The charter from hell continues on Below Deck Mediterranean as Hannah Ferrier tries to bury her rage about the middle aged frat party that has come aboard the Ionian Princess. Last seen, Hannah was being told by Captain Mark Howard that the disgusting guests were extending their charter, and that they didn’t want to see, smell, or hear Hannah for the remainder of the trip! Hannah is disappointed in herself for allowing her emotions to get the better of her, but agrees that shoving Tiffany Copeland and Julia D’Albert-Pusey into the line of fire from here on in is their best survival tactic. They will be put on service, leaving Hannah in the background to ponder what it truly means to be in the “service industry.”
Somehow, these guests have gotten even more needy and obnoxious since the last episode. Are they taking the same douche-pills Bryan Kattenburg is prescribed? Poor Julia has been relegated to Head Drink Wench, a role that has her literally sprinting up and down stairs frantically balancing trays of vodka and used cocktail straws like she’s in some twisted American Ninja Waitstaff challenge. As she slings drinks and munchies at the ravenous, slobbering guests, they insult her and whine incessantly about how slow the service is, how loooooong they have to wait for their drinks, and (their only accurate point) how much the yacht staff hate their sorry asses. The primary snarks, “They hate us cuz they ain’t us!”
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In the galley, Julia is also being rubbed the wrong way by Ben Robinson, who she finds condescending. Ben seems unaware of this tension. Also unaware of tension, himself, the greater scope of the world around him – you name it! – is Danny Zureikat, who continues to stand around staring at the charter guests’ bikini poses rather than work. Bryan, who has dubbed Danny an “all around turd burger” (bwaahahaha!), sends Danny and Bobby Giancola into the ocean with life vests to scrub the boat. But Danny is more concerned about his phone. Can I get my phone back? he whines at every turn. Bryan cannot handle the level of Danny’s idiocy, and barely acknowledges his pleas for phone privileges before turning his back on him.
Julia, ready to snap, also has no time for Danny, who’s standing around doing absolutely nothing as Julia runs around like a madwoman. Danny delusionally claims he’s always there to help! He’s MVP! He makes MOMENTS! Julia is not impressed. Also not impressed with her lot in life is Tiffany, who has the honor of cleaning up a bloody tampon that one of the animals staying on board have chucked on to their bedroom floor. G-R-O-S-S.
Ten minutes before his shift is over, Danny begs for his phone again, this time to Captain Mark. He wants “the opportunity to rebuild trust,” says Danny in his best Eddie Haskell voice. Captain Mark either has zero f*cks left to give, or he is just worried about scarfing down his chicken – whatever the case may be, he says okay. But Danny can only use it at night
to post naked Instagram pics of the guests he took that day. Danny is giddy, Bryan and Bobby are pissed. All is as dysfunctional as ever.
As the guests take their special brand of douchiness ashore in Mykonos, Tiffany gets bored and decides to put on her Toys R Us unicorn mask that she’s been carrying around…all her life? The guests return and retire early, thank God. But they ask the Captain to turn the boat around to Naxos for one last excursion: ATVs, a few of which they want crew members to man so they can drink. Ben and Hannah are on better terms now, having a nice chat before bed. But Julia is strung out and exhausted, telling her boyfriend back home that she just wants OFF this boat.
The next morning, the guests ask Julia for a croissant, which she can’t find anywhere. She asks Ben, who sort of shrugs and basically is all, too bad, so sad! Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is over this charter. Julia is frantic in her attempt to please them though, possibly due to the complaint lodged against Hannah? She sees Ben as difficult, but he’s not understanding why this croissant is a big deal. Julia is about to get all Shirley MacClaine up in here, ala Terms of Endearment: GIVE MY CHARTER GUESTS THE CROISSANTS! But she manages to hold it together, asking Bryan patiently if a tender can be sent for the croissants. He agrees. Then all but one guest order breakfast burritos anyway, so WTF!?!?
Ben thinks the croissants were for later, but Julia reminds him that no, the guest who demanded it for breakfast wants it now. She gets snippy, he gets snippy. No one really understands why this goddamn croissant is such a big deal…except for Julia, who is practically having a coronary event over it. After the kerfuffle, Julia runs back to her room, crying about her run in with Ben. She tells Hannah that Ben represents everything offputting to her: a typical Southern Brit who makes her feels inferior. Hannah soothes her as best she can, but clearly doesn’t understand the deeper class warfare going on here.
ATV time! Bryan, Danny, Tiffany, and Bobby accompany the guests ashore, while Jen stays back on board to – as Bryan air quotes – “work.” Danny goes to “work” immediately once he’s allowed to meet the guests, hamming it up about vibes and fun and feeling good, man. His cheesiness is on Level 10, irritating the crew, but perfect for the mouth breathers who’ve chartered this boat.
Ben, confused about Julia’s issue with him, takes her aside to chat. He thinks this is all about a croissant, but Julia launches into Ben being a private school, upper crust arrogant prick. Shocked, Ben’s like, are you just overtired and taking it out on me? Which is a fair question, because Julia’s ire seems disproportionate to the situation – even if the entire charter season with Ben is taken into account. She takes his question as another attempt to make her feel stupid, and runs off crying again. “Yeah, I’m the bad guy, right?” Ben wonders to Jen, who witnessed the entire scene and also has no answers.
Ben reflects on Julia’s accusations. Yes, he was ultra-privileged growing up as the son of a successful novelist father and the sometime playmate of Prince William and Harry (HUH!?!?). But he didn’t want to rest on his laurels, so he left England to make his own way.
As Ben ruminates on whether he’s a scary guy to his colleagues, a truly scary colleague is on Naxos chatting it up with the guests and bogarting their phones whenever the chance arises. As Danny drives his beautiful blonde guest around in his ATV alone (who came up with this arrangement?), he flirts with her, then asks her to put her digits in his phone. Because Danny has either been hired by Bravo to bring the drama EVERY SINGLE EPISODE or…because he is dumber than a bag of hammers. What. Is. His. Damage.
Later that evening, Ben compliments Tiffany on her great attitude as he prepares dinner. Tiffany thinks Ben’s funny, not condescending, and that Julia just misunderstands his humor. I tend to agree. But maybe I’m blind?
Hannah manages to announce dinner correctly, and the guests even compliment her on her service. They think she’s had a major turnaround, which Hannah overhears in relief. Not everything has changed though, because Danny is below in the crew mess showing Jen, Bryan, and Bobby the promo for the new Tilted Kilt calendar that his one time lady love sent him. Bryan looks at Danny with murder in his eyes and this time, I can’t blame him. If there’s going to be a dead body floating near the Ionian Princess in the wee hours of morning, it will be Danny’s. And everyone will be an equal suspect in his untimely death.
After dinner, Ben confesses to Hannah that Julia’s accusations really hurt him. The next morning, he feels even worse. After serving breakfast, Hannah and Ben sit down in the dining room to talk more. Ben says the reason he left England is so he could avoid this whole silver spoon legacy, and that Julia’s comments dragged up those old emotions that haunt him. Breaking down in tears, he says he respects everyone on this boat and doesn’t want them to think he’s above anyone. It’s exactly what he’s trying to avoid, in fact.
You know, I’ve never heard about Ben’s elite background (from his mouth) throughout his many seasons on Below Deck, so I do tend to believe he’s not using his privileged past as leverage with the crew. He’s chosen the life of a chef, and a reality star to boot – the latter certainly not falling in line with anything remotely resembling upper crust and higher castes (throwing yourself in with the likes of TV-Danny, for one, might drag you down a peg or two on the posh ladder!). So I wonder how much of Julia’s pain comes from her upbringing and her resentments toward those who’ve slighted her, which Ben simply now symbolizes?
Certainly, we don’t see every moment of snark and condescension – and Ben should own his fair share of that – but the footage thus far doesn’t seem to warrant the level of Julia’s pain. There has to be something deeper at play. I blame the knuckle draggers that chartered this boat! Hands down: worst charter guests EVER.
TELL US: IS JULIA RIGHT IN HER ASSESSMENT OF BEN? WILL DANNY EVER, EVER, EVER GET FIRED FOR HIS INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR WITH GUESTS?
Photo Credit: Bravo