This week’s episode of CBS’s The Neighborhood dealt with the loss of a character’s unborn child through miscarriage. The episode made clear throughout that the baby in the womb was indeed a human life, not just a clump of cells or whatever it is pro-aborts imagine is growing inside a woman.
In the episode, “Welcome to the Porch Pirate,” on Monday, October 11, Gemma (Beth Behrs), who has been pregnant throughout the season, and her husband Dave (Max Greenfield) return from a doctor’s visit. They are visibly sad. The audience soon learns the cause of their grief.
Dave: I’m worried about you. I don’t know how we’re gonna tell people that we lost the baby. It was just supposed to be a ten-week routine checkup.
Gemma: Yeah. Everything was moving along nice and happy, and then all of a sudden, life gives you a swift kick in the puckus.
Dave: I think you meant “Tuckus.” But, you know, puckus works, too. You know, my mom will say this was God’s will.
Gemma: Your mother was banned from church for skinny-dipping in the baptismal pool.
Dave: I was just so shocked when there wasn’t a heartbeat.
Gemma: Apparently this is really common. I guess sometimes it’s just not meant to be.
Dave: Yeah, and… I know, but… This is also one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to deal with.
Gemma: I know, but we’ll get through it if we keep busy and we stay strong.
While the dialogue could have done without the image of a woman skinny-dipping in a baptismal pool, the reference to a baby’s heartbeat is notable with the battle over several states’ heartbeat bills ongoing.
Gemma tries to repress her grief by keeping busy with re-painting her living room. Her next door neighbor, Tina (Tichina Arnold) comes over to try to provide comfort. “I lost a baby between Malcolm and Marty [Tina’s two sons] and it is devastating,” Tina tells Gemma. Gemma’s son Grover (Hank Greenspan) tells Tina, “I’m sad about the baby. I wanted to be a big brother.“
Gemma interrupts and tries to deflect Grover from talking about his feelings by taking him to an arcade. Tina and Dave worry that Gemma is struggling to cope with the loss.
Tina: Losing a baby… is heartbreaking.
Dave: Unfortunately, there’s no amount of paint that’s gonna cover up her pain.
Tina: Well, how about you? How you feeling? That was your baby, too.
Dave: I know it was, Tina.
The episode does a commendable job discussing the emotional attachment a father also has to his unborn child and the grief he feels over the loss of a baby in the womb. When Tina’s husband, Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer), talks to Gemma about the miscarriage, both characters open up about their pain.
Calvin: What you’re going through is awful.
Gemma: I just don’t want to feel this. It makes it real. My baby’s gone. Ugh. I just want to be numb.
Calvin: I-I know that you’re afraid that if you– if you let the hurt in, it’ll just swallow you up. I mean, that’s how I felt when Tina and I… lost our little girl.
After Calvin bonds with Gemma over their shared losses, Gemma is ready to go through the grieving process with her husband and son as a family. They plant a tree “so that we can always remember the baby” and hang gifts for the baby on it. Calvin, Tina and their sons join them for the tree-planting ceremony and Tina’s sings “Gone Too Soon.”
Never once does the show dismiss the reality of death with euphemistic phrases like “fetus” or “pregnancy loss” that are commonly used by abortion proponents. The fact that a baby died and that baby’s death is the source of the family’s pain is front-and-center throughout. For such honesty, this episode deserves praise.