UnREAL (04E01) “All In”

Surprise! We’re back! No one expected UnREAL to return so soon but here we go. It’s like Christmas in July! Too bad things aren’t so merry for our favourite producing team. We last left them reeling from another dramatic season of ‘Everlasting’, some of them coming out of it better than others. This season picks up a few months later at the beginning of the new filming season. See what happened below, but beware of spoilers!

Rachel (Shiri Appleby) is looking happy and healthy, so one assumes her break was rejuvenating. Unfortunately old habits die hard, as we see throughout the episode. Rachel was in charge of setting up this season, and she does Quinn (Constance Zimmer) proud. This season is my favourite type: all stars. The drama begins immediately to the producers delight, though I’m not a fan of one of the plot lines. Reuniting a rape victim and their rapist is not a good idea. The moment Mya sees Roger I instantly feel for her. It’s very apparent that she suffers from PTSD, and it is even more clear that Rachel wants to use this for ratings. She even goes as far as to soothe Mya by bringing up her own assault. This would be endearing if it wasn’t a blatant manipulation of someone’s vulnerability. Don’t get me wrong, Rachel has never been an angel. She’s always been in a grey area of morality. This felt like she’s on another level now. I would say she’s fallen farther than Quinn, so much so that even Quinn is questioning Rachel.

To make matters worse, Rachel is also using this season to find herself a man. At one point, Quinn calls her out saying she is trying to be the Suitress. I think this season would have been infinitely more compelling had Rachel actually been the Suitress, but considering her flirt game, for us she might as well be. She seems to test the waters with a few of the guys, namely Jack, August, and the new producer Tommy. It’s hard to say who she’ll settle on or if any of them will have her at all. One thing Rachel does not do well is hide her instability. At least last season she tried to get healthy and had some support in this, but this season it seems like no one is caring? Or is that just me?

On the other side we have Jay still addicted to cocaine, though he is some how keeping it together producing two shows. Hopefully Quinn will notice how that she is back and call him out. It feels like an awful storm brewing on his horizon, especially since he’ll still be working with Alexi. Alexi seems to be clean, but we know addicts slip, so the two of them are like gas and fire; not good for each other unless you want something to burn.

Finally we come to Quinn. Oh our sweet queen… or King if you prefer. Everything seems to be falling in place. Her empire is expanding, her castle is being erected, and she is back together with Chet. Things are looking up. The end of the episode reveals to us that she is pregnant. The one thing that she both always and never wanted. While celebration certainly is in order, one has to wonder how this will affect her demeanour going forward. She tends to use alcohol as a crutch for everything, and we all know you can’t do that while you’re pregnant. Perhaps she will pile on more work to distract her, or maybe she will step back permanently. It will most definitely be an important point going forward.