UnREAL Recap: Adam’s Return and a Major Miss

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This week’s UnREAL felt like it wanted to hit a substantial point in Rachel’s story but ultimately fell on the messy side as Adam made his return to help Darius (and, mostly, Everlasting), while one choice in the hour felt like it was probably the most ill-suited decision on the show.

Adam’s return adds another level of tension to the set already fraught with some high level tension after the Alabama disaster, Darius essentially being completely done with being on Everlasting, and Rachel’s mental health becoming a growing concern. Last season’s suitor seems to have come back with a goal in mind…to talk to Rachel. Though, his surprise appearance in the middle of the night may not have been the best way to kick things off. While Rachel maintains that she’s over Adam as Coleman initially accepts that response, the new showrunner seems a little less than accepting at certain points and says as much.

No matter how messed up the relationship was, bringing Adam back was a solid choice and seeing him and Rachel interact didn’t really convince me that she thinks it’s over between them…whatever they had. It also helps that Adam returned long enough to offer up some truth about what Everlasting is and what Rachel has accomplished.

“This place is a vortex of evil and dysfunction and turns everything it touches to shit.” Adam’s continued on point assessment of what Everlasting and the production of the show’s life reduces people to was much appreciated, after hearing what Rachel frighteningly believes she’s doing on the show and especially after the mess that the show becomes towards the end of the hour.

Meanwhile, it’s a special themed-date week and all of the girls have to offer up perhaps some of the cheesiest clips to have Darius pick. Rachel’s not able to get through to Darius (and by the end of the hour, it’s clear that she probably won’t be able to ever) and it’s only after Adam offers the new Everlasting suitor some advice that he goes along with the production team’s choice, Chantal. The date involves a fake gondola with fake water and ultimately has Chantal giving up her fiancé’s ashes (which she had in a necklace) and accidentally having the ashes fall in Darius’ mouth.

After Jay calls cut, Darius is more than over everything that they have subjected him to (and understandably so) and decides to take a spin in the Bentley that Tiffany had offered, if he had chosen their date. Darius ends up taking Yael, Romeo, and Tiffany along for the ride. Unfortunately for everyone in that situation, Rachel decides that the cops should get involved to get the story her and Coleman are looking for. With the car reported stolen, the four are stopped and things take a turn for the truly ugly as things escalate with the cops and Darius and Romeo. Rachel’s attempts at intervening fails miserably and gets Romeo shot and in critical condition.

It felt so very wrong to see this all play out and at the hands of Rachel and Coleman (who were most certainly at fault) and not in an engaging kind of way but, rather, a kind of messy way that leaves you wondering why they chose this one moment as a turning point for Rachel’s ultimate break. Of all the different external forces playing into her spiral, having Romeo get shot felt like a terrible choice.

All the while, Quinn spends most of the hour when she’s not plotting and carefully laying out the pieces to ensure a win for herself, with John Booth at some inn and only really understands the gravity of what feels like UnREAL’s attempt at replicating the horrific Mary story from season one when she returns to set and lays into Coleman. That wrong feeling only gets worse as we later see Coleman defend their decision.

And of course while all of this is going on, Yael’s up to something and from seeing her record her conversation with Jeremy at the end of the episode. But, what exactly is she up to and what are the odds it’s exposing the dirty secrets of a network reality show?

Watch the next new episode of UnREAL on July 25 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.

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