Below Deck Recap: Dropping Like Flies

Below Deck

Last night’s Below Deck was a literal bloody mess! I mean Chandler Brooks was dropping guests, Caroline Bedol was dropping everything – including whatever slim grasp she has on sanity. Captain Lee Rosbach has officially done lost his patience.

Chandler still can’t get it together. After the disaster when they took the guests to swim with the sharks, the guests realized the sharks were among them as the deck crew. Instead of taking responsibility for the mistake, Chandler makes excuses then lectures the deck crew for making him look bad. At his wit’s end, Ashton Pineaar, speaks up about how the lack of communication and direction is the reason they’re making silly mistakes.  Chandler obviously does not agree.

Ashton calls out Chandler on Below Deck

Rhylee Gerber is thankful that someone, besides her, is finally confronting Chandler’s outsized ego. She thanks Ashton and later asks Ross Inia what he thinks. Unfortunately, Ross is chronically allergic to drama. He just mumbles something about respect. Behind Chandler’s back, Ross speaks the truth. “I try to have respect for Chandler, but he’s a shitshow – an absolute shit show.”

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Caroline breaks down over breakfast service on Below Deck

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And speaking of shit-shows, Caroline and Chandler really are perfect for each other. Caroline is on her own for breakfast service. She has a complete nervous breakdown at the thought of making orange juice. With an electric juicer. She is literally sprinting around the deck like a contestant on some sort of low-budget game show. She is spinning in circles, frantically juicing oranges and spraying pulp everywhere. She’ll probably need to leave the boat to see a doctor over pulp-induced coronary paralysis.

Then when she finally hands the guests their drinks, they all taste horrible. But she’s so busy dry heaving and hacking up a lung in the staff sink to notice their displeasure. Caroline’s franticness is so unsettling that the guests worry something is wrong.  Adrian Martin can’t handle the emotional burden of even acknowledging Caroline’s cesspool of crazy. He decides to keep it professional and basically ignore her. And miraculously his food is amazing again!

When Kate Chastain finally appears, the guests recognize in her a saving grace. They pounce on her with requests for Bloody Marys and OJ, as if they were stranded on an island dying of thirst (again). Kate is unflappable in the besiege of their demands. Behind closed doors she opines, “If Caroline can’t handle coffee – we’ve got a serious problem.”

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Bloody Mary-gate was the last and final straw in the cocktail. “Caroline’s foot has healed but the bad news is she’s still Caroline. I’ll cover for her, but what she doesn’t realize is that she’s repeatedly telling me she can’t do her job.” She can’t even handle the basics of laundry! She’s washing chapstick, losing everyone’s stuff, and confusing Captain Lee‘s underoos with Ashton’s g-strings. The laundry room’s outside appearance mirrors Caroline’s mental state: absolute chaotic mess! To keep Caroline out of her hair while preparing for the evening’s beach party, Kate tasks her with organizing the laundry room.

Rhylee calls out Chandler on Below Deck

With guests headed for an island luau pig roast that evening, Captain Lee decides to punish Chandler by making him put out ALL the water toys, before transporting the gear to the picnic spot. That means he has to manage gear, gear, everywhere. And Rhylee. They get into a tiff over finding enough drop towels which escalates into a screaming argument near guests! Chandler, dude, it’s only TOWELS! And also Rhylee can read… Read you the riot act! “If Chandler were on my boat, he’d definitely be fired,” she notes. In the interim Rhylee wants to see some accountability, respect, and common courtesy and if not she’s taking it to Captain Lee. As she should!

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While the guests enjoy the water toys, Ross and Chandler take the rescue tender out to start setting up the luau. They discover that it’s far too rocky for them to bring guests back to the yacht at night. Ross strategizes who winds up strategizing with Captain Lee about the best way to handle the situation. It is pretty much universally understood that Chandler was hired only to have his ineptitude serve as fodder for drama. Initially, Captain Lee decides that “under no circumstances” are the guests to be on the island after dark, even if it means the luau is cut short. He tasks Ross with managing this -even if means leaving Chandler and a roast suckling pig behind.

Chandler drops a guest

Unfortunately, until about 4:30, no one communicates to the guests that the dinner taxi leaves at 5. They don’t actually arrive at the island until 6. Oops. Then Chandler decides to pretend he’s Superman by CARRYING the adult guests from the boat to the pier when he drops one of the guests on her butt! She is gracious about it, but clearly injured. Obviously, Chandler will not stoop to apologizing!  “Not only is Chandler dropping the ball, but now he’s dropping the guests,” snickers Ashton.

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To accommodate the guests’ late arrival, Captain Lee has taxis drive them to a well-established dock after the luau, then have them transported to the yacht via tender. In the interim, he has the deck crew return to the yacht to finish cleaning up the toys. He asks Caroline to have drinks prepped for the guests’ re-arrival. Even with these explicit instructions, even with Captain Lee literally baby-stepping Chandler, through the process mayhem ensues. Chandler snaps at Rhylee about drying some gear. When she snaps back, he decides he is “done!”  and dispatches Ross to “deal with her” while he sulks in his cabin.

Chandler doesn’t even respond to their radio calls when it’s time to get the guests, leaving Ross and Ashton to deal with transporting them as well. Who does Chandler think he is – a Real Housewife? Of course, that also means no one goes back to the island to help Kate and Josiah Carter break down the party.

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Caroline, meanwhilecan’t even mix a simple champagne cocktail. She drops one of the glasses off the tray and doesn’t clean it up. Almost immediately Master Pearson steps on the broken glass! Like the guests step FROM the tender, onto a carpet of broken glass – which is the perfect metaphor for this trip.

Meanwhile, Kate, Josiah, and ALL OF THE STUFF are stranded on the island and, only to discover that the kids don’t have their life jackets. But they do have battle scars from their time on a luxury ocean liner in Tahiti!

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Guests step on broken glass

Finally, Albert, the primary, ends up playing bartender while Caroline, Captain Lee, and Chandler clean up the glass and search for a band-aid. The woman Chandler dropped on the pier also has a bloody elbow and knee! Kate and Josiah finally return to the yacht expecting some peace and maybe a little dinner. Instead, they are thrown into a tsunami of booze, blood, and idiocy. Kate is furious. After spending hours cleaning up an island while wearing a child’s life jacket she’s now mixing drinks. She becomes a shoulder to cry on for weary traumatized guests who see Kate as their very own Aqua Jesus. Kate turns tears into wine! When she learns about Caroline dropping the glass, she needs a minute to collect herself. Then, she springs into action.

But at least Caroline apologized! A little too heartily, if you ask me, as she grabbed Master Pearson‘s face and kissed him like 5 times. Step down, subordinate! Chandler, meanwhile, was confronted by the tipsy guest who straight up called him out for not apologizing. Then, he tried to argue with her, before ultimately mumbling sorry. YUCK. This guy is a serious creep. Swipe left for life on that one ladies!

The hilarious thing is that the guests have gone through so much mayhem with this crew that it’s like bonded them.

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Josiah impressed me this episode. He basically put his pompadour (and pomposity) down and worked, worked, worked. With the guests finally in bed, a hangry Kate seethes to Captain Lee that something has to change. Kate is now in command and the deck crew will be on stew duty! My question is what was Caroline doing while Kate and Josiah were at the luau? How was it such a mess when she had like 4 hours without guests or other responsibilities? Did she really spend that long organizing the laundry room? Or was she actually just sitting in her room meditating on how to spontaneously develop whooping cough?

Chandler is obviously furious about taking direction for Kate and being told to work. Ross and Ashton are shockingly relieved to have someone in charge who actually knows how to give direction. As consummate professionals, they are rewarded with early bedtime and a smile. Meanwhile, Chandler has to stay up late for a one-on-one lesson from Kate in how to get things done. In the midst of this, he has the audacity to try and take an ice cream break! Doesn’t he see a pig carcass that needs attending to? Kate literally rips the ice cream away from him and gives him a lecture on just why Captain Lee put her in charge. (Hint: his inability to lead.) while he whines that his ice cream needs time to thaw.

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After Kate goes to bed, Chandler just dumps the pig carcass in the trash but doesn’t take it out. Then, he sulks as he stabs at his still frozen ice cream. The next morning the guests practically run off the boat, tossing the undeserved tip envelope to Captain Lee. They should’ve specified that it only goes to Rhylee, Ashton, Ross, Kate, and Josiah.

Kate & Captain Lee

After the tip meeting, a livid Captain Lee calls Kate to the wheelhouse so she can be a witness while he talks to Chandler. It looks like Chandler is getting fired at last! Ross is pretty much acting as bosun at this point anyway, especially in Captain Lee’s mind.

I feel like Ross was originally hired as bosun but then production realized there was about zilch chance he’d ruin his career by causing drama. They probably rush hired someone patently incapable of doing the job for the sake of better television. Frankly, I’d rather waste my time watching Ross be sweet and in control.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]