TV Review: Tonight’s Episode of UnREAL (“Princess”) Shows The Series At Its Best


que-s-est-il-passe-dans-l-episode-5-de-unrealPreston Barta // Features Editor

Yes, unfortunately, it’s about that time. There are only two episodes left on Lifetime’s UnREAL, and we’re hoping by the time we reach the end of this terrific first season we’ll get some answers to some pretty big questions. But, before we get to that, let’s review what happened last week.

Last week proved that things are only getting more complicated for our characters. Quinn (Constance Zimmer) finally realized that she and Chet (Craig Berko) will never be a real and tangible thing. Chet is not the man Quinn hoped he would be after he divorced his wife and asked her to marry him. As an audience, we all knew just how slimy and twisted Chet really is, but Quinn needed to be hurt to realize this– and it took her catching her new fiancé cheating on her with a very young production assistant, Madison (Genevieve Buechner), to validate it.

Meanwhile, Rachel is beginning to see just how messed up her situation really is. She was given the keys to the kingdom, essentially, by being the show runner of next year’s spin-off, Royal Love. The only thing is she must get Adam (Freddie Stroma) on board, and he clearly doesn’t want to sign another year of his life away, especially since he has developed feelings for Rachel. But, at the same time, Jeremy (Josh Kelly) broke it off with Lizzie (Siobhan Williams) and wants a real life for him and Rachel again. But does Rachel really want that life now that she gave into her attraction toward Adam?

But don’t forget about the drama of Everlasting. We are left wondering whom our bachelor star will pick out of the remaining three contestants– Anna (Johanna Braddy), Grace (Nathalie Kelley) and Faith (Breeda Wool). Will Rachel interfere with his decision? Because, it is quite clear that Adam has more heart for Rachel than the women who are after his. And if Rachel’s relationship ruins Everlasting, where will that leave them? She doesn’t want to just date Adam and have that be her life, but she also does have her own feelings for him that could end up getting in the way of production– and, as the ending of last week’s episode showed us, it just might.

Adam (Freddie Stroma) and Faith (Breeda Wool) in UnREAL. Photo courtesy of Lifetime.

Adam (Freddie Stroma) and Faith (Breeda Wool) in UnREAL. Photo courtesy of Lifetime.

Fans are without a shadow of a doubt biting their nails at this point. These last few episodes have kept us on edge, wanting more. And don’t worry– there are no signs of letting up tonight. The stakes are raised even higher, in what could be considered one of the strongest episodes of the series.

One of the more fascinating things about tonight’s episode, besides all the stirring drama on and off the court, is we get to see more of just how rigged and Hollywoodized reality television is. In tonight’s episode, Adam returns to his vineyard for romantic dates with the final three contestants, and we witness how genuine and intimate something as simple as riding on a horse and/or standing in a hot-air balloon is made to look when we watch it from the comfort of our couch at home. It’s really quite an interesting and comical sight that you just have to see for yourself tonight.

Mad props are in order for co-creators Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (as well as tonight’s writer, Stacy Rukeyser, and director, Peter O’Fallon), who all treat the show’s arc with poise, filling tonight’s episode with a multitude of clever camera work and stinging dialogue.

So, tune in tonight to see how Rachel deals with the repercussions of her impulsive decision to sleep with Adam, and see what hand Quinn deals Chet. You will ride along just as the characters do, all the way to an ending that will have gasping and applauding as their situations crash and characters clash.

UnREAL airs tonight at 10pm/9c, only on Lifetime.

Adam and Rachel have something real:

Quinn wants to partner with Rachel:

Quinn advises Madison:

Faith wants to win:

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About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.