16/06/2024 12:31 AM


Fashion The Revolution

‘Below Deck’ Season 9, Episode 13 Recap

Below Deck

Unfinished Business

Season 9

Episode 13

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

Photo: Bravo

It’s the last charter of the season! In case you missed it the 352 other times the crew said that this episode. In fact, this is one of the most last-charter episodes of Below Deck I’ve ever seen. And on top of it all, it’s not even the finale! These crew members are tired and over it, and they’re showing it. (It’s also only the seventh charter of the season! Remember when past seasons did nine?)

So we open with the crew grunting and groaning through the morning, not quite ready for that quick turnaround after their night out. “I’m ready to pull the Sleeping Beauty Heather on these motherfuckers,” Rayna says, whatever that means. And she’s soon put to the test after waking up, via yet another conversation with Eddie, who still feels bad about what she said about not being able to trust him. Rayna, for her part, really seems to be over that by now; when Eddie asks if she wants him to arrange a meeting with her, him, and Heather, she declines. Anyway, come on, Eddie: It’s the last charter! And you know Rayna won’t be back next season.

Our final set of guests were practically made in a lab to appear on Below Deck. Jennifer Yeo is a Utah real-estate agent who’s traveling with her husband and friends; they want a white party, a safari beach picnic, and a “glitz and glam” dinner party; they’ve even got the requisite weird preference (Jennifer doesn’t like cooked fish). We’ve seen these guests before, so this should be a piece of cake, right?

Wrong! The problems start before the crew even leaves the dock when a wagon full of trash falls right into the ocean. That’d be an easy fix on its own, but in the hubbub, Eddie leaves the wheelhouse to help the deck crew retrieve the wagon and wet trash bags (ew). And he doesn’t turn off the boat’s engines, which is just the sort of thing you know will make Captain Lee mad. Sure enough, Lee is, as he tells Eddie once he returns. Luckily, Eddie seems to redeem himself with no problems taking the boat off the dock.

What follows is a supremely boring afternoon. The guests enjoy their Mediterranean lunch! The guests Jet Ski! Rayna puts away those Jet Skis! We finally get some action before dinner, when the guests want some Champagne to enjoy the sunset, but, as it would figure, the crew is nowhere in sight. It turns out everyone was in the crew mess having their dinner at the same time, in yet another show of how Over It the whole crew is. Captain Lee isn’t pleased to see a guest wandering around looking for someone to get him Champagne “and not a swinging dick up there,” as he tells everyone in the crew mess in a supremely tense moment.

The guests are surprised and stunned to see a few white ribbons and balloons put up for their white party. “It’s so beautiful!” someone exclaims. “It’s so tacky,” Fraser says in a confessional. Rachel has put together a dinner with a tacky spin of her own — around the world! The Thai coconut pumpkin soup and Mexican chicken tacos (with chocolate chipotle adobo!) are hits with the guests, as expected. So is the Italian lobster ravioli, except when it comes to Jennifer, who reminds Heather that lobster is a shellfish, so she won’t eat it cooked. “It’s a texture thing for me,” she explains, as her friends espouse the greatness of Rachel’s butter-poached lobster. This slip-up frustrates Rachel yet again, who notes that this is now her third charter in a row with meal issues after dealing with Chelsea’s liquid diet and the smattering of preferences and restrictions on Tony’s charter. It’s a “lobster shituation,” she declares.

You thought everyone was tired on Day One? Day Two is even worse, so much that Rachel jokes to Kaylee not to touch her. “I’m like so grumpy and over people being grumpy and over it right now,” Heather tells Fraser in the stew pantry, which seems a bit counterproductive? She proceeds to declare that the vibes are off in the boat. Her solution? Having Eddie dress as Alexander Hamilton to surprise the guests who are big fans of the musical Hamilton. Still! In 2021! In my critical opinion, that will only worsen the vibes, but Eddie is down for the idea. Captain Lee isn’t not down for it either, but he is mad that the costume is cluttering up his wheelhouse, as he tells Heather later. (“You look like a poor quaker,” he tells Eddie at some point when he’s assembling the look. But I’m sure he won’t be mad about the tip boost!)

Even though her conflict with Rayna doesn’t loom over this episode so much, let me remind you: Heather is the villain! This is on display as she’s chilling in the crew mess, having Kaylee, who’s like a sister to her, braid her hair. (Side note, thank God Kaylee came so late in the season because she is a terribly bland cast member!) Fraser, meanwhile, is tending to guests when Rachel radios that crew lunch is ready to be brought down. Fraser’s already in the galley by the time Heather, still mid-braiding, says she can get it since she’s worried about Captain Lee — who’s sitting right in front of her — seeing all three stews in the crew mess. But she doesn’t realize the big difference is that this time, Fraser is working! And she is not! She tries to get mad at Fraser over it later, saying something about Fraser making her look like he doesn’t respect her authority, and Fraser walks away before she can even finish being mad. He’s not having it, and he shouldn’t be!

The guests’ jungle safari beach picnic is straight out of the Party City catalogue, but they, predictably, think it’s “so cute!” They enjoy the food, which includes conch salads (is a conch a cooked fish?) and steak, freshly grilled by Rachel right on the beach! But that’s nothing compared to the surprise appearance by Alexander Hamilton, who’s come from his home of nearby Nevis to ask for directions to New York — and brought ice cream on the way. It’s a hit! Well, to everyone except Rachel, who’s mad that Heather had Eddie bring the ice cream too early and that it’s going to melt. We’re left on that disagreement, which bears some striking resemblance to season eight’s Mahi-gate. To be fair, Rachel didn’t specify when to have Eddie bring the ice cream, but shouldn’t Heather have considered service too when she called him? We’ll see who’s right on next week’s finale — or, let’s be real, we probably won’t. But we will see a blowup moment between Rayna and Heather that even made me gasp in the teaser.

• The tackiest thing of all about these guests? That they complained about the “local water” and only wanted bottled. Who cares?!

• The Captain Lee–ism of the week is from a confessional after he found the entire crew in the crew mess: “Either get your heads out of your ass, or I will eat your ass.” I don’t think it quite means what he thinks it means!

• Rayna is getting to spend more time in the galley this charter, and did I mention that she’s just obsessed with Rachel? “She could fucking cuss me out, and I’d be like, [nods] ‘Yeah …’”

• While cleaning up the white party, Jake and Fraser notice a pretty odd monkey painting on the boat. “I just think he looks like a right prick,” says Jake, who, of course, wants to be friends with him.

• I regret to inform you that Rachel and Heather once again say “shashushka” rather than “shakshuka.”

• I also regret to inform you that there’s another Hamilton moment on next week’s finale of Below Deck (sponsored by Lin-Manuel Miranda).