It’s been another good week for Survivor’s Remorse.
First off, on Wednesday, Starz announced the comedy series has been renewed for a third season. Second, creator Mike O’Malley and his team succeeded in producing an episode that took an extremely awkward subject and turned it into a touching story line—without sacrificing the show’s signature comedy style.
True, we have to get through about three-quarters of the episode and a whole lot of funny and wince-inducing jokes on the topic before we arrive at poignancy. But Survivor’s Remorse sure knows how to keep vaginal rejuvenation from being a one-note punch line (no, I can’t believe I just wrote that line either).
The episode focuses on Cassie’s decision to, as she describes it to M-Chuck and Missy, “get my pocketbook tweaked” (and, for once, M-Chuck has to take a backseat to Missy, who nails the mood in the room better than M-Chuck ever could with this killer response: “I wish my mother and I were this close”). But just because Cassie is strong enough to go through with the surgery, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for her to discuss with her children — nor does it mean she even wants to, but that’s also a great added layer to the plot.
Since Cassie is living off of Cam, she has to at least alert him that there may be some out-of-pocket costs. And because she’s not exactly keen to let her son in on her private, female decisions, she’s cagey about her “procedure.” This of course leads Cam to think she’s got cancer, so he panics and engages his sister in (what I hope will be the only time I ever write these words) a hilarious discourse over what constitutes “good cancer” and “bad cancer”:
Cam: “Non-Hodgkin’s is bad. People hit me up on Twitter every day for non-Hodgkin’s—it’s decimating people.”
M-Chuck: “We do a ton of cardio—nobody’s getting cancer….If [Mom had cancer], she wouldn’t be so vague. She’d be milking you for all you’re worth, you know that.”
Did I mention that this entire dialogue takes place on a stretch of highway where M-Chuck is doing her post-punching-Cam-in-the-eye community-service cleanup? Now that Cam’s eye has healed and he’s back on the court, M-Chuck is spending her days sporting the latest in fluorescent-orange vests.
Once M-Chuck has accosted her mother at the nail salon later in the episode, the truth comes spilling out: Having two kids messed up Cassie’s lady parts, and she’s taking advantage of modern medicine (and her son’s newfound wealth) to get “a bionic pussy.” With the cancer scare out of the picture, M-Chuck is all, “Your body, your life, Ma.” Cam, on the other hand, not so much.
Here lies the downside to Cassie being dependent on her son: It’s true, Cam doesn’t get to control what she does with her body. But since he’s footing the bill, he does wind up a lot more involved in a situation that, under any other circumstances, wouldn’t be any of his business. “I want to know what I’m paying for,” he confesses to M-Chuck and Julius before he convinces them to help stage an intervention with Cassie. Cam also makes a good point about why he should worry: It doesn’t matter if you have money, because things can still go wrong on the operating table.
But the real truth behind Cam’s outburst comes out before Julius and M-Chuck begrudgingly go along with the intervention: He’s just plain weirded out by seeing his mom have a sex life. (The episode begins with Cassie and her current squeeze, Blair, having a very loud quickie the morning after a date.) So instead of trying to grasp the fact that his mother is a grown — and, for all intents and purposes, lonely — woman, Cam tries to pin the vaginal-rejuvenation decision on Blair.
As soon as the Cassie intervention is in full-swing, it becomes clear that Cam is just not going to win this fight, because usually if you’re that concerned about possible side effects, you take the time to actually look them up:
“Vaginal prolapse! I don’t know what vaginal prolapse is, but that’s how serious this is, Mom!”
NEXT: The truth comes out