THE BIG C “The Cancer Car” Review

THE BIG C (Showtime)--"The Cancer Car"

Cathy cashes out her 401k and buys a fully loaded–and to her dismay, stick shift–convertible in the “Playing the Cancer Car” episode of THE BIG C. She throws around a lot of cash this episode, but it doesn’t buy her any peace; that comes from a day with Dr. Miller. Adam’s attempted shoplifting may actually help bring both him and Marlene some peace, and Paul finds his version of peace on–and potentially off–the rugby field.

Cathy’s behavior is getting more erratic. After flashing cash all over the place, she dines and dashes after an appointment/fake date with Dr. Miller. She gets a little too hilariously into the fantasy when she invites herself on his appointment to see a house, but Dr. Miller surprisingly plays along, later admitting he feels bad he has more of a future than she does. “There’s something wrong with you,” says the 401k counselor after Cathy takes bite of his cinnamon roll, and Cathy agrees. Too bad her family hasn’t noticed. Laura Linney does a terrific job keeping the antics wistfully whimsical rather than out of control crazy. It’s a fine line, but she walks it perfectly and I love how Cathy tells Dr. Miller she had a great day.

Marlene steps up and helps both Adam and an unkowing Cathy when Adam gets busted for shoplifting. While Cathy spends a lot of time talking about how much she loves Adam and how she’s worried about him, she doesn’t seem to spend all that much actual time with him. Ditto for Paul, so it’s nice to see someone give Adam the kick in the pants he so desperately needs.

Sean and Cathy are quickly becoming my favorite brother-sister duo. “Oh my sweet Satan, is this weapon yours?” Sean spends most of the episode trying to get an infected tooth out of his mouth because dentists make him righteously indignant (a.k.a. scared). When Adam tries and fails, causing even more pain and making me cringe, Sean screams, “I begged your parents not to get you circumcised, but now I wish I had done it myself.” Ha! Classic moment when he finally gets Paul to punch the tooth out. “You turned my vibrant, quirky sister into a miserably dull, lifeless zombie. You’re a half-assed husband, a poor excuse for a father.” Fair statement or is that part of the 68% Sean didn’t mean? Is it me or does Paul seem more likeable this episode?

Speaking of which, Paul seems to be ready for some action with Tina the “rugby slut.” As he says to Cathy, “You can’t kick me out of the house and tell me what to do.” How will Cathy feel if he sleeps with her? Should it matter?

Water is quite the symbol of comfort and healing on The Big C and this episode Cathy floats in the pool at the house Dr. Miller might buy and walks slowly home in the rain after parking her convertible. Even Marlene gets in on the action with her huge fish tank. As Cathy says when talking about floating, “That would be nice, wouldn’t it, for time to stand still?” Life is now just a series of moments for her and she wants to freeze any she can.

Cathy`s vulnerabilities and fears are showing more and more in the quiet moments and “Playing the Cancer Car” has a lot of those quiet moments in the middle of the crazy and the funny and I like how The Big C is finding more for the characters to do and switching them up a little bit.

What did you think of the episode? If you found out you had terminal cancer, would you buy something big and frivolous?

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