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Why Catastrophe had the perfect ending

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Emily Baker
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What did it mean? Did they make it? And does it even matter? Spoilers ahead…

Catastrophe fans said goodbye to Sharon Morris and Rob Norris this week as Channel 4 aired the final ever episode of the series. Sob. The last time we see the couple we’ve loved for the past four years, they’re in the sea off the coast of Massachusetts swimming, laughing and splashing each other. Despite their near break-up just a day earlier, and the strain of attending Rob’s mother’s funeral, the couple are content and happy to be together. Finally, they’ve made it through their troubles and life would be plain sailing from now on.

Or would it?

Just before Rob follows his wife into the sea, he turns around to check the sign behind him. “Warning,” it reads in big, warning letters, “Rip currents no swimming”. He looks back to his wife with an understandable look of concern - she’s quite far out now, and swimming even further. 

Stripping off to his underpants, it looks as though Rob is about to turn lifeguard as he makes his way out to Sharon, but when we see the smile creep across his face, it quickly becomes clear he has no intentions of dragging her to safety. Instead, we are treated to one of the most tender moments we’ve ever seen between the couple, as they kiss and laugh amongst the waves.

And that’s where the four-year series ended - with a sweeping shot of a beach and an Arcade Fire song. 

But, wait: did they just… die?

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It looks like we’ll never know. And it would be typical Catastrophe fashion to hit us with a devastating bombshell mere seconds after one of the happiest scenes in the whole series. And so, while it would be sad to know that Rob and Sharon didn’t make it out of the sea, there is a sense of poetic justice in the idea.

The alternative, however, is that the couple swam to the shore and just carried on their lives. But it wouldn’t be the show we know and love if they hadn’t got into a little bit of trouble: Rob probably would have started drowning, with Sharon having to save him. After that, who knows? Would they have stayed in London, or brought their children over to the States and raised their family there? 

Fans would desperately love to know, but there’s also a beauty in the untold. Over the past four series, Rob and Sharon have gone from mere characters on a screen to people we know, love and care about - no matter how infuriating they may be.

In the end, it makes sense that it’s up to us to decide whether the couple made it, or whether they became a middle-aged Romeo and Juliet.

Image: Channel 4

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Emily Baker

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