The Big C (2010–2013)
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Two for the Road 

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,... See full summary »


Alan Poul


Darlene Hunt (created by), Hilly Hicks Jr. | 1 more credit »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Laura Linney ... Cathy Jamison
Oliver Platt ... Paul Jamison
Gabriel Basso ... Adam Jamison
John Benjamin Hickey ... Sean Tolkey
Phyllis Somerville ... Marlene
Brian Cox ... Dad
Zack Wall ... Josh


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. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Did You Know?


[dumps her mother's ashes in the river]
Cathy Jamison: Bon voyage, Mom. First-Class trip down the Mississippi.
Sean Tolkey: She'll be in New Orleans by Monday. Covered in British oil.
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References Two for the Road (1967) See more »


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User Reviews

5 October 2010 | by adrianmaceiraSee all my reviews

From all the new series out there this season, 'The Big C' is definitely my favourite. Beautifully shot, emotionally scripted, impeccably acted. This episode is a good proof: We find Cathy and Sean taking a road trip together to visit their father, leaving behind the two boys (Adam & Paulie) so that they can misbehave. With plenty of room for laughs, tears and family bonding, it was an excellent installment for an excellent series.

Now, for me, the siblings' relationship is one of the best things about this show, so it was great to see an episode mostly dedicated to them. As the trip unfolds, they become tighter - something we have already seen throughout the series - and we learn a little bit more about them. They're even show in a similar light, something that, a few weeks back, didn't seem plausible - Cathy being so uptight and bourgeois, and Sean being... well, Sean - Nevertheless, it makes only sense, since they both grew up in the same house with the same family. It is in this kind of details that we begin to see the depth these characters possess and how fragile, yet funny, their whole lives are.

Kudos especially to Miss Linney, one of the only few actresses who can so masterfully play such a risky character without being histrionic. Kudos to John B. Hickey, for delivering both fun and emotions in such a poignant way. And thanks to the writers for providing us with such a warm, yet harsh, loving, yet hatred, funny, yet desperately sad, story: the ending of this episode brought tears to my eyes.


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Release Date:

4 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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