01x05 - The Unbelieving

Who's "N"?

N who?

The N who had the biopsy.

Nobody you know.

N is Natalie.

Is her cancer back?

What are you even about, except yourself?

What is that?

You tell me.

Was that, uh...

In the sofa.

Yeah And locked.

Yeah, no, I got it for Emma. Her birthday's coming up.

There are more functional ways to fit in, you know.

Oh, hello.

But I like it.

Being with you. More than I thought I would.

Do you mind if I ask why?


Two years ago, I had cancer.

And now it's back and I maybe have a year to live.

I'm really sorry.

[Mr. Chisholm passed away.]


[Two months ago.]

(water running)

(drain gurgling)

(shower running)

(muffled tapping)


(muffled banging)


(sprinkling water)

(banging) (inaudible)


(bird chirping)


I haven't been in so long.

Yeah, me neither.

It just reminds me of being a little girl.

Sunday school, I don't know.

I'm lucky. My mom barely tolerated church.

I got out unscathed.

Caleb, wait.

I promised my grandma I'd get here on time.

Or at least before Communion.

I'm pregnant.

(distant music plays)

♪ I'm pressing on the upward way ♪
♪ New heights I'm gaining every day ♪
♪ Still praying as I'm onward bound ♪
♪ Lord, plant my feet on higher ground ♪
♪ Lord, lift me up ♪
♪ And let me stand ♪
♪ By faith, on Heaven's tableland ♪
♪ A higher plane than I have found ♪
♪ Lord, plant my feet on higher ground ♪
♪ I want to scale ♪
♪ The utmost height ♪


♪ And catch a gleam ♪
♪ Of glory bright ♪
♪ But still I'll pray 'til heaven I've found ♪
♪ Lord, lead me on ♪
♪ To higher ground ♪

Um, yeah. I take a pill every day.

Protein inhibitor.


Any side effects?


No sign it's actually doing anything.

So, um, we just... we want you to know that we're there for you.

Yeah. I know you are.

And for the kids. Whatever you need, whenever you're ready.


I know. Thank you.

If I'm in Hell, are there different levels?

Like, one for the murderers and one for the unbelievings?

Or is it all just gen pop?


It's alright, Janine. It's actually a very interesting question.

Hey, Romy! Come on!

We gotta get going.

OK, yeah.

Bye, bye.

Bye, Romy.

Nice seeing you.

Come on, sweetie. Let's go.


Jump in the car.

I'll be right back. OK?

Our family was short a few parishioners today.

Yeah, well, Caleb said he was coming.

And Emma... well, Emma's got a boyfriend.

That means she can't come to Mass?

No, it means she's too old for me to force her to.

And anyways, they were training this morning for triathlon.

You still haven't told them?


I'm letting them have their last few days of normal.

(kissing sounds)

Clothes stay on.

So do you meet many movie stars?

We live in Echo Park.

I've read about an art gallery on Wilshire?



It's more of a museum.


Do they show any of your work there?

Nah, I don't know...

Do you mind if I steal my boy, Helen?

Oh, no. Go right ahead.

Nice to see you again.

Bye, bye Oliver.

(quietly): Thank you.

I owe you one. Helen wouldn't recognize art if you wallpapered her house with it.

Listen, Oliver. Do you need anything while you're here?

I'm fine. Why?

A few bucks, maybe?

Dad, no. I'm good.

Bye, Dad.

Thank you for coming, Oliver.


Mm. I love you.

Do you think he's not talking about Tom because of Natalie?

I just wish being here meant something to them.

They only come because of me.

Well, it's the same with me, but it's never bothered you before.

Do you believe in God?


Then how do you explain how miserable everybody is?

How sad and lost and poor the world is?

I can't.

♪ ♪

(theme music)



You must be Jayden.

Yeah, hi.




I don't want you in your room with him when I'm not home.

We weren't doing anything.

Mm-hmm. And I want the door open when I am.

Mm... sounds a little too pricey for me right now.

I'll pay. I don't care.

OK, I think we should do smoked meat and poutine.

Down and dirty.

Are you saved?


Do you wanna have dinner with us tomorrow night, Maggie's brother?

Oliver, Sarah. Sarah, Oliver.

Yeah, we met last night.

You two were way into the gin.

Oh... I'll be right back.


That was pretty stroppy.

That poor girl. I can't watch.

What are you talking about?

She obviously likes you.

Yeah, and I like her.

And she's engaged.

She's engaged to be engaged.

You're straight.

I'm like a Kinsey 2.5.

After one girl. You can't tank somebody's relationship over a .5. You're toying with this girl, for some reason, and you know it.

OK, well, you should talk. I mean, what are you doing?

You know, living here indefinitely, just hiding from your life?

I'm here for Natalie.

Oh, OK, yeah.

Keep telling yourself that. Here.

This came for you What is this?

It was under the door when we got up this morning.

Dad left me a cheque for $200.

Well, I guess he thinks you still need an allowance.

She's, like, 15.

Are you that surprised?

I did all kinds of dumb things with boys when I was her age.

Mm... I was, like, 18 before I did anything.

You know trying to control this will only make it worse, right?

I know.

But there are other things you can control when it comes to your children.

(sighing): Not you, too.

It's been a week since your biopsy results.

What are you waiting for?

I think of the pain it will cause them and I can't.

You can't protect them from this.

I go to tell them and I choke.

I mean, my body... it literally rejects the words.

I think you should see Sybil.


You remember. She help me quit drinking.

Three months is a long time and I couldn't have done it without her.

Hmm. Remind me again what Sybil does?

Cellular reprogramming.

(laughing): Oh, come on.

Natalie, I'm totally serious. She makes you confront your fear and your regret and it's so powerful she actually changes you on a cellular level.

Mm. For three months.

Yeah, fine.

But isn't three months, in your case, pretty valuable, relatively speaking?

Oh, I don't think, um...

(gulping and spitting)

Is that vodka?

And a little water.

Oh, D. OK, you get some leeway because of the divorce, but this is next level.

(sigh) Be quiet and keep enabling.


Thank you for caring about me.

Tell the kids. Oh...

We were worried we upset you.

(sighing): No.

Frightened me, maybe.

But you were right to bring it up.

I mean, my kids are going to need you.

Do you want to talk to them about this first?

Um... well, no matter what I choose to do, they're going to be distraught.

But no, I think if there's a plan in place first, it might be a little bit easier.


You realize that down the road, to formalize this, we may need to talk to David.

Why? He has no part in their lives.

I know, I know, but legally he's still their father.

Yeah, he abandoned his children.

You think that he deserves a voice in what happens to them after I die?

No. No, we don't.

But the law might, you know?

Oh, God.

We've been in touch with our lawyer to find out.

I know. Except, Natalie, it may take some time, so if you're waiting to tell the kids until we have some certainty here, I'm... I'm not sure that's wise.

It never ceases to amaze me how committed my children's father is to f*cking up all of our lives.


I still don't understand why you had to go off the pill.

You were there. You saw the mood swings.

You're moody anyways.

Well, you're the one who never wants to use a condom.

That's not true.

"I'll pull out, I swear."

Whatever. Doesn't matter whose fault it is.

Because it's both of our faults.

But that doesn't necessarily mean it's a problem.

What are you talking about?

Don't you think that we could make it work?

We're 19 years old.

And we love each other.

And my mother is dying.

Maybe she wants to live long enough to meet her first grandchild.

Do you really want to keep it?

I just really want us to think about it.

We can identify and confront the causes of your cancer.

When you say that, you don't mean the actual tumours growing inside me.

Natalie, why did you come here if you've already decided I'm a fraud?

I am on medication my oncologist prescribed and I don't have a clue if it's doing anything.

And even if it is, at best it's just buying me time.

So I'm supposed to, what, just sit here and wait...

For death?

I was going to say for sickness.

You're here because you feel powerless.

You communed with my cells and they told you that?

(chuckling): No.

You told me that. Just now.

What exactly are you offering?

Because, I mean... "cellular reprogramming"?

I'm pretty sure it isn't science.

What does your oncologist offer you?

A few months' grace, risky trial drugs, praying for a miracle?

So you want me to believe that the causes of my cancer are psychological?

Well, there are genetic, environmental factors too.

But in all my clients with cancer, there's always been an illness of being.

(sigh) Were you completely happy before your cancer?

(small laugh) Is anybody?

I mean, if that was the case, everybody would be ill.

Almost everyone is.


I'm sorry.

Skeptic can't even give herself 60 minutes.

I met a man right before I learned I was dying.

He may have been falling in love with me, so I told him I had cancer.

He's also the principal at my daughters' school.

My youngest is in therapy.

My older daughter has this boyfriend...

My son walks around with the world on his shoulders.

And their father?

No, he's gone. He's nowhere.

I haven't been able to tell any of my children about my cancer.

That's good.

Because I absolutely think you should not.

You don't?


You're too confused right now.

You're afraid and you're angry.

They would read your terror and I think it would just make things worse.

Then what would you have me do?

I would have you put yourself first.

Stop trying to solve all their problems.

How many of your clients with my prognosis have survived?


OK, I'm sorry.

Um, doesn't that sort of prove that you have no chance of curing me, then?

Curing you?

Of cancer?

I'm not offering to cure you.

I don't understand.

Then why am I here?


Do you want to end your life regretting who you are and how you lived?

Or would you rather die happy?

(indistinct chatter)

What's wrong?

Gears are shot.

Can it be fixed?

It'll cost over half what the bike is worth.

I could pitch in.

Thanks, but there's no point.

Why not?

I'll never make the elite team anyways.

Is it because of the bike? Because even with this piece of crap, your times are on point.

Yeah, but our stupid school never even qualifies for events where scouts actually show up.

Forget it.

Yeah, don't bother to lock it up or anything.

OK, so last time you were here, we decided to look at your problems adjusting to your new grade.

No, we didn't.

That isn't where you thought we landed?

That's where you landed. I don't really care about any of that stuff.


I had to tell you something.


So we could have some sort of a breakthrough and I could stop coming.

OK, suddenly you're interested in telling the truth. What's changed?

My uncle thought it'd be a good idea and I think he knows what he's talking about.

He's the one you met.

So you don't care about fitting in at school?

That's all my sister cares about.

And that's not interesting to you?

When I look at her, I see a black hole where her personality should be.

OK, what about the rest of your family?

My brother's OK.

It's just, he's always been so focused and never stopped to notice the world around him.

'Cause you notice a lot more about the world than he does?

That's what freaks my mom out.

OK, what about your mother? What would you change about her?

I'd get her to start telling me the truth.

Oh, I left my purse in there.

Want me to go get it?

No, no, no. I'll do it.




I forgot my purse.

Romy's just in the car.

How's she doing, anyway?

We can only discuss your daughter if I'm concerned about her safety. Otherwise, our sessions are strictly confidential.

Of course. I'm sorry.

I have cancer.

It's terminal. Romy doesn't know.

I'm very sorry to hear that.

I suppose I just want you to know, so that you can factor it in to your sessions.

I mean, I haven't been able to tell her.

I will... Unless, of course, you think it's better that I don't?

Um... Ms. Lawson, I know how challenging this must be for you but , you're putting me in a difficult position right now.

I am?

Now I, I know an important secret about Romy's life that she doesn't, so suddenly all her reasons not to trust me are confirmed.

(whispering): Yeah.

I hadn't thought of that.

You should get back.


And... I truly am sorry.

Thank you.

Got it.

Left it in the washroom. Had to track down the key and then it was occupied.

Alrighty, ready to go?



You're giving me Dad's $200?

You're out of work and I don't want it.

So just give it back to him.

Then I have to talk to him about why.

Then spend it on yourself.

Or just consider it my portion of the rent.

Because you're never going home, since your relationship with Tom is clearly over and for some reason you refuse to talk to me about it.


You know, you're welcome to stay here as long as you want, but you should know rent is 1500 a month.

Maybe you should start looking for work.

I have been.

I did cancel on Sarah tonight, though.

Drinks on Dad?

You better not have put my jeans in the dryer again.

What are you doing back?

It's lunch.

Are you on my computer?

This is Jayden's essay.

He left it here.


You shouldn't be going through my private, personal stuff.

Are you writing Jayden's essays for him?

Just the conclusion. Is that such a crime?

You barely leave yourself enough time to write your own essays.

I want a lock on my door.


Tell him to get his own damn C's.

You worked here a while.

Yes. On and off, most of my twenties.

Drinking with regulars, closing the place down...

Are those old colleagues?

No, everyone's basically moved on.


Maybe... No.

What are you doing?

I am making plans for later.

You're ditching me to go get laid.

If I can find a suitable gentleman caller.

Yesterday, you had a girlfriend.

Yes, and now I am on the rebound.

Just like you.

See that guy at the bar there?

I think you should meet him.

He's 70.

Beside him, with the tats.

I used to serve him and sometimes party with him.

He's very friendly.

Maggie, I don't think hooking up with strangers is going to help us right now.

I think it'll help me.

Although, when I was at the bar earlier, I did kind of tell him that you wanted to buy him a drink.

So, uh, you called the office.

Yeah, I thought you were in clinic today.

I was supposed to be. Richard's out of his depth with a procedure. He asked me to help out.

And what about your appointments?

I've rescheduled them. Look, I'm on my way to the hospital right now, so, uh...

[OK, don't forget, ] you invited your parents to watch the game tonight.

Natalie and the kids too.

Yes, I will be there.

[You better be.]

I'm making ribs for your father.

You're the best. I love you.



Uh, I need this exact same model.

Yeah, the same size? 'Cause we have different versions.

Like I said, just this exact phone, please.

Do you know about our family plans? Unlimited data sharing, one bill.

Well, actually, it needs to be on its own plan and I'm buying it outright, so no contract.

Oh, yeah, OK. For sure.


Is Ariel still mad at her folks?

She'll get over it.

They own the place, so if they don't want us shacking up...

Is that you?

Yeah. My first Communion.



It's your paper.

I'm letting it ring.


Ah, Grandma was so happy that day.

I bet she went nuts when she found out about me.

You and Dad barely knew each other.

Actually, she wept with joy.



She tripped on her bike and fell on her face.

Emma, let's go.

(distant students chatting)

You totally humiliated me.

Well, good. You called my editor, used my name to get a story in my newspaper about a boy you've known for five minutes.

You would have said no.

Yes, because it's a city newspaper, not a school newsletter.

He wants to qualify for an elite triathlon team and his parents don't have the money.

Only the richer kids get access to the good coaches and that is not fair.

I so wish you would use that kind of thinking for yourself!

Well, you're not me so you don't get to think for me!

Well, I think you're grounded.

This is bullshit.

Go straight home.

Romy, wait in the car.

Is everything OK?


I've been texting you.

I know and...

I need you to stop.

They cancelled choir?

I'm not going today.

You never miss a practice.

Don't I get some time for myself?

You're retired, sweetheart.

You've got all the time in the world.

Go to choir.

You never lose it like that.

It was a last-straw situation.

So no more Mr. Wallace?

(short laugh)

Well, I figured that should please you.

If the house was on fire, would you tell me?

What kind of a question is that?

Is the house on fire, Mom?

No, see? It's fine.

Hey, it's me. This is the new number you can reach me on.

I'm sorry about the panic message before about killing the old number. Uh...

Look, I've been thinking, I'd like to come see you sooner than planned. So, uh, just please, just call me back when you can. OK? Bye.


♪ And these moments you miss ♪
♪ Like a kiss with no love ♪
♪ What's the sense in it all ♪
♪ Follow me and you'll see ♪
♪ How this emptiness feels ♪

Half's probably good for me.

♪ And the love you can't hear ♪
♪ Is calling ♪

(music warps and slows down)

(music fades)

It's not just that, Tom.

I feel like I have to ask every time I need money.

We're on a budget.

Well, it's like an allowance. It's demeaning.

I support your career.

You have the freedom to paint and earn very little.

That's not enough?

The hostility from his son is getting worse.

Dylan's mother didn't adjust well to being left for a man.

It's very common for children to wear that.

Yeah, but Dylan's an adult.

Shouldn't he be focusing on his own life?

He feels like you've robbed him of a father.

Like, I'm not saying that's true, but...

He could stand up for me.

He never does. I don't want to lose my son.

You don't exactly defend me to your family.

And they're willing to try with me.

Is that true, Oliver?

(music builds)

♪ The love you can't hear ♪
♪ Is calling ♪



♪ Follow me and you'll see ♪
♪ How this emptiness feels ♪
♪ When the distance is clear ♪
♪ When the love you can't hear ♪
♪ Is calling ♪

(hockey announcer): Galchenyuk picks it up...

Weaves its way into the net...

(laughing): Come on! It was outside!

(hockey game sounds)


Hey, Grandpa.

Hi, sweetheart. Hi, kids.

Hi, stranger.

Hey, Mom.

Hey, sweetheart.

Oliver didn't come with you?

No, he didn't answer any of my texts.

It's good to see you.

Yeah, you too.


Oh, I completely forgot to bring the salad.

Oh, no worries. We have plenty of food.

Hello, hello. Mom.

We beat you.

Aw, you win.

How was surgery?

Richard's got it under control. Hey!

What'd I miss? Almost 10 whole minutes.

Where are your priorities?

Skate, skate, skate, skate!

Come on, come on!

Yeah. 10 minutes of institutionalized violence and young men suffering irreversible head trauma.



So Emma, did they decide where your grade 9 trip would be?



Yeah, if I can go. Or will I still be grounded a year from now?

We'll see.

(clapping) Alright! Skate!

(man groaning)

I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking.

It's fine.

Excuse me a minute?

(liquid splashing) (groan)



(toilet flushing)

I'm fine.

It's just stress.

I have to go.


It's alright.

(muffled club music)

(phone ringing)

Let's go, let's go, let's go!

Cleared in front of the net..

Come on, come on, come on!

(phone ringing)

Too loud.

Is it too much to ask to pass the puck sometimes?

That guy thinks he's a one-man...


I'm sorry to do this, but you're the only person that I can call right now and I really need your help. Well...

What's going on?

What's wrong?


Yes, I can.

OK. Alright, I'll be right there. Bye-bye.

Don't tell me.

Yeah, there's some complications.

Richard needs me back.



Caleb? Record the game for me.


Nobody text me the score, OK?

(indistinct chatter)


First she felt my energy without actually touching me, and then she told me that unless I confront all my anger and regrets, I won't be able to die happy.

Yeah, OK. I mean, no pressure.

Hmm... but she also said she didn't think I should tell the kids.

Not while I'm so lost.

Yeah, she sounds like a crazy person.

I don't know.

I do have a lot of anger and regret about David and what he did.

Of course you do. I mean, he sold you on this life that he wanted to build with you and then he left you alone with it.

I guess I'm just trying to find something to believe in.

I am unemployed.

Maybe unemployable.

I should be in Tahiti having an affair with a scuba instructor.

Or you can take this setback as an opportunity to stop running away from your life.

Unless this just is my life.

Mags, I think you are capable of so much more.

And I have no idea what you're so afraid of.

But Tahiti would be fun.

So what's stopping you?

You are.

Do not even think it. I am not leaving you.

Thank you.

You should know, your cancer is ruining my life.


Yeah... mine too.

I love you anyway.

You know that, right?

And your kids will too.

You always said you wanted children.

In, like, 10 years.

When I think about us together, I think forever.

Having our first baby now, or in 10 years, it's the same.

But you don't see us that way.

I tried to.

And in some ways I almost can.

But... we're not ready for this.

Please don't have the baby.


I'm sorry about this. I really am very sorry.

Well, actually, you're lucky that the pharmaceutical reps give out free samples.

This is basically Valium.

Your blood pressure's fine.

(machine beeping)

And... heart rate's down.


How are you feeling?


Tom died.

He had an aneurysm.

He was healthy.

There were no signs.

He was, um...


I woke up one morning and I was alone in bed.

And he left the water running all over the house, for some reason. And I found him.

In the bathroom.

Jammed against the door.

I didn't hear anything, I didn't...

He might have needed my help at night, but I...

I had just slept through it.

Who knows about this?

(sighing): Um...


Everybody's dealing with Natalie and as they should be.

Must be terrible, carrying that around.

I'm so sorry, Oliver.

♪ ♪

(piano music)

♪ Got me so ♪
♪ Locked away again ♪
♪ Locked away again ♪
♪ Somehow ♪
♪ Trust in me ♪
♪ I'd lead you blindly ♪
♪ If I needed someone ♪
♪ To follow my road ♪

I have put my family above God.

Above everything.

Remember the binding of Isaac.

But his son lived.

God asked Abraham to trust him and that trust was rewarded with the sparing of Isaac.

So you're saying I should just stop worrying, place my children in the hands of God and hope for the best?

God isn't asking you to stop caring about your children.

So long as I care for Him more?

Well, I can't.

Father, I love God.

But I am no Abraham.

♪ Somehow I'm feeling it more ♪
♪ As I get old ♪
♪ And I never been scared to show ♪

What's your problem?

Like you don't know.

Give it back.


Hey, I had it first!

Get off! I'm using it.

Seriously, give it back.

No, I don't care.

I'm using it. Give it to me!


Oh, my God. I was getting it.


Would you two cut it out?


I'm using it. Stop.

There's something I have...

I don't care, so go wherever you want, just not here.

Stop kicking me, I need it.

Romy, just stop.

Shut up!

It's mine. Research in your book.

My cancer's back.

♪ This is how I let you down ♪