As I sat down for this week’s episode of Below Deck Mediterranean, I had one distinctly iconic Bravo-ism flash through my mind. “Please don’t let it be about Tom.” I just couldn’t handle the thought of having to sit through another week of Chef Tom Checketts‘ temper tantrums and histrionics taking center stage. I’ve ranted about them. I’ve railed against them. I’ve written about them ad naseum for what feels like the entire back half of the season now. And the Bravo gods seemed to hear my plaintive cries because, for the first time in Bravo history, it wasn’t about Tom.
Instead, we were treated to a full hour of Jessica More and Rob Westergaard‘s boatmance completely unraveling in the space of a single day. We’ve known since the pair’s first appearances on Watch What Happens Live that this was coming. But as the season inched toward its end, I was starting to wonder when we’d see the sinking of the ship rather than just the iceberg from 100 miles away. Err, kilometers? Knots? Whatever the unit of distance between ships and icebergs is to complete this apt metaphor for the couple’s doomed love affair.
It turns out the catalyst for the implosion was the butt grab heard ’round the Wellington. Last week, Jessica claimed to see Aesha Scott grab Rob‘s butt as they posed for a picture with the charter guests ahead of their excursion to Sóller. The editors even provided slo-mo flashback evidence of what the stew thought she saw from the aft deck. But let’s be clear: this is something Aesha definitively did not do, camera footage or otherwise. At most, she accidentally brushed Rob’s butt with her hand after putting her arm around him for the picture. Aesha is sometimes a lot for me to handle, but the camera footage clearly shows she’s innocent. Even Rob claims he has a “sensitive bum” and didn’t feel a thing.
However, this doesn’t stop Jess from fully rampaging around the boat while Aesha and Rob are ashore with the guests. She’s on a warpath, threatening to physically “beat [Aesha’s] ass” for laying a hand on her man-property, and not even Bugsy Drake can calm her down. In fact, Jess is so angry that Bugsy’s actually freaked out by the aggression. She hopes ruefully that Jess doesn’t singlehandedly destroy the interior team on the last day of the last charter, but all signs point to the opposite happening. And while Aesha may be blameless, it certainly doesn’t look good watching her get chummy with Rob during their outing into Sóller. They banter. They kind of flirt. She commands him to lick her condensed milk-flavored ice cream. He playfully jokes that she called herself “dense.” And eventually they get so wrapped up in their banter that they lose track of the guests entirely. But none of that means Aesha purposely grabbed Rob’s butt.
Once they get the guests back to the boat, Jess wastes no time in confronting Aesha in the galley. Naturally, Aesha is taken completely aback by the accusation, insisting it’s some sort of misunderstanding. She then apologizes profusely for offending Jess, even if accidentally. Three or four times, in fact. But Jess refuses to let the issue go. Instead, she doubles down by calling Aesha “disrespectful.” Then she storms off to pick a fight with Rob over the butt grab on the bow. Rob also tells her she’s overreacting and being dramatic. (I bet you can guess how well that goes over.) He also shoots out that he wants someone fun and free, and this drama is not what he signed up for.
Thankfully, the fight is interrupted by the charter guests. This whole time Jess was supposed to be clearing the table for dinner service. But instead, she doesn’t answer any of Bugsy‘s calls on the radio. Which forces the chief stew to search the boat for her and prompts a much-needed pep talk. Bugsy wants Jess to finish the charter season strong, but the third stew literally could not care less. C’mon Jess! There’s literally one day left. Meanwhile Rob turns to Captain Sandy Yawn for advice. In her office, he reveals he wants to transition into the engineering part of yachting and Sandy throws him a lifeline. After the charter ends, The Wellington is making a crossing to the Bahamas. Participating would give Rob enough hours to earn his certification. And now he has an open invitation if he wants one.
At the same time, Aesha is down in her cabin venting to an unnamed friend on the phone. This drama out of nowhere with Jess has pushed her over the edge. Via confessional, she declares that she’s maybe kinda sorta done with yachting. She just wants to be home with her family of bushpigs instead of cleaning toilets and making beds. However, all I could think of during this conversation was how amazing it would’ve been if Hannah Ferrier had been on the other end of the line. I mean, right? How perfect would that have been? Guess we’ll have to wait until the reunion to see the chief stew again.
After a sunset cruise, in which Malia White informs a tender full of disappointed moms that Alex Radcliffe has a thing for Bugsy, the final dinner of the season arrives. And the theme is silent disco, which means sparkles, sequins and only one plate sent back for violating a no-beef preference sheet. And even Tom handles that minor catastrophe without flying into a blind rage. So good for him, I guess? The rest of the night passes mostly without incident, as the guests enjoy dancing around in headphones, probably to avoid music licensing fees for Bravo
However, by the next morning, Rob and Jess seem to wake up in yet another epic fight. You guys. It’s the very last day of the entire charter season. Could you not keep it together for just a few more hours? It’s honestly hard to understand what they’re even arguing about at this point. Rob says they’re both making conscious efforts to hurt the other person. Jess fires back that they’re both blowing this out of proportion, but that mostly he is this time. Rob warns he’s triggered and shutting down. Jess tearfully says she’s scared to love him anymore (remember we’re on week three of their relationship). And with that, Rob walks right out of the room into the first mate’s cabin and announces he’s definitely in for the crossing. Say goodbye to Bali, because it looks like Jess will be going on her own.
TELL US – ARE YOU SURPRISED ROB AND JESS ARE IMPLODING? WAS AESHA TO BLAME AT ALL? SHOULD ROB DO THE CROSSING OR GO TO BALI?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]