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'UnREAL' fan recap: How Rachel is dealing with the aftermath of the Jeremy Incident

Season 2 | Episode 6 | “Casualty” | Aired Jul 11, 2016

Rachel is hitting a low point. It’s weird to say that, because Rachel has been low so, so many times before, but this might be the lowest yet. It’s not surprising that she’s hitting a low. Last week, the tension between her and Jeremy boiled over and ended in a shockingly violent moment in which Jeremy brutally struck Rachel and seemed ready to go for more before Chet, of all people, swooped in to save the day.

Rachel wants to call the police and press charges, but Chet insists this is a bad idea. Jeremy, he explains, knows “where the bodies are buried,” so this issue needs to stay “in the family.” It’s messed up. It’s a messed up response to a messed up (to say the very least) situation. At first, Rachel springs into action, in spite of Chet’s advice. She circles her many dark bruises and documents each and every one in a series of pictures on her phone. But, after that seemingly assertive act, she retreats into work, into manipulation for ratings, into her comfort zone: making great, terrible TV for Everlasting

On Everlasting, it’s time for a hometown visit. Darius has to pick one girl to travel home with for a family meet and greet. Rachel wants him to go with Racist Beth Ann to Alabama. He, for a slew of obvious reasons, doesn’t want to. This is when Rachel absolutely loses it for the first time. Her freakout is so intense and so sincere that it convinces Darius to go to Alabama with Beth Ann for the hometown date. It feels like a win for Rachel, but is it?

Rachel is one of the most complicated, densely packed, and downright interesting characters on TV right now. She’s not likable, but she’s wildly empathetic. She’s brilliant but self-sabotaging. She seems to be genuinely good at heart, but it’s almost like she doesn’t want to be. And this week, in an episode expertly directed by star Shiri Appleby, she becomes more complicated and darker and twistier than ever.

Of course, just because Rachel’s response to Jeremy’s abusive outburst is complicated and important, that doesn’t mean that it’s satisfying. In spite of her early determination to report the crime, she spirals. She possibly goes off her meds (if an emotional conversation with Quinn about the incident is any indication). She deep dives into manipulating the storyline of Everlasting, convincing Beth Ann to disclose her surprise pregnancy (her ex, pre-Everlasting boyfriend is the father) to not just Darius and TV audiences but to her ultra-conservative family, as well. And when said disclosure ends in Beth Ann’s father pulling a rifle on the ex (and, inadvertently, Darius) and a tearful breakdown caught on camera, Rachel practically mauls Coleman, forcing kisses on him. She’s clearly not just happy about but turned on by the carnage she’s created.

This isn’t even the particularly dissatisfying part. That comes later, when she and Coleman make it back to set, and he — having just found out about the assault on the trip to Alabama — demands a meeting with Rachel, Quinn, and Chet immediately. Chet remains firm that he was right to tell Rachel not to call the police, and Quinn backs him up. This doesn’t look good for Quinn, I know, but it’s worth noting that this week is probably her most empathetic and likable yet. When she hears about the assault, it’s as if her feud with Rachel never happened. She calls her immediately, genuinely concerned. When that gets her nowhere, she calls Coleman and proves that she knows Rachel better than anyone, perfectly describing how she’s behaving even though they’re thousands of miles apart and making it clear that this behavior seems fine but is actually the precursor to a meltdown. Quinn cares about Rachel. Heck, she CARES. We always kind of knew that, in our hearts, but now we know it in the Confirmed Facts part of our brains as well.

But in the meeting, Quinn is still Team Don’t Call the Cops. And ultimately, Rachel sides with Quinn and Chet. She insists that she doesn’t want to press charges and even deletes the photos. She deletes her proof. And then she falls into bed with Coleman, because she’s Rachel, and when the world is crashing down around her, she falls into bed with someone, like that might actually drown out the crashing.

It sucks, to put it bluntly, to watch Rachel delete the photos. Sure, she might not have deleted all of them, and yeah, I’m sure there’s a way to retrieve them (technology, right?). But it’s the symbolism. It’s the symbolism of Rachel giving up and resigning herself to another mental health tailspin. And this is to speak nothing of the implications for other characters. Do we believe Jeremy (or at least Season 1 Jeremy) is really the kind of guy who would become violent? Do we believe that Quinn would really want to sweep that violence under the rug? Would Coleman really drop the whole thing so easily?

My take? No, Jeremy never really seemed the “type,” but maybe that’s the point. Maybe the point is that even people who don’t seem like the “type” to commit domestic violence can, because there’s no definitive “type” of person who is capable of violence against another human. And Quinn? Yes, I believe Quinn would sweep this under the rug, because as much as she loves Rachel, she still probably loves Everlasting more. And she’s the kind of person who believes in herself. She believes she’s taking care of it, that she’s making it right. And what about Coleman? Well, yeah I guess he would drop it all so easily. How well do we really know Coleman, anyway?

And while Rachel ends the episode using sex to run from her real problems, Quinn has called in another problem to keep things interesting. Threatened by Coleman and Rachel’s feelings for him, Quinn has set out to sabotage the relationship by bringing in another guy Rachel seemed head over heels in love with: Adam. Yes. Adam is back. I repeat, Adam is back. And now we wait.

UnREAL airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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