Catastrophe Season 4 review: Finding hilarity in finality

Catastrophe -- Photo Credit: Amazon -- Acquired via
Catastrophe -- Photo Credit: Amazon -- Acquired via /

Catastrophe ends its run with one of its very best seasons, providing Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s Sharon and Rob a fantastic and hilarious sendoff.

For a final season, Catastrophe certainly knows how to leave an impression. The Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan-starring (and co-created) series concludes with saying goodbye to Carrie Fisher’s Mia, but in a lot of ways, it’s a goodbye to the series as a whole.

Insecurities and pettiness ekes out in inopportune moments, as they always do on the show, and leaves some bitter words in the open. Rob’s disappointment in Sharon not quite sharing his pain in the passing of his mother holds a lot of the past resentment in it, while Sharon looks at it as a vacation lost for the family after a tough year.

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It’s this sort of complicated view where Catastrophe really shines, in delivering two sides to a situation and bringing both perspectives a place at the table, rather than allowing one to overpower the other.

There are elements of Episode 6 that really remind me of Richard Linklater’s film Before Midnight. The way Rob tears down Sharon verbally because of her being a little distant through the whole ordeal is very reminiscent of the movie; the ending of this, at least, is more concrete and uplifting. Though that final shot of Rob and Sharon swimming back toward shore and seemingly making no progress is one of the best ways to end the series.

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The levels of oversharing and saying the deepest, darkest, and most shameful things is a fascinating trend on the show. Not many secrets ever stay as secrets, even to complete strangers. It’s a freeing thought, everyone on the show being so open about everything. Horgan and Delaney’s writing help portray their characters’ inner selves with such clarity and honesty.

Catastrophe — Photo Credit: Amazon — Acquired via
Catastrophe — Photo Credit: Amazon — Acquired via /

There is a level of “at least we’re not that” in the way Rob and Sharon view those around them, as evidenced in Episode 2 as they watch Rob’s sister snap on the phone. Their first reaction is to grab hands and share a smile together. For all of their difficulties, their biting humor against everyone else in the world always brings them back together as a team.

The fourth season goes down avenues of tough questions, with uncertainty in family safety, when is it too soon to begin dating after the death of a partner and questions of familial stability. But Catastrophe still loves to peddle in the easier stuff, too. The need to work out, putting up with maddening relatives and issues at work all get their due; these characters really turn it all into a unique and thoughtful perspective about the struggle of the everyday life.

Some of my favorite parts come from the guest stars. Chris Noth’s appearance as a business associate for Rob is such a fun series of moments, Noth and Delaney feeling completely genuine together and like watching two pals hitting it off (as cruel as some of the humor may be). Tobias Menzies as Sharon’s doctor continues to be one of the humorous pairings, as their identities clash so strongly it makes every scene a joy. Nat Faxon, too, provides some laughs while being a little too kind.

Catastrophe straddles the line of uncomfortable awkwardness and endearing epiphany so well, and in its fourth season drives home a balancing of the two in satisfying fashion. It’s hard to see the show go when it feels like it could have gone on for ages longer. But it ends on an incredible high note and leaves behind four seasons of excellent television.

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What did you think of the fourth season of Catastrophe? Let us know in the comments!

Catastrophe is available for streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video.