Good day to you! It's time for Below Deck in all its messy glory, have you chosen sides in the Interior rumble royale? Of course you have, we're an opinionated lot, let's see if the Sharks or Jets prevail in my recap of Below Deck S8:E10 Steamy Vibes after the break!
Ohh the Previously On brings up an issue I hadn't even thought about; deckhand Isabelle 'Izzy' Wouters has immune disorder Guillame-Barre Syndrome. This season of Below Deck was filmed in February of 2020, just as COVID starting cutting a swath through life as we knew it. I don't think I was aware that GBS was an immune disorder, literally all I know of it I learned from a book called "No Laughing Matter" by Joseph Heller that, to be honest, I read and didn't understand very well as a teenager.
Back to our Interior struggles, we've got chief steward Francesca Rubi on one side and recently demoted
second third steward Elizabeth Frankini who is not learning or moving fast enough for Francesca. I can't figure out if Francesca is a just a terrible boss (absolutely lousy at motivating/encouraging staff) or a fallible person in a pressure cooker. In the same way, I can't figure out whether Elizabeth sucks arse or is just a fallible human in a pressure cooker.
A fallible human who just got snogged in the hot tub by deckhand James Hough, that is! Wooooooo! Elizabeth already told us she gets super possessive when she's dating someone, seeing that James has made sleepy eyes at literally every woman within 3 feet of him may end up being problematic.
We open in Falmouth Harbor in Antigua 29 hours before charter. Everyone was up late the night before, so it's a slow progression from coffee to on deck. We get a full 30 seconds of Captain Lee Rosbach zipping up his shorts for why, Bravo? Anyone?
Elizabeth spills the beans to steward Ashling Lorger and deckhand Rob NoLastNameButFromCanada.
And then, seconds later, inexplicably her hair falls down and is brown.
What the? How long were they talking?? Was this over days? I've done my hair like the first picture, there are bobby pins and rearranging, it's a whole thing! I mean, I knew Elizabeth was a slow talker. Okay she just took down a little clip, whew. Still. She looks completely different. I defend my confusion!!
Bosun Eddie Lucas is still inside, on his phone with his mom tracking the Coronavirus. This filming day was Leap Day, February 29, 2020 and when the very first death was recorded in the US from COVID-19.
Back to the inside dramz, Francesca is up and wondering where Elizabeth is, she's late! Except she's actually early, working away in the galley with chef Rachel Hargrove.
You know, I've been thinking about Eddie being mad at Rachel and I've decided how I feel about it because obvs that's super important. Eddie's feelings are hurt and he feels betrayed by Rachel's decision to leave them high and dry before an awesome charter. She returned a few hours later with her tail between her legs but Eddie hasn't forgiven her. I liked Rachel before, I thought she was funny and a proficient chef. Her leaving was so cold, though. She was openly aggressive to Bravo camerapeople.
She was rude and uncaring to Elizabeth, basically, she just made sure that everyone knew she cared not one single flying fig for anyone on that ship. She's hard. And profane. So profane. I am both an old woman and a mom, so I get that my sensibilities may not be everyone's, but if I have to hear about her "f******" yet another set of diners "in the mouth" with her food, I may mute her. Once: it was funny. Twice: okay. 856th time: get a new schtick, lady, one without humping people's mouths or bums, depending on what you think your food is going to do to people on any given day.
Francesca brings Ashling and Elizabeth up to the salon for a pre-day meeting, this isn't scheduled, Elizabeth wasn't advised, she was just working and really: she's trying so hard. Francesca just hates her and it's super awkward, especially after she heard Izzy and Elizabeth shittalking her in Elizabeth's room.
To be fair, Izzy was doing most of the shittalking, but she used to be in the Interior crew so she actually knew from whence she spaketh.
The last charter wanted to get dropped off here at Falmouth Harbour but the next charter is at the usual spot Jolly Harbour, so Captain Lee and the deck crew ready My Seanna for the move.
After they're underway, James and Elizabeth have their first meeting post-snogging in the crew mess with everyone watching. When James realises everyone knows.
But admits he would have done the same, cheers!
I mean, he keeps talking about people being boring and how he can't find any good banter: Elizabeth is literally the worst at any kind of wordplay. It's like she's hearing everything through a woo-woo filter that makes her ignore literally everything that isn't praise. She's impossible to speak to.
James is just a moron. And clearly looking for just a physical connection, which hey? Why not? The older I get the more claustrophobic Elizabeth's approach seems, looking for a deep emotional connection and the ownership that comes with it. HAVE I GIVEN UP ON LOVE?????
James is uncomfortable with everyone knowing of his hot tub shenanigans but Elizabeth is one half in love.
We have another close connection to COVID-19, Rachel's boyfriend is an adorable tiny Italian named Vincenzo who travels back and forth between Italy and France for work. He's close to a lot of the areas that are quarantining and grocery stores are running out of food. This is about two weeks before everything hit the fan here.
Deckhand Rob and Francesca have been flirting but it's not going very well because Rob is 100% AwkwardCanadian. She couldn't be any more clear about her interest without drawing an arrow to her crotch (but, like, classily) but he thinks she's above his paygrade. "Like a hot nun."
The deck crew does an unobserved excellent docking, it only goes smoothly when there isn't a yachtful of guests watching and 200 people on dock.
Francesca has been stewing over Elizabeth and Izzy's overheard shittalking the day before, she decides there's only one way to handle it: yet another talk with Elizabeth where she hides her personal hurt in attacking Elizabeth's professionalism. It's not that Elizabeth and Izzy were talking about HER, it's that they were talking loudly and affecting the WHOLE BOAT with their unprofessional behaviour.
I have to say: Elizabeth is doing an amazing fecking job still working and smiling and making beds while Francesca drops all this loaded crap on her. It's like she's thinking: she can demote me, she can be mean and make me feel bad but if I keep working and doing a good job, Captain Lee will keep sticking up for me. For real, I know a lot of people her age (I was maybe one of them) that wouldn't be able to keep plowing on while someone conducted a series of attacks on me.
Because it's clear that Francesca's feelings are hurt and she can't take it out on Izzy, who was the one really shittalking, calling Francesca a "f****** twat" because Izzy no longer works for her. Elizabeth was almost in tears because she felt like she couldn't do anything right and Izzy was trying to buck her up.
Also: nobody but Francesca and the Bravo camerapeople heard that discussion.
Elizabeth is polite and professional in response, even in the face of Francesca's "I don't care what the f*** you were saying" (which that statement and the way it was delivered completely disputes); now I'm worried because she's floating on a snogging-James high.
Captain Lee calls Eddie, Rachel and Francesca to the crew mess for a pre-charter Preference Sheet Meeting wooooo! Try to read some of the pages, besides being completely useless for food preferences, they're clearly written by Megan Trainer's publicist.
Who's coming this way?
- Co-Primaries Tina and Mark Milani
- Rob and Gina Tuckey
- Karen McPherson
- David Chris McGrew
- Margie Arata
- Delores Flora
Please probably a couple others for the smaller rooms. Francesca sums up the problem with this group right away.
That means they know when the crew is screwing up or the service is substandard *coughcough*.
Boooy James's roommate Izzy has a lot to say about James (hm, just like me) even though she in no way likes him whatsoever, why would you say that?? And it's totally normal to worry about when/where this person you don't like at all will 'seal the deal'. Ashling has James' number.
Speaking of, James texts Elizabeth to come up onto the sundeck, his fellow deck crew are looking at nautical knots on their phones. For real, not a euphemism.
James and Elizabeth get to know each other, James has three Frenchies!!!!
Awwwww! Elizabeth has two West Highland terriers, aka Westies, no slouches in the awwwwww department themselves.
James...is not just a fkboi, his first serious girlfriend cheated on him (unconfirmed) and he's used that as an excuse to keep everyone at dicks-length ever since. It's not that I don't have empathy, but it's been five years and his behaviour is actually pretty normal for someone that age. When he's ready to open up and be with people, he will. Can't be forced.
They kiss in the crew mess on the way to their separate bunks, you know what they say: one sober snog is worth 400 drunken shags.
A mere six hours later, the crew is up and at it to get ready for the charter! Except Izzy isn't feeling well, she's got a sore throat and aches all over. We mentioned at the top that she is immuno-compromised, I now am obsessively cataloguing every space she is in, everything she touches and who she is within six feet from.
They're in this little microcosm, where could she have been exposed? I mean. IF this is COVID. It may just be a cold, which is what happened before the Coronavirus RUINT absolutely everything. In a 48 hour window, that would mean...the restaurant and pub the night they went out. That could be literally anyone, how do you contact-trace?
Small crisis when the Captain can't find any pants; Elizabeth can't find starch and blames it on Ashling who deflects that shite right back onto her. Sigh.
Already it's time for guest arrival, I didn't even hear the 30 minute call from Captain Les for dress whites! Apparently neither did Francesca, who put on only two stripes instead of three. Elizabeth laughs so hard she swallows her nose.
Hai Primary Tina and Primary Mark!
The de-docking goes so smoothly that they're away and halfway out to sea before the guests notice. They're on bottle #2 of champagne, I guess we're counting!
It's been so long since I've had anything alcoholic that I've gone from feeling wistful while watching people drinking to mystified. Who wants to get so polluted minutes after starting a dream vacation? Mind you, I distinctly remember trying, unsuccessfully and repeatedly, to get stewardesses to serve me liquor on a 7 am flight to Toronto a million years ago.
Rachel spent the last two days cleaning out all the fridges and freezers in the galley, at one point she left her phone in the freezer and now she's worried she won't hear from her boyfriend about his flight from France.
Ashling pulls tablewear for lunch and Francesca goes on break, leaving Elizabeth to ignore the guests. Seriously. Every time she's left on guest service, she takes incredible amounts of time to do anything and the guests are left having to fend for themselves. That 8th bottle of champers isn't going to pour itself, ladies!
But for real, these people are paying for much, much better service. Two guests wander into the kitchen and tentatively ask Rachel for bevvies, who calls it on the radio so everyone knows Elizabeth isn't taking care of the guests AGAIN.
Francesca makes sure of this by hopping on the radio to confirm that she asked Elizabeth to do exactly that, is she doing it??
Even though Eddie has been following COVID news, he doesn't twig when Izzy talks of feeling sick, instead offering her some vitamin C. She's going to power through the pain, something else we tend to do when sick and are legally no longer allowed to do thanks to COVID.
It's like watching a time capsule!!
Rachel is so excited about her food, I can't help but love that. It's Mahi Mahi with some kind of dust, I dunno but the guests love it.
Eddie tries to get the plan sorted for the days ahead but there are too many opinionated people who want to do too many things. I don't think this is very respectful to the Primaries.
After that, someone says "we're easy" and then they all laugh uproariously. So they know. Guest Delores Flora used to race jetskis, so she shows us some tricks out on the water after lunch.
This is after champagne bottle #4!
The hot tub at dusk completes bottle #5, that's all the champagne Francesca has on board. She's going to need to call for provisions, did they not mention on their extensive preference sheets??
The deck crew brings in the water toys at sunset (gorgeous) as guest Delores switches to hard liquor. She appears lucid but is drinking enough to kill a beach pony, so we'll see.
Izzy is sent to bed early, she's more worried about a resurgence of Guillame Barre Syndrome than she is COVID, which she jokes she has with her sister. It was only associated with travel back on March 1, 2020, so she doesn't really think that's it. She's just tired, needs more sleep.
Everyone gets ready for the Gatsby-themed dinner this evening, Captain Lee will be joining the guests and there are oversized bills and feathers absolutely everywhere.
There are whales and barracudas (I can't tell if they're joking) swimming around in the water next to the superyacht, Delores seems particularly interested, almost as much as she is in her wine.
Rachel plates this exquisite meal
While listening in dismay as James and Elizabeth flirt. She saw him hit on every single person, how did Elizabeth miss that?
Delores burps when this pretty plate is served to her, drawings Captain Lee's stinkeye. I'm thinking that was just slightly more than a burp...she's at the mouth hanging open stage of drunkenness.
I just see someone trying to obliterate themselves when I see that now. It doesn't look like fun, or partying, just trying to make yourself invisible.
As often happens with drunk single ladies on the yacht, Delores turns her attentions to the Captain, how come we haven't seen him naked in the water yet?
Captain Lee bails after dessert but Delores keeps on drinking. She wanders outside, they follow her to the side of the boat where she looks at the tiny sharks swimming below and asks for peas. Fish like peas.
Captain Lee hears the radio call for assistance on the swimdeck and appears to tell her to not jump in the water, don't you do it! Don't you do it!
She jumps in the water.
I've never seen Captain Lee this angry before; this ends this charter right then. It's over and we don't find out what happens until next week.
Until then! Cheers. Stay safe, Delores and get your drunk arse back on the boat.