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Below Deck recap

Before we get to last night’s Below Deck recap, I’d like to offer condolences to Nico Scholly and his family. Nico lost his younger brother Tristen this week, a devastating event that changes the lives of a family forever.

Nico was a big player in this week’s episode and, given the nature of the crew’s ongoing shenanigans, our RT snark fest will go on, business as usual, in the name of mindless fun we all enjoy. But my heart truly does go out to Nico during this turbulent time.

Okay. Onto the episode! Last night was a cluster of epic proportions.

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Three-time offender charter guest Dean Slover was back to torture the crew – particularly Ben Robinson – once again. And last week’s drunken antics of Ben, Nico, Lauren Burchnell and (by association) Kyle Dixon get them all in hot water with Captain Lee when he finds out about the damage they caused on the yacht. But Kelley Johnson has his own hell to pay when he screws the pooch, as Lee would say, one too many times, leaving the guests stranded due to an idiotic SNAFU on the beach. The good news is this: Bravo has sidelined the screwball Kyle story for at least this week – a much needed break from that seriously confused con artist dude!

The morning after Kyle sleeps in the master (with Ben, as it turns out), Kate Chastain and Captain Lee are quickly made aware of the damage done to the bathroom. A panel has been ripped off of the wall that holds a 10k toilet control. Lee is pisssssssssed. He calls all of the deckhands together with Kate and Ben to ground them all (except Kate), like the tweens they are. Lee tells the crew that their behavior is unacceptable and that Valor is not “their personal party palace!” Kelley is incensed that his crew is so immature and irresponsible. Nico is incensed that Kelley is incensed. He doesn’t like this new all-work-no-play Kelley!

As a consequence, all involved (which is the entire deck crew plus Ben) are quarantined to their quarters on the crew’s night off. Lee has never been this enraged, says Kate. But Nico also blames Kate, who he says can “go f–k herself!” No one is taking responsibility for this ridiculousness. Kelley is frustrated, but also knows that Lee partially blames him for being a weak manager. Basically, everyone is on Lee’s sh*tlist, except Kate, Emily Warburton-Adam and Sierra Storm. Oh – and it’s Emily’s birthday soon! So, Ben is mildly obsessed with that.

Ben is also obsessed with getting his brother’s approval on Emily, who he wanted to take out together tonight for a pre-celebration. But he’s grounded now – Whah! Ben begs Lee for at least a visit to the yacht from James, which Lee reluctantly agrees to.

On deck, Kelley is trying to instruct Nico on work issues, but Nico is so sensitive about being grounded, he pops off. He’s all, “Don’t come at me like that!” when Kelley gives him simple directions. An argument ensues, and Kelley basically loses any semblance of an upper hand he might have had (but let’s get real – he probably never had it anyway).

Ben, Kate, and Kelley are called to the crew mess for their briefing on their next charter guest: Dean, formerly known as the little piss ant who received a “rocket ship” towel from Kate’s b*tchy resting face. Kate loves Dean now though! He’s her charter spirit animal! Quick side question for Bravo: Are there literally NO real live millionaires (who aren’t d-list celebs or janky Bravo crossover stars) coming aboard this season? No? Okay, got it. #DisappointmentByBravo

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Outside, Nico is still spinning out about Kelley, this time to Lauren – his co-conspirator in idiotic drunken antics, and apparently his twin in thinking Kelley is a crap bosun too.

For her part, Kate wants the deck crew to know she didn’t rat anyone out about the bathroom damage. Nico doesn’t believe her, claiming “the root of all evil on this boat is Kate.” It seems everyone is to blame for Nico’s part in the mess except…Nico, himself.

Later that night, James comes calling. His voice and Ben’s voice are virtually indistinguishable – which is STILL freaking me out! But he doesn’t seem to mind having to hang on the yacht. Maybe he’s used to Ben getting himself into hot water? Hmm. Captain Lee reins in the brotherly love at 11, sharp, ordering Ben to get James off the boat. He might have made an exception for Ben among the punished children, but Ben still needs to be treated like a child. Ben thinks his rank and rapport with Lee should count for something. Maybe he should have thought about that rank and rapport when he was walking pants-less down the pier the night before, prepping to rage in the master suite?

Dean and friends arrive, who are all gorgeous, much to Lauren’s delight!, but also gay, much to her dismay. After the tour, Valor sets sail without a hitch, and the guests prepare for their first delightful meal from Ben, who’s nervous about the high standards Dean holds him to. The slightest criticism from Dean – which starts immediately – sends him spiraling. Ben thinks his job is the toughest, but he’s at least thrown a bone when Dean comes down to compliment him on an amazing lunch. He’s set the bar high for the first meal, and now needs to keep reaching it.

After the deck crew set up the boat toys, the guests are enjoying their fun in the sun. But they aren’t getting much service, as Sierra and Emily are nowhere to be found. Well, they can be found in the galley kibitzing with Ben. But that’s not helpful. Kate is annoyed. She tells Ben that his “girlfriend” is too distracted, but he’s not hearing it. Emily can run the whole boat! Erm. Okay, Ben. We’ll just roll with you in that delusion for a beat or two.

Meanwhile, Kelley is trying to pull the tender up alongside Valor without much success. Then he hits it! Captain Lee, who’s already bent out of shape for the lack of interior crew service – not to mention his deck crew’s asinine antics, screams at Kelley about smashing the boat. He’s ready to make some alterations in the pecking order of Kelley’s crew, and tells him so outright. Uh oh.

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At dinner, Ben is scoring with the appetizer, but failing with the main course. He’s proud of his duck/shrimp hot noodle soup, but Dean is not pleased. It’s difficult to eat and flavorless. Ben is shocked! He’s never had a plate sent back (really? I swear this has happened on seasons past?). He talks to Dean about the issue, then offers to make something else as a replacement. But Dean just snickers that no, he’s fine. He just wanted to pee in Ben’s Cornflakes, really. And we all know this.

Ben does admit the broth was diluted by some ice he placed in it though, so understands Dean’s criticisms. Sierra has her own mess to address with #BrothGate, having spilled most of it all over the dining room while ferrying it away from Dean’s sniveling stare. Oh well. Broth or no broth, Kate has sparklers for everyone! So, there’s that. Plus, Ben gets to kiss Marriage Material Emily goodnight after his broth debacle, so he’s elated.

He’s also elated about the enormous obnoxious flower arrangement he’s going to surprise Emily with. The arrangement says “I Desperately Want You To Notice Me!” more than “Happy Birthday!” It’s gauche and a bit embarrassing, and perhaps highlights how much Ben’s sensibilities and taste seem to be off in all areas tonight. Oh – there’s also balloons and streamers and hand-wrote notes! Emily is thrilled the next morning, nevertheless.

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While Emily enjoys her festivities, Kelley’s balloon is about to burst. But not quite yet…Captain Lee is giving him one more shot. He asks Kelley to take the guests to the the baths (are they saying “the baths”!?), a swimming hole where they can play around for the afternoon. Nico is coming along. So, should be contentious and awful for all! Dean also throws Kelley a curve ball: He wants him to bring the tender back to pick them up later instead of taking a taxi back to Valor. Kelley agrees.

Back on board, Kyle calls his girlfriend Ashley to check in. She’s having a tough time with hormone treatments. She’s in for an even tougher time when she sees what her man was up to with Sierra just a few weeks back. <side eye>

After dropping Dean and party off, Nico asks Kelley if they’re good now? Kelley’s all, “Yeah, yeah.” Nico says he has a bond with Kelley that goes beyond spats, and Kelley seems cools with him again. So maybe they’ll be okay? Not so fast! Just as Kelley ponders how well everything is going, he realizes – to his horror – that after leaving Nico on the beach, he himself is on the tender with no keys. And he has Nico’s radio. So, who has the keys? Nico!

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In any case, he’s left with only one option: He calls Captain Lee for help. Lee will now be forced to pick up Nico, then pick up Kelley, then the guests. And he is not pleased with having to bail his deck crew out – yet again. Kelley smells a demotion in his future. And that future seems imminent.

TELL US: DO YOU THINK KELLEY IS DOING A BAD JOB AS BOSUN, OR IS HIS CREW EQUALLY TO BLAME? IS BEN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH EMILY INTERFERING WITH WORK? 

Photo Credit: Bravo

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