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'UnREAL' recap: 'Mother'

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James Dittiger/Lifetime

UnREAL

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-MA
seasons:
2
run date:
06/01/15
performer:
Shiri Appleby
Producer:
Marti Noxon
broadcaster:
Lifetime
genre:
Drama

Wouldn’t you just love to be a producer on a reality dating show? You get to manipulate the minds of poor women with low self-esteem; you get to yell things like, “Sluts get cut”; and you get paid $189 a pay period to do it!

That’s right: Rachel gets her first paycheck from this season of Everlasting, and it’s a whopping $189. Quinn tells her that her meltdown in the past season wasn’t cheap, and she’s going to be paying for it through work. And pay for it she does—she’s now in triple overtime (her meltdown must have been really expensive), and Quinn needs her to take a break since her crazy eyes are starting to come back.

But before she can go to the beach or whatever it is she does in her non-existent spare time, Rachel has to remind Grace and Adam what kind of show they’re on. This is Everlasting—not The Real World. And on Everlasting, the ladies don’t sneak off to the wardrobe truck to give the suitor a blowjob. Because as everyone knows, “Prince Charming doesn’t get his knob polished until he’s in love.”

And with that handled, Rachel takes a production van to her parents’ house. This is bad for two reasons: 1. She has a suspended license; 2. Things fall apart on set while she’s gone.

This week’s episode of Everlasting centers around a cocktail party, which will lead to a romantic dinner with Adam for three ladies; the “winner” of that dinner will get a daylong date. But the catch is Adam’s “best mate” Roger Lockwood will be selecting the women for Adam. And Roger is a douchebag.

In order to help her girl Maya, Shia gives her some insight: To get the date with Adam, she has to win over Roger, and he’s “kind of a slut.” So after ONE SHOT of alcohol, she’s telling Adam and Roger how she’s a “total hedonist.” This is going nowhere good.

At home, Rachel is having her own catastrophe: her mother. Turns out mommy dearest is a psychologist who practices on her own daughter. She’s been putting her on meds for years and has diagnosed her with everything from ADD to bipolar disorder. I’m with Rachel on this one: I don’t think that’s exactly ethical.

Rachel just wants a loan to help pay her terrible roommate Bethany and her legal bills, but her mom says she’ll only help Rachel if she agrees to in-family treatment. When Rachel tries to push back, her mom just digs in deeper: “The reason you are so good at what you do, the manipulation, the attunement, that is the disease.” Yes, Rachel is a little too good at manipulation, and I’ve only known her for two episodes now, but I don’t think she has borderline personality disorder or any of the other diagnoses. (Related: Is Munchausen syndrome by proxy just for physical illness?) After crying it out with her mom, Rachel gets a check for $20,000 from her mom—but she tears it up in the van before driving away. Good girl.

Speaking of not having a great day… Chet just did a line of coke before having sex with Quinn—which started chest pains. At the hospital, they say he has mitral valve prolapse—not serious, but it mimics a heart attack. Since Quinn is the one to help him get to the hospital, she’s there when his wife Cynthia shows up. But twist! Cynthia knows about the affair. And in one of the classiest f— you speeches I’ve ever heard, Cynthia takes down Quinn. It deserves to be written in full:

“I’ve got the house, the cars, the vacations; Chet has you. But if you kill him with all this partying, I get 40 million in life insurance. What do you have? I wanted to thank you for sleeping with him. It’s one thing off my to-do list, and it keeps him from wandering. Thanks, Quinn. You’re a real class act.”

And as you know, there are a lot of real class acts on this show. Top of the list: Roger. After Maya throws herself at him, he chooses her, Anna, and Grace to go on the 3-on-2 dinner date. At the dinner it takes about .2 seconds for Maya to strip out of her cocktail dress and jump in the hot tub. Everyone follows, but it’s clearly Maya who is having the most fun. She’s slurring her words and now she’s making out with Roger—who you will remember is not the suitor.

NEXT: Roger is the worst[pagebreak]

For reasons unknown to me, all of the girls come running out of the house in their underwear (I’m 100 percent sure they all have swimwear inside) and jump in the pool, too. But Crazy Rachel is back to shut this sh– down. She yells at Shia for letting all this happen while she and Quinn were away—apparently the loud music blasting at the pool party makes all the footage unusable. Rachel goes to find Maya, who comes out of the pool house with streaked mascara.

Then things get weird: Neither Roger nor Maya will talk about what just happened, but it’s heavily implied that Maya did something she was too drunk to give consent for. She could barely walk, according to Adam. So Adam punches Roger in the face. (Thanks, Adam.) It made me pretty uncomfortable how quickly the rape plotline was introduced and swept under the rug, but this is the world of Everlasting: No one seems to know right from wrong. (I do hope they address this more in future episodes, though, because at some point all these questionable ethics need to catch up with people.)

After getting punched in the face (thanks again for that Adam), Roger has to go straight into picking his date for Adam’s daylong date. He selects Anna, but when Adam opens the card, he reads Maya’s name aloud. That leads immediately into an elimination ceremony, where five women we never met leave.

And with that, the episode—on Everlasting, not UnREAL—needs to wrap, but Quinn still doesn’t have her killer story line. She grabs Rachel by the face, tells her to wash her hair (or something like that, I was too traumatized by Shiri Appleby crying to catch the exact words), and create her an episode.

At the top of the episode, the video feeds showed Anna eating Cheetos. Quinn informs Rachel (and me) that this is a “marker food”: “She knows when to stop when the orange comes back up. It means she got rid of everything else.” So of course Quinn’s first thought was to get rid of anything that could be a marker food for Anna.

We don’t see a lot of Anna in the episode, but as Rachel goes out to find a story for Quinn, she bumps into Dr. Wagerstein, who tells her the vomiting is getting worse. Rachel goes to talk to her about how she’s worried. And maybe her mother wasn’t quite wrong about her psychopathic personality because Rachel seamlessly goes from caring about Anna to getting her to turn on Grace.

With the (wrong) knowledge that Grace is talking to Adam about her eating disorder, Anna goes up to Grace and yells at her for saying she’s fat, for eating Greek omelets for breakfast, for being a model; and it just goes downhill from there. Grace ends up slapping Anna.

Meanwhile Rachel and Quinn sit on a poolside lounger and just watch it all unfold. They share a cigarette while they watch two grown women physically and mentally tear one another apart. But the worst part: The two producers are more at home there than anywhere else.

Reality Bites:

  • DP Carl is leaving the show for New York, which causes Lizzie to bring up the fact that Jeremy wants to go to New York, too—a fact she only knows because of Rachel’s love letter, which the whole crew read. Apparently Jeremy never told Lizzie he had bigger dreams than this show (but really isn’t that just a given?), and she’s upset he divulged that to Rachel. I sense trouble in paradise.
  • Turns out Roger was sent by Adam’s father to get him to stop the whole charade of the show. I have a feeling we’ll meet dear old dad soon…
  • Jeremy said something about the episode “last night,” so this must air in near real-time à la Big Brother. This explains why there is so much pressure to get stories quickly each episode.
  • And you may have noticed I didn’t do a conscience ranking this week, but Quinn is still the worst, for this line alone: “Our girls find our villain on the bathroom floor in a pool of her own puke? It’s good TV!” BUT she did end up sending Chet back home to his pregnant wife, so maybe she’s not completely soulless?

Line of the night: “I’m not the one who signed up to do a whorehouse on the tellie.” —Roger

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