I feel like Chet mainly communicates using his eyebrows. It’s not just me, right?
The latest episode of UnREAL continues from the the last one, dealing with the fallout of everything that just happened. Some storylines continue to impress, others don’t quite work as well. The main storyline is Darius and his serious injuries, but a few other things are continuing. Our biggest casualty is London, the Pakistani girl pressured to drink and manipulate, never making a big impact, and not really making one on her exit.
London is hit with the newly minted manipulative force of Madison, who is doing the sort of blunt force version of Rachel, but she’s digging it. Just like Rachel and Quinn have done a thousand times, Madison lies to London’s face that Darius needs her to “bring it.” It’s a meaningless phrase, but the message is clear: you need to stand out and play the game. London was never meant to be a real character on the show, so I guess the “we have a terrorist” angle is just dead and gone now. Probably for the best.
But note that Madison has this final line in the episode: Follow the drama! She really seems to be learning to become the new Rachel, but potentially one with different issues. Madison cries after telling Quinn about her recently deceased father, but it’s partially because now Quinn will never like her. A very selfish reason to feel bad. But an evolution of a mostly silly character in season one to one that’s becoming quite interesting.
The storyline with Quinn dealing with the death of her father seemed perfunctory and pointless; her later actions could be ascribed to a lack of thinking things through, but sometimes that’s just how Quinn works. I suppose that her initial and almost acceptance of Chet (before he’s arrested, thankfully) might come from the familiarity of someone she used to care about, contrasting with the abusive father figure.
Jay jumps in and out this episode, once again being his usual combination of making a token effort to be decent and not being decent at all. He first decries the sexist “Powder Puff” football uniforms (which they are, but then again so is everything on the “Everlasting” show), but the episode ends with him gleefully filming activist “was gonna be a doctor” Ruby hooking up with Darius. The show likes this sort of contrast, but the biggest one is always Rachel.
Rachel refuses to acknowledge she went behind Quinn’s back, saying she was just worried about the show. It’s a lie, but seemingly also to herself. Toxic Chet calls Rachel a lesbian, yet Rachel tries to use sexual advances on Romeo and fails. It’s all part of Chet’s bizarre yet too familiar world view.
On the other hand, Rachel seems to be finding more of a connection with wunderkind Coleman, especially as Quinn continues to rip on her, calling her unstable and always about to crack. Is it any wonder that the guy who says she’s meant for better things is a real attraction? At this point, it seems like they might legitimately like each other, which seems like it’ll be much worse later because the show is unlikely to have a happy ending.
Her “twinsie” Yael may have been given that derogatory “Hot Rachel” name, but she’s living up to the manipulative side. She was obvious in her attentions to Coleman, perhaps too much so, maybe that’s why she decided to blatantly hit on Jeremy the cameraman/”director”. A lot of this seems bound to just hurt Rachel down the road, but then again, that’s the show for you. In a way, this is the environment Quinn and Rachel have helped to create, one where manipulation and sexual games is the way to make a difference.
But it’s also a systemic problem, as we see from how Gary has interacted with everyone, to how Coleman preferred Chet’s cheesecake explosion take on the dating show. I think the episode felt like a “table setting” one — I enjoyed it, but a lot seems to be getting ready for much worse things. Breaking up Romeo and Darius, foreshadowing his serious injuries destroying his career, and even all the mean words from Quinn. An average episode of UnREAL, but a better than average episode of TV in general.
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