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UnREAL premiere recap: War

Everlasting (and UnREAL) is back, and Rachel is ready to change the world with a black suitor

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Bettina Strauss

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

The ends justify the means.

This is the philosophy our new and Helmut-Lang-jacket-wearing improved Rachel Goldberg is living by when UnREAL season 2 kicks off. All the questionable things she despised Quinn for doing in Adam’s season of Everlasting, she’s doing herself because she’s running the show now.

“Love is not something you build a life around,” Quinn told her protégé in the season finale. (You can read a refresher recap here if you don’t remember that explosive episode.) And it seems both ladies are taking it to heart: Their new life credos are “Money. Dick. Power.” — which they each get tattooed on their wrists like BFF necklaces.

The besties jump on a private flight to Vegas, where they let loose with a hotel penthouse full of people, including Brad from the network. Quinn and Rachel have a surprise for Brad: a black suitor. And not just any black suitor. The women have secured pro quarterback Darius Beck (B.J. Britt) for the upcoming season of Everlasting. Brad is ecstatic (“You just made my dick hard”), but the next morning when they call Gary, the network president, he’s less than enthused.

Rachel can’t let this derail her plans; this isn’t just a chance at running her own show, this is her chance to “make history” — as she says many, many times. Her sole focus is making this season of Everlasting happen. Luckily, Quinn has her back, and she promises Gary they’ll have the best women possible (a racist, a black activist, a clergy, a terrorist… all “hot,” naturally), which will lead to millions of viewers.

Gary agrees to the show under the terms of acquiring those “looney tunes,” so Rachel has to go and find these women, even though the show is kicking off in a few days, and even though these women have no desire in joining. Rachel has to lie, lie, lie her way into creating “a ratings bonanza” so that she can change the world. The ends justify the means, right?

And they aren’t just lying to the women. When Darius and his manager Romeo (whom Rachel celebrated with a bit … intimately) pull up to the house, they’re still not fully on board. Darius wants to be in Cabo relaxing during the off-season, not living in a mansion under constant surveillance. But Rachel uses the same trick she used with Adam: The show will help his image. Darius currently has a bad rap for calling a reporter a “bitch” on camera. Well, he actually said “bitch, please,” but it made America — and his mom — unhappy in any case. Rachel’s magic works, and Darius agrees to move in.

Rachel may be able to handle suitors, but she’s failing at handling the men in her personal life. She keeps dodging Adam’s calls, and Wagerstein tells her Jeremy is telling everyone that Rachel’s on a “hypersexual manic episode.” He learned that phrase from her mom, who is still the worst it seems. Rachel tries to confront him directly about it. New Jeremy, with a gross beard, has replaced the only decent person we knew last season. He makes a weird comment about being happy that Rachel is going to hurt herself, and I want her to fire his ass so hard, but she has to be professional now.

Later, when he asks about “the cut list” (a list of women who won’t make it through the first night, which the camera guys use to know whom they can sleep with), she gets closer to my dream of firing him, but Quinn says it’s a sexual lawsuit waiting to happen. Instead Rachel goes to the camera crew and fires his focus guy instead. “Turns out being a sexist man-baby on my set has consequences.” They call her a bitch as she walks away, but she just smiles and keeps walking.

She’s taking lessons on being professional from Quinn, which Jay does not love. He failed to recruit Ruby, the young black activist, because she would have had to drop out of her last semester of college — which Rachel doesn’t see as a road bump in any way. After Jay calls her Hitler and compares her to a battered wife (Quinn’s the husband in that scenario), Rachel goes to the college to recruit Ruby herself.

NEXT: Just say no, Ruby

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