The Big C: Deep Blue Something

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jun 11, 2012

The Big C S03E09: “Vaya con Dios”

Despite Joy’s death last week at the whims of the karma bus, Paul and his entire excessive entourage still made their way to Puerto Rico for his talk. In the wake of Joy’s death, he was bumped up to the headliner position and he was definitely starting to crack under the pressure of being “sloppy seconds.” I can say with absolute certainty that Paul Jameson was, in fact, being a dick.

Meanwhile, Cathy signed up for diving lessons with Sean. I thought that her lack of remorse over Joy’s death was a little bit disturbing. Last week, I talked about how Joy’s justification for cheating with Paul was all kinds of misguided, messed up, and wrong. Cathy being a downer about her cancer, even her selfish whims and general not-fun-to-be-around personality did not, in any way, make it okay for Paul to cheat on her, or for any woman to take it upon herself to initiate that cheating. But on that note, Cathy’s mood upon arrival in Puerto Rico had an air of victory about it that was equally wrong. I mean, the Joy tried to sleep with Cathy's husband. She didn’t murder anyone. Celebrating her death was a bit much and it made Cathy look like she had the maturity level of a twelve-year-old.

Of course, no one overkilled like Paul overkilled. He just took that giant overkill cake and ran with it, high up in a tree, to devour it all by his sad sack self, possibly sharing it with his life-size Joy cutout. Appalled to see Joy’s smiling face sticking out of a rank dumpster, he rescued her cardboard counterpart and taped her up good as new, then proceeded to get brilliantly drunk with her because that’s not creepy or anything.

But hey, at least Cathy and Paul finally had an honest and frank discussion about the state of their union, right? It was coming. It was clearly going to go down in Puerto Rico with Paul calling himself “Pablo” and hinting at knowing about “Alexis” every twenty seconds. Oh, and the fact that we only have one more episode after “Vaya con Dios” to wrap things up.

Paul argued that he knew Joy a lot better than he knows Cathy these days. He confronted her about her other life as the Widow Alexis and simply couldn’t wrap his head around her building a fantasy world in which he was dead. I mean, that was pretty cold, Cathy. “I have let you have every irrational reaction you’ve had over the past year,” Paul said, and frankly, it’s true. Paul has put up with a lot of crazy. He by no means has been a perfect partner himself, but it’s like Cathy just took her diagnosis and ran with it as a sort of blanket excuse to do whatever she wanted to do at any time, consequences to others be damned.

“I don’t know that I can do this for another forty years.” Paul concluded and got his own hotel room, leaving Cathy to drink rum with the creepy Joy cutout. Cathy didn’t even seem particularly bothered by his departure. It started to sink in later, when she wandered around the streets of San Juan, observing the happy couples smooching on every corner, and it seemed to propel her toward making amends with Adam for real, joining him in a church and actually listening to him when he explained his recent head-first dive into Christianity.

Cathy point-blank asked Adam if he REALLY believed in heaven, and he said that he did. He REALLY believed in it, because it meant he would see her again in the future and it made her being sick “okay.” Adam is really awesome when he isn’t being a self-righteous bag of snot. I thought that the church talk might have been the turning point with Adam and Cathy that we’ve been waiting for, but after Cathy spilled the beans about probably separating from Paul (again), Adam told Cathy that he wanted to live with his dad.

I think there was some progress in that conversation...if you squint really hard.

Upping the awkward factor, Paul and his cardboard true love ended up in the room that would have been Joy’s had she not been hit by that bus back in Minnesota. While he penned the perfect speech under the creepily watchful eye of cardboard Joy, Cathy received what was undoubtedly a bad phone call from Dr. Sherman, judging by the way she reached for the cigarettes with all the fervor of a prisoner condemned to death after hanging up. She resolved to complete the scuba dive she had set out to do earlier, only to be sidelined by an anxiety attack as soon as she went underwater.

The dive was initially successful, but when Sean, her diving buddy, got distracted by a nice ass in a bikini, Cathy took the opportunity to split from the group, swimming into the dark unknown as Paul’s speech became a rallying success, a tribute to the departed Joy, whom he credited with truly bringing him back to life after his heart attack.

The phrase “Vaya con dios” means “go with God” in Spanish and is used as a goodbye and a blessing, not to mention a Keanu Reeves catchphrase. Considering Cathy’s upsetting phone call and her decision to swim away from the safety of the other divers, what are your thoughts going into next week’s finale? Do you think Cathy swam away on purpose? What are you hoping to see as Season 3 concludes?

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  • RachelWells Jun 18, 2012

    I hope the show ends tonight.. it has 'run' it's course. Linney is amazing, the cast as well, but the story really only has one ending.

  • piranhapete Jun 12, 2012

    I really hope Cathy makes things right with her family. That b**** can do whatever she puts her mind to. I just wish she wouldn't throw in the towel. I'm really curious as to what they could possibly have in store for us next week....

  • piranhapete Jun 12, 2012

    PS: Just in my humble opinion, you're spending way too much time tossing out judgments on who's right and who's wrong in the situation. Life is messy! It just seems weird to me that shows like Breaking Bad can be lauded just because they're characters are TOTALLY evil, while shows like this get bashed when characters get *pretty* bad. It's not like the showrunners ever support the characters' bad decisions. They just let things happen as they happen and let life continue.

  • sixfeetunder22 Jun 12, 2012

    This weeks episode made me realize that if the Big C isn't renewed for a 4th season, I will be a little upset. This season has been a downgrade in quality and writing but I think that with where the show showed it was going is good.



    I honestly have never been the biggest fan of Paul and thought that maybe it wouldn't have been the worst thing if he died in the season 2 finale. This season he's just pissed me off to no end and I hope that Cathy and him realize that they really shouldn't be together.



  • radiumgirl Jun 12, 2012

    This episode gave me the same thought! I haven't really enjoyed much of this season, but this episode really put things into a different perspective and I'd love to see the show continue if it can keep telling stories like this one.



    The thing that's always bugged me about Paul is that he always uses Cathy's actions as justification for doing terrible things back, sticking them in this spiral of constantly trying to one-up each other and justifying it with, "WELL, S/HE DID IT FIRST SO IT'S OKAY." And then I just throw things at the TV screen because they both look like awful, selfish people and neither of them is "right" or capable of garnering my sympathy.