Adam returns to woo Rachel -- but she has life-and-death show problems to deal with

By Dalene Rovenstine
July 19, 2016 at 06:25 PM EDT
Bettina Strauss
S2 E7
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“This place is a vortex of evil and dysfunction turning everything it touches to s—.”

Adam Cromwell has returned to Everlasting, and he sees the show for what it really is now. Spending some time away in Africa has helped him gain insight about himself and this joke of a show. He tries to convince Rachel to get out, to run away with him (for real this time) — of course she doesn’t, but she should have because she might have just caused another death on the reality show.

The episode starts on a much different tone: Coleman and Rachel are in bed, as happy as can be. He asks her to be his date to a family wedding, and she’s barely able to say “yes” before Madison is knocking the door to tell her about the set’s latest guest… Adam.

Quinn allegedly asked him to return for an “Ex-Suitor Seeks Redemption” segment, but he came back to this nightmare to see Rachel. He wants her to join him in Africa (“My Africa?” Rachel says in her most delusional line to date); she tells him to leave, but Adam says he won’t go anywhere this time.

Coleman realizes something is up with Rachel and Adam, but she swears it was more of a Stockholm syndrome thing, that he fell in love with her because she was producing him. Coleman, idiot that he is, believes her and decides he can just tell Quinn to get rid of Adam. Unfortunately, as Coleman is trying to tell Quinn what to do, Booth enters the room and sidles up next to her while saying how much he loves Adam. Coleman, not such an idiot here, says they’ll run with Adam.

Luckily for Coleman, though, Booth is still impressed with him and the ideas he and Rachel pitched at the Impact Awards. He runs this by Quinn, who says he should go after Coleman but stay away from Rachel. So Booth talks to Coleman about meeting with him, exclusively. Coleman tries to get Rachel in on the meeting, but eventually agrees to meet alone when Booth pushes it.

Wise to the schemes of this show, Adam confronts Quinn about the real reason she brought him back. She says she wanted to give him a second chance. “With America?” he asks. “With whomever,” she says with a wink.

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But he still has to play his part for the fake reason: He joins the remaining four contestants in a hot tub (in a very tiny swimsuit, thank you show) to discuss how Darius is feeling. He tells them all about how he ruined things with an incredible woman during his time on the show…while looking straight at the camera into Rachel’s soul.

“You should screw the talent more often,” Quinn says in the editing bay. Coleman is starting to get a clue that Rachel+Adam was a bigger deal than she said and it’s about time, dummy. He confronts Quinn about bringing the ex-suitor back, and she says she did it for Coleman and Booth’s sakes, so they could see the real Rachel and move on. She tries to tell him Rachel isn’t capable of handling life on her own, which is why she needs to keep her close, but Coleman says her problem is “working for a controlling, manipulative bitch.” What does it say about a person who barely finches at something like that being thrown in her face?

NEXT: Adam’s not giving up

After filming the hot-tub segment, Hot Rachel approaches Adam and wants to know all about his relationship with Rachel. “Why are you so interested?” he asks her, but she just brushes it off. Yael is definitely an undercover journalist for TMZ or Vanity Fair (nothing in between).

Anyway, he ignores Hot Rachel, and Real Rachel finds him in the bathroom. She says he needs to stop trying to win her back, but he kisses her anyway. She says “I never loved you,” as he starts undoing her pants. Things get pretty hot and heavy, but she stops him and says, “I’m really happy, so leave me alone.” I don’t know about y’all, but I’m so mad at Rachel right now.

It’s okay, though, because Adam has work to do on the show. He’s helping the ladies select dates so Darius can choose one for the night. Tiffany’s date is driving a Bentley, Chantal’s is pretending to go to Venice, Jamison’s is salsa dancing, and Yael’s is sex. Although Darius really wants to drive the Bentley, he goes with Adam’s suggestion to “pick the sob story,” as it will help his image more.

Adam tries to get brownie points with Rachel for helping set up the wifey date, but she still won’t listen. “I want you now, and you want me,” he says to her. She tells him to meet her in her office in five minutes — and even I know that’s too good to be true.

She walks into her office to find Coleman and Booth meeting without her. Coleman tries to apologize and let her know about Quinn wanting to cut her out, but Rachel doesn’t have time to hear it. Instead, she starts attacking his face and ripping off his shirt. This is what Adam walks into, and it really doesn’t bother him that much — but it does bother Coleman. He tells Rachel she doesn’t deal with her past relationships like an adult should. Ouch.

And the Rachel hits keep coming. While she’s trying to produce Darius and Chantal’s date to fake Venice, Adam comes and finds her. He says he’ll leave, but he wants to confront her face-to-face and ask why she’s still on the show. She says things are turning around, but he says it’s still ruining her life — and then she yells about how she’s changing the world and breaking down preconceived notions about race to Everlasting‘s 16 million viewers. Adam finally says what we’ve been thinking all season: She’s delusional. As Adam walks away, Chantal dumps her fiancé’s ashes right into Darius’ face…proving right everything he said about this show.

Furious about being confronted by Adam yet again, Rachel goes to Quinn, saying she knows Quinn tried to break up her and Coleman and she needs to stop obsessing over her. It’s hard to say who you feel sorry for most in that moment. Booth comes by after, and Quinn lets him whisk her away.

Rachel isn’t the only one mad: Darius is furious with the Venice date and all the manipulation, and with Romeo back by his side, he’s ready to leave. The two of them run into Tiffany and Yael, who are both drunk and suggest taking the Bentley, which is still on set. Madison tells Rachel and Coleman, who wants to shut it down — but Rachel says they need to report the car stolen and watch this play out on camera. Two black men in a stolen Bentley getting pulled over by police is bound to get her a race story like she’s been wanting to tell since the start of this season. And it’s all about the show, right?

NEXT: That’s a terrible idea

Rachel and Coleman sneak out with cameras to film the car getting pulled over. Romeo and Darius aren’t worried when they see the cop lights, because, well, he’s Darius Beck. But when the police ask for ID and Darius realizes he doesn’t have it, things go downhill fast. With Tiffany passed out in the back of the car, the cops decide they need to haul Darius and Romeo out of the car. As one of the cops cuffs Darius, hurting his back, Rachel wants to stop it. Coleman tells her no, but she starts to run out of the dark anyway.

As Rachel yells that she’s the one who called, the police officer cuffing Darius gets spooked and shoots Romeo, who came around the car to check on Darius. There are flashes of videos and sound, as if we’re seeing it from Rachel’s shocked perspective. What happens immediately after the gun goes off isn’t exactly clear, but Coleman rushes up, says Romeo still has a pulse, and demands an ambulance. Especially in light of recent events, this episode was incredibly difficult to watch.

Chet tries to call Quinn, but she’s somewhere snuggling with Booth; he just throws her phone in a glass of water so he can focus on telling her how he’d like to have kids with her. But thanks to a nice product placement, her phone actually works in water, so she’s able to take a call from Gary, who fills her in on the situation. She, of course, takes the chance to blame it all on Coleman.

Rachel is watching video footage of the events over and over and blaming herself, and she’s not the only one. When Jay finds out Rachel called the cops about the stolen Bentley, he loses it. “If Romeo dies, this is all on you,” he says. “And this is not your story to tell.” Thank god someone finally said it! This would have been good information for her to hear at the beginning of the season, but now she’s just walking around like a zombie, probably not even comprehending what she’s done.

She curls up into a ball in her old storage truck, which is where Adam finds her. He says he wants to be there for her, and he won’t leave this time. She admits they did love each other, but it’s too late now. “There was a window of hope where you could have saved me,” she says, proceeding to kick and scream until he leaves. He walks out of the truck and sits outside the closed door (I audibly said “aww” here). And then Rachel does the worst thing she could possibly do: She calls her mom.

The next morning, Quinn tells Coleman he’s fired and Rachel’s mom takes her to a psych ward, where she feeds Rachel drugs to turn her into even more of a zombie.

Right before the episode ends, Yael sneaks out to a truck. Jeremy has come to pick her up, and when she tells him everything that’s happened, he says she doesn’t know the half of what’s gone on at Everlasting. Tell me about it, she says as she secretly hits record on her phone. She’s totally a (bad, unethical) journalist.

“Ambush” was a brutal episode, full of sorrow, sadness, and shock — but it was also one of the best episodes of the season. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it’s also the first episode of the season with Adam back. It’s great to have Freddie Stroma on the show again, but it also draws attention to the fact that the characters of both Coleman and Darius aren’t as strong.

“Fly,” the episode where Mary died, was one of the best of season 1. Start saying your prayers for Romeo — hopefully this show doesn’t have to kill someone off just to keep things interesting for the rest of the sophomore season.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Leave your thoughts below, or tell me on Twitter @realdalener.

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 mirrored after The Bachelor).
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