“Mental wounds not healing; who and what’s to blame? I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train!” What could possibly be to blame? Maybe those sparkly butterflies occupying the ceiling of Eros? I so wanted another boat ballad to steer us into last night’s fun, but a little Ozzy Osbourne never hurt anyone. Plus, a boat is just a train on water, right? I don’t know about y’all, but I think it’s high tide, um, I mean “high time,” that the crew of Below Deck got a proper reunion! And a two-parter to boot! They have clearly arrived by Bravo standards! Andy Cohen has pulled the yachties from the WWHL clubhouse, and he feels like Captain Lee Rosbach has called them all to the bridge of the Eros.
Emile Kotze is sporting his grandfather’s suit, Eddie Lucas is looking adorable with a beard (it almost–ALMOST–makes me forget his douche-esque behavior this season!) and Kate Chastain has foregone the resting bitch face…for the time being. The get together kicks off with the gang recalling their favorite charter guests, and Connie Arias recalls that her roommate Emile would ask her to hit the deck a few minutes early every morning so he could spank the salami (or whatever the phrase may be). Lovely. Andy inquires as to why Raquel “Rocky” Dakota Bartlow is always chatting with her pal the ceiling, and she jokes that there were likely sparkly butterflies and unicorns flying around up there. When Eddie tries to crack a joke, Rocky jumps. Does Eddie want to get into things already? Is his girlfriend there so Rocky can share some of the sordid details of their laundry room hook-ups?
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Andy reins her in to compliment the stews’ job, despite the drama. Rocky whines about Kate’s leadership, and Amy Johnson commends Kate’s ability to lead her crew. Rocky complains that she had no support in training, and Lee intervenes to remind her of all the times that Amy came to her aid. Kate tries to defend herself and her work ethic, but Rocky chastises her at every turn. She accuses Amy of being two-faced. On one hand, Amy would support Rocky and sympathize that working for Kate can be hard, but on the other hand, Amy would buddy up to Kate. Amy asserts that she was most disappointed in the disconnect between Rocky’s amazing ability and her total disregard for wanting to do a good job. Rocky claims that Kate bullies her on social media (Andy shares a few nasty–but hilarious!–tweets), and Kate sarcastically apologizes if the menial Twitter following that enjoys her banter constitutes bullying. Rocky is on the defensive with everyone, including Andy, and we’re barely into the reunion. Girl, please.
Connie’s wonderful freshman charter is applauded, and Eddie admits that they jived as co-workers. Andy brings up Eddie allowing his personal life to interfere with being a grade-A bosun, and both Eddie and Lee agree that Eddie’s performance was a seven out of ten this season. Emile feels the expectations for him were different because he’s so pretty. People expect those as gorgeous as he is to not be able to handle the pressure, and he feels that was an unfair assessment of his ability. Sometimes, Emile wishes he was ugly, and I think he quotes Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. Connie equates her relationship with Emile to that of bickering siblings, and Emile agrees that there were no hard feelings when they fought. Lee asserts that Emile was a great deckhand, and Emile expresses disappointment in himself for following Rocky’s “hot stew-ass” up to the radar. Rocky’s culinary skills are highlighted (think under cooked chicken and grenadine splashed oysters), and Rocky bitches about how hard it was to be thrown into the galley. Amy states that this kind of attitude is what made working with Rocky so difficult. Rocky wonders what her crew expected? She’s supposed to cook (um, she begged to cook), hates her boss, is hooking up with an asshole, and has zero support. Emile gently interrupts, suggesting that perhaps Rocky could have been a better team player. Kate questions why Rocky is getting to talk so much. Kate just took the words right out of my mouth! Rocky retorts, “You’re not my chief stew right now, baby.” Put that on a Hallmark card.
Kate reminds everyone that Rocky didn’t pull her weight on the charter, yet she was happy to take her equal portion of their giant tips. Rocky reveals that she’s now stewing for season one’s Aleks, and it’s amazing. A viewer questions why Emile ate like a savage on the boat, and Emile responds that when he’s working like a peasant, he’ll eat like a peasant. His awkward, drunken date with Rocky is highlighted, and Connie stands behind her assertion that if Emile and Rocky had just hooked up, the tension would have been lessened. Emile admits that he thinks Rocky led him on, and Kate won’t let Rocky pretend that she wasn’t excited about the pair’s date. Rocky apologizes for leading Emile on and says she regrets giving him the middle school note. Emile shares that the note hurt his feelings, and Rocky half-heartedly apologizes. The Captain cries horse sh*t. Everyone–Emile, Eddie, everyone–has admitted to their bad behavior, yet Rocky keeps blame shifting. He’s over it. Don’t tweet him about it.
The first deckhand to leave Eros joins the gang on the sofas, and I’d almost forgotten that Don Abanante was on the show. He bows up about how an engineer’s job is more important than a deckhand and claims to have been caught in Rocky’s web of attention seeking. Emile and Connie poo poo Don’s attitude, and even Don was smacking his forehead when he realized he quit his job after Captain Lee gave him a warning for stupidly following Rocky into the water while he was on the clock. Andy jokes that Don was a dream compared to his predecessor Dane who has written off the show entirely and refused to appear on the reunion. The girls feel rightfully stupid for their initial attraction to crazy-ass Dane, and Don apologizes to the Captain and crew for leaving them in the lurch when he should have swallowed his pride.
An absent Leon Walker is discussed (like Dane, he declined Andy’s invitation), and Kate tells Andy that she tried her best to make nice with Eyebrows McGee. Andy and a few of the viewers cite that Kate seemed to look down on him for not being a true yachtie. One viewer inquires if Kate didn’t like Leon because he wasn’t Ben Robinson. Kate fights back, saying she did what she could to make an effort, and Rocky feigns fake tears, claiming it’s hard for her to talk about the departure of her wonderful friend who prepared fabulous meals. Amy jumps in to remind Rocky that she often called out Leon behind the scenes for sub par chef skills. Kate tells Rocky that she has much more respect for Rocky’s desire to be creative in the kitchen as opposed to Leon’s parade of beef cheeks. Emile speaks up to say he’s still friends with Leon, but he agrees that Leon wasn’t making any sort of effort. When Rocky continues to defend Leon, Lee loses his shiz. How can Rocky fight for a guy who repeatedly made derogatory statements about women and blatantly bragged that he didn’t do his best because he was indifferent, even to the point of insulting guests who wanted to compliment him on meals he’d fixed?
As Alpha as ever, Lee is done. Andy can barely bring up the fire in the galley before Lee blames Leon for keeping such a filthy kitchen with crusty pans left hanging out in the oven. Rocky casually interjects that perhaps the mug of wine Kate was downing had something to do with the fire. Rocky accuses Eddie of dumping the mug into the sink and telling Rocky that yachties “take care of their own.” Rocky recalls that Leon says Kate was drinking too, and Lee reminds her that Leon later admitted to lying about it. Eddie cries foul as to his memory of the mug-pouring while Kate claims that drinking while working has never been an issue for her. That’s not technically a denial, but I don’t believe for one millisecond that any of these people get through the charter season without sneaking some late night hooch (it was 2AM) every now and again. Yikes. Two parts? We may need three!
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE REUNION? IS ROCKY TOO DEFENSIVE?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]