The Big C: “Fight Or Flight”
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The Big C: “Fight Or Flight”

A couple of tonight’s plotlines went a little too cuckoo-bananas for me to really count this episode amongst this season’s best, and I think it has to do with some characters backsliding.

First, Andrea is struggling in school and failing to come home at night due to all the time she’s spending with Myk, and things aren’t about to get better: Myk proposes to Andrea and she accepts, much to Cathy’s dismay. Andrea snaps back, “I’m not going to wait until I have cancer to do the shit that makes me happy,” but this all seems out of character for Andrea. What happened to the Andrea who kept Myk in line, who stuck up for Cathy even when her own son didn’t? 

Then there’s Paul, who I was pretty sure was going to have a heart attack thanks to his rigorous coke-fueled exercise regimen. While doing working on inventory, Myk gives Paul his cut of the under-the-table black market funds in blow, and somehow Paul ends up semi-addicted by the end of the episode. It’s just rather silly to me: hasn’t Paul been trying to improve for Cathy and take care of her? A drug habit seems like a slightly tedious new complication for Paul, not to mention for Cathy, who’s already had to deal with an extremely high-maintenance family this season. White lines: don’t do it, Paul.

At least Adam was on Cathy’s side tonight. While helping search for Sean, Adam gets friendly with some local homeless kids who claim to be part of a local tribe. I was worried for a moment that now Adam’s going to start rolling with a cool crew of panhandlers, but after seeing how terrified his mom was when she thought Sean was dead, Adam yells at the kids for putting their families through the hell of not knowing whether they’re dead or alive.

Cathy’s not only fighting for Sean’s life but for Lee’s as well. Cathy chats with Dr. Sherman at swim practice (and, after meeting his hot wife, possibly breaking the record for fastest conversational sprint from “strangers” to “my husband gives great head”) and learns that there are some promising trials abroad. After finding Paul’s Cheeto stash and registering the appropriate amount of disapproval, Cathy buys Lee a ticket to Germany. He turns it down, however, saying that he’s made peace with death, which infuriates Cathy. Will this be their last falling out? Will he ever get to grab her boob again? I see how Cathy is angry at Lee for checking out, but as a viewer, I sensed from the beginning he was going to be the martyr/angel type, which isn't an archetype I particularly love, so his decision to quit fighting isn't tugging at my heartstrings that much.

Finally, after hearing Dr. Sherman wax on about how much the Italian love the art of doing nothing, Andrea’s little speech and realizing that worrying won’t keep Sean alive, Cathy decides to take Paul’s advice and spend his cashola on a Christmas trip to Italy. So this will be like when the Bradys went to Hawaii! Only with cancer.

--“Fuck Rome! This is Paul City.”

--I liked the transitions in the first part of the episode, from Paul’s sleeping to Andrea’s, from Cathy’s whistle in the classroom to the one at the pool and so on. It would have been cool had the entire episode been stitched together that way.

--I can do more push-ups than Paul, and without the aid of cocaine.

--Alan Alda + cannoli = no.

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