When a runaway bride is the least shocking thing on UnREAL's season finale, you know it was one for the ages.
Lifetime's behind-the-scenes look at the making of a Bachelor-like reality show ended its hit first season tonight, shaking up every single relationship in ways we never saw coming. And it. Was. Dark.
Thanks to Quinn's (Constance Zimmer) meddling, "suitor" Adam (Freddie Stroma) dumped Rachel (Shiri Appleby) just as they were about to run away to Europe together, leaving her to wage war on his upcoming televised wedding out of revenge. He ended up getting abandoned at the altar, but Rachel didn't have time to celebrate her victory: Jeremy (Josh Kelly) found out about her tryst with Adam, and dumped her publicly, only to then show up on her controlling mother's doorstep and getting her involved in her daughter's life again.
Wow. We honestly didn't think any of these characters would go as far as they did, but each one of them crossed a line and never looked back. But did Rachel really have to destroy Adam's wedding, his relationship with his family and his career all in one fell swoop?
"[Co-showrunner] Sarah [Gertrude Shapiro] and I talked so much about how watching Adam propose to somebody else and having fallen for him, that turns Rachel full dragon," executive producer Marti Noxon tells E! News. "It's so humiliating because she feels like she's been exposed and fooled, so her response may be out of proportion to the crime, but I found myself rooting for Adam to get his just desserts. He's been playing so many people all season long. Plus this is the first time in Everlasting history that a suitor is standing there with his d--k in his hand. It seemed perfect to me. It's good TV!"
And Noxon is quick to note that both Rachel and Quinn were in the same boat when it comes to their love lives, and they both turned to revenge as a result.
"We wanted to show that you can be ‘what a feminist looks like' and you can be making this terrible content that you know is fraudulent, is selling an idea of love that is based on a fantasy, but you can still fall for it yourself," Noxon says. "We wanted both of them to fall for it and then realize that they bought what they've been selling to other people for so long. Fail!"
But let's talk about those final moments between Quinn and Rachel in the finale, because we're pretty sure that finding out Quinn ruined her future with Adam made Rachel downright...murderous. Is she really thinking of killing Quinn next season?!
"That scene evolved over so many rewrites, because we wanted it to be menacing but also confusing," Noxon says with a laugh. "That's how Rachel is feeling in that moment. Maybe she did get saved from something that she just doesn't have great judgment about. Quinn is her show mama and in many ways she's a much more doting mother than Rachel's own mom. We all have those complicated relationships, you want to kill them and you love them."
According to Noxon, getting all those emotions packed into one scene was tough, because she knew from the start that she wanted it to be confusing on so many levels: for the viewers and for Quinn and Rachel.
"That was a scene we really struggled to nail," Noxon says. "Tone is so important on this show, and I was holding on to some really dark ideas and the network was like, ‘Can't it also be a little more fun?' So we labored over striking that balance."
And what about Josh? While it may seem like he was being overly malicious in his revenge on Rachel, Noxon thinks he deserved to do everything he did.
"Look at much s--t he had to deal with all year!" Noxon says with a laugh. "I don't know, it was time for him to grow some balls. That guy has every right to be as angry as anyone on the planet. He was made a fool of so many times."
As for whether or not he was being totally malicious when he sicced Rachel's mother on her, or if he had any good intentions about getting her help, that remains to be seen.
"I honestly think it's in that grey zone where he can justify himself as doing a good thing for Rachel, but on another level, he's also out to destroy her," Noxon says. "He's ambivalent about the outcome."
So where does this leave UnREAL for season two?
"We've started planning in the very most bare bones way," Noxon says. "Here's what we know: there will be Quinn, there will be Rachel, and there will be a version of Everlasting. We know Freddie is open to returning [to play Adam], but obviously the premise of the new season comes first. So we'll see."
Do you want to see Adam return in UnREAL season two? What did you think of the finale? Hit the comments section below to weigh in now!