Will lying to a charter guest come back to haunt you? That’s the question on Ashling Lorger‘s mind as we set sail on another week of Below Deck. At the end of last week’s episode, the stew cut off the alcohol for the primary’s two sons. And now she’s worried she’s going to pay for it. In the form of putting the entire crew’s tip in jeopardy. One one hand, they tried to jump into the tender and almost went for a swim. On the other, one of the boys threw an alcohol-fueled tantrum at two in the morning. But what are the chances he’ll even remember the night before after half a bottle of Hennessy?
Turns out, chances are high. The next morning, the first thing he does is complain to anyone who will listen about the mean stew who lied about the hot tub and sent him to bed. Including Francesca Rubi, who’s baffled that Ashling would do anything to anger a rich, spoiled charter guest. However, when she hears Ashling’s side of the story, she naturally sides with her bestie. The teenager conveniently failed to mention trying to drunkenly board the tender. Or going out on the swim platform. Over breakfast, his parents also laugh off his complaining, and the issue is essentially dead in the water. Phew. Tip crisis averted.
A much bigger crisis, however, is taking over as the coronavirus pandemic explodes around the globe. This second day of the charter happens to fall on March 12, 2020 — the day Broadway shut down and New York City declared a state of emergency. But there’s yet to be even a single case of coronavirus reported in the Caribbean. So, for now, the crew of M/Y Seanna is safe in the islands. Well, most of them anyway. Francesca is still counting down the minutes until she can give Elizabeth Frankini the old heave-ho.
Chess has an off-yacht excursion and beach picnic planned for the day, which requires (almost) all hands on deck. There’s once again a miscommunication between the chief stew and Rachel Hargrove over cooler bags and rotting food. But soon enough everyone heads ashore, conveniently leaving Elizabeth and James Hough alone under Captain Lee Rosbach‘s watchful eye. Elizabeth is quick to call out James for doing literally nothing to celebrate her birthday the day before. She has no idea the deckhand is over their fleeting boat-mance. He’s ready to cut and run. But Captain Lee is more concerned with Elizabeth cleaning up all the dirty dishes in the galley than talking about her love life. Which is the perfect excuse for James to avoid the conversation.
RELATED: Captain Lee Rosbach Explains His Decision To Share Grief Over His Son’s Death On Below Deck
On land, Ashling takes the guests to Stingray City, a natural stingray habitat, while the others set up the beach picnic. (Is anyone surprised when the primary’s son complains about the two-hour bus ride not being “luxurious” enough? After all, an all-expense-paid Caribbean vacation is pointless when your dad is apparently rich enough to buy SeaWorld.) Of course, the Queen of Versailles’ luxe Versace floatie is the perfect object to spark another war of passive-aggression between Izzy Wouters and Rob Phillips. More specifically, the attitude is all coming from Rob, who continues to smart at Izzy’s promotion to lead deckhand.
Speaking of passive-aggressive spats, another one breaks out while Rachel‘s prepping lunch. Rachel and Francesca just can’t seem to get it together when it comes to proper communication. And this time, somebody left all the condiments behind for the hot dogs. Rachel blames Francesca. Chess blames Rachel. And honestly, playing back the footage, it’s a little unclear who actually volunteered to bring the ketchup and mustard. But either way, it’s not there. Rather than watch the two department heads bicker, Izzy saves the day by running all the way to Stingray City for some condiments. Another crisis averted!
RELATED: Captain Lee Rosbach Says James Hough ‘Doesn’t Give 2 Sh*ts’ About Below Deck Stew Elizabeth Frankini; Slams James For Mistreating Elizabeth And Izzy Wouters
Returning back to the boat, Rachel and Francesca aren’t done getting on each other’s nerves. Not even close. Now that lunch is over, they immediately start sniping at each other about dinner service. Rachel wants silver service for the lobster tails she’s planning to serve. Chess snipes back that she’s well aware of what silver service is and how to do it, thank you very much. It’s honestly all just a little bit exhausting. These two started the seasons quite chummily, but it’s increasingly clear they can’t stand working together. Who do you think Francesca hates more: Rachel or Elizabeth? Just kidding, we all know it’s Elizabeth by a long shot.
Meanwhile, down in the lazarette, Izzy takes her concerns about Rob to Eddie Lucas. Izzy’s not being respected in her new role, and she’s at a bit of a loss for what to do. She’s tried confronting him. She’s tried talking it out. Rob flat out told her the lead deckhand title basically means nothing to him. So now she’s coming to her bosun for a bit of managerial advice. Eddie counsels her to try talking to Rob one more time, and lay it all out on the table. But if the deckhands don’t fall in line under Izzy’s leadership, Eddie has no problem making their lives miserable for the rest of the season. In such a male-dominated industry, he explains, female leaders are hard to come by. This will prove to be an important moment of growth for Izzy as she demands respect.
RELATED: Captain Lee Rosbach Says Rob Phillips Is “Bitter” About Izzy Wouters’ Promotion; Izzy Slams Rob For Misogynist Behavior On Below Deck
Dinner is a strange mix of Thai food meets American steakhouse. Because while the Queen of Versailles is a rather adventurous eater, her husband has quite a basic, bland palette. Good thing Rachel can do both! Wearing a sash, Jackie Siegel even kicks off dinner by crowning all the stews and the chef with their very own tiaras. It’s the Queen of Versailles’ court and we’re all just serving in it. Inexplicably, Elizabeth then chooses the middle of dinner service as the appropriate time to confront James about the state of their relationship. Again. She wants to make the most of this
storyline romance and suggests they take a trip together after the charter season ends. Because that’s worked out so well for Below Deck couples in the past…
In the pantry, she then corners James into having a full-blown DTR. She wants to know how he feels about her. But he doesn’t want to tell her the truth and hurt her feelings. So instead he mostly just continues to shut down and not say much at all. This is the perfect time for Francesca to catch the pair. She sees talking rather than working, and is at her wit’s end when it comes to the boat’s resident couple. When Elizabeth keeps the conversation going, she even steps in again, shutting it down and demanding her stew go to bed. Francesca has had enough of this boat-mance, and it might be safe to say James has too.
RELATED: Would Captain Lee Rosbach Ever Work With Rachel Hargrove Again After She Stormed Off The Boat This Season On Below Deck?
The next morning is the final day of the charter. Isn’t it funny how the last day of a three-day charter really just involves breakfast and docking? At least you get French toast before you have to pack up and leave. As they depart, the Siegels declare this the best vacation they’ve ever taken. Which is quite something if they really can afford to buy SeaWorld. They also ask Captain Lee to stay in touch, now that they’ve bonded over their shared loss. In the tip meeting, Cap reveals the richest couple of the season left a tip of $18,000. Which adds up to $1,500 apiece. It’s an average tip, but it’s not SeaWorld.
After the tip meeting, it’s time for the moment Francesca‘s been waiting for. In the wheelhouse, Captain Lee tells her he has another stew lined up. But now the question is whether he or she will be able to reach Antigua in time due to coronavirus travel restrictions. Chess doesn’t care. She’s more than happy to do the final charter down a stew if she gets her way. Which means Elizabeth is being summoned to the wheelhouse. Captain Lee gives the floor to Francesca, who no doubt takes pleasure in getting to fire Elizabeth herself. The stew is utterly blindsided by the move. And frankly, it’s a historic one. Elizabeth has now become the first stew to be fired in the history of the original Below Deck series. And just in time for next week’s season finale!
TELL US – ARE YOU TEAM RACHEL OR TEAM FRANCESCA? HOW SHOULD IZZY HANDLE HER PROBLEM WITH ROB? ARE YOU SURPRISED ELIZABETH WAS FIRED SO LATE THIS SEASON ON BELOW DECK?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]