The Curse – Season 1 Episode 2 “Pressure’s Looking Good So Far” Recap & Review

“Pressure’s Looking Good So Far”

Episode 2 of The Curse begins with good news. Whitney is pregnant. She hasn’t told Asher yet but he will be happy when she does. For now, Asher is squarely focused on Monica. And ensuring that the interview doesn’t air. He meets with her to give evidence for the casino’s misgivings and failings to protect vulnerable gamblers. However, when she sees the document, she says it is public information. To make a credible story, she needs security footage, which Asher claims he had access to when he worked there.

Without it, Monica cannot do the story and she will have to air the interview. Asher asks for some more time. He goes back to the casino and meets with his friend, Bill, who works there in Marketing. Despite his best attempts to get a foot in, Asher isn’t able to achieve his goal. He makes a plan for next time, though, when their boss Randall comes to the office.

Whitney meets the Governor of San Pedro Pueblos, James Toledo. He is a big deal around these parts. Whitney wants his vote of confidence and endorsement for their next redevelopment project. The Native land is apparently checkerboarded. To further her cause, Whitney invites James to her “friend” Cara Durand’s exhibition in Santa Fe. She is an up-and-coming Native artist whose paintings the duo use in their houses for staging, without her permission. James agrees due to Whitney’s sincere gesture.

The Siegels meet with Cara for dinner to discuss hiring her as a “cultural consultant” for their bid. But when the time comes, Whitney shoots down Asher’s attempts to ask Cara, who is clueless. It turns out that Cara and Whitney aren’t friends at all. They are at best acquaintances without any real connection. Cara is so disinterested in the conversation that she leaves citing a work emergency. She even asks them to deliver the food she ordered to her home.¬†

Although they are devastated, to redeem the situation, Whitney reveals to Asher that she is pregnant…a whole day after she found out. Asher is happy, excited, and nervous, even asking Whitney if she “still loves him.” But the general sentiment is that of happiness, for now. We turn our focus toward Dougie, who is on a date with a woman in Santa Fe. She curiously asks him about “the accident.” Dougie was involved in a brutal car crash which killed his wife. Another car T-boned them and although that driver jumped a red light, the fault rested with Dougie since he was over the drinking limit.

He is in denial of any responsibility and still misses her. After the date, he insists on giving the woman a lift. She is hesitant due to his trauma but gets in anyway. About a mile from her house, Dougie asks her to take out the blow machine from the glove box. When he finds out he is over the limit, Dougie abruptly pulls over and they walk the rest of the way home. It is indicated he is an alcoholic and has other addiction issues as well.

Randall finally agrees to a meeting with Asher but isn’t impressed with his idea. Asher’s desperation reeks out from the screen as he tries to get a foot in. However, Randall is firm in his stance. As Bill is showing him out, Asher resorts to Plan B. He first tells Bill that he has something to show him – a funny video. But he won’t do it on the phone. To throw Bill off, Asher tells him they are pregnant. It works and Bill takes him to his office, reluctantly. Asher purposely spills a bottle of Gatorade all over the carpet and over Bill. He even spills a generous amount on himself, forcing Bill to go out and get some paper towels.

In the meantime, Asher transfers all the security footage from his computer to a flash drive. On his way out, Asher runs into Dougie, who is blowing away steam playing Blackjack. Dougie mentions that he is flying out of New Mexico for “another job,” which momentarily worries Asher. That night, Whitney and Asher visit Cara’s show. It is quite difficult to put into words what exactly happens there. It involves Cara inviting guests into a tent and offering them turkey. Irrespective of whether or not they eat it, she screams and the guests’ turn is then over.

James shows up, forcing Whitney to say gibberish until she spots Marjorie, who works with Cara. James is also left unimpressed with Cara’s show. The episode ends with more evidence that “the curse” hasn’t lifted. When Whitney and Asher go to their gyno, they learn that Whitney’s pregnancy isn’t viable. It is also revealed that Whitney has undergone an abortion twice before. They can try again for a baby – after six weeks. Both are left devastated and sit in silence in the car, not sure how to process the news.

The Episode Review

The Curse is not far from being referred to as “Cringe central.” Fielder and Safdie have left no stone unturned to make us feel uncomfortable. Episode 2’s tone is set by gaping silences and awkward social interactions. The creatives and writers are dextrous at using very small, mundane things to bring out the inherent darkness in our characters. But there is also wave after wave of isolation and sadness that flows through them.

Emma Stone’s incredible acting has helped to balance the scales on Whitney. It is difficult to pinpoint who she is exactly but therein lies the delight of seeing her unravel in upcoming episodes. She definitely has a genuine concern for and belief in what she does.

The Curse is gradually finding the shadow of its brilliant creators’ trademark style consuming it.¬†Episode 2 has so much that you can’t really talk about and yet, it makes you feel so much. I still might be confused about what it means and how it ties to the larger narrative…but I am in for the ride.

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You can read our Season 1 review of the The Curse here!
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