“We’re leaving the dock with a new captain, new crew, tensions are high,” Eddie Lucas says in the trailer on Thursday, August 19.
Eddie now has more responsibility after being promoted to first officer but is thrown for a loop with new Captain Sean Meagher. Another past crew member that is returning for season 9 is chef Rachel Hargrove, who still doesn’t always see eye to eye with Eddie.
The duo found themselves at odds during season 8, when the bosun took issue with the chef quitting the team due to worries about the coronavirus pandemic. Although she returned the next morning, Eddie wasn’t thrilled with Rachel, but chose not to say anything.
“I know myself, and once I lose patience — which was already running very thin with her — I’m gonna be pretty blunt and rude,” Eddie mentioned during the Below Deck After Show in December 2020. “And if I did that, I was afraid that she would just pack up and leave, and I don’t want to lose our chef that we desperately need because of me.”
Rachel, for her part, wasn’t thrilled that she only heard Eddie’s comments while watching the show or through social media.
“I’m the kind of person who you have to just lay your cards on the table,” Rachel noted to Entertainment Tonight in January. “For him to go on to social media and go onto other interviews and carry it over after a year, I was actually surprised. I was like, ‘You took that to heart, didn’t ya?’ It wasn’t like I took a dump in his Cheerios. I don’t understand why he’s crying about it now.”
While Eddie and Rachel may still need to work through some things, the bosun’s connection with his mentor Captain Lee still seems to be going strong.
Eddie previously explained that he returned to the Below Deck franchise during season 8 to support Captain Lee after Kate Chastain‘s departure.
“Captain Lee was coming back, and he was coming without Kate and he needed someone in his corner,” he told Bravo Insider in November 2020. “It was important for him to have someone, and when he asked me, I said, ‘Of course, I’ll come back.’”
For Captain Lee, who originally worked with Eddie from 2013 to 2015 on Below Deck, having the bosun back felt like no time had went by.
“You know how you have that group of friends that maybe you went to college with or worked with early on in your career, and you haven’t seen ‘em for two or three or four years or you haven’t talked to ‘em for a long time?” Captain Lee noted to Bravo Insider in November 2020. “And the minute you get on with them or the minute you see ‘em again, you instantly pick up right where you left off, just like no time has passed at all.”
He added: “Well that’s the way it is with Eddie and I. We just picked up where we left off, and it’s a very comfortable relationship. We get along well, and I was so glad to have him there with me not being a hundred percent.”
Joining the previous stars of Below Deck is newcomer Heather Chase, who will be replacing season 8 chief stew Francesca Rubi. Jessica Albert and Fraser Olender will be rounding out the interior, while Jake Foulger, Rayna Lindsay and Wes O’Dell are coming on as deckhands.
Below Deck returns to Bravo on Monday, October 25, at 9 p.m. ET.
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