As the title of this recap gives away, there were plenty of things to raise your eyebrows at this week on Below Deck. Chief among them liquified cuisine of every kind! Poor Chef Rachel Hargrove. I imagine it can’t be fun — or all that appetizing — to put your heart and soul into a dish and then watch all go into a blender. In this (supersized) episode alone, we were treated to the image of liquified chicken and breadfruit curry with spinach. Emulsified wagyu steak. Liquid eggs Benedict. And a french toast smoothie! Listen, obviously it must be miserable to charter a yacht with your jaw wired shut, but couldn’t the primary have been happy with normal protein smoothies instead of having a meltdown at every meal?
Speaking of meltdowns, that’s exactly where we left her back in 2021, and she starts out this week’s episode locked in her room. The aforementioned chicken breast smoothie seems to calm her down a bit. But by the time the next course is served, she’s not even finished with it! Logistically and realistically, every meal service is just an absurdly unyielding hoop for Rachel to jump through. Try keeping everyone else’s food hot while you blend up one guest’s meal. Ugh.
The dinner ends up being a dud. Everyone’s mood is in the dumps and there’s only one way to save the evening: a nighttime silent disco on the beach! Now, I for one have never particularly understood the appeal of a silent disco. Other than the fact that it saves production the trouble of dubbing music over what’s actually playing. It looks ridiculous and awkward. But guests on these vacations just love it once in a while. And the idea of having it on the beach instead of the sky lounge like usual is pretty smart. It allows Eddie Lucas, Heather Chase and Jake Foulger to get the guests off the boat and hit the (silent) reset button. By the time they’re danced out, everyone’s smiling and the crew’s tip just might be saved.
The next morning, you’d think it would all be good vibes and refreshed spirits. But nope. Not among the crew, at least. Rayna Lindsey is still giving Heather the iciest of cold shoulders over the latter using the n-word a couple episodes back. She vents her frustrations to Wes O’Dell, but puts a revisionist history on her conversation with Eddie, insisting the first officer shrugged the incident off and said it “didn’t matter.” Which, for the record, is not what happened. Meanwhile, Heather’s left in the dark over what she did. After all, Rayna initially used it as a teachable moment, the chief stew profusely apologized and she thought they were all good. But now it’s up to Fraser Olender to clue his boss in on the fact that Rayna is very much not over the ordeal.
The information sends Heather into a 10-minute breakdown, but she doesn’t have time to dwell on her gaffe. There’s a dinner service to plan! And it’s all gold-themed. But the chief stew is so flustered that just before dinner starts, she manages to drop a glass pitcher. Which promptly shatters all over the floor. And slices her ankle. At first it seems like a minor cut, but soon enough Heather‘s blood is everywhere. And stopping to properly bandage the wound delays dinner service. Oh, and did I mention Captain Lee Rosbach is dining with the guests? In a full Stud of the Sea tuxedo? Not the best timing to hold up the food, Heather.
With help from the deck team (and Rachel‘s fancy cloches), the dinner actually moves forward with minimal impact. Other than Captain Lee being visibly (and hilariously) grossed out by the primary’s wagyu beef smoothie. But by the time the grew goes down for the night, Heather‘s still worked up over Rayna being angry with her. And since she thought they already worked past the moment, she’s not sure how to approach such a delicate situation again. Other than to ask Rachel for advice in their cabin. But the drama keeps her up all night, and in the morning, she sleeps through both her alarm and an attempt by Wes to wake her up. She’s a full hour late for her service and the clueless deckhand is left pretending he knows how to make oat milk lattes.
Adding to the interior issues is the fact that the crew is still down a third stew. Thanks again for that, Jessica Albert. But in an attempt to maintain control of one single aspect of her job, Heather thinks she has a solution. Stopping by the wheelhouse, she recommends an old second stew from a boat she worked on in Florida. Captain Lee asks for the stew’s resume and promises to take it under advisement. After a rather complicated docking involving wind speeds of 30 knots and rotating M/Y Seanna a full 180 degrees, the charter is blessedly over and it’s time for the guests to depart. Now take your smoothies for the road and get off the boat!
During the tip meeting, Captain Lee reveals that the crew’s efforts to keep the charter from sinking paid off. To the tune of $22,000! And with one less crew member to split it between, the tip comes out to $2,000 per person. Guess all those liquid meals were worth it? (Eh, Rachel might say otherwise.) And that’s not all the good news! Captain Lee is rewarding the crew with a much-deserved day off the following day. Complete with a catamaran ride to a private beach and all the alcohol they can drink. You can practically hear everyone exhale out of pure joy. Fraser, in particular, can’t wait to spend some time with Jake outside of work. And honestly, this recapper can’t wait for that either.
The crew’s day off arrives bright and early. But before they can get to enjoying themselves, Heather feels the need to sit down with Rayna. Which takes a little convincing, since the deckhand tries to brush off her attempt at talking things out. Once more, the chief stew apologizes again and again for repeating the n-word. In her confessional, she chalks the moment up to an attempt to bond with Rayna? Like…what? But on the surface, Rayna acts totally forgiving. She even tells Heather she accepts her apology and hugs it out, promising to move forward in “positive direction.”
The gang boards the catamaran, which gives Wes the opportunity to show off his sailing experience. Shirtless and in charge, the deckhand is clearly in his happy place as the driver lets him sail the catamaran to Reggae Beach. Once they hit the beach, the crew splits up into, well, cliques for lack of a better word. Rachel‘s wisely not drinking considering how that went on her day off last season. Wes retreats to the gift shop to try to FaceTime Jessica. And Rayna informs Fraser in the bathroom that she basically didn’t mean anything she said to Heather earlier and can never forgive her. Who’s not being genuine now, Rayna?
Later in the day, Fraser finally gets his alone time with Jake. It involves, in the lead deckhand’s own words, a bottle of rosé, a paddleboard, and a shirtless Jake comfortably nestled between Fraser’s legs. Sounds like a party to me. That is, until Rayna decides to crash it like a jealous little sister. As much as Fraser points out that the vibes happening between him and Jake aren’t strictly buddy-buddy, the situation is starting to verge on some sort of weird throuple meets three’s company scenario. And he just wants Rayna to butt out. Let the boys kiss in peace!
But going back to the boat, Fraser learns Rayna isn’t about to let that happen. He pops into Jake‘s bunk and finds Rayna already waiting there, begging for the three of them to cuddle and watch, uhh, Norbit of all things. Interestingly, production highlighted something happening under the covers during this scene, but I for one couldn’t exactly make out what they were trying to show. Maybe a more eagle-eyed viewer can enlighten me in the comments section? Either way, Fraser gets sick of the love triangle rather quickly, and retreats to the deck for some alone time. Leaving Jake and Rayna free to hook up in full view of the cameras. This is getting a little weird….
TELL US – IS RAYNA BEING TWO-FACED TO HEATHER? SHOULD HEATHER BE FORGIVEN FOR SAYING THE N-WORD? IS RAYNA RUINING FRASER AND JAKE’S BLOOMING BROMANCE? WHICH LIQUIFIED MEAL WAS THE LEAST PALATABLE TO YOU?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]