The 4th and final season of Catastrophe has Sharon (Sharon Horgan) and (Rob Delaney) fighting and making up with amazing frequency. Both of them are depressed about where life has led them, but it felt like the funniest season yet. Minor spoilers ahead.
We can argue about whether depression is funny or not, but everyone in season 4 is in a slough of despond. They are fighting their way out the best they can.
They have two kids, Rob has two jobs, and he’s forced to do community service because of his arrest for drunk driving. Rob goes to AA. Relatives come visiting. It’s a lot. The Norris family is busy and over stressed.
Sharon’s brother Fergal (Jonathan Forbes) comes to visit. It’s his birthday and Sharon attempts a big birthday party for him. What a disaster.
Then Rob’s sister Sydney (Michaela Watkins) comes to visit. She has with her a teen she’s fostering (or adopting). He never says a word and only looks at his small screen. This behavior goes unremarked, but it’s in every scene during the visit. Show, don’t tell, in action.
Rob and Sharon’s friends Chris (Mark Bonnar) and Fran (Ashley Jensen) return doing their own relationship dance in season 4. Relationships are hard, people.
There were some fun bits involving Sharon’s new headmaster (sorry, I couldn’t find his character on IMDB). Sharon went full feminist on him. Another great guest spot went to Chris Noth as Rob’s very smarmy, sexist, misogynistic boss. When he offered Rob a better job at the expense of a woman, Sharon’s feminism flew out the window.
My favorite episode was the final one. Rob and Sharon went to America to visit Rob’s mom. You will remember that Rob’s mom was played by Carrie Fisher. We don’t hear the news until Rob and Sharon are in the car with Sydney ready to leave the airport that mom died during the night.
I wondered what they would do about Carrie Fisher. They found a way to give her a lovely send off.
Instead of a vacation, there’s a funeral to deal with. There was a service on the beach with a nice photo of Carrie Fisher and some funny tributes that were appropriate to her character. At the funeral we meet Rob’s horrid, drunken father Ryan (Mitchell Mullen).
Rob’s old friend Tim (David Alan Grier) offers Rob a job in America. While our two protagonists fight through this idea, there is other big news to deal with as well.
At the end of the season, Rob and Sharon share a lovely moment by the sea while we are left wondering if they will end up in America or stay in England and what will be next for their accidental catastrophe of a family.
Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney wrote all four seasons of Catastrophe. These two have very twisted senses of humor. They are excellent at demonstrating that thin line between love and hate with both their writing and their acting. It’s a combination that provides truthful emotion and genuine laughs.
At the end of 4 seasons we gained from their unique narrative about the nature and meaning of family and the transformative power of love.