This season of Below Deck is a total and utter clusterf–k! The crew isn’t getting along, the guests continue to be disappointed by something each week, and now we can add equipment malfunctions to the lists. Good times!
After Kate Chastain sorted laundry on the crew mess floor in front of Captain Lee Rosbach, who seriously looked on as impassively as if he was an insomniac flicking through informercials at 3am, Ashton Pienaar blows a gasket about how Kate treating the crew so callously has created a culture where no one wants to work with her. Really?
Kate is so upset she bursts into tears and winds up falling asleep sobbing as Rhylee Gerber strokes her back and covers her. Which was sweet. Have we ever seen emotions other than anger for Kate? Have we entered a new dimension?
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Exactly when has Kate alienated herself from the entire crew to deserve this sudden wash of hatred? It seems to me that Kevin Dobson treats the entire crew with disrespect, but when Kate has pressed back against him he’s retaliated by badmouthing her to the deckhands, thus creating that very culture of disrespect and animosity Ashton is complaining about. Anyway, Brian de Saint Pern is the one who called Kate a bitch, over what amounted to nothing, but at least he apologized.
Everyone goes to bed – in theory – but around 1am, Tanner Sterback texts Simone Mashile to come to his room. Of course Simone is just up and waiting for his call! This also gives Brian the opportunity to make-up with Courtney Skippon by sneaking into her room to apologize for being nasty when she took Kate’s side over his. As if there was a question there. At least Simone knows she is pathetic (and really she IS pathetic).
The next morning everyone is so hungover they can’t breathe and Kate worst of all. Of course Captain Lee wants to talk first thing. Ashton whines that Kate always gets a pass from Captain Lee, but as Lee explains it, Kate has been working for him for 5 years with little incident, and so they’ve built up … um, maybe you could call it “respect”! Anyway, Kate is contrite, and Captain Lee warns her never again – until next week!
Then it’s time for Kate to start doling out her revenge. First she is sweeter than honey to Kevin. The exhaust fan is suddenly broken in the galley and I keep wondering if Kate calmly and cooly took one of her many wine openers and nail files to viciously stab it until the only thing it emits is the stale air of a hangover fart.
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Next Kate hands Courtney her second stew stripes… right in front of Simone. I can’t tell if Simone was demoted, or there are now just two second stews. Simone is stewing (*ha*), but she’s figured out that two can play this game, so she says nothing then uses her break time to call her mom to whisper-vent, AMSR-style, about how passive-aggressive Kate is. Is Kate passive-aggressive? Sure, but Courtney and Rhylee are the only people treating her with respect, so you gotta rally your troops.
Later things get worse for Simone when she is trapped in the laundry and Tanner informs her that they’re keeping things casual. Simone agrees, but reminds him that casual still means treating each other kindly. So Tanner immediately goes to Ashton to grumble about how she’s trying to trap him in a relationship. Tanner thinks it’s lame that Simone got jealous of him bumping and grinding with the pool floozy at the resort. Ashton, of course, completely agrees. These guys are such TOOLS!!
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Lastly Kate has a tense meeting with Ashton, where she presumes he will be apologizing for provoking her and not addressing Brian’s disrespect of her seniority. Instead Ashton whines that Kate and Rhylee take too long getting ready and therefore she deserved his Smashton tantrums.
I basically think Ashton is pissy with Kate for being so nice to Rhylee when he doesn’t want her back. Also Ashton wants to be pissed at Rhylee for taking eons to get ready, but it’s not worth poking that bee. In fact Ashton is terrified of that hornets nest – no honey comes out there – so he’s projecting onto Kate. Or who knows? Remember when we all loved him last season?
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Then it’s time for the charter – featuring Master Pearson from last season! He was the precocious little boy who ate five-star food like a trained monkey. Look I don’t really care about cute kids or a charter catered around cute kids acting like mini-adults, but sure these kids are adorable. This was also the group that got Chandler fired after he dropped one on a cement dock, and didn’t clean up a broken glass, resulting in Pearson cutting his foot. Anyway, the pressure is on to wow to redeem their experience last season, but right from teh start things aren’t going well.
The only thing that can be done about Kevin’s broke extractor fan is putting up a good old fashioned menopause-relieving oscillating fan in the galley. At one point Kate is holding one, pointing it like Kevin as if she’s a PA on a late-80’s hair band music video. Pour some oscillating air on me… in the name of hate! Anyway without an extractor, Kevin is limited to what he can cook, which is a problem considering that these guests expect Michelin Star!
Also the primary’s parents live in Thailand, where he was raised so his wife is sneaking the parents on board for a surprise beach party and dinner. Which means the crew needs to accommodate both children and the elderly. Well, we all know this will go phenomenally! NOT.
Seconds before the guests arrival Captain Lee gets an email from the resort about the crews rowdy behavior – specifically someone doing cannon balls in the pool, accusing them of damaged the DJ equipment. Now they want compensation. This is all SO set-up and ridiculous. Of course the drunk buffoon doing cannon balls was Ashton. He promises to pay for it, and it’s done and dusted. Ashton didn’t even seem upset and neither did Captain Lee. Also what sort of beach resort doesn’t have a water shield around their DJ equipment, or have the DJ on a raised platform? Please see Las Vegas (or Vanderpump Rules) for how to handle pool parties.
Anyway, yeah Smashton is an asston. He decides to personally apologize to each crew member, to show how a superior should behave in a difficult situation, and when Ashton gets to Kate she makes a joke that his cannon balls were just releasing pent up anger from waiting for her and Rhylee. Instead of laughing as he would’ve, you know LAST WEEK, Ashton takes this as another sign that Kate is an undermining bitch and whines about her to Kevin. Do we think Kevin is playing tapes in their room at night that repeatedly implant evil thoughts about Kate into Ashton’s dreams? Where is this sudden hatred coming from? Is it because she rebuffed him when he was drunk and horny? It all seems so… sudden.
Then the guests arrive, and it’s one fiasco after another. First, there are jellyfish, which means ocean activities can’t happen unless they install some sort of net barrier pool. The pool is impossible and requires all four deck crew working at a feverish pace and biting their tongues as Rhylee tries to boss them around. They finally get it into the water, and the guests use it for 45 minutes before the crew spends 2 hours putting it away. This is on top of all the other toys.
Brian is tense about all the extra work and makes a joke calling Rhylee “Captain Obvious” when she keeps warning him the pool is slippery. Now, the one thing bout Rhylee is she cannot CANNOT, ABSOLUTELY CANNOT, take teasing. Later when Brian gets snippy with her again over putting the pool away, and she almost bites his head off. Ashton warns Brian that he needs to do everything in his power to submerge his comments or he will be swimming in open water with Rhylee’s jelly fish stingers!
Rhylee unloads to Kate that she doesn’t understand how someone so fuckable – Brian – can make her so angry. She should just be able to stare at him and all her rage will dissipate, right?! I personally think it’s because Rhylee wants to fuck Brian, and he is not interested, that Rhylee feels so rageful towards him. Brian is a little snarky with her, but it seems no different than how he treats the rest of the crew – equal treatment being something Rhylee keeps insisting she wants.
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Over lunch one of the guests finds a hair in their cheese. It’s not Kevin’s hair, so he blames the stews. Obviously.
Kevin is already frustrated that his cooking is inhibited by the fan and now knows he’s lost the guests’ trust with a bad first impression. For dinner a traditional Thai dancer is brought on board for a surprise performance, but that did little to distract them from their dissatisfaction with the main course. Kevin made pineapple fried rice in mini pineapples with pork skewers. Now I get what he was thinking: this would be fun for the kids, as well as simple and tasty, plus he’s working without a fan and trying to minimize smells and smoke. Sadly one of the guests, who considers himself a wine snob and foodie (cause people like that are always a blast), calls the food subpar. Kate informs Kevin that they want him to step it up. Why can’t they get someone in to fix the fan?!
The next day things do not improve. The plan for the day is the surprise grandparent, visit followed by a beach party. While the guests are out, Kevin and Kate will prepare a gourmet lunch served family-style, where the table will be heaped with tons of dishes for their return. It all sounds lovely.
The kids are thrilled to see their grandparents, and they arrived without incident. Unfortunately as Ashton was taking the first round of guests to the beach he decided against going through with the picnic citing high waves and a rocky shore. Ashton claims he’s worried about the kids and elderly grandparents getting hurt, but I think he just didn’t want the hassle of having to cater to all these extra elements. The guests are super disappointed. Captain Lee trusts Ashton’s judgement but Kate and Kevin are annoyed. Namely because now Kevin will be searing fish as the guests are on board, and also the peach party was on the preference sheet and letting the guests down equals lower tip!
The deck crew is also annoyed because they now have to rush to put all the water toys out – including the dreaded pool! Apparently Rhylee is using fishing knots to tie off lines, and at critical moments the other deckhands can’t get them undone fast enough. Ashton appears to have no patience in teaching Rhylee the correct knots. Basically everyone’s stress level is on DefCon 5, and it’s Ashton’s fault for canceling the beach party.
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As the guests wait for both lunch and activity, the galley fills with smoke while Kevin cooks. Everyone freaks out about the smell and the discomfort. No amount of Kate oscillating can solve the problem, but what can Kevin do? It’s either less exciting food, or suffer through smoke inhalation damage? I actually feel sorry for Kevin on this point.
TELL US – DOES KATE DESERVE THE CREW’S WRATH? IS CAPTAIN LEE TOO EASY ON KATE?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]