Welcome back to Below Deck Sailing Yacht, where Barrie Drewitt-Barlow and his family have permanently taken over Parsifal. At least that’s what it feels like, considering this is the third week in a row we’ve been subjected to them on our screens. This family is never leaving the boat. They’ve complained about hollandaise sauce. The kids have competed for Louis Vuitton shoes. Last week’s episode ended with the male crew members in drag. All caught up? Good. Because we have one more episode of the twisted Brady Bunch to get through…
Bright and early the morning after the drag dinner, it’s day three of the charter. Or four. Or six. Or sixteen. Honestly, don’t ask me, I’ve completely lost track. All I know is this is the charter that never ends and this family needs to get off the boat. It’s also Barrie’s ex-husband’s birthday, so a full afternoon of water sports are in order. But not until after a breakfast of beans on toast for everyone! That’s something Natasha De Bourg can do better than poaching an egg. What she still can’t do, it seems, is deliver what she promises to the guests. This time being a cotton candy machine for the birthday dinner. The chef takes all of ten minutes trying to make candy floss, as she calls it, before calling it quits and walking away. No cotton candy for you, Tony!
During breakfast service, Daisy Kelliher also pulls Gary King aside for a quick chat. With nine guests on board, she recognizes that the interior will need some extra help to successfully close out this charter. It’s what she’s been saying all along. And Gary congenially agrees that the deck team can pitch in. But he’s telling a completely different story in his talking heads, saying he’s too busy and shouldn’t have to help. Gary’s bad attitude about helping the interior is a bit odd to me. Sure, you may not like doing dishes. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bosun or first mate so reluctant to lend a the interior a hand before.
It’s also the day of Barrie’s proposal. This makes him even more terrible for stealing the thunder on his ex-husband’s birthday. To provide the most picturesque setting in all of Croatia for the special moment, Captain Glenn Shephard heads to the port of Hvar. The seaside town is breathtaking, but it’s also very busy with marine traffic. Which makes anchoring a giant sailing yacht a bit of a tight squeeze. However, the deck crew manages to pull off the maneuver seamlessly, led by Gary. Say what you will about the first officer, but he certainly seems to be good at his job.
For dinner, Natasha is serving surf and turf, while Alli Dore and Sydney Zaruba set up Barrie’s secret proposal on the fly bridge. Daisy‘s instructions were to push the decor ten percent past tacky, which mostly involves lots of rose petals and flickering candles. The chief stew wanted to pull out all the stops for the birthday/proposal. But those stops did not include the cotton candy machine, according to Natasha. And guess what? Barrie notices when the promised dessert “fails to materialize.” And all Daisy can do is smile, apologize and try to distract the guests with drinks. All while seething internally that Natasha dropped yet another ball that makes the entire crew look bad. If you can’t deliver cotton candy, don’t promise cotton candy!
After singing “Happy Birthday” to his ex-husband, Barrie pulls his future husband away from the group for the big proposal. And honestly? The whole thing feels very forced and majorly awkward if you ask me. Scott can barely look Barrie in the eye. Though maybe he was just couldn’t take his eyes off the massive diamond ring in Barrie’s hand? And it doesn’t help that Daisy rather hilariously pops the cork of the champagne before he’s even given Barrie an answer. But of course he says yes, and it’s time to celebrate with the whole family. Including his ex-girlfriend (and future stepdaughter) Saffron. Who promptly does what anyone would do after her ex-boyfriend gets engaged to her dad: drink herself to oblivion until she’s throwing up lobster in the bathroom.
But it seems the love in the air is contagious for everyone but Saffron. Once the guests go to bed, Dani Soares and Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux are on the late shift together. And spend a chunk of it making out in the stairwell. And then the galley! While Jean-Luc’s supposed to be doing dishes. Both are all kinds of giddy and smiley in their confessionals about the other, though Dani openly wonders what she’s doing hooking up with someone so much younger than her. (She’s 32, he’s 24.) But still, it looks like the first real boatmance of the season is under way!
The morning — day four, apparently — is departure day for the Drewitt-Barlow family. Hallelujah. But not before a lunch of pad thai and red curry. Oh and a little sailing. In the middle of lunch service. Asking Natasha to prep a Thai feast for the guests while the boat heels at a precipitous angle seems cruel. But I guess that’s just part of the job. And at least we get to see her scramble and freak out as everything in the galley threatens to come crashing down. She finally gets a compliment from Barrie on the food. Though once they’re docked, she realizes the door to her and Dani‘s cabin is jammed shut thanks to the mid-day sail. Classic sailing life.
The family of nine finally say goodbye, and the crew can’t wait to see the backs of them. Though Daisy admits that, while she hated Barrie and co., eventually she learned to love them. However she may want to take that back once the crew sits down for the tip meeting. First there’s a minor dust-up between the chief stew and the exterior over being willing to help out the interior department, per her earlier conversation with Gary. Except this time, Colin Macrae steps in and argues that sometimes he’s too busy doing his job as chief engineer to play support staff for every other department on the boat. Which is understandable given his unique job among the crew. But really, when have you ever not seen a deckhand pitch in and wash a dish on any given season in Below Deck history?
As for the tip? It’s bad news. Barrie left a tip of $15,000. Which totals out to roughly $1,660 per person. For a four day/three night charter. It’s disappointingly measly, particularly considering how high maintenance the guests were. Truthfully, though, there’s only one person to blame for the low tip, and all eyes are on Natasha. Bet you’re rethinking that cotton candy machine now, huh? And there’s more bad news. The next charter pickup is…the following day. So not only does the crew have to turn Parsifal around in less than 24 hours, they don’t even get a proper night off.
Not that that’s going to keep them from unwinding just a little. For Natasha, that means decompressing in her cabin alone. For Jean-Luc, it’s going to bed early. But the drinks start flowing for the rest of the crew, despite Captain Glenn‘s warning that they’ll regret partying come morning time. While Colin makes peace with Daisy on deck, Dani‘s talking Alli into having some fun with Gary down in the girls’ cabin. Heeding her fellow stew’s advice, Alli decides to get to know Gary better. But she can’t seem to do that without Sydney constantly crashing the party.
Eventually Gary, Sydney and Alli are the last three crew members up. What are the chances? And while the first officer’s sights are set squarely on the third stew, his deckhand/former one-night-stand isn’t giving up without a flirty fight. And Gary does play into it a little, toasting to the “three musketeers” while simultaneously begging Alli to tell Sydney to go to bed. Drinks are followed by shots, which are followed by more drinks. Next thing you know, it’s 2 a.m. And that’s when the trio gets the brilliant idea to go for a late-night skinny dip. That’s when the clothes start coming off as the show’s strangest throuple plummets into the Mediterranean. Loud enough to wake Captain Glenn in time for the hour to end with an ominous “To Be Continued…”
TELL US – WAS NATASHA TO BLAME FOR THE LOW TIP? ARE YOU SHIPPING DANI AND JEAN-LUC? WILL GARY, SYDNEY AND ALLI BE STUCK IN A LOVE TRIANGLE FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]