long, and she has so many from her past life.”
Fans remember that Betty left “Masters of Sex” last season after a rich man, Gene, proposed to her without knowing that she was a prostitute. Betty ignored the fact that she was a lesbian in love with another woman and married Gene. She is trying to have children with him, but she and Dr. Masters both know that Betty is infertile.
Ashford said that Betty would continue to blackmail Dr. Masters for fertility treatments, but she doesn’t actually hold that much over his head. The hospital already has her husband’s check, which was what Bill needed. “In some ways occasionally I feel like Dr. Masters treats Betty as one of the boys instead of a woman in his life,” Ashford said. “Because she’s absolutely no threat to him on any level, and the only way that she can threaten him is not giving him what he needs in the study in the first season. And in the second season, I don’t want to give anything away, the relationship between Betty and Dr. Masters grows.”
Recently, Betty’s story started to extend past just her interactions with Bill. In the second episode of Season 2, Betty spoke to Rose, one of Masters’ patients. She revealed to Rose that she had an abusive childhood and ended up stabbing her mother in the eye with a high heel. “It’s part of [Betty’s] history and to share it with this young girl, the objective of the scene was to comfort her,” Ashford explained. “So even though I’m saying such intensely graphic things to her about my past, which are extremely abusive and explosive, my intent in that is to share with her that there’s a silver lining in this relationship that she has with her mother and that there’s a future for her and that she is loved and that there is nothing wrong with her.”
Betty’s past isn’t just something she occasionally recalls, though. As previously reported, Betty’s ex-lover Helen is supposed to show up this season. Helen is not thrilled that Betty is married to a man. “It’s interesting to watch a strong woman give up that strength and give up her life for a man because she knows that’s the only way she can progress on the social ladder," Ashford said.
Ashford didn’t specifically comment on Helen’s return, but the scorned lover likely won’t make Betty’s life easier ... especially since Helen doesn't find anything wrong with being a lesbian. It looks like Betty’s secrets are just going to keep coming out over the course of Season 2, and viewers have to wonder: When will her husband overhear these secrets?
“Masters of Sex” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EDT on Showtime.