Below Deck Mediterranean Reunion Recap: The Tears Of Baby-Men

Last night was the Below Deck Mediterranean reunion, and Captain Sandy Yawn wants us all to know she wore her boss pants. Joao Franco, on the other hand, wore a diaper.

The set of these WWHL Reunions is so depressing, isn’t it. Like getting married in a Vegas chapel with a liquor store next door. It just doesn’t translate to ‘daytime’ activities. Who wants to bear their soul in front of a rhinestone Snoopy or a photo of Ramona Singer doing Turtle Time in a satin dress? I guess Joao’s nervous breakdowns don’t discriminate?

You know, some secret part of me has always had a soft spot for Joao and wanted to give him a chance to redeem himself. I’m pretty sure that makes me an armchair Brooke Laughton, like that’s exactly why SHE kept allowing him back into her life to invade her dignity. And maybe it’s because Brooke seems to be a nice girl and I didn’t want Hannah Ferrier to be right and smirking that all her predictions about Joao breaking Brooke’s heart came true.

Joao, Brooke, and Kasey on Below Deck Med Reunion

Of course Hannah was right! Of course it happened exactly like she said it would. But at least Hannah had the decency not to pop a bottle of champagne and start doing a victory dance. Couldn’t you just see her jabbing a manicured nail in Brooke’s face and yelling, “HA! Told’yer he was an arsehole?!” Brooke reveals that after seeing Joao’s behavior on the show, she does regret not listening more to Hannah’s concerns. “I was genuinely just trying to be protective of someone I care about,” Hannah explained. Hannah and Brooke do appear to still be friends, or at least on good terms.

Oh, in case you were holding a candle for Hannah and Conrad Empson‘s love story, they’re done. Once they left the boat it was so over. Hannah admits that everything about their ‘affair’ was embarrassingly over-the-top and describes “boat relationships” has cramming a year into six weeks. Meaning emotions move at warp speed, and that explains their rapid cycle of love to hate. Hannah and Conrad swear they won’t be hooking up after the reunion – do we believe them?

Captain Sandy lectures Conrad

It also seems like Conrad’s yachting career might be over, or at least he’ll never work in Captain Sandy‘s town again! Sandy is still seething mad because Conrad an awful lot of time smoking with Hannah instead of putting toys in the water, but it was also his flippant attitude about authority that she can’t stand. Sandy actually told Conrad he’ll never amount to anything because he doesn’t respect captains. Actually what she said was, “When most of these people were in the birth canal, I was navigating the Suez Canal.” Which Andy Cohen thought was the most brilliant piece of metaphor he’d ever heard and which I took to mean that they should all recognize that she’s the boss. Except oftentimes Sandy behaves like a petulant teenager which sends mixed messages!

Conrad Empson

I thought Sandy’s judgement of Conrad was this was a little harsh. I also agree with Conrad who pointed out that Sandy is projecting her anger at Hannah onto him. The reality is this: Sandy knows she’ll have to work with Hannah next season, but Conrad is likely a one and done! Conrad said his biggest regret of the season was not cultivating a better relationship with Sandy, so maybe not?!

When it comes to Joao, who for some reason Sandy respect, she insists she doesn’t have to be his “moral compass” and micromanage his personal life to explain away all his appalling behavior. I disagree completely – his behaviors were often wholly inappropriate, often making other staff uncomfortable – it is SANDY’S JOB, as leader, to provide guidance on the type of environment she deems acceptable and set the standards. Sandy was having some sort of crisis of authority wasn’t she? Much like Joao. She said she would have preferred to have him be bosun, which means we can expect to see him back next season eventually majorly butting heads with her, because they’re too similar!

Hannah, by contrast, was oddly humbled last night. As if maybe she’s found a 65-year-old billionaire to marry her and is leaving yachting for a career on Real Housewives Of Melbourne? Or maybe she just wants to revamp her public image after leaving us with the everlasting nightmare of her groaning and grunting in Conrad’s arms? Whatever the case, she admitted that Brooke had often picked up the slack while she was going through her emotional breakdown or smoking with Conrad, and also apologized for not being a better leader. She also admitted that perhaps she had dismissed Kasey Cohen and decided against helping her after learning Kasey lied on her CV.

Hannah Ferrier

“I came into the season not my best,” admits Hannah. “I wasn’t in a good place when I started the charter season.” Is Hannah in therapy? She seemed so, I dunno, self-aware last night. I’m sure she knew what criticisms would be lobbed at her, and interested in a redemption, had prepared in advanced how to take ownership for lack of leadership and laziness.

Kasey sucks though, I’ll give Hannah that. First of all, what the hell was she wearing at this reunion? She looked about 15 years older and like a contestant in some Trophy Wife pageant! Maybe her dress was what became of all the tacky table decorations from Talisman? The shark bait earrings were especially silly. The whole thing was just … well, it made me feel bad for Kasey. Didn’t she say she majored in psychology… perhaps she should have been seeing a psychologist instead!

All season I’ve believed Brooke was the desperate one, but seeing them sitting there side-by-side; Kasey in some tacky wannabe New Jersey Housewife get-up, Brooke looking understatedly pretty – it all made me feel sad for Kasey. Clearly she has some terrible messaging about how women are valued. And clearly she was dressed to make Joao see what he was missing.

Kasey Cohen makes shocking revelations about Joao Franco

Kasey was all too eager to throw in Brooke’s face how Joao had never stopped contacting her. Among the revelations were that immediately after they left the boat he was texting Kasey saying he’d chosen the wrong girl and insisting that if they’d had another week on board, he would’ve ended things with Brooke to pursue Kasey. It was pathetic!

Kasey openly admits that she knows Joao only texts her when he’s fighting with Brooke and she’s fully aware that he’s madly in love with Brooke, yet, she insists she just has a friendship with him. No, Kasey, you’re a long-distance bootycall and self-esteem injection. Whenever Joao wants to prove he can still string women along, or feels like he’s lost power with Brooke, he seeks out Kasey to validate his need to appear like some Indian Jones-style player. Dude. Just no.

The high point of the reunion was seeing Joao get caught out, then running to cry in the corner when Brooke declared, quietly and with absolution, that after learning he had lied about his contact with Kasey, they were O-V-E-R. Actually the only point I agreed with Sandy on was when she lectured Kasey for continuing to communicate with Joao, knowing he was supposedly in a serious relationship with Kasey’s so-called friend Brooke, and knowing he was essentially using her. I, like Brooke, wondered why would Kasey continue to probe Joao for answers, and continue to entertain his attentions. Girl – block that douche bag’s number and threaten to turn his “dickie” over to Brooke if he doesn’t leave you alone. Or as Sandy said, “draw a line in the sand.”

Why is Sandy everyone’s moral compass but Joao’s? He needs it most! Or at least Jezzabob does. If Joao really is so madly in love with Brooke that he can’t even find words to describe it, why would he even want to flirt-text with Kasey?!

Likewise I so do not buy Joao’s excuses that he didn’t realize he was playing games, and didn’t realize how bad his behavior was. [cough, cough HIPPOSHIT.] Revenge is sweet, when Brooke tells he needs to “become a man” if he ever hopes to have any type of relationship with her again. Since the chances of that happening are 0 to dancing with a cartoon hippo, I’d say she dumped him on national TV. Well, Kasey will take’em. Clearly.

Andy actually asked if anyone actually liked Joao outside of the harridan of women – including Sandy – who thinks he shits burried treasure. I thought this was a fair question! Not surprisingly Colin Macy-O’Toole, who is truly nice and gets along with everyone, said he was fine with acting as Joao’s onboard therapist, brother, and, well, the moral compass Sandy refused to be.

Joao admits that his drinking and alternative personality are a problem, and a mask to shield himself from being open about his emotional life. Well, is he gonna stop drinking? What about when he’s sexting Kasey behind Brooke’s back in Joao-mode?


[Photo Credits: bravo]