UnREAL Season 3 “Shield” Review

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It is Vegas night in the second instalment of UnREAL’s third season, as the show went deeper into the dangerous underground of reality show dating. Not only was there a fight between the contestants, but tensions were running high among the crew as Rachel fought against the notion that women have to dumb themselves down to meet a man.

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The episode opened on Rachel listening to a tape about the rules she has to follow to continue living her new honest life. Part of Rachel’s new essential honesty routine is to remain celibate and if she were to waiver even once it proves that she is not ready to take the next step. This is a challenge that proves difficult to her over the hour as she shares many personal moments with men and even goes to August’s hammock to break her vow.

Serena, the Suitress for Everlasting’s fifteenth season, is struggling to connect with the men who are suppose to be vying for her heart. A poker game gone wrong has Serena be smart and cunning as she would in the business world, but it ultimately ends with all of the men leaving her. Seeking advice, Chet and Madison get into her head that she has been unlucky with love so far because she doesn’t dumb herself down for men. Serena follows their advice, and the next Vegas event had her saying things like “Can you help me?” and “You are so right” and the results pay off.

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Serena demands a one-on-one date with Billy, a red-blood American race car driver with a hot temper, and Rachel tries to get Owen in there to cause some drama. Owen, who took Serena away from the mansion in “Oath” where they spoke frankly and even shared a kiss, was not allowing himself to be manipulated by Rachel.

Gary, the President of the Network who Madison is screwing, arrived to watch that night’s episode unfold. At the group date, which was good old-fashioned karaoke, Rachel managed to convince Alexi to upstage Billy. Many Russian and American jokes and insults were slung around before the fight broke out which ended with Serena being knocked to the ground. Seeing their chance, Owen and Jasper fight their way to be the first one to help Serena, with Jasper being the winner. Quinn is thrilled at television gold being made but Gary and Dr. Simon are not happy with men fighting each other which could result in a lawsuit, especially with the show skating on thin ice.

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Serena decides to keep Alexi and Billy on for another week, giving them a tire gauge in lieu of an actual good gift. As the night winds down Quinn, who has spent the day learning that Chet has opened up more to his new 24 year old girlfriend, is upset by the notion that she will never settle down with a guy and have real love. She progressively gets drunker and drunker and winds up sleeping with August. Meanwhile Rachel, after having a few intimate moments with August, was prepared to sleep with him and break her vow. However he was nowhere to be seen when she went to see him, as he was in Quinn’s office.

Elsewhere in the episode we had Dr. Simon try to psycho-analyse Rachel and help her realise she needs to try her ‘essential honesty’ on herself instead of blaming others. Rachel doesn’t react well to this and storms away. Madison bonded with Chet’s girlfriend over how they have sugar daddies, which makes Quinn feel worse (especially since Madison was talking about “Old Sads” and was about to use Quinn as her example).

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Constance Zimmer knocks it out of the park with this episode, as she portrays a multi-dimensional Quinn who wants to be good at her job while also just wanting real love.

With Quinn and Rachel both heading straight for bad places so early in the season, there’s the potential for a quick crash and burn coming up. With Everlasting ‘on the bubble’, the two leading ladies will need to channel their frustrations and their grievances and really work together to deliver a ratings bombshell in the coming weeks. Although, it is this kind of planning which has resulted in Quinn being alone at this point in her life. Is there a possibility that she might try and duck out of producing Everlasting, finally giving Rachel the job she wanted in Season 2? And would that be catastrophic for Rachel who wound find herself in the darkest place she will ever be in?

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There are still eight more episodes left in the season with plenty of manipulation, twists and turns yet to come. UnREAL is available to watch on Stan. at 4pm every Tuesday.

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