01x01 - Pilot


Don't worry. Her last appointment just left.

Thanks, Sophia.



My sister threatened to burn all my clothes if I didn't go shopping with her.

Don't worry.

Did you say your sister came down with you?


Why? What's going on, Norah?

You got my scan back.


Well, I've seen enough of these to know that's a healthy one.

Mmm. This was six months ago, when you were clear.

Here's the scint scan we just did.

Two years ago, when you first told me I had cancer?

Mental Ward C, Dr. Mesner.

(Door closing)

Natalie. Hello.

Hi. Um...

It's... um, the dark spots are where the cancer has spread?

Yes, except this is from a patient I saw this morning.

This... is yours.

You have a four centimetre tumour in your right kidney.

That's all?

That's all.

And that's good?

It's not terrible.

We'll have to remove the organ.

You can live a perfectly normal life with one kidney.

And my hair? I was about to grow it out.

Since there's no metastasis, radical nephrectomy has an 80 percent cure rate.

That means no chemo or radiation.

But if my scan looked like your other patient's?

Then there wouldn't be much hope.

In a case like this, we have a name for it...

I'm the Christmas Tree.

(Birds chirping)

I don't want cheese.

You need the calcium.

I told you to get the low-fat.

Can I get an extra apple?


This is annoying.

So don't read it.

Some of us still read things that aren't on screens.

Some of us are wondering who died and made you God.

Did you know that 300 million sperm attack one single egg to fertilize it? How is that fair?

Dunno. But, ultimately, the egg decides which one to let in.

What kind of a choice is that? 300 million to 1?

It's nature.

Easy for you to say.

The egg doesn't feel anything.

And you know this from experience?

No. Mom...

Think about it this way, Romy.

Most of the sperm don't make it, but the egg survives.

But it's always the girl who's left holding the bag. I mean, look at you.



Go get ready for school. Emma, you too.

Lunch? It's your favourite.

(Phone ringing)

You don't have to do this anymore.

Yeah, try and stop me.

Emma: Hello? Oh, hi, Auntie Nicole.

No, no, everything's great. Just another morning in paradise.

Auntie Nicole wants us over for dinner tonight.

I have a huge test to study for that'll probably determine my future, but here's Mom.

Hi. You sure you wanna go to all that trouble?

[I understand if you're busy, but I bought all this food... Your folks are coming anyway,] and I left a message for your sister.

You keep Anakin, but Thor stays here, OK?

No, no, no. Actually, she can't take either. Remember?


It's policy at Abby's school.

Superheroes engender cultural violence.

[Hey, tell my sister I insist.]

I insist!

How does 6:00 sound?

6:00 is great.

Wonderful. Bring nothing, OK?

See you then.


I have dinner plans with Ariel.

And I wasn't lying about that math test. Romy, back me up.

We do have a math test tomorrow, but she was probably lying about studying for it.

Well, now I'm going to.


You better. We leave in five.

(Continuous vibrating)

(Phone ringing)

(Whispering) I can't talk right now.

He looks normal, but we agreed you weren't gonna do this.


That lawyer from your firm you wanted me to meet?

Oh, right. What was I thinking?

Hey, are you going to Matthew's for dinner tonight? Mom and Dad are gonna be there.

Oh, she sweetens the deal.

You are just like my children.

Do you remember when they used to love family dinners?

I'm just like your children because I have my own life.

And I don't?

(Whispering) I gotta go.

[Why are you whispering?]

I'm not; I'm just... just a little hoarse.

Did you just call yourself a little whore?

Hoarse. I'm a little hoarse.

You're at some guy's house, aren't you?

[You hooked up last night.]

Oh, crap.


Hey, I managed to catch the red-eye.


You've gotta be kidding me.

I didn't know. I swear.

(Whispering) Shoes... my shoes.

Nice shoes.


Come on! I'm not a chauffeur.

60 seconds and I'm gone.

You're riding?

What about your sister?

She's 13. She'll be fine without me.

It's a new school for her.

She's still adjusting.

I'm going out for triathlon, OK?

I need to train.


Who else is doing it?

Cecilia. What's the difference?

Hey! Did you lock the kitchen door?

Well, it's a big time commitment.

You're the one always telling me to push myself.

Yeah, to focus on your grades instead of your social life.



OK, I want you to go straight there.

Nice. Where's the trust?

I don't wanna hear you were late again.

Well, I'm sure you won't.

She hates that I'm in some of her classes, you know.

She's just riding because she joined triathlon.

Based on her guitar lesson fail, I give the week.


(Car beeping)

(Car engine starting)

♪ The songbirds came ♪
♪ To show and tell ♪
♪ And issued me their fare-thee-wells ♪
♪ And as they sang ♪
♪ They were like bells ♪
♪ Inside their words my body fell ♪

♪ Ohh ♪
♪ Ohh ♪
♪ And we could change ♪
♪ The things we said ♪


I didn't realize you rode this way.

It's the hardest way up.

And that's a good thing?


Builds strength.

♪ Didn't measure ♪
♪ To the grandeur in your head ♪
♪ And I would wait ♪
♪ If you didn't hide ♪
♪ And let this hunter slowly die ♪
♪ Folly lives ♪
♪ Within my bones ♪
♪ And follows everywhere I go ♪



Not sure that's a day dress, Margaret.

No, of course not. No, I... see, look.

I have this right here. It's very "admin assistant."

Get changed in the washroom this time.


That was... I thought everyone had left for the night. I...

I need every last scrap indexed.


So this morning's biology lecture?

It was just something to make me seem interesting.

"Be interested, not interesting."

I read that somewhere.

I think I read somewhere that life isn't fair.

Not always.

But it can often be wonderful.

I thought maybe you guys stopped to get a room.

Don't ask. Train wreck.

Well, at least you still have the swimsuit portion of the sport.

Crap. I took the broken one.

(Bell ringing)

Bye, Mom.

I love you.


(Indistinct chatter)


I still can't talk.

I was afraid he kidnapped you.

Whatever random you went home with.

No, but I did get lured into an accidental home wrecking.


What you said this morning...

Did you mean it?

I don't know, what did I say?

[That I don't have a life.]

Did I?

Because I won't let you set me up with anyone?

[OK, message received.]

[I will never try it again.]

I know you think I focus too much on the kids instead of all that, but Romy doesn't have any friends, which Emma couldn't care less about, and Caleb is...

Natalie. Can you hear yourself?

Your kids are fine.


You did mean it.

Yeah, OK, fine. Maybe I think you could stand to focus on yourself a little bit more.

Says the 30-year-old who lives like she's 20?

Well, at least I know who I am.

Are you saying that I don't?

Look at your Facebook profile.

[You used to care so much about your column, but now...]

[Look. Don't get me wrong, OK? I think you are a great mother.]

I do. I just... sometimes I miss the old version of you.

You know? The fun, impulsive Natalie who would buy booze for my friends and I when we were underage, or who ran off with David after four dates.

Yeah, OK, maybe that wasn't the best example.

You hung up on me, didn't you?

(Car honk)

Hi. Sorry.

(French accent) Didn't we say 20 minutes ago?

The seminar went late.

They were talking about this.


I'd build houses in Africa.

You're leaving for a whole summer?

I mean, it'll help me get into that architecture program, right?

What if I come too?


I don't need it for school, but it'll be an adventure.

I don't know.

You don't want me to.

No, no. I was gonna say...

I'm probably not even going.

I bet my mom will need me around this summer, so...

Have you asked her?

Maybe she'd want you to go.

You know, we never do anything fun anymore.

At least talk to her.

Maybe I will.

(Distant siren)

I'm waiting on inspiration, so I'm getting out of here.

What are you doing right now?

You picked up the pieces after David left.

Raised three kids on your own, and you were there for me when Kevin joined the Air Force... which was about half an hour after they cut out your kidney.

Yeah, so doesn't that make Maggie's point for her?

What has your sister ever done with her life but seek instant gratification?

So have you heard from Kevin?

Nothing. For three weeks.

Not much from his father, either.

And that one I still live with.

(Door opening)


Why do we keep that rusted lock in the shed if it's broken?

I have no idea what you're talking about.

I had to ride all the way back home to get one that actually works.

Oh, so you were late for school this morning.

Oh, so, what? You'd rather I get my bike stolen?

Emma has joined triathlon.

Oh. Young men in speedos. Can I come cheer you on?

D, they're teenagers.


Fine. Spoil my fun.

That's always the case. It's not fair.

I know, I know. It's just not, it's not.

Cocktail hour already?

It's only rosé.

It's basically one step away from herbal tea.

Hi, Natalie.

Hi, Ariel.

Young love.

(Crickets chirping)

(Dog barking)

Mom, do you want some wine?

Yes, thanks.

I'd hoped to see your kids tonight, Natalie.

Uh, yeah. Well, the girls had to study and Caleb was busy.

So this is braised brisket with pearl onions.

All this on a Wednesday night?

It only takes about 20 minutes to get ready.

That's the beauty of it.

Slow cooker.

Yeah, a friend of Matthew's from medical school served us this exact dish last weekend.

Next morning, she rushed out, she bought one.

I did.

I'm happy to make a batch for you and the kids.

Take supper off your plate once in a while.

Thank you, Nicole. It's really good.


Mm, thank you.

We aren't worthy.

Well, speak for yourself.

Actually, she meant me.

What was that, Natalie?

Tell them. Let's crowdsource this.

Matthew: What?

Earlier today, I merely floated the idea that Nat spends a little bit too much time worrying about her kids at the expense of herself.

Aw, what does that even mean?

You can't possibly know what that's like. You don't have children.

Oh, no, that's right. Of course. I am a complete disappointment in every way.

No, no. No one is saying that.

Not everybody needs to have children.

Yeah, well, not everyone should.

Not everyone can.

Oh, nice. What?

That's enough.


(Indistinct chatting)

Oh, yes. That's not pleasant.

Simon says...

Not now, honey.

We'll play later, OK?

Simon says... his girlfriend wants to meet you.



Is that my phone? Sweetie?

Who's Simon?

Abigail, hands off other people's things, OK?

Go play, sweetie.

Must be nice. Life without responsibility.

She does her own thing. She always has.

You keep letting her off the hook, she's never gonna grow up, Dad.

She has a 9 to 5 job now.

Yeah. And maybe she has a point about me.

No, she doesn't. And you don't have to worry about your kids.

Your kids are great.

Let's drink up.

To children!

Here's to kids.

Matthew: Dad! Lift your glass. To adult children.

...collapse at the core of a massive star. Something like 25 or 30 times the mass of the sun or more.

Ride the boy. See how long you can stay up.


Yes. Just do it, just do it.

You sure?




Whoa, whoa, whoa! You know.

Oh, my God! Stop, stop, stop!


OK, ready for this one?

You know this one.




Not too high. Not too high!

You can do that.


Just do it.


Oh, I can't do this. Stop.

(Soft rock plays)

TV: ... their power in the centre of galaxies. (Louder) The supermassive black holes are at the centre of the galaxy...

(Muffled TV audible)

There's a theory in quantum mechanics that the universe is so big that somewhere there could be another Earth exactly like ours.

Scientists didn't think super...


- ...massive the black hole existed...

Don't you two have a test you're supposed to be studying for?

Aren't you supposed to be out for dinner with Ariel?

...safe from the fatal attraction...

Oh, my God. Are you in there scandalizing your girlfriend while we're literally sitting 10 feet away, learning about science?

Go. Study.

Scientists believe...

Maybe on the second Earth, he's less of a dick.

Yeah, I doubt it.

...the Milky Way. And because we can't readily...



Goodnight, Ariel.


Call me when you get home.


(Phone jingling)

It's your girlfriend. She just left. Tell her to gear down.

Why don't you get some sleep?

Otherwise your brain won't develop and then what'll happen?

Hey. Yep, me too.

[I love you.]


Call you later.

You guys seem serious.

"Yoga for the soul"?

Yeah, I get invited every year.

In The Laurentians, for two weeks.

You're thinking of going?

Hey, would you be OK with the girls if I did go?

"Imagine having clarity about knowing who you truly are and what the purpose of your life is."

Seriously, you buy this?

No, not really.

I don't know.

I probably won't go.


You should. I'll be around.

I have summer courses.


"For the soul."

Ms. Lawson.


Sorry to keep you waiting.

I'm Andrew Wallace. I'm the new principal.

Thanks for coming in. Why don't you have a seat?

Um, yeah. Is this about Emma? I know she was late again...

She struggles with her priorities, certainly, but she just joined the triathlon team. I think she's just a little bit frazzled.

Actually, I asked you here to talk about Romy.

Yeah, I guess my assistant didn't say.

I'm sorry. Please.

Why? What happened?

Well... she made zigzags as answers.

6 out of 64.

She tanked on purpose.

Spoken with her teachers. There's a consensus Romy's... not adjusting entirely to her new school.

Which means? Other than this?

Well, she doesn't engage in class and she mostly keeps to herself, I think.

After I pushed so hard for her to skip a grade.

I know. I was looking at her files.

She was way ahead of her peers last year.

And she absolutely refused the gifted school the board recommended.

Well, that doesn't always make things easier. Being gifted.

Hmm... They should come up with another name for it.

(Chuckle) Romy is not a bad kid.

I know that. I spent time with her today, in fact.

She's... she's awesome. She's a great kid.

She reminds me of a boy I taught a few years ago, actually.

Do I wanna know how?

(Chuckle) Um...

Kind of a look he gave me.

Like the world moves too slowly for him.

I am painfully familiar with that look.

Well, eventually, he adjusted.

So that's good news.


An adolescent psychologist I know helped him kind of sort some things out. His name is Lucas Carson, and if you're at all open to the idea, it could be really good for Romy, I think.

She's really not going to like that.

Well, no, of course.

What should I tell her about this test?

I wouldn't say anything for now.

I'll deal with her teachers, and we'll adjust gently.

How does that sound?

Saying nothing isn't really my style.

Which is good for her.


The psychologist's number?

It's mine. I'll reach out to the psychologist for you.

Your number.


Um, that would be for?

For calling me.

If you ever need to.



Thank you.

Why are you ignoring my texts?

Because this is way too much work for a one-night stand.

Well, that's what I'm trying to say. We want something more.


Look, I have no idea what you told your girlfriend about me and I don't really care, you know?

You're looking to spice things up in your relationship, so maybe you need to buy some toys.

OK, here's the thing. Sarah and I are looking for new experiences.

Come on! What are you afraid of?

(Phone ringing)

I gotta go.

Oh, what? Some other guy?


Hey! I'm glad you called.

I thought you'd like to know I was recently flirted with.

[How dare he. Wait... don't tell me you actually] enjoyed it.

[Shut up.]

I'm still mad at you.

Yeah? Then why call me?

Because... maybe you were right about me.

[Was I?]


You should let me punch you in the face.


Yeah, I've started boxing lessons instead of using my pent-up aggression to murder my boss.

Oh, that sounds functional.

Yeah, it's probably too violent for you, but it makes me feel great.

No, book it. I'm in.


Good day?


Whatcha working on?

Book report.

That's always fun.

Except for the part where I have to decide what book to read.

Well, if you need any help...

Here's the list my teacher gave me.

I was thinking about this one.

The Catcher in the Rye.

That might be a little dark.

This is one of my favourites.

Little Women?


Everything you like is, like, two centuries old.

Well, they're both good.

Everything on that list is good.

Where's my charger? Oh!

That's mine!

Hey, Em...


I was thinking about taking you shopping for gear, OK?

Proper running shoes. Regulation bicycle helmet.

What happened to triathlon being this major time suck?

Well, if you are really committed to it, I'm impressed.

Why don't you just give me the money? I'll go by myself.

(Phone ringing)

Man: Hi, I'm not available. Please leave a message.



You hear that, Jim?

That's a plate by Adam Fogler, 150 bucks a piece, which I just smashed in our sink.

So the next time you decide to not call me and let me know that I'm gonna be eating alone again like a pathetic fool, why don't you ask yourself how much it'll cost to replace the whole set?

(Deep breath)

Oh, and in the meantime, let's see if you really did get the best garburator money can buy.

(Ceramic clinking)

(Loud whirring)

(Clanking and crunching)

(Loud noise halts and stops)

(Low whine)

'K, chin down, hands up.

Hands up. OK, go!

There you go. Again!

Good stuff. Your sister's a natural. Here we go.

Come on, Paperweight. You ready to rumble? Ooh.

(Laughing) Go on.

Bring the pain. Seriously?

That was weaker than your Monday column.

Because my job requires independent thought.

Well, since we're getting personal? I think you're afraid to really hit me.

Oh, I think you're afraid to get hit.



I like it rough.

(Gasping) Oh! I'm sorry. Um...

Your mom asked me to bring some food over for the girls.

Oh. They got hungry. They went to The Dep for candy...

If I'd known you were...

I'm sorry, I...

I'm sorry. Are you hungry?

I've got a pretty decent cassoulet here.

Yeah, sure. Thanks.

I'll leave it on the counter upstairs.



(Heavy breathing)



Oh, God. Nat! Are you OK?


I'm OK. It's OK.

I had an operation two years ago. It's just sensitive.

I'm OK.

(Announcement) Michael Crawford, 340...

[Michael Crawford, please call 340.



I'm not supposed to see you for another month.

Yeah, but they squeezed me in early.

Feeling alright?


Little bit tired.

Tired... like a mother with three kids?

(Chuckling) You know it.

How are yours doing?

They're good.

Hanging in there.

Oh! Sorry. There's just a little bit of pain.

I see that.

Yeah, it's 'cause I went boxing.


Yeah, with my sister.

Um, it's getting better fast, though.

No swelling. Some bruising.

We'll do a scint.

Are you worried?

Almost due for one anyway.

I'd rather be on the safe side.

Proof correspondence to Williams, Beekman.

Send invoices to Keller, Parsons, and take a letter for me in the Stanley case to opposing council...

(Quieting) Dear sir, comma.

It has come to my attention that your client has been having ex parte communications with the employees of my client, period.


Please advise your client to cease and desist this practice immediately, failing which the necessary proceedings will be taken without further notice or delay.

Did you get that?


Yes. Uh, "proof correspondence to Williams, Beekman, send invoices to Keller, Parsons."



I changed my mind.

We are not quitting.

We are getting in that water and going for a swim.

I do see the appeal.

Forget about him. Let's do this.



(Phone chime)


[Natalie. It's Andrew.]



Yeah, I recognized your voice.

[How are you?]


And you?

[I'm good.]

I, uh... I heard you went boxing?

Oh! You read my column.


So if I ask you out to dinner, promise you won't beat me up?


Are you serious?

Any chance you're free tonight?

This isn't against any ethics code, now, is it?

I don't want to end up on the front page of my own newspaper.

[There's no official codes, no.]

Just the good sense of two adults.

OK, then.


Great, well, I'll, I'll, er, I'll call you later with some plans, then.


Thank you, Natalie.

(Whispering) "Thank you, Natalie." God!

What if most of what we tell ourselves is wrong?

Well, can we fix that?

When is it too late?

This isn't easy to write and the temptation

to delete the whole thing is great, but

forget every word I've ever written... because today I start again.

So what are we shopping for?


Um, what if he actually wants to see me in it?

I should book us in for a wax.

Well, that sounds fun.

Just a wax! Not even a Brazilian. Just a straight-up, simple Bikini wax.


Don't worry. Her last appointment just left.

Thanks, Sophia.


Michael Crawford to gate...

It's Stage Four Renal Cell Carcinoma.

All this spread in six months?

I'm as shocked as you are.

The rate of growth is very unexpected.

But, hey, if I hadn't been hurt, you wouldn't have even done a scan. So that's something, right? I mean, at least now we know?

Except this time, there's no positive prognosis.

If the biopsy confirms the scan, our first job will be to control the disease, to buy you time.

To buy me time.

I'm not gonna get better?

There are always new treatments.

I'm not saying we don't have options, Natalie.

You don't have to do this, Norah.

OK? Not with me.

Just tell me.

How much time do I have?

It's impossible to say for sure.

Well, months. Years.


A year. Maybe a little more.

I really thought this was behind me.

Me too.

How do I tell my kids?

We have a social worker available here, if you want to talk to someone...

No, no, thank you.

I've got my family.

My office will be in touch tomorrow about a biopsy appointment. If you have any questions at all, you have my number.

Thank you.


Don't forget these.

I'm so sorry.

Me too.

Rest Area - EXIT - Nurses Station -

♪ Sail away from the cries ♪
♪ Of your cynical thoughts ♪
♪ Sail away from the hurry ♪
♪ To prove them wrong ♪

Ms. Lawson?

♪ Sail away from the voices ♪

Are you OK?

Yes... yes. I-I'll be fine.

♪ Let them think they know something ♪
♪ Then sail away ♪

I'm sorry about Africa.

It was your idea in the first place.

I know.

I promise it's not about you.

I just can't go this year.

It's fine.

Everything will stay the same, then.

♪ Sail away from the land ♪
♪ Where your dreams seem unreal ♪
♪ Sail away to where you don't have to do ♪
♪ Where you only have to be ♪
♪ Sail away from the striving ♪
♪ Sail away from the struggle ♪
♪ Sail away to the heavens ♪
♪ They're right here in your hands ♪
♪ Sail away to better lands ♪


(Indistinct voice over PA)



(Elevator doors sliding)

(Indistinct chatting)

(Music crescendos)

♪ Sail away from the cries ♪
♪ Of your cynical thoughts ♪
♪ Sail away from the hurry ♪
♪ To prove them wrong ♪
♪ Sail away from the voices ♪
♪ Who can't help but bring you down ♪
♪ Let them think they know something ♪
♪ Then sail away ♪

Announcer: On the next This Life...

Maggie, I'm dying. You can't tell anyone.

The children don't know.

You're my child and I know when you're hiding something.

Mum, don't do this.

How am I going to leave them alone?