‘UnREAL’ Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: “Treason”


By the end of UnREAL‘s first season, it was clear the show hinged on the relationship between Quinn and Rachel. But if you thought it was going to be all girl talk and pillow fights this season, think again. This week’s episode finds the women on opposing teams — each with a man in her corner.

It doesn’t take long for “Treason” to delve into the previous episode‘s cliffhangers. Chet brings his baby to set and brushes off Rachel’s questions about custody with an iffy explanation: His wife is on a retreat and he gave the nanny the day off. Sure you did, Chet. Sure you did. Then, we discover why Darius called Rachel into his bedroom and asked her to shut the door — no, not that, get your mind of the gutter. He’s got a serious back injury that he and Romeo have kept hidden from the Everlasting producers.

Rachel arranges for a doctor to check him out, but Darius and Romeo are adamant that no one find out about the injury because it’ll kill his career. That’s when Rachel realizes that Darius isn’t on the show just to rehabilitate his image after yelling at a reporter on camera. Speaking of which, a reporter from Entertainment Weekly is on set, which means Darius has to be extra careful to act like everything’s peachy. “If it was my call,” the doctor says, “I’d duct-tape you to a gurney and haul you to an ambulance right now.” But of course, it’s not his call — it’s Rachel’s world and we’re all just living in it.

Of course, it wouldn’t be UnREAL without a power struggle. Rachel tries to comfort Quinn, who’s just learned that her dad died. But Quinn’s having none of it: “Stop acting like you care about me.” She knows Rachel went behind her back to Gary, the network president, and when Rachel tries to act like she was concerned only for the show Quinn shuts her down: “It was a power grab, at least have the balls to own it.” Drunk and upset, Quinn tells Rachel to stop acting like she’s her friend when she really just wants to take control of the show. “You cannot make this show without me,” Quinn says. “Watch me,” Rachel shoots back.

The women are preparing for a game of powderpuff football, and their uniform of glorified bikinis with shoulder pads puts last week’s obstacle course outfits to shame. (Can we just pause for a moment to acknowledge how awful the term “powderpuff” is? You know it’s derived from the term for a makeup applicator? In the immortal tone of Chandler Bing, could it be any more condescending?)

Anyway. Rachel has to find a way around the fact that Darius can’t actually play with the girls, so she suggests he sit on the sidelines and commentate along with Tiffany. Although Rachel promised to keep the injury secret, Coleman can tell something’s up — these two, already on the same wavelength, bless their little hearts. “Here’s how this works,” he says. “You tell me the truth and then we work together as a team.” That’s precisely what happens: Rachel takes him aside and tells him about Darius’s back, and he calls in a favor from a friend who works in sports medicine.

At the same time, Chet’s managed to convince Quinn to step up her game and take back control of the show. “This show is our baby,” he says. “We gotta fight for it.” When Quinn figures out that a doctor’s been to visit Darius, she schemes to milk the most she can out of his injury: “We get Darius on the field and we take him down.”

Chet + Quinn = yikes. Chet gathers the girls on the field and instructs them to take down Darius — the first girl to tackle him to the ground gets a one-on-one date. A very drunk London manages to lure him away from the commentator’s booth and onto the field, where she charges at him. Quinn watches, pleased, as Darius lies in agony on his back, unable to get up; with an ambulance on the way, she’s got her story.

When Coleman points out that she’s legally culpable, Quinn points out, “All the network knows is that they put you in charge and all of this happened on your watch. Because you’re the showrunner, remember?” But before the ambulance arrives, Rachel manages to get Coleman’s doctor to give Darius an epidural for the pain. As the girls practice their fake crying — “I need snot running down your beautiful faces,” Quinn barks, promising the best cryer gets to ride with Darius to the ER — Darius comes waltzing out in a spiffy suit. “It was just another day at the office,” he insists, throwing a football to demonstrate just how not-hurt he is.

But Romeo can’t stand by and watch his cousin ruin his career, not to mention his body. Darius tells him to go ahead and leave. He does, but not before telling Rachel, “You just poisoned the best thing that either one of us ever had. And for a television show.”

Then it’s Quinn’s turn to make Rachel feel like shit. Quinn had been thiiiis close to letting Chet worm his way back into her heart. “You’re the love of my life,” he declares, right before a squad of cop cars pulls up to the set and arrests him for kidnapping his own son. Quinn tells Rachel she’s done with all the “garbage people” in her life — Rachel included. Her relationship with Quinn at a low point, Rachel goes straight to Coleman. “Are we doing this, Wasserman?” she asks before she leans over and kisses him.

There’s a great little moment on the field while the girls are waiting for Darius to arrive — and, of course, being plied with alcohol from the producers. “Guys,” Ruby chuckles, “I was gonna be a doctor.” In their buzzy state, the women — Ruby included — find this hilarious. The Everlasting set has a funny effect on the people who are quite literally trapped there, and Ruby is no exception. She seeks out Darius sans cameras and opens up to him. “I don’t like what this place is doing to everybody. Hell, I don’t like what it’s doing to me.” Seduced by the promise of a real human being having a real conversation, Darius kisses Ruby. As they make out, though, we see a glimpse of Jay and a cameraman filming the whole scene — even though Ruby swore there were no cameras on her trail.

Like Rachel last season, Ruby is starting to drink the Kool-Aid. Ah, the life-changing power of reality television.