‘Below Deck’ Season 9, Episode 12 Recap


Under the bridge

New stew on the block

Season 9

Episode 12

Editor’s Note

4 stars

Photo: Well done

If there’s one lesson to be learned from everything we watch on reality TV, it’s that people are complicated. That’s why so many of us would rather spy on people’s real lives than watch fiction, right? Because (in a good reality show, anyway) these real people do the kind of stuff you just couldn’t write about if you tried. So, that being settled, let’s get something clear about Rayna: she’s a complicated person. No she is not My Seannais the best deckhand, and if I ever start to argue that she is, send me to the bridge to have Captain Lee talk to her. But she also has emotions about her job, and they’re valid, even if and when she’s not doing a great job. Both of these things can be true, and that’s what makes her a good reality TV character! But to clarify something else: reality TV aside, she deserves to feel accepted and welcome in her workplace, regardless of her work ethic.

Anyway! Like me, everyone is talking about Rayna at the start of the episode: Eddie and Lee wondering about her radio appearance, Fraser and Heather comforting her and telling Eddie she was crying, and Rachel still needs his help to cut strawberries. Eddie finds Rayna, but she tells him they can talk later and goes to the kitchen to help Rachel. Fraser, meanwhile, meets Wes, who tells him “in code” that things are bad on the bridge.

FINALLY, Eddie can talk to Rayna for a second while they set up Jet Skis, and she wastes no time telling him that she can’t shake his (no) response to her telling him that Heather used the word N. Eddie is defensive, talking about how he never said she shouldn’t mind and saying it’s bad if Heather said so, reiterating that it’s something Rayna has to deal with. If Eddie is talking such a big game about how he would have stopped anything if he heard why didn’t he just have a talk with Heather rather than put the job on Rayna? Eddie wants to continue unpacking what happened this morning, but Rayna wants to “talk to God first”. Fair!

So Eddie is back on deck, relaying his findings to Captain Lee. He says Rayna didn’t mention much except for “some issues” with Heather. “I have to find out what it is,” Lee said looking out the window. (The only funny thing about the whole thing is how Captain Lee treats it like a full investigation.) Eddie FINALLY tells Lee that Heather said the N-word, clearly treading very lightly as he explains the ‘incident. It definitely seems like he knows he shouldn’t have hidden everything from Captain Lee! “I personally find this offensive,” Lee says in a confessional. Now that Lee knows, several charters later, my next question becomes: Will he tell Heather?

What’s going on inside during all of this? Not much, other than some picnic preparations on the beach and the arrival of Kaylee, our striped savior from the third stew! Fraser tells us he’s “still the baddest bitch on board,” while Jake, unsurprisingly, quickly begins flirting with Kaylee. Between it all, Fraser and Wes have one of the least dramatic beach picnics we’ve seen on this show. Still the baddest female dog, indeed!

Alright, that’s enough interior for now. Back on the bridge, where Rayna and Eddie talk to each other again! She states upfront that she feels like she can’t trust Eddie because of the way he dismissed her complaint about Heather, which makes a lot of sense! Eddie retorts that he hopes she knows she can trust him – but really, what’s the point without any proof? (He also says that part of the reason he ignored it all was because Rayna picked him up after apologizing to him for rolling his eyes, which doesn’t quite add up.) Rayna says she’ll always work well with Heather, but “I’m not going to be friends with ignorance.

In the insider chronicles that continue to kill it today, let’s take a moment to enjoy Rachel’s Japanese tasting menu dinner. Had cucumber salad with snow crab, miso soup, poached eggs with caviar, rice cakes with something moving (??), tuna tataki and panna cotta with matcha ice cream. Guests loved it all, especially Tony, who loves Japanese food and couldn’t find enough good words for all of Rachel’s dishes. (Poor Melissa, however, left dinner early because of water in her ear, which made her sore to chew; Heather seemed a little apprehensive about hitting their tip, but what can the crew on that?) The vow renewal really puts the night on the brink for these guests, with Tony doing a surprise for the men’s wives. Lee kept his comments to himself (and he had them — “I still don’t know why anyone needs them,” he said in an earlier confessional) and officiated like a pro, and all was well. really fun to watch! “It’s probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” says Rayna.

Now let’s take a moment to Under the bridgeThe Emmy-nominated editors, who performed one of the best clip reruns I’ve seen on reality TV this episode. After the night’s festivities, Eddie is back on deck, telling Lee that he feels “chickened” after what Rayna told him. Eddie said Rayna ‘accused’ him of not taking her complaint seriously before rewatching the full 35-second clip of his conversation with Rayna, in which he said she had to ‘defend herself’ and that his goal should be “getting the job done. I really don’t feel like I just swept away and was like, ‘It’s okay, don’t worry about it,’ like, ‘Ignore that,'” he told Lee afterwards. “I wouldn’t do that.” Can someone show him the clip??

Everyone is tired the next morning, especially Rachel, who lays down on the kitchen counter and says, “I’m tapping, damn it!” (After this dinner, I say we leave her!) Yet she somehow cooks chicken and waffles, banana-Foster French toast, and seafood omelettes for breakfast, which is to say she definitely deserves it when, in another of the episode’s sweetest moments, one of the guests, Claudia, introduces Rachel his Navy retreat room as guests depart. If that’s not proof enough of how things turned out, Tony can’t find the words to say how much he loved this charter, so he hopes the tip will do. And at $25,000, it’ll do! Everyone seems to have forgotten about preferences from the first dinner, especially Tony.

I’d usually save something like Fraser and Heather talking about bidets for “Tips,” but when that’s my highlight of the whole episode, it deserves a proper paragraph. Fraser tells Heather and Kaylee how he recently squirted one of the bathroom bidets right in the face while trying to fix it. He goes on to use the words whore, genitals, and fish purse to describe the kind of body part he couldn’t imagine putting on a bidet. “You could lose your virginity with that thing!” he declares. Heather screams at just the right moment when he demonstrates the bidet, but what’s even better is that we get to see the clip of him squirting the first time around! Once again, my compliments to the Emmy nominated editing team!! “Could remove your hymen right away,” he adds.

The Crew’s party is largely unnoticeable as, at this point, Jake wearing flip flops and stripping and bathing is largely unnotable. It is, however, full of sweeter moments, including:
• Rayna tells Rachel that she wants to study cooking after all her time in the kitchen.
• Fraser apologizes to Heather and Kaylee for being skeptical of Kaylee.
• Jake and Fraser then have a great smoke break as buddies, with Jake stating that “Fraser is not a yacht jerk”.

Ah! Let’s see if those good vibes carry over into the final charter for the next episode of the season! Judging by service issues, things falling off the boat and [shudders] hamilton fandom exposed in the teaser, I bet they won’t.

• Heather: “I’m going to decorate the sky lounge if someone wants to blow some things up.” Rayna: “Jake wants to blow things up!”

• Captain Lee–ism of the week comes after telling one of the guests that he drinks a non-alcoholic cocktail of apple juice and sparkling water at dinner. “And you thought I was hammering them, didn’t you?” he says.

• Here is a conversation that naturally comes back to the deck once the guests have left:
Jake: Rayna and I are going to have sex on the Internet.
Rayna: We don’t do that!
Wes: You will!
Jake: No, we’re just going to do some gender shots, my penis on his face, my penis on Fraser’s face.
Rayna: It’s gonna be awesome.
Wes: You leave in different ways during the work day, and as soon as we leave, you’re all like a love triangle.

• Eddie to Jake, after spanking him: “Why is your ass so hairless? That bothers me.”


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