UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8 Review: Recurrent

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, UnREAL Fanatics, but by now you must know that what we hoped wouldn’t happen has indeed occurred. It is officially NOT a wrap on Rachel’s rape storyline. 

What began as a juicy character-reveal during Season 2, has become, on UnREAL Season 3, a slimy story beast that will not die. In fact, it is very much alive. 

Like an octopus, Rachel's sexual assault storyline has wrapped its arms around the characters we love and also don’t care about at all -- from Rachel and Quinn to the entire Goldberg family. It’s taken hold of Dr. Simon, the cast, the crew, and of course, it's sucking (what's left of) the life out of Jeremy. 

Serena gets intimate with final four - UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8

I am not, by any means, suggesting Rachel’s abuse isn’t heartbreaking and essential to talk about, while also being one of a bazillion tales of women taken advantage of by men in positions of power.

 I know how vital it is to be some version of a feminist. To be a woman who not only supports but also raises up other women. For we are strongest when we stand together. I’ll even admit to #MeToo. Of course, #MeToo.

You'd be hard-pressed to find many women who came up in the entertainment industry who can't say #MeToo, aside from the horrific Supervising Producer I mentioned in my UnREAL Season 3 Episode 7 Review.

This chapter of the series is titled, "Recurrent," so I get that we're seeing the same ole crazy behavior over and over again ... and again... and AGAIN. 

But, come on already, enough with Rachel’s rape. 

Rachel confronts her mother - UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8

Especially considering on UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8Rachel’s depraved mother, Olive, is back taunting Rachel again, which means she’s taunting us too. 

UnREAL, will you PLEASE give us a break with Rachel’s freaking parents already? I, for one, am willing to buy Quinn as Rachel’s motherly figure if you’ll just stop shoving Mrs. Goldberg and her bummed-out husband down our throats. 

Rachel’s parents are, as we say in The Biz, THE PITS.

As soon as RG took her dad off set and checked him into treatment, most of us knew this day was coming -- even if Dr. Simon’s hug suggested it would all be O.K. 

Related: UnREAL Season 3 Episode 6 Review: Transference 

So when Rachel goes to Her parent's house to get an apology from her mom, Olive, let's just say it's NEXT LEVEL wishful thinking.

Olive: It’s the same thing over and over again since you were a little girl. You really are kind of a mess. You think you’re so special.
Rachel: Will you just stop? i’m not your patient anymore. I’m not even your child. I’m done.

When Rachel storms out of her parent's house without even seeing her father, but swears she'll never be back, I have two thoughts.


 2. Talk about a poorly spent $50 grand. Was Rachel’s check for dad’s treatment non-refundable or what?

And speaking of events from the past haunting us in the present ...

Chet asks Quinn to be his character witness - UnREAL Season 3 Episode 7

Remember on UnREAL Season 3 Episode 7, how Chet went from begging Quinn to vouch for his character as a father to alleging Quinn has no moral compass when it comes to kids?

Chet: You crossed a line.
Quinn: Suddenly there’s a line?

So Quinn scared the crap out of a little girl, made her pee her pants, and almost got her killed -- does that make her a monster? (Well, yeah, pretty much.) 

When Chet told Quinn she didn't understand how wrong she was, because she's not a mother … well, there went her agreement to testify on Chet’s behalf.

 But was that really enough to make Chet even consider taking Gary up on his offer to trade Chet an Emmy in exchange for Quinn’s head? To flat out DO HER DIRTY?

After everything the duo has been through as confidants, co-producers, co-conspirators, and even lovers? Not to mention how they joined forces to take the network bully DOWN using his own incriminating emails against him.

Related: UnREAL Season 3 Episode 5 Review: Gestalt

The idea that Chet, after failing miserably to guess Quinn’s computer password, would go so far as to manipulate Madison and put the show in jeopardy, just to lure Quinn back to set is preposterous, no? 

Mess with Madison -- maybe. Put the show in jeopardy -- wouldn't be the first time. But truly endanger Quinn’s livelihood -- her empire? Sorry UnREAL, I just don’t buy it.

Related: Get True Crime Files by ID via Prime Video Channels for Over 1,000 Real-life Mystery & Suspense Shows!

Sure, when Chet sees the house he originally designed for both he and Quinn, erected and re-framed for a party of one, he became nostalgic. I’m sure he regretted his dumbass decision to double-cross Quinn, but by then, of course, it's too late.

Imagine how much it hurt when Quinn revealed her computer password to be, simply,"Kiddo," Chet's pet name for her.

Don't forget, we're still filming a television show here. But at the start of this new shoot day on Everlasting, Rachel doesn't exactly have her head in the game.

After she flips out over her psycho mother's voicemail, Dr. Simon magically flies in, coming to her rescue at the exact second Rachel needs him. He's like a superhero!

Or a guy with a spy cam.

Dr. Simon: Rachel, you OK?
Rachel: You’re the shrink, you tell me.

I’m the first to admit I had serious concerns ever since Rachel and Dr. Simon shared that hug. I wondered if the analyst might be catching unethical feelings for his patient. But now that we’ve seen Rachel come onto the good doctor and watched him reject her in return, the whole secret camera thing feels a little less gross. *

* I said a little.

And how's Serena doing?

Surprise, surprise, Little Miss Sour Puss is finally happy with her final four and has a real smile on her face. 

Serena in white fur  - UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8

(Hope you knew better than to get used to it.) 

During the group date walk-through of Serena’s past in pictures, when her ex-boyfriend, George, pops up, he's obviously a super-sore subject. But when the guys rally around the Suitress, suggesting it's George’s loss and their gain, Serena is relieved. Though she's not quite in the clear.

Meanwhile, Quinn waking up nowhere near set beside a very naked, very HOT hunk at her new bestie, Fiona’s phat pad made me momentarily forgive the shady lesbian for being such a thorn in our side. But what is Fiona’s problem?

Does Fiona just not like Chet and Rachel or is there more to her story?

Fiona: Chet, you put on pants this morning.How refreshing.
Chet: You tucked your dick in to yours. How nice.
Fiona:Jealous it's bigger?
Chet: Touche!

It seems like the feeling is mutual. But WHY is this Fiona chick cock-blocking Quinn’s life on set? For Quinn, that is synonymous with life, period. 

The second Chet manipulates Madison into producing a dramatic "nuclear explosion" to get Quinn back on set, there’s no question as to what she’s going to do with her ass-backwards story instincts. 

SO OBVIOUS! George is a-comin!

Related: Get Showtime via Prime Video Channels for Award-Winning Original Series, Hit Movies, Sports & More!

When George does indeed show up, he not only surprises the Suitress and everyone else on set, he calls Serena pathetic and makes her look a bit cuckoo for cocoa puffs. 

It’s FAIRLY fascinating to see how each suitor reacts to Georges' bullying.

Owen just worries Serena isn’t over George.

August understands George is in the past and still likes Serena.

Alexi generalizes.

Russian women, American women, all crazy.


Jasper has a less supportive take. 

Jasper: George seemed rational and Serena seemed a bit…
Rachel: What?
Jasper: Well, she’s kind of a mess, no?

 Hey, isn’t that exactly what Rachel’s mom said to her earlier?

That’s gonna cost ya, Jasper, you jerk-off.

Meanwhile, Quinn is having a busy week, what with hiding out at Fiona's one minute, and showing Chet her redesigned dream house the next, it's a miracle she makes it back to set in time to do damage control.

After the Suitress melts down in front of her final four, Quinn flexes her showrunner muscle for good versus (pee in your pants kind of) evil.

Quinn and Rachel calm Serena - UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8

Screw George and screw every other man who wants us to be perfect little princesses who’ve never had their period, or taken a dump, or ever even looked at another man. Everyone is damaged. We are gonna turn this around. Change the conversation.


Just like that, we are reminded exactly where and from whom Rachel learned how to take lemons and make lemonade. 

Walking into elimination, we can see how incredibly far Serena’s come with her wardrobe.

From that the slutty sequined mermaid dress she rejected on UnREAL Season 3 Episode 1, but then wore to dummy herself down/slut herself up for the next ceremony -- to how she looks now stepping up to her 8th Elimination.

She's finally comfortable in her own skin and in her cute, yet sophisticated dress. Finally.

Serena at Elimination  - UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8

After Alexi lets Jay down THE OPPOSITE OF easy, it's still a bit heartbreaking when Jay sells Alexi down the river. 

Though if karma's a bitch, then so is Rachel Goldberg, especially when she's mounting your man.

Related: UnREAL Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Oath

One element that’s been consistent all season, of which I am truly appreciative: August’s obsession with being as naked as possible whenever possible.

In fact, when Serena finds August by the hot tub to thank him for his kindness, it just so happens that he’s taking off his shirt. Can you blame Serena for letting him make love to her?

I can’t. 

I also can’t help but flashback to August slamming Quinn BUTT NAKED on her desk not too long ago. It seems like August’s whole shirtless thing really gets it done.

Related: UnREAL Season 3 Episode 2 Review: Shield

Rachel talks to Dr. Simon - UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8

Speaking of f being done ... I loved how after Dr. Simon thwarted off Rachel’s advances, she announced, " I'm done talking," and set out to prove it.

Rachel rides Alexi - UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8

Watching her ride Alexi was almost as much of a relief for me as it had to be for Rachel.

After all, we've endured nearly an entire season of watching our beloved, once super-sexual Rachel Goldberg surrounded by a buffet of shirtless suitors -- without even taking a taste. Now, finally, after suffering for months in celibate sexual silence, vintage Rachel Goldberg is back. 

And guess what she brought with her?

Some of that old school UnREAL magic. 

If you're willing to embrace the soap opera vibe I've come to expect from UNREAL, then Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman’s reaction to seeing Rachel ride his secret lover -- single tear and all -- could be Emmy award winning.

Jay's promo tear  - UnREAL Season 3 Episode 8

Or at the very least, worth a nomination. 

As we gear up for the final two episodes of the season, here's hoping there's a shortage of repeat storylines and an excess of new (somewhat believable) drama that is classically UnREAL.  

And then there were three. 

Who’s it gonna be? 

Related: Get Great Selection of New & Classic Movies with the Lifetime Movie Club via Prime Video Channels!

Don't forget, with only one episode to go before the season finale, you can watch UnREAL online to catch up on any episodes you missed.

Recurrent Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

Rebecca Eisen was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2018.

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