On last night’s Below Deck, we lost one crew member and gained another. Well, I use the word “gain” loosely, Jen Howell and Kate Chastain needed an HR rep to review sexual harassment policies. Support each other, ladies – no slutshaming aboard the 5-star Valor! And Nico Scholly made a miraculous recovery.
Poor Nico is in his bunk, all by himself, flexing his hand while tapping on his iPhone just waiting for Brianna Adekeye to check his temperature. Instead Jen and Bri are in hula gear at 1am, faced with a mountain of dishes that gives Jen delirium and psychosis. She’s talking more gibberish than usual, and she’s pretty sure that butter knife turned into a talking seahorse. What was IN that dinner Matt Burns made? It sure wasn’t happy juice!
Bri and Jen were given late duty because Kate is tired of them bickering. Yachterella considers this abuse. Literally she complains that Kate uses and abuses her. Bri is at her wits end, because she is the one actually climbing Mt. Dishtopic while Jen wanderings around hula dancing in the dark. Finally Bri sends Jen to bed – it’s easier to finish herself. Plus Jen is on earlies and no one will ever hear the end of how misused she is as the Valor kitchen wench!
The next morning, Jen is late. Per the usual. But sassier than usual. Like sassier than rotten tuna. It’s because she’s sick. Kate offers to handle breakfast by herself so Jen can go back to bed, but Jen would rather have MORE to complain about in her perma-victim stupor, so she brings her crabbiness to the guests and whines that Kate and Matt refuse to tell her what the breakfast special is because they intentionally hide things from her. The special is Eggs Benedict. Appropriate. Considering Jen’s Benedict Arnold move. How’s that hilarious irony?! “How do you solve a problem like… Jen?” Kate wonders. Without irony.
In addition to Jen, there’s one super obnoxious guest who doesn’t want everyone to know that her restaurant isn’t Michelin starred (and is probably a McDonald’s franchise), and complains that the eggs are bland. Everyone else enjoys it.
When Bringer Of Bad News guest departs, she actually confronts Matt in front of Captain Lee Rosbach to explain that in HER restaurant a lot of HIS dishes would’ve been sent back. Lee is rankled. This isn’t Matt’s first infraction. Even if this one is unfairly given. But the worst is that the primary charter guests actually LEFT without saying goodbye. The Guest Of Doom lets the entire crew know that being trapped in the harbor with bad food was really a “buzzkill” for the primaries. Me thinks the bigger buzzkill is wannabe rich people who lack etiquette!
Given such a lackluster charter, the tip is modest. Lee takes this in stride because his wife Mary Anne is making a rare visit. Unfortunately, EJ Jansen, the Seafaring Mr. Rogers, is also departing. This guy, er, I mean, “buddy”… he really is Boy Scout of the high seas, isn’t he? Lee is sad to see EJ go, but Nico is overjoyed. Suddenly, he has a change of feeling in his hand. It’s fine now! Doesn’t hurt at all! Look – full range of motion! He also has a change of heart – he’s ready to be a team player. So long as that team is led by him.
Nico confides to Bruno Duarte how glad he is to be rid of EJ so he can take his rightful place of pseudo-captain of this ship, but even Nico begrudgingly admits that EJ has transformed the crew into proficient deckhands. Still, no one understands why Baker Manning likes him! EJ was like Ned Flanders, but he was good at his job and mostly harmless. Nico though is such an a-hole that even EJ breaks his ‘no naughty language’ rule to point out this obvious fact.
However, EJ is a little too sweet. Even on his last night, when he had the perfect opportunity to kiss Baker, he was too timid! The morning of his departure he musters up the courage to hug her several times and finally kiss her hand. He makes plans to take her out to dinner when they’re back in Florida. Baker seems bummed. And frankly I am too, I liked them together, but also because EJ gone means the arrival of Kyle Dixon. Duh, duh, duh.
Wasn’t Lee just explaining about the high caliber of their five star yacht and Matt’s lackluster food for not being prestigious enough? Yet, you know, here’s Kyle!
Kyle has not changed at all. Except he’s now officially single and has another daughter. Predictably, he’s immediately attracted to Jen. It’s the big hair, the big fake tits, and the big craziness lurking inside of her. Craziness that’s just bursting to get out. All over him. But for the time-being Jen is still letting loose on Kate.
But let’s focus on something positive first! Before Kyle, came Mary Anne and we saw a much, much softer side of Lee. One who gushes to Nico about what a lucky man he is. They’ve been married 42 blissful years, and everyone is on their very best behavior in front of Mrs. Lee. Even Jen.
And especially Nico, who rented a hotel room with Bri so they can do it without the entire crew hearing their bump and grind. They’re just playing Yahtzee, you guys! This hotel room makes their relationship like ‘official.’
The next morning, Nico and Bri return, refreshed and relaxed, just in time to see Mary Anne out and learn about the new charter guests, plus Kyle. There’s only two charters left and Lee wants to get through them without incident, so he allows Nico to act as Bosun. Nico’s arrogance is now so big it deserves its own tender.
The on-coming charter group is a girl’s trip. All they want is a Carnivale party, which Kate is actually excited about, and good food. Lee warns Matt that it’s turn up time. No more whammies! Meanwhile, Kate hires a circus performer for the party. She will not be getting a mediocre tip again!
Kate predicts the guests will either be high maintenance or high drama, but they actually seem very chill. They love everything. Especially Jesus the magical juice he has blessed this world with. They also love Nico. Every inch of him.
Meanwhile, Kyle loves Bruno, inappropriate footwear, and Jen. While shammying, Kyle waxes poetic about the fluidity of his love. He is open to anyone so long as they fulfill his craziness requirement. Kyle’s relaxed attitude about sex allows Bruno to share that he’s loved both men and women, and doesn’t care – he’s about the heart. Maybe he can teach Kyle a thing or two! Which is about as likely as Kate being able to teach Jen something! Miracles do happen though – after all, Jesus created wine so let the people rejoice!
I actually think these guests are fun (other than praising Jesus for booze every 5 minutes). Unfortunately their good vibes have not extended to Jen. While prepping dinner she’s trying to chill champagne by spinning it in the insta-bucket. Kate jokingly asks Jen if she was popular in high school, and Jen retorts that she hasn’t been whoring around as long as Kate has. Snippily, Kate wonders, “How old’s your daughter.” This sets Jen all the way off. She was MAAARRIED, you guys. MARRIED! She has loved more than boats!
Jen decides she deserves an apology and non-stop supplication for Kate’s out-of-line comment. So while they’re arranging the table for carnival, Jen corners Kate and informs her than even she’s a miserable person, Jen considers her a friend and all will be forgiven with a simple ‘I’m sorry.” Instead a furious Kate storms down the stairs.
As if that drama isn’t enough, Lee is in the cabin monitoring Matt prepare dinner and isn’t impressed to see Bruno acting as his sous chef and influencing what goes on the plate! Later, he confers with Kate about Matt’s wishy-washy performance and decides the best thing to do is kick Bruno out of the kitchen. When he breaks the news to Matt, he can’t take the heat. Why must Matt always be alone?! He and Jen… two birds of a sad-ass feather. Except, even Jen will soon find someone because Kyle vows to take her on a date whether she wants to go or not. Great – he can add kidnapping to his rap sheet.
As for Kate she’s done giving Jen chances. The morning after their fight, she barely acknowledges her – except to remind Jen that calling her boss “miserable” is completely unacceptable. I’m shocked Kate hasn’t told Captain Lee about all her infractions? Jen, however, is still fuming that she didn’t get her apology. This girl is so entitled and nuts! OMG.
TELL US – DID LEE OVERREACT KICKING BRUNO OUT OF THE KITCHEN? DOES KATE OWE JEN AN APOLOGY? ARE YOU GLAD KYLE IS BACK?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]