“As far as I can tell, everyone is manipulating everyone.”
Romeo caught on to the world of Everlasting pretty quickly. Everyone who lives in that world exists for one purpose: to create the best television possible… even if they don’t know that’s their role. Some of the women, such as Yael and Ruby understand that, but others, like Tiffany, buy into the true “fairy tale” experience of the reality show.
And the desire to create television — for selfish purposes — is what sets Quinn and Chet at odds in “Insurgent.” They can’t agree on what Everlasting season 14 will be; Chet wants bikinis and an entourage for Darius, and Quinn wants business as usual. So they come to an agreement: They’ll each take a shooter (Jeremy continues his ascent into hated-character territory by siding with Chet) and film two different versions of the show. The network will pick the winner.
But a reality show can’t serve two masters. Rachel tells Quinn she thinks this is a bad idea. However, the HBIC sees this as the only option, so Rachel has to shut up, get on board, and get back to her manipulative-producer ways.
First she convinces Beth Ann the Racist (played by Lindsay Musil) to support her Southern roots and wear her Confederate flag bikini on camera, but when Darius comes out of the limo to meet all the women, she runs away and hides in the bathroom. Rachel follows her in, prepared to find a girl embarrassed by being outed as a racist on camera. But instead, Rachel learns that Beth Ann is just upset that she probably ruined her chances with Darius. She worships him. “This is better than I ever thought the show could be,” she tells Rachel, who responds, “Racism is so confusing isn’t it?”
Instead of letting her change, Rachel tells Beth Ann to keep the bikini in order to stand out. And stand out she does. Beth Ann walks up to Darius and apologizes immediately for the swimsuit. “If what I’m wearing offends you, then there’s really only one thing I can do,” she tells him as she takes her top off. (Did Rachel tell her to do this or did little miss Beth Ann come up with that on her own?) Darius, ever the gentleman, takes off his own shirt to let her cover up.
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It’s great TV, but the best part is that Chet and Jeremy didn’t even get it on camera. Rachel sent up a false alarm about girl-on-girl action in the hot tub, which of course they ran to like middle school boys. This makes Chet so angry, he’s ready to declare war… again. To which Quinn says, “It’s your kingdom; come and get it.”
NEXT: Ruby red
The topless escapade didn’t just upset Chet; Ruby, the black activist (played by Denée Benton), has been fuming about the bikini ever since she spotted it. She wants to leave the show after Jay tells her about Rachel’s lies, but he is able to pull some producer magic himself. He tells her, “If a girl like you ever had a shot, this is it” and convinces her she will make it to the top if she listens to him, not Rachel.
Jay tells her to stay quiet about the bikini, and she does… until she sees Darius give his own shirt to Topless Beth Ann. Ruby can’t stand by quietly. She tells Jay she’d rather say something and leave with her dignity than stay silent and stay through the end. She puts on a shirt that says “I Can’t Breathe” and walks right up to Darius on camera to confront him. “I just watched you create some racial rainbow moment with a bitch in a Confederate flag bikini,” she tells him.
Quinn and Rachel are loving this in the control room, but they can’t pay attention much longer because Quinn’s wifey, Tiffany (Kim Matula), has gone rogue — though not of her own volition. Chet saw her standing alone, and he’s been on set long enough to know that this is one of Quinn’s final picks. Tiffany believes her dad set this up so she would talk Darius into signing with his team; Chet neither confirms nor denies, but he does tell her the best way to get kicked off and show her dad who’s in charge is for her to hook up with Darius’ friend.
Cut to Tiffany and Romeo getting very friendly in the bathroom. Rachel rushes there to stop them before they can get too far. She tells Romeo that Chet is just manipulating him — and yes, she is too, but she’s doing it for the Right Reasons(™ The Bachelor) because she really does want to help Darius rehab his image. She says that if someone like Tiffany can forgive Darius, than so can America. All Romeo has to do to fix this is to keep quiet about hooking up with Tiffany.
Rachel tells Tiffany that her dad wasn’t involved in getting her on the show and that she should give Darius a chance. And what do you know? The two hit it off, and Quinn gets her fairy tale moment — and of course takes credit for it. Rachel tells Quinn she needs to let her take the show back, but Quinn just says, “Maybe your mother was right” and points out how Rachel can be unstable. Rachel asks Quinn if her mother is calling her but doesn’t get an answer.
We have yet to see Mommy Dearest in season 2, but her presence is still very much felt. At the top of the episode, we saw Rachel open a care package from her mother containing lots and lots of medication. WHAT A MOM. Rachel dumped the bottles in the trash, but after her interaction with Quinn (and Jay telling her to wake up and realize Quinn is never going to hand the reins back), she fishes them out and puts them in her purse. #PrayforRachel
NEXT: Darius makes his first cuts
Chet, Evil Jeremy, Darius, and Romeo are getting high in Wagerstein’s nook and trying to decide what women to keep around. Darius mentions liking Tiffany, but Chet tries to get Romeo to say why she’s not awesome. We don’t know if he does because it cuts to the rose ceremony, where Darius gives bracelets to Yael (Monica Barbaro), Chantal, Beth Ann, Ruby, Tiffany (which seems to surprise Chet), and nine other women we don’t know well.
“This could be a good season after all,” Quinn says — but Rachel doesn’t agree. She puts her long hair back down, dries her eyes, and shows up at Gary’s doorstep. She apologizes for breaking rank and bothering him at home, but she says she has to explain what’s going on and how it’s destroying the show. She suggests that he send them home and allow her to run the show.
Gary shows up the next day and watches the two cuts Chet and Quinn create. Quinn’s is typical fairy tale Everlasting; Chet’s is a sexed-up version called “EverBlasting.” Gary says what we’ve been thinking all episode, “This train is off the rails.” He says they both have failed, and he is going to put someone in charge who can handle it.
Rachel is beaming — so you know that the other shoe is about to drop, and it does in the form of Coleman Wasserman (Michael Rady). He’s the new man in charge, and he wants to lean more toward EverBlasting (umm, what!?). Quinn and Chet leave in a huff, and Coleman and Rachel try to make some small talk. He knows that she’s the one who complained — and he knows this wasn’t the outcome she wanted. “This is gonna be fun,” he says.
I don’t know about you guys, but “Insurgent” gave me anxiety. With her world crumbling, it’s only a matter of time before Rachel takes those pills, right? Why in the world is Coleman going with Quinn’s ideas, and do we really have to call it EverBlasting?
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