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'UnREAL' fan recap: Season 2's loose ends

Season 2 | Episode 10 | “Friendly Fire” | Aired Aug 8, 2016

UnREAL hasn’t had the smoothest sophomore season. Response hasn’t been as enthusiastic as it was with the first season, but overall, I have to say I’ve still enjoyed Season 2. There have been low points, yes, and moments that were just plain hard to watch, but UnREAL continues to try to push the envelope, which is interesting even when the result is sloppy or off-base.

The finale was all over the place. It attempted to do a lot and did some of it well and some of it not so well. It wrapped up most of the season’s stories, but left a few critical loose ends. Let’s break down where everything left off.

Everlasting‘s historic love story.
Rachel started this season determined to make history. She had handpicked Everlasting‘s first black suitor and wanted to make Everlasting a show that really mattered. Then Chet returned, Quinn took over, Coleman happened, and all of Rachel’s power and good intentions were lost and forgotten.

This week, Quinn was prepping for a finale that was a follow-up to the mess/ratings-bonanza Rachel created the week before when she gave Yael a disastrous combination of food poisoning and no exit points on national television. The plan was to make both Tiffany and Chantal believe they had been chosen to marry Darius on live TV and then make him choose on the spot. Darius is desperate for good PR, but he respects the institution of marriage and, after a lot of deliberation, he decided not to marry either one of them.

Enter Ruby. Yes, Ruby returned, thanks to some careful plotting by Jay and Rachel. Darius lit up at the sight of her and proposed immediately. Ruby said no — she loves Darius, she wants to see what they have away from the cameras, but she’s not ready to get engaged after nine weeks of knowing the man. It feels like a happy ending. Darius and Ruby leave, totally in love. History is made. The first black suitor on Everlasting picked a black contestant in the end. I want to believe they’re destined for Happily Ever After, even though years of tragic headlines about couples from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette in the real world make me skeptical. In spite of that, I choose to believe that Darius and Ruby are getting a happy ending.

More importantly, Quinn sees that Darius and Ruby are getting a happy ending. She sees their love and happiness and feels something other than schadenfreude for once, and it affects her. You can almost see the love montage of her relationship with John playing in her head.

Quinn’s love life.
You can almost see that montage, but not quite. She looks like she wants to call John, but she doesn’t call John. I want Quinn to call John, but I don’t believe she would call John. Quinn’s tragedies are largely self-imposed, but they’re true to character, so I have to respect them … even if I don’t like them. I ship Quinn and John really, really hard.

The Yael/Coleman thing.
The biggest burning question going into the finale wasn’t who Darius would choose or end up with. The outcome of Everlasting is mostly inconsequential. No, what UnREAL viewers cared about was Yael and Coleman’s plan to blow the lid off the dark and seedy history of the show.

It almost happened on national TV. Quinn and Rachel almost put Yael on air to out Tiffany (who they hoped would already be legally wed to Darius by this point) for her affair with Chet. Yael planned to use the moment to take down the show. After hearing about what happened to Rachel when she was 12, Jeremy regrets spilling Everlasting‘s deep dark secrets to Yael and goes to warn Rachel. It’s enough notice to keep them from putting Yael on TV again, but not enough for them to stop the story entirely.

Coleman confronts Rachel (who has already had him fired and his footage and devices confiscated at this point) and tells her that he and Yael are going to the press with their story tonight. He’s willing to come clean about faking his award-winning documentary (a fact Rachel was holding over him) and thinks it will only strengthen his credibility with regard to the Everlasting exposé. There’s nothing she or Quinn can do to stop it; they’re all going down, and possibly to jail.

Rachel goes to break this news to Quinn after Darius derails her planned finale. Quinn accepts it. She says it was only a matter of time. She seems sad, but not broken.

But that’s not the end of the story. Jeremy, desperate to make things up to Rachel (for being violent with her, for not realizing there was more to her emotional problems, for being Yael’s source for her takedown), has taken care of it. What that means exactly, we don’t know. Coleman and Yael speed off in his fancy, fast car to tell the nebulous “press” about Everlasting. Then, there’s a crash. There’s fire and probably death and we don’t know exactly what Jeremy did, but we know it was bad and extreme and irreversible. If pressed, I’d guess he cut the breaks, but we’ll have to wait for season 3 to know for sure.

The season ends with Rachel, Jeremy, Chet, and Quinn — the four who know ~everything~ — laying by the Everlasting pool, taking in what’s happened and what their show has become. It’s a chilling image to end on, and it’s impossible to read any of them accurately. Are they numb? Are they remorseful? Who knows?

They definitely seem to be thinking, though. They seem to have stopped, for a moment at least, to think. And that’s what UnREAL needs. It needs to slow down before season 3, to really think and take in what it is and what it wants to be and come back ready to make that its reality.

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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