The Big C

Season 1 Episode 9

The Ecstasy and the Agony

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 18, 2010 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
62 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Cathy learns from her doctor that she was not accepted for a clinical trial. Meanwhile, Andrea and Adam get into a fight, Paul finds something out and Sean has a surprise for Marlene.

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  • Cathy, after being turned down for a medical trial, decides she needs a break from cancer and when an illicit substance falls into her lap - she finds temporary release in an escapist form.moreless

    Paul finally opens his eyes to find his marriage in an even poorer state than he could have imagined . . coping with this newfound revelation in a true to form Paulesque manner. Which is to say not good! ^.^

    On a side note I liked the fact that the show didn't enforce any strict moral judgement on the viewer when it came to how it handled said 'illicit substances' .

    As always Paul refuses to listen when Cathy tries to open the lines of communication regarding her illness . . A great episode, although perhaps not as funny as some of the previous ones, but then again not all episodes can be funny, especially not when dealing with such a tragic subject =/. This episode does well in its purpose of propelling the story forward! So looking forward to the next ep!moreless
  • Losing my patience.. Cathy tries ecstasy with Lenny and Paul learns of her infidelity

    There's only so many times a show can cry wolf before it becomes unbearably irritating. This episode once again built up all kinds of suspense and lead us to believe that this may be the episode where Cathy admits to Paul or her brother or somebody besides Marlene that she actually has cancer. However, once again, the rug is pulled out from underneath us and fate swoops in again to hold it off. If this keeps happening, it's going to put a dent in how I feel about the way this show is written.

    In this episode, Cathy tries ecstasy with Lenny after she confiscates some from school and she talks with him about life and everything like that. While they're spending time together, Adam goes to a party with Andrea and his friend Brent while Paul gets a promotion and has dinner with a group of work friends, but the promotion is completely tainted by his discovery of Cathy's affair with Lenny. All of this stuff culminates in a moment when Paul gets drunk, goes to pick up Adam from the party, makes Adam drive home and they both get into a car crash. A dramatic moment, yes, but one that could've been made even better if she admitted what she had been hiding. Instead, just as she's about to say, Paul asks for a divorce. Of course, perfect timing.

    I really didn't have anything wrong with the episode at first.. I mean, there were typical funny Sean moments involving him trying to hook Marlene up with an old guy, and some good talks between Cathy and Lenny.. and Oliver Platt keeps proving himself to be an adept actor in this show. However, it also made me realize how difficult it is for the show to stay fresh. The show seems to resort to all the same jokes: Paul says something nice to Cathy and then takes it back sarcastically, Cathy almost tells someone she has cancer and backs off, Andrea swears a lot and gets upset at everybody and Sean is cynical, negative and hates people for doing things against the environment, something I don't entirely buy anymore.. I did at first, but he's living with Cathy now, having sex with her friends.. it's hard to buy his rigid personality as the show goes on.

    The show needs to work itself towards somewhere in the future, because right now, it's just a holding game while episode 13 rolls around, and you know that the show is just saving the revelation of her sickness until then.. so where's the tension?moreless
Idris Elba

Idris Elba


Special Guest Star

Reid Scott

Reid Scott

Dr. Todd Mauer

Recurring Role

Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe

Andrea Jackson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions