It’s reunion time, yachties! And the Below Deck crew has gathered from (literally) the four corners of the globe for a virtual sit-down with Andy Cohen. Did this season of Below Deck really need a reunion? The answer is debatable depending on how much you think a phrase like “Eat my cooter” needs to be discussed ad nauseam. Though I suppose there were a number of strings left loose in a season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. So here we are. Anchors aweigh!
Personally, I love how Andy always insists on going fully in on the nautical wardrobe when he hosts these Below Deck reunions. Captain Lee Rosbach always dresses up in his finest. But the rest of the crew’s looks are…wildly disparate. Francesca Rubi and her feathered shoulders are coming all the way from Sydney. James Hough decided to put on a basic green shirt at home in the U.K. Elizabeth Frankini, meanwhile, is wearing a full rainbow gown in Florida. Sadly, though, we can only see maybe two colors of the rainbow since she’s stuck in a tiny box on Zoom.
Most Below Deck viewers can agree that Elizabeth Frankini wasn’t the best stew in the world. Conversely, many Below Deck viewers think that Francesca Rubi was difficult to work with. Did Elizabeth deserve to get fired?
Well, she needed help learning how to iron. She made World War-style mustard gas. Yeah, she slept in the guest cabin, but so did James Hough, and he didn’t get in trouble. Was she nailing her job? No, but it was still so weird to see her get fired when there were only two charters left in the season. Then, coronavirus cut filming short, so she got fired after the last charter anyway. What a waste of a firing. But, if Captain Lee Rosbach made that move sooner, there could have been a very familiar face back in the mix, Josiah Carter, from Below Deck Season 6.
Well. This was certainly not the way the Below Deck crew expected this season to end. Particularly Elizabeth Frankini, whose firing at the end of last week’s episode became, well, flagrantly unnecessary in hindsight. But it still happened. To say she’s shell-shocked by the decision would be…a bit of an understatement. But it’s clear Francesca Rubi is taking a kind of pleasure in forcing her off the yacht. Downstairs, Elizabeth bursts into tears, and decides the best thing to do is beg Francesca for her job back. If only the chief stew would stop and reconsider what she’s doing.
The majority of the crew seems equally dumbfounded, and doesn’t seem to agree that Elizabeth should’ve been fired. Especially considering that, while Francesca is using the guest cabin debacle as her last-straw excuse, Eddie Lucas isn’t firing James Hough. For the exact same thing! They hooked up in the guest cabin together! Rachel Hargrove is particularly upset. Ashling Lorger, meanwhile, gives her fellow stew a sympathetic hug — all while side-eyeing the cameras and later celebrating with Chess.
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.
Is it even a show-mance when one of the parties couldn’t be less interested? Watching James Hough completely snub Elizabeth Frankini on this season of Below Deck has been so painful. Say what you will about Rachel Hargrove, but her instincts on this one were dead on. Not only has she called out the fact that James is the worst, but she stood up for Elizabeth when it came to chief stew Francesca Rubi as well.
Rachel isn’t the only one who’s been less than impressed with James. In last week’s episode it became clear Captain Lee Rosbach is equally unimpressed. Despite Francesa trying to rat on Elizabeth for sleeping in the guest cabin, it was quickly made apparent that Lee wanted James’ ass for taking part in the sleepover too.
Unfortunately, the sexism is rampant throughout the Below Deck franchise. Yes, that statement isn’t applicable to every single person on the boat. However, it’s an issue that the cast encounters practically every season.
Bosun Eddie Lucas promoted Izzy Wouters to the lead deckhand position with Captain Lee Rosbach’s blessing. Instead of congratulating Izzy on the promotion, acknowledging her hard work/aptitude, or just giving her any modicum of respect on deck, James Hough and Rob Phillips joked at her expense, making it clear that they didn’t take her seriously as leader.
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!
What comes out of Rachel Hargrove’s mouth is unpredictable at best. We know it’s going to be vulgar, and it’s going to be blunt. But in a strange way, the Below Deck Season 8 chef seems to be looking out for Elizabeth Frankini and showing a little bit of caring in the process. Though perhaps she just wants to target James Hough, and indirectly put Elizabeth’s better interests in the forefront.
Rachel also got involved in the drama between Chief Stew Francesca Rubi and the under-performing Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s thoughtless naivete, though tiring, doesn’t necessarily warrant the dismissive responses from Francesca, and other crew members are starting to take notice. Izzy Wouters is team Elizabeth, while Rachel offered up some helpful advice to the floundering stew.