Below Deck Recap: The Break Of Don

below deck dean kate

“I’m on a boat, and it’s going fast and, I’ve got a nautical themed penis folded afghan…I’m the king of the world on a boat like Lee (oh! Ha!), if you’re on the shore, then you’re sure not me…oh!” Yes, I am a huge Lonely Island fan. Of course, I am also a Below Deck fanatic, and the show has yet to disappoint me so far this season. I just hope I don’t run out of ship-themed intros! 

As last night’s episode begins, the Eros crew has five hours before the new charter guests arrive. True to form, Raquel “Rocky” Dakota Bartlow is bawling on the phone to her dad about how mean Kate Chastain is as a boss. Her dad quickly reminds her that she has a job to do and her boss is there to make sure she does it properly. Amy Johnson sympathizes with Rocky as she was Kate’s punching bag last season. Amy promises to help alleviate any of the tension as long as Rocky is willing to work with her to make sure things get done. Rocky is no quitter, so she dries her tears, makes weird faces at the camera, and sets her sights on doing anything but what is asked of her. Sounds about right…


This episode marks the return of the man who first accused Kate of needing to smile more and paving the way for her bitchy resting face diagnosis. After two charters, they are in a much better place. Kate has been perfecting her towel folding skills so she has more than a penis in her repertoire. She debriefs her staff regarding the guests and begins to plan the charter’s festivities. The crew is surprised to learn that Rocky travels with a mermaid costume. Kate concedes that Rocky as a mermaid could be highly entertaining for their guests. Plus she and Amy are the only ones who work anyway, so it’s not like she’s down one person.

The more time Connie Arias spends with her bunk mate Emile Kotze, the more she realizes that he needs to stay in the friend zone. They’re both happy to be getting closer, and there is probably less stress with no attraction between them. Don Abenante approaches Eddie Lucas about rigging the rope so that they won’t have the same issues they did on the last charter when Don almost yanked the pylon off the dock. Eddie is fine with Don’s idea, but he urges him to run it by Captain Lee Rosbach first. Don boasts that he has already spoken to Lee. Eddie is quickly realizing that Don is never going to see him as his superior. Meanwhile, Rocky is questioning why Emile never met her in the hot tub. Didn’t he want to hook up? Emile is fine just flirting with Rocky, but he thinks she’s a tease…and that she’s bat shiz crazy. I think he’s right on both counts.

below deck connie eddie

Thanks to Rocky, the laundry room is a disaster and no one has pressed uniforms to wear when the guests arrive. Kate chalks it up to Rocky being raised as the best at everything–“oh honey you woke up! You’re the best waker-upper on the planet!” Kate makes a very good point. Rocky has managed to screw up everyone’s shirt selection (Emile has Eddie’s, Eddie has the Captain’s, and none of them are ironed), and Kate barely has time to erect a more elaborate penis towel (compared to her first attempt on season 1) on the main charter guest’s bed. No pun intended! The gang is making a mad dash to prep for Dean’s arrival, but Rocky can’t be bothered with tucking in her shirt.

The third time’s the charm for Dean and his pals, and Kate plans to knock his socks off with an over-the-top charter. Everything has to be perfect. My bad! It turns out Kate wasn’t using coconut and palm fronds to create the ultimate penis towel, but instead she was attempting a palm tree. Sure she was! As the guests tour the Eros, the Captain, Eddie, and Don prepare to launch the yacht, which thankfully goes off without any problems…until Don decides to pull rank on Emile and Connie. He orders them both to throw the bumpers/fenders overboard, but Connie and Emile argue that Dan prefers it done a different way and he is their boss. Don wines that it shouldn’t take an engineer to make this process easier, and he goes about his plan regardless of Emile and Connie’s hesitation. Emile quickly goes to Eddie to debrief him on the situation, and Eddie is in disbelief as Don continues with his fender bending. Why must he exert his dominance instead of following a direct order?

below deck towel

Chef Leon Walker meets with the guests to discuss the trip’s menu. Leon challenges the passengers to catch their own dinner, and he promises to make the best ceviche they have ever tasted. Meanwhile, Rocky continues to complain about how everyone has a better job than she does. Why isn’t she allowed to cook or drive the small boat? Umm, because you’re a stew? Lee tasks Connie with taking the group on a lobster and conch expedition. She is beyond thrilled at the challenge. However, in the galley, Leon is doing nothing to prepare for lunch. Kate describes him as not only lazy, but crazy lazy. He reminds her that the guests need to catch their own lunch before he can fix it. The guests thoroughly enjoy catching their feast, but upon return they expect to be fed rather quickly. Leon is freaking out as he doesn’t know how to extract the conch from its shell. Amy is floored that a yacht chef in the Bahamas doesn’t know how to remove the conch. After a mini freak out, Leon cheats by pulling some frozen conch out of the freezer. The impatient guests are delighted with both the taste and the presentation. They have never dined on fresher ceviche. Upon finding the conch shell unopened in the sink, Kate wonders how Leon was able to get the conch out of the sealed shell. Kate doesn’t mind him lying to the guests, but it’s quite another issue when he lies to her.

Dean summons Leon to the dining deck so he can regale in the ceviche preparation. The guests praise Leon as he describes the difficulty involved in removing the conch from its shell–insert eye roll from Kate here. Having crashed and burned with Emile, Rocky has turned her sights on Don. He’s the perfect subject, as he loves to talk about himself and seems oblivious to everything else. Connie recaps her altercation with Don over the fenders with Kate, and the chief stew is very disappointed. She knows he’s a great engineer, but why can’t he be a great deckhand as well? That evening, the guests convene for a black tie dinner which involves the men wearing tuxedos on top and tighty whiteys on the bottom. Rocky grumbles about being Cindarella as she irons linens, and Connie jokingly locks her in the laundry room. I’d be fine if they didn’t let her out the rest of the episode. The guests ooh and ahh over Leon’s house dressing, and they request the recipe. When Kate inquires about the ingredients, he refuses to share. If Leon can lie to the guests about conch, then Kate can lie about the contents of the house dressing…which she does with ease. Mint, tarragon, hell, maybe some Dijon mustard? Yup, that’s it! 

below deck rocky

Eddie approach is Don about smoothing things over with Emile, but Don changes the subject to gush about the googly eyes he’s getting for Rocky. Speaking of, Rocky keeps reminding herself that she need not let Kate get to her when she’s being ordered around. Ordered around? I think it’s called doing your actual job. In an effort to play nice, Kate asks Leon how he chose the culinary field. The more they chat, Kate realizes that Leon’s yacht experience was more like cruise ship experience. She equates his exaggeration to saying he worked at Neiman Marcus when he really worked at Walmart. In the commercial clip, Connie reveals that she has two fake teeth attached to a retainer. For party tricks, she likes to drop her retainer in people’s drinks, and she tends to lose it at bars. Thankfully, her last name is on the retainer, so it’s always been returned. If Connie found a sugar daddy dentist on Tinder she would certainly swipe right (left? Whichever hopes for a match–clearly, I’m not on Tinder!). At the end of the first night, Kate and Amy clean up as Kate recaps her telling conversation with Leon. Amy isn’t quite sure what the big deal is–so he worked on a cruise ship?– but she’s certainly not going to say that to Kate! When Kate realizes that Rocky has caused a towel shortage among the guests and forgotten to do turn-down service, Kate sends her to bed. It’s easier for Kate to do the job herself than to follow Rocky around correcting her mistakes.

below deck don 2

Amy is hopeful that if Rocky is willing to learn, she’ll be an excellent crew member. They just need to figure out how to keep her focus. The following morning, Kate is thrilled that she is no longer rooming with Leon, and Rocky makes sure to shake her ass for Emile before his morning coffee. She doesn’t understand why he isn’t falling all over himself for a guaranteed hook up. All of the guests head out for skiing and other water activities on the smaller boat, and Rocky requests a dip since she’s on break. Kate is willing to let her do anything that could hopefully improve her attitude, but she wants to make sure she gets the okay from the Captain. He begrudgingly agrees, and Rocky makes quite a show of stripping down in front of Emile and Don with her bathing suit wedgie front and center. Yes! This is exactly why Rocky got into yachting. She wanted to play in the water. Following her cue, Don dives into the ocean with her. However, Lee quickly puts an end to his fun. It’s a privilege to swim if one is on break and the guests are off the yacht, but it’s a privilege that is only granted with the Captain’s permission.

below deck don

When the guests returned to the Eros, Lee pulls Eddie aside. It’s time for a serious conversation about Don and his blatant insubordination. The Captain summons Don to the bridge, and on his way, Don asks Kate for some advice. She reminds Don that Lee is the captain, and Don should smile, nod, be honest, and not get defensive. Don interrupts to say he’s helping out Lee with his deckhand job. No, no, no, Kate counters. Being a deckhand is part of Don’s job. He’s not doing anyone any favors. He admits that he thinks he’s about to be chastised for jumping in the water with Rocky, and Kate can’t believe that Rocky is now wreaking havoc in all departments, not just with her fellow stews. After a lecture from Lee, Don remains flippant and argumentative. Eddie can’t believe this idiot. Nod and apologize. It’s not hard! Don continues to buck up against Lee, saying he takes orders from Dan. Eddie interjects, saying Don’s boss Dan has a boss too. His name is Lee, and he’s alpha to a tee. Unable to swallow his ego, Don quits.  While I didn’t see that coming, I’m as happy as a clam…a clam whose shell Leon hasn’t figured out how to break! 😉 


[Photo Credit: Bravo]