Well, I didn’t think this day would come. But I guess this also means I’ll have this day to look back on—the day I was either brave or foolish enough to try to explain the inexplicable. There was no guessing what route Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie’s uncomfortable and unbelievably raw exploration of white guilt, gentrification, and narcissism would have taken. None of us could’ve expected the finale of The Curse to leave us more baffled than we already were when the show started toying with us. You know that big question that’s been bugging Asher in the background as his life goes out of whack? We’ve kind of been pranked into taking it off his mind and into ours, along with the curse of having a much bigger and more absurd mystery to solve.
Who Needs Another Siegel?
It’s like the universe’s favorite pastime, reminding Asher how inconsequential his very existence really is. If the penultimate episode’s traumatizing dose of humiliation wasn’t enough, Asher’s now not even the jester to the queen. He’s just an extension of Whitney, the Green Queen, promoting what’s practically just her show on a Rachael Ray special. The wild dance between the cringeworthy overstatement that’s normal for a show host and Whitney’s laughable inefficacy as an environmentalist is uncomfortable to watch. But there’s something to be said about Rachael’s understandable doubts about Whitney’s passive homes. Not even someone who’s been paid to exaggerate and promote can get herself to make sense of Whitney’s approach to curbing the destruction of the environment. What do we do if we can’t afford to buy or make a passive home? We take 5-minute showers and do our part. What’s that? Oh, that’s just a baby bump, one that Whitney hoped would’ve at least been mentioned by Rachael. Even her pregnancy is only a tool of self-promotion for Whitney. And I guess she had no choice but to stay in her frustrating marriage with the guy whose self-esteem is non-existent. After all, HGTV was pretty vocal about how big of a no-no a possible divorce scenario would be.
A Push Gift Or Another Hook To Keep Whitney Tethered?
Whitney may not be any less Jewish just because she’s converted to it. But how sensible was it of Asher to basically justify her tasteless Holocaust joke with that reassurance? The more we see these two, the more all the awkward things happening to them start making sense. It’s when they have an exchange with someone that doesn’t turn out odd that we start to question how real the people they’re interacting with are. Fake smiling in front of the camera has surely made it easier for Whitney to do it, even when Asher gets on her nerves. Asher’s choices are his own. Whitney may be the best in the business when it comes to manipulation, but keeping Asher stuck in the marriage isn’t something that you can blame her for. In fact, Asher’s so insecure that he’s voluntarily laying himself down for Whitney to trample on with all her vicious might. He’s made it his life mission to make Whitney happy, but it always comes from a place of insecurity, not love. But Whitney’s apparently done taking “loans” from the slumlord parents she condemns in public. So who’s going to be the net that they fall on when Asher’s gift to Whitney digs them a hole? He’s decided to hand the Questa Lanes house over to its current resident, hoping it’ll sweep the do-gooder he’s married to off her feet. After his awful experience at the chiropractor, do you really have to wonder why Abshir reacts the way he does when he gets the key? If there’s anything people who’ve never had anything know, it’s that generosity often comes with strings attached. The Siegels have poked, prodded, and intruded into Abshir’s space in the name of “helping” him and his family. At the end of the day, are the likes of Abshir anything more than the little figures in that model house? They’re for the Whitneys of the world to play with, as long as they serve to validate her claims of being good and kind. And they’re the instruments of Asher’s nonsensical approach to being a good husband in a marriage where he’s not even loved.
What Really Happens To Asher?
I’m not going to beat around the bush here. That was one bizarre ending to this freaky tale of awkward white knights in a terrible marriage. I guess we should’ve seen something big and inexplicable heading our way from the very start. The Safdie-Fielder duo has faithfully been on the side of the weird in this whole journey, much of which was mind-bogglingly uncomfortable to sit through. Yet it’s always amusing how The Curse mostly weaponized its small-scale awkward bits and gimmicks to make its point. Yes, the Siegels are a self-destructive combination of one narcissist and one person who is endlessly in denial about everything that can hurt him. So, The Curse‘s ending is kind of Asher’s worst anxieties coming true, if you think about it. So he woke up stuck to the ceiling while his panic-stricken pregnant wife went into labor on the worst possible day. I need to process what came after as much as you do. So I’ll explore the several strings of thoughts wiggling around in my head before they tangle up too much.
Maybe The Curse Was Real After All
It’s been the most gnawing question that’s been bugging us almost as much as it’s been bothering Asher. Ever since those three words came out of Nala’s mouth, Asher hasn’t had a day where he didn’t feel like a monumental screw-up. While that might’ve just been Asher being Asher and the consequences of that, how’d you explain the man defying gravity and literally being shot into space? It’s possible that The Curse, after messing around with the topic of the supernatural, has finally given us the answer through this very bizarre ending. We’ve seen Nala’s curse work on her bully in the previous episode. Who’s to say that’s not why Asher’s life came to a surreal end before he could even meet his own child?
It Could’ve Been A Dream
I mean, they were sleeping when Whitney opened her eyes and found her husband stuck to the ceiling, right? Considering all the devastating insecurities that torment Asher, it isn’t unlikely that he’d dream that he was losing everything just when things were about to change for the better. Whitney might not need Asher anymore when the baby arrives. And admittedly, the man would be completely lost if he didn’t have Whitney. Now, I guess you have to ask yourself if you think that is something The Curse would go for. And we all know how confusing that train of thought will be.
A Metaphor Of Fear, Anyone?
If you think about it, fear’s the driving force behind every action in this bizarre show. Whitney’s so afraid of her parents’ bad reputation stinking up hers that she goes ahead and tries to create something totally antithetical to everything they stand for. But passive homes being good for the environment and the indigenous communities of Espanola is just one of the lies she feeds herself to get some shut-eye at night. Asher was terrified of becoming nothing—something that’d inevitably follow if Whitney ever decided to leave him. It’s likely that his biggest fear, the fear of rejection, manifested in an unbelievably terrifying form, where gravity itself rejected Asher, and he died a cold, lonely death in the darkness of space.