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Adam’s return will put Rachel at the center of a love square — or pentagon if you want to include Darius (B.J. Britt) in the mix. It doesn’t matter how many guys think they are in love with Rachel or who she’s attached to at any given moment, because the truth is Rachel shouldn’t end up with any of them.
UnReal is purposefully making a mess of Rachel’s (Shiri Appleby) romantic life, and it will only get worse when Season 1’s Everlasting suitor Adam (Freddie Stroma) returns next week to complicate her new relationship.
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Rachel is not starring in a version of the reality show she produces, and finding Rachel’s soulmate is not the purpose of UnReal. The purpose is for Rachel to find a way to be happy with herself. If she ends up with anyone at the end of the show, it will be Quinn (Constance Zimmer). It may not be romantic, but the relationship between Rachel and Quinn is the center of — and the end game of — the show.
Each of the men who Rachel has been romantically involved with up to this point has represented a false escape from the insidious world she lives while in producing Everlasting. In Season 1, Jeremy (Josh Kelly) represented the “normal” creative life, a world that didn’t require talking debutants into humiliating themselves on national television. With Adam, Rachel thought she could have the fairy-tale life promised to the contestants she produces. Season 2’s primary love interest, Coleman (Michael Rady), is actually just a combination of the two — offering Rachel her dream job away from the soul-sucking cycle of Everlasting, where they can be creative equals taking on the world together.
These men have captivated Rachel as a possible escape route, not as a true partner. The relationships deteriorate when Rachel fears they won’t be able to deliver on their promises, or when they realize that helping her escape the show won’t help her escape the mental demons that plague her. None of them have proven capable of helping Rachel come to terms with herself, which is why none of them are right for her.
The only person who sees Rachel for exactly who she is, not a charity project or their misunderstood dream girl, is Quinn. As dysfunctional as their mentor/mentee relationship can be, Quinn is the only person who sees Rachel’s true strengths and doesn’t sugarcoat her flaws. Rachel has some very serious work to do on herself, and Quinn is the only one trying to force her to do it — even if her methods may be controversial.
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Adam returning to UnReal and Everlasting is not a road block to Rachel’s alleged happily ever after with Coleman. It’s to stop her from being able to cover up the fact that she’s unraveling. Does anyone think that Coleman or Adam will stick around when Rachel’s dark side comes out? No, they won’t. Instead, it will be Quinn there who helps Rachel pick up the pieces — and it’s only after Quinn helps Rachel accept herself for who she truly is that Rachel will have a chance at actual happiness.
Until then, it doesn’t matter which guy comes for Rachel. None of them will be the one she needs or the one she should end up with. The perfect ending for UnReal is Quinn and Rachel heading into the sunset to run their own network as equals. Let’s hope they call it Money. Dick. Power.