Below Deck Recap: Uncool Beans

Below Deck - Matt takes Brianna on a date from hell

Last night the Below Deck disasters got a new drill sergeant to whip them in to shape when Captain Lee surprised them by bringing EJ on board as the brand new bosun. He might be all “cool beans” and chipper smiles, but he’s using those tow lines as a whip faster than Chris Brown can say “Booooooze.”

Something about EJ is a little smarmy and shifty. Also insincere and hollow. Is he a robot? He seems to be relishing his role as savior of the Valor’s honor. He doesn’t have crazy eyes, but overly-intense eyes. He reminds me of Captain Dan from Forrest Gump maybe? This season is just too weird in general; nothing about casting makes much sense.

So, after a night of partying the crew is up and att’em to clean Valor, except for Chris Brown, who can’t be bothered to shove a mop while complaining about how hung over he is. Nico Scholly is pissed, and first thing in the morning while nursing the booze blues is no time to be angry.

Nico doesn’t care if Chris Brown is consumptive, he doesn’t want to hear about it unless it’s a shammy relaying the news. Likewise, Kate Chastain is done hearing Jen Howell‘s complaints. Jen is currently throwing Pity Party of 1 – and she can’t even do that right! – as she’s forced to fold towels, clean rooms, and doesn’t get to leave the boat for a hot date.

That’s right kids: someone is finally getting into Brianna Adekeye‘s pants. Well, in theory. During the crew’s drunken night out Matt Burns asked Brianna out, and in her drunken haze she said yes. The next morning when Matt mentions the date, she clearly doesn’t remember accepting and obviously doesn’t want to go, but the prospect of the afternoon off entices her so she pulls on her big girl palazzo pants and denim mock turtleneck crop top to board a boat taxi with Matt.

Oh Matt, he prepared in his own special way by binge drinking the entire morning of the date until he was “hammered” and then threw some almonds, pistachios, Jack Daniels, and PB (there was definitely a ‘nuts’ theme on this date) in a Trader Joe’s bag and escorted Brianna to a nude beach! YES, NUDE BEACH. Perhaps Matt envisioned Brianna getting as drunk as he was and doing some skinny-dipping? Instead Matt literally got trashed and then trashed Brianna for not indulging his fantasies of buying a Baker Manning‘s RV and roaming through South America producing children and 5-star dinners.

Matt Burns plans nude beach date for Brianna Adekeye

Eventually Matt practically passed out on the sand, and came to, only to call Brianna an “asshole” and a “horrible date” because she refused to answer if she thought they had a lot in common. Back on the yacht, while Brianna was hiding, a still-wasted Matt informs the other guys that Brianna may have liked him better if he were a T-Rex and that maybe he should’ve mauled her with tiny arms. Too bad they don’t have dinosaur love in common!

Apparently Matt was just nervous – he hasn’t been on a date in over a year, and he really likes Brianna, but apparently Matt also has a bit of a drinking problem. Which is a major reason his last relationship ended. Well, Kate, it looks like Matt isn’t as wholesome as a Canadian snowflake after all! The other problem is that Brianna still fancies Nico and believes they have serious chemistry, but Nico is sticking with Holly and was hopeful Matt would take Brianna off his hands. That bombed – maybe Nico can turn to Bruno Duarte or Chris Brown next. Oh wait, they’re both completely inept at literally everything! Just like Jen.

Poor Jen. Even with Matt’s drunken antics, she’s still wistful. At least Brianna had a date – even a bad date is better than the no dates she’s stuck with. I swear she and Chris Brown are soul mates! Kate tried to explain to Jen that at some point she’ll have extra time off to make up for Brianna’s date-leave, but Jen instead decided she’s starring in her own personal Disney Movie called “Yachterella” where she’s chained to the master suite’s linens – in a non-sexy way of course!

Captain Lee calls the crew in to reveal the next charter and everyone appears ready for a break from boozing (and attempting to handle any responsibility), so guests who don’t drink is probably the perfect, low-key boring as f–k respite. Except for one small thing: the lead guest is a gourmet trained chef. Um, dude, the cooking classes you took at Williams-Sonoma do not count, but go on with your bad self.  Speaking of bad, this is bad for Matt. He’s in a serious funk and having a personal crisis after embarrassing himself on the date and letting his partying, once again, take him to the dark side. He’s basically Chris Brown with the awares that he has problem.

EJ arrives as new bosun

Oh but Chris Brown is about to get a reality check – and have a serious problem. Captain Lee warned them there would be changes in crew. Nico was rubbing his hands together eagerly anticipating that Chris would be thrown overboard, but instead Lee secretly hired EJ. Lee doesn’t think Nico has the experience, just yet, of becoming bosun even though Lee’s happy with his work. Nico sees EJ as a serious threat and starts to imagine that HE is the one who’s being fired. I think Lee handled this wrong – a simple conversation beforehand may have paved the way for more communication between EJ and Nico, but alas, less drama!

Captain Lee didn’t give anyone warning of EJ’s arrival, and he waltzed on board swimming his cool beans around and then kicked Chris Brown out of his bunk, so he’s now sleeping in the crew mess. Kate cackles at this as only Kate can, because there’s no HR on a yacht! Chris Brown is not happy, but reasons that he answers to one boss, and one boss only: tequila. Oh whoops, I mean, God. Yes, he said that.

Nico is threatened by EJ

Right away EJ lets his status go to his head and brags about how he does things differently, like leading by example. He constantly starts undermining Nico, who wanders around the yacht complaining to anyone who would listen, thus undermining EJ’s newfound authority to Baker and Bruno. By the time the new charter guests arrive things are in an even bigger mess than before and Matt has developed culinary amnesia and forgot how to even fry an egg. He’s also completely avoiding Brianna. Not exactly easy in such close-quarters!

Matt Burns bombs dinner

With no booze and a guest who fancies himself a chef, Kate warns that the food better be out of this world because they won’t be too drunk to question their better judgement about what they’re eating. In the kitchen Matt mumbles some motivational thoughts to himself and his tomatoes, and manages to get lunch served successfully, but by dinner I don’t know if he needed a drink or to listen to some Joel Osteen, but he was literally unable to get anything together.

Unhappy guests

Instead of surf and turf, Matt served the guests under-cooked risotto, over-cooked steak, and bananas foster – seriously! – with store-bought ice cream, and not nearly enough of it. OK, seriously, can Ben just come back!?

Things aren’t any better above deck. The crew barely gets the yacht out of the harbor – it’s those pesky lines again – and then EJ and Nico squabble over the anchor which scuffs the boat as its coming up. Nico delights in exposing all EJ’s f–k ups as he notices that the anchor wasn’t fully engaged and it’s a rookie mistake. Oh these two… And EJ is wandering around the boat pointing out every little scuff and announcing how he does it better. Is this guy Kate in Male Deck-Crew form?!

And then there is Jen. Jen, Jen, Jen who sees Brianna as “the chosen one” and practically wails “Brianna, Brianna, Brianna” when she’s forced, once again, to prep the master suite instead of handling dinner service. Perhaps it’s because it takes Jen 45 minutes to make a cocktail and then she might spill it on the guests? And forget about asking her to handle ‘mocktails’ – she’d probably serve the guests a clip-in ponytail on a plate with some parsley. Instead Kate is stuck concocting “virgin Pina coladas” and her idea of a virgin drink is water. Why waste the ingredients, right? The lead guest complains that the non-alcoholic drinks are nothing but sugar, so maybe he should just stick to water!


These guys are seriously the most boring guests ever? They’re celebrating a 10th anniversary, but I cannot feel any love anywhere. For anything. They were surprised with fireworks, which almost didn’t go off, and after watching them in silence retired to their Jenified cabins by 9:40 pm. The most exciting thing that happened was their complaining about dinner, which Matt shrugged off.

The next morning Jen is put on the early shift, much to her dismay, and Matt rallies himself, because, as Sesame Street taught us, “Tomorrow is a brand new day!” Maybe he’ll manage to get some decent food on the plate on this new day?

Brad, the lead charter, is up bright and early, and searching for coffee, but a stewardess is no where to be found! Jen overslept and is awoken to sound of Matt’s voice looking for her over the radio, and what’s the first thing Jen does? Not scramble, not rush, but plug in her trusty curling iron. She even worries about a “Lone Ranger” curl she may have missed. Cause priorities! Maybe Jen should keep that afro wig handy? Maybe she should have to wear it as punishment for her tardiness?

While Jen is styling her hair, Matt is forced to, begrudgingly, make coffee for the early rising guest. Kate even radios to see if she should get up and take over. I mean, as Kate said, how can you be late to work on a yacht – the commute is literally 10 feet and you have PLENTY of alarm clocks!

Luckily Matt manages to make omelettes without incident and the guests seem to forgive him for the disaster-dinner. One might think things will improve for this mangy crew, but alas next week it seems like EJ and Nico come to blows.


[Photo Credit: Bravo]