Season 2, Episode 4 - "Treason"
Shiri Appleby, Constance Zimmer, Craig Bierko, Genevieve Buechner, B.J. Britt, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Josh Kelly, Denee Benton, Kim Matula, Michael Rady
Regular airtime: Mondays, 10pm
US: 27 Jun 2016
Quinn: Stop acting like you care about me.
Rachel: I do care.
Quinn: You have a funny way of showing it. You know, I plucked you from nothing, made you a producer. And now you think you can just do this all on your own? Well, you can’t. ‘Cause the truth is, you need me behind you, guiding you, propping you up so you don’t crack. But you’ll always crack, Rachel. You’re unstable and ungrateful, and you cannot make this show without me.
Rachel: Watch me.
The aptly named “Treason” focuses mainly on the inevitable fallout from Quinn’s (Constance Zimmer) discovery of Rachel’s (Shiri Appleby) betrayal from the end of last week’s episode, “Guerilla’, but it also concentrates on the many ways Everlasting betrays Darius (B.J. Britt). Also of note is Quinn’s increasing isolation from any meaningful relationship, as she’s confronted with news of her estranged father’s death right on the heels of Rachel’s disloyalty and yet another disappointment from Chet (Craig Bierko).
Much of the first season of UnREAL centered on Rachel’s story: her success and eventual public breakdown, and her comeback working on Everlasting. There was a great deal of backstory devoted to her dysfunctional relationship with her therapist mother, as well as her inappropriate work relationships (both still issues). Quinn’s personal life, on the other hand, revolved around her affair with Chet with its many obstacles and ultimately, their break up. We know very little about Quinn’s past; “Treason” begins to offer some insight into her unforgiving nature.
Quinn’s confrontations with both Rachel and Chet this episode are especially aggressive, and frankly, dark. She’s hurting in ways we haven’t seen before, and though discovering that Chet’s kidnapped his own child immediately following his declaration of love to her (when the police storm on set to arrest him) is yet further proof to never trust anyone, it’s obvious that Rachel’s betrayal is most painful. She’s served as a mentor and support system for Rachel—in her own unique Quinn way, of course—and they’ve established a connection that’s firstly built on loyalty, even if it has its complications. When that loyalty is betrayed, Quinn spends much of the episode lashing out at everyone she encounters, but interestingly, she focuses her rage and energy most on Coleman (Michael Rady).
Before Chet’s arrest, he and Quinn were still engaged in their competition to make the best version of Everlasting. Chet’s grand plan revolves around a powderpuff football game with the women in predictably skimpy attire while they’re plied with alcohol. Complicating matters is the reveal that Darius has a serious injury that he hid from Everlasting, and is trying to hide from the public in order to secure a sportscasting deal. The various ways in which Rachel, Quinn, and Chet exploit their knowledge of Darius’ secret injury alternate between using it to create romance with Tiffany (Kim Matula), and endangering his life with a planned tackle. The aftermath of the tackle then becomes Quinn’s attempt to create drama by having the women hysterically reacting to the news of his potential irreversible injury.
Darius’ injury, though very serious, is treated temporarily with medication so that he appears to have no lasting effect from the tackle. Everlasting is now complicit in his lie, as it’s in their best interest to have him remain on the show, but Romeo (Gentry White) is the dissenting opinion. His insistence that Darius have the surgery recommended by his doctor puts the two at odds and ends with Darius firing him, but it also opens up an opportunity for Ruby (Denee Benton) to get closer to Darius. In a well-timed moment, Darius confides in Ruby and she comforts him. Their talk ends in what Darius thinks is a private kiss, but Jay (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) is capturing it on film. It’s unclear whether Ruby helped to orchestrate the moment, but Jay is clearly stepping up to make his choice the frontrunner.
Although some of the contestants are still being introduced, Everlasting‘s dynamic is now well established. What still remains to be seen is how the behind-the-scenes turmoil will continue to bleed into the show, and how the production relationships will ultimately fare. Regardless of the state of Quinn and Rachel’s current relationship, theirs is the central one on UnREAL. While they may now be at odds, their history shows they usually come together in the best interest of the show. How their working relationship could potentially heal their personal relationship is still unknown, and sure to be further complicated by Rachel’s growing relationship with Coleman, but Quinn and Rachel understand one another at a basic level. It’s a bond that little could permanently break, even when it’s tested by the direct actions of one of them.