Before getting sick, Cathy from The Big C never would have referred to herself as a “tough bitch.” But now that she’s sick, she’s even worn a shirt that proclaims it. She’s using her voice, and not shying away from life. And in The Big C season 2 finale, Cathy once again proves that she is a tough bitch by taking on a marathon.

The Big C Review – Crossing the Line

The Issue that is Paul

Through a lot of this episode I was despising Paul. Because Paul is an oaf. He’s selfish and often dumb. He even lies to his wife. And while he was no cocaine addict, you won’t find any jury that would approve of his casual cocaine use. Cathy went to be with a dying friend, Lee. And then Paul gave her grief about it, because it messed up their trip to Italy. Granted, Paul might have been masking anger that Lee would put Cathy in that kind of position.

Towards the end of the episode, we hear that Paul really does have more heart than we thought. His speech about how he doesn’t want to sell his house because when his wife (with terminal cancer) goes, he wants to be living in a house where he can still smell her and see the furniture the way she arranged it. It was a heartbreaking moment of clarity. Even if he doesn’t love Cathy in what she, or the viewer, would persevere as “the right way” he still loves her. And then he goes and dies on us. Although, it’s worth pointing out that just because we saw him with the EMT’s, and Cathy saw him with other dead ghosts – he might bounce back to the world of the living.

Cathy and the Marathon

Deciding to run the marathon in Lee’s honor was nice. But colossally dumb. She hadn’t been training for it. And then it was a record cold? Even a doctor told her not to do it. I went back to the beginning of the episode to re-examine her reasons for wanting to run the marathon. She said it was for three reasons: to test herself, to inspire somebody to do something they didn’t think they could do, and to give her family something to cheer about. Those are admirable reasons. And I do believe there is something to the fact that when you do something you were certain you couldn’t, you gain a new sort of power. And someone with a terminal illness really needs to feel that sense of power and control.

I can’t believe she did it, to be honest. Especially when we saw how her blisters were all bloody. Talk about pain. On the flip side, I’d like to talk about the cuteness that was her going delusional and talking to herself during the marathon. “Why yes, I am running a marathon,” she chuckled to herself as she ran alone. Cathy is endearing. We love her.

Cathy’s Brother, Sean

I love the way these two bicker. He’s alway easing tension with a sarcastic remark. “Are you trying to make a suicide pact with me right now, because that’s not cool.” I especially loved when Cathy was cutting Sean’s hair and she said that seeing Lee die was the best gift he could have given her. This causes Sean to reply that, how great, Lee gave Cathy a gift that no one else can ever top.

Adam and Mia

Adam and Mia are a cute couple. They didn’t get a ton of screen time in the finale, but it established a lot. Mia forgives him, and likes Adam a lot. Adam has grown up, and might be mature enough to be a good boyfriend (and son) now.

Overall Theme of Reknewal

Cathy Jamison heard she had terminal cancer, and it seemed like her life was over. Often, I’ll hear bad news and it’ll feel (dramatically) that my life is over. I think a lot of us do that. But think of how much Cathy’s life has changed since she was diagnosed. It makes me believe in the “it’s never too late” motto. Just when she thought her life was over, a whole new chapter opened up. And it’s not because she resigned to be sick. It’s because she’s fighting. Apathy might work for cats, or impartial therapists, but most of us have to give up on the idea of apathy as a life survival tool. We have to feel and live and kick and make things happen. Even when death is on the doorstep.

I’ve had a wonderful time recapping and reviewing The Big C Season 2, and I hope to see you readers back for The Big C season 3.



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