Now this is how you do a finale for a reality dating show.
Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime
S1 E10
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You know how, no matter the Bachelor or Bachelorette season, Chris Harrison always says, “This will be the most dramatic finale ever”? Well, that’s always a lie, but UnREAL doesn’t suffer from that same fate. (ASIDE: UnREAL may be more realistic than we thought, based on Harrison’s response to the show—seems like it struck a nerve.) Rachel promises Quinn to give her the “greatest finale in Everlasting history”—and as we’ve seen all season, Rachel knows how to deliver. I only dream of a real-life reality show that’s as bonkers as this live show turns out to be… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

We start the episode with Rachel waking up in Jeremy’s bed. If you were thinking that she must have turned down Adam’s runaway offer, you were wrong. She sneaks out of the cozy log cabin, leaves behind a note for Jeremy, and heads to the tarmac where Adam’s private jet is waiting.

While Rachel was escaping, Adam was doing the same: He sneaked away from Anna’s bedside with his passport, only to run into Quinn. I thought she was going to derail his plans, but he still ends up meeting Rachel at the plane. She’s so happy to leave… and then Adam tells her this was actually a bad idea. Their love for each other is actually just “heroin,” and he doesn’t want her to end up dying in a bar in Paris (way to see that analogy through, Adam!). Rachel is, of course, devastated. She says she just blew up her life for him, which is a little extreme considering her note to Jeremy only said, “I don’t deserve you.”

And so, before the credits even flash onto the screen, our happy ending is dead—which we should have known since it would have been too quick in the episode for a happy ending… if happy endings even do exist on UnREAL.

Back on set the next morning as if nothing has happened, Rachel and Adam try to pick up the pieces. Adam explains to Anna that he ran because he got scared that this was too real, yada yada yada… I think she’s buying it. Rachel sits by the lake with crazy mascara-running “Lady Gaga” eyes before she sucks it up and brings her greatest-finale-ever pitch to Quinn.

Quinn is having trouble of her own. Brad’s assistant called to cancel her pitch meeting (see, she should have just pitched on the spot last time!). Then she goes to mope in her office only to find it filled with Chet, Madison (or “Longstocking” as Quinn calls her), and Dr. Wagerstein. Madison is now standing up to say that the blow job she gave Chet was consensual—and related, she’s now a field producer and Dr. Wagerstein is written into the show.

Dr. W and Madison leave the room, and Quinn tells Chet she understands: Now that she’s the wifey, he needs a new sidepiece. She was Madison 15 years ago. Sadly, Quinn thought she and Chet had real love, the kind where he didn’t need hookers or teenagers. “Whatever, she’s a mouth,” is all he has to say. Classy, dude.

So when Rachel presents her finale pitch—a live wedding in London—Quinn uncharacteristically opens up. She shows Rachel wedding mags; she had bought into the delusion that she had found true love and could have a happy ending. But she says there is no such thing for women like them. Whether or not that’s true, Rachel knows what they are good at: producing people. And she knows a way to produce a finale that will take down both the men in their lives.

At the mansion, the two remaining women are preparing for today’s activity: wedding dress shopping with a stylist. (I’ve always heard it’s bad luck to try on wedding dresses before you’re engaged… just saying.) As Grace and Anna are chatting off camera, Jeremy overhears them talking about how Adam went missing last night. And just as luck would have it, Rachel uses that time to pop up and say her note was just a “super girly freakout”; he claims to not have even received the note. Lies all around!

But there isn’t much time to dwell on that because instead they all have to deal with a surprise guest: Britney. (I mayyyy have screamed a little when she stepped out because Arielle Kebbel is back—it was so disappointing to see her leave in the premiere.) The night before, Chet was loaded and apparently called and asked her to return. He tells Quinn he wanted to do something “really gonzo” for the finale. Only problem is, she tells him they’ve done this over three different seasons. He doesn’t even remember. (Whose show is this again?) And this is the moment Quinn decides to return her giant engagement ring.

Grace uses her alone time with Adam to throw her name back into the running. She says that Anna will be too boring for Royal Renovations; but Grace says that if Adam picks her, they can “do it until you’re cross-eyed” and then when they break up after a year, the audience will be on his side. It’s no wonder that this plan sounds good to him, so he relays it to Rachel in their first talk post-non-runaway. She says there’s no hard feelings and simply goes on to explain that he has to give a talking head about bringing Britney back since he let her go too early.

Rachel then runs to Grace and tells her that she slept with Adam: “We had dirty sex last night; he almost left the show for me. He’s a manipulator; he’s a slut.” She tells Grace that she has a way she can help her look good on the show, but Grace isn’t buying it. “You’re a manipulating slut.” And she decides to produce her own story. It only took Grace until the finale to figure out what this show is all about.

Jeremy sneakily tells Adam that Rachel told him about “last night.” Of course we know he doesn’t know exactly what happened, but Adam reveals enough for him to get a clue. Which makes it all the more suspicious when Jeremy says it would be great to share a room with her in London.

NEXT: London calling

Now that we’re in London, Rachel is working to get her plan in full effect. We’re still not exactly sure what it is, but we know it involves her and Quinn getting their own show after (the best pitch being “a show about women who have careers … and actually talk about them”). Her pinch hitter is Adam’s grandma, Dutchess Cromwell, who snorted blow off of Mick Jagger’s “you know what” two days before she got married. So if you were worried about this show being too lowbrow for her, don’t. Under Rachel’s direction, she convinces Adam to marry Anna, who knows how to keep her mouth shut and would be more “Kate Middleton” than Grace.

In the garden of Adam’s beautiful mansion, he stands before three women and says, “I can imagine my life with most of you.” This is just how every girl wants to be proposed to. But then he pops the question only to Anna. She says yes, and they say I love you.

After the cameras cut, Jeremy uses this time to do some proposing of his own. He gets everyone’s attention on set, says he wants to ask her something important, gets down on one knee, and says: “How stupid do you think I am?” No no no no no. He goes on to say—in front of everyone, mind you—that he used to think it was the show that was bad for her, but it’s actually just her. “You’re the one that’s ugly.” Jeremy, noooooo. You were the one good one. And then he says he’s going to make sure she never hurts anyone else. Okay, Jeremy, that’s a touch dramatic and, also, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Then Britney’s all, “Take that bitch” from the sidelines. Ugh, go away again Britney.

Wasting no time at all, the show launches into the wedding the next day. Rachel makes one last-ditch effort to get Adam to explain why he refused to run away. She pulls him into a confessional booth and starts crying and blabbing about their whole relationship, and screams, “Please just tell me what’s wrong with me.” It’s painful to watch. Adam leaves without giving her a real answer, and Rachel continues to cry. Until she stops in an instant and opens up the other confessional booth to reveal Anna sitting in her wedding dress listening to everything. Oh, wow, I did not see that coming.

We then jump straight to the wedding. (There is so much packed into this finale—in such a good way.) The church is full of Adam’s friends and family, including Britney. Weird. And the back is packed with crew, including Brad, watching monitors. Quinn hands over her walkie to Chet, saying this is his show and his moment. He doesn’t even know how to use the walkie. This is going to be good.

The wedding processional begins and there’s no bride. And just a reminder: This is live TV. Rachel strolls down the aisle in her trademark homeless/black leather look and stands at the alter herself. “This has never happened before in the history of Everlasting, but we have a runaway bride.” And then she turns to Adam and tells him—with a little too much glee—that he’s going home alone.

Britney uses this opportunity to jump up to the altar and say that this whole thing is a sham and that Chet uses the show as his personal whorehouse. Brad is, understandably, flipping out, but Chet doesn’t know how to direct the cameras at all. They end up filming the carpet—a move that literally had me laughing out loud.

Quinn is just watching it all go up in flames with a smile on her face. With essentially his life on the line, Brad begs her to take over. She makes him promise that she’ll get her own show, though, and he agrees. She masterfully directs the cameras and gets them to find Anna, who gives an excellent speech about how Adam is a cheating slut and just not that smart. I think it’s safe to say this is probably the best finale in Everlasting history. Rachel delivered.

When everything is wrapped, she finds Adam, who finally opens up about why he didn’t leave with her: He says Quinn told him that she had been hospitalized for a mental breakdown (not true), and it might happen again. But we don’t dwell on the Adam of it all because we need to get to the real love story of the show: Rachel and Quinn.

Rachel wants to know why she cock-blocked her from running away with Adam. Quinn says the “why” doesn’t matter, that she should instead be thanking her for not making such a big mistake. “Love is not something you build a life around,” Quinn says. Rachel surprisingly doesn’t get too upset with her for ruining her life over and over, but instead reflects on this bonkers season:

Rachel: We killed somebody, didn’t we?

Quinn: Yeah, let’s not do that again.

And they might not do that again, but they will definitely make TV together again. They have to. They are toxic for each other, but they both need it to survive. Rachel gets a weird look on her face and says, “I love you. You know that, right?” And stone-cold Quinn says, “I love you, too … weirdo.”

But before we go, we have to address the weird thing Jeremy said and how Rachel said he might want to kill her. True, someone died on this show, but I have a hard time believing that UnREAL is going to get too murder-y. Which makes all the more sense when Jeremy walks up to a familiar door: Rachel’s mom’s. He tells her that Rachel is really sick and they have to do something.

And that’s a wrap on season 1. What did you guys think? The angry Jeremy twist is definitely something I can’t wait to see play out in season 2. And will we see Adam again? Is Chet out of reality TV? Will Quinn and Rachel swear off men forever? There have been so many twists and turns this season, but I think the best twist of all was that the best show of the summer was on Lifetime. Be sure to tell your friends so Chris Harrison will stop trash-talking it. See you back here for (hopefully) Everlasting: The Whole Package.

Episode Recaps

The Lifetime drama — created by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and featuring Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer — explores the dark behind-the-scenes nature of a reality dating show (which is very clearly based on 'The Bachelor').
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