UnREAL Season 4 Episode 3, unfortunately, doesn't have much to offer in terms of content.
Sofia and Skye are again thrown around as minor contestants for Jay to play with, never actually contributing to a major plot.
Madison's place on the show as Tommy's pseudo-girlfriend is also confusing and unnecessary.
Madison left for the network one season ago -- she used to be comedic relief, but her cameo appearances only act as a seasons-past tribute.
You hear that? That's the sound of America's panties dropping!Quinn
The Passport to Dance segment was a fun production design tribute, and Alexi's meltdown was at least fun to watch, no matter how irrelevant it really was to the plot as a whole. Its failure simply represented another strike in Jay's diminished place on Everlasting.
Rachel shows her prowess as a fixer and as a manipulator by framing Alexi's Passport to Dance tantrum as a relapse. This is the most impressive and true-to-character part of the episode, as Rachel is demonstrating what she's good at rather than making a mess of herself and others.
Quinn starts to reach her breaking point with Chet when she panics and tells Rachel to ignore his demand to cut August. It's a moment of true vulnerability and props to Constance Zimmer for pulling it off.
Who needs my ancient, autism-causing sperm? August is like what the Greeks had in mind when they created the Greek gods.Chet
Because of the ups and down, Quinn and Chet still love each other. But no matter how much Quinn and Chet have been through, Rachel is right -- Quinn isn't cut out to be a mother. Somewhere deep inside, Quinn sees that, too.
Candy also shows that she's more than just a Miami stripper -- not to say that UnREAL is making any profound commentary. However, the exchange between Candy and Rachel that leads to Candy getting a phone is a fascinating conversation.
The exchange reveals Candy's wit and potentially a head-to-head between two clever, cunning women on the show. Candy's place with August may even lead to an intense face-off with Rachel.
Even though Hulu is leaning into the concept of Rachel as "the suitress" -- or at least getting her pick of men to sleep with -- the show is spinning Rachel into someone she never was in past seasons.
So, August again? Now we know where all those hammocks came from. Ordered straight from the Woke White Dude Superstore.August
August's rejection of Rachel isn't particularly mournful, as Rachel's desperate attempts to get back with August now seem pitiful rather than earnest. As she throws herself as August again and again, her behavior completely subverts her supposed feminist ideals.
Yes, she slept with men for the sake of the show, but she also did out of a genuine belief in a chance for love. Now, Rachel's attempts with August are rushed and not believable. If the audience no longer sees potential in August, why should people care about his relationship with Rachel?
With August gone, it's just up to time to see when Tommy and Rachel get together.
This leads us to UnREAL Season 4 Episode 4, when everything blows up one after another, leading Rachel down a long road to ruin. Early on in the episode, she proves her loyalty to Quinn by covering for her in front of Fiona, yet she still lashes out.
Quinn doesn't deserve this treatment, but Rachel's cockiness has gotten the best of her. She continues this mean streak when she pretends to support Quinn's pregnancy, even though she doesn't.
Quinn: And the fact that one of your jizz shots ended up in my vagina instead of on some Everlasting bimbo's face or in one of your moisture-wicking hiking socks means shit to me. This is Chet's baby and always will be.
August: You really think that it's that simple?
Quinn: I do. And if you're having trouble grasping the concept, I have an army of lawyers who will make it clear for you.
One move that shows how the show has diminished in quality is the move that Rachel makes to rig Alexi's car. Rachel's signature moves are about emotional and verbal humiliation for the camera, not hit jobs.
It's completely understandable if Rachel is beginning to become extremely unlikeable. She's no longer a relatable anti-hero, her traumatic past with sexual assault and her parents troubling her -- she's simply a bad person.
The image of Alexi howling in pain is one that's hard to forget, yet Rachel is simply gleeful. It's eerie to see that Tommy is just as proud and impressed, making moves of his own to get on Rachel's level of manipulation.
It's even more telling when even Quinn doesn't approve of Rachel's antics. UnREAL loses its charm when Rachel and Quinn aren't on the same page -- at least for long periods of time.
But now, Rachel is just destructive for no apparent reason. There's no mention of her past or any other relevant information to inform her motivations. Rachel wants control, and it isn't for the right reasons.
Rachel: Tommy and I were tap dancing and pulling shit out of our asses, and you're what? You're trying on veils?
Quinn: Well, if you must know, I was splayed out in stirrups, listening to my gynecologist harangue me about what a friggin' miracle it is that anything could actually grow in my crypt-keeper womb.
Quinn and Rachel are no longer grappling against misogynistic sexual assaulter and head of the network Gary, nor are they going against Chet's power or the male-dominated gaze of media.
Shiri Appleby plays Rachel with such subtlety that over three and a half season, it's easy for the viewer to see when Rachel is plotting -- but the characters don't know. UnREAL has worked off of terrific dramatic irony, and it has served the series well.
So when Rachel seductively charms Jack out of desperation and need for attention, it's a little bit heartbreaking to see that Rachel feels the need to do this. Rachel begins to realize that hope for a romance is almost lost -- so she resorts to other measures.
Hulu is framing Rachel's dramatic, violent downfall as preparation for the series to go out with a bang, but even Shiri Appleby stated that she didn't approve of Rachel's new girl-on-girl storyline.
Will Quinn and Rachel make up, or will Rachel continue with Tommy? Let us know in the comments below!
Olivia Popp was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the site in September 2018.