Created by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ is an anthology horror series. Its first season comprises eight episodes, telling eight completely different stories. Episode 4, titled ‘The Outside,’ follows Stacey (Kate Micucci), a bank employee married to police officer Keith (Martin Starr). Stacey believes that people around her ignore her, and her efforts to become part of the group of women at her workplace haven’t given the desired result. When she begins applying a popular lotion on herself, she suddenly develops angry red marks all over her skin. The episode is based on a short story by Emily Carroll and directed by Ana Lily Amirpur. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ episode 4. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Cabinet of Curiosities Episode 4 Recap
‘Cabinet of Curiosities episode 4 begins by showing that Stacey has a reasonably normal life and she is more or less content in it. Keith appears to be a caring partner who loves his wife deeply. Although she is indeed happy about how her life has turned out, a part of her constantly tells her that she wants more.
The bank Stacey works at has this posse of women that Stacey desperately wants to be part of. With Christmas fast approaching, one of the women invites Stacey to a get-together. Hoping to make a good first impression, Stacey kills a duck and puts the dead bird through the process of taxidermy, believing that it will make a perfect gift, When Stacey finally visits the colleague’s home for the party and hands over the gift she has brought, almost predictably, it isn’t received well by the host, who doesn’t know what to do with it. The host, Gina, gives each woman at the party a bottle of Alo Glo. They immediately begin applying the product and seeing this, Stacey does as well. But she soon develops angry red marks on her skin, indicating that she might be allergic to whatever they have put in the lotion.
When Keith sees the marks, he too believes that it’s an allergy, but Stacey starts to think that it’s the beginning state of her transformation. She continues to apply the lotion and the marks get more prominent. When Keith announces that he will take her to see a doctor, Stacey vehemently declines, once more asserting she is in the process of transformation.
For Stacey, the late-night infomercials on Alo Glo come alive. The man in those advertisements (Dan Stevens) aggressively tells Stacey to keep using their product if she wants to see the result. And she does, despite the pain and discomfort, believing that she will look beautiful at the other end of this arduous journey.
Cabinet of Curiosities Episode 4 Ending: Why Does Stacey Kill Keith?
Stacey and Keith’s relationship start off well enough. Keith appears to be kind, encouraging, and helpful, but each of those qualities appears to have limitations. When Stacey begins to change because of applying the lotion, he doesn’t know how to respond to that. He keeps telling her that she doesn’t need to change and that she is perfect the way she already is, but Stacey don’t pay much attention to those words. She asserts to her husband that she is changing, and he has to accept that as a fact.
If modern consumerism is one of the main two themes of the episode, the other is blind obsession about the past. Keith represents this aspect of the story. His wife’s metamorphosis happens right in front of his eyes, but Keith prefers to cling on to the past, continuously reminding Stacey how she used to be. This ultimately proves to be his undoing.
Realizing that Keith will not change the way she wants him to, Stacey makes the decision to kill him. She unceremoniously stabs him on the head before picking up her axe and driving into Keith’s spine, killing him. We also need to remember that what happens to Stacey is not an ordinary thing. In the pursuit of beauty, Stacey loses her sanity. Toward the end of the episode, Stacey pulls out all the inner components of Keith before turning him into a terrifying example of taxidermy.
Does Stacey Transform?
Stacey‘s journey in this episode likely represents a woman’s pursuit of beauty. While she eventually transforms, she first has to pay a steep price for it, and that includes the death of her husband. Despite all the doubts that Keith has about Alo Glo, Stacey continues to use it, ardently believing that her transformation is right around the corner. She orders multiple bottles of the lotion, and after they arrive, Alo Glo starts to come out of all those bottles. Soon enough, a shape made entirely out of Alo Glo stands in front of her, and they share a kiss.
After Stacey kills Keith, she follows the shape into the bathtub, where it dissolves. Realizing what she has to do, Stacey submerges herself into Alo Glo. When she comes back out, all the marks are gone, and she looks at least a decade younger. The following day, she prepares Keith like any other taxidermy piece and leaves him on the couch, facing the television. When she reaches the bank, the women who have ignored her until now suddenly become interested in her, and Stacey finally achieves everything she wants.
This episode is as much a satire of the obsessive pursuit of beauty as it is horror. It underscores how the idea of beauty has become commercialized, letting corporations make billions out of people’s inferiority complex.