Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot16 August 2010
Cathy doesn't want to be the one who is always responsible and in control, especially now that she has been diagnosed with a terminal case of melanoma. That's why she kicked Paul out of the house as she literally wants to be the one in their twosome who is seen as the person who freely spills wine on the sofa without caring, instead of that person always being Paul. That's why she's decided that she wants a pool built in their postage stamp sized yard, so that she can teach Adam how to do the banana split dive like she did when she was his age. That's why she feels that she can give Adam a taste of his own medicine by treating him as thoughtlessly as he seems to treat her, all in an effort to make a point. That's why she feels that she can be blunt instead of being politically correct to her student Andrea about the combination of her wisecracking and her weight. That's why she decides that she doesn't need to be cordial anymore to their crotchety neighbor, whose name she doesn't even know after living next to her for five years. And that's why she tries to reach out to Sean despite Sean abhorring everything about what he sees as Cathy's chosen bourgeois lifestyle. Regardless of these changes, Cathy isn't yet ready to tell anyone, let alone her family - Paul, Adam or Sean - that she is dying.
23 August 2010
Cathy learns from Dr. Mauer that she probably has at least a year to live if not longer, which gives her some perspective of how much time she has left to do the things she wants. Chief among these is spending time with Adam. So instead of allowing him to go away to soccer camp for six weeks over the summer, she decides unilaterally for him to stay home over the summer so that they can spend time together. Cathy's actions seem crazy to Adam and Paul, both who still don't know about her medical diagnosis. Regardless, Cathy goes to extreme lengths to get what she wants. Dr. Mauer's time estimate also makes Cathy examine her body image, which she is doing truly for the first time in her life. What she sees surprises her. Meanwhile, Paul still isn't sure why Cathy won't let him come home and thus suggests they attend marriage counseling. Cathy treats the sessions with the knowledge of what she knows is the problem in relation to her health situation without divulging anything about the melanoma.
30 August 2010
Cathy still isn't feeling like she can let Paul back in the house or in her life. Adam is still angry with her and avoids her at all cost. And Sean still believes that Cathy is too uptight with who to hang out. So at this crucial time in her life, Cathy is feeling all alone, that is except for Thomas, Marlene's beagle, who always seems to be following her around. Her attempts at bringing Sean - and his girlfriend Daphne - and Adam and Andrea as meaningful parts of her life don't end up quite the way she envisions. As such, Cathy decides to attend a cancer support group. But those in the group end up being way too happy and upbeat for her liking, they seeing their cancer as it is a gift. Regardless, the support group appoints itself as her "Team Cathy" whether she likes it or not, as they believe that she really does need someone in her life for support. She has to decide if Paul is a better option, he who really does want to move back in. Thomas may find Cathy an unexpected substitute.
13 September 2010
Since she knows she won't reach retirement age, Cathy decides to withdraw all the funds from her retirement plan and do whatever she wants to with the money without a care. Among other things, she indulges on material goods such as an expensive bottle of champagne, which she shares with her new confidante, Marlene. But her biggest purchase is a red convertible sports car, which she can't drive since she doesn't know how to drive a stick shift. Regardless, she decides to spend the day with her new toy and Dr. Todd house hunting while pretending to be his older girlfriend. In the process, she liberates a lobster. That time with Dr. Todd shows her where her true future lies. Meanwhile, Paul, looking for something meaningful to do in his life while he's not at home, decides to head back to his school days and play rugby again. Sean, who has a toothache, refuses Cathy's offer of paying for a dental visit. Sean goes to extreme measures to deal with the tooth. And Marlene takes on the role of pretend grandmother to Adam, whether he likes it or not.
20 September 2010
Adam is not talking to his mother again since she caught him watching porn, which was bad enough, but what made it worse was that she continued to watch it with him and analyzed why it wasn't realistic from a female's point of view. Cathy realizes what she did with Adam was wrong, but she still wants to make sure that at age fourteen he is not yet having sex, and that when he does that he can both talk to her about anything in that vein and that he treat the girl properly. As she deals with this issue, she is beginning to see physical beauty around her, which includes blue iris flowers, her own body and how best to show it off, and the sexy new muralist at the school named Lenny. Meanwhile, Paul has sustained a rugby injury which has him sidelined, but not in the eyes of "rugby tart", Tina. And the building in which Sean is living is scheduled for demolition. The only way he figures he can save his makeshift home is to play the game by acting like one of the masses who has conformed to society. He gets an unexpected hand in looking the part.
27 September 2010
During the course of their continuing sexual relationship where they do it anywhere they can on unofficial breaks during the school day, Lenny notices a lump on Cathy's lower back side. Dr. Todd's diagnosis is that the cancer is showing itself, but that it does not necessarily mean that the cancer is getting worse. As it is purely a cosmetic issue, Cathy can choose to leave the lump or have it removed. She chooses the latter, and asks the only person who knows, Marlene, to pick her up after the surgery. The lump makes Marlene try to convince Cathy to tell her family about the cancer. It makes Cathy reevaluate her sexual relationship with Lenny and think about bringing her family back together, which includes not only Paul but also Sean. She figures that entering the family into a charity bathtub race, a race they used to always participate in and enjoy, but which Cathy stopped doing because of all the work involved on her end, is a good start. Some news from Paul, and Andrea finding out about Cathy and Lenny could bring Cathy's current plans crashing down around her.
4 October 2010
After Marlene tells Cathy about the distant relationship she has with her own two daughters who Cathy didn't even know existed, Cathy decides she and Sean need to go visit their own father, who she feels they don't see often enough. Sean reluctantly goes as he openly dislikes their father, who didn't give him the time of day while he was growing up. Cathy, on the other hand, loves their father, as she was seen as the good one during her and Sean's childhood. This road trip ends up being one of discovery for both Cathy and Sean, those discoveries which affect the way she ultimately relates to her father, especially in light of the way he relates to her, which is the same way he's related to her, Sean and their now deceased mother for their entire lives. Meanwhile, Paul is at the house being Dad to Adam during Cathy's absence. But it isn't quite clear if there is an adult figure between the two.
11 October 2010
It's Cathy's 43rd birthday. Coming to the realization that this birthday may be her last, she, on an impulse, takes Lenny up on his offer to accompany him to the Bahamas for the weekend. That plan is placed in jeopardy when Paul throws Cathy a surprise birthday party at the house. For her gift, Paul gives her Rebecca, her best friend from college who she hasn't seen in fifteen years after Rebecca, who was supposed to be Cathy's maid of honor, skipped the wedding in favor of hanging out with a man she just met. Time has not changed Rebecca's perspective on life. Another surprise or not so surprise attendee at the party is Lenny, who stops by the house to pick up Cathy to head to the airport. Lenny meeting Paul, the party itself, and Cathy reminiscing with Rebecca about their good old college days make both Cathy and Lenny reevaluate if their affair is such a good idea. Meanwhile, Sean does some catching up of his own with Rebecca. And Adam notices that something is not quite right with Marlene.
18 October 2010
Paul receives a promotion at work, and attends a congratulatory dinner without Cathy. Adam attends a house party, where teen-aged peer pressure places him between a rock and a hard place, which he makes all the worse by his actions following a comment by Andrea. And upon hearing whether she's been accepted into an experimental therapy clinical trial, Cathy embarks upon another of her life firsts, this one she shares with Lenny. These three events converge in a couple of revelations, a car accident, and a decision by Paul as to his future with Cathy. Meanwhile, Sean sets Marlene up on a date. And Cathy learns that Dr. Todd is ready to pop the question to his girlfriend.
25 October 2010
Cathy's relationships with three people are on the outs. Following his decision to divorce Cathy, Paul turns to rugby tramp Tina for solace. Cathy has decided not to rekindle her friendship with Rebecca, due to Cathy believing that she has always put her sexual quest for men a priority over their friendship. It doesn't help that Sean is the latest in that long line of men. And Andrea drops out of Cathy's class, which Cathy learns is due in large part to knowing about her affair with Lenny, and Andrea's own attraction to him. Of those three relationships, Andrea's is the one Cathy tries to mend by helping her with her drug addicted mother, who has long been widowed when her husband was killed while he was committing a robbery. As Cathy finds out more about Andrea's life, Cathy turns to God, with a little advice from Marlene, to get through not only to Andrea, but Rebecca and Paul as well.
1 November 2010
Now that Paul knows about Cathy's melanoma, he wants to help her in any way he can, including investigating alternate treatments. He is also still trying to get over the fact that he lost three months in trying to help her, three months in her probably shortened life. Cathy tries to explain to him why she didn't didn't tell him sooner. Paul, in dealing with the spouse of someone who died of cancer, begins to move closer to Cathy's way of thinking. Meanwhile, Rebecca tells Sean that she is moving to Minneapolis, but doesn't quite get the reaction she wanted. In a girls' bonding session, Marlene, Cathy and Rebecca go out for lunch to an unusual locale, an incident at which makes Cathy believe that Paul's thoughts about dealing with her illness aren't completely wrong. And Cathy learns about Marlene's Alzheimer's.
8 November 2010
In an effort to be supportive of Cathy's decision and to find out more about it, Dr. Todd accompanies Cathy to Canada for her bee sting therapy. As open as he tries to be, Dr. Todd just can't get around how quackish the whole therapy seems. After the treatment, Cathy too believes that the "Bee Man" is a lunatic, but is glad she made the decision to take a chance. As their trip progresses, many revelations about Dr. Todd's professional and personal life become known to Cathy, which explains why he seems so protective about Cathy and why he wanted to come on this trip. Before she left Minneapolis, Cathy found out that Adam is seeing a girl named Mia, who, if she is indeed his girlfriend, would be his first. Cathy takes an extreme but nonetheless effective measure to ensure that things go well for Mia and Adam's possible relationship, despite the less than helpful advice he receives from his Uncle Sean. And an incident between Marlene, Adam, and Paul makes Marlene take decisive action.
15 November 2010
Following Marlene's death, Cathy learns Marlene left her house. At first she's willing to let her daughters have it till she learns what their plans are. Dr. Miller wants her to try a different treatment which is risky. And she learns that Sean and Rebecca are expecting a baby.
27 June 2011
Cathy's course of aggressive chemotherapy isn't working, but is having negative side effects. As she doesn't agree with Todd's assessment that they deal with the side effects and wait, Cathy decides to get a second opinion with a Dr. Atticus Sherman, who she has heard has previously cured a stage 4 patient. Todd encourages her to get that second opinion, but doesn't want her to do so only if because of his less than professional feelings for her. This matter may further complicate their relationship. Being able to get that appointment with Dr. Sherman may be an entirely different and difficult matter, about which Cathy takes an extreme measure to rectify. Meanwhile, Cathy and Paul analyze Adam's every behavior believing that his nonchalant behavior toward her illness means something. As such, they have entered into family therapy against Adam's wishes. And Rebecca and Sean have entered into a relationship following her news that she's pregnant. Cathy still has to find a way to tell both of them her news, Sean about who she is more concerned.
4 July 2011
Cathy finds that her experience with the great Dr. Atticus Sherman isn't anything like she thought it would be. In addition to not appreciating his bedside manner, not believing that he pays any attention to her file, or not believing that he sees her anything more than another nameless face in his office, Cathy learns he is conducting a clinical trial, about which she learns from another of his stage 4 patients, an extremely positive woman named Nadine, in which he has no space for her. Meanwhile, Cathy and Sean's relationship is still strained over the fact that she kept her illness a secret from him for so long. As such, he is functioning even less well than normal, which means that Cathy is replacing him in many of Rebecca's "baby partner" functions. Rebecca makes an unusual request of Cathy, and further tells Cathy of a decision that doesn't sit well with her. And Cathy's return to work, where everyone now knows of her illness, places both her and Adam in an uncomfortable position.
11 July 2011
Because of the way she's been feeling, Cathy and Paul haven't had sex in two months. Although Paul says he's OK with that, something he does says otherwise. Adam and Mia are becoming closer, although she is not ready to have sex with him yet. Like father like son, even though Adam says he's OK with that, something he does says otherwise. Rebecca and Sean are moving into a new but somewhat uncomfortable stage of their relationship. Rebecca, feeling unattractive as her pregnancy progresses, wants to feel like her old, attractive self, if only to please Sean. Sean, on the other hand, has been more focused since he has been taking his medication, that focus which manifests itself in what Rebecca sees as criticism toward her. If only they would talk to each other, they may figure out how to bridge their seeming gap. And Andrea's parents are moving to Ghana to do missionary work, that move which would kibosh many of Andrea's plans, especially for this her senior year and for college. As such, Cathy comes to an agreement with Andrea's family that she will move in with her and Paul. That transition has its ups and downs.
Season 2, Episode 4: Boo!18 July 2011
It's Halloween, the day that Cathy is supposed to begin the clinical trial, about which she is nervously excited and she wants nothing to delay the process. Paul wants to be with her, both literally and figuratively, the former despite the fact he has a major project to complete at work. This pull in two directions leads to Cathy telling Paul to go to work, which leaves Cathy to deal with a young man with who she has a less than in her mind funny first encounter at the oncology center, despite he seeing their initial meeting as a hoot. At work, Paul finds that he has other problems with which to deal besides the project. Meanwhile, Sean is convinced by Andrea that the thumping noise he continually hears above him in the house is the ghost of Marlene, which is freaking him out. And after their sexual encounter, Adam and Emily have a slightly different opinion of their relationship.
25 July 2011
Paul still not having a job places a strain on his and Cathy's financial situation with mounting medical bills. Paul has to make a decision to wait for the perfect job, to do freelance work without insurance, or take any job that has insurance. He is hoping that a meeting with his old friend Jimmy will lead to the first of those three. Cathy makes a unilateral decision for some one time immediate cash. In the process of getting that money, Cathy ends up spending the day with Lee, that day which takes an unexpected turn for her. Meanwhile, Adam makes another decision on how best to relieve his sexual frustration since Mia still wants to take things slow. Adam's actions result in him needing to turn to someone to get him out of a jam. That someone ends up being Sean who offers his own form of a solution to the problem.
1 August 2011
Although he still hates his job, Paul settles into life at the electronics store. He bonds with a fellow employee, a young Ukrainian immigrant named Mykail, who in turn bonds with one of his customers. While Paul still struggles with his job situation, that struggle which includes reporting to a barely of age weaselly assistant manager, Cathy aims for an extra job at the school with more pay as the girl's swim coach. She is able to convince the principal to give her the job at least temporarily until the principal can find or wants to find a more permanent coach. Cathy believes she is both well suited to the job, and something she needs in her life right now. The only aspect she doesn't like is dealing with "stage" parents, one in particular who thinks he can do the job better than her. Meanwhile, Adam brings something into the house that threatens both his relationship with Mia as well as Cathy's position as swim coach.
8 August 2011
Cathy receives two minor pieces of bad news on her latest check up. The first is that none of the drugs' listed negative side effects have afflicted her, which to her means that the drugs aren't working. The second is that she has high blood pressure. Despite Cathy disregarding it upon Sean's suggestion, Cathy takes Lee's advice to visit an acupuncturist - his acupuncturist - to treat the high blood pressure. The acupuncturist has slightly better news: she immediately relaxed, which means a drop in blood pressure, when Lee entered the room. The acupuncturist attributes that relaxation to her and Lee being soul mates, which to Cathy can only mean in the spiritual but non-sexual sense seeing as to Lee's homosexual orientation. But those homo/heterosexual boundaries between Lee, Cathy and Paul are tested, as are Cathy's notions of what it means truly to be one's soul mate. Meanwhile, Mykail is anticipating his first date with Andrea and what he hopes will happen.
15 August 2011
It's Thanksgiving, and Cathy and Paul are hosting their first ever Thanksgiving dinner with their new extended family, which includes not only Adam and Sean, but also Rebecca, Andrea, Mykail and if he accepts Lee, which he does. Cathy wants it to be a non-traditional meal in that besides the free-range, organic turkey Sean is in charge of getting, the rest of the meal will consist of whatever she feels like making, which includes a special dessert from Lee's childhood. The dinner has the potential to be marred in many ways, which includes Paul contemplating confronting Mykail about what he saw Mykail do at the store. But many of the dinner attendees truly do have something to be thankful for, which is for Cathy the fact that the drugs seem to be working, which she hesitates to tell Lee if only because the same has yet to happen for him. Some of those other thankful items will be truly more so if the reaction from a significant other matches. But some unexpected things happen over the course of the day, both good and bad.
22 August 2011
Rebecca and Sean both have less than traditional ways to deal with Rebecca's miscarriage. Partly because Sean decides to go off his meds so that he can feel the true pain associated with it, Sean and Rebecca's methods of mourning end up being somewhat incompatible. Something that Rebecca and Sean do in combination about the miscarriage directly affects Cathy. In addition, it also makes Cathy realize that she has been so busy dealing with the life part of her illness that she totally forgot about the death part, namely making arrangements for what will happen to her body post-mortem. Meanwhile, Adam has joined an on-line support group called Kids of Cancer. After several on-line discussions with fellow kid of cancer "Poppy K", he suggests they meet to which Poppy wholeheartedly agrees. Poppy ends up being nothing like Adam imagined, which may not be a totally bad thing. And even though Paul asked for a part of the cut Mykail gets from lifting and selling items from the store, he begins to feel more uncomfortable about it when he sees the extent of Mykail's thefts.
29 August 2011
Following their Thanksgiving fallout, Cathy and Lee reconcile, with Cathy vowing to be honest with him about how things are progressing with her health. She sticks to that vow as her news is generally positive, while his continues to decline. But Lee tries to remain upbeat, focusing on living. As such, Cathy decides to help him with his bucket list in whatever way she can. Meanwhile, Adam decides to continue hanging out with Poppy, in part to understand the thing he noticed on her arm when they first met. Poppy's decision on the where to hang out catches Adam off guard: her high school reunion, where she wants to show her former classmates that she didn't turn out the loser as they probably expected. Adam tries to help her achieve that perception. And Sean continues to deal with Rebecca's miscarriage in his own way, especially now that Rebecca has left him to go home to Chicago.
12 September 2011
In her day life, Cathy runs into Dr. Sherman and his much younger second wife, Gia, who invites Cathy and Paul over for dinner. Not wanting to offend the person who is potentially saving her life, Cathy accepts. From dinner, Cathy learns a little bit about how to live in the face of death. It is difficult for Cathy to watch Lee give up on life as he decides to drop out of this trial, the latest failure of many in terms of trials. Based on what Cathy finds hidden in her kitchen, she tries to convince Lee to fight for his life. Cathy and Adam lead a campaign to find a missing Sean, who they are more concerned about now that winter has arrived. Adam learns the God that is Sean among the homeless. Based on Paul's assertion that Mykail is losing his freedom because of his obsession with Andrea, Mykail decides on his future. And one of Mykail and Paul's "under the counter" customers pays them in something besides cash, which adds some spice to stodgy Paul's life.
19 September 2011
Cathy, Paul and Adam are getting ready to head to Italy for the Christmas holidays using Paul's cut from the electronics store thefts. They still haven't found Sean, but they feel they need to focus on themselves as a family. They are also leaving behind Andrea who is in engaged bliss to Mykail, with who she will spend the holidays. Owen tells Paul about the imbalance in store inventory, which leads to a revelation from Mykail which could affect his relationship with Andrea. Adam spends time with Poppy before he leaves. But he also finds out some information about Poppy's reality, which ultimately makes him understand why she acts the way she does. And Dr. Sherman asks Cathy to be "show and tell" to one of his classes. She tries to make her reality and the students' reality a little closer together. And just before the Jamisons are ready to head to the airport, Cathy receives a telephone call from Lee, who has an important pre-Christmas request from her.
26 September 2011
Cathy believes the two best Christmas presents she received this year are Sean returning home after missing for three weeks while he went to find himself following Rebecca's departure, and watching Lee die peacefully in front of her, which has now made her not afraid of death. Taking a play from Lee, Cathy decides to finish what Lee didn't and couldn't: run the Minneapolis New Year's Eve Marathon, despite she not having trained for it at all. Her new mantra is to use her body while she still can. But the race entries have closed already which means that she has to find a creative way to enter the race. Adam receives an offer of reconciliation of sorts from Mia, which may interfere with something he feels is more important in his life at this time. And Cathy finds out about Paul and the electronics store parting company and the reason why. As this affects their health insurance, Paul goes on his own mission to ensure they get from the insurance company what they deserve.
Season 3, Episode 1: Thin Ice8 April 2012
With Paul (Oliver Platt) recovering from his near-fatal heart attack, and Andrea (Gabourey Sidibe) returning from her African adventure, Cathy (Laura Linney) creates an alter ego as she gets some good news about her chemotherapy trial.
15 April 2012
Adam (Gabriel Basso) accuses his parents of being hypocrites after Paul (Oliver Platt) uses his blog to reveal that Cathy (Laura Linney) had an affair. And as Andrea (Gabourey Sidibe) tries to revive the school's Black Student Association, a new phone number provides Sean (John Benjamin Hickey) with a lucrative business opportunity.
22 April 2012
As Cathy (Laura Linney) treats a skeptical Paul (Oliver Platt) to a cancer survivor's personal growth seminar, a Valentine's Day concert causes Adam (Gabriel Basso) to rethink his relationship with his girlfriend.
29 April 2012
When Cathy's (Laura Linney) health problems become a roadblock to their chances for adoption, Paul's (Oliver Platt) inspiring blog posts could provide a solution. Meanwhile, Sean's (John Benjamin Hickey) ownership of a gay sex phone line is disputed, and Adam's (Gabriel Basso) new girlfriend challenges his faith in God.
Season 3, Episode 5: Face Off6 May 2012
As Cathy (Lara Linney) looks to enlist a reluctant Adam (Gabriel Basso) in an effort to impress a couple who are interviewing prospective adoptive parents for their baby, Paul (Oliver Platt) fights back his nerves as he prepares for his first outing as a motivational speaker.
13 May 2012
As he and Cathy (Laura Linney) prepare to adopt, Paul (Oliver Platt) entertains a big shot producer's (guest star Allison Janney) offer to turn his blog into movie. But when Cathy decides she doesn't like where the film is going, she balks. Meanwhile, Sean's (John Benjamin Hickey) face-to-face date with a phone sex client produces a surprising result.
Season 3, Episode 7: How Bazaar20 May 2012
As Paul (Oliver Platt) discovers that life on the road with Joy (Susan Sarandon) will require much more from him than he thought, and Cathy (Laura Linney) uses the nursery renovation to help the Coopers, Adam (Gabriel Basso) makes a surprise donation to a church charity bazaar.
Season 3, Episode 8: Killjoy3 June 2012
As Cathy (Laura Linney) puts an end to the Coopers' adoption scam, she and Paul (Oliver Platt) stumble upon each other's secrets. Meanwhile, Sean's (John Benjamin Hickey) menage a trois founders.
10 June 2012
Stepping in for the late Joy Kleinman, Paul (Oliver Platt) takes the family to Puerto Rico for his own self help seminar. And as Cathy (Laura Linney) gets some bad news about her cancer treatments, she vows to use the vacation to face her fears of the water and her own mortality.
Season 3, Episode 10: Fly Away17 June 2012
After getting lost during a scuba diving lesson, Cathy (Laura Linney) lands in the boat of a local fisherman. And unaware of the frantic search for his missing wife, Paul (Oliver Platt) creates an alter ego when he is approached by a woman at the hotel bar.
29 April 2013
Cathy plans a birthday party.
6 May 2013
Cathy upsets Paul when she tries to help him move on.
13 May 2013
Cathy inadvertently inspires Andrea to get her sparkle back.
Season 4, Episode 4: The Finale20 May 2013
Series finale. Adam fulfills one of Cathy's wishes.
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