UnREAL goes further and hides flaws with drama

Lifetime

Lifetime

The latest episode of UnREAL was called “Fugitive” and it suffered from a being a fugitive from logic. After the build up last time with Adam, now he’s gone, which seems a waste. The first note from hearing Yael was a reporter was that it explained her actions, but then it seemed like a failure on the show’s part to vet her successfully. The show brought up an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with Jameson the boring cop, which makes me think it’ll be a plot point later.

I’d expect Yael will be impacted by that, but she might do the “well, you’ll still be in trouble if I go public” to get them to back off. Hard to say. Yael may be mirroring Rachel’s confused arc of false morality; Rachel was all about doing shady things for a greater purpose, because she was doing something “important” with Darius. Yael has done a lot of unethical things for her story, but we also don’t know much about her. Is she a new reporter trying to be big or someone established the show should’ve recognized? At this point, we don’t know.

Lifetime

Lifetime

Quinn early on discusses the conflict between being in the news business versus the “boobs” business; her eye is always on entertainment, and that’s it. All other things can be compromised, which is why her switch to wanting a child seems an over-reaction. It’s clearly an after effect from Rachel’s terrible mother saying that Quinn wasn’t Rachel’s real mother, but is that such a great place to start as a parent?

On the other hand, the revelation of Rachel’s backstory of being assaulted at only twelve years old and having her mom hide this … well, if it’s at all close to true, her mother’s a sociopath. If when Dr. Goldberg said “no one will love you if they find out” and she blamed her daughter for being raped, it makes her the worst monster in a show full of them. The show likes to play with moral complexities, but it’s hard to muster anything but hatred for such a terrible act.

In contrast, Madison is going down the “out-Rachel” path of producing, or at least trying, but she doesn’t seem to have Rachel’s damage either driving her decisions or complicating them. In a lot of ways, she’s almost an innocent, again relatively speaking. We can again compare this to Jay, who manages to explain his position. Working “in the machine,” letting him acknowledge being awful while attempting some semblance of morality.

The show has been building up Jay’s character a bit over the course of the season, in snippets here and there. But we know it’s always been complicated with him; even at the end where Quinn promotes him to Rachel’s old position, he says it “feels fine … for now.” Clearly thinking about the next step already, and although he made some convincing arguments to Darius, those seemed to be doing two things: improving his career and helping justify his moral problems with the show and the many race-related problems with it. The shooting was just the most explicit terrible recent example.

Speaking of which, I’m still not sure about it; it has served as a plot point to push forward everything, but I feel they missed out by not showing Romeo at all. Darius didn’t discuss his feelings explicitly, but certainly it led to his attempting to get back with Ruby and quitting the show. The shooting though may still have been a bit too complicated for the show to handle. Not like it hasn’t had insane things in the past, case in point: the suicide/murder.

Rachel may have admitted that Mary was “killed,” but it wasn’t her fault. At least not exactly. As I recall, it was fired producer Shia that screwed with Mary’s drugs, which seemed the real impetus to her spiraling out of control. But seeing someone nearly die in front of her certainly made Rachel wonder about her position and guilt; I’m not sure about the whole Coleman camera thing.

Lifetime

Lifetime

Rachel didn’t seem in her right mind, yet she was clearly noticing and reacting to the camera. Coleman seems to have gone over the line of no longer protecting Rachel and is instead trying to protect his career. He may be playing a more complicated game, but his fall is disappointingly cliché. I’d rather see something more complicated, and not another reset to status quo. On the other hand, I have a feeling it’s going to get a bit nuts pretty soon.

This was an episode that felt mixed to me, with strong moments and confusing plot choices. The show has suffered from that before, so it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s always room for redemption.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments section below!

 

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