THE BIG C “There’s No C in Team” Review

THE BIG C (Showtime)--"There's No C in Team"

Cathy visits a cancer support group, but finds real comfort from an unexpected source in the “There’s No C in Team” episode of THE BIG C. Cathy’s loneliness fills the episode as she rides alone on a tandem bike and has a dinner party for her people: her brother, his aura-reading girlfriend, Adam, and Andrea. On the flip side, Cathy also tries to keep both Paul and Marlene’s dog Thomas out of her house.

While not telling her loved ones she have cancer might very well be freeing, it’s also leaving Cathy very alone. She tries to counteract that by joining a support group that turns out to be filled with stalkers who hunt Cathy down to “care about her” and who seem to view cancer as a sort of gift. I’ve never been to a cancer group, but this seems a little harsh and more than a little creepy and it’s a sour note in an otherwise great episode.

Thomas is underfoot every time Cathy turns around, until finally she accidentally hits him with her car. At the vet’s office, Marlene asks Cathy what kind of cancer she has. Just like that, Cathy’s a little less alone. Nice fake-out, too because I thought Daphne, who recognizes a sick person`s aura (and she so knows), would say something first. Marlene, who watched her husband die, is the one who will best understand. “I`m sorry. Cancer is a motherf@#ker.” Got that right.

Paul really is a flip-flopping mess of a man, who needs Cathy to roll him over so he doesn’t die from apnea in his sleep. Too bad he couldn’t really give any convincing examples of how Cathy needs him. Also, why couldn’t he have done the romantic beach thing outside? I find him increasingly irritating because it is All. About. Him. Endlessly about him. His therapist, his wife, his needs, his personality.

Andrea takes on Adam and wins–again. This time Cathy’s enforcer gets him to eat dinner so she’s not alone with all the people who are “old and freaking her the f@#k out.” I love all the interaction between Cathy and Andrea. “I’m not trying to save you, Andrea. I just don’t want you to drop dead before you graduate. “Way to dream small, Mrs. Jamison.” Nice Blind Side shout-out,. Andrea also has her first epic fail of an encounter with Marlene. I`m glad to hear Marlene later tell Cathy she doesn`t hate black people–she just needs to get angry sometimes, and I love Andrea`s baffled “What did you call me?”

Sean is the other comic relief. Love the chair pushing and the so normal brother-sister fighting. “You don’t bathe and yet you have a lady?” and “Holy Americana” are probably my favorite of their insults. Love Cathy giving him the tandem bike, too.

This is the most bittersweet episode of The Big C yet. Cathy is heartbreakingly alone even in the middle of her dinner party and it’s such a relief when Marlene confronts her. You can see the tension drain from Cathy’s face–Laura Linney’s expressions throughout are perfection. There’s plenty of humor, but the sadness is closer to the surface and it works well.

What did you think of “There’s No C in Team?” Did the cancer support group part feel off to anyone else?

Follow me on Twitter @michstjame