Things go from bad to worse on 'Everlasting' -- and 'UnREAL'

By Dalene Rovenstine
July 26, 2016 at 02:47 AM EDT
Bettina Strauss
S2 E8
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Jamison, the female cop contestant, hasn’t had a lot of screen time in Everlasting (or UnREAL). But in episode 8, she says this gem of a line: “Suddenly we’re on a different show?” How incredibly meta…if only the writers had intended it that way.

What exactly is happening with season 2? We were promised discussions on race. Last week we saw a glimpse of that — when Romeo was shot by an inexperienced police officer — but before we could see the depth of it, we were thrown back into the world of Rachel. If you were hoping tonight’s episode would address the shooting in more detail, well… me too. Instead, we’re treated to an episode chock-full of story lines, not one about race.

I hate to sound like a Negative Nancy, but I’m starting to think this season is never going to get back on track. I was holding out hope for so long that the show could regain the spark of the first season. The return of Adam helped immensely, but removing him just as quickly is hurting the show even more. With two episodes left after tonight, I’m at a loss as to what to think…much like Rachel throughout this episode.

Oh, right, the episode. I guess we better talk about it, right?

After being admitted to a psych ward, Rachel is continually drugged up by her mother. She’s locked away there, and Coleman wants to know why Quinn hasn’t helped her yet. Quinn says her mom is the devil and if Rachel felt the need to call her, then she must really need the help. But that’s not enough for Coleman: He goes to the hospital and pulls Rachel out himself. All it takes for her to agree to leave is for Coleman to say, “I love you.” (Sigh.)

Rachel says ILY back and then asks to go “home” — so Coleman takes her to his office (presumably because none of these people actually have homes). She is still highly sedated, but Coleman says they have to film a segment ASAP. Because Quinn buried the shooting, he wants to put together a package that explains their side. It seems like he could wait until she’s lucid, but his reasons for filming this segment may not exactly be pure.

Before he went to get Rachel, Coleman found Yael going through his laptop and confronted her about why she’s always so nosy. She finally fesses up: “I’m a reporter,” she says as the world’s worst undercover reporter. (I may have yelled “nailed it!” at the screen.) She confesses to working on a piece called “Reality TV Kills,” with Jeremy as her source. Seriously, she was just dying to reveal this all to someone.

Anyway, Yael saw the footage of Romeo getting shot, and she wants to partner with Coleman to tell the truth about Everlasting. He doesn’t say yes or no, but as he’s questioning a drugged-up Rachel, it’s pretty clear what his answer was. Rachel is slurring her words and mixing up her stories, but that doesn’t stop Coleman from pressing on. He gets her to talk — on camera — about the Romeo shooting and sins from other seasons, including Mary’s death. This isn’t going to end well for anyone.

Meanwhile, Quinn sees Rachel’s mom on the camera feeds; she’s sneaking around with another doctor to get Rachel back. And her two maternal figures finally battle. Rachel’s mom thinks Quinn prefers Rachel to be sick and that Everlasting is “toxic.” “This place is like Little House on the Freaking Prairie compared to what I hear happens at your place,” Quinn says before accusing her of being a bad doctor and a bad mother (both true). They go to find Rachel and walk in on Coleman filming her. He says it’s therapeutic, but Quinn points out that Rachel saying those things on camera is just incriminating herself.

Rachel confronts her mom and the doctor about how she won’t go back to the hospital and get drugged up again, because it’s not addressing this “other core issue.” Her mom gets spooked, says it’s a family matter, and asks the doctor to leave. Once alone, Rachel’s mom tells her she’s keeping this “core issue” a secret because it’s better for Rachel. “No one will love you if they know what happened,” she says. “No one wants to deal with that kind of damage.

Rachel decides to put that theory to the test. Coleman lets her confess this huge thing — even though she’s still heavily drugged. (He really should have just let her sleep it off in a dark room, just saying.) Rachel’s secret is that one of her mother’s patients raped her at their house when she was 12. Instead of going to the police and potentially destroying her practice, Rachel’s mom decided to treat her herself and make her keep it a secret forever. “If you want to run away, it’s totally fine,” Rachel says after she tells Coleman.

He doesn’t run away…then. When Rachel is asleep, he sneaks out to meet Yael. He tells her he has new info and wants to know what she has so far. I’ve always hated Coleman.

NEXT: And that’s only one story line of the episode

In Everlasting news, a week has passed since the incident. The public knows something happened, but they don’t know details. Quinn says everyone just needs to stay quiet and focus on what the show is about: romance. But it’s hard to have romance when there’s no suitor; Darius has escaped the hospital, so they have to figure out how to produce a show without a suitor. Madison’s suggestion of Everlasting: Exile in Paradise is the winner. The remaining four women are already on edge — Jamison, in particular, is angry the show is burying Romeo’s shooting — and this makes things even worse because they will fight for “immunity” and then vote one person out. It’s Survivor meets The Bachelor.

Still trying to get his own football league, Chet needs Tiffany to win this. He promises her the immunity, but Madison promises the same for Chantal. The game to decide who gets immunity is a How Well Do You Know Darius? quiz. Chet steals the answers for Tiffany to memorize, but Quinn anticipated that and threw in an extra question. Tiffany loses and Chantal gets the immunity.

With immunity, Chantal is supposed to get an overnight date with Darius…which seemed like a pipe dream until Jay found him. Err, actually Ruby did. After getting hurt by the cop, Darius couldn’t go any longer without the surgery. But it didn’t go well, and now he’s walking with a cane. Football is over; it’s made him rethink everything; and he wants Ruby.

He tells her all this at a shady diner, but Ruby isn’t having it. He embarrassed her on national television and she doesn’t want him back. But Jay does! He walks into the diner, thanks to a tip from Ruby, and convinces Darius to come back on the show. He says that with football gone, this show is his only way to stay relevant. If he picks and marries Tiffany, he’d even have a chance of being the first black owner of a football team. Darius is hesitant to use Tiffany in that way, but Jay says she’s probably using him in some way, too.

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So when the women try to vote Tiffany off the show, Darius shows up and stops it. Not only is Tiffany staying, but she’s also going on the overnight date, not Chantal. Then he sends Jamison (“You’re the cop, right?”) home. “We do this my way or no way,” he says to the camera. Quinn’s okay with that, and Jay — who just got himself promoted to Quinn’s no. 2 — is more than okay with that.

Be careful, Jay. Uneasy lies the head that wears the (no. 2) crown.

Second-most meta line of the episode: “You want a black girl to win Everlasting and a baby? Who are you?” —Chet to Quinn

Weirdest line of the episode: “My desire for progeny might be a little unsettling.” —Booth, who apparently is going to have babies with Quinn now?

What did you all think of “Fugitive”? And what are you thinking of season 2? Am I being too hard on this sophomore show? Leave your thoughts below or find me on Twitter @realdalener.

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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