UnReal is officially back. And it certainly didn't waste any time before getting back down into the manipulative, deeply satisfying muck that is the genius of this show. But before we dig into what happened in the season premiere, let's quickly recap where things landed with the last one: Quinn and Chet called their relationship quits after Quinn found out that Chet got a blowjob from Madison, the super young and sneakily ambitious production assistant-turned-producer; but Quinn did wind up with control of Everlasting, even if it's not quite as autonomous as she would have liked. Rachel and Adam are officially over (although we've been promised that he'll be showing up at some point in season two), and now that Jeremy knows how hard Rachel betrayed him he's basically out for her blood. Quinn and Rachel, on the other hand, are newly recommitted to their friendship and work wife relationship — which brings us to item one from season two, in the aptly-titled episode "War." The women having brand spankin' new matching tattoos on their inner wrists that map to their shared priorities, in this order: money, dick, power. Not exactly classy, but then again that's not generally something these two are concerned about. Next, Quinn and Rachel head to Vegas to pitch their latest Everlasting bachelor, which involves doing a bunch of blow and getting totally wasted in a huge hotel suite with said bachelor's entourage. In case you've missed all the buzz, this season is a BFD because there's a Black man looking for love on their show, pro quarterback Darius Beck. Rachel pushed this one through and is super self-congratulatory about bringing a Black bachelor to network television. "It was ME," she yells as she's getting pounded against a glass window. "We're going to make HISTORY!!" (Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night, girlfriend.) But nothing about this is going to be seamless of course: Quinn and Rachel (who will heretofore be referred to at The Dream Team, a.k.a. TDT) still have to sell the Black bachelor to the network president. Quinn promises major ratings, and also assures major drama via the contestants: They've got a Black Lives Matter activist from Berkeley aboard, along with a "hot racist." TDT promises that the contestants will be "at each other’s throats from night one" — a prediction that mostly comes true, though not without some bumps along the way. Because — the thing is — Chet has done a turnabout (nope, we're not surprised either) and now he wants the show back. He's been on some goofball paleo retreat and believes he has rediscovered the secret to gender harmony, which basically translates to the idea that underneath all this feminist malarky what women really want is for men to take the power reigns back. (Um, sure Chet.) Also of note: He's lost 40 pounds and gotten off drugs. We'll see how long that last part continues.
So, skinny Chet goes to Quinn's office on the day that the new season of Everlasting is supposed to start filming and demands that she give him the show back. She says 'no way,' in so many four-lettered words, and he stalks out of the mansion. Rachel, in the meantime, is having a hard time getting Darius to actually move into the mansion. She's tasked with convincing him of why being on the show will be a good thing for his reputation. The thing is: Darius, like Adam before him, has some public relations ground to regain. During an interview after an NFL game, a white female reporter was interviewing him in the locker room, he offhandedly employed the phrase "bitch please." Well — despite the fact that he wasn't actually calling her a bitch — he got slammed for that one. Now there's some major image rehabilitation to do, thus the Everlasting stint: maybe if America sees him on television every week wooing women, they'll come around to the fact that he's a good guy. At least, that's how Rachel's pitching to him in the back of the car. Same old talented sociopath, that gal. But just when Rachel thinks she's got him on board, Darius disappears. He's been man-napped, by Chet, who is using him as a pawn for negotiations with Quinn about who should be running the season. Quinn takes the bait, but only if Chet agrees to bring Darius back to the mansion for a pool party with the candidates, who are ready to meet their new love interest.
Speaking of the candidates: They are primed for controversy. When the Black Lives Matter activist, Ruby, gets assigned a room with a little Southern gal named Beth-Ann — whose claim to fame is sporting a Confederate flag bikini on Instagram — it's clear that TDT are pitting them against one another for onscreen drama purposes. But when Jay (yep, Jay's back) realizes what's happening, he takes Ruby under his wing and tells her to keep her cool around Beth-Ann as part of a larger strategy to advance her through the dating rounds. Which brings us back the pool party: Rachel convinces Beth-Ann to put on her controversial bikini, hoping that Ruby will take the bait. She doesn't — but when Darius shows up to meet the girls, Beth-Ann goes running back into the house. It turns out she's a huge football fan, and totally idolizes Darius, which also means that TDT have underestimated the sort of drama she's going to stir up on the show. She ends up apologizing to him by... stripping out of her bikini. Ever the gentleman, Darius takes off his own shirt and wraps it around Beth-Ann's shoulders, which pisses Ruby off because she wants him to take a stand on how shitty it was for her to put on the swimsuit in the first place. But perhaps the most diabolical person in this particular episode ends up being Madison, who we get a little bit of a backstory on. Madison, who was made a producer at the end of last season, is tasked with getting an interview with one of the contestants, who TDT refers to as their "Black debutante."
The woman's fiancé passed away the year before, after a car crash in which she was the driver. while Madison is asking her questions, Rachel is coaching her through an ear piece: "Ask her if she killed him," Rachel pushes Madison, who — it turns out — lost her mother relatively recently. Madison is crying uncontrollably, barely able to get the words out. But she manages to get Rachel's question out and really makes the contestant angry — perfect drama for the show. When the interview is over, Madison immediately vomits, and Jeremy immediately tells her that he's sorry that Rachel made her do something so terrible. As it turns out though, Madison loved it: "That was amazing," she tells him. Later, Madison seeks out Rachel, telling her that since Rachel is the new Quinn, Madison wants to be the new Rachel. And thus another generation of pushy producers is born — this time, with pigtail braids.