Below Deck Season Premiere Recap

Ahoy mateys! It’s time for season 4 of Below Deck, the show that proves Bravo does still kinda loves us and wants us to be happy. Last night, we met a new cast of characters sure to shake things up aboard luxury yacht Valor as it sails the Caribbean seas.

Already coming in with fan bases from seasons past are no-nonsense leader Captain Lee Rosbach, chief steward Kate Chastain, head chef Ben Robinson, and newly promoted bosun Kelley Johnson (sans sister Amy this time around). Last seen, one of these characters acted like a giant bag of d–che (I’ll give you a clue…his name rhymes with Smelley), while another crew member has picked up an unexpected girlfriend along the way! They also have the odd assortment of new deckhands and stews to up the ante this year. So, let’s dive on in!


It’s a day before charter, and Kate arrives first to assess the situation. She’s thrilled to be working on board the recently renovated Valor, a gorgeous yacht, and with Captain Lee for the third time. They sit down to catch up. She’s got two new stews coming, neither of which is Rocky Dakota, so it’s all good!

Kelley arrives next. Recently promoted to bosun after taking a ton of courses and generally getting his act together, Kelley is looking to redeem himself in Captain Lee’s eyes – and in the eyes of the public. He’ll have 1 senior and 2 junior deckhands under him, all of whom have experience. Kate and Captain Lee are hopeful that this is a “new” Kelley on board. You know, a Kelley who doesn’t get too drunk to work and who refrains from treating his love interests like total sh*t once they finally agree to hook up with him. #BosunGoals


Emily Warburton-Adam climbs aboard next. She’s 2nd stew, British, and vaguely reminiscent of a children’s character I can’t quite place at the moment. Alice in Wonderland meets Coraline? In any case, she seems like she might be the Xanax’d version of Rocky. Minus the mermaid tail. 

Nico Scholly and Lauren Burchnell, deckhands, arrive next. Nico is a Chicago boy, one of five kids raised by a single mother, who is trying to get his life on track after a series of poor decisions in his youth. Lauren is from Melbourne, Australia, a scuba diving instructor and previous yachtie. She’ll be roomies with Kate, who already feels a kinship with Lauren, being from Melbourne too… Florida, that is. 

Trevor Walker will be Kelley’s senior deckhand and, when he comes in to shake hands, is ALL business. This guy does not look like he’s here for the free drinks. Might give Kelley a run for his money, eh? Trevor would usually be the bosun on a boat this size, he says, but he’s agreed to take on the senior deckhand job for this go-round, possibly because it’s the only position Bravo offered. And it creates instant friction between Kelley and him. So, perfect set up. 

Last to join the crew is everyone’s favorite chef and head flirt, Ben, who comes to the Caribbean straight from the hot mess of Below Deck Mediterranean, where he was tortured by filming with a whole ‘nother set of unhinged individuals! Ben is ready for more action, but homeboy is tired. As he should be! He likes his new galley though, and is looking forward to partnering up with former lover/coworker Kate (and Captain Lee) again. 

The crew needs to turn the boat around today, but first they catch up on each other’s news. Kate tells a shocked Kelley that she’s in a new relationship these days – with a woman! Kate’s girlfriend, Ro, is a professional athlete. She’s also the first woman Kate’s been in a relationship with, which puts Kate in “sexual limbo, and not in a fun way.” Basically, her Facebook status would read: It’s Complicated. 

The deck crew meets to brief themselves on who’s higher up and who’s lower down, according to Trevor. He takes over the meeting immediately, finally letting Kelley speak about basic rules like don’t fraternize with guests! and don’t sink the boat! Trevor is not feeling this senior deckhand position, no matter how many times he tells himself he’s fine with it. He is NOT fine. Nico and Lauren seem to sense this instantly, while Kelley does not. 

First stew Sierra Storm has not arrived yet, which is strange, but the show must go on! So the crew starts the endless cycle of laundry, provisions, deck swabbing, and toilet paper stocking in the mean time. Captain Lee says he’ll look into Sierra’s whereabouts. Because, like, it’s kind of important she get her a$$ here!


Trevor and Nico get to know each other on deck. In addition to being generally awesome in his own mind, Trevor has been around the world! And was a hair model for Paul Mitchell! (Bwahahaha! Um, is that a thing?) And he’s the best at cleaning this window! As in, THE BEST. Have you heard of him? He’s basically a celebrity, this Trevor dude. Nico has been warned.  

Ben and Emily bond over their English heritage, boarding schools, and love of adventure. She seems kooky, but sweet. (I will undoubtedly eat those words later.) Kate also seems to love her so far because she is a hard worker.

Crew meeting! Captain Lee warns them: don’t embarrass yourselves, don’t embarrass the boat. He walks around with cash and plane tickets in his pockets at all times, just itching to hand them out to wayward crew members. So, shape up or ship out!

Kate, Ben, and Kelley are summoned to the bridge for a charter briefing with Captain Lee. Their first charter will be made up of 8 women, one of whom (primary guest) owns a clothing line. The twist: these women have never met, having formed their friendship online. Hashtag F–king Nightmare, thinks Ben.

At crew dinner, Trevor razzes Nico about their bunk situation. Nico had top bunk, but since Trevor is “higher up,” he needs to be, well, higher up. So he threw Nico’s sh*t on the floor and took top bunk himself. This guy really knows how to win friends and influence enemies! He is not taking any prisoners with his douche bagginess.

Ben is pissed about a missing spinach order, which he needs for the charter guests’ favorite smoothie. Kate finds it, but not before Ben b*tches about the general disarray of his galley, the provision delivery, and most likely, his sheer exhaustion with filming these shows.

Here come the guests! Kelley is already drooling over charter guest Kelsey, but he must remember his no fraternizing rule before he does something he regrets. Kate takes the ladies on the boat tour, and they squeal with glee over their new digs. Meanwhile, Kelley and crew must pull their heads out of their arses (or maybe just Kelley?) in order to get this yacht off the dock. Trevor does a great job, which “offsets his annoying behavior…just a little bit,” notes Kelley.

Trevor is reciting his “five P’s” of yachting: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Procedure! as he runs around like an adderall-fueled teenager on deck, frantically barking orders at random railings. Kelley looks on, bemused, wondering if Trevor will eventually just knock himself unconscious on an overhead beam and take a brief nap? Eternally?

Kate serves Ben’s first meal, which is gluten and soy free, and looks delectable as always. #RIPBeefCheeks

As dinner is scarfed down, Captain Lee gets a call from the MIA Sierra, who claims she missed her flight. Because people tend to do that when they need to get to a boat…that’s already set sail…that’s being filmed by an entire production crew. Captain Lee side eyes her over the phone, but admits they are short handed and really need the help. So, he agrees to send someone to pick her up, then fills Kate in on the SNAFU. 

The guests take a tender to floating shipwreck/bar Willy T’s, where you can get a free drink if you take your top off. Speaking of ladies taking their tops off, Ben is stymied by Kate’s latest love interest. He thinks it’s odd for a 32-year old heterosexual woman to just up and switch teams. But maybe he’s just pissed because he’s still single?


As the guests frolic at Willy T’s, another boat arrives bearing first stew, Sierra, who is blonde, beautiful, and likely the temptress that will turn Kelley 2.0 back into Kelley 1.0. Oh no. She may actually be the Rocky Replacement (why am I convinced Bravo will definitely do this hideous Rocky 2.0 thing to us!?), as she seems like a proud airhead who says she inherited her parents’ “gypsy souls” and “went to college a few times, but it never really stuck!” Gawd.

Kate’s just ready for someone else to pick up a mop around here – she doesn’t really care about Sierra’s gypsy soul. Trevor does care about Sierra’s gypsy a$$ though, and is ready to make his move. Kate wonders why Sierra isn’t a lot more b*tchy than she is? She’s too hot to be nice! She doesn’t even punch Trevor directly in the throat when he asks, “Sierra, can you smile for me?” as she’s stirring drinks. Which is exactly what any man who tells a woman to “smile” should summarily receive. Possibly with the addition of brass knuckles. 

As the charter guests tweet and like and snap their way through dinner, Kate hopes they look up from their phones at some point to appreciate all the #HardWork that’s gone into making this night great. Captain Lee is forced to sit with the guests for a spell, and though he doesn’t eat, must succumb to forced Instagram pics taken with the ladies leaning on him and squealing. He looks like he’s ready to commit #MurderOnTheHighSeas.

Trevor and Kelley get in on dinner service. Kelley, obviously fancied by one of the charters, backs away slowly from her advances at dinner, impressing Kate with his newfound professional boundaries. Meanwhile, Trevor takes total credit for “being amazing” and basically “making the dinner happen” with his #LameSocialMediaDishNames. He is a legend in his own mind. In which he worships at a very tiny shrine.

Late night stew duties include Sierra fighting valiantly with an ironing board, and losing. Ben and Kate decompress in the kitchen as Kate washes her stanky feet in the kitchen sink. Agh! I cannot unsee this! Just, no. But she is happier than ever, notes Ben, who also admits it’s a happiness he probably never could have given her.


Down in the bunks, Kelley asks Lauren how she thinks the crew is coming together. She hints that Trevor is a bit…much. Which Kelley now realizes, to his dawning dismay. They wonder if Trevor’s experience will outweigh his a$$holery in the end? It remains to be seen.

The next morning, Trevor is handing out orders to Lauren and Nico without Kelley anywhere in sight (much like he dismissed them for duty the night before without Kelley’s permission). When Kelley takes Nico aside later to discuss chain of command, Nico admits Trevor is coming on strong. “Let me talk to him about that,” says Kelley, who wants to nip this sh*t in the bud before a Trevor beast rises out of the sea inflated solely by his own ego, ala Disney’s Ursula. 

Just as he’s pondering Trevor and his many issues, Kelley spots the man, the myth, the legend on the sky deck – with his shirt off – cavorting with the clientele! Channeling BD-Med’s Danny Zuriekat already, are we, Trevor!? Please do not write a poem on a napkin. (Haven’t we suffered enough? Sigh.)

Below Deck season premiere recap

Thus, Kelley is forced to take the issue up the chain immediately to Captain Lee, who already looks weary with this crew. Though he doesn’t mention the shirtless episode, Kelley does ask Captain Lee for advice on how to handle Trevor’s overbearing bravado with his deckhands.

Captain Lee is all, do not make this my problem! But he does advise Kelley to remind Trevor that if he thinks he’s indispensable, he’s not. No one is. Not even former Paul Mitchell hair models…who apparently eat boogers. 


Photo Credit: Bravo