UnREAL season 3 returns with a new twist to its premise–a female suitress. This is a welcome and fitting shift to the plot of the series that has spent the last two seasons with a male suitor. UnREAL follows the drama behind the production team of a Bachelor-like reality TV show. There is no shortage of hook-ups, crying, and endless drama–and the season 3 premiere was no exception. The episode begins with Rachel in a hidden retreat, trying to absolve herself of past sins. Of course, Quinn shows up to lure her back into the world of Everlasting, that is on the brink of cancellation. Despite her resistance, Rachel comes back to set to help Quinn bring life back to the dying show. With a new perspective to the show, Everlasting brings in tech mogul, Serena (Caitlin FitzGerald) who can’t seem to shake off her business-savvy mindset for a moment to connect with the participants. The season 3 premiere highlight’s Serena’s struggles with adjusting to this superficial, shallow world as Rachel tries to find stable ground in her shaky life. Will they both find their way in this messed up world of lies, deceit, and malicious intent? We sure hope so.
Synopsis: After a poker game with the contestants that leaves Serena the sore winner, Chet teaches her how to be the woman that all men want to marry. Quinn makes a connection with one of the contestants after meeting Chet’s new swimsuit model girlfriend. (TVGuide)
Writers: Jordan Hawley
Director: Peter O’Fallon
Running Time: 42 mins
This week’s episode of UnREAL takes us deeper into Rachel’s pursuit to be completely honest, aka “Essential Honesty”. This path has led her to butt heads with Quinn who cannot commend Rachel’s noble path of telling the truth. This makes for some emotionally intense moments during the episode and reminded us why we love this show so much. This season is bringing a unique dynamic to Quinn and Rachel’s relationship unlike ever before, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves with Rachel’s newfound attitude.
The episode begins with Quinn frustrated over Everlasting‘s premiere ratings that did not live up to expectations. The low ratings are a result of Serena’s resistance to succumbing to the world of reality television and this has Quinn in an uproar. After having sex with the jockey in last week’s episode, Serena decides she wants a do-over and begins to organize the remaining participants into a logical system so she can memorize everything about them. She obtains personal information about them by digging up documents from the trash, which can only spell disaster as the series proceeds.
In an effort to salvage ratings, Rachel organizes a poker game between Serena and the contestants. The game is a complete and epic fail due to Serena’s relentless pursuit to beat every single guy. Instead of letting them win as the production team wanted, she chose to be herself. Rachel gets the blame for this failure, however, Chet convinces Quinn that Serena needs to change her methods in order to succeed in Everlasting. Much to everyone’s surprise, Serena decides to follow Chet’s advice of dumbing herself down to snag a man. This is quite the terrifying moment for all women watching the episode as we watch Serena begin to drastically change in order to appeal to the men.
As Serena channels her inner airhead while interacting with the guys, she finds herself winning them over as Chet predicted. The new season also ushers Chet’s new girlfriend who starts to become a regular presence on set. During tonight’s episode, she manages to have a conversation with Quinn, asking for her help on Chet’s fundraiser. She agrees to help but corners Chet later to ask him to not have his girlfriend do his dirty work. It is here he reveals just how in love with Crystal he is, which throws Quinn for a loop.
Serena continues to excessively flirt with all the guys but then demands a solo date with Billy the racecar driver. Rachel is not happy with Serena’s changed behavior and tries to use one of the contestants, Owen, to interfere with Serena’s solo date. However, Jeremy intervenes to stop Rachel from manipulating Owen to her will. This moment begins to break Rachel down and we assume her inevitable breakdown is just one more push away from going down. However, she is not alone in her frustration. Quinn begins to fall deeper and deeper into her need for alcohol, which is now bordering on addiction.
Quinn and Rachel find themselves amidst a deep argument when they are told that Billy has found a way to call his lawyer who plans to charge Everlasting for the fight he felt “forced” to be a part of. Quinn finds a way to get him to back off by making a deal with him to promote his tire gauge company. So, instead of roses, Serena would hang out the tire gauges to the men who made the cut. Strong product placement, right?
As the episode came to a close, we begin to see the Quinn/Rachel rivalry hit new limits. Rachel spent most of the episode swooning over contestant August, with whom she is seen cuddling with in a hammock. Quinn takes note of this moment over the cameras and decides to exact revenge by approaching August after Quinn’s honesty/abstinence pulls her away.
It looks like things are just getting started in this season of UnREAL, and has no sign of stopping. While the rivalry between Quinn and Rachel is something we’ve seen many times before, this season is presenting it in a more emotional way. Normally, Rachel is alone in her grief and frustration, but now Quinn is just as vulnerable. Everything seems to be in pieces and there are just too many to put everything back into place. I can’t wait to see where the season will go and how their dynamic, along with Serena’s newly flirtatious attitude will take the story.