Below Deck Finale Recap: Shades Of Ben

It’s time to bid a fond farewell to Below Deck, season four. Goodbye, Captain Lee Rosbach’s epic blogs! Adios, Kate Chastain’s Resting B*tch Face! See ya later, Kyle Dixon’s massively confusing backstory! Ciao, Bemily! Thanks for the forever scarring memories of late night snot snacking, Trevor Walker! Tragically, we won’t get to see the aftermath of this season’s drama play out on the couches, as there will be no reunion this year. To which I say: Pfffffffffft. Not okay, Andy Cohen! Why do you have to be so uncool to us, bro?

Last night, Kate continued laying into her crew, who seem to be using their last charter as a chance to slack off. After a pep talk from Kate, Emily Warburton Adam seems on board with ending the season strong. But Sierra Storm is not about to let this annoying stuff called “work” ruin her frightening permasmile. She chooses to passive-aggressively snark “sure” to Kate’s instructions. Maybe she just needs a hug? Emily obliges by giving her one.


As Nico Scholly and Kyle wait for the guests to finish frolicking ashore, Kyle takes the 100th opportunity to berate Sierra, who he was horn dogging after mere weeks ago. Until she rejected him, that is. Now, she’s suddenly Satan, and he’s in love with Ashley again. Which totally makes sense if you’re in Kyle’s brain! As for Nico, he’s saving up all of his hatred for another person: Kate. Ben Robinson ain’t feeling Kate lately either, claiming she’s being too hard on her stews. But methinks Ben is a wee bit sensitive about Emily’s feelings, which need to be tended to more meticulously than that hideous bouquet still chillin’ in the cooler.

This sensitivity manifests itself in Ben and Kate incessantly bickering over food, which turns into Ben consulting with Emily about food, which pisses Kate off even more. Emily is not the chief stew – just in case Ben didn’t get the memo. But he is the head chef, as he reminds Kate, so he’s going to do whatever he wants! Kate just wants off this boat. Now. “You’re such a jerk!” she finally snaps at the fit-throwing Ben.

When the guests return from their excursion, Kate serves them snacks that Ben reluctantly agreed to make. Annoyed about Kate being right (as in: the guests were hungry after all!), Ben fumes about missing the “old” Kate. Like, the Kate he slept with? Or the Kate who built his ego up enough to ask Emily out? Or the Kate who’s been professionally attending to the guests’ needs for three straight seasons now? Which Kate is it, Ben?!

Out on deck, Kelley Johnson gives his team a warm and fuzzy speech about how they’ve all pulled off a great charter season. If by great, he means “slightly disastrous, but everyone lived through it!” then yeah, okay. Great season courtesy of the Valor deck crew! Participation trophies for ALL!!! Nico, Kyle, and Lauren Burchnell mentally fist bump each other in appreciation of their efforts, feeling the dysfunctional family vibe of it all.

Down below, Sierra asks Kate if she really thinks the stews are doing a bad job? Kate admits her disappointment with their recent lack of attention to detail, but Sierra defends that she’s still working hard. Kate just can’t see it! Sierra can’t – or won’t – hear the criticism, opting for sarcasm instead. Like all very special people with very special feelings, she chalks up management direction as “meanness” and work expectations as personal affronts. Blech.

Captain Lee joins the guest for their last dinner, who happily grill him about his entire work history aboard sea vessels as he perfects his own RBF. When Kate goes down to the galley to let Ben know how well dinner is going, he’s suddenly in a strangely chipper mood – which shocks her. But maybe not, considering she’s been subject to his mood swings for years now. “It’s 50 shades of Ben!” he jokes when Kate comments on his Jekyll and Hyde act.

As Kyle and Kate tuck themselves into bed, they discuss Sierra. But when they move on to Nico and Lauren’s trash talking about Kate, the mood takes a turn. Kate doesn’t feel she deserves their petty comments about her, so she wants to clear the air with them. Even though she snarks that it doesn’t really matter “what the one stripe people think.”

Last day of charter! Ben and Kate are still managing to get along, and they’ve only got two hours to go before this hellish mess of a charter season is behind them. In other positive news, Captain Lee finally has some kind words for Kelley, who he thinks is ending the season strong. Especially since he’s got Nico to delegate to now. They dock successfully in their final port, and the team says goodbye to their last guests of season four, who are appreciative of the “extraordinary crew” that served them.

Let’s see how that appreciation plays out in the tip. Captain Lee gives the verdict: $16k. A good haul for their last hurrah! The crew are given orders to get Valor back into shape before heading out to celebrate tonight.


Before the celebration can begin, Kate wants to clear her name with Nico and Lauren, who she calls into a meeting. She’s prepared to give them “bitch face, code black” if necessary. But she barely has the chance to explain that she didn’t rat them out over the trashed master suite before Nico throws a hissy fit. He walks off after Kate’s explanation, with nary an apology of his own for acting like a drunken fool in the first place. Nice. At least Lauren somewhat owns her part in the mess, apologizing to Kate for blaming her – for her own ridiculous behavior. Kate just can’t with these two anymore, though. They need to go back to kindergarten to learn skills like: Don’t pee on the carpet and keep your hands off of million dollar property that isn’t yours. Or something like that.

As the sun begins to set, Ashley arrives for her last visit aboard Valor. Kyle isn’t quite ready for her, but he does have big plans for the evening ahead…which Ashley might not be ready for, herself.

After their last crew dinner ashore, Ben wants to make amends with Kate. But Ben’s rekindled friendship with Kate starts getting Emily paranoid about their relationship. So she takes Ben aside to question him: Does he still have feelings for Kate? She doesn’t understand how Ben can flip from hate to love so quickly with her. What the hell does it all mean?!?! Ben says that he and Kate are better off as friends than colleagues. Confused, Emily walks off to ponder this mess.

Meanwhile, Kyle is professing his everlasting love for Ashley, who’s made him “a better man.” Overcome by the moment, Kyle suddenly offers Kate a thousand bucks for her $2k ring, then gets down on one knee and proposes to THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE. Ashley says yes, and everyone cheers. What Ashley doesn’t know yet is that her relationship with his impetuous fool is about to go off the rails in a few short months when he decides to have baby #2 with his original baby mama. Ain’t love grand?  #FreeAshley! #RunGirlRun!

Ben’s amends to Kate also take a left turn as the former couple sit on a swing together and profess their hatred of one another. Because now Kate (unbeknownst to her) is dealing with post-Emily Ben, otherwise known as Guilty Ben. Who has morphed into the familiar Grouchy Ben of this entire season. He is, in short, being a giant a$$hole to her. As Ben tells Kate he never wants to work with her again, Kate reciprocates the feeling, noting how self destructive Ben really is. She walks away from him so he can sit in his own poopy diaper for awhile and contemplate the nature of mature relationships.

Back on Valor later, Ben does admit that he was a “f*cking toolbag” and “d*ck” to Kate. But how will he make this right now? The next morning, he attempts to by immediately apologizing to her. Kate is not up for this heart to heart first thing in the morning, dismissing Ben with an “okay, thank you” and a pity hug before he slinks away. Jayzus! Ben doesn’t need a psychic. He needs therapy.

In a more peaceful ending, Captain Lee shakes the hands of the crew that drove him slowly insane, and Kate manages to say goodbye to Sierra’s creepy fake smile without slapping her. Sierra is proud of her positive mental attitude though! She’s #Winning – in her book. Kelley and Nico hug it out, swearing to be BFFs always. Kyle leaves with good vibes for his deck crew and Kate, planning to tear up a bacon sandwich as his first order of business back home. Plan number 2: Tear up people’s lives.

Seeking approval from Captain Lee, Kelley talks to him about the season behind them. Lee is proud of his progress since two years ago, and even claims he’d work with Kelley again in the future. That’s music to Kelley’s ears.

Below deck, Ben is still on his apology tour. Next stop: Emily. After admitting he acted like a huge d-bag the night before, he professes his admiration of Emily, hoping they can stay in touch. He wants to make a go of this relationship and, after Emily leaves, even vows to give this thing everything he’s got. He WILL conquer love! Though the season was a solid 7/10 in Ben’s estimation, he might have gotten a future wife out of it. Not bad for a guy with mood disorder and janky flowers. 😉

The final farewell is saved for Captain Lee and Kate. Lee tells her that she did exceptionally well this year, and that she still looks like a guest – not the chief stew! Lee also admits this season was tough, filled with obstacles, and chock full o’ crazy crew members. But in the end, the guests left happy and the crew made a ton of money. And, he says, “I still have the best damn job in the world.”


Photo Credit: Bravo