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Below Deck sailed back into the choppy waters of Kyle Dixon‘s storyline last night, offering us a glimpse of his girlfriend, Ashley, when she came aboard Valor for a visit. (And got pitied by Sierra Storm.) Meanwhile, Kelley Johnson faces the wrath of Captain Lee Rosbach after botching a guest excursion – wrath that ultimately turns into a shakeup among the exterior crew’s ranks.

Kate Chastain also lives to regret setting Ben Robinson and Emily Warburton-Adam up when she realizes that their budding romance is interfering with work. But Ben and Emily are too smitten with each other to notice – or care! They’ve got gaudy bouquets of flowers to smell! They’ve got hashtags to perfect! #BemilyIsActuallyHappeningPeople #ImTotallySerious

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After Kelley left Dean Slover and his merry band of friends for hire companions stranded on an island, Captain Lee must come save them. He is not pleased with this outcome. When Nico Scholly realizes he has Kelley’s keys, he refrains from crapping his pants in the literal capacity, but does so figuratively.

Back on Valor, Ben and Kate are preparing to serve lunch, which they hope sweetens the guests’ sour attitudes about being stranded – especially since their champagne ran out before rescue! Gasp!! As Kelley makes his way back to the yacht, he fully realizes his a$$hole will soon be ripped into two. It’s just a matter of how and when.

Oy! It’s happening already. After Captain Lee calls Kelley and Nico up to the bridge, he expresses his rage: “What I want to do is rip your f–king head off,” he spits at Kelley. But what Lee will do is make Nico senior deckhand to give Kelley “some relief,” he claims. Lee really seems to be sending Kelley a clear message with this move though – i.e., that he can’t handle his position as bosun, so Nico will be his assistant manager (in a sense). Does this mean Nico will now adopt the Trevor-like attitude that goes along with the position? Because, given Nico’s hissy fit last week over being reprimanded, he might be well on his way.

Ben and Kate are busy trying to make Dean happy – Ben via his food, and Kate via crafting a large vagina towel on Dean’s bed. You know, the logical tactics! Meanwhile, the rest of the crew are spreading the news of Nico’s promotion at lightening speed. Lauren Burchnell seems thrilled. The only bloke on Team Kelley at this point is Kyle, who thinks Captain Lee is being unfairly harsh on his friend.

Emily also thinks Kate is being unfairly harsh on her; she notices Kate being “more prickly” with her, especially in matters concerning Ben. For Kate’s part, she sees Emily as a giant distraction to Ben. She might be rethinking that whole Cupid bit she played with these two a few weeks back. From where I sit, it doesn’t seem like Ben is unable to do his work while Emily is around though. He’s just a wee bit cringe-worthy in his flirting moves, which may be the real reason Kate is getting annoyed.

Speaking of annoying – Dean decides he wants retribution for being stranded on an island. (You’d think this guy was left there for 40 days and nights, forced to eat one of his companions’ cadavers for sustenance.) Due to his extreme trauma <eye roll>, Dean demands that Kelley and Nico perform a “singing apology” for him. Kelley’s all, “Roger that.” But he looks like he wants to punch Dean in the throat. And no jury in the world would convict him for doing so. Especially after Dean smirks, “I really want to feel the emotion there.” #ToolByBravo

Ben has planned a six-course menu, which looks decadent and lovely. And for which, shockingly, Dean has no criticisms. Kate is not that impressed, however, noting that Ben is being lauded for what amounts to his JOB. She also thinks her stews are being “slackidaisical” – if that’s a word? In any case, she’s through playing Ms. Nice Chief Stew!

As the guests eat, Kyle and Kelley craft an apology ditty. Then Nico and Kelley deliver their ridiculous tune, complete with exposed chests that read “We’re sorry Big D” in green paint at the end. Dean and friends are thrilled, of course, with both the humiliating tune and the bared chests. They clap like the fools they are and, to their credit, Nico and Kelley laugh along good naturedly with them. Anything for a good tip!

In his bunk later, Kelley is approached by Ben, who tells him Lauren’s spreading the news of Nico’s promotion. Except she’s telling people Nico is the new bosun! (I didn’t catch that before!?!) Kelley isn’t surprised Lauren is gloating – or gossiping. But he is disappointed.

The next morning, Kyle tells Lauren that his girlfriend, Ashley, is coming for a visit. He’s thrilled. But given his pursuit of Sierra at the beginning of his time aboard Valor, he’s also worried Ashley will find out about his dirty dealings. And get pissed – as she SHOULD. (Question: Does Kyle realize cameras are following him?) In any case, he is granted time off for Ashley’s visit. He’ll need to whisk her away from the yacht quickly if he’s to manage any damage control.

As Kate plans her next towel creation for Dean – and moves the hideous bouquet for the 100th time – Ben and Emily continue their flirting in the galley. And they whisper about Nico’s promotion, which is to senior deckhand, NOT bosun, as some are spreading. To this point, Kelley later confronts Lauren about her loose lips, which need to be put in check. She may be #TeamNico, but she still reports to Kelley as bosun. She folds quickly under questioning, but later complains to Nico that “Kelley’s not happy about that promotion thing.” Which just serves to spread more ill will where there is none. Kelley is not happy about Lauren spreading misinformation, but dopey Lauren chooses to spread more in defense of herself! She’s craftier than first suspected, isn’t she?

The bouquet, which has now become an actual character on the show, is now moved to the walk in cooler. By Ben. Who wants to preserve them “for Emily to enjoy” later. Kate is incredulous. “So we’re just going to keep them in the walk in for the next 24 hours!?” she asks. She thinks Ben is more obsessed with the image of these flowers than Emily is impressed with the actual flowers themselves. Whatever the case, the flowers need to swim with the fishes soon before murder breaks out!

After Dean and guests leave (Yippee! don’t let the door hitcha! See you next NEVER! <crossing fingers>), Captain Lee sits down with the crew to dole out the tip – and his criticisms. He thinks this charter didn’t prove to be their best effort, “especially with Dean.” Groan. Dean did leave a $26k tip though, which proves that his “traumatic experience” didn’t ruin his time. It’s the biggest tip they’ve gotten all season, in fact.

As the crew turn the boat around, Sierra and Emily discuss the Ben thing. Emily is fine with a little friendly dating, but she’s not sure about this little boatmance going any further – especially given Kate’s mounting annoyance with them.

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But there are other matters of romance to turn our attention to, as Ashley comes aboard! Sierra greets her warmly, but notes that she does feel badly for her. Kyle is sketchy, and Ashley might be in over her head with this guy. Emily assesses Ashley as a “typical girl from Manchester” – fake nails, long hair, garish makeup. Ouch! Emily’s upper crust airs are showing…which is perhaps what’s drawn Ben to her?

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When Kate and Ashley get to know each other in the crew mess a few minutes later, she finds out how Ashley fell for Kyle: He got kicked out of a club, and it was love at first fight.

Ben corners Emily below deck to ask her out on a date, which she sidesteps. She suggests doing something with the crew instead. Ben is shocked! SHOCKED, I say! “Why the hell would she want to hang out with anyone else?” wonders Ben, who’s ego is being squished. And here he thought that freezer bouquet was his get-a-date-for-life card! No so, apparently.

So Ben goes into harassment mode, demanding Emily take a break from her work to hang with him. Take a break! Take a break! he whines. Until, finally, Emily cracks. Ben admits that Emily is a “young pup” and the timing could be wrong for them, but he’s willing to give it a shot. By give it a shot, does he mean wear her down until she acquiesces?

Out on their date, Kyle and Ashley discuss Sierra – WHAT!? Right out of the GATE!? Okay, then. Kyle admits he asked her out on a date, but she texted her boyfriend the entire time. Then called him a queen. Ashley wonders why the hell Kyle would want a date with Sierra in the first place? Kyle spews some sort of rubbish about thinking he had a free pass to “muck up,” but that clearly wasn’t the case. “You’re a f–king a$$hole!” accuses Ashley, who has every right to be upset with this dude she thinks is her boyfriend.

At another location ashore, Ben waits for Emily to grace him with her presence. She finally shows up and tells Ben that she’s fine dating him – if it’s not serious. She’d like a “really good friendship” with him, ultimately. Ben lies that he’s okay with that, even though he was basically calling Emily marriage material when his brother was around. Time for the heavy artillery. “Will you come stay in a hotel with me?” punts Ben, who’s grasping at straws now. Emily’s not sure.

Back on Planet Kyle, Ashley discusses her gender reassignment surgery with him. She’ll need someone to take care of her afterward, and she wants that someone to be Kyle. It’s a big responsibility, but Kyle is more than willing. He wants to commit himself to Ashley now, and Ashley is happy to hear this news. Here’s hoping that Kyle is turning over an honest leaf here, because these two seem kind of great together.

Oh lord! Emily has agreed to the hotel deed. She and Ben sneak off charter later to check into their room for a night together. But where’s that bouquet? Surprisingly, Ben’s not schlepping it with them to the room. And although Ben has promised “nothing sexual – just movies!” it seems likely that they’ll come back to Valor knowing each other a bit…better.

TELL US: HAS KYLE REDEEMED HIMSELF OF THE SIERRA MISSTEP? ARE BEN AND EMILY HEADED FOR A FUTURE, OR JUST A FRIENDSHIP? SHOULD NICO HAVE BEEN PROMOTED TO SENIOR DECKHAND? 

Photo Credit: Bravo

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