EJ Upsets Nico

Below Deck Recap: A Farewell Song To Goodwill

On last night’s Below Deck one crew member went down, another almost sunk Captain Lee Rosbach‘s reputation, and a third got labeled a bitter Betty with the bad hair. Well, you can’t say these yahoos don’t try!

As they arrive in St. Barth’s, Valor is sailing into territory usually only charted by Real Housewives. It’s high season, which means multi-million dollar yachts, probably carrying celebrities and the stakes for keeping up with the Joneses – or the Falcons, rather, are high for keeping up. This is obviously foreshadowing, indicating that an ENORMOUS f–k up will happen. And who will go down. Duh, duh, duh.

With EJ (no last name given) on board, Chris Brown has slung a hammock in the supply closet and erected his sleeping quarters there. Additionally, Most Boring Charter Ever rages on. If Kate Chastain has to hear the words “sparkling water” one more time, her washing machines may explode. Let’s hope Kate never finds herself at a an AA meeting where she may also find Jen or Chris Brown.

Matt Burns redeems himself

The guests may be boring, but they know what they want: lobster and a Caribbean tasting menu, aka Matt Burns to get out of his funky chicken. Undercooked risotto ain’t gonna cut it with this sober (in both alcohol content and demeanor) crew of high-maintenance pro-foodies. Actually, the guests were pretty relaxed; all they wanted to do was go in the water, eat fancy things, oh, and gamble. We all have our vices, right?!

You’d think with the guests in bed by 10, Jen Howell would have less to complain about. Think again! Now, Yachterella is complaining that she’s once again on laundry duty. And you’d think, after all the other times Yachterella had been here before, she’d know what to do already, but nope she overflows BOTH machines and Brianna Adekeye is left to clean them up. She immediately tattles to Kate, of course.


Jen and Brianna are in a competition for Martyr of Valor. Brianna has the most work – woe is her, picking up Jen’s discombobulation and incompetence. No, JEN has the most work! Woe is her, forced into hard labor of washing things while Brianna gets to hobnob with hot chefs and serve dinner! Since they both believe they do way more work, yet are constantly picking up slack for the other, Brianna and Jen are getting spiteful. Instead of noticing tension in the mother load, their intrepid leader Kate is going on dates and drinking beer on duty. Don’t Tell Captain Lee the Babysitter’s Dead!

On a bright note, unlike Nico Scholly, Kate is definitely doing plenty of micromanaging and is forced to give Jen yet another lesson in how to work Tide – the detergent, not the ocean phenomena. Then, Jen grumbles that Brianna spends a few moments staring at the ocean while she’s slaving away rinsing coffee cups. Isn’t Jen a mother? You’d think she’d be used to relentless chores, no downtime, and laundry. Also ungrateful people constantly complaining about everything. Her experience must be different than mine. Kate gets it – raising these inept stews is entirely like parenting. Especially once they start bickering.

Jen Howell screws up again

Missing her daughter, combined with forced celibacy, is apparently driving Jen crazy. She begs Kate for a small break to call her daughter and Kate begrudgingly permits 10 minutes. Using her hair as both a tissue and a security blanket, Jen sniffles in her bunk about her dashed expectations. Jen assumed she’d be taking a 3 month vacation around the world while getting laid. I don’t think Jen realized she’d actually be mothering every charter guest, plus a massive yacht baby, and basically moving her everyday life to the high seas where the accommodations suck and there’s no Tinder. And now that Chris Brown is forced into the punishment closet, Jen’s stuck sharing a bunk with the creepy-eyed EJ. There is something off about his smile. Like I swear he’s a terminator Bosun sent to destroy them.

Above deck, EJ and Nico are butting heads, anchors, and everything else – even mini boats! Captain Lee should force them into the sumo suits to have it out at sea or tie them together until they can figure out how to work together. The problem is actually Nico, who refuses to accept that EJ is now his boss. In the middle is the already entirely helpless deck crew. EJ tells Baker Manning to do one task but not 15 minutes later Nico is there whispering in her ear that EJ doesn’t know what he’s doing – after all, he pulled the anchor up without the brake being fully disengaged and some goop got in the gears.

Even when EJ pulls Nico aside to discuss ‘working together’ with a subtle reminder of hierarchy, Nico is dismissive and keeps affirming that he, too, has authority. It turns out that window washing politics is serious business in yachting and sea spray is a sign of crisis!

For being pulled in two directions, constantly, Baker and Bruno Duarte are doing a pretty stellar job towing the line and appeasing both their bosses. Baker listens politely as Nico complains about EJ‘s allegedly ineptitude; later Bruno mentions that he’s excited to learn from EJ, to add onto everything he’s learned already from Nico. Bruno may not have learned a shammy from a squishy on a cruise ship, but he’s certainly learned to navigate drama! And terrible bosses. If only he could keep his shirt on! Captain Lee actually caught him moving jet skis topless and flipped that guests might see. The way it works is that guests can ONLY see your 8-pack if they request to see it, or Kate demands it, but that’s special occasion sexual harassment. In the course of normal operations, it’s fully clothed at all times for fear of giving a guest the vapors.

Speaking of the vapors, after promising the guests fresh lobster for lunch, Matt realizes that he has NONE. About 3o minutes before they request to eat, Matt radios ashore for someone to bring lobster on boat while the guests are left waiting with a “lemon vinegar” salad. Luckily, the lobster finally arrives so fresh it’s still moving. Only 15 minutes late, Matt savagely cooks them alive over an open flame, ripping out the meat, then shoving it back into the shells, tossing them on the plate with greens and handing it off to the guest as the type of delicacy usually only seen in Indiana Jones movies. Man Vs. Wild, y’all!

Kate Chastain exasperated

The disaster date with Brianna, combined with the under-cooked risotto, has given Matt an awakening. He calls his ex-girlfriend because he realizes he’s screwed that up too. By the time dinner happens, Kate believes they accidentally adopted Matt’s secret doppelgänger, because this new guy is focused, whipping out culinary masterpieces, and about as un-Canadian as you can get! The requested Caribbean tasting meal has the guests swooning and personally thanking him. Kate personally thanks herself, though, for the stern talking-to she gave Matt about how their tip is directly related to their tongues.

Funny thing – EJ is also Canadian.

Captain Lee pulls Nico and EJ onto the bridge to explain to them the concept of working together and figure out which crew member is the weakest link. Nico immediately calls out Chris Brown for his laziness and poor work ethic, but EJ argues that there’s something there. That something is a hangover, or the occasional sharpness Chris gets when his pheromones alight on the scent of a woman. Or alcohol.

Well, Chris Brown finally gets his opportunity to shine at the game night the guests requested. Kate turned their cabin into the most low-rent casino there ever was and dressed Chris Brown up in costume suspenders. He’s ordered to deal fake money so the guests can fake gamble at Black Jack, but apparently he has a very winning personality if you’re not his boss, his co-worker, or a woman he hopes to sleep with. And that is what we call going out with a bang because the next afternoon…

Captain Lee is furious

With the guests satiated and the charter coming to a close, you’d think everyone could all breathe a sigh of relief. But then: ENTER THE MALTESE FALCON. It’s apparently the most prestigious yacht in the world, so naturally the Podunk Valor ends up docked right beside it. So close, Captain Lee worries they may drift into their waters even though the anchor is dropped. I personally think Captain Lee was hoping he was close enough to jump ship and defect to the pristine, professionally staffed Falcon.

Lee decides to reorient Valor a few hundred feet away to avoid issue, but of course thanks to NICO’s ineptitude they nearly crashed into the Falcon anyway. In order to move the boat a smidgen, they have to get all of the tiny boats and jet skis off Valor, pull up the anchor, move the yacht slightly, drop anchor again. and reattach everything. Nico and EJ went out on the little boats, and the other nitwits, or “monkeys” as EJ dubbed them, were left behind with anchor duty. Nico and EJ’s poor communication, combined with the general lack of knowledge of everyone else, created a slew of thoughtless rookie (re: embarrassing for Lee) mistakes.

In all, Nico and EJ’s dick-measuring fussiness about who taught the monkeys better sign language and how to push the buttons, Nico forgot the keys to the tugboat, and didn’t leave it running when he detached from Valor. So there EJ and Nico are, trapped together in the middle of the ocean, with the current drifting their boats dangerously close to the Falcon, as they argue about how to tow Nico back. Meanwhile, Baker is too busy watching this boat-wreck to remember to pull up the anchor. And where is Chris Brown? Why congratulating himself on a job well-done that no one will ever know he did good at. Sounds like famous last words… cause they were.

When EJ and Nico finally arrive, Lee is levitating with rage. After saying goodbye to the guests and divvying out tips, he warns that tomorrow there will be hell to pay, dammit, f–king hell!

Chris Brown is fired

Then he hauls the deck crew to the bridge to severely warn Nico, and fire Chris Brown for his inexperience. Chris Brown doesn’t care. He’s got a pocket full of money and gets to spend the night on St. Barth’s – which has better women then the porn he watches from his toilet-paper lined hammock. Well farewell our loser leprechaun of foolish pride!

With Chris Brown departed, Lee furious, and Nico and EJ hissing at each other, a night out in ritzy St. Barth’s does little to improve the mood.

Over dinner, Jen complains while hitting on Nico in French using lines from the Christina Aguilera Moulin Rouge song, which brings out Brianna’s devil horns. Nico is hers to shamelessly flirt with – when his girlfriend isn’t there! Brianna mutters to Baker that Jen is “Bitter. Always bitter.” Which prompts Jen to over-react before storming off.  Nico, hypocritically for all his whining about and bickering with EJ, whines that he can’t hear anymore of Jen’s shrieking while Kate tries, in vain, to put her in timeout.

Jen storms over to the bar where she continues complaining about Brianna to Kate who just wants to return to her happy place in Aqua Jesus’s arms. Things get even more tense when Brianna dry-humps Nico on the dance floor, and then shrugs that since he never mentions his girlfriend it’s like she doesn’t exist. See no girlfriend, hear no girlfriend, speak no girlfriend… equals no evil cheating on girlfriend?

Nico & EJ nearly come to blows

As they putter back to Valor, EJ decides to show off by leaping to the dock with the tie-off line. In his brogues. He nearly slips and falls backward, but rights himself. Nico sees this as a sign that EJ is an idiot, and drunk, and orders him to go to bed, “buddy” as they fight over securing the boat. EJ quickly reminds Nico that it’s actually his boat now “buddy boy” as as shocked Baker calls to everyone else that there might be a fight. Classy.

After Nico’s disaster in front of the Falcon, he has no room to lecture anyone on how to do anything. Congratulations Jen and Chris – you weren’t the biggest fiascos of the episode!


[Photo Credits: Bravo]