Thursday, June 23, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: UnREAL 1.03: "Mother"

“There is nothing wrong with you. You’re a genius.”

In the third episode of UnREAL, we learn quite a bit more about Rachel’s history. Specifically, we get to meet her parents. Now you’ll notice there’s a common theme in the two So Cal Summer shows we’ve been covering so far: damaged women with absolutely horrible mothers. I’d say of the two said horrible mothers, though, Rachel’s is worse than Rebecca’s. We’ll meet Rebecca’s mother in a few weeks when we talk about the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” holiday episode. This episode, however, is where we meet Rachel’s mother. Not only is she a bad mother, she strikes me as downright dangerous. We also, of course, get more Chet and Quinn drama, and I really, really don’t understand what Quinn ever saw in Chet. He’s just plain gross. There’s also plenty of drama around the filming of the next episode of “Everlasting,” and we once again see just how incompetent Shia is. This is only going to escalate as the season progresses. Through this week’s show, drama, however, we also learn a little more about Adam. All the characters on “UnREAL” are shades of gray (except maybe Chet…like I said, he’s just gross), which is something I really appreciate.

Anyway, after continuing to look like a homeless person for a little too long, Quinn makes Rachel take the day off. This has rather disastrous consequences both for Rachel and for “Everlasting.” Rachel gets in a production van and goes to visit her parents. Rachel’s mother is a psychiatrist, and apparently, she’s a pretty disturbed one. From the conversations we see between Rachel and her mother, it appears that Rachel’s mother has been trying to psychoanalyze and diagnose and treat her family for years. She gradually intensified her diagnoses for Rachel from ADHD to Bipolar, to Borderline Personality Disorder. Rachel’s been seeing the therapist who works for “Everlasting,” who is adamant that Rachel does not present with the symptoms of any of these disorders. Rachel tells as much to her mother, but her mother is insistent that Rachel really is sick and needs to take the massive amount of medication she prescribed.

Rachel has dinner with her parents, and her father seems barely able to interact with the rest of his family. He mostly just reads. Later, Rachel accuses her mother of trying to treat him too, since he’s suddenly acting like a zombie and all. Rachel’s mother knows that Rachel needs money, and she starts trying to manipulate that. She offers Rachel all the money she needs ($20,000) if Rachel will resume sessions with her again. At one point, when her mom starts talking about how she’s sick and that’s okay, it appears that Rachel has finally been worn down by her mother and will agree to the sessions. She even walks out of her parents’ house holding the $20,000 check. Once she gets back in the van, though, she tears the check to pieces. Thank goodness!

Meanwhile, as you’d expect, things are dramatic to a ridiculous degree on the Chet and Quinn front. Quinn’s throwing herself into work, as she does, and Chet just wants to party. At first, it appeared that the death of Anna’s father, only two years older than him, had inspired Chet to turn over a new leaf, but it really didn’t. He thinks we’re supposed to be impressed that he only did coke once in the amount of time he usually does it seven or eight times. Quinn, however, for some reason is okay with all of this, and she agrees to forgo her show budget meeting in favor of sex with Chet. Said sex turns into everyone’s worst nightmare, though. Chet appears to start having a heart attack. Quinn takes Chet to the hospital, and she’s able to recite his medical history so well that the nurse mistakes her for Chet’s actual wife. Once Cynthia arrives at the hospital, though, Quinn thinks that’s her cue to leave. Before she does leave, though, Cynthia basically tells Quinn that she’s fine with the affair. She gets monetary comforts from her marriage to Chet. Chet gets Quinn. Understandably, this doesn’t make Quinn feel especially good about herself.

In other show relationship drama, the crew is reacting to the release of Rachel and Jeremy’s sex tape and Rachel’s love letter to Jeremy. Lizzie is upset about this, but not quite for the reason you think. She now knows that Jeremy and Rachel were thinking of moving to New York together, and when the show’s DP leaves to move to New York, Lizzie questions Jeremy why he never told her that was his dream. She makes it clear that if Jeremy really wants to move to New York and get into filming things other than reality television, she’s all in. There are more layers to this, though. What Jeremy really wants is the now vacant DP job, and he want’s Rachel’s help to get it. He also makes it clear to Rachel that getting out of “Everlasting” and moving to New York was her dream. It wasn’t really his.

The show within a show itself had plenty of drama. Some of it was Rachel-created (her talent for manipulation being a sign of her many psychological disorders according to her mother), such as the escalating spat between Anna and Grace over Grace giving Adam a blow job. Much of the drama, however, was Shia’s fault, since that’s what happens when Rachel is given the day off and Shia is in charge for the day. The theme of the episode they’re filming is that Adam’s best friend Rodger is in town, and he’s going to pick which ladies get a small group date and who gets an all-day date. Roger has a reputation for being a party boy, and Adam tries to rein him in, considering he’s hoping the show will rehabilitate his image and all.

Shia tries to take advantage of the situation, and she suggests to one of her girls, a nice, shy woman named Mya, that Roger likes more…ehrm…outgoing women. And since Roger’s doing the picking this week, Mya had better give it her all. Mya, unfortunately, takes the advice to heart, and she gets very, very drunk. To make matters even worse, Shia orchestrates a huge, loud pool party that really isn’t even filmable because of the loud music. When Rachel arrives back on set, she puts a stop to the party immegiately, and then everyone starts looking for Roger. They find Roger and Mya in a secluded room, and Mya looks very shaken up, although she’s not apologizing for what she did. Adam gets very angry with Roger over this, and we learn that Adam’s parents sent Roger to try and convince Adam to leave the show. Even though Adam is trying to use the show to rehab his image, his parents are convinced he’s going to embarrass the family even more. Like I said, the characters on this show are all shades of gray.

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