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S02.E05: Infiltration

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I don't think it was just Ruby's "I can help you be better" speech that caused Darius to dump her. It was also what her father said to him about being "just a quarterback." Ruby is in her father's image, so Darius had reason to wonder if he would ever be more than just a project for wokeness.

I'm truly baffled by Jay this season. Has he ever watched the show? Did he really think he could craft a true love black power couple? On Everlasting?

Quinn chose the right dress. Constance looked great.

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Here's another thing Quinn knows: that "perfect life" that Rachel mocks her for not having, is a life that neither Rachel or Quinn wants. Quinn is much more self-aware than self-deluding Rachel, and she knows Rachel better than she (Rachel) knows herself. She is also a lot more honest.

I have to disagree. I think Quinn would be happy with that life. Maybe not a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs but a stable relationship, marriage, romance, etc.? Sure. I'm not sure if there would be children but I can at least see some pets. She just made the mistake of falling for Chet who can't give her that. On the other hand, from what we've seen on the show, Rachel is far too broken for that. I want her to be happy (or at least not involved in a relationship) because they all feel like they have expiration dates and then we get mopey Rachel which is terrible. Shiri is so good and yet they keep making her play pathetic and wounded which is why I'm dreading next week a little. It just comes across so flat when she can both Rachel and Shiri can be so much more dynamic. Rachel in a relationship is only a few steps away from Rachel curled up in a ball staring at the wall after not showering for 3 days. But I still think Rachel's mockery is completely justified. The fact that Coleman won't be her happily ever after doesn't change the fact that Quinn wasn't speaking from a place of supportiveness (and if she was, they played that scene terribly). 

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I agree with Aradia.  I thought it was demonstrated pretty clearly in season one that Quinn had spent a good chunk of her adulthood longing for that perfect life, but never got it because she fell in love with a married man who was in no hurry to leave his wife.   And yes, I'm pretty sure that perfect life she envisioned even included kids, because both Chet and Quinn had brief moments last season when they considered having a child with one another.  Quinn's not the way she is because she's more honest with herself about what she wants than Rachel is.  Quinn's the way she is because she's been exactly where Rachel is right now (though she wasn't as emotionally unstable as Rachel obviously) and wasted almost a decade of her life chasing a dream that never came into fruition.  And that dream was having both a really successful TV career in which she was treated professionally as an equal partner with Chet and one where she and Chet lived happily ever after together.    And I think that dream falling apart has made her even more bitter and cynical than she likely was before she met Chet.

I think Quinn constant interfering with Rachel's love life is half good intentions and half misery loves company.  I do think her warning about Coleman was legit because there likely are a lot of parallels between the Rachel-Coleman relationship and the early years of Chet and Quinn, but I also think Quinn would still try to tear Rachel down even if she were in a healthy relationship (assuming Rachel ever got to the place where she could have one obviously).  Rachel's instability is useful to Quinn because it's a means of controlling her.  She does not want Rachel to get better, nor does she want to be replaced in Rachel's life by someone who might become a more supportive and stabilizing influence on Rachel.  Quinn doesn't want her to outgrow her and move on to other things.  I think we see that in the way Quinn is constantly either tearing Rachel down and telling her what a hopeless mess she is or telling Rachel that there's nothing wrong with her and that she doesn't need help to get better.

Edited by xqueenfrostine
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8 hours ago, FrancesL said:

in most of these reality contests, the guy rarely picks the right woman

The guy is choosing from a preselected group in the first place. It's not about what he wants but what story the show wants to tell that season. There's a reason the final relationship rarely lasts beyond filming.

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What the hell happened to this show?  When I wasn't giving myself a headache rolling my eyes at the over the top antics, I was scrolling through my phone out of boredom.   Its like they start to get someplace interesting and then drop it or change it up in the middle.  I think I'm out.

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12 hours ago, LotusFlower said:

No - same conversation.  It was the talk they had after the confrontation with her dad, right before the elimination ceremony.  She said that her father was an ass, but he wasn't totally wrong....she feels that she was put on this earth to make a difference, to be heard, and then he interjects: "and not to fall for a dumb-ass football player."  She told him he had potential to be something more.

Darius and Ruby had a conversation before the Dad-Disruption, when it looked like he was thinking about telling her about the injury.  He's the one who opened the door to "more than a football player". 

 

In in a way, I'm a tiny bit glad that Ruby is out. Having a black "Suitor" pick a black woman seems a bit too easy for me.  (A black "Suitorette" picking a white guy would make all the jaws drop!). But I think he deserves Beth-Ann or the owner's daughter at this point.

Edited by jhlipton
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22 hours ago, Marsupial said:

Hmm, did they really though? Darius is very much playing his own game on this show and they had, what, two weeks together and a couple of hours of conversation? Did he really develop a deep bond with her? I don't see that. I think Darius has been playing all of the contestants and the show itself. If Ruby really thought that there was love there, I can buy it; but I feel sorry for her. She was duped, by Darius or the show or her own romantic longings. Anybody who expects to find love in that kind of setting is deluding themselves, but I can also see how it would be easy to think you had developed real feellings in that weird, closed environment. I think once Ruby is out in the light of day she will breathe a sigh of relief that she got away from that madness.

Darius has shown her more regard than the other contestants.  Even when he was supposed to pick Yael for a date, even when he could have picked the wifey that Quinn is pushing, he chose Ruby.  There was really no other reason to pick Ruby other than he liked her.  If he just wanted to pick a black contestant, he could have chosen Chantal, who is the "black wifey."  Ruby was the choice that no one expected or wanted.  They have had serious and sincere conversations, with Darius sharing personal details about himself.  I don't think he has done so with any of the other contestants.  And he was perfectly fine when Ruby pushed him away at first, even though he was trying to kiss her.  Not that he had any choice, but he wasn't salty, he was happy to just sit around and talk to her and be with her.  So, to me it seems like a bond.

And at the very least, he knew that Ruby developed deep feelings for him, which should have kept a more decent human being from being an asshole towards her.  

 

19 hours ago, LotusFlower said:

No - same conversation.  It was the talk they had after the confrontation with her dad, right before the elimination ceremony.  She said that her father was an ass, but he wasn't totally wrong....she feels that she was put on this earth to make a difference, to be heard, and then he interjects: "and not to fall for a dumb-ass football player."  She told him he had potential to be something more, and when she asked him if that's what he wanted, he kind of winced.  It's possible they talked about the same subject earlier, but this was the gist of the pre-rose ceremony discussion, as it set up her elimination.

I remember them laying on the bed and Darius asks her if she would like him if he wasn't a FB player, and she said she would like him even more.  And he mentions that he is tired of being everyone's puppet, because he is more than just a FB player.

The "dumb ass football player" line and the "I can teach you to be more" line happened later as far as I remember.

6 hours ago, jhlipton said:

Darius and Ruby had a conversation before the Dad-Disruption, when it looked like he was thinking about telling her about the injury.  He's the one who opened the door to "more than a football player". 

 

In in a way, I'm a tiny bit glad that Ruby is out. Having a black "Suitor" pick a black woman seems a bit too easy for me.  (A black "Suitorette" picking a white guy would make all the jaws drop!). But I think he deserves Beth-Ann or the owner's daughter at this point.

yeah, this is how I remember it.

I'll be happy Ruby is out if Coleman is doing the expose with those glasses.  I really do like that idea....I hope that is what they are doing.

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 (A black "Suitorette" picking a white guy would make all the jaws drop!)

I really don't think it would. There is a whole complicated conversation to be had about this but suffice it to say white man with woman of color is more of the norm than the reverse. And especially if she's doing the choosing, there is the implication that the white guy would be the mostly highly prized.

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I really liked this episode. Although I still think Season 1 was stronger (so far) as a whole, this is the first ep of this season that really had me riveted. As deeply damaged and narcissistic as Quinn is, she does care about Rachel. She can't help herself. I think someone upthread said something along the lines of Quinn both caring for Rachel and wanting to sabotage her, and I think that's spot on. 

And on a shallow note, Quinn (Constance Zimmer) looked STUNNING in that black and gold dress. Holy wow!

And on a not-shallow note:

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I really don't think it would. There is a whole complicated conversation to be had about this but suffice it to say white man with woman of color is more of the norm than the reverse.

I promise I'm not trying to be argumentative and I know we're veering off topic, but this is patently untrue. And there's social science research to back it up. 

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I think Quinn would be happy with that life. Maybe not a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs but a stable relationship, marriage, romance, etc.? Sure. I'm not sure if there would be children but I can at least see some pets. She just made the mistake of falling for Chet who can't give her that.

Yes, I think you're right about that (Quinn is most definitely a cat person), and I agree that her pain over losing Chet, and discovering what a worm he was deep down, really did break her heart and make her  more cynical and bitter. But I still hold out hope for her and Chet so I think (pray?) Quinn will get her happy ending.

I'm surprised Quinn keeps Madison around, unless it's to have her in her sights so she can keep tormenting her. If it were me I would have fired her and torched her career.

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39 minutes ago, Marsupial said:

Yes, I think you're right about that (Quinn is most definitely a cat person), and I agree that her pain over losing Chet, and discovering what a worm he was deep down, really did break her heart and make her  more cynical and bitter. But I still hold out hope for her and Chet so I think (pray?) Quinn will get her happy ending.

I'm surprised Quinn keeps Madison around, unless it's to have her in her sights so she can keep tormenting her. If it were me I would have fired her and torched her career.

There has to be some fear of a lawsuit from Madison if they were all being babies about letting Jeremy go.

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On July 6, 2016 at 2:45 AM, Fable said:

Instead of UnReal, I now dub this UnBelievable.  Last season it felt like we were getting a taste of what really goes on in reality TV, but this season, things seem too over the top, and I can’t buy most of what they are selling.  I’m sure there are a lot of shenanigans that go on behinds the scenes in The Bachelor or other shows of the same ilk, but now it seems like they are really pushing the envelope.  Come on, really?!!!... trying to paralyze your suitor or filming people having sex and bringing in the father to come see it….ridiculous!   Add to that, unlike last season, I barely know who the contestants are and really don’t care about them.  This season seems like it is all about the show runners and the problems they create for themselves, and frankly, I am finding it boring. 

And don't forget locking a woman in a closet, pressuring her to talk about foster care and abuse on camera, bringing in an actress to pose as her mother and then accuse her of lying on national television. Sounds like a good way to send somebody over the edge. But who cares about that, right? As long as Quinn's dick gets hard. 

I agree that the coolest thing about last season was that it seemed like it really could be what's happening behind the scenes of The Bachelor. This season is a series of lawsuits if it were real life.

Edited by Nowhere
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On July 5, 2016 at 4:27 PM, RCharter said:

She told him once...after her father caught them having sex and told her he was ashamed of her.

I do think the circumstances matter, because there was never any other time, even when they were having their private conversation where she gave any indication that he wasn't good enough for her.  So, I think it was simply a knee-jerk reaction from the confrontation with her father.

And even if he felt like she should be let go, he could have done it in a million less harmful/painful ways.  Instead he chose to blindside her on national TV, right after it all went down.  Even if she expected too much from him -- she wasn't mean or nasty about it, she wasn't malicious, she came from a good place and had good intentions, even if they were misplaced.

But blindsiding her on national TV?  That is mean spirited IMO.

And it was all designed to make her look bad....like he dumped her because she slept with him too fast and declared her love.  The same locker room buddies he didn't want to upset by not letting her go for wearing that tee-shirt.  They will not have heard the conversation about how she just wanted him to do more for the community.  Because those locker room buddies would probably give him shit for dumping her for that reason.

He could have kept her for a few more weeks and in that time, he could have found another quiet time to tell her that he didn't think it would work out.  They have had time together without a camera.  That would have spared her the humiliation of being dumped after being caught sleeping with Darius by her father, and the nation.  He could have even let her win, and allowed the relationship to naturally die (how many of these relationships really survive long term)

The show(Quinn) filmed them in the private suite with secret cameras.  I don't see how he would be believie that they would speak in private.     Besides, he knows he needs to produce a good show.  He already knew the show didn't want him to pick Ruby.  They would have manipulated her out anyway.  But the show might bring her back for drama.  She might return because she dismissed in a blindside.  I still like her for Darius but they would need to fight and make up to create a true romantic ending.

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  IMHO, The biggest shock would be a super rich, tall, buff, handsome white guy picking the black woman!

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6 hours ago, Kira53 said:

  IMHO, The biggest shock would be a super rich, tall, buff, handsome white guy picking the black woman!

Yep.  Totally agree.  Even more shocking if she failed the paper bag test

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I'm having a hard time believing that the men on this show (Adam, Jeremy & Coleman) would fall in love with an unkempt, unshowered and damaged women like Rachel

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I just watched the episode and rushed up here to say something, but now I'm depressed.  

ETA:  so we don't have a race thread for UnREAL (we need a gender and race thread!), so I'll just leave my thoughts here...

I'm unable to look at the show outside of the context of what's happening right now in real life.  Ruby being eliminated physically HURT.  I understood Darius' reasoning, but in light of everything happening, a black man with so much power choosing to abdicate on helping the community the way Ruby was encouraging him to HURT.  I totally understood that Darius felt like he'd never be good enough (A guy I loved dumped me for the same reason), but in this climate - how can you NOT want to speak out and let your voice be heard?  The dynamics with Ruby, her dad and Darius were painful to watch - so many similarities to my life growing up.  

I totally understood Darius feeling slighted by her dad's comments and responding with "money" because he comes from a background where money is what matters, but Ruby (like me) came from a background where education, social justice and uplifting the community matters and therein lies the clash.

What's hard is that I've seen this play out with several black women and black men.  Some men don't seem to want or be able to live up to what they SHOULD be doing to uplift the community and some of our black professional players are the WORST offenders.  And I can't tell you how many times the "difficult" black woman is dumped in favor of a compliant woman - even a white woman.  The stereotypes about black and white women reinforce this - go google black women and dating and you'll see essay after essay (some from black men) about why we aren't good enough because <insert difficult adjective here>.  Darius basically dumped Ruby because she was asking him to be "better" and "more".  That's not necessarily wrong - given our community.  And Yael being allowed to stay after being outed like that in contrast to Ruby really rankles.  

Plus Ruby wasn't saying Darius wasn't good enough - she was imploring him to contribute to the community.  That has a VERY DIFFERENT connotation and racial context is important in the assertion that "Oh, Ruby was saying he wasn't good enough for her!" - because that ignores some very real realities that are happening right now in our communities.  Not speaking out seems ... like you are abandoning said community.  What good is making money for your nieces and nephews if they are gunned down unlawfully at the next traffic stop?

It feels like saying Ruby was mean to him by saying he wasn't good enough for her is reductive because it ignores the racial context that both Ruby and Darius live in.

This show touched on a deep issue within our community and I don't even think it realizes what it tapped into - because it wasn't deep enough to be satisfying.  It just left me upset and sick to my stomach.  And hopeless.

Someone above mentioned that they wished they had done more with Ruby and Darius trying to talk more about this and Darius speaking about how he used his fame and money in other ways to speak out and help the community and Ruby could have further spoken about why one is helping the community and the other is actual activism and how they are DIFFERENT.  What a missed opportunity.  Ruby was my favorite and now she's gone.  The other contestants - even tiffany - feel like empty vessels and superficial and privileged nothings with no real ties to reality.  Why root for ANY of them?  What do they even stand for?  Ruby was the only one of any real substance who stood for something real.  The rest are just assorted barbies.

I get it that Darius felt he couldn't be what Ruby was ultimately looking for and he did what he did to protect her.  But I'm still mad because we NEED the Darius' of the world to BE WHAT RUBY NEEDED because that's what our communities need.

I hate Quinn now and Rachel is boring.  All I had was Ruby and Darius.  Ugh.  It was beautiful while it lasted.

 

This review of episode 5 also sums up some of my feelings about this episode:

http://www.vulture.com/2016/07/unreal-recap-season-2-episode-5.html

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Darius eliminates Ruby because he feels like he wouldn't be good enough for her after hearing everything Carter says. Ruby wants to push him to to live up to his potential in ways none of the other women will. I get his thinking, although I don't agree with it. How many times have you seen this sort of dynamic play out in real life? I've seen many friends give up on great relationships early on because it requires them to grow up and not rest on their laurels. Keep in mind that merely moments earlier, Darius was cradling Ruby as she cried in the aftermath of her father's appearance. He pretty much ruins her life by callously eliminating her that same night. It's easier for him to choose one of the other girls, but it's also a lot less worthwhile.

Honestly, I'm heartbroken and pissed off about this decision. Eliminating Ruby is an easy out for UnREAL. It's a completely expected decision. The show touched on racial politics, but is it really grappling with them? By taking Ruby out of the game, are they critiquing the ways black women (those that don't look like Chantal especially) are devalued, or does this inadvertently support that reading? UnREAL shortchanges a story line ripe for deeper exploration to gain short-term drama. Maybe Ruby will come back. Maybe Darius will realize his mistake. Maybe the show will say something new and even revolutionary about blackness. Until then, the racial dynamics the series reckons with feel half-hearted.

Edited by phoenics
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Loved your entire post, phoenics. I don't have time to respond now, but I certainly will. 

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The more I think about it the more I honestly don't believe Ruby is gone.  Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I don't believe that this is her last episode.  Considering how much she was built up as a character compared to the rest of the contestants who are all either lightly sketched or just glorified extras, I just don't see them writing her out half way through the show. Ruby's practically this season's Faith, who the show kept on for much longer than really made sense given the revelation that she was gay.  I think she'll be back, and maybe even back before the finale.

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@phoenics -- there is a conversation to be had about the dilemma that faces black women.  If you don't stand up for yourself, you get stepped on.  If you do stand up for yourself, you automatically become the stereotypical "angry black girl."

As for those black men writing essays.....how many eye rolls can I insert in one place?  There are so many black men out there willing to put down black women and then get mad when black women are no longer interested in dating them.  And never mind that the same behavior they deride from black women is the same behavior they will accept from white women because they are so busy putting white women on these pedestals.

I don't even know if I would be flattered if I were these white women, because very little of the attraction has to do with personality, but has so much to do with perceived social status.

I'm not saying its all black men, but the ones willing to point the fingers and blame black women, are often the ones who earn my biggest eye rolls.

Edited by RCharter
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On 7/6/2016 at 10:54 AM, romantic idiot said:

For the first time I was bored. And it's because Rachel is lost.

Re: Ruby - she's been judging Darius from the beginning. Her introduction to him was her telling him off, and even in this episode you can see her making eyes at him, and D constantly apologising to her for something the show cooked up, not him. That's their whole dynamic - her being the superior black woman - and D finally realised that that's not something he wanted long term. In terms of breaking the news, if we didn't protest Faith getting blindsided last year, I don't see why Ruby should get special treatment. 

I had to respond to this because it's been bothering me.  Where you saw superiority, I saw a black woman waiting for Darius to stand up and wake up.  It's not about superiority - it's about wanting to see someone live up to what the community expects of them... at least that's how I saw it.  I think Ruby saw flashes of that man and liked that man - but Darius wasn't sure he was ready to be that man (even though - like I said in my other post - he really NEEDS to be that man).  I really wish he would be that man.

I've seen so many brothas choose the non-activist (these days it's less activism and more showing up to help us all survive) road so many times that it doesn't really surprise me - but it's always sad when I see it happen again.

And is the "superior black woman" a thing?  Is this a new stereotype I need to worry about being applied to me - like angry black woman, or sassy sister?  Just asking.

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On 7/7/2016 at 3:40 PM, aradia22 said:

I really don't think it would. There is a whole complicated conversation to be had about this but suffice it to say white man with woman of color is more of the norm than the reverse. And especially if she's doing the choosing, there is the implication that the white guy would be the mostly highly prized.

As mentioned, not true on TV, and not true in real life.

On 7/9/2016 at 9:51 AM, phoenics said:

ETA:  so we don't have a race thread for UnREAL (we need a gender and race thread!), so I'll just leave my thoughts here...

I wish you would post this beautiful commentary in the Race and Ethnicity Thread (http://forums.previously.tv/topic/2738-race-ethnicity-on-tv)). And you are 100% correct that all of us need to wake up and "stay woke", with the ones having the "biggest voice" having the most obligation.

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IMHO, The biggest shock would be a super rich, tall, buff, handsome white guy picking the black woman!

I agree, but the question was framed as her choosing him. I can no longer really remember exactly what I was thinking when I wrote that but it was something to the effect of having Halle Berry be a Bond girl and often having actresses of color paired with white male leads but rarely having actors of color paired with white female leads unless it's Will Smith and Margot Robbie. I think an Asian actress was paired with Hugh Jackman in one of those Wolverine movies but the last time I remember the reverse, it was Jackie Chan with Jennifer Love Hewitt in The Tuxedo.

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4 hours ago, aradia22 said:

I agree, but the question was framed as her choosing him. I can no longer really remember exactly what I was thinking when I wrote that but it was something to the effect of having Halle Berry be a Bond girl and often having actresses of color paired with white male leads but rarely having actors of color paired with white female leads unless it's Will Smith and Margot Robbie. I think an Asian actress was paired with Hugh Jackman in one of those Wolverine movies but the last time I remember the reverse, it was Jackie Chan with Jennifer Love Hewitt in The Tuxedo.

I think this has only been true in movies - for some time in tv, black women didn't seem to exist and it was black men (especially Taye Diggs) who was paired with anything but a black woman.  And in movies, the closest we got to seeing any black with anyone was Denzel in roles where he wasn't truly "paired" with the non-black woman, but he co-starred with them and pseudo worshipped them (Pelican Brief, and Man on Fire).  The only exception was MI2, with Tom Cruise and Thandi Newton, but that was after Pelican Brief and Man on Fire.  Outside of that, I don't remember any other movies until we got some Kerry Washington action and then Zoe Saldana.  

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On TV, the rule is almost always Black Man, White (or Light) Woman; and very rarely Black Woman / White Man.  And Sleepy Hollow lost 2(!!!) in one season!

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25 minutes ago, jhlipton said:

On TV, the rule is almost always Black Man, White (or Light) Woman; and very rarely Black Woman / White Man.  And Sleepy Hollow lost 2(!!!) in one season!

I know.....the tide is just now starting to shift.

As much as I hate Kerry Washington as an actress, I can acknowledge that its nice to have a show on the air with a powerful black woman with powerful white men fighting over her.

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Episode discussion. Or follow up on @jhlipton's suggestion, please.

On 7/11/2016 at 1:14 PM, jhlipton said:

I wish you would post this beautiful commentary in the Race and Ethnicity Thread (http://forums.previously.tv/topic/2738-race-ethnicity-on-tv)). And you are 100% correct that all of us need to wake up and "stay woke", with the ones having the "biggest voice" having the most obligation.

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Just catching up on the show after a three week vacation, and this was a good episode to come back to. I've been plussing comments on both sides of the board, because while expressing different opinions, they all made sense and were well argumented.

I don't know if it was the being away part or the shift in the show, but I've really liked this episode. I like the complexity of characters, and I like that I can love them as characters and still be iffy, or at least conflicted, about how I would feel about them in real life.

I like that the second surprise elimination can be seen as both "generous" and cruel. I like that Quinn can be both seen as a bitch and someone who gets Rachel (I think she's both). I wish for this show to give us more grey (plus, the forum gets more fascinating the greyest the show goes!).

Everything else has been said much better than I could ever express - thank you all :)  

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Yeah, not tallying those fan votes is actual fraud, since those are paid numbers where the network makes a few bucks from every call. My suspension of dibelieve gets strained more and more this season.

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