Nathan Fielder Channels ‘Nathan For You’

Love is patient, love is kind—which means sometimes, you have to wait until after your partner steals highly classified documents from a casino before you can tell him you’re pregnant. Episode 2 of The Curse opens on a positive pregnancy test (if you’re like me and had to Google to double check, yes, two lines means a baby is on the way) that belongs to Whitney (Emma Stone). It’s probably her husband Asher’s (Nathan Fielder), but after seeing that micropenis, who knows? Maybe the child has another father.

While Whitney finds out that she has a bun in the oven, Asher is trying to clear the family’s name. He’s working on buying time with Monica (Tessa Mentus), the journalist, sitting on a video interview that would soil both his and Whitney’s careers. If the journalist can hold the interview for another week, Asher argues, he can offer her proof that a nearby casino—his old place of employment—is enabling gambling addictions. The journalist doesn’t really believe it, but Asher promises he knows where this info is hiding in the casino: “I swear on my mother’s life, okay?” Don’t say that kind of thing with a curse looming over your family, dude.

Afterwards, Asher makes his first attempt at infiltrating the casino to steal the proof he needs. This seems to be more of a stakeout, though, because he leaves just a few minutes after arriving, seeing as the boss man isn’t available to chat. Fail. Then, it’s off to dinner with Whitney and Cara (Nizhonniya Austin), a Native artist who the pair want to use as an unpaid “cultural consultant” on the show. When Whitney argues that Cara should be compensated for her time, Asher says he could just get one of his buddies at the casino to do it for free. It doesn’t matter—Cara arrives, demands that Whit and Ash take her art out of their HGTV show, gets a free dinner (and extras to go), and leaves before they can even ask for her guidance.

But before Cara can make a swift exit, Whitney panders to her uninterested “friend” about what it means to be an artist. Critics have been saying Whitney’s houses copy Doug Aitken (a real artist who makes similar mirrored homes). Whitney thinks this is silly and flocks to Cara from support. While Cara does say Whitney is innocent, she also says that this shouldn’t be an issue, because Whitney isn’t in the art world. If Whitney wants to say she’s an artist, she’s going to have to confess to copying Doug—or she can say she’s not an artist as a cop-out and remove herself from the creative community. She goes for the former, which earns a glare from Cara.

Whitney is left distressed after this conversation. Asher pokes her to explain why she’s so distant, and although it’s clear Whit is thinking about Cara, she instead tells her husband about the positive pregnancy test. He is elated. She seems like she couldn’t care less. Asher, petrified and joyful and unsure of what to do with all this excitement, begins to word vomit about having a baby. Whitney can’t feign even an ounce of interest. “You still love me, right?” Asker asks her. She pauses. But yes, she admits to still loving him.

Emma Stone talks to Nathan Fielder while they sit at a dinner table in a still from ‘The Curse’

Nathan Fielder as Asher and Emma Stone as Whitney in The Curse

Richard Foreman Jr.

It’s hard to believe that any couple would be worse than these two, and yet, on the other side of town, TV producer Dougie (Benny Safdie) is on the worst date of all time. Unprompted, Dougie is explaining to a random woman (where did they meet?) how he successfully manipulates his blood alcohol content level while driving—peeing really helps, he explains. He then goes on to show her a photo of his ex, who died in a crash that happened when he was drunk behind the wheel. When Dougie offers to drive this woman home, she insists she’ll call an Uber.

“You really think I would do that again?” Dougie jokes. He convinces her to come into the car, but halfway to her home, Dougie starts to feel a little sick. He requests the breathalyzer from his glove compartment and blows twice, only to find he’s .02 points over the legal limit both times. Okay, fine—they’ll just walk home together. Later, when Dougie runs into Asher at the casino, he says he’s considering leaving Española while they all wait to hear back from HGTV about the project. But Dougie also may just stay put, which would be even weirder? It’s odd that he’s lingered around this long. Something is so unsettling about this man.

More important events occur at the casino, though. Fielder channels Nathan For You as he attempts to trick his old bosses into allowing him access to the computers, pitching them new ideas that he’s around to help with as soon as, well, today. What about a daycare in the casino, so that adults can gamble all day? Asher was responsible for a light prototype that channeled circadian rhythms to energize big spenders, so he thinks these casino hotshots ought to trust his other visions.

They don’t. Asher resorts to Plan C, which is to distract his old pal Bill (David DeLao) with a viral video (a clip of a newscaster falling on ice) and the spill Gatorade on him so that he’ll have to fetch paper towels, leaving Asher alone with the computer. It works, somewhat miraculously, and Asher is able to copy the documents he needs onto a thumb drive. His buddy suspects nothing. Asher is always up to something crazy. To his old coworker, Asher is a prankster, somewhat like that meme of the girl with a bag of potato chips on her head—he’s so crazzzzzzzy! Love him!

Later, Asher and Whit are off to Cara’s art show, where she flaunts stolen baseball totem pole figurines (the message here is that the MLB can’t request them back, because then, the organization would have to confess that they stole the totem pole imagery). She also does some sort of performance: She sits in a tipi, where guests enter for a secret experience one at a time. Everyone is told they cannot talk about what happens in the tipi. We see Whitney’s experience, though: She goes in smiling. Cara slices some turkey and offers it to Whitney. Whitney eats it. Cara screams, then whispers, “Why did you do that?”

A man talks to Nathan Fielder in a still from ‘The Curse'

David DeLao as Bill and Nathan Fielder as Asher in The Curse.

Richard Foreman Jr.

Whitney is dying to know if she did something wrong, but to ask anyone else about if something similar happened to them in the tipi is against Cara’s rules. Whit asks Asher to tell her what happened, and he refuses. She is tortured by her inability to understand what the art means.

As if Whitney hasn’t faced enough hell this week, at the end of the episode, she and Asher go to the OB-GYN for their first ultrasound together. The pregnancy, they learn, is not viable and must be terminated immediately. Immediately after the appointment, we see the couple sitting in their car—Whitney tries to use her struggles to come up with new ideas for art, while Asher marks in his calendar when they should start trying for a baby again. The doctor said six weeks. Then and there, he’s downloading an app and going to start tracking her cycle.

“Six weeks isn’t that long,” Asher says with a nervous giggle. “We’ve gone longer.”

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