On last night’s Below Deck hair-brained deckhand Abbi Murphy up and left to sail off into her future. Actually it was more like she got dropped off at a random dock somewhere outside of Phuket with a “good luck” from Captain Lee Rosbach. Don’t double-cross this guy!
Mid-Charter Abbi starts having some sort of breakdown over the slide. Which has destroyed the soul of many a deckhand. At that moment, as if her massive red hair parted to reveal a message of clarity: it was time to leave Valor.
Ashton Pienaar is shocked, but probably also relieved. Babysitting Abbi all day was interfering with his ability to manage the rest of his team, but alas, they’ll be down a deckhand on a massive boat. Captain Lee is about the only one who seems upset, mainly because he envisions himself some sort of high seas professional development coach who can whip anyone and everyone into a yachtie.
Abbi agrees to finish off the charter, then get dropped off at the nearest port following the guests’ departure. Then Captain Lee hops on the phone to Replacements Arrrrrgh Us, Matey, to find a former Below Deck cast member who’s been sitting around as the understudy waiting for someone to bounce. The preview indicates it’s someone Ashton already knows. My money would be on Rhylee Gerber, although she recently made some really mean comments about Lee, but Bravo definitely kept any spoilers under wraps for once!
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Meanwhile, Tanner Sterback is on his deathbed. Literally. Abbi is complaining about how it’s too much work to change a t-shirt, but Tanner is violently ill right before hopping on a tender to chaperone guests at some sort of floating water park. Think Bounce It Out in the ocean. Poor Tanner. This guy is a trooper! By the time he makes it back to Valor, he literally can’t stop vomiting and Ashton sends him to his room to recuperate. With Abbi moping around, crying, that leaves Ashton and Brian de Saint Pern to handle basically all the deck responsibilities.
These guests were actually fun and easy to deal with. For their final dinner party, they requested a sort of rave party. And Captain Lee is King of the Glow Sticks. Kate Chastain has Courtney Skippon paint Ashton and Brian with day-glo body paint to serve dessert. Truly Kate just wanted a side-by-side comparison of abs. Brian wins for Best Penis Ravine in the Working Group for small-to-medium sized breeds. Kate warns Courtney that if she doesn’t jump into that ravine and go for a swim, Kate just might…
To amp up the ‘magic mushroom’ theme, Kate also makes this really bizarro cocktail of vodka, lemonade and actual mushrooms served out of buckets with mile-long straws. These guests are game for anything – even that, and even as it turns out – beef tongue! Knowing that he seriously needs to redeem himself Kevin Dobson decided to try the personality of a nice and humble guy who just really loves to cook. Captain Lee is once again joining the guests for dinner and this time he better get a main course. Perhaps Kevin was signaling that Captain Lee should bite his tongue about Kevin’s skills by serving a fillet of tongue on a cracker?
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At first, the guests are dubious but these open-minded (re: drunk) party girls ended up loving it. “Who doesn’t like tongue,” the primary cheered. And just like that Lee went from tongue lashing to tongue-tied, and Kevin is back in his good graces.
Sometimes Kevin does show glimmers of good guy-ness, like when he volunteered to help the deck crew haul the lines in as Abbi was packing for her send-off. Kevin actually did a good job, and it seems like the deck crew likes him. However, the stews see a very different side of him. Ego vs. Id, the Kevin Dobson Story!
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Speaking of, Simone Mashile is so tired of laundry. She thought she was being a team player by agreeing to compensate for Courtney’s shortcomings, but now all Simone does is laundry. Meanwhile, 3rd stew Courtney gets the more exalted position of serving guests. The bottom line is that Simone cannot mix even the simplest of drinks whereas Courtney is practically a professional bartender. So Courtney is also making up for Simone’s shortcomings.
All this time above ground, out of the laundry cave, also gives Courtney plenty of time to flirt with Brian. Courtney insists his ravine has nothing to do with her attractions. In fact, she barely noticed until his personality came busting through. I actually find Courtney’s dismissive arrogance hilarious, and good for her for acting like the chaperone at the school dance with this crew.
The next morning as the guests prepare for departure, Kate realizes Tanner still hasn’t resurfaced. She notifies Captain Lee that he’s seriously ill and to call a doctor on board. Wouldn’t that be Ashton’s responsibility? Apparently not.
Then it’s time to say goodbye to Abbi and the guests. Abbi declares that she’s a person who does what she wants and follows her passion, even if she hasn’t exactly thought through the consequences. Like realizing after resigning that she has no idea how she will get from Thailand back to Greece. Abbi was literally dropped off somewhere and told to fend for herself. We know from Instagram she made it out alive, but who knows how… (Do we want to? Did Patrik sail down to pick her up?)
RELATED – Below Deck Star Abbi Murphy Is Married!
When the doctor arrives, Tanner is diagnosed with some sort of bizarre Thai flu. The doctor who treats Tanner is far more effective than the one who showed up for that wasted charter guest Brandy. Tanner is given a shot to kill the bacterial infection and told to stay in bed to rest. He starts feeling better immediately and is bummed about missing the crew night out. I mean, he’s already puking his guts out so why not party!? Simone wishes she could stay home to nurse him back to health, but if she stayed on board she’d probably just get locked in the laundry so better to flee while Cinderella has the chance.
Before everyone hits the town, Brian takes Courtney out on a date in the tender. Courtney wears a sensible one-piece bathing suit in Baywatch red and rejects any possible advances until he lets her drive the boat back to Valor. It turns out Courtney can’t even drive a car and her ambition in life is truly to be Lady Mary of Downton Abbey. Here she is playing out her fantasies of having an affair with the chauffeur. It’s so BBC!
Courtney’s dad was in finance and her mom never worked, so her dabbling with Brian truly does seem like some sort of ‘roughing it with the help’ rebellion – just like scrubbing toilets on a yacht does. I’m kind of into this storyline, only because Courtney has dialed down her brattiness and is witty about her situation. Let’s be honest there’s no way Courtney and Brian will make it post-show, but it’s fun pretending!
That night Ashton gets irascibly drunk. He’s bitter and jealous that Courtney puts him in the same category she places Velveeta Cheese plus he’s desperate to get laid. Ashton is such a sweet guy, then he drinks, and it’s just disgusting. It’s not that he’s an asshole so much as an absolute unrepentant, standard-less, horn dog.
They all go to this bar called Library or something where there are all these books on the wall and super loud club music. Kate does her one or two dance steps, then practically whips out her spectacles to try and read some of these tomes when Ashton wanders over and literally tongue rapes her. Kate is traumatized, but also intrigued. Research people! They are in a library after all. After deducing that this particular experiment was a fail, Kate decides it’s time to change her control group by heading home to her Cheetos and her iPad where a rousing episode of Poldark can take her away.
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The whole thing was really Brain’s fault. To distract Ashton from trying to flirt with Courtney, he suggested Ashton hit on Kate. It was genius because while Ashton was embarrassing the hell out of himself, Brian leaned over and gently kissed Courtney on the lips. Courtney’s tongue remained clamped shut tighter than the neckline of her mom maxi, but he did manage to lick her filthy feet as they sat in the taxi back to the boat. How truly and honestly apt.
Back on board, Brian goes to bed while Courtney convinces Ashton to make her grilled cheese sandwiches, which she primly eats while observing his attempts to woo her with his words. This is the real amusement for her. Worth every moment in the loud, unseemly club with the blaring lights. Here Courtney is an anthropologist, watching the lower classes from among them. She is practically a WASP Jane Goodall infiltrating the servants! In order to make this a success though, Courtney has to keep Kate convinced of her inability to iron (that’s obviously not an act, though…).
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After witnessing Ashton make a fool himself by dipping sandwiches in BBQ sauce and confusing “mature” with “old” to praise her composure, Courtney swans off to bed. Ashton vents his frustrations to Kevin about how all the girls onboard are prudes. Maybe it’s you, dude!
TELL US – WHO DO YOU THINK WILL REPLACE ABBI? IS ASHTON TAKING HIS FLIRTATIONS TOO FAR?
[Photo Credits: Bravo