On “Ambush” UnREAL yanks the rug solidly out from under the feet of its fans. Rachel goes through another meltdown, part deus as it were and things go really wrong for Daris, Romeo and their dates. The show begins with some humorous moments and a look at the romantic tangle that is Goldberg’s life.
(Sadly the episode ends with a cop/black situation that could not have been more awkwardly timed. These shows are filmed quite a bit in advance of their air dates and the show’s producers could not have foretold the despicable social situation facing America right now. There is a message at the beginning warning of a law enforcement, gun and race issue in the show and pledges support to those affected by gun violence.)
Back to the episode: Before the shocking ending, something that UnREAL does very well, Jeremy is still fired and the Coleman/Goldberg romance is going strong. Last season’s “Everlasting” bachelor Adam turns up to see Rachel while she is in bed with Wasserman. Her new fella is not too pleased by this.
Cromwell has returned because of Quinn, but this time he is no longer a neophyte in the world of reality television. This time around Adam is cynical and knows what the show is; an unreal depiction of reality.
In the scene prior to the shooting, Adam calls Rachel out about feeling proud of her accomplishment and her show:
Adam: “Your black suitor…”
Adam: “Is on a fake date in a fake boat on a fake lake. That is “Everlasting,” and you’re completely delusional.”
(This scene also has a comic slant that softens the viewer up for the tragedy later. Darius ends up with Chantel’s dead fiancee’s ashes in his face. The NFL star splutters and says “Oh my God. Dead guy in my mouth!” This was very funny and set up by Lawrence, just as Rachel sets up Beck later on with the police.)
Before the boat incident, Darius spends most of the episode angry at Rachel. He has still not forgiven her for Alabama. Quinn, who brings Adam back to break up Coleman and Rachel, insists that Cromwell is needed to bring some life to the show. (It is Adam who urges Darius to pick Chantel for the date.)
There is a lot of time spent on the two couples. Rachel and Wasserman as well as Booth and Quinn work on their separate relationships but ultimately both are doomed to fail but for different reasons.
Booth reveals to Quinn that he is falling in love with her but his partner must want children, “More than one, less than five.” The look on Quinn’s face says it all, the fire in her eyes slowly dies. Ms. King is all about the job and would, with her manipulative “I’m in charge” attitude, be a horrible mother.
Rachel and Wasserman are equally doomed for different reasons. Not least of which is Goldberg herself. She has been taking the medication her mother sent her and Coleman does not truly understand the woman he loves. He thinks he does but in reality the only person who really knows Rachel is Quinn.
Together these two women are a perfect storm of creative management and are masters at manipulating the contestants and the show’s bachelor. They also equally use one another via emotional blackmail and are in an unhealthy “love/hate” relationship. Each women knows what triggers the other and this makes for a successful show but it is ultimately destroying Rachel.
Which is happens after the shooting. Goldberg’s mental state is destroyed. She is seen in a psychiatric facility with her mother pushing pills down her daughter’s throat. Her mom says, “You know I love you, right?” Rachel lies back down and closes her eyes.
The shooting is prompted by a disastrous series of events that starts in the fake boat. The ashes in Darius’ face infuriates him and he wants to blow off some steam. Romeo (Gentry White) suggests going out in the Bentley. The two invite Yael (Monica Barbaro) and Tiffany (Kim Matula) along. The contestants are intoxicated and all too ready to leave with the two men.
Madison calls Rachel and tells her that Darius and Romeo have taken the Bentley. She decides to call the police and then film what happens. A rookie cop and his partner stop the car and things quickly escalate out of control. As the incident is being film, Rachel realizes that this has all gone too far.
Darius is hurt by the cop throwing him against the car and Romeo reacts. He is worried about his cousin and he tries to tell the rookie that he is hurting an injured man. Rachel runs up shouting and the cop turns to her, gun drawn. Romeo rushes up to Darius and is shot.
The female cop tackles Rachel and the world goes into a spin. Wasserman appears, arms spread and asks for an ambulance for Romeo.
Before Rachel seen in the hospital, Yael meets with Jeremy and she asks him to tell her about the show. He agrees and she sets her phone to record the conversation.
UnREAL has managed to trump the death of Mary (Ashley Scott) in season one. The season where Rachel is recovering from meltdown part un. As “Ambush” ends, Romeo may still have a heartbeat but it looks like Rachel’s romance with Wasserman is through. Quinn throws him off he set as Gary has put her back in charge.
Quinn has won again.
UnREAL airs Mondays on Lifetime.
- Constance Zimmer – Quinn King
- Shiri Appleby – Rachel Goldberg
- Craig Bierko – Chet Wilton
- Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman – Jay
- Genevieve Buechner – Madison
- B.J. Britt – Darius Beck
- Michael Rady – Coleman Wasserman