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+.

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