How 'The Big C' Shaped Its Final Act

By JARETT WIESELMAN

April 30, 2013

Cathy Jamison's battle with cancer has been, at turns, heart-breaking, hilarious and hard to watch. But perhaps the toughest moment came in last night's The Big C: hereafter season premiere when Cathy asked her family, and fans, to accept her decision to stop chemotherapy.

Buckets of tears would have rained regardless, but the scene in question packed an even more powerful emotional wallop given it was set at the storage locker Cathy purchased and filled with a lifetime of birthday presents for her son, Adam, in season one.

"That was a really emotional scene to film," actor Gabriel Basso, who plays Adam, told ETonline. "It was my first day back filming on season four, and it was the same storage locker from season one, so there was this cool sense of the beginning and the end at the same time."

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With the end of this journey, which began when he was 15 years old, rapidly approaching, Basso is most thankful for the makeshift family that formed from his TV family. "It was truly a blessing to work with these people day in and day out," he says. "Everyone who has been on this show is such an incredible actor. I would show up to work every day and they'd mold me into this amazing young person."

Like the actor who plays him, Adam has also grown up a lot since the first episode. But with the next three episodes, Adam not only comes to some realizations about his relationships with women, but with the most important woman in his life. "There's a scene coming up where Adam finally realizes you can't treat women as emotional subsidies for how you think you should feel," he says.

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"And that's because Adam really becomes a man this season. The scene at the storage facility was the moment he realized this would probably be it for his mother because she was going off chemo. Up until now, Adam has been immature and juvenile, which is understandable because he's a teenager, but as he sees his mother leaving him for the final time, he steps up to the plate and takes care of her."

For a show that was always more interested in how you lived than how you died, it should come as no surprise that whether or not Cathy survives The Big C's series finale is almost irrelevant in the eyes of the actors.

"Death is inevitable," Basso says. "Our show cares more about how you affect the people around you before you go. Once you die, you can't tell people, 'Look how awesome I was!' It's about the legacy you leave behind and Adam wants to let his mom know she's leaving behind a good son. That he has what it takes to survive because she did well. Up until this point, he's kind of been an asshole, but by the end of these four episodes, he'll have told her, 'I love you, you raised a great son, you can relax now.'"

The Big C: hereafter airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

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