The job descriptions for members of a reality show crew must include “do not have morals,” because—wow—there was not one person behind the scenes of Everlasting who did the right thing in the wake of Mary’s suicide. (Well, maybe Lizzie, but that was just because she was MIA.)
“Savior” was yet another dark episode of UnREAL, this one exploring the aftermath of Mary’s death. At every turn there’s one person who almost does the right thing, but the darkness that is Everlasting sucked them back into doing only what’s best for the show.
Within minutes of Mary hitting the ground, the cameras are turned off and the contestants are sequestered. It doesn’t take long for the ladies to realize—with not a single camera documenting their shut-in—that something isn’t right.
Meanwhile, Chet and Quinn have a video conference with Brad, the network exec, at 2 a.m. to figure out what to do next. They’re hoping to get it all wrapped up quickly, but Brad tells them to send the crew home, hold the cast, and prepare for a week or a month of being shut down. He and the legal team are on the way to the set.
Adam has no idea what’s going on; he’s locked in his room just like the women. (“You can’t hold me here like a prisoner. I’m not Edward Snowden!”) But Rachel finally goes to tell him what happened. Ever the producer, she tells him he should tell the rest of the cast. He’s reluctant—as he says, he’s not a grief counselor—but he does agree. With the remaining ladies and most of the crew assembled, Adam breaks the news. Chet explains that they’ll stop shooting for a bit and that Dr. Wagerstein is available for counseling. The women react in different ways: Anna reflects on Mary’s attitude the last day; Grace doesn’t cry; Maya calls Grace out for not crying; and Faith leads everyone in a prayer.
While the women are dealing with the emotional fallout, Quinn zeroes in on the legal issues. After Shia tells Rachel what she did, they take the news straight to Quinn, who says she’s going to fix it. She has Jay imprison Shia in a nearby hotel and makes Rachel promise not to talk about the pill swap… ever. Right about this time was where I was thinking there’s no way they would pull this off—I had too little faith in the dark arts of Quinn King.
By the time Brad and the legal team get to the Everlasting house, Mary’s suicide has made it to the tabloids. To top it off, Kirk is suing the show for her death. The lawyers want to just pay him off to make the story go away, but Rachel can’t stand the injustice of a wife beater receiving a giant payout. She wants to tell the truth, but Quinn presents the truth as a gray area: If she tells, the show will be canceled, and hundreds of people will lose their jobs.
NEXT: Plan B
So, in order to get around legal, Rachel gets Quinn to let her secretly film B-roll. If they can get the girls’ interviews to reflect how awful Kirk was as a human being, they can leak it to Jezebel and other online outlets to make the lawsuit go away and save the show. The interviews all go well until Adam refuses to play ball: He’s not comfortable making Kirk take the blame for Mary’s suicide when Rachel and Quinn were the ones who arranged the meeting.
The secret footage idea gets totally wrecked when Network Brad sees them cutting it together. He shuts it down and shares a bit of news: Mary’s toxicology report came back—and she wasn’t on her meds. He blames the producers for not watching her closely enough…. Little does he know…
With the knowledge that the show is probably ending forever (along with her job and way of paying back all the fines from last season’s blowout), Rachel goes into Mary’s room. She’s sitting on the bed when she sees Lilybell’s bear under a chair. At just that moment Chet is in conversation with Brad. Rachel runs out and shows them the note that Mary left with the bear.
Louise, Mary’s sister, comes back to the set, where Rachel shows her the note. Louise says Kirk’s lawyers are already trying to take Lilybell from her for full custody. So she’s willing to read the note on camera for the show. She reads Mary’s words about how Adam had given her hope and happiness and it made her confident enough to stop taking her meds.
It was a beautiful note, and I almost believed that Mary had written it until Louise whispers, “nice job on the note” to Rachel. She doesn’t care, though, because she would do anything to keep Lilybell away from Kirk.
And the fake note saves the day! (If you ignore the whole someone just killed herself thing.) Brad says the letter has appeased the lawyers and the episode was beautiful. Shia gets to return to set, and Quinn hugs—hugs—Rachel. The whole ordeal even made Chet leave his wife.
Everlasting and its soulless crew live another day—while dedicating it to Mary Newhouse. It’s always about the ratings after all.