The good thing about tonight’s episode of The Big C was that something big finally happened. The bad thing is that once it happened, I realized don’t really have much to say about the rest of the episode in comparison, as in retrospect it mostly seemed like filler to get us up until the finale scene.
Maybe it all happened because of Marlene: in the beginning of the episode, Cathy’s hanging out with her looking at paint samples, and after Cathy tells her that she’s having an affair, Marlene gives her an unexpected smack in the face and says “Just because you have cancer doesn’t give you the right to be a destructive bitch,” and tells her to get her head out of her ass.
For some reason Rebecca’s still in town, and Cathy finds her on her porch when she returns home, saying that she wants to catch up and be friends again, despite Cathy’s problems with Rebecca sleeping with Sean. Cathy, head still not out of her ass, apparently, wants the friendship to be over.
Cathy’s still holding a grudge against Rebecca and Andrea’s still holding a grudge against Cathy. Andrea tells Cathy she’s going to drop out of her class and doesn’t seem to care about not graduating, and when Cathy tries to claim she knows that life can be rough, Andrea drops some bullshit about growing up in the ghetto with a drug addict mom and a dead dad. I knew this was lies when she was saying it, didn’t you? Everyone in this show lies, a lot, for stupid frustrating reasons.
Cathy still can’t let Andrea go so she tracks her down at home: surprise surprise, she lives in a nice house with living, kindly, caring, stable parents who tell Cathy Andrea speaks highly of her. Cathy goes and tracks Andrea down at choir practice. The white people on this show seem to lack a certain filter when it comes to issues of race, don’t they? Cathy whispers to a woman in the row in front of her, after complimenting her hat, “I’ve always wondered why black women wear these beautiful hats to church.” Ask her to take it off and if you can touch her hair, while you’re at it. Andrea confronts Cathy after practice and Cathy realizes that the reason Andrea hates her is because she’s jealous of Cathy being with Lenny.
Remember how Sean was so touchy about Marlene and Earl talking about sex? And how he found it so icky that Cathy was having an affair with Lenny? Well that didn’t stop him tracking down Cathy at work (is there no security at this school?) to tell her how much he resents Cathy trying to mend her relationship with Rebecca since that means Rebecca’s not having sex with him.
Cathy heads back to church to hear a sermon on do-overs, leading a life free of lies and hypocrisy, so she stands up and asks the congregation to pray for her, admitting that she cheated on her husband and then essentially apologizes directly to Andrea, telling her that she is important to her. Good old Cathy who was such a tightwad before and couldn’t stand to hear her son swear says “I turned my life into a complete fucking mess…I didn’t mean to say fucking!” Gasp and double gasp! Andrea forgives Cathy. The Jamisons are not done making amends, though! Cathy and Rebecca make up, and at school, Adam apologizes to Andrea, who makes him lick her locker. For a moment I assumed she was going to have him perform a sex act to her in public to prove he’s sorry—is that weird?
Finally, Cathy brings an olive branch (or jar of olives) to Paul. “I wanted to tell you something for a long time but I wasn’t ready,” she begins, and I wrote down in my notes, “Tina’s about to show up.” Of course she did, but for the first freaking time ever in this show Cathy didn’t just storm off and press her lips together, even though Paul meanly says “I fucked her, Cathy, multiple times, in fact.”
Instead Cathy says “I have cancer.” And for the first time in many episodes I was curious to see what happens next. If this was all a dream or she says she’s just kidding I’m going to punch someone.
—Oliver Platt plays such a turd on this show but still somehow makes him endearing. I liked the way he stared at Tina while she complained about her cat’s leukemia, and the way he said “I’m a tit man!”
—“I hope your sister doesn’t mind that I used her razor.” Ew.