Gossip travels aboard this season’s boat like none other. Sure, crew members have their go-to confidants, like Heather with Fraser or Rayna with Jess and Wes. But with no true factions having formed on board (yet), everyone feels comfortable complaining to just about anyone else on this boat. That’s part of what makes this episode work so well: Just about everyone is talking about everyone to everyone else.
First, though, Rayna and Jake are talking about each other, directly to each other — and everyone else can hear. I’ve lost track of the stakes of this argument: something about a coffee cup and wet clothes? But the guests can hear it, and it’s embarrassing. Eddie jumps in to try to tone things down, but as he’s trying to get Rayna and Jake to high-five and make up, Rayna is still arguing. Later, Jake goes to Eddie about his difficulties with Rayna, while Rayna commiserates with Wes about Jake’s tone and leadership. In a confessional, Wes admits that even though he’s had his problems with Jake, Rayna may be in the wrong here. Not that it matters if Wes isn’t quite on her side here, because Rayna also later calls her dad about the whole thing.
We may be in the Caribbean, but dinner is a Greek feast, because why the hell not? Rachel makes lamb, fish, octopus, moussaka, tzatziki, the works. The guests, clad in togas (“This is a Greek night, you’re not supposed to have no pants on!”) love it all. Contrary to what you may expect from the togas, they’re not a rowdy bunch unless you count Nichole getting into the hot tub topless — she insists she forgot her swimsuit — and telling her dad to avert his eyes.
Later that night, Jake relays the same complaints about Rayna to Heather. Meanwhile, Rayna talks to Eddie about the whole thing, who tells her he heard her (again, loud) conversation with her dad about Jake earlier. He gives her a bit of good advice about listening more, but otherwise, he’s not very helpful. And it wouldn’t be a night of gossiping without Fraser and Heather talking about Jess! Over a smoke, the two agree that she hasn’t been delivering on service this charter, and Fraser point-blank tells Heather that they need a replacement stew. Again, I still don’t know if Jess has done anything fireable at this point, but after seeing her in “action” last episode, I won’t protest a firing either.
The last day of charter begins with a crazed Rachel, awake since 5 a.m., playing with biscuit dough. “One of those days,” Heather observes. On the menu for breakfast are biscuits and gravy, Rachel’s signature French toast, and a reality check for Jess. She’s in a bit of a funk as she’s turning down cabins with Fraser, talking about how this will be her last stew gig, and she’s the only one on staff who gets spoken to badly (and this is coming from Rayna’s roommate!). Fraser says something to her about being positive, which he thinks takes things in a good direction — so much that he tells Heather about the exchange afterward. But Jess walks in on Fraser talking to Heather, which can’t be good for her feeling that everyone is talking badly about her (and only her). To her, it’s evidence of Fraser trying to climb the ranks. “Heather needs a minion,” she says.
On their way out, the guests make specific mention of the crew’s slide woes, with Michael calling it “the funniest damn thing I ever saw.” So, uh, we know this tip meeting isn’t going to go well. That’s all the crew can talk about before the tip meeting, when Lee is, as expected, pissed. He says they still can’t get another charter right, he’s disappointed in the $19,000 tip, and he asks to talk to the deck crew separately afterward. “Don’t bring your smiles,” he warns, “you won’t be needing them.” In the bridge, he pretty much reiterates his anger to the deck crew in harsher terms, explicitly calling out their issues with the slide and warning that he’s not afraid to fire all of them if he has to. When Eddie says he hasn’t seen Captain Lee this mad, you know it’s bad. At least Rayna has a good attitude afterward, which she chalks up to having Black parents: “If I were to dwell on all the ass whoppings I’ve gotten in my life, I’d fucking be dwelling till I’m dead.”
Wherever the crew is going for their night out, they’re taking a tender boat there, which feels pretty fancy to me (I think because they were doing it on Succession in Italy). Heather has decided she will have a good time despite her issues with Jess, which means ordering a well-done steak and doing some friendly flirting with Jake, even if she is taken. She still may have gotten further with Jake than Jess did with Wes, who, despite getting awfully close, did not kiss her the whole night! She ends the night by giving him a peck on a cheek, which she tells the producers was “hardly a kiss,” and mentally writing Wes off.
But back to Heather for a second. I didn’t quite catch this at first, due to the bleeping, but when Rayna used the N-word to describe Jake at the bar, Heather parroted the line back, saying the word right on camera. Rayna lets it slide in the moment but brings it up to Heather later while they’re hanging out in the crew mess, warning her about getting canceled. “2021, it’s not 2002 anymore, you know?” she says. Heather is insistent that she didn’t say it, but rewind the footage and it’s right there. She’s since apologized on Instagram, noting she “apologized to Rayna throughout the season” and has since “learned how my words and actions can affect others.”
But that doesn’t, of course, negate what she said. It’s not just a bad look, like Rayna brushed it off as that night. The next day, it clearly weighs on Rayna’s mind. She tells Wes, Fraser, and Eddie about it, all separately. They’re all shocked, but Eddie also tells Rayna to “stand up for” herself and not let it get in the way of her work on deck. Yes, Rayna telling Eddie comes after a larger apology from Rayna about her attitude toward Eddie (after Eddie previously relayed a complaint from Captain Lee on deck about some watermarks on the stainless steel). And yes, in general, Rayna does need to find a way to focus on her deck work a bit more when conflicts come up. But separate from all that, telling Rayna to stand up for herself after a white colleague says the N-word rings a bit hollow from another white colleague, especially another leader on the boat. Rayna isn’t pleased about her conversation with Eddie either. That’s the note we’re left on, and I’m left hoping someone (maybe Fraser, who’s closer to Heather) will stick up for Rayna. Unlike so much of the racism we’ve seen and heard about from Bravolebrities, which happens off-camera or in tabloid reports, this is now a plot point of this season — which means Heather’s other colleagues who hear about it, particularly her white ones, have little excuse not to call her out on it.
Anyway, also up next, we have a primary with her jaw wired shut from a biking accident, a guest who’s brought a broom along as a friend (really), and Jess pulling Heather aside for an important chat. Presumably not about her casual racism, but you never know!
• Rachel, overheard: “I’d rather drag my labia through a bunch of broken tequila bottles in Tijuana like I’ve done before.”
• Our Captain Lee-ism of the week is, of course, about the slide: “Y’all looked like three cub bears trying to fuck a football.”
• While working, Rachel makes a joke about her “sweater puppets.” “What are sweater puppets?” Fraser, an innocent gay, asks. “Those are tits.”
• Heather’s casual use of the N-word does make me wonder about the way she’s spoken of her childhood, about being beaten up for being the only white kid at her Hawaiian school. Not to get into too much empty speculation, but that comment does sound a bit off now.