What makes “UnREAL” such an interesting addition to the Lifetime family of shows is that almost every time you start to come up with an idea for precisely what it is, it finds a way still to completely surprise you. It’s at times a show about a subject matter that really is inherently cynical in reality television, but somewhere within that packaging we do occasionally learn that there are people in there with hearts. It’s just complicated and timely how they come out.
Take, for example, Shia. Here is a woman who saw no issue with allowing one of her contestants in Mary to go completely off of her medication, thinking that it will make her better TV. As soon as Mary took her own life, though, she crumbled into a mile on the floor. Production started to realize what was set to happen for her the moment that both Quinn and Rachel learned about her actions, and she was almost quarantined for the entire episode like there was a virus spreading outside the walls of the “Everlasting” mansion.
For Rachel, meanwhile, we had someone who felt terrible even before Mary jumped, and she tried at various times to make her less complicit in what happened. Who is fully to blame? Shia is of course at the top of the list, but bringing her ex-husband to the set for the sake of causing drama caused some of her symptoms to spoke and go completely out of control. She was referred to as a “monster” by Adam around the midway point of the episode as he blamed her entirely for what happened, and yet, she became slightly less monstrous to him by the end of the hour … despite this being the time when we learned of her most devious act of the entire season. As a means to both save the show and in turn to protect Mary’s child, she fabricated a suicide note and had it read by Mary’s sister. this implicated the ex-husband further, and would allow her to have an upper hand in keeping the child.
The way all of this was woven together to us was so fascinating, and the scene with Adam and Rachel in bed together at the tail end was oddly one of the most comforting moments that we had. We’ve admitted to ‘shipping these two for some time, and one of the reasons why is solely because they have a mutual sort of understanding that is hard to describe. They can be something closer to real with each other than with almost anyone else in this overly-produced world … even more so than Rachel and Jeremy. They have these moments, such as them sleeping together, that remind us of a great history that they once had. However, the key word here is was. We envision the two as trying to live out some crazy past that is not fully existent today, especially with him being engaged to someone else.
Are we biased? Maybe, if only because we feel like the Jeremy storyline is the show’s weakest, and it is the only thing so far that we telegraphed from the moment we first met the character and understood the relationship. This may also be true to a certain extent with Chet and Quinn, but we didn’t predict the exact road that has gotten them to where they are now, with Chet ending his marriage and opening the door to actually being with his producer / part-owner in the franchise.
As for the remaining contestants on “Everlasting,” we saw tonight the “elimination” of Maya, who technically quit because she understandably couldn’t handle this situation anymore. We’re somewhat surprised by the character’s arc, given that she really peaked all the way back in episode 3 and we haven’t spent that much time with her sense.
Production seemingly is going to continue now with Mary’s death being labeled a suicide, and it’s completely messed-up. Yet, in some ways this couldn’t be the end for “Everlasting” or this show. We’re completely hooked. don’t you want to see how it ends? Episode Grade: A-.
Let us know what you think about this episode in the comments, and head over here for further news on the show! Also, you can sign up to gather some more scoop on all we cover, courtesy of our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Lifetime.)