"The Big C" Taking Lumps (TV Episode 2010) - Plot Summary Poster

(TV Series)



Showing all 3 items
Jump to:


  • During the course of their continuing sexual relationship where they do it anywhere they can on unofficial breaks during the school day, Lenny notices a lump on Cathy's lower back side. Dr. Todd's diagnosis is that the cancer is showing itself, but that it does not necessarily mean that the cancer is getting worse. As it is purely a cosmetic issue, Cathy can choose to leave the lump or have it removed. She chooses the latter, and asks the only person who knows, Marlene, to pick her up after the surgery. The lump makes Marlene try to convince Cathy to tell her family about the cancer. It makes Cathy reevaluate her sexual relationship with Lenny and think about bringing her family back together, which includes not only Paul but also Sean. She figures that entering the family into a charity bathtub race, a race they used to always participate in and enjoy, but which Cathy stopped doing because of all the work involved on her end, is a good start. Some news from Paul, and Andrea finding out about Cathy and Lenny could bring Cathy's current plans crashing down around her.

  • Cathy needs a lump on her butt removed and someone to pick her up after surgery. She asks Marlene, who becomes disoriented - so Lenny picks up Cathy instead. Sean moves into Cathy's backyard because he got beat up on the streets. Paul and Adam win the local bathtub races. The event brings Cathy and Paul back together, but at the point of reconciliation, Paul confesses to an indiscretion with Tina and Cathy rejects the reunion. Meanwhile, Andrea breaks into the school and destroys the mural Lenny painted.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In class, Cathy attempts to wow her students with VHS tapes, she wonders if the boiled bunny was the price Michael Douglas had to pay in "Fatal Attraction." Then she sees her lover Lenny the painter (Idris Elba) chatting with Andrea. Andrea takes note as Cathy goes to "make photocopies," which she's been doing a lot lately.

    Apparently this is what she's calling meeting Lenny for some midday nookie on a desk.

    As he's feeling her up, he notices a lump in her butt. She brushes it off as a hereditary skin cyst. They get back at it.

    Then we cut to her going to see hot Dr. Todd, her dermatologist. When she flips over for him to examine it she sees a flier for bathtub races and reminisces about doing them with Paul and Adam.

    Dr. Todd tells her the lump is probably a metastasis, doesn't mean the cancer's getting worse, just now you can see it. She wants it removed. She'll need a ride home after the sedation.

    She tells him she's not the one who found it and he commends her for finally telling Paul. She asks him if maybe she's being punished for something, he assures her cancer isn't vindictive.

    At home, Cathy pitches bath tub races to Adam. He's in if Paul is.

    Cathy takes "pizza pillows" (salsa, cheese on English muffins, since you were curious) to Marlene to butter her up. She needs a ride. Marlene agrees, but says Cathy needs a younger emergency contact because she might die at any moment.

    Cathy comes home to find Paul and Adam working on the tub. She's glad to see to see Paul and says so.

    She goes inside to find a bruised and battered Sean going through her drawers. Someone beat him up for his sleeping bag. His plan is to duct tape himself for his cracked ribs. She wants to take him to the hospital. She agrees to tape him only if he'll stay with her a few days -- but he insists on sleeping in the yard.

    Outside, Paul takes exception to Sean sleeping in his house when he can't. It bugs Paul that Sean upsets her. She tells him she's trying and he thanks her.

    At school Cathy reminds Lenny that she's married and doesn't want to feel like the woman who cheats on her husband. He lets her off the hook, saying he doesn't want to be the guy to make her feel bad. He tells her to call if she ever needs anything. Then she compliments his "unit." Andrea sees them talking intimately.

    As Sean eats a lunch of weeds from Cathy's yard, she asks him if he believes in karma. He believes "if you screw with the Earth, it will screw with you."

    She tells him she wants to try to make them a real family again, which means he can't be an a--hole to Paul. He tops off his weed lunch with a worm.

    Andrea watches Lenny paint and pointedly asks him if he prefers white women or black women, and whether he wants to "betray the race."

    Cathy preps for her party with a chocolate fountain. Adam announces he's going to a friend's house and Paul and Cathy get into the fountain. She wipes chocolate off his face, which leads to kissing which leads to them in bed. He tries to roll her over, but she tells him no, conscious of her lump.

    At the bath tub races, Cathy has Marlene take a family photo of them in their "Drain Gang" t-shirts and shower caps. When Adam objects, she tells him she's sure he'll want it some day. It comes out all feet. With them out of earshot, Marlene says it seems like her family can handle anything.

    Cathy sees Andrea nearby and invites her to the party later. "F--- off," Andrea says, "I'm not your friend."

    The race starts, with Adam in the tub and Paul pushing. Cathy cheers from the sidelines and jumps with joy as Paul and Adam win.

    Back at home, the family celebrates their big win, even getting Adam to dance with his folks. Cathy plays sideline reporter with a corn dog and gets a family hug.

    At school, Andrea spray paints "F--- you" over Lenny's mural.

    Cathy babbles about a dollhouse she used to have, leading Paul to suggest they could try for a girl and gee, haven't the last few days been great? Cathy takes a deep breath and says she has something she has to tell him, and it'll be OK because it has to. Paul interrupts, announcing he got a hand job from Tina the rugby slut.

    Cathy wants to know why he'd tell her that, she was happy before she knew. She's more upset that he told her to allay his guilt than she is about the actual act. Either way, she's done with her warm fuzzy family feelings.

    They carry their hushed argument into the other room with all the guests. Adam hears his mom tell his dad not to discuss it in front of him and yells at his mom. Adam storms out, grumbling sarcastically about a great day.

    Adam complaints to Andrea about his mom being crazier than usual. He asks her what's wrong with his mom. Andrea thinks about it, then decides "people are just f---- up."

    Cathy comes out of her sedation. Dr. Todd says he's looking forward to meeting Paul. Later, dressed and in the waiting room, Cathy leaves a message for Marlene, checking that she's not dead yet.

    We see Marlene in her bathrobe, listening to the message and examining her slipper in the fridge.

    Cathy hangs up and calls someone, asking if they're busy.

    Cut to Lenny, picking her up. He gently helps her into his car and asks her where she'd like to go.

    "Anywhere you would like to take me," she says.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed