On last night’s Below Deck Mediterranean, a smitten Danny Zureikat tries his hand at writing poetry for the woman of his dreams – Tilted Kilt waitress and charter guest, Morgan. But Captain Mark Howard sees to it that his love drunk deck hand remembers he’s on this boat to play Gilligan, not Shakespeare. After making out in plain sight with Morgan at the beach, Danny is on even thinner ice with his crew, not to mention with First Mate Bryan Kattenburg. And Danny’s already got one strike against him from Captain Mark for bringing random girls aboard with co-conspirator (and slightly more mature) Bobby Giancola last week.
So, now what’s a horny deckhand to do? Well, for now, he’s got to steer clear of Jen Riservato, who’s stank attitude has put her at the top of Bryan’s sh*t list. But since Danny’s decided to break all rules of charter boundaries, Jen sees an opportunity to shine. She is the MVP
in her own mind, lest we forget!
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As we pan back to the beach where Jen is staring down Danny’s wayward kiss, she tells him straight up afterward that she saw everything. She’s not going to snitch to Bryan (yet), however, because she’s Italian. So…okay! Meanwhile, poor Julia D’Albert-Pusey is busy holding Morgan’s hair extensions – that she literally pulled straight out of her skull, beach side – ensuring all guests get their “5-star service.”
The crew prepare for dinner, which will include sushi and shirtless deckhands in bow ties. Because this charter is fancy. Can’t you tell? Hannah Ferrier is giddy because 1) she doesn’t feel like backhanding Tiffany Copeland anymore, and 2) she gets to oil down Bobby, who she fancies a bit. Tiffany is giddy because she is not getting backhanded, and because she didn’t know Bryan looked so good shirtless. (Has she been on this boat too long? Like just a smidge past the length of time when average looking turns into husband material?)
Shirtless dudes and sushi are all rolling along nicely until Morgan, who “sometimes eats fish,” decides she can’t handle the tragedy of all the dead sea life laid out before her, bemoaning the fish families each unagi roll has left behind. Oh lord. Breaking down in tears, Morgan flees the table to wail over #SushiGenocide in her room!
Hannah is like: “?” when she finds out Morgan is having a mental breakdown over shrimp’s feelings. She fills Ben Robinson in on the ridiculous situation. He muses, “I guess the drunker you get, the more of a vegetarian you become.” After Morgan requests veggie sushi from him (and is turned down – no rice left! the rice had a FAMILY!), Ben promises to slap some other sh*t together for her.
Danny, meanwhile, is highly concerned about his true love! She’s crying!? She mourns the fates of farm-raised salmon!? HE MUST GO TO HER!!!!!!! He shirks his work, telling Bobby he’s gonna go chill with his girl. Bobby is, um, not happy to hear this.
Before he goes to comfort Morgan, Danny decides to take a ballpoint pen to notebook paper. He shall comfort his lady with a few lines of pooh-etry! Roses are red. Violets are blue. If your kilt is crooked, I’ll tilt it for you! As he scribbles his lines – which, I kid you not, are about fish dying and swimming to their destiny – Bobby discovers him writing. He is like, “OH HELL NO!” But Danny is in love! He shall not unloose his grip on this pen, though a thousand deckhands try to sway him with their unreasonable work demands!
“We have f-king sh*t to do!” screams Bobby, who cannot believe what he’s witnessing. Danny promises his poetry will take but a moment, then he will return to his ACTUAL job. But Bobby is not having any of this, so he summons Bryan to handle it.
Not only Bryan, but also Captain Mark, arrive to intervene. Danny describes his “sweet idea” of consolation poetry for Morgan, which Captain Mark immediately shuts down as inappropriate. He prods Danny further: has anything else happened with this Morgan chick? Danny says he hasn’t crossed the line – he swears it, in fact!
But Captain Mark isn’t so sure about this Danny dude. He reiterates that there will be no more poetry! Ever! And there will be no more “connecting” with the guests. The crew is there to service them (not sure how Danny will interpret this…ahem), entertain them, and keep them safe. They are not here to showcase their #SweetRhymes and make out skills!
Danny inanely argues back that he’s super awesome at servicing his guests! He connects better than anyone! Then he goes to cry on his bunk. Because he is mature. Captain Mark, Bobby, and Bryan are left speechless as they stare at Danny stomping off down the corridor, wondering what fresh HR nightmare awaits them next if this is how Danny is already acting on his second charter?
In the galley, Ben is experiencing his own nightmare, having been called on to whip up a cake for one of the charter guests whose celebrating a birthday on board. Hannah sees the cake, which looks sort of sad and droopy, and is not impressed. She just hopes the low expectations of these Tilted Kilt girls save the day – which, ultimately, they do. These chicks are drunk and happy, so all is well in birthday land!
All is decidedly not well in Danny land, however. After he and Morgan have has their separate cry sessions (perhaps they are destined to be together?), they find each other out on deck to share a smooch goodnight. He also slips her his…poem.
Julia is missing her real boyfriend back in England, who updates her on her mom and how life is going back home. She’s having difficulty being away from her life for so long, but as her boyfriend says, “it’s just something she’s got to do right now.”
Back in Morgan’s room, she’s reading Danny’s hand-scrawled note to her friends, slumber part style. Squeeeee! She giggles, reading Danny’s inspired words about “fish swimming toward the light when they die.” It reads something like a Shel Silverstein limerick, except even more juvenile. If that’s possible. Her friends are all, “Awwwwwww!” And Morgan-of-the-extreme-emotional-connection-with-all-sea-creatures feels closer than ever to her brokedown Romeo.
Back in the galley, Bryan updates Hannah on the hot mess that is Danny. She rightfully calls Danny insane, who by the way is out on deck talking to Morgan’s friends about his feeeeeeelings. And how Captain Mark doesn’t understand them! Because NO ONE SHALL STOP HIS LOVE!! Bryan confronts Danny again about his total impropriety, which has now reached the level of getting the guests involved in crew drama. Which Danny has started. It’s the Below Deck Circle of Life, y’all!
But Danny, who is running solely on hormones and Red Bull at this point, just flails around whining that “You guys just don’t know how to make moments!” Bryan has no idea what to do with this man-boy, so he just stares at the pitiful pouting mess before him, silently devising ways to throw him overboard without incident. Should someone take Danny’s iPhone and video game privileges away for a week? We need Super Nanny on board to deal with this wretch, not a First Mate!
Danny finally calms down, confessing to Bryan and Bobby that he gave Morgan the poem. The poem LIVES! This poem has reached the level of Schindler’s List in Danny’s tiny mind; it has become the conduit to life itself. Bryan and Bobby call Danny stupid, which he is, adding that Danny needs to go to his room! He’s in “deep sh*t” says Bryan, who warns Danny to be ready to face the consequences of his whack actions tomorrow.
Not wasting any time, Bryan finds Captain Mark to fill him in on PoetryGate. Captain Mark says that in all of his yachting years, he’s never dealt with this level of ridiculousness before. Ah, but those years weren’t filled with Bravo casts, were they Cap’n? Welcome to the jungle! This is the crew you get to run your boat
and drive you slowly insane. Lots of luck to you!
As Danny brushes his teeth with his own tears, Bryan barges in to deliver the bad news: Captain Mark knows what he did, and Danny is to remain quarantined in his quarters until further notice. He can go ahead and write a few rhymes about that while he waits.
Bobby is still reeling about the trajectory of Danny: from quirky, fun guy to “full on loony tunes” in a mere matter of days. Bryan thinks Danny will get canned as soon as the charter is over. Yip.
The next day, everyone gets wind of Danny’s charade. Bryan thinks his crew, which is now a man down, will be fine. But he’ll have to lean on Jen more, who he hasn’t warmed up to yet. Jen seems up for the task at hand, despite Bryan delegating most of Danny’s work to Bobby instead of her. You know, her attitude has been atrocious thus far, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s somewhat justified? Bryan certainly isn’t doing much to inspire loyalty – or even basic camaraderie – among his crew with this type of behavior.
As the charter comes to a close, Danny sulks in the dark of his lockdown location, while the boat hits some rocky waters upon docking. All is well in the end – at least for the boat! – after a bit of regrouping. Captain Mark decides to anchor the ship away from dock, instructing the guests to leave by tender.
Below deck, Ben is flirting with Tiffany, who he finds the most “lady like” of the crew. And he’s likes ladies! However weird that makes him sound. Bobby, on the other hand, has his sights set on Julia – boyfriend or no boyfriend. Mourning the loss of his final chance at flirting with Morgan, Danny sulks in his quarters. His janky Juliet has left him a note, though, which makes all of his transgressions worth it in the end.
The guests leave Captain Mark with his own personal kilt and an envelope of cash. Hannah thanks her stews for their awesome work, even though this charter was “a bit weird and skanky.”
It’s judgement day! Captain Mark summons Danny to the bridge for his spanking. Danny admits he was wrong, but not really! He’s a people person, yo! When someone is feeling sad, don’t they deserve a note about fish swimming to the light? As he drones on insanely, Captain Mark stares off in disbelief. How many ways can you say, “You’re fired?” he wonders. It’s all well and good that Danny wants to reach out and touch someone, but that sh*t does not work on yachts, says Captain Mark, who suggests Danny use his people skills as a “Walmart greeter or something.” Bwahahaha! Okay, Captain Mark. I am now officially a #TrueFan.
“You’ve lost my respect, you’ve lost the respect of your fellow crew members, you’ve lost your tip,” he tells a crying Danny. “I hope it was worth it.” Danny, who’s blubbering things now like “I’m sorry dude!” looks like the reality of his situation is finally – at long last – dawning on him. Captain Mark doesn’t trust him. But wait! He’s willing to – WHAT!?!? Give Danny another chance!?!? Ugh. Captain warns: It’s two strikes against Danny now, so he’s got to stay squeaky clean from here on in.
Tip meeting! The crew gather to hear the Danny verdict first. Everyone but Ben seems a bit surprised Danny is staying, but they all get an extra share the 18K Euro tip, so all is not lost. What may be lost, however, is Bryan’s trust in Captain Mark’s judgment. He is especially displeased with Danny sticking around. Makes sense, since he’ll be the one managing Danny’s inappropriate arse.
Hannah and Julia kibitz about the Danny situation (Hannah thinks he should have been fired, Julia does not), then chat about relationships. Hannah is perpetually single, not ready to settle down just yet. While Julia is in it for the long haul with her boyfriend, despite Bobby’s wily ways.
Taking advantage of Danny’s absence on deck, Tiffany offers to help Bryan’s crew. She wants to be a captain one day, and Bryan is impressed with her deck skills. Alas, Danny will be back soon, so how much advantage this moment will offer Tiffany seems minimal. Back to the laundry for now!
Speaking of the prodigal son’s return, Danny emerges on deck to wash it down with his crew. Bryan thinks it will take a miracle for Danny to regain his trust. Bobby calls Danny out as an idiot for falling in love with a Hooter’s girl, while Jen keeps her distance. Which seems like the best move right now.
Later on, Bobby and Danny are kept on board to work together (is this punishment from their prior infraction?) while the rest of the crew get to go out on the town for a drink. At dinner, they attempt to act civilized, while back in the boat, Bobby and Danny bond over the exciting task of counting…life jackets?
Jen does her best at sulking through dinner, you know – since Greece sucks and all! She misses her Starbucks! Ben is not impressed with Jen’s lack of culinary appreciation. Things loosen up as they head out for drinks after dinner, with Hannah attempting to flirt with Ben, despite his obvious indifference toward her. Oh. This is painful. Hannah feeds Ben some slime on a spoon, which passes for romance? Meanwhile, Bryan is rubbing up on Tiffany, busting out crazy lines like “How do you like your cheese grated?” What. Is. Happening. Here.
On the walk home, Hannah confesses to Bryan, “I like Benny!” He’s a good flirt, and she likes that. But he likes the lady-like ladies…and Hannah may not quite fit that bill. This shall be interesting.
Upon coming back aboard, Jen finds a present Danny left for her – a photo of her dog on her pillow – and hugs it out with her former nemesis. Also hugging it out in the galley are Hannah and Ben, with Hannah leaning in for more than a hug. But Ben isn’t biting. He doesn’t want to pigeon hole himself, plus he’s got a thing for Tiffany. But whoops! Tiffany is at this very moment going to sleep in Ben and Bryan’s bunk, SANS Ben. So, the plot thickens!
Getting messier with every passing second, Hannah and Ben’s #HuggableMoment is now turning into an bizarre altercation, as Ben valiantly tries to disentangle himself from her. She then accuses him of treating her – “a cool girl!” – like THIS!? Then stumbles away, rejected.
Ultimately, Ben escapes Hannah’s clutches, but walks into Awkward Situation #2 when he enters his room, only to find Tiffany and Bryan on top of one another. Eeeeeeek! Okay. Now, this season is finally going somewhere. I’m popping the popcorn for next week!
TELL US: DO YOU THINK DANNY SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIRED? WHERE WILL THE BRYAN/TIFFANY/BEN/HANNAH LOVE FIASCO LEAD US?
Photo Credit: Bravo