UnREAL Episode Review: Episode 3×03 (“Clarity”)

This week finds Quinn still banging Man-Bun August but it’s not all fun and games because his whole dirty hippie thing has given her a nasty UTI. Ouch. Quinn admits to August that he’s her first show fling but needs to keep things on the DL for the sake of her career.

Rachel runs into August out by the pool and it’s kind of super awkward because Quinn kind of stole her man but she doesn’t know it yet. What she does know is that Quinn has a UTI because she’s got a delivery of meds and cranberry juice. “Who’s the lucky guy?” Rachel asks, but Quinn pretends it’s stress.

Madison is producing Serena now and Quinn tells Rachel that she needs to stick to producing her guys. Rachel made it clear she wanted nothing to do with the “toxic sludge” they were poisoning female viewers with since Serena started trying things Chet’s way (i.e. dumbing herself down to land a guy). That strategy isn’t really working for Serena, but it seems to be working for America. After the last episode she made it onto the cover of a gossip rag as “America’s Sweetheart.” Serena tells Quinn and Chet that it’s not who she is but Chet wants her to stick to the plan and be more “girly.”

princess dress
Source: UnREAL / Lifetime

What “girly” means, in the world of Everlasting, is Serena dressed as a Disney princess, in a tower, waiting for a bunch of dudes to battle it out, Ren-faire style, and rescue her. Complete with Graham’s bizarre wizard outfit, this is hands-down the dumbest shit that Everlasting has ever done. This fact isn’t really lost on anyone but Quinn says it’s what Gary (and the people) want and she’s got a bunch of tampon companies lining up to advertise. Quinn’s job is safe—for now.

Quinn wants Jay to pitch him and he’s not quite prepared but pitches a show about a gay underground dance scene in New Orleans. She tells him it’s far too niche for network TV and to come up with something better.

Chet’s working on some behind the scenes footage to get himself that coveted Emmy and Rachel decides to work him to get the feminist Everlasting of her dreams. She tells him that he’s not going to win any awards with the Cinderella crap and they decide to team up behind Quinn’s back. According to Rachel, Quinn is acting “from a place of fear” and isn’t willing to do what the show really needs—to get the contestants to go deeper in their interviews. Chet feels “seen” and Rachel’s manipulation of him has, as usual, worked perfectly.

Chet and Rachel start their covert op with an interview with Owen, asking him how the whole princess thing makes him feel. Owen acknowledges that it’s pretty dumb. Chet (with Rachel’s guidance) eases him onto the topic of gender roles. When he hits him with, “Do you consider yourself a feminist?” Owen gets really defensive and says “No.” He goes on to say, “In my experience, it can be an excuse for some really selfish behavior.”

Yikes.

interview owen
Source: UnREAL / Lifetime

Owen starts to shut down and Chet almost blows it until Rachel steps in and gets Owen to continue to talk about his ex. Psycho Jeremy is in the background, trying to stop Rachel from pressing Owen, but she continues. Owen admits that his ex-wife, who identified as a feminist, left him and their daughter for his best friend, just as Owen returned from a tour in Iraq. Rachel almost gets him to admit that, in his house, “feminist” is just another word for “selfish bitch”—Owen stops himself from saying it but Jeremy chimes in to complete his sentence, because of course he does.

Jeremy shuts the whole thing down because he doesn’t want Rachel to make Owen look bad and just generally present the idea that all men hate women and think that they are manipulative bitches, even though that’s exactly what he thinks. Chet tries to rein Jeremy in and tells him to find himself a new woman to get “the taste of crazy” out of his mouth so he can just do his job, which is to keep his mouth shut and film. The new target: Jeremy’s new junior camera operator.

Meanwhile, Jay shares his idea for the dance show with Alexei. Since Alexei is a dancer, he actually appreciates Jay’s idea. Alexei tells Jay that all over the world, in any city, there are people who use their body to express themselves. Also, Alexei one hundred percent has a thing for Jay and I’m here for it. Jay is inspired by this conversation and later goes to Quinn with a revised pitch: a travel show, hosted by Alexei, where they explore dance scenes all over the world. This time, Quinn gives him the go ahead, but the real selling point—Alexei—doesn’t know that Jay has signed him on for the project.

Serena is still stuck up in the tower, waiting for the guys to solve some dumb puzzle to “rescue” her, and she finally just loses it. Serena yells, “Get this regressive, patriarchal shit off of me” as she rips off her wig and tries to get out of the corseted gown she can’t breathe in. This is enough for Quinn to take Madison off Serena and give her back to Rachel. She goes looking for her and walks right in on one of Rachel and Chet’s interviews. She’s pissed that Rachel and Chet are going behind her back, and August walks in at just the wrong moment. Quinn, trying to keep their relationship on the DL, treats him like he’s shit on her shoe.

Serena gets into a bit of a fight with Jasper and Rachel swoops in to save the day, suggesting that she go on a one-on-one date with August. Serena thinks he’s just some flaky yoga teacher but Rachel convinces her that he’s actually a person of substance and that she might actually like him. August uses the one-on-one date to flirt with Quinn via the camera and it doesn’t take long for Rachel to pick up on it and exclaim, “He’s your UTI?”

rache quinn control room
Source: UnREAL / Lifetime

Quinn walks out of the control room and Rachel follows her to her office. She’s worried about Quinn because she’s acting a bit like the old Rachel—banging contestants, drinking too much, and general self-sabotage. Quinn isn’t about to take any sort of Essential Honesty from Rachel. She’s spent the past few years cleaning up Rachel’s many messes and she’s sick of Rachel just doing whatever she wants. Quinn brings Rachel to tears and tells her that she made a mistake asking her back. She wanted her “dragon” back, but that’s not what Rachel is anymore. I really hate when they fight and I need them to make up immediately but I don’t see it happening because QuinnXRachel is not in a good place right now and I’m upset.

quinn rachel

Rachel storms back to her sad little on-set abode and throws the Essential Honesty book away. She’s over it and it’s time for some of the old Rachel magic because there’s major drama with the guys. Earlier, they were all chillin’ in the hot tub together. There was a lot of testosterone in the air, but Jasper and Owen were particularly hostile to one another. It came out that Jasper is on Everlasting as a bet. He will win $400,000 if he’s the first person to sleep with Serena. Of course, we know he’s already lost that bet but none of the guys seem to know about The Jockey Incident so as far as Jasper is concerned, he’s still in the game.

On her way to go produce the guys, Madison approaches Rachel and tells her that she’s concerned about Quinn’s drinking problem. IMO she couldn’t care less about Quinn and just wants her job. Rachel’s solution to the problem is to fire John the Bartender and pretend like he was stealing liquor as opposed to having it delivered to Quinn’s office. This saves Quinn’s reputation but screws John in the process. Rachel only feels remotely bad about it when Madison later informs her the John has a kid with cancer and needs the show’s benefits in order to pay for his treatment. Madison tells Rachel that she’s just as bad as people say she is.

Rachel’s lying comeback tour continues when she runs into Serena, who is totally into August after their date. She mistook his flirting with Quinn for interest in her and now she’s singing his praises to Rachel, who has trouble keeping a straight face because she knows that August is all about Quinn. Serena notices that Rachel doesn’t seem too enthused and asks her to just be honest with her—that if there’s something she needs to know about August just to tell her. But Essential Honesty is out the window and the old lying Rachel is back, putting on a fake-ass voice and telling Serena that there’s nothing wrong and she’s so super happy for her. This is not going to end well.

Now it’s time for Rachel to go handle the guys. Things are out of control and Jay can’t get them to chill. Jasper is about to walk off the show when Rachel catches him and bullshits her way out of the big ol’ mess between him and Owen. She works both Jasper and Owen, telling both of them what they want/need to hear in order to keep the bet under wraps until the producers choose to reveal it.

Meanwhile Jay is trying to convince Quinn that Jasper’s bet is actually a good thing for the show—that he can be a “villain Wifey” and they can use the reveal of the bet on the show for an extra punch of drama. He’s not wrong, either. Chet interrupts and comes in to show Quinn some of the footage he and Rachel got but Quinn isn’t interested in “doing a symposium on gender politics.” Chet is still on his Winning-An-Emmy-To-Leave-A-Positive-Legacy-For-His-Son bullshit and tells Quinn that she’s playing it too safe. Of course, safe is the last thing that Quinn feels.

Dr. Simon finds Rachel having a bit of a freak-out. She admits that she gets a rush from lying and she can’t stop once she starts. She opens up a little too much, a little too soon, and tells Simon about the whole Jeremy murdering people thing. She admits to him that she “made it happen” because she knew Jeremy would do anything to protect her. “It was really kind of thrilling to have that power,” she says, and then walks out to go to elimination. So much for the secrecy pact. Also, I get that Rachel feels some level of guilt for what happened and that she knew she could manipulate Jeremy into fixing the situation, but I don’t think she thought he was capable of Actual Murder so she needs to chill with the self-blame. Don’t get me wrong: she does a lot of Very Bad Things, but killing Coleman and Hot Rachel is solidly on Psycho Jeremy’s shoulders.

UnReal Season 3, Ep. 303 "Clarity"
Source: UnREAL / Lifetime

Elimination is not at all surprising. Serena keeps all the major players and cuts Silver Fox Preston and two other nameless dudes who haven’t gotten any screen time. Jasper and Owen still visibly hate each other but they manage to keep it together and the information about the bet doesn’t come out.

Jay finds Alexei drinking some vodka and tries to take it away from him but he says he had a drug problem, not an alcohol problem. He tries to get Jay to take a shot with him but he ends up kissing him and taking the bottle with him.

jay
Source: UnREAL / Lifetime

Psycho Jeremy tries to hit on the new girl but it’s very obvious and she doesn’t seem particularly interested in hooking up with her boss on her first day. She seems open to a real date with Jeremy, even after listening to his little tirade about how much he hates women earlier, so I would say someone needs to save this woman from him but she seems to be actively ignoring all the red flags so I kind of don’t care what happens to her. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

August tries to get some alone time with Quinn but her UTI is raging. She decides to end things with him because it’s getting more complicated than she had intended. I think Quinn is catching some feelings for Mr. Man Bun and that is not part of her master plan for Hollywood domination.

UnReal Season 3, Ep. 303 "Clarity"
Source: UnREAL / Lifetime

Dr. Simon wants to help Rachel find the source of that darkness within her, but Rachel knows what it is. She is obsessively searching the Internet for the source of that darkness. I’m 99.9% sure the guy whose pics she’s looking at is her rapist, and he seems to be Mr. Happy Family Man in his pictures. If the scenes from next week are any indication, Rachel is going to confront him and I, for one, would like to watch her burn his world to the ground. Here’s hoping something very, very bad happens to him, courtesy of Rachel Goldberg.

rachel computer
Source: UnREAL / Lifetime

Also, someone cuts off August’s man-bun while he’s sleeping, which is a much less interesting cliffhanger than the Rachel stuff but should be noted because now I can’t call him Man-Bun August anymore.

Tune in to UnREAL on Mondays at 10p EST on Lifetime.

 

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Author: Ali Sciarabba

Twitter: @alimscribbles

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