Season 14 of Everlasting has to beat the ratings explosion from last season. How do you top a suicide and a suitor being stood up at the altar? If you’re Quinn, you do it with even more questionable manipulation and brute force.
Similarly, this season of UnREAL follows a breakout freshman season, and it seems the writers are trying to top themselves by amping up everything: the drama, the crass, the conflict. UnREAL was never a subtle show, but somehow it’s found a way to make the beginning of season 2 even more intense; “Guerilla” sees just about everyone involved in a dark, contentious drama.
Fresh off the shakeup of her reality show — where she’s gone even further down the totem pole — Rachel is surprisingly cool. She’s smoking with her bestie Quinn (in a scene that’s reminiscent of the finale’s final shot) while not giving a f— about the show. Chet is busy making things blow up and racing ATVs around the property; he’s gone so far, even Romeo and Darius say no thanks to the “fun.”
When Coleman asks the women how the day is shaping up, Quinn shoots it straight (as if she knows any other way): She tells him that there’s “a gaggle of lost girls in their underwear and not a hint of romance in sight.” Coleman says they shouldn’t worry, though, because he knows what he is doing — despite the fact that he’s never worked on an actual TV show. “You’re annoying,” Quinn tells him. “I agree,” her No. 2 says.
When he leaves, Quinn decides she’s not going to let this Coleman-sized roadblock get in her way. She’s going to produce the women herself, and when Gary sees the masterpiece she’s created, he’ll either appreciate her, or she’ll quit. “I’m going balls deep in this bitch,” Quinn says before asking her sidekick to join her. Rachel doesn’t bat an eye and says she’s with her. Quinn is convinced, but I’m not.
After getting dirt on the women from Wagerstein, Quinn goes on a hunt for the women she thinks are the most emotionally unstable. Her first stop is Brandi, who was raised in foster care and shows signs of abuse. It doesn’t take much to put Brandi on edge. All Quinn has to say is that “from one broken ass little kid to another,” she should watch her back because the other women are willing to fight for this. Next, she swings by Chantal’s makeup station and tells her that the other women, specifically the “fighter chick,” are saying she’s using her fiancé’s death to garner sympathy from Darius. And just like that, Quinn has set the spark.
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The flame goes ablaze at the obstacle course Chet set up for the women to compete for a one-on-one date with Darius. He calls it “Miss America Meets American Ninja.” Chantal and Brandi just happen to be in the first heat together, and are the top two contenders. But when Chantal pulls ahead in the final obstacle, Brandi pulls her off the climbing wall. Chantal gets a concussion, and Brandi gets a date.
Errr…. not exactly. Quinn tells Rachel to throw Brandi “in the hole” — and the dark underbelly of this fictionalized reality show just got even darker.
NEXT: “We go in for the kill”[pagebreak]
While Coleman sidelines Chet (who says the young showrunner is “blinded by vaginal fairy dust”), Quinn and Rachel work their producing duo magic. Chantal gets dolled up in a nightie in a fake hospital room so Darius can have his swoon-worthy save-the-day moment with her. And Brandi stays locked up in the hole, which is a small room containing a cot, a sink, and a hot water tank…. oh, and a camera, of course.
Quinn goes into the hole to talk to Brandi — she tells her that she’ll have to talk on camera about her time in foster care and being hurt. But Brandi refuses. Enter Rachel, who says she’s there to get Brandi ready for the date she “won.” Brandi is excited, but Rachel points out that the date is probably just for Darius to say goodbye. Brandi wants to explain to him what happened, and Rachel says she can, but she’ll have to tell the whole story.
So she does. On their dinner date (where they don’t eat food, naturally), Brandi opens up about growing up in the foster care system and how many of her foster fathers abused her. Darius comforts her, kisses her, and then looks up at Rachel to confirm she got the footage she wanted. He’s good.
If the concussion/obstacle course incident was the flame, what comes next is a full-on firebomb. Quinn brings Darius into her office, where a woman claiming to be Brandi’s mother says the young woman is a pathological liar and made up the stories she told him.
Darius goes straight to the elimination ceremony, where he says he won’t be sending four women home. Instead, he’ll just be sending one woman home: Brandi. She’s utterly shocked, and when he points out her mother, she breaks and says she didn’t lie. Then she jumps on Darius’ back, gets him in a headlock, and starts lashing out at everything nearby. Security has to drag her away, and Quinn laughs from the control room: “Call the Emmys, baby.” (#foryourconsideration)
If you suspected that Quinn was the one who was the liar, not Brandi, you would be right. Her “mother” is an actress, but with a team of lawyers behind the network, Everlasting’s audiences will never be the wiser about the gigantic fib.
The biggest problem for Darius coming out of that incident isn’t that he’s now been made complicit in ruining a poor woman’s life, but that he hurt his back. Rachel had been noticing that he might not be healthy, but Darius and Romeo refused to acknowledge it. Romeo pushes Rachel away when she tries to visit Darius that evening, and the next morning she finally gets in, only to find him lying on the bed. I have a feeling this isn’t an Adam-inviting-Rachel-into-his-room kind of situation.
As if Everlasting needed more problems … Rachel and Coleman have been flirty-flirty the whole episode. With Rachel, you never know if she’s actually into him or she’s producing him to get the information that she wants. Either way, she does get some good intel: He tells her that he ran with Chet’s idea because of the longtime producer’s friendship with Gary. Coleman will give him enough rope to hang himself, so Gary can officially oust him… and Chet is well on his way.
NEXT: Everyone on this show needs a session in The Healing Nook[pagebreak]
Romeo and Darius tell Chet they’re moving into the mansion; they’ll no longer need his bachelor pad to crash because they’re #TeamQuinn now. And that’s not even the biggest blow Chet suffers this episode: He gets a call from his lawyers telling him that Cynthia, his ex-wife, received full custody of their son. Cynthia won’t listen to his pleas to be in his son’s life, so he does what that Paleo retreat taught him to do: He reclaims what’s his and steals his son.
At least from jail, Chet won’t be able to interfere with Quinn’s show! Unless, of course, it’s no longer her show to run. After she sends a sizzle reel to Gary, he shows up at the mansion and asks the whole crew to come outside. He has a brand new fancy car (I’m sure someone in the comments can tell us what kind) to give to the person who made the show what it is … Quinn is beaming while preparing her hand to accept the keys … oh, no this looks eerily similar to Rachel last week … and Gary hands the keys to Coleman.
Quinn is obviously furious, but while outting Rachel as the person who told on her and Chet last week, Gary says until Quinn can get her team under control, Coleman stays. And then she shoots dagger eyes at Rachel.
Rachel runs into her office/bedroom/workspace and starts packing to leave the show, but Coleman stops her. He tells her that she doesn’t need Quinn — that he and Rachel could be their own dynamic duo. Quinn and Chet can create Everlasting, but they’re dinosaurs. Rachel and Coleman can create shows that people need. And then they make out.
Do you think Chet and Quinn’s relationship started a little something like this? History does love repeating itself.
In other news…
- Jeremy and Hot Rachel are flirting now.
- Madison tells Beth Ann that people are loving her on Twitter because she’s like “Donald Trump with boobs.”
- Ruby puts on a dress and tries to restrain herself around Beth Ann — she ultimately fails — because she really does like Darius. Jay promises to help her out if she would just stop lashing out and start thinking.
- Chet’s dog, Boo, should really find a better home.
What did you guys think of “Guerilla”? Share your thoughts below or find me on Twitter @realdalener.