Last night’s Below Deck was brought to you by booze and the patriarchy, which, as history has shown us time and time again, is a terrible combination. Luckily we had Rhylee Gerber to be a good counterbalance! Well, kinda.
After a short easy charter of moms wanting to relive their glory days chasing
Captain Lee The Grateful Dead, Captain Lee rewards the crew with a mid-season skip day. Usually this means binge drinking at a touristy resort, but Thailand’s added bonus means they get to spend an additional afternoon off at an elephant sanctuary.
Someone at Bravo obviously though the Real Housewives Of Dallas were too prissy or untrustworthy to handle the good stuff because they barely got to toss an elephant a cracker while the Below Deck crew got to literally SWIM with elephants and bathe their babies. Of course they are used to manual labor and tools. I wouldn’t trust Kameron Westcott with a hair dryer let alone a scrub brush, so perhaps this was Bravo’s way to avoid subjecting endangered, majestic animals to additional abuse?
RELATED – Below Deck Episode Recap: Jelly Fish
Anyway, the second she laid eyes on a baby elephant Courtney Skippon forgot Brian de Saint Pern even existed. Talk about a trunk worth going gaga over! While Courtney is distracted, Rhylee is ready to pounce. She is a feminism’s natural predator.
Obviously we can’t just spend a day frolicking with elephants without some advance drama, so I supposed I’m required by recap law to back up and lay the groundwork for what is to come (AE – After Elephants) by revealing what happened BE (Before Elephants).
First Kate Chastain finished her argument with Simone Mashile. Basically Kate finished Simone. The gist of it is that Simone wants to be second stew because that’s her title, but she can’t actually DO second stew and that’s her problem. Simone has been demoted to laundry because that’s what Simone can do. Instead of heeding Kate’s advice to stop talking about interior problems with the rest of the crew, Simone starts crying after Kate goes to bed and confides to Rhylee about their argument. Rhylee isn’t surprised because biting people’s heads off is how Kate does crisis management. Rhylee is correct: Kate, bless her heart, has many many strengths as a chief stew, but giving and receiving criticism is not one them.
RELATED – Below Deck Star Captain Lee Rosbach Says Simone Mashile Is In “Way Over Her Head” As Second Stew
With that little pep talk Rhylee’s good deeds are done. In the uber to the elephants she is all too eager to inform Simone that Tanner Sterback is kissing and telling… everyone she’s stingy in bed. Simone is horrified. Now that would be enough to never speak to Tanner again, but instead Simone decides she’s ready to conquer communication the adult way (maybe Kate has taught her something!) and decides to talk to Tanner about boundaries. TALK being the operative word, because action speaks louder than words!
All of that BS is mildly irrelevant when the real problem is that something seriously amiss crawled up Kevin Dobson‘s shorts. Was it a seafood extravaganza? Lots of crabbiness? The ‘extra’ was certainly there! Kevin has decided Kate is Valor Enemy No 1 and is on a rampage to make Kate cede to his arrogant toxic masculinity if he’s forced to pour all the rose on her bed while bellowing Taylor Swift revenge songs to do it.
Everyone is waiting to leave for the elephants and Kate and Rhylee take their sweet old time doing makeup and hair. Kevin’s irritation simmers, and is instigated by Ashton Pienaar complaining that Kate is rude. Actually I don’t know which came first: the misogynistic Kevin or the misogynistic Ashton. Is it really that big of a deal to wait 10 minutes for Kate to have good hair? Girl is fighting epic Thai humidity against naturally frizz-prone locks! Furthermore Rhylee took longer but the guys were only complaining about Kate. And the reason is that Kate doesn’t treat them like the little man-babies they are; coddling them, shining them on, flirting with them, and humoring their awesome, amazing s0-called manliness.
Kevin is also frustrated because Kate put extra wine in the galley fridge which he feels fully belongs to him. Without consulting Kate, Kevin had Courtney take it all out, but then Kate insists on putting it back in – shoving it in the back, which is where Kevin can also shove his opinions. Then Kate points out that Kevin has beers stored in the upstairs fridge.. Or “my fridge,” as Kate calls it. Hypocrisy much?
The elephants day goes wonderfully. No drama, no animus – nothing but animal love, but the very second they step back on Valor, Simone decides it’s time to talk to Tanner about appropriate behavior when having sexual relations. Yo know the stuff you learn in high school sex-ed! Tanner is polite and seems receptive to Simone’s concerns, but then immediately runs to Ashton, Kevin, and Brian to complain about Simone expecting him to behave decently. They decide Rhylee is to blame for not knowing if she wants to be a a girl or a boy. She clearly can’t be one of the guys – aka a deckhand – if she’s going to be breaking bro-code to let a hoe know. Was this seriously happening? Please tell me grown men do not behave this way. And if they do, please tell me that Tinder is in revolt and only lesbian relationships are allowed.
To cope with someone having expectations that he will not be a dickwad douchebag, Tanner got completely trashed BY HIMSELF. So drunk he doesn’t even remember sending Simone a booty call text from down the hall of the crew mess. And of course she immediately ran to his bed and climbed right in. SIMONE, seriously?! Only Brian had the decency to not defend Tanner, but of course that is because Courtney currently has his nutsuck in her purse, wrapped in a Hermes scarf. That is truly the safest place for them because otherwise all the testosterone from weight lifting might turn him into Smashton.
With all this simmering, and Kevin rocking a massive inferiority complex that no one wants his dad bod, we know the resort day is going to go swimmingly. All relaxation, revitalization and rejuvenation, right?! WRONG.
First the guys are unhappy that they must, again, wait for Kate and Rhylee. Then there is Kevin being Kevin, complaining about things Kevin makes up in his mind to complain about. At the resort Kate and Rhylee basically isolate themselves, in the shade, to observe the male rituals from afar.
In Rhylee’s case she is observing Brian from all angles and from all angles he is Grade-A sexy beef so she concocts a plan, inspired by paleo pizza, to steal him from Courtney like a carb from a carrot. Courtney gets so nervous she strides over to wear the boys are playing pool, to stake her claim. Rhylee passive-aggressively waves from underneath Kate’s umbrella, and in response Courtney Betty Draper pageant waves before wrapping her arm around Brian.
Rhylee is just irritated that if Courtney has possession of Brian she will be left with Ashton, who is old news, or Kevin has who has dad bod and the personality of a prune.
Meanwhile Simone knows no such thing as this subtlety. In the pool she surgically attaches herself to Tanner until he FaceTimes his mom to ask if this is what she was warning him about. Kate marvels that Simone is somehow able to adeptly master these people skills, when she can’t even open a bottle of wine.
Simone thought she had her bases covered until some poolside hoochies arrived to gyrate on floating pods wearing heels and cocktail dresses. It was mid-afternoon and the only people present were associated with Below Deck so I assume the producers scrounged up these yacht girls from another boat and promised they may have a shot getting on Vanderpump Rules if they let Ashton and Tanner dry hump their legs. Tanner dances like your worst college freshman frat boy on Long Island Tea Tuesday and Ashton, well, he does Ashton. Ashton/Smashton — put it all away.
Simone is furious that Tanner ditched her to go grind on some pool floozy, even though when he asked Simone if she cared, she told him no. Simone spends the rest of the day sulking while Tanner spends the rest of the day getting obliterated and complaining that he’s being yelled at for making Simone sulk. Courtney and Brian spend the remainder of their day providing couples counseling to the non-couple who are acting like your college roommate’s annual Saturday night breakup with her boyfriend. I mean it was exhausting at 20 and I’m not even gonna tell you how exhausting it is in today’s age (but today IS my birthday!!) Shouldn’t Courtney be more focused on handling Brian like he’s an elephant?
And Brian is desperately trying to get in Courntey’s … purse(?) by playing the role of the mature, sensible man so he calmly informs Tanner that his actions are not OK because he is hurting Simone. Did Courtney write a script for him on her iPhone? Unfortunately the very second Brian is out of Courtney’s sight, Kevin pounces to complain that Kate is being annoying by ignoring them all to pout in the corner of her beach towel so they have to stand united as men to let her know that her duty is to make them feel good about themselves. So who thinks Kevin is a member of an Incel group on Reddit?! He’s leader of this pack of flaccid dicks, at any rate!
This all has Brian thinking that yeah, maybe Kate is kind of a bitch. Brian should continue to let Courtney do all his thinking for him.
Before they leave the club for dinner Kevin proceeds to lecture Kate on how paying a bar tab works. Kate calmly reminds him that he is usually passed out when she pays his for him, then offers to pay him to stop speaking to her. Does Incel accept Venmo?
Dinner is a disaster of Simone and Tanner and eveony chasing them around the restaurant to see who is upsetting whom. Apparently if Tanner sits next to Simone at dinner it will fix everything. The only person behaving normally is Rhylee. Who happens to be agreeably sitting next to Kevin.
RELATED – Captain Lee Rosbach Says It Was “In Extremely Poor Taste” When Tanner Sterback Shared Details About Hookup With Simone Mashile On Below Deck
Then all hell breaks loose on the van ride home. Kate jokingly calls Brian a “yachtie” and he, for some reason, takes this as an insult. After nicely asking her not to do it, Brian spazzes and calls Kate a bitch. Now, I think all of this was obviously exacerbated by alcohol and Kate’s reaction stemmed largely from feeling targeted by Kevin. I’m gonna give Brian a slight pass because maybe he was recovering from high-dose antibiotics, which shouldn’t be mixed with sun or alcohol. Still calling a woman a bitch is NOT OK! Expecting your kinda, sorta, girlfriend/mommy to defend you for calling her boss (and yours) a bitch is basically Kevin putting his flaccid dick in a wine bottle not OK. It’s Tanner promising his mommy he won’t knock up a Thai prostate after the ping pong show NOT OK. It’s just really super NOT OK all around.
Kate is so angry she hops out of the van while it is still inching to a stop and storms to the boat where the first person she sees is Captain Lee. At the crew mess table Kate fumes behind an enormous mountain of uniform laundry. As Captain Lee watches on, Kate calmly asks what size pants he wears then throws all the others on the floor. Ashton flips out and directs his rage at Kate for disrespecting the captain. Even after Kate informs him that her anger stems from the way one of his deck crew spoke to her. So rank this, buster!
To his credit Brian did come out to apologize. I’m hopeful that he will soberly and formally apologize at a more convenient time, but that was a start. We know Courtney was behind him using finger puppets to explain how it’s done, because someone has to be the voice of reason. Plus the drama with Kate was hogging up the kitchen, and Courtney needed to get in there for her midnight snack.
Captain Lee knows that reasoning with drunks ain’t happening, so he’s saving his lectures for the morning when they’re all nice and hungover and can really feel the effect.
Meanwhile Ashton heads to the aft deck where he rants to Kevin and Tanner about what a bitch Kate is, and complains that she is the common denominator in everything that goes wrong with the group. Um, wasn’t it Rhylee last week? Hmmmm…
Look, Kate isn’t the friendliest fish in the sea, but she’s professional and gets her job done. Wanting to relax in the shade instead of playing beer pong doesn’t make her an elitist ice queen, it makes her a woman who is tired and wants to unwind. If they all hate her so much why are they pressed that Kate doesn’t want to spend time with them?
TELL US – WAS BRIAN OUT OF LINE OR DID KATE OVERREACT? SHOULD SIMONE GIVE TANNER A SECOND CHANCE?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]