Somehow, Eddie, Sean, & Co. are still setting up this beach picnic. On what’s probably Eddie’s tenth trip back to the yacht, Captain Sean asks him to get a bag of seashells from his room — “and make sure we get all the price tags off the shells too.” Sir, I can promise you, all these women want at this point is alcohol and food by the water! “I’m not a micromanager. I’m hands-on,” Sean says in his confessional, a bald-faced lie that I hope helps him sleep well tonight.
The women finally arrive at their (not-a-)beach picnic an hour after it was supposed to begin, enjoying rosé and coconut drinks courtesy of Fraser. Yes, after Heather told him minutes before to “pull that head of housekeeping out of your butt” and make the guest rooms perfect, she sent him to the beach to handle drinks service instead, to his and my confusion. Sean is still here, too, for some reason, trying to be all cool and hand one of the guests a seashell he “found.” “But can we have snacks?” they ask, in a moment so perfectly evocative of what Sean thinks the guests want versus what the guests actually want. He may like to brag about having worked every job on a yacht, but there’s a reason captains don’t handle service — although I will begrudgingly concede his picnic setup did look very nice.
But we no longer have to worry about Captain Sean sticking his nose into service, because Lee is on his way back! He calls to let Sean know he’s coming to the boat later in the day and that Sean will have to give up the My Seanna after just a few days of leading it. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed we won’t get more Sean mess after the setup for this season made such a big deal out of Lee’s absence. But at the same time, what is this show without the Stud of the Sea himself? Rachel puts it best after Sean delivers the news to the crew: “It’s a bummer to see somebody go, but don’t let the passerelle hit you on the ass on the way out, because my Captain Lee’s fucking coming back.”
The glamour shot of Captain Lee riding a water taxi back to the yacht is an image I never knew I wanted but actually needed all along. “I’d rather sandpaper a tiger’s ass in a phone booth than miss the charter,” he says with a laugh. How could you not miss this man? Lee and Sean engage in a bit of captain banter before Lee informs Sean the water taxi is waiting. “Now get off my boat,” he says, in yet another perfect confessional in just minutes.
Rachel gives Lee a kiss before Heather has a noticeably awkward first meeting with the captain, who’s still looking for another great chief stew after Francesca didn’t quite rise to Kate Chastain–level standards. Then Lee has a meeting with his right hand, Eddie, to talk about first officer things — including why Lee was off the boat. He dramatically pulls out some medical paperwork and tells Eddie confidentially (while also telling millions of viewers) he was getting treatment for AFib, or atrial fibrillation, a heart condition he’s had for his whole life. Eddie looks a bit surprised but agrees to treat Lee the same despite the news. “I will run your ass off if you don’t,” Lee tells him.
Lee joins the women for a second dinner, after Rachel brought him a plate in the bridge earlier in the evening. But I see why he wouldn’t want to miss this, a Japanese tasting menu that’s classic, over-the-top Rachel. Everything looks perfect — takoyaki fritters, vegetable gyozas, squash tempura, something with tuna — and the guests love it.
We awake the next morning to the sweet sound of goats bleating on the shore. Heather, though, awakes to the not-so-sweet sound of Nikki saying she didn’t get new towels in her room. Heather is immediately mad at Fraser; Fraser and Jess, gossipping to themselves, just think these guests use too many towels (something Jess also noted the night before). “So calm the fuck down, let’s be honest,” he says.
The morning is full of these sorts of minor messes that don’t actually amount to much. Jake breaks a glass and cuts his foot, sending Rayna to search for a dustpan, which Heather can’t be bothered to help her find. “Girl, bye,” Rayna says, within full earshot as she’s walking away. Lee and Eddie are majorly stressed about some tight docking that, as usual, turns out to go fine. And Rachel pronounces the breakfast special as shashushka rather than shakshuka, to my personal irritation.
Nikki doesn’t leave without first stirring the pot and alluding to the “hiccups” with her room. Still, she leaves Heather with her sparkly captain’s hat for rectifying those problems and leaves the rest of the crew with an $18,000 tip, or $1,500 per person. Not bad for a first charter! Although, of course, Captain Lee disagrees. After hearing about the issues from Heather, he reminds the crew in the tip meeting that “one fuckup cancels 14 attaboys.” While Eddie heaped praise on his deck crew before the tip meeting, Heather has no proper debrief with her stews. She can tell Lee all she wants that this isn’t how she runs a department, but I don’t see much evidence to the contrary so far.
The crew goes out to a nice dinner where the alcohol — and thus the flirtations between Rayna and Jake — is flowing. At one point, Heather pulls Fraser aside for a toast that turns into Fraser telling Heather about his issues with how interior is working. On his night off! Heather gives him her lip service about the “bigger picture” and how things were messy because she was getting used to the boat. But still, nothing has changed with the arrangement of having Fraser leading service and housekeeping, which is the root problem here! And Fraser sees right through it all. “You can’t warm to an ice cube,” he says of her management.
But the real mess of the night involves Jake and Rayna, who don’t even wait to get back to the boat before they start kissing. They decide to hang out in the hot tub, along with poor Fraser, already relegated to being the third wheel (despite sitting next to Jake in the van and chatting him up in the hot tub while Rayna’s away — I see you, Fraser!). Once Fraser leaves, Rayna and Jake make out on the deck, on the dock, in the crew mess, and nearly in one of their cabins before deciding to part ways for the night. But before going to bed, Rayna texts an “I miss you ❤️” to someone named Issa. “Oh Rayna, why did you do this?” she says in a confessional before admitting she’s currently talking to someone else as well — and leaving us on quite the cliffhanger! Will Rayna tell Jake about this next episode? Almost certainly not, but we will watch a belligerently drunk guest fight with his wife.
• Jake admits multiple times that he enjoys being pegged — information that bodes well for my shipping him with Fraser, even if he seems keen on Rayna doing the pegging at the moment.
• Rachel says Lee in his new black jacket reminds her of Captain Marko Ramius from The Hunt for Red October, and the resemblance really is uncanny.
• Rayna’s not the only one on board who’s talking to somebody. Heather is dating a former charter guest, which she admits is “kind of taboo, but it’s also one of the hottest relationships I’ve ever had.” And Eddie has a girlfriend, who’s currently housesitting for him in Baltimore and whom he’s excited to possibly settle down with.
• Captain Lee on Rachel: “It’s been a long time since somebody told me to have intercourse with myself and got away with it.” And on the docking: “I’m as nervous as a cat with a long tail in a room full of rocking chairs.” Really, how could you not miss this man?