After last week’s mishandled and completely bungled police brutality episode of “UnREAL,” I hoped this week’s offering would provide a return to fun, salacious storylines. Alas, it was not to be. “UnREAL” seems to have suffered the dreaded “sophomore slump,” and has encountered a serious dip creatively. The witty, biting comedy of season one has been replaced by a show that thinks too highly of itself…a major problem for a satire.
Just as “UnREAL’s” writers’ room faces the challenge of bringing sharpness back to its show, so the protagonist Rachel finds herself trying to FIND herself and get back on track. Loaded up on anti-anxiety meds, Rachel’s mental health breakdown is solidified by her mother isolating her from everyone else in her life. Coleman can’t get to her; Quinn can’t get to her…and that’s the way Rachel’s mom wants things. If you’re wondering how ethical it is for a parent to psychologically evaluate their child, I’ll tell you: it’s not. The violations this woman commits are long and egregious; we discover the root of her evil a bit later.
And because this is a showmance, where pray tell is the suitor Darius? Hiding away in a crappy diner, declaring his devotion to Ruby. Yes, Ruby. Ruby whom he humiliated on national television. THAT Ruby. You might well think Ruby didn’t want to hear anything Darius had to say. And you would be 100% correct. Something arises within when a person is denigrated on national tv and Ruby showed Darius just how much self-respect she held.
Hiding out from the producers, injured beyond repair and miserable, Darius planned to quit the show and in swoops this season’s hero, Jay. Advising him to “make the system work for him,” Darius takes Jay’s advice and sets his own terms going forward. Terms that don’t include Rachel or Quinn.
This episode threw everything but the kitchen sink at its viewers. Yael’s an undercover investigative journalist. Quinn and John Booth decide to have kids together. Coleman is an opportunistic lame who wouldn’t know love if it bit him in the eyeball. The main takeaway though? Rachel’s catalyst for her manic-depressive behavior: she was raped at 12 and her mother covered it up. This is the meat and potatoes of her core. This is what “UnREAL” must give us more of. The narrative flow and the audience will both benefit.
Join in our livetweet Mondays, 10PM PST using #GetReal