The Curse S1E10 Recap: Wait… WHAT? (Season 1 Finale)

“Green Queen”

Whitney and Asher hold stiff smiles as they sit in their home being filmed by a camera across the room in The Curse S1E10, "Green Queen"

The following recap contains spoilers for The Curse S1E10, “Green Queen” (written by Nathan Fielder & Benny Safdie and directed by Nathan Fielder)

The Curse S1E10 begins with the Siegels making an appearance on Rachael Ray to promote their HGTV show, which is now called Green Queen. It’s clear that an indeterminate amount of time has passed since the events of last week’s episode, and it must be around nine months or so, since Whitney (Emma Stone) has become pregnant and gives birth before the episode ends.

She tries to play up her pregnancy in the interview with Rachael Ray, and Asher (Nathan Fielder) does as well, as he awkwardly interrupts something Vincent Pastore is saying about his meatballs, but Rachael doesn’t seem terribly interested in talking about that.

In fact, she doesn’t seem terribly interested in having the Siegels on her show at all. When she does engage with them, she pushes back against the practicality of their passive homes before plugging the environment-friendly wipes she uses. Mostly, Whitney and Asher smile creepily on a monitor as Rachael and Vincent cook.

They hold that smile as we cut to them filming the sequence in their home, in the kind of long shot that has defined the style of The Curse all season. I probably haven’t said enough about these shots or the way the show uses its soundtrack to color its scenes. A lot of things in The Curse would make us cringe without these touches, but the direction and sound design consistently amp up the discomfiting tone of the series and deserve a lot of credit for how they make us feel.

Whitney and Asher sit at their table. He wears a yarmulke and is opening a bottle of wine

As the couple have a Shabbat dinner, Whitney mentions that Cara Durand (Nizhonniya Austin) has been profiled in the New York Times for quitting art, and she’s spiteful about that at the same time as she’s spiteful about Green Queen only being available on HGTV GO. Cara’s getting recognition for not doing art, while Whitney’s “art” isn’t even on actual TV.

She’s the same old Whitney: she wants to be seen as good more than she wants to be good, or worse, she doesn’t understand that there’s a difference between those things. She told Rachael Ray you don’t need air conditioning when you live in a passive home, but she’s getting it installed for her baby’s room and is only concerned about hiding the console.

It’s more of a question as to whether Asher has changed since we last saw him in “Young Hearts.” In writing about the closing scene of that episode, I suggested that Asher was pulling off a kind of passive-aggressive power play, and I stand by that. Still, his move is to subordinate his instincts even further to what he believes Whitney wants.

Thus, he’s decided to gift the house on Questa Lane to Abshir (Barkhad Abdi) as a gesture to Whitney. She pushes back ever so slightly by asking if they can afford to do this, but Asher knows that she wants to view herself as the kind of person who would do this, so the gift functions. And the biggest thing is that he does something good without her prodding him to do so in any way.

I don’t think either of them really wanted to give Abshir the house in the first place, but whatever your interpretation of that, it’s evident that both Siegels feel that Abshir isn’t being sufficiently grateful when they visit him to tell him. Asher can’t keep himself from mentioning how much the home is worth because of the renovations they’ve done, and while Whitney postures herself as empathetic to Abshir in the car afterward, it’s like she’s making excuses for him, which implies that excuses need to be made. And we don’t actually see Asher return with the paperwork later that same day as he said he would. I honestly thought the Siegels might find a way to change their minds.

Abshir stands in his open door talking to Whitney and Asher

It’s the next day when Whitney wakes up to find that Asher is sleeping on the ceiling. Now, if you’re anything like me, you paused The Curse at some point during what follows to try to research whether it is possible to levitate like this due to air pressure—the short answer is no—but this is Asher’s initial interpretation of what’s occurring. They messed up the pressure in the house by putting air conditioning into the baby’s room, so this explanation would feel almost karmic.

Asher tells Whitney to open the door to the baby’s room. When that doesn’t work, he has her open windows and the front door. Nothing helps, and throughout there is the question of why Whitney is not similarly stuck to the ceiling if the cause of Asher’s predicament has anything to do with environmental factors.

This takes The Curse to a new level of tension, and one tinged with absurdity beyond anything we’ve seen in preceding episodes. Whitney tries to get Asher down but can’t, and then he insists that she get out of the house. She rushes while holding onto things and starts experiencing contractions. She gets outside, but she doesn’t have her phone, so ultimately she goes back in, crawling on the floor. Asher tries to get her phone with a vacuum cleaner, and there are other outlandish details I don’t think I need to recap for you if you’ve seen the episode. The whole ordeal is like a slapstick act infused with dread.

Whitney grabs onto Asher's legs as he's stuck to the ceiling and she levitates

What does seem worth noting is how Asher orders Whitney around during all of this and how, for the most part, she does what he says. One exception is that she calls her doula, Moses (Elliot Berlin), instead of calling the doctor as Asher says she should, but that feels relatively minor when compared to how she goes along with his ridiculous plan with the Dyson.

Regardless, throughout this ordeal, both Whitney and Asher are less freaked out about him being stuck to the ceiling than you might expect. It’s a problem, but one they keep thinking they can overcome. For example, as Whitney leaves with Moses for the hospital, Asher insists that he’ll be on his way soon, even though he has just flown up into a tree and has no idea how he’ll get down. She tells him to remember to bring the go bag that’s in his trunk.

Asher clings to a tree limb

I’ve just glossed over the precise moment when The Curse veers into the supernatural, but allow me to dwell with it. Asher had thought that when he got away from the house he’d be OK, but when Moses pulls him out from the awning, he very much isn’t. He manages to grab a tree limb to secure himself for the moment and tells Whitney and Moses to proceed to the hospital, but it becomes weird that they aren’t all more freaked out at the violation of the laws of physics that they’re witnessing.

Whitney’s labor takes precedence, and I think that’s part of the point—how, in this kind of situation, the pregnancy becomes the most important thing in the world to everyone who surrounds it. I’m not even trying to question that in general terms. If the thought didn’t have force, the scene wouldn’t work.

Dougie sitting on the pavement, sobbing

Moses calls Dougie (Benny Safdie) to come and be with Asher, but Dougie just thinks that Asher climbed a tree to get away from his parental responsibility. He says as much to one of the firefighters who arrives, waxing on about how his father bailed on him to this guy who clearly doesn’t care to engage in this conversation.

And the fire department certainly doesn’t believe Asher. They play along with his request for a net secured to the truck, but ultimately they’re just trying to placate him. They don’t secure the net. They saw off the tree limb, presuming that he’ll fall to the air cushion they’ve set up below. There’s something here about how people in positions of authority refuse to listen to us.

Asher flies up into the atmosphere, and Dougie—who had begun filming things and even got Remi (Oscar Avila) to bring a drone—feels quite bad about it. He ends up sitting on the pavement, sobbing and saying he’s sorry.

If nothing else, I’m sure Dougie is sorry for not believing his friend, who kept telling him he was going to fly up into the air if he let go of that tree limb. But if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering if what happened to Asher was the result of Dougie cursing him and if Dougie believes that it was the result of that curse. I don’t think there’s any way to answer either question definitively.

Whitney in a hospital bed, looking content

Meanwhile, Whitney has a C-section because her baby is breech. She expresses concerns along the way that she is very cold and that no one is telling her what’s going on, but the procedure goes fine. What’s more noteworthy is that she never seems terribly concerned that Asher isn’t there and how that carries forward even after her baby has been delivered.

Whitney answers affirmatively when a nurse asks if she’d like her to see whether Asher has arrived, but she doesn’t seem worried about it. The last we see her in this episode, she’s smiling and crying, apparently joyful at the birth of her son, and maybe she’s even happy at the prospect of Asher being out of the picture.

Asher floating above the Earth

Asher flies all the way up out of the Earth’s atmosphere and into space. So, by the rules of nature, he’s dead. Of course, The Curse has broken those rules now.

What caused Asher to fly up into outer space is a question, and I want to acknowledge that, but I think the more important question is how we interpret all of this symbolically, or in line with the themes of the show overall.

Asher’s gravity has become reversed, and we might tie this to how he reversed the polarity of himself (or tried to) in order to keep his relationship with Whitney going. He was the one who was concerned about practical matters like money, but now he’s given himself over to her vision, which is completely ungrounded. Or something like that. One has to be wary of sounding like Asher was previously some kind of down-to-earth guy.

I expect I’ll be thinking about this finale of The Curse for some time. The series has explored difficult issues related to gentrification, the environment, and cultural appropriation through the lens of a couple that is meaningfully divorced from reality. I suppose it’s fitting that in this finale, then, the show itself breaks from reality, while they persist in their delusions about themselves.

Written by Caemeron Crain

Caemeron Crain is Executive Editor of TV Obsessive. He struggles with authority, including his own.

Caesar non est supra grammaticos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *