How do you solve a problem like Shane Coopersmith? Unfortunately for Eddie Lucas, Below Deck is not The Sound of Music. A super yacht is not an Austrian nunnery. And you can’t just ship off the crew’s problem child to nanny for some Caribbean version of the Von Trapp family whose seven children are desperately in need of a new governess. (Though in this analogy, Captain Lee Rosbach would be the crew’s indomitable Mother Abbess. And what any Bravoholic wouldn’t give to hear the Stud of the Sea belt out “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from aboard the bridge. To push the limits of the analogy even further, what song would our sweet, bright-eyed Sunshine sing as he leaves My Seanna? Why, “I Have Confidence,” of course.)
But like I said, this isn’t The Sound of Music, no matter how many striking similarities in disposition Shane may have to Maria Von Trapp. Which, now that I’m thinking of it, are many. But while Maria eventually grew to inspire countless generations of regional theaters across the world, I don’t think anyone will be writing a Below Deck musical anytime soon. At least not one with the flailing junior deckhand as the hero. Week after week, Shane’s mistakes have been piling up. And it looks like his time aboard My Seanna may finally be coming to a close.
But first, we have a whole boatload of other drama to get through. Starting with Chef Rachel Hargrove and the missing caviar. Last week ended on a cliffhanger with the chef thrashing around the galley in search of the caviar. But it turns out she had every right to be upset. Because the provisioners really did give her cheap salmon roe instead by mistake. This realization does absolutely nothing to quell Rachel’s anxiety however.
She’s promised the guests tsar imperial Petrossian caviar for the primary’s 50th birthday dinner. There is none and said dinner is just hours away. After a stern call from Rachel, the provisioners promise they can have the caviar at the dock at 6:45 p.m. That’s 15 minutes before dinner service is set to begin. Could they cut it any closer?
Actually, it turns out they can. Because Eddie rushes off in the tender to pick up the caviar…and doesn’t return. Now, this caviar is for the appetizer. So it’s not like Rachel can start plating and just hope it gets there in time for dessert. So, to buy her some time, Captain Lee gives the guests a long…slow tour of the yacht. But even that can only last until 7:25 and still no Eddie. Finally, he arrives back at the boat at 7:28, caviar in hand and only a half hour late for service. The day is saved! Well, until Rachel promptly drops $700 worth of the stuff all over the galley floor. But at this point, what else is there to do but laugh and start plating?
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Thankfully, the rest of the eight-course meal goes off without a hitch. Which is all the more important because Captain Lee is dining with the guests. But Rachel turned out course after perfect course, and the caviar was just the start. There’s white wine poached scampi and burrata stuffed with tomato concaves and dehydrated basil. Local lobster bisque topped with a puffed pastry cloud and creme fraiche. There’s even ossobuco! (That’s Italian for cross-cut veal shank garnished with gremolata, bone marrow and all.) By the end of the meal, Rachel has earned well-deserved high praise from both the guests and the captain, who’s never been so impressed in his 35 years in yachting.
All charter, these guests have been fairly tame. I mean, practically docile when compared to the rowdy college kids and high maintenance monsters that came before them. But after dessert is served, they’re ready to party. Which apparently when you’re 5o means chugging red wine from a spout for both “longevity and prosperity.” (I don’t drink, so I don’t know what to call the carafe the wine was in…but it looked like a vino-inspired watering can?) The guests even talk Lee into taking part in their ritual! And honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the image of the Stud of the Sea chugging red wine in a novelty t-shirt. It’s almost as good as if he had sang “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”! Follow every rainbow till you find your dream, Captain Lee.
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For the night shift, Elizabeth Frankini is on lates, while Shane falls dead asleep FaceTiming his girlfriend. (We also get the season’s first mention of coronavirus courtesy of Ashling Lorger‘s FaceTime conversation with her mom in Australia. But thankfully, that’s something we can put off for one more week.) I can’t recall if this is the second stew’s first time on the late shift? But either way, Francesca Rubi gives her one job: check on the guests every ten minutes or so. Should be easy, right? Somehow, Elizabeth fails to do this one simple thing and lets 42 minutes pass without asking the guests if they need anything. I’m not sure how time got away from her, but it really just doesn’t make sense.
Finally the guests get fed up with waiting and one comes down asking for more alcohol. Francesca is mortified. Elizabeth is frazzled. I’ve been waiting six episodes for more conflict and we’re finally getting it! Well, kind of. The chief stew reprimands her second and then goes to her room to complain to Rachel. Meanwhile, Elizabeth vents about being scolded by Francesa to Eddie and James Hough up at the bar. The tension between the two stews continues to rise week after week, and next week it may finally boil over. All I know is that Izzy Wouters seems quite pleased not to be on the interior team — or reporting to “dictator” Francesca — any longer.
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The next morning is the final day of the charter and everyone’s up bright and early to kick off the day. Except for Shane, who’s a full hour and 38 minutes late for his shift on deck, leaving Izzy to do all the work by herself. Apparently his phone died in the middle of the night. But the worst part is that he gets woken up by Eddie, who’s sleepy, furious and officially at the end of his rope with the deckhand. Then, to make matters even worse, the docking goes awry — largely thanks to Shane misplacing the fenders he’s responsible for and screwing up his stern ties. Of course, all of this happens under Captain Lee‘s watchful, critical eye. So now he’s angry too, and not only at the stern thrusters that weren’t working.
The guests depart amid waves, smiles and hugs, but the deck team knows they’re about to suffer Captain Lee‘s wrath the moment the guests aren’t on board. He gives them a stern — we’re talking very stern — lecture on properly docking the boat and leaves them all with their tails between their legs. In the tip meeting, the only crew member who gets a gold star is Rachel, while the captain points out that some other people simply aren’t performing. However, the guests loved the charter, mostly thanks to the food and service, and gave the crew a $20,000 tip. So all’s well that ends well? Not quite.
After the tip meeting, Lee calls Eddie to the bridge for a private meeting about Shane. The bosun proceeds to list off all of Shane’s mistakes that Lee didn’t know about, all of which have happened in just the past two or three days alone. There was the shirtless swim while everyone was working the beach picnic. Napping in the middle of his shift. Leaving the lazarette door open all night. Waking up an hour and a half late that morning. And now screwing up the docking for the entire team.
At this point, the list of grievances against the deckhand are just too long and we all know what that means. Captain Lee calls Shane into the bridge for one of his infamous “conversations.” But we’ll have to wait until next week to see how that goes, because the episode ends on another cliffhanger! Could the sun finally be going down on Sunshine once and for all? It’s safe to say that, unlike Maria Von Trapp, I may not have confidence in Sunshine after all…
TELL US – DO YOU THINK SHANE IS GETTING FIRED? IS FRANCESCA BEING UNNECESSARILY HARD ON ELIZABETH? IS RACHEL THE BEST CHEF IN BELOW DECK HISTORY?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]