Below Deck Recap: Frayed Nerves
In St. Martin’s, the wind is rough, making massive waves. Captain Lee Rosbach is worried Valor won’t be leaving the dock for their upcoming charter. Of course, this guarantees that they’ll have super annoying, constantly-unhappy guests bringing a new meaning to expression “rough seas ahead.” Thankfully, after fighting with EJ Jansen over filthy feet, Nico’s brother is gone and taking 1/2 the Scholly a-component with him. Nico temporarily remains, dirty feet and jerky attitude, though! He blames EJ for trying to bait his brother into a fight.
Shockingly the race for bosun is revived! It turns out EJ’s regular yacht is back in Ft. Lauderdale and he was only a temporary drill sergeant aboard Valor. Now he’s planning to return to his regular charter. Of course Lee has NO faith in Nico (and no plans to promote him) and is upset by this development – even though he knew about it in advance.
Then of course Nico is out on the tender and falls while pulling in a line and suddenly can’t move his arm. He whacked his funny bone hard enough to do significant damage. Lee sends him to the hospital where a temporarily paralyzed Nico is diagnosed with “nerve damage” and sentenced to 1 charter hard rest. No one – literally no one – seemed to even notice he was gone.
Jen Howell continues to shirk all responsibilities while whining that she does everything and blaming all the world’s problems on Brianna Adekeye. Except, Kate Chastain put Jen on laundry duty, where the sound of the machines drowns out her whining. When Kate checks-in, she finds laundry piled up everywhere and Jen missing; sneaking an impromptu break in her bunk. Did she learn nothing from Chris Brown‘s premature departure? Kate warns Jen – again – that this is not OK and reassigns her the piles of ironing she was supposed to already have finished. Jen is literally useless and does not get it! All this constant cleaning is just so boring to her and she hates it. WAAAAAH.
The charter guests arrive to a bedraggled crew. Nico is on meds and groggy, Jen is a miserable yachterella in a rumpled uniform, Bruno Duarte is up in arms about atrocity of the interior crew not properly managing the crew mess, Lee is annoyed about the weather, and Kate is shooting daggers. At least Nico wearing a sling when greeting charter guests reinforced Captain Lee’s bad news that the waves were too rough to take the boat off the dock. MOST of the guests seemed to accept that.
The lead charter and his wife were totally fine in every way; they were happy to be there and celebrating his birthday. All they wanted was theme parties and good food. However their ‘friends’ were f–king ANNOYING! Like, talk about being buzzkills. I’d be super annoyed if I paid for my friends to have a luxury vacation and all they did was nitpick and complain to me about it. I mean, these people were Jen in guest-form.
One woman, who is jazz legend Herb Alpert’s daughter, thinks she is Tom Colicchio judging Top Chef simply because her father also owns a restaurant. Another friend of the guests spent the entire trip snarking that they were trapped on the dock. He was only happy when he was hitting on Bruno. And Bruno’s true colors came out and they are not the sunny, happy yellow I expected!
This reinforced Bruno’s sudden belief in himself that he is in charge of what happens with the stews. Minutes after the guests are on board, he bossily and condescendingly warns Kate that this will be a difficult charter due to unhappy guests, so she better step it up. Kate is like ‘No Shit Sherlock – don’t you have an anchor to pull? Go worry about your own domain.”
Bruno seems to think he’s able to be a stew when it’s convenient: making gourmet meals and throwing parties or serving cocktails to guests in costume, but not cleaning toilets or stripping beds or doing laundry. Oh yes, for this charter, Bruno suddenly had no problem putting on a costume and being fawned over by the guests!
EJ should be excited about
escaping Nico leaving, but he’s actually bummed about leaving his budding relationship with Baker Manning. He’s been keeping a respectful (re: friend-like) distance because he’s technically her boss, but now that their days are numbered, they are openly snuggling and flirting. Awww… these two are cute! I kinda hope they stay, well whatever it is people do when they run consecutive charters on different yachts. I also feel like everyone was happier with Nico locked in his bunk, not throwing tantrums.
Since the guests are dock-bound, Kate and EJ concoct an impromptu beach picnic with lots of water toys. Bruno takes it upon himself to plan the food and drinks. Since apparently he is an authority on luxury leisure, he lays out cheese, crackers, and prosciutto. Kate is kindly letting him have the rope to hang himself because she has enough to do, managing, micro-managing, and macro-managing Jen.
The guests also wanted theme parties. The first one, an 80’s night, was actually planned by a guest who brought a suitcase of costumes.
Matt Burns also has his work cut out for him. The restaurant-owning charter guest has a LOT of demands of his cooking and apparently believes herself to be a James Beard nominated chef. Matt usually works on boats with month-long charters, meaning a long time to build relationships and rapport with the guests and their preferences, so three-day jaunts for poor-ish wannabes have been an adjustment for him. I bet they’re WAY ruder and more particular!
Lunch goes well, but dinner is greeted by a rash of insults by this same guest. She’s furious that Matt would DARE serve seafood TWICE in one day. She’s SO distraught she loses her appetite and refuses to try the meal even though the other guests are loving it. I should mention all her bitching happened while she was wearing a bright red afro. Nothing says serious food critic like a $10 plastic wig!
The next day with the guests doubting the weather, Captain Lee takes the lead charter and one friend out on the tender to check the waves. They come back nausea and soaked and suddenly fine with being docked. Luckily, Jen took two hours to make a couple chai lattes so their coffee was still hot!
Kate suggests an island day with an underwater reef they can snorkel through. With Kate on the island serving the guests, she leaves Bri and Jen on the boat to clean and prep dinner, and when they’re done, they can have an unofficial break.
Of course Jen uses this as an opportunity to take a two hour lunch break. Bri confronts her about being lazy and taking forever to eat, instead of turning down rooms. Apparently Jen thinks all lunch breaks are social gatherings? Jen whines that Bri attacked her. Poor Yachterella is owed this break! She’s allowed to eat since she does all the work. Not Bri! Not Kate! Just Jen!
When Kate returns, she finds dishes in the sink, rooms not completed, and laundry piled up (again), and she is furious. In five hours, nothing was finished except for Jen and Bri’s relationship. This is not good since the guests requested a luau to celebrate the lead charter’s birthday. And who does Matt allow to make the birthday cake? Bruno! It looked like a lopsided, uninspired, amateur mess but everyone was so excited about it, so maybe I’m just a crotchety bitch like that constantly complaining foodie guest!?
While Bruno is super impressed with his cake prowess, he’s not so impressed with the rest of the interior crew. He gripes that the luau is a disgrace. He actually tells Kate it looks terrible and she instructs him to go tattle to Captain Lee about all the things he, Bruno, would do better. In fact, Kate escorts him upstairs, where surprise: Captain Lee is in full luau costume surrounded by hula dancers! Bruno is suitably chastened – Kate Chastain knows what she’s doing and Bruno should just take his trifling meddling ass back to the deck crew. Unless, of course, he wants to be a full-time interior crew in which she would GLADLY replace Jen!
Oh speaking of Jen, she is still snipping at Bri and whining constantly. She’s unhappy with the buffet-style service of dinner, and bitches IN FRONT OF THE GUESTS about the arrangements. And she certainly resents taking any orders from Bri. After a successful luau dinner, where even Bruno’s cake was a hit, Kate has had it with Jen’s complaints, lies, and excuses so she decides to trap Bri and Jen together until they can get along. Meanwhile she will do the early and go to bed.
Kate leaves a long and detailed note, assigning Bri more responsibility as the final F-U to Jen’s laziness, and then waltzes away. No surprise, Jen complains the night away. Maybe she should ask Bruno for assistance since clearly he believes interior sucks!
TELL US – SHOULD JEN BE FIRED? IS NICO OVER-DRAMATIZING HIS INJURY?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]