Sunday, July 24, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: UnREAL 1.07: "Savior"

“Just face it. You’re a monster.”

“Savior” dealt, as you might expect, with the immediate aftermath of Mary’s suicide at the end of the previous episode of “UnREAL.” The Everlasting team has to figure out how to deal with this unprecedented crisis as the network’s lawyers and the police are all really pushing for answers about what happened. Quinn and Rachel are especially on the hot seat, since they were involved in the decision to bring Kirk on set, and his presence seems to have had at least somewhat of a role in Mary’s breakdown. It is interesting to note the phases of the team’s response to the crisis. At first, Quinn is mostly concerned with keeping things quiet until she has all the information. When she gets some especially troubling information, she doubles down on the keeping quiet to protect her crew. This all would have ended in disaster if Rachel hadn’t come up with a way to utterly discredit Kirk in public, otherwise the show would have been in serious legal trouble, and without all the pertinent facts, the legal team wouldn’t have been able to advocate for them to the best of their ability. More of a rant on that in a bit (this is a blog run by licensed, albeit not practicing lawyers, after all…you couldn’t expect me to let that one go!).

When it’s clear Mary is dead, the crew starts trying to round up the cast in one location. The ladies are very confused about why they’re all being asked to stay in one room. When the sirens approach, they at first think it’s another gimmick like when the paramedics were called after Anna’s father’s death, but some of them start realizing that the scene outside, with the police and an ambulance, looks all too real. Mary is conspicuously missing, and the ladies start to suspect that something is terribly wrong. Chet and Quinn have to call the network executive (who is a misogynistic ass, by the way, constantly talking down to Quinn and insulting her) and tell him that there has been a death. He orders the cast quarantined and the crew let go. He and some network lawyers will be flying in the next morning. Meanwhile, Rachel gets the super fun job of telling Adam what happened and asking him to be the one to tell the ladies. Awesomely, Adam points out that since he’s English, he’s not very good at the whole grief counselor thing. Stiff upper lip and all that, you know?

Thankfully, Shia comes clean pretty early in the whole ordeal about messing with Mary’s meds. She first tells Rachel, who almost immediately takes it to Quinn. I think Rachel was probably hoping for some punishment for Mya, but Quinn decides to keep this development completely secret. She doesn’t even tell Chet about it. Instead, she has Jay take Shia to a hotel room until Shia’s past the point where she’s likely to say something she shouldn’t. She really resents this, by the way, because she kind of desperately wants to talk through the situation with someone. Jay won’t let her talk about it at all, though, because he wants to maintain plausible deniability. He insists that friendship doesn’t rely on complete honesty and sharing secrets, and he’s cool with still being Shia’s friend even if he doesn’t know her big secret. It’s kind of a moot point now, though. The handling of Mary’s death disgusts Mya, Shia’s last candidate, to the point where she quits the show. Since Shia has no more contestants to produce, she is sent home, presumably never to be heard from again.

The asshole network exec and two suits from legal both descend on the production, much to Quinn and Rachel’s chagrin. They grill Quinn and Rachel, as they absolutely should. Like I said in the intro, I think it’s pretty terrible that Quinn and Rachel didn’t tell the lawyers everything that was going on – they only want to know all the facts so they can best help their clients. When I was a law student in clinic, a classmate and I had a client in an employment discrimination failure to hire case who didn’t disclose to us a very valid reason why the employer didn’t hire him. When it all came out at mediation, our client lost his case and my classmate and I looked like idiots. Like I said, a lawyer can’t effectively advocate for her client if she doesn’t have all the facts. And there’s such a thing as attorney/client privilege so you can feel comfortable telling her all the facts! And with that, I’ll end my PSA on the topic.

Since Rachel and Quinn insist on not telling the lawyers the truth, and Kirk is intent on filing a wrongful death suit and getting money out of the death of a woman he brutally abused, Quinn and Rachel have to come up with another way to make everything right. Rachel is especially insistent that Kirk not make money off of this terrible situation. Quinn’s motivation is more just saving Everlasting, and if the right thing is done in regards to Kirk, that’s a bonus. First, even though the network has said absolutely no footage should be filmed, Rachel films some of the other ladies talking about what they know of Mary and Kirk’s history. Rachel tries to get Adam to say something, too, but he refuses to anything that would take the blame off of Everlasting for the tragedy. He thinks Rachel is being horribly selfish and thinking only of the show. Jeremy, however, is not so upset with Rachel right now. In fact, he and Rachel end up having sex in the electrical truck. Afterwards, Rachel tries to write it off as grief sex, which doesn’t make Jeremy terribly happy. Lizzie’s not going to be happy either when she finds out about it, I’d imagine.

Anyway, network asshole sees the crew trying to edit together Rachel’s footage, and he throws a fit. He orders the footage destroyed. Quinn and Rachel start thinking that there may be no way out of this without paying off Kirk after all. Then, when she goes to Mary’s room to grieve for a little while, Rachel finds Lilly Belle’s teddy bear, and she has an idea. Next thing we know, Mary’s sister is reading on air a note to Lilly Belle that Rachel “found” in the bear. It absolves Everlasting of any blame for Mary’s suicide, and it says that Mary killed herself so that Lilly Belle would be safe from Kirk. It’s the perfect move to get Kirk off their backs. Mary’s sister knows the letter is fake, and when Adam questions whether or not she’s okay with that, she responds that anything that will keep Kirk from getting Lilly Belle or making money off of Mary’s tragedy is fine by her. Adam starts to forgive Rachel in that moment, I think. Rachel, in need of some comfort, goes to Adam’s room that night. He tells her she’s really not a horrible person, and they spoon.

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