The Big C Flips the Switch

The Big C S03E05: “Face Off”

The quest for a baby continued this week at the Jameson house. We got a little early justification with regard to what in holy hell those potential parents who seem so willing to hand over their baby to the Near Death Experience blog people were thinking. The father-to-be explained that Cathy’s cancer didn’t deter him because his own mother was diagnosed and written off when he was a kid and she’s still kicking.

Okay. That’s acceptable. I guess.

The couple also considered Paul and Cathy for adoption because of their previous experience raising a child—Adam. Cathy took that as her cue to play up her Mommy of the Year qualities, so it was completely satisfying when Adam dropped a few bombshells on her when she told him that she needed him to interview the birth parents so they could see what an awesome parent she is. Namely, that he and Mia broke up, and that he started dating Jess and took up regular hosting duties for Jesus Club. An incredulous Cathy asked Sean if he knew about all of the changes. He said that he sure did because Adam tells him everything.

But Cathy remained undeterred, even when the couple admitted that they were simultaneously interviewing a younger (healthier) couple alongside the Jamesons. She promptly got herself a facial that ended in disaster when a bad reaction had her simultaneously peeling and blistering. Ouch. Very ouch.

Meanwhile, Paul went on stage at Joy’s seminar for the first time as her official opening act. Andrea joined him as his personal assistant, earning her keep by being bluntly honest about his crappy catchphrases and keeping him well stocked with man Spanx.

At first, it looked like Paul was going to blow his big chance. Where last week he excelled after being called onto the stage and forced to improvise his entire spiel, this week, the prep time made him over-think his message. He fell face first into the trap of trying too hard and the audience didn’t buy it. Joy and Andrea watched from the wings as Paul’s speech fell apart and the audience checked beneath their seats for some tomatoes to throw. Finally, Paul’s nervousness, the realization that he was bombing in front of a live audience, and his stifling man Spanx led to an arrhythmia that Andrea gleefully corrected by zapping him on stage.

A switch was quite literally flipped and Paul turned the entire experience into a metaphor about taking action and changing one’s life. He finally found his slogan in “flip the switch,” and the crowd that only moments earlier verged on booing him back to the blogosphere started an enthusiastic “flip the switch” chant.

Afterward, Joy invited him to join her tour as her partner, which Paul enthusiastically accepted. Unfortunately, all the excitement made Paul late for the date with the adoption couple and gave Adam a chance to commandeer their attention, inviting them into his room for a Cathy-free conversation. I was a little nervous here and more than a little torn about what kind of outcome I was rooting for. While I currently subscribe to the notion that Cathy is a sucky parent, or at the very least, not as awesome as she thinks she is, I think it would have been excessively cruel if Adam had intentionally sabotaged the interview. At the same time, if Adam had suddenly come around to his parents’ point of view, it would have rendered all of his current behavioral problems and angst pointless, reducing them to cheap attention-seeking and childishness. Admittedly, there is an element of attention-seeking to Adam’s shenanigans, but in his defense, his parents DON’T pay attention to him.

So I’m okay with where things ended on “Face Off.” Whatever Adam said to the expectant couple, it was kind to his parents and convinced them to choose Cathy and Paul over the other couple. However, after they left, Adam acknowledged that he wasn’t honest, even going as far as to call his words lies, and announced his plans to move in with Sean across the street.

Yet despite winning the favor of the baby mama, Cathy seemed suddenly less excited about the prospect after Adam’s revelation. Furthermore, after inviting Paul to join her tour, Joy seemed to deliberately plant a little seed of uncertainty in Paul’s head, asking him if he REALLY wanted to adopt. I’m starting to consider that this baby business might not happen after all. What about you?

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