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Monday’s episode of The Big C left viewers feeling positively hopeful about Cathy’s (Laura Linney) prognosis as all signs indicated the drugs from clinical trial are working, but the good news won’t last for long.
Showrunner Jenny Bicks tells The Hollywood Reporter that there are some rough waters ahead for Cathy and company: three people are going to die.
“Cathy’s not going to die but it gets very intense before the end [of the season],” Bicks says. “It really takes you on a ride … the end is both incredibly uplifting and tense and it’s going to leave you with a lot of questions.”
The Jamisons have already had their share of bad news this season — Paul (Oliver Platt) was laid off, Adam (Gabriel Basso) cheated on his girlfriend, caught an STD from a hooker and subsequently lost said girlfriend — and while things are looking up, the fatalities ahead in the final third of the season will be both shocking and expected.
“Two people who are currently alive may not be by the end,” says Bicks, who teased that two of the three “might be” series regulars and that Marlene (Phyllis Somerville) — who committed suicide last season — won’t die a second time after resurfacing in Cathy’s visions this year.
“[The deaths stays true to the idea that we continue to explore on this show, which is that death happens all the time and that it’s not just the person who’s sick who’s going through that,” Bicks says. “Death can happen at anytime to anybody and you have to really cherish what’s happening in your life right now.”
With Cathy exploring spirituality with the help of fellow clinical trial patient Lee (Hugh Dancy), Bicks hinted that while she’ll experience grief, one of the deaths will “allow her to see the beauty in [death] and be able to accept it in a new way.”
“We’ve been studying the Buddhist idea of death where death becomes something that is not something to be feared but something in some ways to be celebrated, and the deaths will affect her differently,” she says.
While each season of the dramedy follows the stages of grief — the first was about Cathy’s denial, the second exploring anger — the final four episodes of the year will set up the third level: bargaining.
“Cathy is actually going to be in a slightly good place by the end of this season so it’s going to really be about magical thinking: this idea that she might actually survive and what does that mean if you actually think you have more time,” Bicks says.
Showtime has yet to make an official decision on Season 3 of the series.
Who do you think the three deaths will be? Sound off in the comments below.
The Big C airs Mondays at 10:30 p.m. on Showtime.
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