UnREAL: Casualty – Shiri Appleby Directs, Pathos Ensues (Review)


Lindsay Musil as "Beth Ann"

UnREAL “Casualty” picks up this week where “Infiltration” left off.  Jeremy fired and Rachel on the floor of the wardrobe van; bruised, shaken and angry.  This episode of UnReal was intense and Shiri Appleby, who directed this segment, made sure  that pathos ensued throughout.

The faltering courtship of Booth and Quinn continues and Goldberg initially  steps back from Coleman after her run-in with Jeremy. After Chet talks her out of going to the police, Rachel throws herself into her work. First, however, she photographs her bruises and then covers them with makeup.

Goldberg then forces Darius into doing the “home visit” with Beth Ann (Lindsay Musilby basically throwing a fit, not in private but in front of contestants and the show’s host. Darius agrees to  the Alabama visit despite his misgivings and Coleman invites himself along.

Quinn and Booth share a kiss at the cemetery and on the drive back, Quinn gets a call from Chet . He is concerned about Rachel but cannot divulge too much as Booth is in the car.

In Alabama the expected race problem fails to ignite when it turns out that Beth Ann’s family are more about football than racism. The rebel flag bikini was a false signal that Rachel counted on too much for ratings.

As the group bond and then shoot guns together Goldberg struggles to get the episode back on track.  Back at the studio set, Madison is annoyed that Rachel took “her girl” and moans to Jay about it. The two make plans to create a stir at the Everlasting house while Rachel is in Alabama.

Chet reveals the Jeremy attack to Quinn who rings Rachel to support her protege and producer. She offers to help and Rachel hangs up.  Beth Ann learns she is pregnant and Goldberg sees this as a Godsend.  The Alabama girl reveals that the baby’s father is former boyfriend and prison inmate Brock (Zach McGowan). 

Quinn confronts Jeremy about the attack. He angrily tells Quinn that Rachel stole her show. Quinn reacts by grabbing the former DP’s balls and squeezing.  As she holds Jeremy hostage she asks: “What do you want to do Jeremy? You want to hit me now?”

She continues to goad Jeremy as he squirms in agony. At the end of her assault she finishes by telling him that next time she will cut them off and  that he is not to  come back. Ever.

Jay and Madison get Dr. Wagerstein (Amy Hill) to host a “drink and discuss”  session (Mirror of Truth)  with the contestants who are left at the house.  Quinn is surprised at the initiative of the two producers but she allows it.  She then sends Booth away and he tells Quinn  to call when she is ready.

The topic of this “truth” session is why they were not picked for the Home Visit. As the liquor flows the women get harsher about one another. Chet prompts Madison to reveal the sexual liaison that Tiffany James  (Kim Matula)  had with Romeo.

Back in Alabama Rachel tells Coleman that she has convinced the contestant to tell her parents and Darius about her pregnancy  on camera that night.  Quinn calls Wasserman to warn him that Rachel is headed for a meltdown and about Jeremy’s assault.

In the Dr. Wagerstein truth session the girls all bring up the Tiffany/Romeo sexual tryst and the discussion turns into a shouting match.  Coleman confronts Rachel about the attack and says  he is worried about her. He also reveals that he is uncomfortable with her plan for Beth Ann.

Rachel’s response is that she is fine. “Can we please just go blow this thing up?” Chet confronts Tiffany and offers to help her in return for an introduction to her father.

Beth Ann speaks to Coleman about her fears and  decides to carry on.

Rachel pulls a Quinn. She tells the former boyfriend about Beth Ann being pregnant and gives Brock a ring so he can propose to her on camera.  Things explode. Beth Ann  implies that the baby is not Brock’s and could be Darius’.  She professes her love for Darius while Beth Ann’s father forces Brock to leave.

Goldberg is overjoyed with the result and Coleman is disturbed.

Back at the set, Tiffany talks to Darius about Romeo and Coleman talks to Chet, Quinn and Rachel about going to the police. Rachel leaves the meeting and Wasserman is not happy.   Chet tells Quinn that he thinks Rachel is in love with Coleman.

Quinn is inspired when Chet says he has never seen Rachel like “this” before and she makes a phone call.

The elimination round begins and  the last two contestants are Beth Ann and Tiffany. Beth Ann reveals that Darius is not the father and pleads to be left on the show.  The NFL star tells the Alabama girl that he is sitting up a college fund for her baby.  He then picks Tiffany to stay.

Beth Ann leaves in tears and Darius angrily confronts Rachel.  Graham (Brennan Elliott) gets the line of the night when he bellows out, “Rach! Who banged the racist?”

Quinn is approached by Wagerstein who offers some unwanted therapy.  The doctor warns that if she does not hurry that Booth will get away. She claims that Quinn is lonely. After chasing Wagerstein out of her office, Quinn calls Booth and invites him to dinner.

Rachel deletes the bruise photos on her phone and she and Coleman talk,  initially, and then have sex.  Coleman tells Rachel he is going to take her away from Everlasting.

The camera shifts from Rachel’s face to a very familiar character getting out of a car. It is Adam Cromwell (Freddie Stroma); the bachelor that Rachel fell for from the last season of Everlasting. 

Quinn strikes again.

Shiri Appleby slotted this episode of UnREAL together like a finely crafted puzzle.  Flipping back and forth between scenarios and keeping the pace fast and fluid.  This performer has proven that not only does she have massive acting chops but she can helm the chair as well.

Constance Zimmer also allowed us to see a tiny bit of vulnerability in Quinn’s iron woman exterior. Twice she proved that Quinn really cares about Rachel and she actually takes Wagerstein’s advice about Booth.

Kudos to Lindsay Musil for making us actually feel for the little cornpone cutie by the end of the show.

UnREAL looks like it is going to become very interesting now that Cromwell;  the man that Rachel almost ran away with, has returned. The series airs Mondays on Lifetime.

CAST:

Guest Starring: Ioan Gruffudd as John Booth and Freddie Stroma as Adam Cromwell.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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