UnREAL – B
Oh, Quinn, we knew you were a sociopath, but there’s a need for a modicum of composure (i.e. not smiling from ear to ear) when you’ve just deliberately tried to paralyze an NFL quarterback – and when doing so by stoking anti-muslim fears is just the icing on the depraved-as-fuck cake. Ok, that last part was more engineered by Chet, with an assist by Madison – who, by the way, is taking to the sleazy manipulations like Andy Cohen to a feigned shocked look; our favorite pig-tailed protege pops up with a drink at the ready to entice London, the token Pakistani, to abandon her religion’s basic tenets, take a swig, and loosen up because the suitor might choose her if she’s not too uptight. And just like that we have a series wrap on London (is just everything Brit-related falling apart this week?).
Unfortunately, therein lies the problem – and one that’s hopefully not fatal – with UnREAL after a season and a half. While the labyrinth of battling egos and swirling deceptions is amazingly well constructed and the drama is mesmerizing, eventually it becomes formula, and desensitizing formula at that. Seeing just how low Quinn or Chet or Rachel (or Madison?!?!?!) will descend into the depths is fascinating, but it can become a distracting game. While admittedly the whole reality scene is this game, UnREAL exists beyond its source material as such an exquisitely written drama that there is a danger when it collapses into a ping-pong match as it did at times this episode. However, Rachel’s last volley, her convincing Darius to risk his health for an epidural that numbs his pain, does set up quite the next level showdown between the players.
– Jason Thurston