Last week Cathy finally told Paul she has cancer, just as his old fling was leaving after a night of sex. Cathy did not seem disturbed because she had gone to church and profanely asked for a second chance.
This episode starts off in her classroom and told the class as they were leaving not to use their birthday as a pin number. Paul shows up are her classroom and tells her that he will be her bald twin and starts to shave his head. She tells him that she is waiting for a clinical trial and not having chemotherapy. So off to the hair salon to fix Paul’s hair and blabbermouth Paul starts telling the gay hairdresser about how cancer caused his bad haircut. He talks about a friend who had melanoma and used coffee enemas and eating 20 apricots a day and is still around after three years.
Sean and Rebecca are together and she tells him that her job is transferring her to Minnesota and she will be coming here to stay. Sean is appalled that she will be living nearby and she throws him out of her hotel room and throws the “Welcome to Minnesota” mug he gave her at the door!
So Cathy and Rebecca are talking about men and how much they suck and Marlene comes in and tells them that she has coupons for a new buffet across town. So they go and find out that it is a strip club catering to the ladies. They are whooping it up and having fun even though Marlene had to force them to stay. Cathy discovers she has the magic key and has to go on stage to open a large box and out jumps a scene from an Officer and a Gentleman, but he is a stripper who gives her a lap dance.
Later that evening, Marlene is looking through the bushes near Cathy’s house. She is thoroughly confused and Cathy realizes that there is something wrong. A bit later in Marlene’s house, Marlene admits that she has Alzheimer’s disease. When Cathy asks why she did not tell her — duh! Cathy is the one who kept her cancer a secret.
Paul comes home to stay and for the first time in a while they are both happy. Cathy goes to see her doctor and tells him that she is going to try bee sting therapy as the episode closes.
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