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'UnREAL' fan recap: Rachel's past is darker than we could have imagined

Season 2 | Episode 8 | “Fugitive” | Aired Jul 25, 2016

We’ve known for a long time that Rachel’s past was dark and twisty, but to call the reality of her past dark and twisty like it’s mere Seattle Grace–level stuff does not do her backstory justice. Rachel’s past has been a mystery, but we knew it was bad — like capital-B Bad. This week, we found out just how bad and, honestly, I don’t think I could have imagined anything as tragically messed up as the truth.

At the beginning of the episode, we learn that Yael, aka Hot Rachel, isn’t just a promiscuous, cutthroat contestant. Last week, she called Jeremy for a ride and recorded his version of the story of Mary’s suicide; it seemed like she was looking to protect herself after the shooting. Turns out, she’s actually a reporter who’s deep undercover in the Everlasting underbelly to expose the show’s dangerous secrets — a fact she reveals to Coleman, along with a proposition that he work with her on the story. Since Quinn has reclaimed her role as showrunner and told Coleman that his career has been reduced to a desk and a salary until his contract with the network runs out, he’s game.

The first step in getting the real story out is getting Rachel out of the mental institution she checked herself into after her breakdown last week. Getting Rachel out of the hospital was much, much easier than I expected it to be. I was worried, at the end of last week’s episode, that we were in for an episode or two of Rachel in the hospital. But Coleman came to see her and asked if she wanted to leave, and she said yes and she left. It was a little more slurred and messy than that, because she was still heavily drugged at the time, but there wasn’t really much hassle in getting her back to the Everlasting set.

Of course, Rachel’s mom doesn’t love this. She wants Rachel under her control and taking the medication she’s prescribed. And if you’ve ever watched Rachel’s relationship with her mother unfold and thought, “In addition to being a weird familial relationship, it doesn’t seem totally ethically sound for Rachel’s mom to treat her daughter,” then you’re not alone. It’s weird. It’s inappropriate and unprofessional and a lot of other in-s and un-s. When Rachel’s mom comes to set with another doctor as backup to get Rachel back on her regimen of drugs, however, something interesting happens. The other doctor suggests that maybe Rachel would like to talk to someone (note: not her mother) and Rachel agrees. Yeah, she would like that. And what happens? A deer-in-the-headlights look from mommy dearest and a sudden 180. As soon as it looks like Rachel might seriously confide in another doctor, her mom is all for her release and thinks her daughter is fine and healthy and capable of making her own decisions.


Then, when Rachel calls her mom on this exceptionally shady behavior, her mom reminds her that the truth about her past is too dark and too messed up and that no one could ever love her if they knew the truth. Whatever happened, it’s bad enough that Rachel’s mom was able to convince her that no one would ever love her if they knew about it. Also, her mom is the kind of parent who is willing to openly label their child as unlovable. If there was any doubt about Rachel’s mom’s role (is she really trying to help Rachel, or is she a huge problem that Quinn is right to hate?), that doubt is officially gone: This lady is bad news.

Rachel has had it. She’s at the end of her rope and she needs to share her secret with someone, even if that means losing their love. So she tells Coleman. She tells him about how when she was twelve, one of her mother’s patients raped her and her mother covered it up to protect her practice. Rachel’s mother has been treating her and drugging her for years to cover up the horrific crime.. She’s been burying her daughter’s trauma under dozens of pills and standing in the way of her ability to get real help to process it. She’s not a good person, and suddenly, Rachel’s massive, massive trust issues make more sense than ever.

Of course, other things happen too. Darius tries to quit the show and get Ruby back. Jay talks him into coming back to the show and picking Tiffany — something that will help his career if his back surgery is unsuccessful and he can never play football again. It’s good news for Tiffany, who was about to be booted off the show by her fellow contestants in a Survivor-style episode that Quinn pieced together while Darius was MIA.

And behind the scenes, Quinn decides that she’s open to the idea of having kids with John and very firmly rejects all of Chet’s advances. And Coleman and Yael, of course, are working together on her exposé, which may or may not destroy the sliver of trust in humanity Rachel had and used to tell Coleman her dark secret. There are only two episodes left, and it feels like we’re only loosening more ends, rather than tying them up.

UnREAL airs Mondays at 10/9C 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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