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Below Deck served up a sweet and silly episode this week – just when we needed it most! But I still can’t decide whether Kyle Dixon is sweet…or shifty? He’s got this sensitive vulnerability one moment, petulant whining and tantrum throwing the next. Some master manipulation afoot, perhaps? One thing is certain: Production set this week’s charter up for Kyle, and Kyle alone, so someone out there in Bravo-land has much love for Valor’s newest deckhand!

As for the deck crew overall, this is perhaps their best week yet under the watchful eye of Captain Lee Rosbach. Except that Nico Scholly and Lauren Burchnell get mixed up in trashing a room at the end of a drunken night, which will send them all back to the time out chair next week. Bad Nico! Bad Lauren! No more fireball for you!

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After last week’s revelation from Kyle about having a trans girlfriend (Ashley) of two years back home who “changed his life,” no one is particularly put off by his sexual leanings. But many are questioning how and when this information was conveniently dropped – as in, just shortly after he was rejected by Sierra Storm, who he berated for having a love interest of her own back home. Not seeing the hypocrisy in this at all, Kyle decides his story has completely changed from I Must Have Sierra Now! to Sierra Doesn’t Exist To Me, And Moreover: I Despise Her!

Sierra doesn’t know the full range of Kyle’s butthurt feelings yet, but she’s about to find out. And I have to wonder how Ashley feels watching Kyle hound dog Sierra hardcore for several episodes before finally busting her existence out as a backup plan? Not cool, my Manchester brutha. Not cool! Lauren doesn’t seem to think so, at least.

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Meanwhile, Kate Chastain doesn’t understand the cold reception she’s getting from Ben Robinson when she asks him how his date went with Emily Warburton-Adam. He’s suddenly holding his cards very close to the chest, which he attributes to having true feelings for Emily. But it may have more to do with that psychic clusterf–k last week. Kate is kind of hurt by Ben’s coldness, given how much he needed her at the beginning wooing his lady love.

Captain Lee calls Ben, Kate, and Kelley Johnson to the bridge to brief them on charter group #7. Liza Sandler (who was on that one hit wonder Bravo show, Secrets and Wives last year, which I inexplicably LOVED!) and friend Lori, along with some gay males friends, are the guests. After last week’s People’s Couch crossover, and next week’s dusty (third!) rehashing of old charter guests, one must ask: Are there any real live people chartering these trips anymore? Given that the current group wants to put on a drag show for Liza’s birthday, and given that Kyle just decided to show footage of him performing in drag last week, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that production’s heavy hand looms large.

Kate quips, “It’s just so funny how life works out!” Yip. Isn’t it though? She asks Kyle later if he’d be willing to join the guests in a drag show later? But, of course he would!

Later on, Kelley takes Nico to the side to discuss his comments defending Kyle in front of the Captain last week. He doesn’t want their crew to break ranks in front of Lee. Nico thinks Kelley is just being paranoid.

In the galley, Ben has many questions for Kyle about Ashley. Instead of asking pertinent questions like, what’s up with pursuing Sierra when you had this Ashley chick back home the whole time? He asks thinks like, how do boobs grow with hormones? It’s not a deep exchange, people.

Meanwhile, Kate is attempting to FaceTime with Ro Hernandez, who is “froostrated” about the bad wifi and lack of communication between Kate and her. Kate thinks Ro will never understand her time constraints unless she works on a yacht. Sigh. This relationship, as we all know, is doomed.

Beach picnic time! At noon, Nico, Kate, and Kelley ferry the bulk of lunch goods over to the beach, set up, and chill. Kate radios Sierra to bring the guests over, but Ben doesn’t have lunch quite ready yet. Kelley radios Sierra to coordinate timing, but somehow Kyle gets involved, finding Sierra down in the galley and mucking up the works with communication. Sierra would rather just deal with Kelley, because she and Kyle are mutually annoyed by one another now.

Below Deck Recap

By the time the guests arrive at lunch, Kyle has worked himself up into a snit over Sierra’s very existence. To make matters worse, they are left alone to clean up after the guests and remaining crew peace out. Kyle decides to tell Sierra how much she annoys him (and, to be fair, she is annoying a lot of the time!), but his feelings are more about being rejected than about a simple miscommunication. Even Kelley realizes this, which speaks volumes. Because Kelley has the maturity of Axe Body Spray when it comes to matters of romance.

After Kyle snaps on Sierra, beach-side, Sierra snaps back that he is such a “queen!” Kyle supposes her choice of words is meant to denigrate his lifestyle, not his dramatic attitude. Hmm. I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Back on board, Sierra b*tches to Lauren about Kyle, while Kyle gets his marching orders and costume assignment for the drag show. He’s up for some fun after that messy beach scene. The guests eat lunch, crushing on Ben’s amazing food. Below deck, Ben and Emily are crushing on each other, sneaking in hugs and pecks whenever possible. Kate notices, but says nothing. Ben is also excited about his brother James coming to visit – yay! Emily hopes to get some insight on Ben via the mysterious sibling.

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The next day, Ben sautes some conch, which is too chewy to serve. And which Kate doesn’t want him to serve. But Emily weighs in that it’s delicious! So, Ben serves it. Charter guest Lori comments on the chewy conch, which Kate takes as validation. She doesn’t like this new process of Ben asking Emily for advice – then actually taking it – instead of her. She is slowly being replaced as Ben’s go-to girl, and it doesn’t feel great.

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Speaking of not feeling great, Kyle practically goes into anaphylactic shock after Ben feeds him some sea urchin! Nico pumps some antihistamine into Kyle before his tongue swells up, but the meds knock him flat on his a$$ – just before the drag show. “He’s supposed to be dragged, not drugged!” says Kate. She has no choice but to apply Kyle’s drag makeup, which includes infinite glitter, as he is passed out on the crew mess bench. This scene is awesome. It is sweet and hilarious, and a true testament to Kate’s ability to pull a glittery rabbit out of any damn hat! When Kyle finally comes to, he quips, “I look like I’ve been bombed by a f–kin’ Care Bear!”

Kyle and the guests put on a fun show, which pleases Liza and Kate. Even Nico gets into the dancing, noting that this drag show is all about pleasing the guests. Which is all about getting the good tips. As the charter guests eat breakfast and prepare to leave the next day, Kyle still wanders around with glitter in his beard. “It looks like you ate out Tinkerbell,” snarks Nico. Bwahahahahaha! Points to Nico for being generally awesome lately (though that’s sadly about to change). Points to the guests for being generally easy too. They depart and hand over their tip after many thanks to the crew.

Tip meeting! Kyle practically jumps over the table to avoid sitting by Sierra, who he thinks is a “f–king prick!” But they somehow manage to accept each other’s presence for the five minutes it takes to get their sub-par tip: $1,100 a piece this time. Not their best haul, but nothing to sneeze at for a two-day charter.

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The crew get the night off after they turn the boat around – and bonus! Kyle gets the master cabin for the night, which he needs in order to relieve his loaded gun. Yes, he plans to have an epic wank session in there. Alas, a drunken Nico and Lauren get in the way of his masturbatory plans, rolling all over the bed in between downing shots of fireball. Kyle is not pleased with how things are turning out.

Ben’s brother, James, has also arrived for a visit. His voice and manner are almost identical to Ben’s, and after meeting Emily, he gives props to his brother for finding a sweet English girl to rope his buoy to. As the two bros head out for drinks and dinner ashore, they get adorably sloshed together, reminiscing on old times back home. On their walk home, Ben suddenly decides it’s no pants for him! So he removes them, showing his bare a$$ed self to the camera, and thus, the world as he rambles along the dock.

By the time Ben reaches Valor and says goodbye to James, he’s got nothing on but a shirt tied around his waist. So he decides to join Kyle, Nico, and Lauren in the master cabin for some drunken shenanigans. “I’m wasted!” he cheers, as Kyle lays in bed with his loaded gun, not looking to be unloaded anytime soon. Increasingly alarmed at the buffoonery around him, Kyle tries to calm them down for awhile, then gives up and starts shooting fireball straight from the bottle. #WankDreamsDashed

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In the master bathroom, Ben and Lauren smash into things, giggling, and ultimately break some door/wall fixture. Ben thinks it just needs to be re-glued. Lauren doesn’t care. She’s all, where’s that bottle?! Yikes. Drunk Lauren is not a good look. What they don’t register right now is how unglued Captain Lee will becomes when he sees this mess! Next week’s previews reveal Lee quarantining the entire group to their quarters as punishment and quipping that “this is not your personal party palace!” Uh oh.

TELL US: IS KYLE AUTHENTIC, OR PUTTING ON A FRONT? ARE EMILY AND BEN MEANT TO BE? WERE NICO, LAUREN, AND BEN OUT OF LINE ON THEIR NIGHT OFF? 

Photo Credit: Bravo

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