The Big C Review: Unbroken Joy

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Well, that certainly took awhile. And it also took a very circuitous route.

But The Big C finally got real on "Vaya Con Dios," abandoning anything about anal sex, thruples, phony pregnancies and random bus accidents to focus on what ought to be the heart of the series: Paul and Cathy's marriage. And, this just in...

... it isn't going very well.

No More Joy

It's been evident for a very long time now that this isn't a storybook relationship. The season one separation and multiple affairs made that rather clear.

But even when Paul and Cathy got back together, did anyone really feel the love? She chose chocolate over sex with him a few weeks ago, she was never supportive of his burgeoning career and, as Paul so perfectly said this week, she created a fantasy world in which her husband was dead.


So it may have taken Susan Sarandon getting plowed over for the couple's issues to finally take center stage, but at least they did so in a beautifully-acted scene by Oliver Platt. Paul just laid it all out there for Cathy, essentially calling her selfish (d'uh! She pushed for parents to choose an elderly twosome with heart and cancer issues to raise their baby) and stating in no unequivocal terms:

IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT YOU! And, really, it has been for a very long time.

Even Adam's religious storyline came together a bit here, though it felt a bit forced. We haven't really seen him taking Christianity too seriously this season. We've mostly been seeing him getting it on - unofficially, based on a VERY loose interpretation of the bible - and sitting quietly at bible study.

But apparently something stuck, as Adam came across as relaxed and confident as ever here, sure there was a heaven and sure his mother would end up there. It seemed like a sweet exchange, like maybe Cathy taking a step to get her son back, until Adam said he wanted to live with dad and referred to his mother as "miserable."

We concluded the episode with an inspiring speech from Paul, and also a very telling one. Don't let anyone get in the way of your joy? Spoken as he and Cathy were in different places and she was spotted swimming farther away? I don't see things being fixed between these two any time soon,

And that's okay. That's real life intruding on what's been an inconsisent, way out there season, and that's a positive sign that it's at least all leading to some legitimate family issues as we head toward the finale.


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (10 Votes)

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

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