Laura Betancourt Below Deck

Below Deck Recap: Checks And Balances

Lord – this is the craziest season of Below Deck ever! It is literally Wham, Bam, Thank you ma’am, next drama! Laura Betancourt and Kate Chastain went from screaming at each other to peaceably getting along as co-workers. In contrast, Laura and Ashton Pineaar transitioned from friends with benefits to, well, I don’t know what. In less than one episode!

Laura is “sore-ry, not sore-ry” that she told Kate to check herself over some towels not being hung up. This is the myopic world of luxury yachting where the placement of a pond frond can make the difference between a $17,000 tip and a $20,000 tip. Basically what I’m saying is that all the escalated drama over towels and toilet paper matters! The little things become the big things, you guys. And Kate’s refusal to see Laura as the top-notch CHIEF STEW wannabe she is, is a big thing, guys. 

Kate Chastain Below Deck

Following Laura’s outburst, Kate goes directly to Captain Lee Rosbach and gives him an ultimatum: either Laura is fired or Kate quits. But Captain Lee is no Lisa Vanderpump. He is unruffled as he promises to speak to Laura in the morning. He grouses that Kate is going through third stews like toilet paper in the master suite, and he doesn’t have time in his hair’s ass of a hound dog ears dragging in shit to deal with this petty drama. Captain Lee is essentially the vulgar Dr. Phil of the high seas.

Meanwhile, Laura is running around, like a defective energizer bunny, screaming “check yourself!” at everyone she sees. Even the washing machine. Actually, she tells Rhylee Gerber to check that so Laura can go to bed. Instead, Rhylee winds up offering Laura career advice about the importance of getting along with one’s superiors. HAHAHAHA what alternate universe are we living in here, Bravo? Unsurprisingly Rhylee condones Laura yelling at Kate as asserting herself. Um, Rhylee has never actually checked herself, so maybe Laura should’ve given that lecture to her pal instead.

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The guests are literally just eating dinner while all this is happening. Actually, Helen, the mafia don’s wife, was having a transportive experience to another dimension through food-gasm, aka a “palate aphrodisiac.” She actually makes Adrian Martin come up from the kitchen to watch her take the first bite of her dessert. Everyone jokes that while Goth Helen is killing Adrian’s food, her husband, Richard, is plotting to kill Adrian to use as fish bait. “We’ll have another man overboard,” snipes Kate. ‘Too soon’ considering Ashton’s near-death experience?

Actually, though, Richard doesn’t even seem to notice that. Adrian exits and seems to believe “happy and satisfied by another man’s food wife, happy life.”However, Helen is so enamored with Adrian. Then, she schedules a ‘cooking date’ for the following evening. Now is your chance to enter witness protection, Adrian!

For various reasons, it seems almost everyone seems secretly glad that Laura screamed at Kate. Rhylee because she is not the only person behaving badly. Adrian because he loves drama. Plus, it gives both he and Ashton the opportunity to comfort Laura in her time of need. Kate because she emerges as the victim. Josiah Carter because now he has a reason to kill off his competition for Kate’s love. OK, maybe Ross Inia and Tyler Rowland don’t care, and Captain Lee seems merely annoyed that he has to mediate between Kate and yet another stew.

RELATED: Below Deck Cast Member Laura Betancourt Defends Herself, Gets Backup From Tyler Rowland

Kate & Laura Below Deck

The next morning, Kate ignores Laura completely, then walks as slow as humanly possible up the narrow stairs, trapping Laura behind her as she’s carrying a case of Core coconut water. All the toxic assholery on this show is sponsored by Core, apparently. They probably didn’t sign up for this. And later one of their bottles will be used as a bootleg maraca in a mockery of Tahitan culture for the entertainment purposes of rich, entitled white westerners.

Captain Lee Below Deck

During breakfast service, Captain Lee calls Laura in for a meeting. Thankfully, she is calm, collected, and ready with an apology. Continuing with the check metaphor,  he opines that Laura “let her mouth write a check that her ass couldn’t cash,” but he is certainly not allowing Kate to run this ship, by planning to fire and rehire another third stew with only two charters left to go.

So the day plods along with the usual water activities, and “whispering angel” served perfectly chilled to Helen (who probably has this picked out as her nickname for Adrian). Kate plots her revenge against Laura. Rhylee explodes on Ross over putting up and taking down the inflatable slide. Yes, here we go again with Rhylee believing she’s not getting her slice of the ‘big hard man stuff’ pie. And I don’t mean the slice Tyler is serving her at bedtime.

Rhylee Gerber & Ross Inia Below Deck

Does Rhylee really not see the correlation between her BEHAVIOR and Ross’s decision not to give her more opportunity? Good lord. I’m so bored of Rhylee’s screaming outbursts. I don’t even rank this as relevant enough to write about. Got it?! Got it! GOT IT?! Rhylee, Got it that we’re tired of you acting like a toddler. Next.

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At least Tyler is enjoying it! “I love to see people lose their shit,” he laughs, “It’s like the best entertainment. As long as I’m not in the middle of it.” Um, well he better not start dating Rhylee then.

Later, Kate advises Rhylee to just let the boys do all the manual labor, because why not? And also to apologize to Ross, and explain in real, adult language how she’s feeling. Rhylee tries this, and the miracle of miracles – it works! Ross reveals that he IS actually giving Rhylee more responsibility. He stationed her on one of the stationed on the swim deck watching things, not Tyler. Instead, she is too caught up in her own narrative to listen and realize what’s actually going on. Rhylee cries, then has to retreat to her room to emotionally eat all feelings other than rage and sex away in secret. Oh, honey…

Going in a completely different direction, it is actually amazing how much Laura relishes in having conflict with Kate. She’s literally laughing at Kate trying to unsettle her. This is weird considering how Laura was so unsettled before when Kate was just trying to be her boss. Kate decides that since Laura really has sooo many questions about her job, she will make her a checklist of all the tasks associated with turndown. “Checklist yourself,” Kate says drolly, passing Laura the list. In response, Laura bursts out laughing. Finally, Kate gave Laura some concrete instruction. And low and behold these two reached peace.

RELATED: Below Deck Recap: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself!

Apparently, the communication breakdowns with Rhylee and Laura have led to break-throughs. Isn’t that nice! And just in time for the crew to prepare for the ‘traditional’ Tahitian dance they are performing for the guests!

At 6 pm sharp Helen is in the kitchen ready for her date with Adrian, wearing heels and super plunging top. But in white –  to show that she has other sides to her personality. God this woman looks like a bad drag Elvira. She coos and gushes and wants to stroke Adrian’s cauliflower, as he titters uncomfortably like a community theater actor in a bad rendition of Mrs. Robinson. Adrian is so… ugh.

Other than Helen’s salivating, these guests were easy, relaxed, and a delight. They love the food, they love the crew, they love everything, and the next morning Helen departs with a heavy heart, blowing lots of kisses at her chef-crush. I am most surprised she didn’t kidnap Adrian, wrap him in a crepe, stuff him in her Birkin, and woo him to be her food slave by promising him an unlimited supply of meaningful moments and perfect cuts of meat.

After a $20k tip, everyone seems in a great mood before the crew night out … until Adrian strikes a somber tone by warning Laura about Ashton’s nightlife antics of grinding on every woman in the club. This shocks Laura! She is not the sort of girl who just randomly hooks up – she believed they were forming a sincere connection. “Don’t get inside my head, Adrian,” she whines. But too late!

RELATED: Ashton Pienaar Names Below Deck Cast Member He Never Wants To Work With Again

The hilarious thing is that Ashton tells Ross he plans to tone it down because he wants to focus on Laura… and getting her into the crow’s nest later. He starts the night lovey-dove, but as Laura continually rebuffs him, he seeks out other, more willing participants and starts grinding on girls in the club again. Which really pisses Laura off.

Tyler Rowland & Rhylee Gerber Below Deck

Tyler and Rhylee seem like a match made in hell. Then, Tyler gets too drunk. He starts dry-humping and making out with some random girl on the dance floor. They both fall over into a puddle of the sticky remnants of what should be shame. Tyler’s justification is that he doesn’t want to be an old man with no stories to tell. Well, the guy must be an adrenaline junkie to be attracted to Rhylee, then be brave enough to potentially piss Rhylee off.

Alternatively, though, his behavior seems to turn Rhylee on. She mothers a wasted Tyler in the van. Rhylee jokes with him about his dance floor cheating. Then, back in their room immediately pounces on him. Rhylee is more than crushing on Tyler now. As demonstrated by the fact that she is permanently sleeping in his bed… even when he isn’t there.

Instead of cuddling in the crow’s nest, Ashton and Laura wind up having an argument on the dock about why she’s mad/not mad at him and how he hurt/not hurt her and now isn’t listening to her concerns. So, she is done. Also, he sat on her purse. Damn – Adrian, getting inside the lady’s palates and their minds and spicing everything up on Below Deck.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]