Below Deck: Things That Do NOT Mix

Before I get into my verbal mixology lesson, I feel that I need to point out that after weeks of feeling like this season was more than a little sluggish, this episode was anything but. In my mind’s eye I can picture Captain Lee standing in the middle of the Colosseum √† la Maximus in Gladiator shouting, “Are you not entertained?” Yes, Sir, I am. I truly, truly am and I’m sorry for doubting that this season was going to pack a punch.

With that apology out of the way, I’ll get onto to the things you should never mix. The first one should go without saying and that would be Shane and yachting in any capacity. Most of us have learned by now that he was on a “sustainability mission” armed with paper straws in his backpack and the hubris that often comes with new knowledge. The irony wasn’t lost on Andy Cohen or Kate Chastain that he chose the platform of a Motor Yacht, which happens to be one of THE most gas guzzling vehicles one can use for transport. It wasn’t lost on most of us either. It was, however, nowhere in the realm of Sunshine’s thinking because he was too amped about sharing his newly found information with the world. The hubris comes to play in the assumption that no one knows these tidbits except him. The good news is, he is young and has time to learn from his mistakes. It just shouldn’t be on-the-job and not on My Seanna. As Captain Lee was good enough to point out, there are no participation trophies in yachting. I do wish Shane luck though.

Most of the crew were willing to wish him well also, the one exception being Rachel. Mrs. Hyde came out to play this episode and it began with her unwillingness to walk to the aft deck to even say goodbye to Shane. Sure he was useless as a deck hand, but he’s a nice kid. Unless he got a major “sweet cherub” edit from production, I can’t think of a single reason for her to be so rude. She even added “don’t let the passerelle hit you in the a$$.” She was reaching a little with that quip, considering that it’s a gangplank and not a rake, but it goes to show that she’s definitely more interested in being quotable than in making friends.

On to the next of the unmixables…astrology and psychoanalysis, at least if you’re Elizabeth. Liz acting like Francesca being a Gemini is the reason she has issues with her couldn’t be more off base. So far Francesca seems to be the least twin-ish Gemini I’ve ever seen. She just wants Elizabeth to stop being a flake and follow through. Showing a little initiative and dropping her Pigpen tendencies might not hurt either. Unlike Francesca though, Elizabeth IS living up to her negative Pisces traits which are a tendency to rely on emotion and to exaggerate circumstances to turn herself into a victim. Boom.

Off to save the world one paper straw at a time.

Two things that go together about as well as white chocolate and brussel sprouts are vaguely threatening pep talks and assumptions. I think Eddie is doing a good job redeeming himself so far this season, but he dropped the ball during his talk with Izzy and James after Shane left. First off, I don’t think Captain Lee was only referring to the deck crew when he was discussing pulling one’s weight, but even if I’m wrong, his next arrow would be aimed at James and not Izzy. By not being clear it led Izzy to believe that she could potentially be on the chopping block which resulted in another “crying in yachting” moment. She’s kicking butt and taking names, so she never should’ve had to feel that way. So the next time you’re using the chamois on the stainless, Eddie, take a sec and use it to buff up your communication skills as well.

The crew headed for a night out and we learned two other things that don’t combine well are Rachel and alcohol. She vacillated between that maudlin, mopey girl who had to go to summer camp without her boyfriend and an expletive-generating machine. It was exactly like Eddie described…flipping a switch. My neck still hasn’t recovered from the whiplash. I get missing your significant other, but after months of quarantining away from loved ones, her whinging was rubbing me wrong. It’s six weeks, and if I may be so bold as to blatantly steal from Captain Lee, “Suck it up, Cupcake!” That’s definitely a much kinder way to put it than she did when verbally reaming Elizabeth in the van.

When the crew got back to the boat, Rachel’s ire shifted from Elizabeth to Francesca and she asked Eddie if they could switch cabins. I haven’t seen Chess do anything but be supportive of Rachel aside from a couple late night chats about her frustration with Elizabeth. That’s normal roommate stuff if you ask me, and if it is making Rachel uncomfortable she should just say so…to Francesca, not Eddie. She seems to have expectations of others that she doesn’t apply to herself when it comes to interpersonal relationships. My drinks may be doubles, but my standards aren’t, and she’s really getting on my nerves.

Not an ideal substitute when you run out of essential oils and incense, Liz.

Everyone hit the sack by about 2 AM and a new day dawns with a chance at a fresh start and better attitudes. Aside from being hungover, everyone seemed fairly chipper and ready to attack the rest of the turnover before the guests arrive the next day. That lasted all of about a half an hour when Elizabeth decided to gas the interior into a state of dizziness with her hot water, soap, and bleach bowl. Francesca had advised Liz that she needed to take it outside, and also told her to use cold water and not hot. Liz promptly ignored both, didn’t dump out the hot water and placed the bowl on the laundry room floor. Can’t blame that on Francesca being a Gemini now can you? Francesca promptly called the engineers who saved the day by pointing out that Liz had basically made homemade mustard gas. Talk about the most unmixable of unmixables.

Another bad mix is screwing up your work in Captain Lee’s line of sight. Not a smooth move on James’ part. And he did it more than once! I don’t know if his lack of awareness was a result of his hangover, or if he just doesn’t give a rip. Either way I think it lends credence to my assumption above that he’s next on Cap’s hit list if he doesn’t shape up. And for the record James, that doesn’t mean jumping rope and doing yoga. I have been enjoying the Bickersons banter between him and Izzy, so I hope he gets his rear in gear.

After the solvent incident, Francesca would rather see Elizabeth gone than James and she shared her thoughts with Rachel. Rachel paid a little homage to Kenny Rogers “The Gambler” and said they should fold the cards they were dealt and get a new hand. With Rachel’s support buffeting her own feelings, Francesca went to talk with Captain Lee. Unfortunately, the talk didn’t go as planned and Captain Lee informed her there was no way to get another stew in before the next charter. Logically Francesca understood that they were already down a crew member and couldn’t afford to be down two, but emotionally she was less than pleased.

That is not a look I’d want to be on the receiving end of.

And finally, since we’re on the topic of less than pleased, we arrive at what was the most shocking moment for me in an already crazy episode. It was time for the preference sheet meeting and primary guest Bryan and his pals are out to give North Carolinians a bad name. I’m not sure how one gets to be a stay-at-home parent to 13 dogs and tortoises, but it might at least explain why Bryan’s friend Morgan has ridiculous demands. There’s no excuse for the rest of them though, outside of wanting to be as ostentatious and poser-ish as humanly possible. If you’re thinking it’s the demands of rainbow unicorn floats, too many cuisines to count, and a ten course dinner that are shocking, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

It’s Rachel’s reaction to those demands that have my mouth still agape over 12 hours after watching. She went on a swearing rant that would make even the saltiest of sailors blush, including a reference to munching on her nether region and saying “F^@# Yourself” while looking Captain Lee directly in the eye. He calmly replied that he’d rather not do that and she immediately backpedaled and said she loved him, but the guests were despicable and that she’d rather have a plane ticket home. Maybe it was the rose’ she appeared to be drinking at the bar while everyone else was working. Maybe she was still drunk from the night before. Or quite possibly she’s actually nuttier than squirrel scat like I’ve been saying all season. Whatever the reason, there was no talking her out of it, and even when Captain Lee practically begged her to stay at least for the first day of the charter she refused. She packed her bag and walked off the boat.

We’ll have to wait until next week to see if she has walk-off remorse and comes back or if Captain Lee actually has to scramble to find a chef in less than a day. Can you ship people via Fed Ex Priority Overnight? For the crew’s sake, I hope so.

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