So after Eddie discovered Shane during his nap at the end of last episode, we’re being spared a surely dramatic scene where Eddie wakes him up and yells at him because Eddie decides if Shane needed the nap so badly, he’ll let him finish the nap. Meanwhile, Lee is showing the interior crew a photo of him and his wife (a former stew!) from 20 years ago, which makes Rachel miss her Italian boyfriend, and Izzy and James are talking about Izzy’s ass. Which is to say, aside from Shane’s nap, everything seems pretty in order here!
Not for long. Shane wakes up, and Eddie is going to make him jump in the dirty harbor water to clean the boat’s waterline, which sounds like an apt punishment. Inside, Francesca is telling Elizabeth that the stew fridge and pantries are all a mess. And she’s not wrong! Then, once the pantries are (hopefully) clean, James is in the crew mess, telling Elizabeth about how he’s out of shape. James, who the guests were fighting over and taking body shots off less than a week ago! The night ends with Francesca working on menus with Rachel, but being put off by Rachel’s “quite R-rated” sense of humor. I say, at least Rachel’s entertaining. Eddie decides to join for a glass of wine and some gossip, but his relaxation is quickly interrupted by Shane, coming to apologize to Eddie and ask if there’s anything he can do for the rest of the night. “That bed has been made,” Eddie replies, before finishing the blow by calling Shane’s nap “disrespectful.”
Which brings us to the next morning, when we find Shane doing some sort of yoga-exercise move in the crew mess and claiming that he’s “a perfectionist.” At what, exactly? The only thing I have seen Shane do perfectly on this show is identify that it’s raining. Elizabeth also does not seem to be a perfectionist, based on the fact that she has still not organized the pantries to Francesca’s standards. Maybe it’s just not in the stars for our woo-woo crew members? But Elizabeth thinks Francesca is being too hard on her — which is nonsense, as you, I, and that producer during her confessional are all telling her, because she is undeniably messy!
This episode felt like way too much prep-related plot for me, but finally, we have guests again. Tim is a trial lawyer from the well-to-do Chicago suburb of Oak Park, celebrating his 50th birthday with his wife, Beth, and some of their friends. They want it all: a beach picnic, a multicourse dinner with caviar, and a steel-drum performance. And alcohol, which we realize very quickly as Tim goes from sipping Champagne to downing vodka sodas in mere hours. Before we (or Tim’s stomach) know it, it’s lunchtime, and Rachel has made a couscous salad with marinated fancy crab. Except she’s arranged it weirdly along half the perimeter of the plate, and Francesca has severely undersold it as “a … crab salad.” “Is this it?” Tim asks, before going on to wonder if it’s fake crab. No sir, it is Petrossian, and based on my Googling, it is expensive. No one really seems to love it, but at least the alcohol is flowing.
That afternoon, the guests Jet Ski, nap, and drink some more. Before we know it, it’s time for pre-dinner cocktails and Beth holding an extremely drunk Tim back from jumping in the water to catch a shark. At this point, the only bar I’m confident Tim passed is the one where he got his cocktail. We’re also treated to a super-dramatic scene of Shane, on his bedroom floor, journaling about his struggles with Eddie, complete with close-ups of his messy handwriting.
Rachel is “ready to fuck this dinner service in the ass” after the guests’ lukewarm response to lunch. Her starter is a pan-seared foie gras with brioche toast, because, as she so eloquently puts it, “Nothing says good times like liver from choking geese!” The guests love it, and Tim loves it so much that he decides that’s all the dinner he needs to have and goes down to bed. Allow me to remind you that he has had Champagne, multiple vodka sodas, a good helping of rosé with lunch, likely more vodka sodas, that Coke drink before dinner, and whatever aperitifs and wine they had with dinner. I’m proud of him for making it to dinner at all! Although I am sad for Beth, who remarks, “We have to make sure he comes to his birthday party,” with a pained laugh.
The rest of the guests do enjoy the herbed lamb chops Rachel made, but she’s a little disappointed that she didn’t get to wow the primary. Not that his drunk ass would’ve been the pinnacle of taste anyway. Rachel serves these cute little baby flans for dessert, and then it’s off to bed for these guests. The crew seems to finish up pretty early, except for Shane, who’s on late and being sure to make the deck spotless.
Except he forgets to close the lazarette door, after Izzy made sure to remind him to do just that and the cameras made sure to show us Izzy’s reminder. We get a nice little shot of an open laz door in the middle of the night; then, the next morning, we get to hear an angry Eddie discover the open laz. “Today’s the fucking day,” he promises, to no one but the cameras. At least some pirates didn’t steal the Jet Skis! Then Shane comes on deck, and Eddie talks to him about the laz — but doesn’t yell at him, because he understands that Shane doesn’t respond well to that. Honestly, probably the right move? “So we close the garage door at the end of the night?” Shane replies, a question that looks even more terribly stupid now that I’ve typed it out.
In other news, Tim is alive, and ordering a triple espresso after his rough night. Ashling has also made detox shots for everyone, of her own volition, because she’s just a good stew like that! Francesca sees some of herself in Ashling, so much that she decides to send her to the beach picnic rather than Elizabeth. Can’t you just tell there’s some drama simmering in interior?
We don’t see much of the beach picnic setup, which I’ll take as a sign that it went much better than last charter’s. Back on the boat, Elizabeth is struggling to straighten up guest cabins and gives one of the most acted confessionals I have seen. It goes as such: “I feel badly about not being able to go and be a part of the beach picnic [tilts head] [smiles]. I have a really … bad feeling now that [plays with necklace] Francesca is so not happy with me? [tilts head other way] And at the same time, Ash could do no wrong, and like, Ash is like, perfect. This is not fair [shaking head] [halfhearted laugh].” Well, we know where she stands on what’s brewing with the stews!
It’s past 12:30, when the food is supposed to leave for the guests’ 1 p.m. lunchtime on the beach. But Rachel has nobody to help her expedite food, and two of the guests want piña coladas, and Rachel is mad that Elizabeth is going to go make piña coladas rather than expediting food. Luckily, Izzy comes in to help, and it doesn’t turn into anything bigger, except for another tick against Francesca’s interior on Rachel’s mental scorecard. At least Rachel’s food (and Ashling’s table setting!) is good, including this mouthful of a main: “local Antiguan lobster with vermicelli noodles tossed with cashews, toasted coconut, pineapple, and fresh herbs, served with lemongrass and kaffir lime dressing.”
We don’t get to finish the episode without the beginning of the caviar drama we’ve been promised since the season trailer. It’s almost been like a Chekhov’s caviar this episode: First they make certain to mention it during the preference sheet meeting, then we see James toss a package of caviar onto the counter while loading provisions, then Rachel and Francesca mention it while planning and reviewing the tasting menu. And now, Rachel has found that it’s actually salmon roe, which is apparently like knockoff beluga caviar. She starts tearing her refrigerator apart and cursing, and Shane accidentally walks in on her in the middle of it all, which is the only time I’ve felt sympathy for that man this whole episode. “Cocksucking fucking lump fish shit,” Rachel says, while the guests are on deck talking about how “tonight’s going to be fun.” Has any moment better encapsulated this series? We’ll resolve the caviar situation next week, when Shane will also have a surely pleasant bridge meeting with Eddie and Captain Lee.
• James puts chocolate syrup on top of Nutella toast, which is just horrifying.
• Along with everything else, Shane is also struggling to tie a bowline knot, which Izzy helps him with and he continues to practice on a rope he carries around throughout the episode. I just checked, and I still remember how to tie one from my Boy Scout days. It’s not that hard, Shane!
• Also, how did everyone get the memo to call Shane “Sunshine”? Eddie does it, Izzy does it, Francesca does it!
• Elizabeth had some sort of a confidence crystal in her bra after Francesca got mad about the pantries, because of course she did.
• One of the guests kind of looks like Patton Oswalt (but only with sunglasses on). You see it too, don’t you?
• Tim takes a vodka soda with lunch rather than wine, which certainly feels like some foreshadowing.
• Why did Francesca randomly do a Borat impression while going over the dinner menu with Rachel? This question is going to haunt me.