Things blow up as this week’s UnREAL offers up a few surprises and takes a look at the aftermath of what happened to Rachel. The hour also showed that production goes on (and producers continue plotting) and highlighting the team as the epitome of dysfunction.
In the aftermath of Jeremy hitting Rachel, she tells Chet she wants to report him to the police. That idea is quickly squashed at Chet’s insistence that Jeremy knows too much about what they’ve done in the past. While he’s got a point about burning the house down, it feels like he was overestimating Jeremy’s strategic forethought. Though Rachel relents and doesn’t immediately go to the police, the trauma takes its toll on her and the way she’s producing the show. The change comes the moment she steps into the showrunner’s office and talks with Coleman, who already figures something is off. Rachel’s able to put some distance between them in the office but that changes once we get a glimpse at what’s ahead for Darius and the contestants.
This week on Everlasting were the hometown dates and Darius had his mind made up about who to pick, with Chantal and Atlanta as the winner. But after telling Rachel about it, her manic insistence that it had to be Beth Ann and Alabama devolve from a quiet conversation between the pair to a panicky one-sided plea by Rachel in front of the production crew. It’s only then that he goes with Rachel’s pick.
Jay and Madison begin their plotting while Rachel, Darius, and Beth Ann are in Alabama. The pair isn’t fond of the fact that they are stuck with nothing to produce so they come up with an idea that eventually ropes Dr. Waggerstein into a segment that offers the girls who were left behind, something to do…tear each other down. Because it’s UnREAL and the characters can’t be left to do something halfway decent, Madison feeds Chantal the bit of information she needs to get Tiffany, that she slept with Romeo. The reveal ultimately does more good than she anticipated as she comes clean with Darius and makes it through elimination.
The trip to Alabama doesn’t start off the way that Rachel and Coleman anticipate, with a stunning lack of backwoods racism. It takes a pregnancy test and a formerly imprisoned ex-boyfriend to essentially make all of Rachel’s dreams come true and lead up to an explosive confrontation between Darius and the ex-boyfriend, which included an insinuation that the baby was Darius’s. Of course, it takes Beth Ann’s moment before elimination for her to announce that it can’t be his.
All the while, Quinn tells Coleman about what happened to Rachel and to keep an eye out for her as Quinn and Chet assume some sort of dysfunctional role of concerned parents. Rachel is so very much done with everyone’s concern, though, and just wants to get her job done. And that’s what she does. Of course, that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be worried about what Quinn and Chet have planned as they become troubled by what Coleman’s presence is doing to her and Quinn calls reinforcements…Adam.
The final act, which had Quinn picking up the phone and talking to John Booth again after spending the day of her father’s funeral together and Rachel and Coleman getting much closer, leads up to seeing the former Everlasting suitor’s return. The moment he got out of the limo, it became clear that things are about to get exponentially more interesting.
Shiri Appleby did a wonderful job directing the hour and felt like it let some of the panic, mania, and unease shine through.
Watch the next new episode of UnREAL on July 18 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.