Welcome back to Below Deck, where Hurricane Hargrove has made landfall in Antigua. That’s right, Chef Rachel Hargrove‘s drunken rampage on the crew’s day off isn’t over yet. At the end of last week’s episode, the polarizing chef was last seen demanding the house band bust out their best Patsy Cline. Well, that or some “nasty ass music.” Needless to say, the entire crew is mortified. And not even Francesca Rubi‘s prodding can get her off the stage.
Eddie Lucas is so embarrassed that he simply walks away. As in physically removes himself from the situation to not be associated with his least favorite co-worker. Eventually, Izzy Wouters joins Francesca, and the two manage to coax Rachel back to the audience. Where she promptly crashes, falling asleep without a care in the world. But the damage is done. Rachel’s off-charter behavior is way past being a problem. And it’s about to get worse.
After a day of fun in the sun, the crew heads to dinner. And somehow, Rachel gets placed right next to James Hough and Elizabeth Frankini. Earlier in the day, the stew had been joking(?) with the deckhand about proposing. (Which is apparently hilarious when you’ve been hooking up for all of five minutes.) And now Rachel’s ready to give Liz a piece of her mind about the budding boat-mance. With James, you know, sitting a foot away.
Rachel‘s made no secret of her random disdain for James, and she makes no qualms about her feelings now. She calls James a “douche” and a “f–king idiot.” She straight up tells Elizabeth she’s angry at her for falling for him. Which, I’m not sure why Rachel thinks that’s any of her business, but OK… The worst part to James, though, is that his new boo doesn’t immediately jump to his defense. (Instead, she pulls Rachel aside and rather quietly stands up for him out of earshot of the group.) This doesn’t cut it, however, and by the end of the night, James doesn’t want anything to do with Elizabeth, who gets stuck riding back to the boat alone with a very drunk Rachel.
The next day is a prep day for the incoming charter. Rachel can’t remember anything from the day before. James is still mad. And Izzy is still sick. While Rachel heads ashore to do her provisioning and Izzy heads to the doctor, the rest of the boat dives into rehashing the previous night’s drama. At this point, Elizabeth‘s fully unaware of anything she did wrong, and only apologizes to James after a quick heads up from Eddie that there’s trouble in paradise. But even though he acts like it’s water under the bridge, James is already pulling away.
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By the time Rachel comes back, even Captain Lee Rosbach can tell there’s drama brewing. (It certainly didn’t help that Rachel was met with literal radio silence when she asked for help unloading provisions.) Calling Eddie and Francesca to the bridge, he gets a reluctant rundown on the chef’s bad behavior off-yacht, and how it’s affecting the rest of the crew. However, in the middle of charter season, with coronavirus an encroaching threat, Cap admits it’ll be hard to find a replacement. So it looks like the crew is stuck with Rachel.
Meanwhile, James is sowing some chaos below deck by tossing a wink at Ashling Lorger. Literally in front of Elizabeth. Like, what do you think you’re doing, bro? (Spoiler: this will not be the last bad decision he makes in the crew mess this week.) And Izzy finally comes back from the doctor with plenty of news of her own. The deckhand has a double kidney infection. And strep throat. Oh, and a UTI. No wonder she’s been under the weather! But she finally has (multiple) antibiotics for her many maladies, and is confined to another 24 hours of bed rest before, hopefully, she will finally be back on the mend.
After a preference sheet introducing the next round of Texas charter guests (and their Yorkie!), Captain Lee is still stewing over Rachel‘s behavior. Her irresponsible use of alcohol off-charter is triggering memories of his late son, who tragically passed away between seasons from an accidental drug overdose. When Francesca pops in to check on him, Cap opens up to her about the painful loss, even sharing that he was the one to find his son’s body. Captain Lee is characteristically stoic in the moment, but admits in his confessional that losing a child is something he will likely never heal from. It’s just so heartbreaking and tragic.
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The next day is finally charter! And suddenly, multiple crew members are down for the count. (If it feels like it’s been weeks since the last time guests were on board, that’s because it kind of has been…) Thirty minutes before guest arrival, Ashling‘s stomach starts giving her problems. And next thing we know, Rachel‘s running back and forth to the bathroom as well. The only good news is that Izzy‘s meds have finally started working, so at least she’s getting better just as everyone else is taking a turn for the worse. This could be quite a long charter…
On their first night, the guests have requested a cowboy-themed dinner, with Captain Lee in attendance in his best snakeskin boots. Which for Rachel means onion ring canapés, cornbread, giant lobsters, bone-in ribeye steaks and mac n’ cheese gratin. While the Stud of the Sea entertains the guests, Elizabeth debriefs with Izzy about her floundering relationship with James. Though he seemed to accept Elizabeth’s apology the day before, he hasn’t really talked to her much since. Which can’t be a good sign, right?
Together on the late shift, Liz tries once again to talk and flirt and banter like they used to. James remains coy, insisting on taking the boat-mance “one day at a time.” But in his confessional, he admits he’s taking a step back as a defense mechanism. And it’s not one he’s in a rush to change just for a girl he’s been hooking up with on a boat in the Caribbean for all of a week.
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More bad news on the health front: Elizabeth also has a UTI. (What are the odds?) And spent all night up in pain with it, so she’s worried about working all day. Surprise, surprise, this doesn’t go over well with Francesca. According to the chief stew, Rachel is pushing through her illness. Ashling is too. But Elizabeth? Elizabeth is just taking advantage of a UTI to get out of working. Either way, the situation on the boat has gotten bad enough that it’s time to get a doctor on board.
Meanwhile, James seems determined to torpedo his relationship with Elizabeth. On their lunch break in the crew mess, he innocently decides to ask Rob Phillips for his phone. And then proceeds to scroll through Instagram. All while bragging about all the Insta-THOTs he follows. In front of his new fling and the rest of the crew. Not the best move, dude. And when Elizabeth storms out of the room in a huff, he seems clueless to what he did wrong. None of this can possibly spell happily ever after for the first (but not last?) boat-mance of the season…
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TELL US – SHOULD ELIZABETH HAVE STOOD UP MORE FOR JAMES TO RACHEL? WHY IS EVERYONE FALLING ILL? DOES JAMES AND ELIZABETH’S BOAT-MANCE HAVE ANY CHANCE OF LASTING?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]