Below Deck: Charterus Interruptus

I can’t believe it’s the end of the season, but here we are. We revisited Elizabeth’s dismissal and her shock was no less shocking to me this week than it was last week. There was a lot of commentary on whether or not it was fair that Elizabeth was fired while James got to stay. Someone even accused Captain Lee of misogyny which is preposterous. It comes down to basic math for me. It was James’ first work infraction and Elizabeth’s 4th or 5th. It has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with Elizabeth repeatedly not improving her performance.

The crew’s reactions seemed mixed. James appeared thrilled that he didn’t have to official break it off with Liz. Rachel and Izzy were probably the most upset, having been the closest to her. Izzy felt it was personal and while I do think that was a factor it was neither the sole nor even the main reason. Liz vacillated between fuming and tears, but eventually packed her things and left the boat with everyone seeing her off except for Francesca and Captain Lee. As she walked down the dock she made a point to say she needed to call her energy healer. I don’t think her energy is broken, though her healer himself might be, considering whatever he was fixing didn’t improve Liz’s focus on her work. My snarkier side would suggest you invest her money in a life and career coach who’ll gently tell her how life really works and what she is and isn’t cut out for.

I’ve heard of being saved by the bell, but not saved by the firing. Why does James have such good luck?

The group prepared for a night out and we experienced many more references to Covid as a precursor to events that evolve later. It’s hard almost a year later to see them be so convinced that it will all end in a few weeks. At the end of the meal the cake Rachel and Izzy planned for Elizabeth arrived. Rachel insisted it was cancelled and showed up anyway, but considering she’s refused to admit some of her other slip ups in the past I don’t know if I believe her. It makes more sense that her getting angry that the entire group dove into the cake might have been more to cover up forgetting, because otherwise it seemed entirely disproportional to what happened. Even Izzy who was close to Elizabeth was the first to say they should eat it.

Rachel refused to ride back with the group and when Francesca went to try and make amends back at the boat, Rachel wanted no part of it. She opted instead to call her boyfriend Vincenzo even though it was 5AM in Italy. While it seemed like he calmed her down she started the next morning by trying to meet with Captain Lee to complain about Francesca. Cap whipped out yet another great Leeism when he said that there were six days left and that he could stand on his head and (crap) straight up if he had to. You have to love him getting right to the point. Rachel left the bridge dissatisfied and decided to make the best of it with Francesca. Translation: be nice to her face to get what she needs from her and trash her at every opportunity in confessionals or talking to herself under her breath when she was alone in the galley.

All of the angst between them was for naught, however. Captain Lee called everyone to the main salon to let them know that the last two charter guests cancelled their trips due to the coronavirus. Their season is officially over and they are all heading out the next day. They all gathered together to celebrate what they accomplished over the season. Captain Lee passed through as the party began and they offered him a glass of champagne. He declined because he wasn’t in a celebratory mood. I could completely understand where he was coming from. If you consider all of the negative firsts he experienced this season, I would have been somber about how it ended as well. Eddie acknowledged how it was different for Cap, but told them that they should carry on, which they did. Lots of selfies, shots, and painfully awkward dance moves were had until the wee hours.

They’re finally all happy, but it’s because they don’t have to work together anymore.

The next day the reality of it all was still hitting Captain Lee, but he was anxious to get home to take care of his family. Izzy was anxious to finally get her flex on with Rob and call him out for how disrespectful he had been since her promotion. Unfortunately she made the mistake of telling James first and he gave Rob the heads up. Rob avoided her as best he could, but Izzy was waiting for him at the only exit from the boat when he was leaving. He attempted to flip the script and apologize before she went into her tirade, but she was having none of it. I honestly had mixed feelings about all of that. I don’t know that I would’ve bothered to have the confrontation since the season was over and there was no way for him to prove his sincerity. Then again, I don’t like to leave anything on a sour note if I can help it. She wound up letting loose on Rob though, so I at least hope she was able to let it go.

We watched as the crew left one by one and said their goodbyes to each other and to Captain Lee until the lone soldier remaining was Eddie. As he and Cap reminisce about the season, Captain Lee took the opportunity for the second time in the series to give Eddie another set of stripes. In the first season he promoted him to Bosun, and in this one he promoted him to First Officer. If you didn’t watch it, you need to. It was one of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking moments at the same time. Cap noted how proud he was of Eddie and that Eddie is what he would have wanted his son to turn out like, had he lived. The admiration went both ways as Eddie was honored to receive another promotion from a man he admires so much. The show ended on a positive note with what I believe is the first time we’ve seen Captain Lee walk down the dock imploring that we’re tougher than this pandemic and that hopefully we come out the other side in a better place than we left it. A little over a year later and my hope holds as the vaccines have entered the picture. We’ve suffered many losses worldwide, much more than anyone could have predicted back then. I hope we can honor them by unifying and being the stronger, better vision that Cap had.

Thank you so much for sharing this season with me and reading and commenting here and on social media. You’ve lifted me up and I hope that I’ve been able to return the favor for at least some of you. Look for the blessings wherever you can find them, my friends. Even small ones can carry you through the day. Much love to you all. – Jen

Leave a Reply