"The Big C" There's No C in Team (TV Episode 2010) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • 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.

  • When Cathy's attempt to connect to the people closest to her fails, she signs up for a well-meaning but overbearing cancer support group. Adam rebuffs Cathy's attempts to connect with him, so she decides to put together a dinner party with Andrea, Sean and Daphne. Meanwhile, Paul tries to win back his wife's love with an elaborately romantic gesture. Marlene discovers Cathy's cancer secret in a most unusual way.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Cathy roots through mounds of junk in her garage. She finds a tandem bike with a basket on the front. Paul races up on his Vespa. He wants his socks. He announces that Angela his shrink says Cathy's holding him emotionally hostage. He carries the entire sock drawer out and drops half its contents as carries it on his Vespa.

    Cathy shows Adam the double bicycle, the one they used to ride when he was 10. He refuses to be seen on it with her. Cathy tries to ride it herself.

    She finds Sean sitting by the Dumpter. He's not surprised Adam won't bike with her, he says she's not fun. Cathy rides to get soft serve by herself. She finds her doctor's pamphlet in her bag.

    She goes to a cancer support meeting, crushing out her cigarette as she goes in. The meeting's underway when she goes in. There's a sign on the wall that says "Cancer is the passport to the life you were meant to live."

    The woman leading the meeting tells them to do a mirroring exercise. Her partner in the exercise says his cancer has brought him closer to his partner.

    She tells him she hasn't told anyone yet. She doesn't think anyone she knows could handle it. Leon says she seems sad and nearly cries "mirroring" her. She leaves abruptly.

    Back at home in the morning, she calls Adam down for breakfast. There's a ring at her doorbell. It's Leon and the woman leading the support group. They're bearing food and tell her their her support group whether she likes it or not. She's not thrilled by "Team Cathy" and their giant, scary casserole.

    Cathy visits Sean in his Dumpster and invites him to a dinner of bad casserole. A woman (Annie Parisse) pulls up, saying hey sexy. He makes out with her a little until he introduces her as "Daphne, his lady." She brought him day old sushi from Whole Foods, where she works. Cathy invites her to dinner.

    Cathy wakes up to Thomas the dog licking her leg.

    Downstairs, Paul brings her flowers and says he needs her. He brought in groceries from the porch. There's a note on them that says they're from "team Cathy."

    Cathy brings Thomas back to Marlene, who suggests she wash where ever he liked because he likes to eat his own poop.

    Cathy invites Andrea to dinner after forcing her to ride on the tandem bike.

    At dinner, Daphne rejects Cathy's pigs in a blanket. Sean and Daphne lecture her on how hot dogs are made.

    Andrea finds the four of them just sitting here weird. Adam refuses to come out of his room. "Andrea barges in on him and lectures him to get downstairs because "everybody else is old and freaking me the ---- out."

    At dinner, Daphne reads Andrea's aura as pink and sparkly. Sean kicks out Cathy's chair, leading to some sibling slap fighting. She pours herself some wine as Thomas licks her leg and she watches Sean and Daphne smooch and Andrea and Adam play with the gross "Team Cathy" casserole.

    As she's saying good night to Sean, Daphne gives her a crystal to heal her broken relationship with Sean. Cathy offers Andrea $10 to walk Thomas with Adam.

    On the walk, Andrea guess that Cathy might be going through the change. Marlene sees Andrea with her dog and asks what the "colored girl" is doing with her dog. Marlene shoves her and Andrea shoves back. Cathy breaks it up, reminding Marlene she told her to watch her dog.

    Cathy buys smokes at the corner store by the support group and runs into her "Team Cathy." She tries to tell them groups aren't for her.

    They see her smoking and when she says she's dying, they tell her she's killing herself. "When life gives you lemons, squeeze out a smile," Leon says.

    That's enough for Cathy, who tells them she doesn't know them and doesn't need their judgment. She points out that cancer isn't a gift or a passport, "cancer is the reason she's not going to have" her life or see Adam get married.

    Sheila won't give up, telling her anger isn't good for her and she shouldn't be alone.

    Cathy drives home and runs over a trail of seashells from her driveway into her house, where Paul has built a beach scene to recreate where he proposed. There's a big pile of sand and beach chairs. He delivers his proposal, saying all the things he loves about her and that she's the normal to his crazy. "I want us to grow to be old incontinent idiots together."

    She fights off tears and tells him she's not the same girl and has changed. He says he wishes the kind, sweet girl he'd married had stuck around.

    Cathy gets in her car and back up but hears a squeal. She hit Thomas. She takes him to the vet. When Marlene gets there she apologizes profusely, saying that Thomas won't stop following her around.

    "What kind of cancer is it?" Marlene asks. She tells Cathy that Thomas followed her husband around nonstop when he got sick.

    Back at Cathy's house, Cathy smokes and they lounge in Paul's beach scene. Marlene agrees that cancer is a "mother-----." Cathy checks that Marlene knows she can't hate black people. She does, just needed something to be angry at. "Thanks for listening, Marlene," Cathy says. "It doesn't make us friends or anything," Marlene says.

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