With Rayna Lindsey, it’s been one step forward and three steps back all season on Below Deck. And I hate to spoil it at the very top of this recap, but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that that’s exactly what happens in this week’s episode. We last left Eddie Lucas outside the junior deckhand’s cabin. About to knock and walk into the middle of her latest emotional breakdown. You almost want to scream, “Don’t do it, Eddie!” But you already know he can’t hear you through the screen. So he knocks. But as usual, Rayna’s not interesting in communicating her emotions. She’ll only admit via confessional that she feels as though her feelings are being manipulated like a marionette. One pull here being told not to roll her eyes on deck. Another tug there by letting her pull up the anchor.
Even despite Rayna shutting him down, Eddie refuses to give up. He just promises her that he’ll bring it up again later. Perhaps when she’s a little more ready to talk. But for now, they’re still in the middle of a charter. And Rayna is needed in her happy place, the galley, by Chef Rachel Hargrove. Because these strawberries are not about to hull themselves! Wes O’Dell hints to Fraser Olender that all is not well among the deck team. So yes, everything is going just great. And breakfast hasn’t even ended yet.
Later in the morning, Eddie tries once more to get something out of Rayna, but to pretty much no avail. She tells him the whole N-word situation with Heather Chase is still upsetting her. (This despite Heather having apologized now not once but twice. And Rayna having told the chief stew that she accepted her apology and wanted to move on.) Eddie validates Rayna’s feelings that the use of the slur should bother her. But essentially there’s nothing Heather, Eddie or anyone else can do to help Rayna feel better about the situation.
However, the deckhand also insists that she was crying in her cabin for a completely different reason. But won’t tell Eddie what about. In fact she’d rather jump overboard than discuss it. Eddie’s forced to go back to Captain Lee Rosbach and report the entire conversation. Including everything the Cap didn’t know about the N-word drama swirling around below deck. Lee rightfully explains that he can’t think of any situation in which the use of the slur would be acceptable. And now he’s determined to get to the bottom of the situation.
Meanwhile, the interior department has a full day ahead. What with pulling off both a beach picnic and a surprise vow renewal that was all Heather‘s idea. Good thing the cavalry is supposed to arrive sometime today in the form of Kaylee Milligan, Heather’s former second stew. And in a case of Murphy’s law, she shows up to M/Y Seanna while Fraser is, of course, off the boat prepping for the guests’ beach picnic. And it turns out Kaylee is much more than just Heather’s old underling. They’re apparently best friends, which is certainly going to do wonders for the insecurity Fraser is already feeling about Kaylee joining the team. However, when the stews finally meet after the beach picnic, Fraser is warm and welcoming. And ready for Kaylee to do all the laundry.
Meanwhile, Eddie forces yet another uncomfortable chat with Rayna. Under the guise of getting to run the davit. (That’s the little crane that hoists the jet skis up out of the water.) Rayna finally adds another piece of context to her problem with Heather. She feels like Eddie dismissed, or somehow ignored entirely, the entire N-word conversation. And says now she can’t trust him as a boss. He reminds her that she was the one who approached him to apologize for being disrespectful. But Rayna offers almost nothing in the way of reconciliation. She refuses to be friends with Heather, blaming the chief stew’s “ignorance.” And when Eddie asks if she can trust him now, she replies with a noncommittal “We shall see…”
For the guests’ dinner dedicated to Black excellence, Rachel‘s prepared a full Japanese tasting menu. Because why not chase her own excellence too? And Captain Lee is back at the table in his formalwear. However, one of the guests — perhaps the one who was so vocally angry last week? — excuses herself with a toothache. Not great timing, considering what she and her husband are about to miss. After five courses of near-perfect Japanese cuisine, the men of the charter group surprise their wives with a group vow renewal. With Captain Lee begrudgingly officiating! Eddie ends the night once again filling Lee in on the Rayna drama. But now the first officer’s left not knowing what to do following his deckhand’s accusations. In Lee’s eyes, ultimately, it’s up to Rayna to work it out and continue doing her job.
The next morning is drop-off day. And I must say, everything on this charter seems to have gone quite smoothly. All the way down to Rachel‘s final breakfast of seafood omelettes (topped with caviar!), chicken and waffles and bananas foster French toast. By the time the boat reaches the dock, the guests can’t even come up with the adequate words to describe how pleased they are with the charter. One of the wives even gifts Rachel with her U.S. Navy retirement coin as extra thanks for her skills in the kitchen. The tip meeting reveals just how grateful the guests were — to the tune of $25,000. That’s the biggest tip of the season thus far, and $2,270 each. Though everyone in the crew is pressured by Captain Lee into giving $100 to Kaylee for saving the day mid-charter.
To celebrate their final night out before the last charter, the crew heads ashore for dinner at the Stone Barn Park Hyatt. The meal is family-style, operating under the false pretense that everyone on the crew genuinely likes each other. Yet thankfully, there’s basically no drama during dinner. Rayna reveals she’s found a love for cooking, and asks Rachel for advice on culinary programs. And notably everyone in the crew chimes in that being in the galley seems to be Rayna’s real passion. Hint, hint: stop being a deckhand ASAP and become a chef, OK? In fact, the wildest moment of the night is Jake Foulger revealing he’s wearing one of Heather‘s thongs. Of course, the lead deckhand ends the night diving into the hotel’s water feature. It’s practically tradition at this point.
Meanwhile, Fraser pulls Heather and Kaylee aside to apologize for his earlier insecurities about the latter joining the interior. He’s quickly come to see that having Kaylee around will be helpful. And admits to letting his internal demons get the best of him. Though back on the boat, it’s all about Fraser and Jake, who spend the rest of the night bonding on the swim platform. Fraser may finally be appreciative of the vibe in the interior, but out of everyone in the crew, he says he’ll be friends with the lead deckhand forever. And Jake and his mustache reciprocate the love. Aww!
TELL US – DO YOU THINK RAYNA HAS A JUSTIFIED REASON NOT TO TRUST EDDIE? WHAT’S YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF KAYLEE? WOULD RAYNA BE BETTER OFF AS A CHEF THAN A DECKHAND? WILL THE GOOD VIBES BETWEEN HEATHER, FRASER AND KAYLEE LAST THROUGH THE FINAL CHARTER?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]