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The Big C: Quality of Life

Cathy plans Adam's sixteenth birthday party. Andrea struggles settling in with her new room-mate at fashion school. Paul brings in a new assistant.

Episode Info

Episode number: 4x1
Airdate: Monday April 29th, 2013
Special Airtime: 10:00 pm
Special Runtime: 60 Minutes

Director: Michael Engler
Writer: Darlene Hunt

Alternate Airdates:

UK (MORE4) Sep 19, 2013
AU (Gem) Jan 13, 2014


Special Guest Stars
Phyllis SomervillePhyllis Somerville
As Marlene

Guest Stars
Alan AldaAlan Alda
As Dr. Atticus Sherman
Connie RayConnie Ray
As Principal Connie Schuler
Emily TremaineEmily Tremaine
As Dina
Kathy NajimyKathy Najimy
As Therapist
Liz HoltanLiz Holtan
As Amber
Michael Ray EscamillaMichael Ray Escamilla
As Angel
Roslyn RuffRoslyn Ruff
As Nurse
Samantha FutermanSamantha Futerman
As Lydia Hye
Emma NobleEmma Noble
As Amanda
Heather MacRaeHeather MacRae
As Stephanie

Booch OBooch O'connell
As Restaurant Patron
Main Cast
Laura LinneyLaura Linney
As Catherine 'Cathy' Jamison
Oliver PlattOliver Platt
As Paul Jamison
Gabriel BassoGabriel Basso
As Adam Jamison
Gabourey SidibeGabourey Sidibe
As Andrea Jackson


The episode begins with Cathy snorkeling, when she suddenly experiences some discomfort and is later seen, being rushed to the hospital. Five months later, in September, Cathy watches from the window of her house. Adam, Paul, and Andrea, burying someone’s ashes in the backyard. The ashes are of Thomas, Marlene’s dog. She has a talk with Marlene, who only she can see, about the surgery she underwent for her cancer. After the burial, Adam leaves with Andrea, so he can drop her to her dorm and also get an opportunity to drive. He is soon going to turn 16 and is really excited about getting his license. Cathy tells Paul that they should throw Adam a party because turning 16 is a big deal. ..

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