To say that “UnREAL” has jumped the shark this season might be considered an understatement by many.
Aside from the very real storyline explored a few weeks ago that had Darius (B.J. Britt) pulled over by the police — with Romeo (Gentry White) getting shot in the process — many expected the drama from those chain of events to play out.
They did, in a way, but through Rachel’s (Shiri Appleby) perspective. And while we got a glimpse into her horrible backstory, the focus never really returned to Darius and Romeo regarding that relevant story twist.
In Monday’s (Aug. 8) Season 2 finale, titled “Friendly Fire,” Romeo is back by Darius’ side and if you were just tuning into the show for the first time with no knowledge of previous episodes, you’d have no idea that one of these men were recovering from a gunshot wound.
First off, why would anyone in their right frame of mind return to “Everlasting” after such a run-in? It’s a tough question to find a believable answer to. But in the “UnREAL” writer’s room, we’re assuming there’s always a spin to be played. For such a manipulative show, there has to be. We just don’t know what it is.
And while Quinn (Constance Zimmer) is the one at the wheel, steering one disaster into another to bring in the ratings, it’s hard not to grow tired of the same old schtick after a while. That’s where Rachel comes into play. From the very beginning of this series, she’s been the one on the verge of mental collapse with “Everlasting” bringing her continuously to her tipping point.
Season 1 presented audiences with a damaged character looking to succeed in her career and overcome her issues … by any means necessary. And while her flaws informed her character it wasn’t until this current season that they really began to define her as a person.
Yes, we can stand with Jeremy (Josh Kelly) to a point. When he learns of her rape, all other reasoning goes out the window and his love for Rachel comes soaring back. And when the realization came that Coleman (Michael Rady) and Yael (Monica Barbaro) were out to take down the company and send them all to jail, doing “anything” to protect Rachel was his default reaction.
It’s not a surprising turn for Jeremy — who looks like he’s lost a bunch of his marbles since that drunken assault earlier this season — but we can only take so much of this Rachel pity party before saying enough is enough.
Sure, it’s common to become a prisoner of your own trauma and Rachel’s trauma is a deep dark soul-shattering one at that. But between the murder cover-ups and the poisonings, how are fans still supposed to root for “UnREAL’s” supposed hero?
Rock bottom, it’s a place that anyone needs to hit before admitting defeat to their demons. We thought Rachel hit bottom once Romeo was shot, but putting herself back into her mother’s care was obviously the wrong move.
And when we think about it, we’re really starting to think it’s too late for Rachel. She had a solid out with Coleman, but screwed that up. And whether she wanted to be rescued by the man or not — that Hot Rachel thing, notwithstanding — deep down she has to know things will not be ending well for her, Quinn, Chet (Craig Bierko) or Jeremy.
With a Season 3 on the horizon, one has to wonder where the show will go from here. Instead of using race relations as a gimmick — let’s be honest, that’s exactly what it was here — maybe it’s time for Rachel to work on fixing herself from the ground up.
To do that, she’d have to leave “Everlasting” behind and face every last bit of bad she’s been burying for the past three decades. Until that time, we’re assuming she’ll continue lashing out to cause as much pain as possible to everyone under the “Everlasting” roof.
But hey, at least Jeremy will kill for her and Quinn thinks she’s perfect. With friends like these, who needs enemies?