Jen Howell Gets drunk

Below Deck Recap: Saving Graces

Last night, Below Deck was plagued by more crew issues as one man fell asleep, another fell ill, a stewardess fell into the clutches of Jesus, and a fourth fell into a toilet while wasted. Good times!

Well, where on the yacht is Chris Brown, y’all?! Captain Lee Rosbach sure wants to know! While his fellow-deck hands are busting butt to prepare for charter, Chris Brown is passed out in his bunk after a night of partying too hard. I was hoping we’d see a Captain Lee explosion when he discovered Chris Brown put booze before valor, but unfortunately the first mate fell ill the day before the charter and that superseded any Chris Brown drama. For now.

With the first mate out, the boat won’t be leaving the dock until a suitable replacement can be found. Enter: Jesus. Kidding – enter Nick. A random scrounged up from somewhere because the crew is too green and unprepared for Captain Lee to trust them if something goes awry. Apparently, Lee can’t trust Nico Scholly in times of crisis.

Nico Scholly

Speaking of green, below deck, Kate Chastain is at her wits end with Jen Howell and Brianna Adekeye. After spending the day showing them how to work an iron (just push that ‘power’ button), or make a drink, or, you know, breathe without hair flipping first, Kate invites Captain Lee to join her for dinner as she puts these steward-lesses through the paces of service.

Kate decides to channel some of her worst charter guests. Affecting a terrible southern accent she demands Jen get her a Cosmo – light on pink, and 24 hours later Kate is still waiting on that drink. When it finally does arrive, Jen hands it to her “like a caveman” – i.e. no tray and with her bare hands. No tray = no tip. Bri did alright, but compared to Jen a chimpanzee would look like the butler from Downton Abbey.

While the rest of the crew is fast asleep – and not illicitly this time – Kate and Lee grade Bri and Jen’s performance. “With Bri, there’s a glimmer of hope,” delights Kate, “with Jen – nope.” Doh. I mean at least Bri can mix a good cocktail.

Still, Jen has her good sides – it may take her 17 minutes to mix a drink, but you’ll be laughing at her (or sometimes with her?) that whole time. Kate decides that if she were stranded on a deserted island, she’d take funny over efficient any day. After all, she can teach someone to gather her coconuts, but being court jester – that’s home grown!

Above deck, Chris Brown continues to suck, but, shockingly, Bruno Duarte is making improvements under Captain Lee‘s tutelage. He’s turned his frown upside down and decided to adjust his attitude to ‘Can do,’ and voila! transformed from tilapia to naked sushi! More on that later. Baker Manning continues to be the only deck hand worth having. She’s professional, friendly, easy-going, no drama. Why is she on this show?

However, when Lee reveals the new charter guests, it is Matt Burns‘ turn to be distressed. The lead guest is a restaurateur who expects both a full sushi dinner and a tequila pairing dinner. Kate believes that the only thing which pairs well with tequila is bad decisions, and she’s here for that – so long as Aqua Jesus keeps his boat taxied on her dock.

It all started so innocently. Kate was picking up supplies when a long-haired foreigner emerged from his skipper, tousled and loin-clothed, smelling of frankincense and wine. She has something for seamen (double-entendre!), so Kate was smitten. Morton is his name, but faith healing was his game. Actually, not faith healing per se, but certainly boredom healing. Also, we’re not sure about the faithful thing yet.

Then, as if blessed and given a gift from god, Kate learns the Valor won’t set sail without a first mate and is docking another day. Praise the lord – Sister Kate is gonna get some. She jokes to Jen about letting Jesus take her to church, but Jen thinks Kate is actually gonna need church after church. Kate will definitely having some confessing to do if Captain Lee discovers her disappearing act when she left Jen with a charter full of drunk queens hellbent on a bender. Again, more on that later.

Unfortunately, by the time the charter guests arrive, Valor is in disarray. They’re still waiting on the first mate, Jen doesn’t know an ounce from her elbow, and Matt is downstairs googling “sushi” and watching YouTube how-to’s while consulting a cookbook written in 1985 and found inside a ‘How To Roll SOOOOOSHI’ kit one buys at the airport as a last-minute souvenir. “I HATE SUSHI,” wails Matt. Needless to say, Kate does not have high hopes – not for Matt, not for Jen, and not for the sassy, but trashy charter guests who she predicts will be nothing but hassle, nor for her own hopeful escape into Jesus‘ saving arms.

Bruno serves up naked sushi

The charter guests are disappointed the boat won’t be setting sail, but their attitude changes when they walk out on deck for sushi night to find shirtless Bruno, wearing only boxer briefs and covered in tuna rolls. Nico even stuffed several paper towels down his front to mimic an erection! NHot. Now Bruno is theirs for the playing! Poor Bruno was covered in slimy fish and slimy tongues, prodded and plucked and squeezed with tongs by over-eager guests sexually harassing him. Someone call OSHA.

But following sushi, the crew of Valor could do no wrong. Marooned yacht be damned! Kate totally planned this as a way to sneak out, unnoticed, on her pilgrimage to Jesus. Because happy guests, easy stew, right? Unfortunately, it was Jen who was left with the rowdy guests who were in the mood to PAAAARTY – and party they did. All over the boat and right into the stew cabin while she frantically mixed drinks and ran around. And where was Kate?! Gone, gone, gone – but not forgotten. Even the guests notice the obvious tension between Jen and Kate. Oof.

Maybe sticking Jen with guests too drunk to judge was punishment for her incompetence?

Kate does the walk of shame at 4 am, slinking back onto the Valor for a 9 am breakfast. She claims the chief stew has earned these luxuries, but Jen disagrees. She’s furious that Kate ditched her with difficult (re: drunken) guests and didn’t even leave a number to call her in case of emergency. Jen whines to Chris Brown that she could report Kate’s behavior.

The guests didn’t notice any of Jen’s green tendencies, apparently. In their hungover stupor, they have only the fondest memories of Bruno.

Matt worries about dinner

With sushi a success, Matt is now fretting over his tequila menu. He feels the pressure to live up to the restaurateur’s expectations. What if the dude only owns McDonald’s franchises – gotta be you, Matt! Except when Matt tries to be his innocent Canadian self, his instincts suggest serving eggplant parmigiana with a tomato-flavored tequila. The guests are like um, apples to oranges; Italian to Mexico. Just No Bueno. Totally Yuck. Can’t Matt search Pinterest or AllRecipes “What to eat with tequila?”

One of the guests comes to the kitchen to basically tell Matt to change the menu. Matt is affronted and shocked, but it was a necessary move. Heavy eggplant parmigiana does not go with tequila. Even I know that and my cooking level is Stouffers Stove Top stuffing. Call it culinary semantics: tomato sauce and tequila – no; salsa and tequila – yes.

It is Bri who saves the day when she suggests paella, which not only looks festive and fun, but is an obvious choice! Because Bri suggested it, and Matt and Bri have so much chemistry (according to him), he proposes the idea to the guests, who love it. Then Matt locates Chris Brown to pick his meager brain about the only – literally the only – thing Chris Brown knows about: booze. What Chris Brown certainly doesn’t know about, is appropriate workplace behavior or understanding women. He still thinks he has a chance with Bri. Apparently he didn’t get the memo about her chemistry with Matt!

Kate criticizes Jen

Ready for some pre-dinner drinks, the high maintenance guests troll the kitchen seeking margaritas. Inside the cocktail cabin are Kate and Jen doing an awkward sparring match over Cuervo. Remember the thing people do to siblings who never got along by tying them together. That’s what it seems like is happening in this microscopic room. With the guests joking about their barely concealed hate, Jen mentions that Kate’s not acting that bitchy – for once. Kate retaliates by saying Jen sucks at her job, but at least she’s funny. Yikes.

Kate is now a shark circling the water where Jen sits, haplessly, on her life raft flipping her flowbee’d hair, fluttering her eyelashes, and self-orgasming. Thankfully, after all the previous night’s boozing, the guests decide on an early night. They leave the next morning in good spirits and handing Captain Lee a hefty tip. As he distributes it, Captain Lee warns the next time anyone gets caught sleeping during work time they’ll be fired. AHEM, Chris Brown.

After the stressful few days, the crew hits the bars and Jen LET’s La-La-La-La-La-LOOOOOSE. Big time. In her landlocked life she actually has managerial responsibilities (:-0) and cannot deal with being treated like Kate’s step-n-fetch bitch. Which explains why she’s always yapping like a terrier? Jen channels her stress into drinking. “Jen likes to drink,” Matt explains. Jen also likes to dress like a 50-year-old cougar and speak in tongues. I’m pretty sure only Chris Brown can understand her language. Speaking of, he tries getting in Bri’s pants by asking her to teach him to dance. Bri is well-aware of what he’s hoping for and is not interested, but Chris Brown only gives up on work – not booze or women!

Kate Chastain meets

Meanwhile, Aqua Jesus meets Kate, and they’re in the middle of beers when Kate hears Jen bellowing “KAAAAAAAAAAAATE” across the bar, from where Jen is trapped (locked?) in the bathroom and needs assistance! And just like that Kate went from heaven to hell!


[Photo Credits: Bravo]