From the moment The Big C hit the air, I was all in. If you’ve ever dealt with someone who suffered from cancer, or more than one person to find out how differently each person reacts to the situation, then you get what The Big C has been trying to accomplish. Pretty much that everyone deals with the situation in a way that suits them and there are no rules. When someone tells you death is knocking on your door, all bets are off.
Running into your oncologist in the chemotherapy chair next to you and learning he, too, has cancer is really the ultimate irony. If he can’t save himself, how can he save you? Because we’re all heading to the same place. The one surety of life – death.
Throughout the first three seasons of The Big C, Cathy has done some crazy ass things and she doesn’t fail us in the premiere of the shortened season that, judging on the full name of the series this season, will lead to her death by the fourth hour. I was happy to learn the ashes that were being tossed into the back yard weren’t Cathy’s, but belonged to Marlene’s dog, Thomas. Marlene, who has been showing up to Cathy since shortly after she killed herself, was there and happy to have her beloved Thomas back at her side.
At the end of Season 3, we all thought Cathy had nearly drowned and been rescued by an islander named Angel and was drifting at sea. That I didn’t see the man who saved her was an angel is a bit of a disappointment, as I’m fairly perceptive when it comes to those things. Cathy saw him many times this week. Does it mean death is getting closer? Even she asks, is he really the angel of death? She doesn’t fail to mention he’s rather hot, married and has kids. God, I love Cathy Jamison.
It’s hard to believe Adam was only turning 16. Cathy’s one big wish is to make it to his graduation, but I don’t think that’s gong to happen. She wanted to badly to make it a birthday he would always remember. She put together so many absurd things for his Sweet 16, including ice skating and a bouncy house. Nothing a boy, especially one like Adam, would want to do, but everything he would do to see his mother smile.
Adam has come a long way since he first found out Cathy had cancer. He’s no longer the brat afraid of losing his mother, but the caring son afraid of pushing her too far too fast. He’s not ready to lose her, and even though he ‘s holding out a false hope that treatment might help, inside he knows it’s a long shot.
Cathy did a lot of quitting in “Quality of Life.” She quit her job and took over the school intercom to give an inspirational speech to the students she was leaving behind. — Don’t make choices because your parents want you to, but make them because you are passionate about them. Finish things you start. Spend time with the people you love. Don’t be afraid. — She made those students she loved laugh on her way out and there’s nothing she would have wanted more than that. I wish she could have seen their faces as she was delivering her motivational goodbye.
I understood why Cathy chose to stop her chemo, as well. Especially since its’ her desire to really live before she dies. When my dad died, the treatment tore him to pieces. He loved beer more than anything, and on our last Christmas together, I can remember buying him a special beer just so he could savor it and enjoy. But he couldn’t taste it. If I had him back, I’d tell him to stop the fight and live. Enjoy the time he had left.
Cathy crapping herself in the bouncy house was the ultimate humiliation. She was having the best time and in one second it was ruined. She and Sean were laughing and having the time of the end of her life. To save her from further embarrassment, Adam cancelled the party and the two of them went over to the storage shed he found in season one full of gifts for the rest of his life. They opened them together and had the best birthday he had ever had. For sure, it will be the best he’ll ever remember.
I’m not looking forward to the next three episodes of The Big C. I can’t wait for them, but I don’t want them to come because I know the end has to bring Cathy’s death. To end the series any other way would be a ripoff. Paul already died and came back to life at the beginning of season 3, so we’re not going there again. Part of me is wondering if Cathy might already be dead, and she’s dreaming all of this, degrading moments included, to give the end of her life closure.
Three more hours of the lovely Laura Linney as Cathy Jamison, Oliver Platt as Paul, and Adam, Andrea and Sean to bring laughter and tears through death and dying. And, yes, for some of us, our families really do deal with the awkward, emotional and horrid situations through sarcasm and laughter. Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime.