This is the end. Not for Everlasting — Jeremy made sure to take care of that — but for a troubled season of UnREAL. If anything can be said of the finale, it’s that it ended the way the entire season has played out: It was riddled with too many story lines, skirted actually talking about social issues like race and domestic abuse, and used an “out with a bang” tactic (Quinn literally used those lines) to create drama. So… yay for consistency?
But it wasn’t all bad. Ruby was essentially the only Everlasting contestant we got to know. We got a real sense of who she was — which made it all the more frustrating when she got the boot too early. So it was nice to see her return and get a happy ending on a show where few people get that. (I won’t lie — I got goosebumps during that scene.)
Much like this show, I’m getting ahead of myself: Let’s take this finale from the top…
Quinn told Rachel she’d help her take down Coleman, and that’s exactly what they do: Security come into his office, remove him from set, and confiscate all of his property. And they don’t need to worry about him trying to talk about happened there, because Rachel called his ex-girlfriend and found out he paid extras to portray Cambodian sex slaves in his “documentary.” If he talks, they talk.
“I win. Again.” No one does bragging quite like Quinn — but she shouldn’t speak so fast. As he’s being escorted to his car, Coleman gets in a few digs at Rachel. He says Everlasting is all she has left and the “vagabond orphan misfits” who run it are the only people who could accept her for the “damaged, vile” person she is. I don’t know if Coleman is the pot or the kettle here, but any person who can use a woman’s rape against her is pretty damaged and vile himself.
The conversation obviously gets to Rachel, because she later tells Quinn her mom was right. She thinks she lost Coleman by telling him about her past. Quinn tells her that what happened in Rachel’s past is what made her who she is. “And you’re perfect,” she says. Aww. Even though Quinn can be pretty terrible, she’s also pretty great.
After Coleman leaves the set, he goes to a pub where he finds Jeremy — looking even more caveman-like than before. Coleman wants to shut down the show, and he needs Jeremy’s help to put his plan in motion.
Meanwhile, on Everlasting, it’s finale night. Darius must propose on live TV to either Tiffany or Chantal, but you better not call it true love. “I wanna see a bitch bleed,” Quinn tells Jay. The fact that she sees Tiffany’s anklet, a telltale sign Chet is sleeping with her, makes her all the more vicious. So while Jay and Romeo tell Darius he has to propose to Tiffany so he can live happily ever after, Quinn has other ideas in mind.
Part one of her plan: Telling both women Darius not only wants to propose to them, but he wants to actually get married on live TV that night. Part two: Getting Rachel to “produce” Yael into coming back on camera after the wedding and outing Tiffany and Chet’s affair. “It’s going to be epic,” Quinn says.
NEXT: It is… but not for reasons she thinks
But putting Yael on live TV probably isn’t the best idea, because Coleman and Jeremy are able to sneak onto the set and tell her the current situation. Coleman wants to take the two of them to CNN as soon as the show ends, but Yael says she can do it on camera during the show. Then she and Coleman start making jokes about Rachel being in the mental hospital and getting raped — hilarious stuff. “You dodged a bullet on that one,” Coleman says to Jeremy, who doesn’t find the situation quite as funny.
He leaves those two and goes to find Rachel. She’s not exactly happy to see him, but he apologizes for everything and tells her Yael is a reporter. Rachel goes to her and says she knows everything, but Yael says that won’t stop her from talking. So Rachel calls this little publication called Entertainment Weekly to expose Yael as a liar. She thinks it will help discredit anything Yael says after leaving the show, but Coleman won’t let that stop him. He’s going to confess about faking the documentary and then burn Everlasting to the ground so she and her “fellow sociopaths” can go to jail. Basically, he’s turned into Will Ferrell’s character in Zoolander.
At this point the show has gone live. Tiffany and Chantal’s families are there — including Chantal’s dying grandmother, courtesy of eager beaver Madison (who needs a much bigger role next season) — and Darius is on stage. On camera Graham lets the audience, and the suitor, know there won’t be a proposal… there will be a wedding. Darius, of course, is shocked, but he doesn’t have time to think because both women are walking down the aisle with wedding dresses on. There’s a screen down the middle, so they don’t realize they’re both there until they get to the altar.
As the women yell at one another, Quinn is gleeful backstage. Darius is grasping for words (Wagerstein says it’s a panic attack) as Graham says he needs an answer…now. As he takes a minute to confer with Romeo, Rachel goes into the editing bay to tell Quinn they can’t put Yael on camera. But Quinn doesn’t even need that trick to pull off her epic finale, because Jay and Rachel were running a side project: Just as Darius is telling the two women he can’t in good conscience marry either of them, Ruby walks up the aisle.
Jay called her to say Darius was in trouble. She’s there to make sure he’s okay (aww), and he tells the world what a huge mistake it was to cut her. Even Quinn is choking up watching this. He gets down on one knee to ask her to marry him, and the editing bay starts applauding. But Ruby says no…and starts laughing about how they’ve known each other for only nine weeks. I would love for a contestant on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette to respond this truthfully. But she says she loves him and wants to see what they have away from the show. They kiss, and everybody — including Chet — applauds again.
NEXT: The things we do for love
With the show over, Coleman gets Yael to leave in his ridiculously fancy car. Rachel goes into the camera truck, where Jeremy is waiting for her, and tells him they can’t stop Coleman. She thinks it might be the right thing for her to go to jail anyway, but Jeremy says no, that she’s been through too much in her life; he apologizes for his part in it and says he wishes he had known what her mom did to her. “No way that we’re ever going to come back from that,” Rachel says, speaking of both their relationship and the show.
(I was never comfortable with Jeremy, the only person who had been “good” in season 1, going so dark, but I’m also not comfortable with his character being rehabbed in a snap. Hopefully season 3 will take the time to truly address the abuse and allow time for his character to make amends.)
Chet is in the editing bay with Quinn, who’s clearly having a moment after watching true love play out on her show and not in her life. He’s trying to comfort her when Jeremy knocks on the door. As Chet goes out to talk to him, Rachel comes in. Quinn congratulates her for being the real showrunner all along. “History made,” she says.
But it’s not time to celebrate: Rachel tells Quinn she couldn’t shut Coleman down. Quinn knows it’s over: “At least we went out with a bang,” she says.
Right then, Jeremy and Chet come back into the room to tell the women they don’t have to worry about their whistleblowers anymore. “I told you I would do anything,” Jeremy tells Rach. And then we see that fancy Everlasting car turned upside down on the side of the road.
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The episode ends similar to the first season, with the leading ladies reclining on pool chairs — but this time, Rachel and Quinn are joined by Jeremy and Chet as they all contemplate the recently concluded season of Everlasting.
And I find myself doing the same for UnREAL. It’s been a rocky road, but there is one positive coming out of this finale: Everything has been reset. So let’s make like the producers of Everlasting and forget this whole season ever happened and start fresh next year.
But before we wipe it from our memory, tell me what you think of the finale? Leave your thoughts below or find me on Twitter @realdalener.