Brooke & Joao

Below Deck Mediterranean Recap: Thirty, Flirty, & Thriving

So last night the crew of Below Deck Mediterranean was in beautiful Capri where the setting couldn’t be more perfect for backstabbing, complaining, and 30th birthday parties.

Adam Glick and Hannah Ferrier live in parallel worlds where each believes they’re single-handedly responsible for successful charters, so when the primary winds up in the kitchen asking why dinner is taking so long, Adam sears Hannah with his angry eyes. It is HANNAH’S JOB to read minds of the guests, and assuage those minds like one kneads bread – and no one who isn’t clad in a Motor Yacht Talisman polo (or crocs!) should enter his teeny overheated prison of fishy smells and fishier business.

For once, though, just for once(!), it is not Hannah’s fault. Hannah actually had given Adam a 10-minute warning, but the guests decided 10 minutes was too long after they’d already been waiting an hour for the slow-to-get-dressed member of their party. It’s that lady’s fault, not Hannah’s. 

Adam grouses but serves what turns out to be the perfect dish of fish. So victory for all! Well, except Conrad Empson. Once again Joao Franco has upstaged him! Joao banters with Captain Sandy Yawn in the crew mess over dinner and she reveals that she’d definitely hire him as bosun. Conrad just stares into his mashed potatoes, realizing that they mirror the state of his own career prospects. In fairness to Sandy though, Conrad is sucking at his job. Instead of working he’s often sneaking into corners with Hannah to complain about Sandy, or he’s wandering around like a chicken with its head cut off. Which ironically is exactly what Kasey Cohen finds in the primary’s bed! (OK, not the chicken, but its head!)

As Kasey is turning down rooms she makes an interesting discovery. It’s Joao under the covers! Just kidding – it’s actually a pile of animal masks lined up on the pillows, including a pig face, which definitely should be called Joao. Kasey radios Jamie Jason who immediately puts on the giant unicorn head and prances about. I am thoroughly creeped out. More so when later, with no explanation, these masks appear on the middle-aged guests while they’re in the hot tub who appear to be randomly making out with each other in them. Weirdest of all though is that Brooke Laughton, who is on the late shift, doesn’t even seem to notice! Instead, she’s more worried about the future of Hannah’s relationship with Conrad. I’m worried about Hannah’s relationship with Conrad too, mostly because Sandy is losing respect for him by the second and Joao’s ego is already more inflated than a tender.

The next morning Hannah decides to send the guests on a picnic in Capri. She tells Adam to be ready in an hour with lunch. PSYCH! What she means is to start preparing the lunch in about an hour because in two hours they’ll be carting it in to shore, then up the side of the mountain in a child’s stroller seat suspended by a wire over the cliffs, and finally to an elaborate table set on a platform and strewn liberally with dead sea stars. Dead Sea stars being the equivalent of Adam’s dying Michelin star dreams, stymied liberally by Hannah holding a dull bread knife.

Adam Glick

Adam is annoyed. He prepared lunch, delicate sandwiches toothpicked together with giant cherry tomatoes, but it’s just sitting, sitting, sitting while Hannah fusses about and the guests get dressed. They have a spat about putting the sandwiches made on toasted bread in the fridge – Adam wants more specific instructions, Hannah thinks the radio works two-ways; like he could’ve asked to clarify the time. Or not toast the bread. That bread was a disappointment anyway. Why, in Italy, are you using pre-sliced white, Adam?

While literally everyone else from Talisman is escorting coolers up the world’s most unsafe amusement park ride, Joao and Sandy remain on the yacht where she has the brilliant idea to set up the water toys. Alone. Just to see what Joao would do. Obviously, he jumps through hoops, looking ridiculous to appease her. It’s because in Zimbabwe there are NO modern conveniences, including other people – it’s literally like living in the Jungle Book, and it’s the last frontier. Which is why Joao is the most interesting man there.

Sandy praises Joao’s work ethic over and over, but she only likes him because he never says no, and subsequently makes her feel like the most interesting woman in the world. Unlike Conrad who’s busy making Hannah feel like the most interesting woman in the world.

The guests are wowed by the cliff-top picnic (I think one cried), then do touristy things. Instead of cleaning up, Conrad and Hannah make out on the cliff. Who wants to bet Sandy had some sort of long-range telescope trained on them and saw this? She is literally skulking around every corner while they attempt to hide, like an overbearing Italian father from the old days.

As Adam is once again slaving away Brooke reveals that she plans to throw Hannah a 30th birthday party. Poor Hannah, although passing many a birthday aboard a yacht, has never actually celebrated on one. The perils of being close enough to touch the new-monied richies’ cappuccinos, while sadly only being the one serving it. Also, Brooke wants to suck up because things are awkward with Hannah after she defended Joao when he called Hannah a c-u-next-tuesday. Sadly, once again Hannah isn’t celebrating on a yacht but the dock beside it. But, despite his chronic annoyance with her, Adam agrees to help (re: cook). Anything to make Hannah feel old, right?!

Unicron Mask

Unfortunately, there is no more smooth sailing ahead. The first indicator of bad things to come was the UNICORN MASK used as the centerpiece, and it appeared to be vomiting gold fabric. Outside Capri, the waves are so rough even Hannah has trouble standing to decant wine. And this is the day, of all days, Adam chooses to prepare not one, but two soups! One soup – a lobster bisque – is being served as risotto, but the other is French onion. I don’t really get the correlation between hot summer weather, a yacht, and a soup buffet, but clearly, I do not operate in the Michelin stars.


One guest is seasick and at first, it doesn’t seem like she’ll be emerging from her room, then she does looking perfectly made-up despite puking. Did she apply lipgloss while hugging the toilet bowl? Of course, she doesn’t want lobster bisque risotto, she wants chicken noodle soup – the universal cure for seasickness (I thought Kasey told us it was pizza?)! Hannah is supposed to tell the guests NO SOUP FOR YOU because this menu is prix fixe (actually une fixe), but nowhere in Hannah’s extensive experience at being a stew did she learn how to gently let a guest down. (Sarcasm there people!) So here is Adam whipping up a bowl of chicken soup. I do want that recipe though ’cause it looked amazing. Adam – if you’re reading, I will give you a gold star sticker in exchange for that soup recipe!

Of course, there is no moment on Talisman that is complete without Hannah and Conrad cuddling in a corner whispering. This time it comes when Sandy is relying on Conrad to help her steer the boat through rough waters to Naples where the wind is calmer. Hannah tepidly asks if Sandy wants dinner, which she doesn’t – oh wait she does! She dispatches Conrad to have Hannah bring it to the bridge (soup, over the instrument dash in high winds?! The horror!). Instead, Conrad stops to exchange complaints about Sandy with Hannah. Until Sandy wondering where her damn soup is interrupts their conversation. She is furious.

Does Conrad not understand how to work the radio except when it’s frequency is set to Hannah? Did he not hear Sandy calling him back to the bridge? Sandy is obviously looking for fault in Conrad since she openly doesn’t approve of his relationship, but Conrad is giving her plenty of ammunition. As punishment, she demands Conrad put up the slide at 7 am, only to take it down at 10:30 when the guests depart. The infamous slide of Conrad’s descent…

The next morning the slide goes up, Kasey doesn’t ruin breakfast and the only drama is over when the tenders should be dropped and who is responsible for instructing the deck crew to drop them. The obvious answer is Conrad, but he’s too distracted to trust himself; instead being concerned that Hannah might spill soup on herself, scalding her luscious creamy … personality.

Conrad & Sandy

Despite the guest literally tearing up about their amazing experience, the tip was meager. Even worse, was Sandy’s blistering critique of Conrad that essentially he better say no’sun to Hannah or Joao would soon become bosun. Conrad did ask why they had tension! When Conrad relays Sandy’s message to Hannah she imperiously declares that they will NEVER talk on-board again – so HA!

Shiver me tenders as Conrad walks the plank right into Hannah’s hurricane, because not long after getting negative feedback – again – from Sandy he departs the boat with Brooke and Adam to procure supplies for Hannah’s birthday bash. He decides to buy her crocs as a joke because Hannah is constantly disgusted by Adam’s. As Adam says, what does Hannah like besides wine and cigarettes?

In the middle of the Hannah/Conrad/Adam trifecta of drama, I forgot about the scintillating love triangle between Joao, Kasey, and Brooke. It might actually be a quadrangle because pining away from the starboard is Colin Macy O’Toole, just loving Brooke so much he has rearranged the letters of the alphabet for her to put U & I next to each other. But he didn’t even need to do that, because B & C are already perfectly situated!

No one notices the nice guy in the elastic waist chinos though (were they maternity jeans?). Everyone notices the bad boy of ‘Zim. The world’s most eligible bachelor who has been flitting from lioness to lioness since he was 14. Joao has no need to settle down and stop sexually harassing women, he is content to string Kasey AND Brooke along in perpetuity until someone better comes along. This all comes to a head at Hannah’s birthday party.

Joao invited some friends who are stationed on a nearby boat to put even more distance between his drunken tirades and Hannah. Everyone is in amazing spirits at the party – even the local stray dock cats nab some raw chicken right off the serving plate. Yum!

Hannah's birthday

Hannah is so revolted by the crocs, she throws them into the water – they were followed by Conrad’s career. The sad thing is that Crocs float, and we will probably later find them on some industrious starfish!  Then Hannah and Conrad smash cake on each other before smashing face, and she whines that he ruined her discount designer YSL top with his grabby icing hands. It’s the best birthday ever!

Joao kisses Brooke

Joao spends the party presenting Kasey as his de facto girlfriend: flirting with her, putting his arm around her, introducing him to all his friends, as Brooke sulks and emotionally eats. Finally, Joao tells Kasey he has made his decision and couldn’t be happier, but Brooke intervenes to beg for a chance so he kisses her – right in front of Kasey! She, rightfully, storms away. Joao is a disgusting ass, but what is wrong with Brooke?!


It is sad that Joao is getting so much focus because Colin (and Jamie) are the unsung heroes of this cast. The fantastic comedian troupe who is also the voice of reason. They’re just weird enough to be interesting – chocolate milk on cheerios style – but not so weird that it’s disturbing. If Brooke weren’t too desperate to see common sense she’s Team Colin all day, every day with the days of the week rearranged so that Joaosday doesn’t exist.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]