THE BIG C “Taking the Plunge” (Season Finale) Advance Review


THE BIG C “Taking the Plunge” Season 1 Episode 13 (Season Finale) – Cathy deals with the fallout from Marlene’s death and evaluates treatment options in the “Taking the Plunge” season finale of THE BIG C. I was lucky enough to watch this episode early and it’s a strong, emotional finish to the season.

So, Marlene’s suicide in “Everything that Rises must Coverge” just about ripped my heart out. Almost up until Paul left Marlene’s house without taking Chekov’s gun, I thought Marlene and Thomas would be moving into Cathy’s house, but hearing Marlene’s broken apology, I knew what was coming and I wanted to hide my screener DVD in the freezer. Marlene was my favorite character and I will miss her terribly. I realize her purpose of being the only person who knew about Cathy’s condition and could offer sage advice is now gone, but I can’t help but feel like her journey was unfinished. That said, “Taking the Plunge” puts her death into more context, and she is both honored and used to move action forward for more than one character.

Paul and Cathy have vastly different initial reactions to Marlene’s death and Cathy’s treatment options. They make a much better couple than I expected and I like watching them try to figure things out, while throwing Dr. Todd into the mix is a bonus. Cathy has been a complicated, occasionally unlikable character all season, but we get some fresh insight into what she had been doing earlier in the season and she makes me cheer at one point. Laura Linney’s performance, as always, is the heart of the show and she has some great material here.

With his parents back together, Adam begins to revert back to his sullen teenage persona, while Sean is forced to face some of his issues and make a decision. While Sean has mostly been comic relief so far, I hope the writers explore his emotional instability next season.

Random Notes: I wish Marlene’s daughters were a bit less cardboard cutout; I’m not sure I’ve ever grown to like a character I first almost despised as much as I now like Paul (admittedly part of it is that I have always loved Oliver Platt), and I’m completely in love with Sia’s “Lullaby,” the song that plays over the ending montage. Not only is it gorgeous with fitting lyrics, but it ebbs and flows perfectly with the action on screen.

Talking to people, I’ve realized that I enjoy The Big C more than most, but I hope viewers have stuck it out because this is a very strong finale that puts the rest of the season in a new perspective. Some loose ends are tied up, new storylines are introduced, and for the second time in two weeks, the darn show makes me weep.

After you’ve watched the season finale of The Big C on Showtime tonight at 10:30pm, I hope you’ll come back and post your thoughts. What did you think of the first season? Did you love it, hate it, or are you somewhere in the middle? Where do you think the show will take us next season?

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