On “The Big C,” talking with Marlene while they dress her surgery stitches, Cathy learns that Marlene has two daughters (“One married a Jew and the other one’s a bulldyke”) and just when you think she’s about to have the worst idea yet, you remember: It is always, always about Cathy.
So she grabs Sean and a twelve-pack of Dad’s favorite beer, and sets off to see the Wizard. After various goony-bird activities and attempts to prove how hardcore she is, Sean finds her many sexts from Lenny the Painter, and realizes she’s more hardcore than he thought… Just not in a way he can deal with. It’s beautiful, to see Righteous Sean for once without the “Self-” preceding it.
Back home, Paul and Adam bond over some brews, but Paul eventually passes out after a great big maudlin overshare and wedding videos. Mortified, Adam sneaks some of his dad’s scotch, and wakes up in the yard. Marlene schools the s*** out of both of them, and it’s amazing.
Cathy and Sean get to the house and Dad — Brian Cox, the most lovable of all molesters — is such a jerk Cathy doesn’t even think twice about letting him in on her secret. She does, however, deliver a sermon on the subject of Sean Is Awesome — obviously the best topic ever — and Sean realizes that as broken as it seems to be, his relationship with Cathy is the only actual thing in his entire warped homeless desperate life.
…Which is when this (brutal/brilliant) midseason episode comes to its obvious conclusion: They take their mother’s ashes to the source of the Mississippi, smoke a 30-year-old blunt, and Cathy finally admits that she’s sick. (Cathy! Way to go!) Sean goes through a very quick, very scary mourning process, but ends up losing it so bad that Cathy takes it back, and — true to f***in’ form — pretends she was just kidding all along. Oh, Cathy.
Next week: A birthday party, a trip to the Bahamas, and a little bit of insight into how and when Sean got so sick.
Photo credit: Showtime