The Curse – Season 1 Episode 3 “Questa Lane” Recap & Review

Questa Lane

Episode 3 of The Curse begins with an auction. Asher is participating in it to bid for a vacant lot called “Questa Lane.” After some intense bids, he finally gets the winning one for $62,500. Whitney isn’t as pleased about getting the lot for that price. But Asher feels it can be great for the redevelopment project.

While sitting with Dougie in their living room, the pair watch a clip from a focus group HGTV pulled together. Many networks do this to test out the waters and get first impressions from people about the shows in production.

Most of the comments aren’t flattering. The scepticism is mostly directed towards Asher, whom one particular member does not find “neither funny nor good-looking.” The design of the passive homes also comes under scrutiny. The general consensus is that the houses do not look good. One of them also remarks that buying such a house is worthless since it can take hundreds of years to get your money back in energy cost savings. 

After watching the clip, Dougie expresses his reservations about the show being picked up. Ash is immediately concerned since the pair have a lot of hopes pinned on it. In other news, Nala and her family are back in focus. We get a glimpse of her sitting in class and hear whispers rising from the corners of the other kids that nastily bring out her race. It is not as sinister as it sounds but little things like these can have big effects on small children.

As fate would have it, the lot that the family is squatting on is Questa Lane. Hani encourages Nala to make a run for it when Asher tries to drill his way in. When he sees her, his eyes light up. He instantly takes out a crisp hundred-dollar bill to give to her but the sister runs away. He chases them and eventually catches up. But before he can hand over the money, a good Samaritan steps in to stop the perceived threat. When an officer is called, things get cleared up. Asher has the right to kick the family out but given the unresolved curse, he allows them to stay on for as long as they like.

Whitney is pleased and professes her intention to perhaps do more for the family by undertaking petty repair works. Asher is in agreement as well. Dr Brown is back at the clinic, where the pair are headed next. Whitney gets her shot and for the foreseeable future, she cannot have the baby and the duo cannot have intercourse.

In a strange sequence, Asher receives a call from Dougie. The latter asks him if he is home to hang out together. Dougie’s loneliness came up in the previous episode and this is a continuation of that. Asher avoids him, which prompts a very upsetting reaction from Dougie. He actually breaks down in tears while lounging in his bed.

When they pull into the plaza, Whitney is shocked to see Barrier Coffee sporting a sign saying “Coming Soon.” She immediately asks Asher to call Jamie, its proprietor, who holds the lease. He points out that their contract did not state that the place had to be open except during the production of the show. There is nothing much that the pair can do since those were the agreed terms.

Whitney is later seen calling Fernando, who was “promised” a full-time job at the Barrier in Episode 1. Since he features on the show, she wants to make sure that he doesn’t have a bitter taste. To do that, she offers him a temporary job as the security guard for the plaza. Next, they head to Questa Lane in order to assess the nature of the repairs required. Abshir, Hani and Nala’s father welcome them in, fully understanding that his family’s security rests on pleasing them. He is warm and pleasant, unlike Hani.

Asher installs a sturdier lock, one that won’t be picked or drilled into easily. Whitney talks to the girls as they watch videos on TikTok. When the curse comes up, Nala remarks she did it following the online trend. But Asher is shocked when Nala casually mentions she cursed him that his chicken spaghetti wouldn’t have any chicken. Whitney doesn’t seem to make a lot of it but Asher is surely shaken.

The couple have a hilarious moment that they both enjoy when Asher tries to take off a sweater stuck around Whitney’s head. They laugh out loud and Whitney gets the idea to film a reel by reenacting a version of it for Instagram. This way, the network would see how charming the pair are together and it could positively affect their decision. However, things do not go according to plan. Since they cannot use the same sweater, the exact moment cannot be recreated. The reel looks falsified like most social media does. Whitney tries to plough through it as Asher wonders if Nala went through their garbage that night.

How else could she have guessed what he had for dinner? Whitney disregards his theory and asks him to stop making “assumptions” about the family. This triggers a nasty reaction – nay, outburst – from Asher. Whitney also doesn’t back down and they have an ugly spat over how she never gives him the benefit of the doubt in such situations. All of it is recorded on the reel, which Whitney ends up deleting later. The episode ends with a glimpse of Fernando guarding the plaza with his rifle.

The Episode Review

I would love to be as thick-skinned as Asher is. Or at least be as good at hiding my true emotions. Despite all the uncomfortable situations that confront him, the man maintains his calm, hardly acting out. His outburst in the climax of the episode is something we all wanted him to do at some point. Towing a wife’s line without any compassion in return is a tiring task, especially if she is as reflective about things as Whitney. Asher standing up to her is a sign of some self-respect left in him.

Like the previous two episodes, this one also had a lot of funny moments. The funniest bit from the episode is Asher’s reaction to Whitney’s “GoFundMe” suggestion. Fielder is gradually growing into this character and bringing his own personality to him. He matched Stone toe-to-toe in this one.

Benny Safdie’s Dougie is still a mystery to me. There is very little to go on in these three episodes, although his loneliness is very evident. I don’t see how he fits into the main narrative. The introduction to and addition of the Sudanese family was another surprise. A lot of doors are open for the creators to experiment and bring even more to the table with it. The Curse continues to defy traditional cable television norms with its differentiated storytelling. 

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