Does Anyone On UnREAL Have Darius's Best Interests At Heart?
And more not-quite-burning questions about 'Treason.'
In the battle of Quinn vs. Rachel, who's actually right?
I really have to give UnREAL credit for creating a shitty situation that is shitty with...this much complexity. Because while I tend to take Quinn's side by default in any and every dispute, her reaction to Chet's coup in the season premiere was neither rational nor wise. I get that once Chet essentially kidnapped Darius (and Romeo), she wanted to take control back as quickly as possible; I also get that a network executive doesn't want to be bothered about every little production hiccup; and I certainly get that Quinn wouldn't want to jeopardize her brand-new development deal by doing anything that would make it appear as though she or her deputy Rachel were not in control of Everlasting. But surely she could have taken some action other than trying to run both her version of the show and Chet's on the same set and simultaneously? Even if Quinn did not take the matter to Gary herself, she could have gotten Darius back to her set by reminding him of his contractual obligations? These shows are locked down tighter than some prisons; Darius probably isn't even supposed to have a cell phone. (And by the way, if Everlasting isn't as restrictive as The Bachelor, maybe it should be?!). She could have probably even taken some kind of legal action against Chet for costing the production company money when he destroyed her shooting schedule. She might even already have had some kind of damaging footage she could leak to the media to tarnish Darius's image even more and convince him that he needs Everlasting's career rehab even more than he thought.
My point here isn't to speculate about all the options the writers of UnREAL did not choose for that episode; my point is that I kind of buy that Rachel didn't have a choice other than going to Gary herself. Self-interest was certainly a big part of it: Rachel wants to get ahead professionally; bringing peace to a chaotic set would make her look great, whereas no good can come for her, professionally, from being nominally in charge of the utter shitshow Quinn and Chet had made of it. But Rachel did try to go along with Quinn's plan to take control back from Chet before deciding it was a bad decision, and the proof that Quinn's faith in her own vision was misplaced is that when Gary finally does see both Quinn's and Chet's sizzle reels, hers is not the one he likes. Other than quit in protest, what could Rachel really do?
So here's where we're left in "Treason": Quinn feels betrayed by her protégée, whom she no longer trusts. Rachel already feels like the existence of Coleman in their lives is punishment enough for her having gone behind Quinn's back to get ahead -- but at the same time, she's far more responsible for making sure the show actually gets made and is entertaining than Quinn is, given that Quinn could take off any time in pursuit of her new projects and seems primarily to be sticking around the Everlasting set out of spite. I treasure Quinn, but I feel like Rachel is doing exactly what she needs to do to make her days and get through this season alive. Speaking of which...
Does anyone in the production have Darius's best interests at heart?
We find out what had Darius frozen in bed at the end of the last episode: he's suffered a grievous injury to a disc in his back. The "bitch, please" incident would have been no big deal if he could have gotten back onto the field and played through it, but since he can't, he's on Everlasting. However, when Rachel smuggles in Darius's doctor disguised as a messenger, she learns that (a) Darius needs surgery immediately, and (b) Darius and Romeo knew that and had been keeping it from Rachel through the whole casting process in order not to ruin his chances of getting on the show.
Cue the medically questionable decision-making! Rachel's solution is to change the planned challenges so that Darius doesn't have to do anything too physical (even though his doctor said something as benign as a wrong tango step could cause his disc to fissure), and to shoot Darius up with epidurals so he's not in pain. Quinn, once she figures out that Darius is hurt (and egged on by Chet), wants to make sure Darius gets injured so that she can get footage of him getting choppered out while her wifeys weep; Coleman will get blamed for days' worth of worthless footage, and with him out, she'll be back in. Even Darius himself is willing to try continuing to suffer so that the story doesnt get out and put his future opportunities at risk. Only Romeo is talking sense: he tells Darius that he can claim he tweaked his back doing Everlasting, and then plausibly be out of commission to undergo physical therapy. But does anyone listen to Romeo? LOL of course not. Darius seems to be putting far too much faith in the notion that the people who work on Everlasting will protect him if only for their own sakes; by the end of this particular day, he's going to be lucky if he can still walk.
Are any of Quinn's other series ideas actually any good?
Granted, Quinn's been under siege since this season of Everlasting started, so she may not be able to do her best and most creative work in this state of distraction. Still...
Clockwise from top left, that's Incredible Residences; When Wildlife Fights Back; Sporting Horses; The Female Clink (or possibly The Female Oink); Shanty Town Rescue Mission; and something that might be Happily Ever Alien. DON'T BE SCARED TO KILL YOUR DARLINGS, QUINN! You...certainly aren't scared to kill Chet's.
Would Quinn have nixed the idea of purposely hurting Darius if she'd known the extent of his pre-existing injury?
Trying to help Quinn get her/their show back, Chet takes aside London (who's already thinking less clearly than she would be otherwise since Madison has convinced her to enjoy the cocktails being offered and London, as a Muslim, is not accustomed to drinking) and gives her the idea of flirting Darius out of his commentator seat to get into the mix on the field. Almost immediately, disaster strikes.
We know this is potentially devastating for Darius, and it's terrifying to watch.
But Quinn feels nothing but satisfaction. I want to think Quinn would have rejected this scheme if she'd understood that Darius might end up PARALYZED because of it, but seriously: would she?
But THEN, Rachel uses Quinn's ruthlessness to her own advantage by telling Darius that Quinn's going to use the footage of him getting tackled by all the ladies, and leading him to the belief that he has to take extreme measures to make that footage useless -- namely, by going against his own doctors' recommendation that he feel his back pain so he knows when he's overdone it, and to take an epidural from Coleman's sports medicine-practising buddy. Is Rachel merely an opportunist, or, since she knows better, even less ethical than Quinn?
Have we seen the last of Romeo?
Pushed into it after Rachel's amateur doctoring, Romeo gives Darius an ultimatum: if Darius stays on the show, Romeo wants nothing to do with it. Darius takes him at his word and fires him, walking away to leave Romeo to try to make her understand the damage she's done to a lifelong friendship. But Romeo's been such an interesting character to this point -- any guy smart enough to reject her sexual advances is one to watch for that reason alone! -- that it's hard to imagine he's not going to be back before long. Let's hope it's not because Darius does end up paralyzed thanks in part to Rachel, and because he needs Romeo to wipe his ass.
Was Quinn maaaaaaaybe starting to soften her heart toward Chet again?
After Chet congratulates her for turning Darius's shocking recovery into promo-ready material by just putting a puking London into the ambulance instead, Quinn looks like she might be feeling emotions for Chet other than wanting to set his hair on fire.
Fortunately for us all, that's when a couple of cop cars scream onto the property to arrest Chet for kidnapping, and the spell is broken. MAY IT STAY THAT WAY.
Seriously, how thirsty is Yael?
I can ALMOST respect her being so focused on victory that she sees an opening next to someone with actual power -- Coleman -- and makes a move. But then to trade back DOWN to Jeremy?
There is such a thing as winning ugly.