Two Takes: UnREAL “Treason”

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Paralysis is no joke. It’s not something to mess with. Ever. Unless, of course, you’re on a hit reality TV show and then, as they say, the show must go on. And go on it does.

This week’s big drama on Lifetime’s UnREAL revolved around Darius forgoing the advice of both his doctor and best friend to continue to woo the women and win over the hearts of America, which he hopes will ensure himself a sportscasting career once his injury comes to light. Smart decision or not? Tina and I will discuss. But on top of that, we also had Quinn confronting Rachel, Chet playing the doting dad (to impress the ladies, of course) and lumberjack-lookin’ Jeremy getting some lovin’ of his own.

Cortney: Tina, after last week’s insane episode, I have to come right out and say this one felt a little mediocre to me. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved it, but it just didn’t WOW me like past weeks. Maybe because I was expecting more from the Quinn/Rachel blowout or maybe just because they set the bar so high right out of the gate. Either way, I think the logical place to start this week is with Darius.

Yes, I see where he’s coming from — he has people to support and an image to maintain in order to do so (plus, don’t all athletes think they’re invincible anyways?) but I have a feeling this decision to “play on” is gonna come back to bite him in the you-know-what before the season ends.

Tina: Well, you know me. I do feel Everlasting is a show that ruins lives and it looks like Darius’ professional career is about to go up in smoke. Quinn doesn’t play. She figures out the Suitor’s secret. He’s injured — it’s actually a career-threatening injury — and what does she decide to do? What she always decides to do. She exploits it.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Doing this kills two birds with one stone. She gets to (and Chet — yes, the two of them briefly teamed up) mess with whatever Rachel and Coleman have cooking up. And she (hopefully) gets the big ratings grabber — the one that is supposed to see Darius carted off to the hospital in an ambulance. And most likely, it’ll cart him off the show forever. Time to replace him with the same old type of Suitor they have every season.

Cortney, I think I liked this episode more than you did. Did it have the fireworks of the previous installments? Maybe not. But I thought there were some really meaty moments. As for the Quinn/Rachel confrontation we were waiting for, I like the way it went down. I was expecting Quinn to obliterate Rachel from existence. I liked that she came at her directly and bitterly. It could be Quinn didn’t have it in her to manipulate on a higher level because she learned her dad died.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Cortney: Quinn does exploit but that’s what makes her so good at her job. I was definitely expecting an obliteration from her as well, but you’re right, she clearly suffered quite a blow this week with Randy’s death. However, she didn’t seem too fond of her father, did we ever learn what happened there? Or am I just forgetting?

Tina: I don’t think we learned anything other than he was an awful father. To which I say I’m not shocked. She’s kind of a damaged individual and that s–t had to start somewhere.

Cortney: That being said, while the confrontation wasn’t a total blowout, it did hit where it hurt, which is Quinn’s specialty.

Quinn: I plucked you from nothing. Made you a producer, now you think you can do this all on your own? Well, you can’t because the truth is, you need me behind you, guiding you, pushing you, proving you up so you don’t crack. But you always crack, Rachel, you’re unstable. And ungrateful and you cannot make this show without me.

Rachel: Watch me.

I love that Rachel holds her own here. I mean, Quinn did train Rachel in her own image so I’m not surprised that Rachel thinks she can give Quinn a run for her money. And in this episode, she essentially proved herself a formidable competitor when Darius walked out of his room, rather than being rolled out, looking damn hot in a tailored suit and ready to woo. The look on Quinn’s face — priceless.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Tina: Yeah, these are two smart women who are trying to outwit, outplay and outlast each other. I borrowed that line from CBS’ Survivor, but it totally works here. This is a different version of Survivor but it all comes down to who’s going to be the one standing in the end.

And like you, I also loved that moment when Darius skipped the melodramatic gurney shot and came out looking fine and throwing a football with nary a wince. Rachel’s plan to shoot Darius up with an epidural and walk out on his own two feet was genius, but it was also a horrible thing to ask an injured football player to do. Earlier in the episode, a doctor said he needed to feel the pain in order to be able to assess the injury. Feeling no pain? Well, he could get himself hurt worse.

Oh, Cortney. That look on Rachel’s face when Darius agreed to the epidural — it was this hint of a smile. Did you see it? If you didn’t, please go back and re-watch that moment when he said, “Let’s do it.” That “smile” was brilliant (thank you, Shiri Appleby) and so very cold. It was like all Rachel cared about was him bending to her will. She said everything she could to get him to that moment. He was a mere puppet while she was the puppet master.

Darius didn’t just play along, he also ended up firing his cousin, Romeo. That was a dumb move. He needs all the support he can get.

Cortney: You’re right, I missed that the first time around, but that smile is straight up self-satisfaction. She knows she is good at what she does and she knows that this will get her the one-up on Quinn, regardless of what happens to Darius. Like you said, the doctor made it clear that with one wrong move, this could become permanent and yet, as far as Rachel is concerned, right now and this show are all that matters.

As far as Romeo, he had no problem pointing out to Darius that Rachel “won’t be the one wiping his ass for the next 40 years” if he ends up paralyzed. Romeo may be making his living off of Darius’ success, but he also clearly cares about him and had no problem calling Rachel out.

Romeo: I gave my life for Darius, that’s my blood, do you know what that feels like? Of course not. You just poisoned the best thing that either one of us ever had. And for a television show. Now you have to live with that.

I’m hoping Romeo doesn’t just walk away and give up. I know there’s not much he can really do, but I do hope he stays and fights for Darius. Darius needs him, even if he doesn’t see it.

Tina: I also hope Romeo doesn’t walk away. He does need him. He’s a voice of reason for Darius, when he’s not succumbing to the perks of the job, that is. But I also want him around for some selfish, shallow reasons. Gentry White (Romeo) is one of this summer’s sexiest TV actors in my book. lol

Cortney: That being said, I have to say that this whole Darius-making-his-own-decisions moment did lead to one of my favorite scenes this episode — the one between Ruby (Denee Benton) and Darius. I’ll admit, the scene these two had together in the premiere felt awkward and stilted to me. But this scene, this felt real. She called him out, not for the show or to get a bracelet or her 15 minutes, she did it because she cared. This was by far the most genuine moment I think Darius has had so far and it was perfectly timed because he needs it now more than ever. This not only won Ruby a place in his heart, but in mine too.

Tina: Well, I don’t think they should have had that much of a connection in the beginning. I saw some sparks but there was not much there. But, man, it’s there now. I think Darius needs a Ruby in his life. She challenges him. I love that and I want to see more of these two together. At this point, I feel like the top two contenders are Ruby and Tiffany.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

We can’t forget that someone else’s life was ruined in this episode. Well, maybe not ruined. Is tarnished a better word? Poor, London (Sunita Prasad). Madison got her drunk. Chet manipulated her into tackling Darius before the powderpuff game even started. She exacerbated his injury and, sure, he finally noticed her. But it was not the kind of attention she wanted to receive. And when the world sees what happens in this Everlasting episode, they’re going to see a negative portrayal of a Muslim woman. I felt so bad for her.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Cortney: She definitely had a rough week. But I have to say, these women know what they’re getting in to and I feel like they should know better than to fall for these ploys. Sure, being manipulated by Quinn or even Rachel is hard to resist, but Madison?! Chet?! I wouldn’t believe a word that comes out of either of their mouths.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 3.54.57 PM

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Speaking of which, Chet and Quinn. You mentioned it earlier but these two were back on the same side briefly, which I think may have been part of Quinn’s Darius-stretcher-downfall professionally (you have to know better than to team up with Chet!) and also nearly personally as well. After touting his son around the set and claiming himself a doting father, he came to Quinn with love in his eyes, romanticizing their team-up and for a mere second, it looked like she might fall for it.

Chet: It reminded me of the way things used to be. You’re the love of my life. I have a baby, I’m responsible now. If we tried this again, it’d be different, it’d be a whole new world, the one you deserve.

But, of course, that only lasted for a second because as Quinn was staring at him with hope and consideration in her eyes, the police sirens sounded and cops showed up to take Chet away for kidnapping. Different, my a**. Chet is Chet and will always be Chet. As he was put in the back of the cop car, you could see Quinn internally chastise herself for even considering that things could or would ever be any different.

Tina: Thankfully, Quinn didn’t regress with that mess of a man. She knows better. She’s smarter than that. Meanwhile, I’m still enjoying the Coleman and Rachel dynamic. They’re cute and they made out on the douche car the network prez gave Coleman.

I like how he tells her she’s outgrown Quinn, even though I supremely enjoy the toxic codependence of the Quinn/Rachel relationship. Quinn considers Rachel a “garbage person” that’s in her life. I think she needs to rethink using that phrase to describe Rachel. Sure, Rachel’s done some awful things but Quinn’s done the same awful things x 1000.

The final thing I want to talk about is Hot Rachel and Jeremy. Cortney, Yael (Monica Barbaro) seems to have taken an interest in Rachel. Too much of an interest. There has to be some other reason she’s asking questions about Rachel and wants to know about all the ways she gets people to do what they do, right? Do you think she’s working undercover for Rachel’s mom? And what did she grab before going into the truck with Lumberjack!Jeremy?

Cortney: Yesssss!! I’m so glad you brought this up! There is something super fishy going on with Yael. On the surface, I don’t feel like she’s smart enough to be “undercover,” but obviously the ditzy hot girl ploy could totally be an act.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

That being said, I also feel like Jeremy has taken a turn for the worse this season. I mean, I get it, he’s a guy and when hot girls flirt with guys, they go all dumb. But still, first Chet, now this — he is definitely lacking depth and any shred of decency this season. Anyways, Hot Rachel playing Jeremy was so good! I rewatched a few times and I *think* she grabbed his keys…? Maybe? Either way, that scene definitely made me think she may be smarter than she lets on. I have no clue what her endgame may be but I’m definitely intrigued.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

And as far as Rachel and Coleman, I’m totally digging it. He respects her and values her opinion and that’s something she needs in her life. Not to mention, they work well together, even if it is for nefarious causes. However, I am curious to see how everyone responds when they find out that these two are hooking up, especially Quinn.

Rachel’s hook-ups have derailed this show multiple times before and I can imagine this will just be the icing on the triple chocolate betrayal cake as far as Quinn is concerned….that being said, as you mentioned, Quinn does like to exploit and I wouldn’t for a second put it past her to use this knowledge to take down Rachel and ruin her relationship and reputation for good.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Tina: I’m also wondering what happens with Rachel/Coleman when Adam (Freddie Stroma) ultimately walks back into the picture. For now, this Quinn/Rachel animosity seems like it’s going to have legs. I think all we can do is buckle up and hold on for dear life.

UnREAL airs Mondays at 10/9 on Lifetime.

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