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.
Welcome back to Below Deck. Where, yep, you guessed it, everyone is still sick. My Seanna has basically become a floating infirmary at this point. And the worst part is that we’re still smack dab in the middle of a charter. The other worst part? That James Hough and Elizabeth Frankini‘s boat-mance seems to be sinking faster than the Titanic itself. In fact, maybe the only good part is that the boat has become a safe haven a world away from the pandemic that’s taking over America. (At this point during filming, we’ve reached March 8, 2020.) So sure, Rachel Hargrove may be having serious G.I. issues, but at least it’s not coronavirus?
Eddie Lucas brings a doctor on board to start doling out medicine for the under-the-weather crew. Antibiotics for Elizabeth! IV therapy for Rachel! And nothing but a flirty charter guest for Ashling Lorger. Because, even though she’s come down with the same illness as the chef, she’d rather power through and show Francesca Rubi how tough she is. Is refusing medical treatment some sort of weird power play to get promoted to second stew? (Also, just so we’re clear, no Elizabeth, UTIs are not contagious.)
Welcome back to Below Deck, where Hurricane Hargrove has made landfall in Antigua. That’s right, Chef Rachel Hargrove‘s drunken rampage on the crew’s day off isn’t over yet. At the end of last week’s episode, the polarizing chef was last seen demanding the house band bust out their best Patsy Cline. Well, that or some “nasty ass music.” Needless to say, the entire crew is mortified. And not even Francesca Rubi‘s prodding can get her off the stage.
Eddie Lucas is so embarrassed that he simply walks away. As in physically removes himself from the situation to not be associated with his least favorite co-worker. Eventually, Izzy Wouters joins Francesca, and the two manage to coax Rachel back to the audience. Where she promptly crashes, falling asleep without a care in the world. But the damage is done. Rachel’s off-charter behavior is way past being a problem. And it’s about to get worse.
How much trouble can one pint-sized charter guest cause on Below Deck? If her name is Delores, it turns out the answer is, well, quite a lot. So much, in fact, that this episode is super-sized! In the immediate aftermath of last week’s nighttime swim, Captain Lee Rosbach is fuming. Like, he’s so angry that you can practically see steam coming out of his ears. Delores is finally out of the water, wrapped up in a towel but still not sorry for disobeying his direct orders. As far as Cap is concerned the charter is over, and they’ll be heading back to the dock in the morning.
In the meantime, they have to get through the night without Delores deciding to go for another dip in the dark ocean. So Lee asks the crew to take turns playing prison guard. Which means standing in front of her cabin door all night in shifts. Naturally, this affects the entire crew and no one is particularly happy about getting their night’s sleep ruined. When Chef Rachel Hargrove finds out what’s happened up on deck, she labels Delores’ behavior “DILLIGAF.” (This stands for “Does it look like I give a f–k?” and…accurate.)
Welcome back to another week of Below Deck, maties. It turns out, this week is the episode we’ve all been waiting for. That’s right, the one where Captain Lee Rosbach gets mad. Last week’s episode ended with James Hough and Elizabeth Frankini finally getting down and dirty in the hot tub. And this week picks up the following morning, which is a full turnaround day for the next charter.
And would you be surprised to learn that Liz has trouble keeping her fling with James to herself? The stew immediately spills the beans to Ashling Lorger and Rob Phillips. We’re talking the moment she arrives on deck. Like, before poor James is even awake or has had time to put clothes on. So by the time he shows up for work, the rumor mill is already in full swing about his escapades the night before. (Naturally, none of this stops Francesca Rubi from finding reasons to criticize Elizabeth’s work first thing in the morning. This despite claiming she doesn’t want “any animosity” in her department, but alas…)
What do you do when you hate your second stew? There’s no denying the tension in the interior has been building for several charters now. And this week, all of that drama finally starts coming to a head. So if you’re Francesca Rubi, that means making a blatant power play to reassert your control over Elizabeth Frankini. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last eight seasons of Below Deck, it’s that the chief stew always demands respect and deference. And she’ll get it by laying down an iron fist. (Miss you, Kate Chastain!)
Last week’s episode ended with Francesca complaining once again to Captain Lee Rosbach about her underling. Because at this point, there’s nothing Elizabeth could do that Chess won’t find some issue with. I say that recognizing that Elizabeth has certainly made mistakes this season. But I can’t help but root for the underdog in this feud, and Francesca hasn’t exactly been a supportive boss. Last week, Captain Lee warned her that finding a new stew could bring a whole other rash of problems. So instead, she decides she’d rather keep Elizabeth on the boat and punish her another way.