The fourth and final season of UnREAL was filmed a while back, right after the delayed third season, and then dumped sort of unceremoniously on Hulu just months after the third season aired on Lifetime. Despite the truncated ending of the show, the last season is pretty enjoyable, if notably darker and even more twisted than usual.
Rachel (Shiri Appleby) is still reeling from being told that she should be alone forever and comes back to Everlasting with a new blonde hairdo and ready to be the very best (re: worst) version of producer she can be, for a season that’s going to be about all stars and bringing in past contestants. The idea is pretty decent, since the show can only go through so many iterations of The Bachelor, and an all star season seems a good one to go out on. There’s a new male producer named Tommy, who wants to be Rachel’s partner in crime, but Rachel is set on finding herself a husband from the returning contestants in order to prove everyone wrong.
Meanwhile Quinn and Chet are back together, but drama still ensues as Quinn finds herself pregnant from her one night stand with August, but despite the soap opera-ness of it all, Quinn and Chet are actually pretty stable this season, funnily enough. I think the show decided they liked Craig Bierko’s Chet too much to make him the sleaze he was at the beginning, so now he’s basically 100% committed to Quinn and apparently the perfect partner for her after all. But that stuff is a nice break from the darkness that engulfs Rachel this season, who throws herself into her evil side as she doesn’t even bother to try helping the contestants anymore and goes so far as to engineer a near-rape. It’s a shocking storyline that’s meant to provoke but perhaps goes too far, as there’s really no way to redeem or root for Rachel at ALL after she does something so horrible.
The all star season of Everlasting is pretty entertaining, as any pretense of romance is jettisoned for shock value and stupid reality TV stunts, with all the contestants in on the game and knowing how to maximize their airtime. I think I preferred the third season to this one, but any loose ends involving all of the main characters- Rachel, Quinn, Jay, Madison and Chet, are pretty much wrapped up in an untidy little bow, and even the Everlasting set gets a big dramatic sendoff in the series finale. All in all, I’m glad the show was at least able to go out on its own terms, even if the places it took the characters (really just Rachel, as Quinn, believe it or not, is often the most sympathetic character this season) was too morally questionable to be fun anymore at some points in these eight episodes. But all the drama, twists and all around nuttiness in the last couple of episodes kind of make up for the unpleasantness in the middle. It was never boring, that’s for sure.