The Big C Review: "Taking the Plunge"

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The Big C concluded its first season in such a strong fashion that I wish "Taking the Plunge" had served as a series finale.

While it's already been announced that Showtime has renewed this hit, and while I can't really complain about seeing more of Laura Linney on the small screen next year, this show is an example of a series that may have been better off just telling its full story in one 13-episode run.

Together, At the Hospital

Think about how all the characters evolved by the time this half hour concluded:

Cathy chose to fight her disease, Paul matured enough to be the husband she needed at such a dire time, Sean (mostly) accepted Marlene's house and the responsibilities of being a father, while Adam fully grasped just what was going to happen to his mother.

Combine all this with the ending of Cathy in her dream pool and Marlene dancing the polka and you have an ideal conclusion to this woman's journey.

Throughout its season, The Big C kept viewers detached emotionally from Cathy's disease. Because the woman herself never gave in and really grieved, neither did we, typically sitting back and laughing over the antics of Sean or Paul, or shaking our heads over some of the choices Cathy made.

The show succeeded at making itself a series about cancer that wasn't really about cancer... until the final few moments of this finale. I'm guessing my living room wasn't the only one to fill up with dust when Adam walked into that storage unit and finally understood what all the presents surrounding him meant. When this teen broke down, I did the same.

It was a perfectly played build-up of an emotional climax. That's why I don't really want The Big C to come back. It can't top the way this episode concluded, nor does it need to.

I'll tune in next season, don't get me wrong. But I also would have been perfectly satisfied if this was the way in which the dramedy has chosen to wrap up its journey. How about you? What did you think of this episode and the season in general?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (168 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


For me Taking the Plunge was the perfect end to the story. But I really interpreted that last moment when she dived into the pool as her own paradise, which led me to wonder whether we were meant to believe that she had died? That combined with the garage scene finished me off. I don't know where they can go from here. I don't want it to end up like all those other story lines (Lynette in Desperate Housewives, Kitty in Brothers and Sisters). The ambiguity of Taking the Plunge finished this season brilliantly. I suppose the directors shot themselves in the foot. Well done.


Acabo de ve el episode final, y me mato la escena del Almacen fue muy triste qedo en claro qe cathy murio u.u pero me gusto el final.

Anna maria

wow. this was just amazing.. I have no words..I'm still crying my eyes out from the garage scene


I absolutely love this show. I want it to keep giving us more. Initially, it was supposed to come back in February.....where is it????????


The finale aired here in Australia this week. This show went from mildly amusing and quirky in its first few episodes to seriously moving by the last few. It's not often a show grows so much, and the closing scenes - of Adam in the garage, of Cathy in her pool and Marlene dancing - really were everything you could wish for in a finale.

Saad khan

I Downloaded the whole season and start watching it all together & fall instantly in love with it. I agree with the reviewer and understand why you think it can be final moments of the series, but one thing is also true that we want to see these characters come into our lives again... no one knows how the next season will turn out to be but still we can hope for the best plus I wish Laura Linney sweeps all the Award 2011.
Adam's storage scene was Indeed the best Moment of the Big C and One of the best emotional moments of television history. you just won't be able to control your tears they just keep coming...


this last episode was so touching, and i think we all know that last scene in the storage unit where lullaby by Sia started playing gave viewers a chill down their spines, but when such a beautiful finale like this occurs you do not want the show to continue. This episode had perfect closure, but the one way this episode would have become over the tops amazing as a series finale and would have called attention to the Big C would be Kathy's death. I thought the perfect foreshadowing occurred when she said she had a chance of dying on the operating table, and that should have occurred. As a finale goodbye when she saw Marlene in what could have been the afterlife, Marlene should have been dancing with her husband. I'm worried that this series might turn into weeds where after a great finale the show goes into a continuous upset of its former glory.


I, too, think the finale was a good ending for a great series. It so captures the reality that death often comes suddenly, leaving us with unresolved questions and unsettled issues. I accept that Kathy has died, and if the series does come back, the writers should depict scenes from her life in flashback, as the men in her life reflect back on their relationship with her, as they begin to come to terms with the regret they should be feeling. Coping with grief is an issue for all of us at some point in our lives, and failing to process it properly causes all kinds of "drama." So, Kathy is gone and we're all left behind to carry on. THAT will be the makings of a great new season.


This was my favorite show and never missed an episode. How dare they end this way. Did she die, is she dreaming, is she hallucinating????? Now I hear the show is coming back - back to what? Am I missing something here? Somebody tell me she's still alive and is fighting this horrible desease. I cannot wait until the show comes back; I'll be counting the days.


i BAWLED my eyes out at the end of this episode. can't wait for the show to come back next season!

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