Last week Paul told Cathy he wanted a divorce after spying her and her black lover on the deck. He went to his promotion dinner and proceeded to get drunk and tell everyone about his wife’s transgressions.
As the episode begins, Adam is recovering from his concussion from the accident. He tells his mother he is going to his friend’s house and promises to be careful. Cathy is over at Marlene’s house and tells her that Paul asked her for a divorce because she had an affair. Marlene slapped Cathy in the face, then apologized but told her that she really f-ed up!
Andrea tells Cathy that she is dropping her class because she does not like the way she teaches. She then goes into a rant about being black and growing up in the hood. Then drops the bomb that she knows that she is screwing the black painter man.
Paul is out at the bar with Rugby Slut and complains about Cathy and that they are getting a divorce. As they get drunker, they start telling their secrets to each other. They then wind up at Paul’s sister’s house in her waterbed.
Cathy goes to Andrea’s house and is shocked to see a normal mother and father and that Andrea tells them how much she loves Cathy as a teacher. A far cry from the picture Andrea painted of the hood where she lives and the drug addict mother and no father. Andrea’s mother tells her that Andrea is at choir practice. Cathy goes to the church and listens to Andrea sing. But Andrea tells her to leave and that she is not coming to school anymore. Cathy tells her how hard life is with an education, much less without one.
After talking to Marlene again, she asks her if she ever goes to church and Marlene tells her that she goes all the time. So Cathy shows up at Andrea’s church again, this time during the service. The theme is getting a second chance. People stand up and confess their sins and ask for a second chance and then Cathy stands up and tells her story, that she cheated on her husband and lied, lied and lied. She even says the F word in church, much to the disdain of the parishioners. Andrea sees her after the service and tells her she will be in school tomorrow.
At home Cathy tells Adam what Andrea said about him and asks him to apologize to her. He sees her in school the next morning as she is getting her books out of her locker. He apologizes to her and she tells him if he meant it, to lick her locker which he reluctantly does. Gross!
Cathy appears at Paul’s door to come clean and finds that Rugby Slut (Tina) is there. But she does not even flinch when Paul tells her that they had sex several times last night. As the episode ends, Cathy tells Paul she has cancer.
Laura Linney as Cathy Jamison, a reserved schoolteacher who finds out she has cancer
Oliver Platt as Paul Jamison, her estranged husband
John Benjamin Hickey as Sean, her “eccentric” brother who chooses to be homeless
Phyllis Somerville as Marlene, Cathy’s grouchy neighbor
Gabriel Basso as Adam, Cathy’s bratty son
Gabourey Sidibe as Andrea, a mean-spirited student who Cathy sees as a challenge
Reid Scott as Dr. Todd, Cathy’s doctor and first cancer patient in his young life