It finally (sadly) happened. Rachel has become the portrait of a Lifetime heroine.
“Casualty” begins with Rachel crying in a ball on the floor where Jeremy left her the previous night. Chet, her savior, helps her change out of the ball gown — but that’s all the support he can give. She wants to go to the police; she doesn’t want to be “another silent woman.” And as we all cheer, Chet crushes her/us. He says Jeremy knows too many of Everlasting’s dark secrets, so she needs to “keep it in the family.” And then he pats her on the shoulder.
Rachel may say okay to Chet in the moment, but she’s serious about not staying silent. She draws circles around her bruises with a Sharpie and takes pictures of Jeremy’s abuse… then she covers it all up with concealer, because she has a show to run.
Let me take a moment here to say I’m struggling with this story line. As much as I hate Jeremy this season, I don’t think the abuse is in line with what we’ve seen of his character. I don’t think Chet being the “helper” is in line with what we’ve seen of him. And I’m perplexed by Rachel’s reaction to it all — I hate that she’s become a battered woman who is too scared to speak up about it.
I’ve been disappointed with this season’s focus on the producers’ drama rather than the contestants’ drama. There’s a definite pacing problem, and I don’t think ratcheting up the drama with an abuse story line is the solution. I’m not sure how the writers will get themselves out of this one, but I will support Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer anywhere they go, so I’m willing to wait and see.
Anyway, let’s get to this week’s Everlasting date: the hometown. Darius gets to choose which lady, but Rachel is going to insist he go with Beth Ann. When he tells her no, she tells him he has to win the audience back, since they see him as a villain after sending Ruby home. He still refuses to go to Alabama (because he doesn’t want to get lynched — his words, not mine). And when Rachel claims his picking Chantal would result in the network moving the show to a smaller network, sponsored by Ambien (because she’s so boring, get it?), he still says no. And then Rach loses it.
She screams, “I am your quarterback, and I want you to run my plays” — which is an A+ football analogy, but unfortunately draws the attention of most of the cast and crew. She yells at him with everyone watching, with tears streaming down her face. Finally, he agrees to go to Alabama just to get her to calm down. Chet tries to ask Rachel how she’s doing (which is nice, but real nice guys let a woman report her abuser), and she brushes him off.
She also tries to brush off Coleman, who wants to go to Alabama with her, but he won’t let her. He says they’re running things together now. So the next morning, the two of them pull up to Beth Ann’s small country home with Darius in tow. There’s a Confederate flag hanging from the porch, but other than that, not a whiff of racism. Beth Ann’s family loves Darius — and it’s pissing Rachel off. “Where’s the drunk uncle? Where’s the KKK?” she yells at Coleman. Even when the dad and brother get out the shotguns, it stays pleasant: Turns out Darius is a pretty good shot. “It’s a hootenanny,” Rachel exclaims. She needs to blow things up…big time.
Speaking of blowing things up, that’s exactly what Jay and Madison try to do back at the mansion in Rach’s absence. They want to get their contestants screen time, even if Darius isn’t there. To that end, they have Wagerstein get the women to talk to the “Mirror of Truth” about why Darius didn’t pick them for the hometown date. Yael starts off the gabfest, saying maybe Darius would think her family was “too fancy.” Cue eye rolls from Chantal and Jamison, who says she thinks Darius didn’t pick her because he doesn’t like cops. Tiffany has a different answer: She says it’s the short hair. And Yael cranks that up by saying the short hair makes her look like she doesn’t have a vagina. Yeah, things spiraled quickly, but there was vodka involved, so you know.
NEXT: Beth Ann is gonna have to lay off the vodka…