‘The Curse’ Ending: What Just Happened?

I was unexpectedly moved by the moment when Whitney grabs him and tries to pull him down. She is risking herself to save him, and as she rises, he is risking her by holding on. It is an echo of that scene where he struggles to take off a sweater and they both pull on each other until they fall over, which is played for comedy at first. It is also notable that at the end of the last episode, Whitney seems to be trying hard, in her passive-aggressive way, to break up — and fails. Asher clings to her. Here, it’s Asher who tells her to leave for her own sake, to get away from him. Up until then, I would argue that his motivation was not to be a good person or to save the environment or to make this show. Those were all means to the end of keeping her, which proved suffocating to her. One thought I had watching him float into space: Is this her fantasy?

WILKINSON I also thought it might be her fantasy when I rewatched the finale last night. Or maybe something else? At dinner, Asher, who seems to have tried to take on a persona of authoritative mansplaining in the months that elapsed between Episodes 9 and 10, explains to Whitney that with art, “Sometimes you have to go to extreme lengths to make your point.”

Soon after that, they’re in bed, and Asher is singing to Whitney’s belly. “You’ve got a little me inside of you!” he says, then leans over to keep addressing the belly.

At that moment, Whitney looks at him, and the camera holds on her face, and her look becomes inscrutable. But it isn’t hard to imagine a version of what is going through her head: Oh, dear Lord, what have I done? It’s not a far leap from there to imagine her forming the mental words, even if she doesn’t want to, that she wishes he would just fly away and leave her to live her life as the Green Queen. He just drags her down, doesn’t he?

The whole concept of “The Curse” revolves, explicitly, around a curse. There are many ways to come at this. The biblical concept of “the curse” — sort of the villain origin story of humanity from Genesis — says that women will suffer pain in childbirth and that husbands and wives will live in complex friction. Asher and Whitney are also clearly a curse of some kind, part of a long lineage of people like them who imposed themselves onto a place in order to “fix” it and just made it worse. And there’s also the obvious curse from the first episode. I can imagine this being one last curse in the finale episode, which — who knows — might actually be a blessing in Whitney’s eyes.

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