‘Below Deck’ Recap: Elizabeth’s Firing Is The Most Pointless in Show History

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Welcome to the most pointless and useless firing in the history of the Below Deck franchise. It took us eight seasons to get here, but we have officially arrived.

Chief Stew Francesca Rubi has been absolutely drooling about this moment. She’s been planting seeds and threatening all season long to get rid of stew Elizabeth Frankini, and once that guest room rendezvous happened with deckhand James Hough, Francesca was convinced she had all the evidence she needed to get rid of her least favorite member from the interior team. So she brought it to Captain Lee, complete with a shaky voice and tears in her eyes, and they made an agreement that she could fire Elizabeth when they had a replacement.

So at the end of the latest episode, Francesca stops by to chat with Captain Lee who wastes no time, telling her, “Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Where is your head at with that?” And Francesca confirms, “There are too many slip-ups, there’s just too many.”

So Captain Lee says, “I have somebody lined up but I can’t 100% guarantee that they’re gonna get here, just because of travel restrictions with this health issue that we’re experiencing. So you may have to go on charter 8 down a person. How do you feel about that?” And Francesca promptly replies, “I don’t really have a choice.” Really? There is a global pandemic happening, and granted, not one this crew could nearly understand the magnitude of at this point as it was only March 12, 2020. But was Elizabeth really falling down on the job that badly that you didn’t even want to keep her on to do laundry and run cocktails? I don’t know that we’ve truly seen that evidence this season. There’s been plenty to suggest she gets distracted by flirting and accidentally knows how to gas the yacht, but, well…we’ve seen less competent, enthusiastic stews before, is all.

And the poor thing gets called upstairs, bouncing up to greet Captain Lee, with no idea what’s about to happen — though everyone else on the boat seems to. “Ches wants to talk with you,” Captain Lee says, putting the responsibility solely on the chief stew. “Um, I think, every charter I’ve really had to work and I’m continually putting energy and checking up on you and we’ve had numerous chats about this, but sleeping in the guest cabin was sort of like the final straw for me. We’ve come to sort of a decision, we’re gonna have to let you go,” Francesca tells her, unknowingly simultaneously checking a box off of James’ to-do list as well, though even he admits he didn’t have the balls to call things off with her.

Elizabeth reacts with a “What?” that is equal parts surprise and disgust, emotions we as viewers share with her as we have the knowledge that…this whole operation is about to get shut the hell down. According to the preview for next week’s finale, it’s likely that this group hardly has 24 hours left on this boat, making Elizabeth’s departure utterly pointless. If anything, it’s a blessing so that she can get a headstart on the next flight out just as the virus was spreading across the globe.

But here’s where things start to get a bit blurry: in the preview for the next episode, when Chef Rachel brings her gripes to Captain Lee about communicating with the interior (aka Francesca) he tells her, “We have two charters to go. That’s six fucking days. I could stand on my head for six days if I had to.” Oh, so it’s nothing. Ok, cool. Got it. But yet that’s way too long to keep Elizabeth on board to finish out the season? You know, hypothetically, as if those charters were actually going to happen. It gets even worse when Elizabeth is seen crying and begging for her job, even as Francesca stoically tells her, “I’ve given you the chances,” and “Please don’t touch me.” Oof.

However, Elizabeth is gonna Elizabeth, and as she says in her interview, “I believe in karma and what comes around goes around, Francesca.” And hey, she just celebrated her birthday, so we probably already know what she wished for when blowing out those candles…

Below Deck airs Monday at 9 pm ET/PT on Bravo. 

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