Below Deck Recap: A Boiling Point


Below Deck Recap: A Boiling Point

A lot of this episode is about what doesn’t happen, beginning with Rayna and Jake — who, against all odds, do not fuck. In fact, Jake leaves Rayna’s bed not long after Fraser, who left in the first place because things were getting too steamy between Jake and Rayna! Fraser is a bit sad to see his crew crush getting it on with somebody else, but later that night, he seems to be fine chatting with Jake on the dock. Jake says he couldn’t have sex with Rayna because he started thinking about his fiancée Paris, and he thinks that might mean they’re in love. The same Jake who, just a few episodes ago, was insisting she’s just a fiancée and not a girlfriend! Aw! The next morning, Rayna decides she and Jake don’t have anything to talk about because she’s fine that they didn’t fuck too (“’Cause I probably would’ve hated you more”).

But between having to pick up the work of a third stew and not getting any, er, release with a cute boy like Jake, Fraser is still in a bad mood. He says as much at dinner the next night between dips of his pizza into ranch. This prompts Heather to share what she expects to be a bit of good news: They’re getting another stew in the next few days, and it’s her old second, Kaylee! (Curiously, Heather introduces Kaylee as “our second stew,” even though she’s ostensibly being brought on as a third.) Fraser doesn’t say much about it until Heather seems to have left the crew mess. Then, as he starts to tell Rayna and Jake about his feelings on it all, a shout from Heather comes down the stairs. “Well, what do you want? You want no help at all?” she yells. Which, Fraser didn’t say that! He barely said anything! “Don’t start off on that foot,” Heather goes on. “It was her or nobody else.” It’s unnecessarily aggressive, kind of parental, and just not true — how does she know Lee didn’t have other options? But if it wasn’t clear that Heather is our villain by now … Heather’s the villain. “You’re a HOD [head of department]; you have to take the higher ground,” Rachel tells her shortly after. “No,” Heather replies.

The next morning, Captain Lee is giving a pretty nervous Eddie the chance to take the boat off the dock. Lucky for Eddie, it goes well! But not everyone is in Lee’s good graces this morning. For one, he grumbles about Wes texting on deck in a way that you can just tell it’s going to come up again later. Then, after Lee notices that Rayna sounds “in a good mood” on the radio, Eddie starts telling him about his issues with her attitude. After he notes that she personally apologized for rolling her eyes on deck, I almost wonder if he’s going to bring up her telling him about Heather using the N-word, but nope! Regardless, Captain Lee once again doesn’t seem pleased with his deck team.

Before we know it, our guests are here! Our primary is Tony Thornton, a stylish retired naval officer who is getting a kick out of spending more time on the sea. (“Permission to come aboard?” he asks Captain Lee with a salute.) Their charter seems pretty standard: beach picnic, fancy dinner, a bunch of couples celebrating their love. “I like them,” Wes says. “Duh, they’re Black,” Rayna replies. The guests kick off their charter with a Caribbean lunch from Rachel (“Because guess what: We’re in the Caribbean!”), including her signature Scotch bonnet hot sauce. Tony’s review? “Just like our wives: sweet and hot.”

After lunch, the guests waste no time taking to the Jet Skis — and taking them a bit too far since no deck crew member is there to watch them. This only makes Captain Lee angrier, but what finally pushes him over the line is seeing Eddie, a first officer, washing and refueling the Jet Skis. “Where is his crew? Why are they not doing it?” Lee asks in a confessional. “Probably texting.” And on top of it all, Lee notices Rayna rolling her eyes after Eddie has the deck crew fuel the Jet Skis.

Captain Lee passes along his complaints to Jake, who tells Rayna and Wes in a deck crew meeting. Here’s the thing: Some of those complaints, like the safety-related worry about headphones, sound extremely valid. And no, you shouldn’t roll your eyes right in front of your boss. But bundling all of those issues into one doesn’t seem like the best way to reach this deck crew, and I don’t think this is going to solve the deck crew’s problems.

In other mismanagement news, Heather gives Fraser some poorly received spiel before dinner about showing her “what this second stripe is all about” and how he’s “the right-hand man on this vessel.” I get what she’s trying to do here, but come on: As if Fraser hasn’t been rising above his role? (And to his credit, he tells Heather as much!) Heather says in a confessional that Fraser is “overreacting,” but really, he’s barely reacted since that moment in the crew mess!

Dinner is Mediterranean-themed, and even if these people may be on the wrong show for that, Rachel nonetheless obliges. There’s shrimp, there’s lamb, there’s bruschetta, and it all looks great. Except, of course, to the guest with the shellfish allergy and the guest who can’t have dairy, considering that the lamb is touching feta cheese and the guest who can’t eat shellfish also won’t eat lamb. While Rachel goes back to the galley to cook a whole new rack of lamb, Heather stays on deck to face Melissa, one of the guests waiting on food who is not having it. She says they all want to eat at the same time in the future, which prompts Heather to start arguing with her about preference sheets. Yes, a chief stew arguing with a guest! After some eye rolls from Melissa (unlike Rayna’s, pretty warranted!), Heather eventually comes back to apologize — as it turns out, one of the guests’ sheets said minimum dairy, while Melissa’s said lactose intolerant. I have to respect Melissa’s commitment to not eating any of the new lamb or dessert to prove some sort of point. Lucky for Heather, Rachel is able to save face a bit at the end of the meal when she comes out to apologize and joke about eating deckhands and being a cougar. (Have I mentioned recently that I love this woman?)

The night ends with Rayna in bed, manifesting a lead deckhand position with a “fucking crew that appreciates me.” And the next morning, on cue, Captain Lee is talking to Eddie about Rayna again! But it seems like they’re getting somewhere. “There’s always a reason for somebody’s behavior,” Lee says. Now, I know Heather using the N-word is not the only reason for Rayna’s attitude, but it certainly seems to be a growing part of her resentment toward Eddie (given how he wrote off her complaint). So once Lee mentions the possibility of “something extraneous” at play, I’m surprised Eddie doesn’t think to bring it up! When it comes to things that don’t happen in this episode, that’s the biggest.

Rayna, meanwhile, is mad at Eddie and Lee, as she tells Wes in the morning. Still, she does a good job with pulling up the anchor, so much that Captain Lee compliments her on it. Which you’d think would be a good thing! But this hurts Rayna: “It’s not okay to be playing with people’s emotions like that,” she tells Wes. At the same time, interior needs Rayna’s help in the galley, so Fraser comes out to get her. And as he hugs her to comfort her, he accidentally hits her radio, so Lee and Eddie hear a snippet of her talking to Fraser. Of course, Lee sends Eddie to investigate. I know this is serious and emotional, but also, the scene of Eddie being two seconds behind Rayna and trying to catch up with her is perfectly edited — down to the episode ending with him knocking on her door.


• The file photos of Fraser as “an insecure, dorky child dressed by my mother” are just wonderful!

• Paris’s response to her fiancé Jake’s debauchery: “You absolute wanker!”

• But more importantly, speaking of partners, Eddie calls his girlfriend this episode! Think they patched things up?

• Our Captain Lee–ism of the week has to be him quoting Shrek, with the accent and all, to Eddie: “Are ya ready for an adventure, Donkey?”

• Rachel on her hot sauce: “Tomorrow morning, when you’re looking for your toilet paper inside the freezer, you’ll be screaming my name.”