Never sleep in a guest cabin. That was the takeaway from last week’s episode of Below Deck. Though if you think Francesca Rubi is done berating Elizabeth Frankini over it, you thought wrong. In fact, this week’s Below Deck picks up smack dab in the middle of their cliffhanger argument. In the crew mess. In front of all their other co-workers. Now, call me crazy, but that’s not the most professional way of handling workplace conflict. Right?
Yes, Elizabeth was wrong. But she’s also the one who has to extract herself from the situation and go cry in her room. She also finds a solution by calling her energy healer Godfrey for support. And a major cleansing. Which apparently involves virtually lifting away her “first, second, third and fourth dimensional gray, black, dark matter.” This is the perfect time for Captain Lee Rosbach to walk in on the conversation. He has no idea what’s going on, but shrugs it off with a “different strokes for different folks” mentality. C’est la vie, energy healing!
The next morning is the day of charter number seven! And also Elizabeth‘s 30th birthday. So despite the dressing down she received the night before, she has her hopes up. Especially that James Hough has something special up his sleeve as a birthday surprise. (Spoiler: he does not.) Instead, her first birthday present comes from Francesca…in the form of a disciplinary meeting. Chess reprimands her underling once again for her lack of professionalism. This time may be one on one, but you’d better believe Liz is about to hear about the guest cabin again. The most hilarious part of the whole exchange, though, is James casually washing the window in the background.
Of course, the next thing Francesca does is report the guest cabin incident to Captain Lee. Who then calls Eddie Lucas to the bridge before radio’ing for James. In no uncertain terms, Lee lets the deckhand have it. He warns this is James’ one and only screw-up. There will be no second chances. For something as major as using a guest cabin without permission, he’ll be off the boat next time. However, James seems unfazed by the whole thing. Sure, it was a mistake. And he’ll take the tongue-lashing from Captain Lee with his tail between his legs. But would he do it again? Of course he would. Next time, he just won’t get caught.
Francesca has also decided she wants to work on My Seanna with Elizabeth. Captain Lee tells her he can try to find a replacement after this charter. But makes no promises considering it’s so late in the season. Of course, she takes this as a tacit two thumbs up and runs right to Ashling Lorger with the news that Elizabeth’s getting fired. Inexplicably, both stews start…crying? Over how much they hate Elizabeth? Ashling even suggests cutting her loose now, considering they’re doing all the work anyway. But Chess decides that would be unwise given how extra the next charter will be. She’s just sticking Elizabeth down in the laundry where she won’t be “guest-facing.”
The charter guests arrive, and the primaries happen to be David and Jackie Siegel. Also known as the Queen of Versailles! (If you haven’t seen the 2012 documentary about the couple, it’s definitely worth a watch.) The Siegels arrive with their two youngest songs, who are age 19 and 20. Both of whom immediately start drinking since the legal age in Antigua is 18. One also has the audacity to ask Captain Lee what his job is on the boat, but I digress…Right away, you can tell this charter is going to be a handful. What with David spouting off, “Nice to be rich, isn’t it? Wonder what the poor people are doing today.”
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At lunch, a conflict arises between Francesca and Rachel Hargrove over expediting. All season, it’s been a major weakness of Francesca’s when it comes to service. And this time the lack of clear communication leaves the Queen of Versailles without a piece of mahi mahi. The pair go back and forth about who’s at fault when the problem is that Francesca wrote two orders of fish on the same line as “mahi mahi.” Which Rachel interpreted as a single order. Either way, get the primary her lunch! At the same time, Izzy Wouters continues to get pushback from James and Rob Phillips over her promotion to lead deckhand. Which reeks of misogyny. It’s not cute, boys.
By dinner, Elizabeth has declared this her worst birthday ever. And honestly she’s probably not wrong. Rachel and Francesca try out a new expediting process while the guests read the news that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been diagnosed with coronavirus. Trump has banned all travel from Europe for 30 days. The pandemic has officially taken over the world. Meanwhile, Izzy takes it upon herself to make a “fairy bread” cake for Elizabeth. So at least she has something on her birthday. Even if it’s eight layers of white bread and butter topped with sprinkles and chocolate syrup.
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Up on deck, Captain Lee is dining with the guests. And finds himself bonding with the Siegels over losing children to drug addiction. His son Josh died from an overdose in 2019. Out of nowhere, the pretentious and garishly rich couple become kind and empathetic. They walk Cap through his grief and give him advice about how they handled losing their own daughter five years earlier. It reaches such an emotional point that Captain Lee actually has to excuse himself from the table for a moment. By dinner’s end, there are hugs all around, with Captain Lee finding new support amid such a devastating loss. It’s really touching.
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Eventually everyone goes to bed except the two Siegel boys. Which leaves Ashling on lates serving them vodka Gatorades at the bar. (As someone who doesn’t drink, can someone tell me if that’s an actual thing or is it just disgusting?) Half a bottle of Hennessy later, the boys are wasted and it’s late. Rather than deal with a pair of rich inebriated teenagers, Ash asks James for help shepherding them to bed. However, the boys aren’t used to being told what to do. They’re on a vacation their parents paid for. And they want to party!
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They head to the swim deck, with Ashling and James narrowly avoiding a repeat of the Delores incident from two charters ago. Then the boys decide they want to hot tub. Which is when Ashling decides to tell a little white lie. She insists the hot tub is being drained and is closed for the night. Except, oops, the drunkest boy is already in his swim trunks and checks the hot tub for himself. Not draining. Perfectly hot. After she cuts him off at the bar, he throws a mini tantrum and goes to bed declaring, “The crew is whack, bro!” Will he report Ashling’s lie to his parents? Find out next week!
TELL US – ARE YOU TEAM FRANCESCA OR TEAM ELIZABETH? SHOULD JAMES HAVE DONE SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR ELIZABETH’S BIRTHDAY? WILL ASHLING’S LIE COME BACK TO BITE HER?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]