Well, well, well. It’s only the third episode of Below Deck Mediterranean and we already have an interior war on our hands. Last week ended with a standoff between Hannah Ferrier and Lara Flumiani, with the chief stew calling Captain Sandy Yawn in to mediate in the standoff with her subordinate second stew. And this week picks up right where we left off in the heat of the battle.
At first, Captain Sandy cuts Hannah off, telling her to let Lara speak, but the captain eventually sides with Hannah after hearing the second stew’s side of the story. In my eyes, it’s a classic Below Deck story. Basically, Hannah is angry at Lara for having an attitude about every little thing and Lara is angry at Hannah for she’s being spoken to. It seems like every season, on every franchise, this issue boils down to one thing: developing an effective management style. However, as much as Hannah’s lack of leadership would probably grate on me too, Lara certainly takes her attitude problem to another level. And it’s only been one charter!
In the interest of conflict mediation, Captain Sandy asks Lara for a “reset” with Hannah. And while the two stews don’t exactly hug it out, the captain makes one thing clear: Lara doesn’t have to respect Hannah as a person. (I mean, does Sandy?) But she does have to respect the boat hierarchy. And oh, leave the attitude in the cabin.
With that drama turned back down to a simmer, the crew spends the rest of the day preparing the Wellington for the next charter. Or, if you’re Jessica More, you spend the day laying around in a bikini while the deck crew ogles over you. In her confessional, the third stew insists she’s one of those girls who’s both smart AND pretty. See, she even reads fiction like The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
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To deckhand Rob Westergaard, the book only adds to his “fucking delicious” attraction to Jessica. Meanwhile, Pete Hunziker is busy flirting with Lara in the crew mess by showing off his endless litany of gym selfies. Looks like the two deckhand/stew pairings are in a race to see who will be the first boatmance of the season.
Once the workday is finished, the crew shed their uniforms and head out for a night out on the Mallorcan town. At dinner, Alex Radcliffe attempts to say something nice about working under a female boss for what sounds to be the first time in his life. However, leave it to Pete to bungle the moment with his fragile masculinity. Piggy-backing off Alex’s comment, the deckhand tells a heartwarming story about being inspired by the local Dominos lady in his hometown. Apparently this woman owned seven franchises. And that fact inspired young Situation Lite because if a woman could accomplish something, well then he certainly could.
Cue the record scratch. In the words of Malia White, “Wait, what?” But this Jersey Shore castoff’s misogyny runs so deep, he doesn’t even see what’s wrong with what he said. And therein lies the problem for Malia to deal with all season. As the show’s first female bosun, I admire her but don’t envy her position in such a toxic work culture.
At the club post-dinner Hannah and Chef Kiko Lorran bond over their relationships. Oh, and their mutual hatred of Lara, of course. Meanwhile, Sweet Pete is cozying up to the second stew again, which…just gross. However, Lara also overhears Hannah badmouthing her to Kiko, which leads to an interesting chat with Malia.
Surprisingly, the bosun goes to bat for her frenemy, telling Lara that if she was a deckhand, Malia would’ve fired her already. This is shocking for a number of reasons. Most of all that Malia and Hannah…seem to be on the same team this season? Maybe Captain Sandy‘s girl power dreams are rubbing off? Maybe their leadership roles have put the two on equal footing in a way they weren’t during Season 2? Either way, back in their bunk, Hannah asks Malia to help “keep her sane.” Since Sandy refused to fire Lara, the chief stew will just have to cope with her subordinate’s attitude.
Or…not? The next morning, the crew arises to prep for their second charter. Malia is greeted with another “Hi, sweetie” from Pete. Alex is six minutes late for the morning deckhand meeting. And Lara is…nowhere to be found. Is the second stew playing some sort of twisted game of hide and seek? Radioing her seems futile since she’s not responding to Hannah. With just an hour and a half before the charter, Lara finally radios Sandy to reveal she snuck off the boat in the middle of the night. And apparently has been sitting on the dock for the past six hours?
When Sandy tries to get Lara to come back onto The Wellington, the second stew refuses. Instead, she makes the captain come to her. According to Lara, she no longer feels comfortable on the boat because of Hannah, and is quitting. Like, right now. Ninety minutes before the second charter. What is this girl thinking?? In her confessional, Lara explains that sometimes you have to choose between a job and your happiness. And she’s choosing her happiness.
Which comes at the expense of Pete‘s, who spends the next two hours crying over Lara’s departure. (Probably mostly because he never got to hook up with her.) But in the words of Alex, “you knew her for 12 hours!” Come on, dude. And just like that, Lara exits Below Deck Med without another word after just two and a half episodes. That has to be some type of record for the entire franchise. And now Captain Sandy is stuck calling the crew staffing agency (a.k.a Bravo casting?) to find a last-minute second stew.
So the crew is going a man down into the second charter, which happens to be for Roy Orbison, Jr. You know, son of the late, great rock musician Roy Orbison. And for some inexplicable reason, he’s bringing a member of ’90s Swedish pop juggernauts Ace of Base with him, along with his wife, two adorable kids and their nanny. The Wellington leaves for Cala Llamp and while the seas are quite choppy, the crew’s energy is all good. As Kiko explains, now that Lara‘s gone, there’s nothing to worry about.
The chef knocks both meals out of the park on the first day. The Orbisons and Mr. Ace of Base love Kiko‘s Spanish tapas, even with Sandy constantly hovering over him in the kitchen. Hannah is pulled in a million different directions. With one less stew, she’s responsible for service, watching the toddler on board AND organizing the dinner music. (Spoiler: she forgets the pair of Mallorcan musicians down in the crew mess.) Meanwhile, the deck crew struggles with the giant inflatable slide — and with respecting Malia‘s orders about where to put it.
However, the next round of inter-boat politics doesn’t come to a head until the next day, when Pete‘s morning “Hi, sweetheart” sends Malia over the edge and right into Captain Sandy‘s bridge. Naturally, Sandy doesn’t take too kindly to the lead deckhand condescending to her favorite female bosun. But rather than tell Malia to put Pete in his place, she calls an emergency deckhand meeting. To the two beefheads and beautiful, quiet Rob, the message is clear: respect the ladies. Malia’s not your sweetheart. Captain Sandy is not your friend. And if you have a problem with it, you can get off the boat right now.
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TELL US – ARE YOU SURPRISED LARA QUIT SO SOON INTO THIS SEASON OF BELOW DECK MEDITERRANEAN? DO YOU UNDERSTAND MALIA’S FRUSTRATIONS WITH PETE’S MISOGYNY?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]