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Catastrophe Review: "Second-Degree Pregnancies and the Ex Obsession"

(Episode 1.05)

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<i>Catastrophe</i> Review: "Second-Degree Pregnancies and the Ex Obsession"

Between baby dramas, job frustrations and a desperate homeopath trying to get her kicks with Rob, there hasn’t been much time for our favorite couple of chaos to plan their wedding. Although Rob has repeatedly pointed out that his marrying Sharon isn’t just about “doing the honorable thing,” I never really got the sense that they were genuinely into the idea of an actual wedding and all the hoopla that goes with it. Judging by their relationship so far, it wouldn’t have seemed at all odd if they had simply settled on the golden showered ring on Sharon’s finger as officially binding and called it a day or, in this case, a wedding.

Now that everything has calmed down a bit though, Sharon and Rob finally have the head-space to think about what would constitute their ideal wedding. As they stroll around a market, laughing at a young couple having a heated argument, there seems to be a familiarity between them I’d never picked up on before. They’ve always been pretty relaxed around each other, but something is shifting in a pretty big way—and no, I’m not just talking about now very apparent baby bump.

Whenever we get to see Sharon with her pupils, she comes across as the type of teacher we all feared back in school. She doesn’t really smile for the first two months of the school year, because “if they smell weakness, it’s just like putting chum in the water for sharks.” It’s kind of hard to see past her smart-ass remarks and imagine her as a warm, nurturing motherly type. So when she gets home from school, flops down on the couch and tells Rob about how a new student in her class (whom she basically describes as the classic nerd) really makes her want to smile, it’s terribly endearing.

However, she does continue to act incredibly selfish, refusing to meet Rob half way when he loses his job and brings up the idea of Sharon coming back to Boston with him. It’s hard not to let the word “bitch” slip when it comes to her reasoning as to why she doesn’t want to move back with him, but, even so, you’d do it in a humorous way. You’ve got to respect her. She knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to share her thoughts in her extremely tactless, but somehow charming, manner. And yet, through her tough exterior, I can now finally feel a glimmer of softness and, dare I say, compassion towards Rob. Even if she always has to go and spoil a nice moment by saying something brash.

Rob is forced to agree to an interview his friend David sets up for him with the chemical company responsible for the heart drug Tevantrix—the one that ended up killing a bunch of people earlier on in the year. Fortunately that is all Rob agrees to; he gladly dismisses David’s offer to a treat of prostate massaging. Sharon doesn’t seem too preoccupied with Rob’s job situation at the moment. For a split second there, she’s actually getting all bridal about things—who to invite, what kind of ceremony to have, etc.

That is, until she calls Rob’s mother. There’s Sharon, actually trying to make a nice gesture by inviting her to the ceremony, and she’s goes and shits all over it. First, by showing no interest in coming and using her dogs as an excuse; second by doing the dirty and opening Rob’s ex-files. Turns out, Rob’s ex-girlfriend Betsy had a miscarriage when they were together. That’s enough information to get Sharon cursing at her phone:

“I hope your dogs get leukemia.”

This was a little more information than Sharon could handle. It’s one thing finding about ex girlfriends when you are feeling gorgeous and confident; it’s a whole different story when you’re waddling like a penguin and packing ten extra pounds. After school she confronts Rob about Betsy while he’s in the middle of telling her about the latest wedding arrangements. Needless to say, she does so in ever the colorful manner:

“I knew you fucked other women, I just didn’t know you fucked babies into them. You know, that, that it was pre-meditated. I was like a, a second-degree pregnancy. You just got drunk and drove into a crowd of women and got me pregnant.”

Rob offers a reasonable explanation as to why he withheld the miscarriage from Sharon, but who’s talking reasonably, right? He could have given her the perfect explanation for everything and she still would have felt like crap about it. Naturally, she decides to find a way to make herself feel even worse. After another quick call to the mother-in-law to be, she is weaponed with Betsy’s surname and lets the obligatory Facebook-stalking commence. She is gutted to find that his ex is blonde, gorgeous and fit. Of course. It just couldn’t have gone any other way. Sulkily, she tries to copy Betsy’s plaited hair-style and looks to her album of wedding photos for inspiration for her own dress, soon discovering that there’s no way you can pull off a strapless dress when you’re pregnant.

When Sharon is unpleasantly surprised by the fact Rob organized a pub birthday party for her involving exactly three friends, one brother and a wildly unwanted guest (David, of course), she realizes:

“I have a petite circle of friends, you have one friend who is probably going to OD before we get married. And if you had any idea what something costs when you put the word wedding in front of it, if you knew how much a wedding ham costs, as opposed to a ham-ham, you wouldn’t want to be part of that. I just want a transaction in a gray building.“

Well, that’s settled then. And as for Betsy—sod her beautifully, plaited blonde hair and her fat-free belly; Hurricane Sharon has taken over.