Wednesday, August 10, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Unreal 1.10: "Future"

“Yeah, DC is Hollywood for ugly people.”

And so we have reached the first season finale of “UnREAL.” Because I’ve been writing these posts, I’ve been letting the second season accumulate on my DVR so I don’t get the two mixed up. I’ll be very interested to see how the events of this episode affect the next season. All of the scheming that has been happening in the past couple episodes comes to a head, and in some cases goes to a new level, and many of the characters have to resign themselves to not being in quite the situation they hoped they were going to be in my the end of it all. The episode is also an interesting look at the relationship between Quinn and Rachel, which is unhealthily pseudo-parent/child. This is yet another parallel between “UnREAL” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” While Paula and Rebecca’s relationship isn’t quite as destructive as Quinn and Rachel’s, Paula definitely sees Rebecca as a surrogate daughter and encourages Rebecca’s worst impulses. Quinn and Rachel also have a similar relationship, and Quinn encourages Rachel’s worst impulses, especially when it helps Quinn.

This episode again picks up not long after the last one left off. We see both Rachel and Adam sneak out of bed and leave Jeremy and Anna behind respectively. Rachel leaves a note behind for Jeremy that basically just says “I don’t deserve you.” Jeremy wakes up and sees this, and he’s incredibly frustrated by it. There’s just one hitch in the plan. Quinn catches Adam trying to leave, and she’s not having it. Rachel meets Adam at the tarmac, ready to throw her whole life away, and Adam has bad news, to put it mildly. He’s not leaving, and he’s going forward with the show. Rachel claims she’s okay with this, but she leaves the tarmac and completely falls apart. When she shows up on set the next morning, she’s a complete mess, smeared mascara and the whole nine yards. Quinn notes Rachel’s appearance and insists she’s better off without a player like Adam. She also thinks Rachel’s relationship with Jeremy can be easily repaired, which we’ll see is clearly not the case.

AS for Quinn, she’s in a pretty bad situation herself. Brad the asshole network exec is no longer returning her phone calls. Instead she finds out from his assistant that her pitch session is cancelled indefinitely. Quinn goes to confront Chet about this and finds Dr. Wagerstein and Madison in the room too. Madison makes it clear that she doesn’t want to file charges against Chet, and Chet announces that Dr. Wagerstein is going to have her own segment on future shows. To make matters worse, Chet has called in Britney, the “villain” who was eliminated in the first week. He thinks it’s an edgy idea, but then Quinn reminds him that they’ve brought the villain back at the end in three other seasons. Chet really is an idiot, isn’t he?

Not only is Britney back in the mix, but Grace really, really still wants to win, even if Anna seems to have it in the bag. Grace takes a walk with Adam and makes her case. Basically, she’d be a lot more fun (and better in bed) during their year together than Anna would be. Grace keeps disparaging Anna for her eating disorder, which really isn’t cool. Rachel has her own plans for how the show is going to end, though, and Quinn gives the go ahead (in exchange for Rachel forgiving her for last episode’s blackmail) for Rachel to put her plans into motion. They have a conversation that is especially illumninating about their relationship, where when Rachel starts to complain about her guy problems, Quinn pulls out the wedding magazines she had started to tab, even though marrying a drug addict manwhore isn’t exactly living the dream. For the record, she gave the ring back, so she’s not actually going to marry him, but for a little while she was seriously considering it.

Production moves to Adam’s family’s estate n England for the proposal and wedding, and we are introduced to Adam’s awesome grandmother. She’s a Duchess, but she also isn’t shy about the fact that before she got married, she gave Mick Jagger a blow job. She and Adam have a chat, and the doesn’t mince words in telling Adam what the family expects of him. Cromwells don’t marry “brown people,” and the only woman who will be acceptable to the family is Anna. Granny has no doubt that Anna will be an excellent choice. While she’s kind of judgmental (or maybe just realistic) about the kind of woman who can become a Cromwell, she’s not judgmental about Adam’s past at all. She just wants what’s best for the family overall, and what’s best is Adam marrying someone like Anna and producing heirs to the Cromwell line.

It’s now time for the big proposal. I think the way Everlasting handles this is kind of tacky compared to the Bachelor franchise. And saying that something is more tacky than the real show is not something I ever thought I would say! On the real show, the final two contestants each have a private conversation with the Bachelor(ette) where they are informed of their fate. Here, Adam has to announce his choice in front of all three ladies. His choice in Anna (which pisses Grace off, naturally), and Anna walks up to the balcony where Adam is standing to accept the proposal. Anna accepts the proposal, and the wedding planning continues in earnest.

Throughout the episode, Jeremy has been putting together the pieces of what’s been going on with Rachel. He lies to Rachel about not having seen the note, and he uses the “Rachel already told me” trick to get Adam to admit that he and Rachel slept together. All of this culminates in Jeremy acting like he is about to propose to Rachel in front of the whole crew, only to tell her off right there and let everyone know she’s been cheating. Rachel’s got bigger fish to fry, even if she is humiliated. Jeremy, however, isn’t going to leave things at workplace humiliation. At the very end of the episode, he goes to Rachel’s mother and tells her that Rachel is “sick” again. What horrors this will lead to, one can only imagine. I wonder if Jeremy doesn’t realize the pure evil of Rachel’s mom, or if he’s just that angry with her. Either way, Rachel’s in very serious trouble.

Rachel executes the final phase of her plan to get revenge on Adam. She and Adam have a conversation in a confessional about how Rachel isn’t actually happy about the breakup and is actually quite upset about it. She gets Adam to say that he doesn’t really love Anna and absolutely plans to get the marriage annulled after a year. As soon as the conversation is over, it’s clear that Rachel isn’t actually as upset as she was pretending to be with Adam. And Anna is in the confessional next door (in her wedding dress) and heard everything. When it’s time for the ceremony to start, Anna is gone. Rachel gets to go up in front of the guests and say they have a runaway bride and Adam is going to be alone. Quinn also gets to look super competent when she has to take over from Chet to handle the fallout. She gets great footage of Anna explaining exactly why she’s leaving. At the end of the episode, Quinn and Rachel collapse on lounge chairs, exhausted but ready for the next season of Everlasting. And Rachel says she loves Quinn. Clearly Rachel needs to work on her mommy issues.

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