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The Big C: Happy Birthday, Cancer

Lenny invites Cathy to the Bahamas for an art opening to celebrate her birthday, but Paul throws Cathy a surprise party and invites her flaky college friend, Rebecca. Lenny and Cathy lie about their relationship to Paul. Sean and Rebecca start a fling. Adam finds Marlene in the backyard disoriented and wandering around.

Source: Showtime

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x8
Airdate: Monday October 11th, 2010

Director: Tricia Brock
Writer: Darlene Hunt

Alternate Airdates:

UK (MORE4) Mar 24, 2011

  • Currently 6.1/10
6.1/10 (15 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Cynthia Nixon
As Rebecca
Idris Elba
As Lenny
Nathan Eswine
As Brent
Reid Scott
As Dr. Todd Mauer
Ann Arvia
As Susan
Willi Burke (4)
As Aunt Allison
Main Cast
Laura Linney
As Catherine 'Cathy' Jamison
Oliver Platt
As Paul Jamison
Gabriel Basso
As Adam Jamison


The scene opens with Marlene and Cathy eating a wedding cake because it is Cathy’s birthday and instead of waiting for people to get her a birthday cake. Adam comes in and tells that he is going to paint Marlene’s door now. Cathy asks what it feels like to be old and Marlene tells that she feels like she is wearing her skin like a sweater. Later at the school, Lenny brings Cathy a gift. It is a shawl. He tells her that he is leaving to the Bahamas for an art gallery showing and Cathy asks if she can go with him. He tells that she can and that it will be great. Cathy arrives home and Paul and everyone of their friends jump out and surprise her. Cathy can’t believe it and tells that it is a good surprise. Paul tells everyone that Cathy is a happy person and that she deserves to be happy on her birthday. He surprises her more with her old High School friend Rebecca. They laugh and reminisce on things that they did and what made them drift apart. Cathy tells that it was Rebecca forgetting her wedding and Rebecca feels bad. Cathy tells that she has to go freshen up. She tries to call Lenny to tell him not to come over and she gets his voicemail. There is a knock on the door and it is Lenny...

Read the full recap
Warning: The Big C season 1 episode 8 guide may contain spoilers
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