Source: UnREAL // Lifetime

Episode 6 “Casualty”

The beauty of a satire like “UnREAL” is how unafraid and unapologetic it is at poking fun at the “showmances” of reality television. It boldly lets real-life snoozefests (cough “The Bachelor” cough) know there’s a new sheriff in town that will take everything beloved of a series and turn it on its head.

Until reality and fiction blend into something unrecognizable almost.

In the aftermath of Rachel’s assault at the fists of her ex-boyfriend Jeremy, the fragile protagonist (possibly antagonist? Hard to tell sometimes) goes into full-scale production mode. At the insistence of Quinn and Chet, she documents her bruises but fails to report the assault to police. Self-sabotage continues her way when she shuts Coleman out and doesn’t let him know what happened. Rachel is gonna Rachel-so while she’s spiraling into the abyss, she manages to get Darius to agree with a home away date with the resident racist-turned-biggest-fan, Beth Ann.

Against that dramatic background, Quinn is finding serious likeability in John Booth (the ever dashing Ioan Gruffudd). He accompanies her to her deadbeat dad’s funeral and offers to whisk her away on a spur of the moment vacation. He’s rich, he’s incredibly good-looking (so handsome, sigh), clever, witty and he is definitely, absolutely, for sure digging Quinn.

So she pulls away.

Quinn-like Rachel-is nothing if not predictable. She’s been hurt and taken advantage of in the past and it’s led to a very hard shell. Show therapist Dr. Wagerstein diagnoses her best because she knows her best. She implores Quinn to see the good in this potential relationship with Booth and not waste or wallow in loneliness.

In the backwoods of Alabama, anyone with sense should’ve been terrified for Darius…seeing as how every home had a confederate flag flying high. Turns out Beth Ann’s parents are closet racists apparently. They’re polite, interested in Darius and genuinely seem to like him. The proverbial “ish” hits the fan when Beth Ann confides to Rachel that she’s pregnant by her ex-boyfriend. Seizing a horrible situational opportunity, Rachel has the convict ex-boyfriend propose to Beth Ann live on tv, while Beth Ann tells Darius about the baby.

It’s a disaster. An unmitigated disaster. It leads to Beth Ann’s candle being blown out at elimination (but her child getting a college fund in the process. Classy move Darius) and Rachel’s manic-depressive personality showing full force. Coleman seems overwhelmed, Chet unworried and Quinn quietly, seriously concerned over her well-being. Only time will tell how the assault will manifest in other ways for Rachel. Scary proposition.

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