Below Deck: Izzy Bounces Back and Up

Welcome back, Deckers! You can tell we’re getting to the portion of the season where production had to stretch things out, because this week’s episode had more fillers than a Real Housewife. Don’t let that dissuade you though. They threw enough gems in there to keep it interesting. However, our first scene as always is a flashback to last week and unfortunately that means reliving James being a douche canoe.

He ran Elizabeth off with his comments about all of the “fit birds” on Rob’s Instagram, and even tacked on “How many of them I’d like to” before trailing off. Izzy had to remind him that he needed to be more considerate and that he never even asked Liz how she was feeling. Even production asked him about his behavior during his confessional. He blamed it yet again on Liz not sticking up for him with Rachel. He described himself as loyal, so much so that he’s Loyale with cheese. I hate that he’s now marred any future viewings of Pulp Fiction and I’ll be forced to hear his idiocy in my head instead of enjoying a French McDonald’s creativity in renaming a Quarter Pounder. He did admit by the end of his talking head interview that he is an a-hole. Not breaking news.

Eddie made a tender trip to pick up Dr. Williams who examined both Elizabeth and Rachel. We are apparently far enough into the pandemic that hand shaking was no longer recommended, since Dr. Williams refused Liz’s outstretched hand. She ran Liz through a series of questions after asking Elizabeth to stick out her tongue. I grew up visiting a doctor who practiced part Eastern and part Western medicine. The number of things he told me that can be discovered just by looking at your tongue is pretty amazing. The doctor gave Elizabeth antibiotics and did a pretty good job of not laughing when Elizabeth asked if UTIs are contagious. My friend Christina made me laugh when she tweeted that she wished the doctor had said no, but STIs are.

You’re better than I am, Dr. Williams. I laughed AND rolled my eyes.

Rachel’s appointment was next and after listing her symptoms and a quick exam in her cabin, the doctor believes Rachel has gastroenteritis…which is contagious, by the way, but only if Rachel’s not proficient in hand washing. Let’s hope for the sake of everyone else on the boat that she doesn’t get so drunk she blacks-out on hygiene. Dr. Williams recommended Rachel get IV therapy, but since the guests were still on board, Rachel wanted to put it off for a day. The doctor agreed that would be fine.

Ashling chose to push through and pass on seeing the doctor. She should have scheduled an eye exam though, because her crush on Justin continued. She actually became flustered by his flirting and didn’t know how to talk to him. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Odd that my version of it is more aligned with Poison Justin than it is with Ashling though. Not only odd, but a wee bit disturbing.

We were treated to Gigi missing the mark on her grass plot and doing her business on the deck. To the primary I’d offer that the little leash thing you’re holding in your hand can actually be used to guide your pet to the proper area. Amazing, I know, but it will be handy in the future. It did provide a segue for Rob to share an anecdote about his encounter with Kaya Rocky Falafel McFurryface. He found her on the street and she cocked her head and waved at him. After seeing her photos, I couldn’t have resisted that either. I’m not sure if it’s because he was never able to convince her to not bite people, or due to his traveling, but Kaya now lives happily on a farm.

Lesson learned. Bite people and get an all-you-can-eat-chicken home

Now comes the part where I became thoroughly confused by how Elizabeth’s brain works. She and Ashling were in the crew mess and James walked in. He finally asked her how she was doing and hinted that Ashling should cover for her on lates since Liz isn’t feeling well. Instead of seeing that as a way for her to get more time to rest and put more work on Ashling (who is also ill,) Liz chose to see that as James flirting with Ashling. I get that James is difficult to understand when he speaks, but this wasn’t that tough to suss out. She even took it a step further and had a little heart-to-heart with Ash about letting her know if Ash ever felt that James like-liked her. Ashling was just as lost as I was. To add insult to injury that inane discussion had both of them avoiding Francesca’s radio call, causing Francesca to yet again have to stop what she was doing and run to request their help in person.

Switching to people who actually are doing their job and doing it extremely well, Eddie had a talk with Cap about bumping Izzy up to lead deckhand. Captain Lee is all for it and gave one of his highest forms of praise by saying Izzy is no cream puff. When Eddie presented the idea to Izzy she seemed willing, but hesitant. More women will likely understand that contradiction than men, especially women who’ve been in management. Any role I’ve ever had in management has always come with blow-back, and more often than not it was from men who didn’t like a woman being in authority over them in a male dominated workplace. That’s not a figment of women’s imaginations, it’s a reality daily for many in the workplace. I’m glad she chose to step up and take the role and I’m proud of Eddie for acknowledging her hard work and potential. This really has been a redemption season for him in my eyes.

Dinner time arrived and everyone really seemed to enjoy the homemade pasta and snow crab. I’ve bashed Rachel’s plating in the past, but I found this to be fun and visually appealing. She wrapped up with cannoli for dessert and they looked delicious. Elizabeth shared with Rachel that it is her dad’s favorite dessert. When she found out James had never had one, she decided to make one for him. Mind you, she’s on the clock and she radioed for him to meet her in the main salon so he could try it. Of course, Francesca’s going to know you’re not doing your job when you announce it over radio waves. It’s not just the time you took handing it to him that Chess was asking you to answer for, it’s the time it took to make it, bring it, AND stand there and chat. All of that without asking to take a quick break. Meanwhile Francesca’s covering all of the guests by herself, because Ashling was down for the night. I don’t expect Liz to be a rocket scientist, but at least be smarter than a rock.

It’s past lunch and I’m seriously craving this right now.

Francesca vented to Eddie who now feels semi-responsible for sticking up for Liz and James. He doesn’t want to pull the disappointed dad card, but he will if he has to. Luckily James was spared from that side as he completely understood how it might have come off to Francesca considering she hadn’t had a break all day. Now if James could be the Elizabeth Whisperer, we might not have to deal with a repeat of the discourtesy. Somehow, I doubt that’s going to happen though.

It’s the last day of the Texan’s charter and either the person in charge of subtitles has it in for Francesca or they just don’t understand her accent. She clearly greeting the adorable Gigi with a sing-songy version of her full name….Georgia. She did not call her Jojo and forget her name. Perhaps it was to add some sort of subliminal buffer to Rachel’s complaints about Chess throughout breakfast service. The only problem with that is Francesca was with the guests when Rachel radioed and therefore couldn’t answer immediately. Ashling did go down to the galley right away to get the plates, so I’m not sure what the problem is. I’ve alluded to this in the past, but I do think that Rachel’s friendship with Kate is part of the criticism, be it due or undue. I can’t fault Cap for thinking Francesca dropped the ball when he only heard the radio communication and drew the story from there.

The guests departed and left 17,000USD in their wake. Izzy was expecting more, but, again, two night charters shouldn’t be expected to tip as much as three. Expecting a two thousand dollar tip for doing your job for two days is bit of a reach in my book. Cap informed them that he signed them up for a beach day. James got excited until he realized it was about giving back to the island of Antigua by cleaning up a beach instead of lounging on one like he just did three days ago. He really did misjudge what this job was going to be and that’s….a job. You’d think the name might have tipped him off, but at least he and Liz can start a Bizarro-world Mensa organization if they want. Rachel is excused from the outing so she can get her IV treatment and get her body in ship shape again.

Watching the crew work with Adopt A Coastline to clean up the mangrove area is one of the things I enjoy seeing Bravo use their platform for. The amount of trash they picked up in that one area was staggering. Shane may have been selling it a little hard (and a teensy bit arrogantly) but we do only have one planet. I was always taught to leave nature better than I found it. This is the kind of PSA I’ll back all day, every day. If they have them do it again in the future though, please give them gloves. Aside from the gross factor, tetanus and germ related illnesses are a real issue when dealing with garbage.

Give a hoot; don’t pollute.

Everyone is back on the boat pretty late, and they were nice enough to order in pizza so Rachel could rest after her 2 bag IV therapy. Most everyone heads off to bed except for RomeNo and Juliet. Well, they headed to bed, just not their own. For the second time this season they took advantage of an available guest cabin (without asking) for another tryst. Last time they were smart enough to sneak back in their bunks before anyone was aware they were missing. This time, the afterglow must’ve muddled their brains and Izzy was awake before they snuck back in. Busted. I’ve seen tweets and articles asking what the big deal is about using the guest cabins and to me it’s a respect thing. They’re employees, not guests. It’s not their personal pleasure palace. And as Captain Lee shared on Watch What Happens Live, it’s often a reward that’s earned at his discretion or the Chief Stew’s.

Aside from being the eyewitness to misdeeds, Izzy also faced the task of her first day as lead deckhand. Not surprisingly, she was already getting grief. I expected it from James, but not from Rob. He may captain 20 meter sailboats, but on this yacht he’s still the new guy and obviously hasn’t proved himself in the ways Izzy has. Hopefully she will take it with the infinitesimal grain of salt it deserves and not let it keep her from growing.

We end with the tease of the return of the Queen of Versailles Jackie Siegel to Below Deck, but unlike in the Med, her husband David will be with her. We also witness Francesca blowing up on Elizabeth in front of other crew members (bad move in my opinion) regarding the overnight in the guest cabin. Elizabeth tried to fan back the flames of Chess’s anger by playing a game of semantics, but only succeeded in stoking them. Will Elizabeth be getting a plane ticket home for her 30th birthday present? And will James be flying in the seat next to her? Tune in next week to find out!

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