Back to “The Big C”: Can you really call it wish fulfillment when it involves terminal illness? Imagine “Eat Pray Love,” but with cancer instead of Javier Bardem. I know I talked about this last week, but I’m starting to wonder if there’s a limit to how much “You’re pretty cool, Mrs. J” you can buy with a Stage IV diagnosis. It’s mostly hypothetical, though, because even without the tacit White Mom/Tawonda! approval signifiers, Mrs. J is still very f***ing cool. She deserves all the backslapping she’s gonna get. (And speaking of, whence that livid scar down her back? Guess Cathy’s done hospital time before now, which makes her compartmentalization about all this even easier to understand.)
So this episode is mostly concerned with her awful son and keeping him from going to soccer camp, since six weeks is now a very long time, in the hopes of rehabilitating him into a person you don’t want to throttle. Other missions include her continued bold stance against fat acceptance (w/r/t Precious); running around naked as much as possible; continuing to harass the old lady across the street with a burgeoning jealousy for her elderliness; and clothing her insufferable/wonderful brother, who spins a amazing tale of incestuous desire and faces off against Precious in two scenes that must be viewed to be believed.
A couples’ counseling session with Oliver Platt almost leads to backyard sex, but of course he f***s that one up — much better goes Operation No Summer Camp, which is accomplished by making Precious drive so she can shoot down the school bus with a paintball gun until it pulls over. Sidibe steals her second scene of the night by eventually boarding the bus as backup, armed and wearing a Bonnie Parker/Tanya Hearst beret.
While the “woman of an age discovers her body as though for the first time” thing can often get Ephrony, it’s not just the total hotness of Laura Linney that makes this theme in the episode so inviting (although it helps) …
Photo credit: Showtime