‘UnREAL’ Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: “Guerilla”


Last week, I humbly requested that Everlasting’s new producer, Coleman Wasserman, and Rachel KISS ALREADY! Well, ask and ye shall receive: It didn’t take long for Rachel and Coleman to succumb to their very obvious mutual attraction.

From the start of “Guerilla,” it’s clear Coleman and Rachel are a match made in TV heaven: He’s never worked on a TV show, but he has made an award-winning documentary about Cambodian sex workers. Throughout the episode, Quinn and Rachel show him the ropes, to both his amazement and horror. And although he picked Chet’s version of the show at the end of last week’s episode and not Quinn’s, he informs Rachel that he did that so Chet would hang himself with his own rope, screwing up so bad that Quinn — or, who knows, even Rachel — will get to pick up the pieces and run the show.

Quinn’s obviously still bitter about being shunted to the back burner; if she were a man, she insists, “I’d be wearing sweatpants, scratching my nuts, and boning 22-year-olds.” She decides to go rogue and “produce” a couple girls behind Chet’s back. She gets to work stoking those reality-TV flames: First stop, Dr. Wagerstein. The good doctor informs Quinn that Brandy, the MMA fighter, grew up in a foster home, and that Chantal — the “black wifey,” a.k.a., “blifey” — “could unravel” due to the stress of losing her fiancé, who died in a car accident. Jay tries to ask Quinn if they should check in with Coleman before speaking to the girls, but she shuts him down: “Say his name again and I will staple your dick to your anus.” Man, this show could seriously challenge Veep in the crude-insult department.

Watching Quinn work Brandy from the control room, Rachel gives Coleman a lesson in reality-TV production 101: They appear to be flirting — she asks if his girlfriend watches the show — but when she keeps pressing him, he starts to open up about the demise of the relationship. “Hey Coleman, just so you know — that’s how we make the show,” Rachel interrupts. SCHOOLED!

Meanwhile, Madison is becoming quite the little manipulator, telling Beth Ann — she of the Confederate flag bikini — that her Twitter is blowing up because she’s so unafraid to speak her mind. “You’re like Donald Trump with boobs,” Madison says. “Well, alright,” Beth Ann replies. “Let’s make America great again!” Jay pulls Ruby aside and essentially gives her the opposite message. He wants her to make it all the way to the finale, and, as he tells her, “You know who doesn’t win this thing? Rosa Parks.”

Later, Jay realizes that Ruby actually likes Darius; like Rachel in Season 1, the cynical, smart Ruby is starting to drink the Kool-Aid. She borrows a red dress from Yael (“Hot Rachel”), who asks why Ruby is there: “You just seem too smart for all this.” Ruby replies, “We’re all too smart for this.” When Ruby starts to castigate Beth Ann, who interrupts her conversation with Darius, Jay pulls her aside and tells her to cool it down and use her smarts to play the game well and get what she wants.

Just before the girls are about to participate in an outdoor obstacle course that Chet’s set up — wearing matching bootie shorts, sports bras, and knee-high socks, of course — Quinn tells Chantal that she overheard Brandy accusing her of milking her fiancé’s death for the show. When the race begins, Chantal and Brandy end up neck-and-neck, and just as Chantal’s about to reach the top of the obstacle wall, Brandy knocks her down to the ground.

Quinn instructs Rachel to lock Brandy in the “hole,” a tiny room that looks like a jail cell and that immediately makes Brandy panic. Then, she switches her focus back to the screen, where suitor Darius is visiting Chantal in the makeshift “hospital” they’ve constructed, complete with a fake bandage around Chantal’s head. “This is great,” Quinn say, “I’m wet already.”

Then she and Rachel bring it home. First, they set up a dinner date between Brandy and Darius. Rachel tells Brandy that she needs to be honest with Darius about her traumatic childhood; during the date, she stands just off camera, nodding along and encouraging Darius to get Brandy to open up. (“Good god, she’s good,” Coleman says to Quinn from the control room. “And the two of you together are terrifying.”) Crying, Brandy shows Darius scars on her arms — cigarette burns courtesy of a cruel foster dad. He kisses her, to Quinn’s delight: “I am so hard right now, yes!”

Finally, Quinn introduces Darius to a woman she claims is Brandy’s mother, who tells Darius that her daughter made that whole story up — she was never in foster care. Furious, Darius cuts Brandy during the elimination ceremony, castigating her for lying about her past. Brandy flips out. She says she has no idea who that woman is; screaming, she attacks Darius, throwing herself on his back. She’s carted away by two security guards while Quinn laughs, admitting Brandy’s “mother” was just an actor. “Call the Emmys, baby, because Everlasting is coming to collect,” she boasts.

Later, Gary, the network president, drives up to the mansion in a Lamborghini and gives the keys to Coleman, congratulating him on the episode’s “gonzo ratings.” He takes Quinn aside and tells her that Rachel went behind her back to try to get both her and Chet fired, instructing her to “get control of your people.” Rachel, who sees the two talking, grabs her bag from the control room and is about to book it when Coleman comes in and asks her to stay. “Between you and me, we can make shows that actually mean something, shows that people need,” he pleads. Naturally, they start furiously making out.

The episode ends on a couple cliffhangers. First, we see Chet — whose ex-wife has sole custody of their baby and won’t let him see the child — pick the baby up out of his crib and carry him out of his room. Then, Rachel is called away to attend to Darius. She knocks on his door, opening it to find the football star sprawled on his bed, looking like a hot mess: “Shut the door,” he says.