Tonight’s episode of The Big C didn’t do much for me, as it contained my least-favorite overly-used plot devices the show offers: Cathy’s unbelievably out of touch with what her teen son's taste, Sean’s character is all over the place and Cathy once again almost tells everyone the truth…but doesn’t. I often feel on the fence about whether I’d keep watching this show if I wasn’t covering it and tonight’s was an episode that makes me think maybe not.
Cathy’s back from the Bahamas (it would have been nice to see her on the trip, but we just see her tan) and Paul’s too upset with her to be civil to her, even after she congratulates him on his promotion at work.
At Dr. Miller’s, Cathy agrees to sign up for a clinical trial and teases him about proposing to his girlfriend. She tells him that she and Paul are separated and he gets all huffy about it, saying Paul’s a bastard for bailing when things got rough. This seemed rather unbelievable to me: these type of split-ups must be fairly common, and who knows exactly what goes on in these scenarios? Obviously most doctors aren’t as emotionally involved as Miller but his knee-jerk chivalry was a bit much.
At home, where Adam’s cutting Sean’s hair, Cathy brings a copy of Xanadu to watch with her son (doesn’t she work with teenagers? Does she have any idea what they like?) but he wants to head out to a party, and she lets him, after he lies to her about adults being present and offers her some chocolate mousse he made. Marlene stops by and Sean offers to set her up with an old gentleman friend of his.
Dr. Miller calls and lets Cathy know she can’t participate in the clinical trial, so, in a funk, she asks Lenny to come over so they to take some Ecstasy that she found in her classroom. I don't blame Cathy for being paranoid about her first time taking the drug but again, she works in a high school, you'd think she wouldn't be afraid of dancing herself to death.
Predictably, there are no parents chaperoning Adam's party. He bumps into Andrea and tries to fist-bump her but she’s not doing it so he awkwardly pats her on the arm (there’s a little too much fist-bumping on this show anyway). Turns out there’s a girl at the party who’s so drunk she’ll sleep with anyone and Adam’s friends offer him a turn but he declines. They tease him about being a virgin and Andrea tries to rescue him by saying “He’s no virgin. Trust me.” His friends accuse him of sleeping with Andrea and Adam hastily denies it, and she’s pissed.
Paul stops by the house to get some clothes for his celebratory dinner and sees Cathy and Lenny having sex on the patio. Also about to get it on are Marlene and Earl, the guy Sean sets her up with. At dinner at a diner, Earl is astoundingly frank and dirty, and Sean is astoundingly prudish about it all—but wasn’t he the guy who grabbed Marlene’s ass the first time they hung out? Marlene asks him not to cock-block her. Slang!!
At dinner, Paul gets tanked and rails against marriage and tells the whole dinner table that he caught Cathy having sex with a black guy. He and his drinking problem leave.
Adam tries calling Cathy to come get him from the party but she’s busy with Lenny, so Paul drunk-drives over and proposes that Adam drive home. Predictably, Adam ends up in the hospital with minor injuries and Cathy comes to her senses and heads to the hospital, once again telling Lenny that she can’t do “this,” because she’s a mom and he wouldn’t understand. Rude.
At the hospital, Paul tells Cathy that he saw her with Lenny. As Cathy and Adam apologize to each other, Paul runs into Dr. Miller, who gets extra unprofessional and tells Paul he think it’s shitty that he moved out of the house, and Paul tells the doctor he doesn’t know what’s going on with Cathy. Dr. Miller calls out Cathy, who says that telling Paul about her cancer won’t make her happy. “How do you know?” he asks.
So Cathy finds Paul and says “Paul…” but before she can say anything, he says “I want a divorce,” stands up and walks out. She doesn’t go after him to say "But I have cancer!" or anything, though.
—So Cathy was with Lenny in the Bahamas: he never saw any of her scars and asked any questions?
—”I can’t eat dinner with my cold Fresca.” I know how you feel, Marlene.
—”I had 5 of them, so that’s 150 years of drinks.”