Anchors aweigh, JL saves the day! Who knew our boy Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux had it in him? And who knew Gary King would trust his junior deckhand with such a dangerous, potentially deadly task? (Especially one that could lead to a terrifying watery grave.) On second thought, maybe it makes sense that Gary would put JL in that position rather than risk himself. But either way, the deckhand came through in a crisis. But as always, I’m getting ahead of myself…
At the end of last week’s Below Deck Sailing Yacht, Jean-Luc was not exactly getting a heroic edit. Far from it, in fact. With the charter guests roasting atop an ancient Croatian castle, he couldn’t be bothered to stop eating dinner and bring them a few bottles of water. Instead, Gary had to rush down from the highest tower and do JL’s job for him. Before the deckhand could even find the cooler bag, Gary had made it to Parsifal and back, bragging to Daisy Kelliher that he knew he’d do the job quicker than JL.
Once the sun set, it was, thankfully, time to head back to the boat for dinner. On their way down the castle’s many (many) steps, the guests decided to ask whether Daisy and Gary were dating. Because apparently the duo’s professional chemistry is just that convincing! Or maybe there’s another layer underneath the mutual annoyance brewing between the first mate and chief stew? OK, you’re right, not in a million years. But the reaction this question got out of Gary, who broke the fourth wall to look straight into the camera, was nothing short of totally hilarious. Funniest moment of the episode by far.
During dinner, the guests requested a murder mystery party. With Daisy playing the role of the unlucky victim between serving the appetizer and main course. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure the guests had a lovely time fingering the co-primary for the faux killing. It’s just not that interesting to watch play out on TV. If anything, it’s simply confusing. Just ask Captain Glenn Shephard, who was trapped as a silent observer after the guests asked him to join them for the meal. Frankly, the only times a murder mystery party made for iconic television were during Season 10 of RHONY and that one episode of Lizzie McGuire. Take note, Bravo: there’s just no topping Carole Radziwill and Bethenny Frankel fighting over fritters. Or watching Gordo work up the nerve to finally ask Lizzie out. Like I said, iconic television.
The next morning it’s the final day of the charter. And Alli Dore decides to finally fill Daisy in on her chat with Sydney Zaruba. You know, the one where Sydney stirred up interdepartmental drama rather than take accountability for her passive-aggressive jabs toward Alli? But hearing Sydney’s complaints that the interior team never helps out, Daisy jumps to one conclusion: Gary must be the instigator. So while Natasha De Bourg is serving the guests their final Mediterranean-style breakfast, the chief stew is giving Gary the cold shoulder.
What happens next is a classic game of telephone. First Gary tries to sidle up to Daisy, but she refuses to talk to him. Then Alli warns Gary that she told Daisy what Sydney said. Which leads to Gary confronting Sydney for breaking deck code out on the bow. But Sydney doesn’t understand why she’s being berated for simply repeating Gary’s feelings. And now Gary’s wondering if he just can’t make “jokes” or complain around his underlings. And finally, Daisy drags Gary into her cabin to hash it out, with all the blame still being put on Sydney. Got it? Problem solved. Or at least swept under the rug for another episode or two. And the real lesson here? Don’t cross Daisy, the self-proclaimed Queen of Dirty Looks.
With the charter drawing to a close, Captain Glenn sets sail for Podstrana, and the boat is joined by a pod of dolphins on the bow! The moment is magical, and Sydney promises the dolphins are a sign of good things to come. Boy, is she wrong. The first problem arises when the boat reaches the dock. And it’s a major one. Somehow during docking, the boats two anchors cross. This leaves one chain wrapped twice around the other anchor and the boat in serious trouble. It’s certainly not the worst anchor knot we’ve seen in Below Deck history though, and this is where Jean-Luc swoops in on the tender to save the day. He manages to free the anchor from the chain without getting dragged to the bottom of the sea, and the boat can dock.
Once the guests disembark, the crew gathers in the main saloon for a tip meeting. Captain Glenn compliments the team for finally executing a pretty much perfect charter. And the tip of $15,000 reflects all their hard work. That’s more than $1,600 each — not bad for what was essentially 48 hours of work. And there’s even better news: after taking the boat to Split to avoid bad weather, the crew will get a proper day off the following day. Which only means one thing. It’s time to party. Captain Glenn’s arranged for the crew to have a night out at a casual dockside restaurant to celebrate. Here’s hoping this one gets better than the last time the crew shared a nice meal together. Someone just keep the knives away from Natasha…
Before they head ashore, Alli finally admits she’s “warmed up” to the idea of dating Gary, no matter how Sydney feels about it. And at dinner, she makes it obvious, openly flirting and bantering as she and Gary take cozy sunset selfies. All with Sydney sitting directly, and awkwardly, across the table. Eventually the PDA gets to be so much that she switches seats to avoid having to watch. And somehow Dani Soares finds herself in the middle of the drama, using inspirational Beyoncé lyrics in an attempt to distract the jealous deckhand.
Thankfully the party moves back to the boat with minimal drama. That is, until Colin Macrae decides to ask Sydney point blank how she feels about Gary and Alli edging ever closer towards a boat-mance. At exactly the same time, Alli’s going to Dani for advice, and gets the reassurance she probably not-so-secretly has been wanting to hear. Dani tells her to just “enjoy it and be happy.” Take the plunge with Gary if you want. And finally, after weeks of resisting, Alli gives into Gary’s advances and they share a drunken first kiss behind the bar. Just in time for Sydney to walk in on the make out and break up the moment. Because of course she does.
Immediately, Sydney switches into revenge mode, telling Dani that she and Gary really did have sex that first night. It wasn’t just a kiss like they’ve been telling everyone. Of course, Dani sees right through this tactic. Sydney’s not telling her to keep it a secret. She wants her to spread the gossip so it gets back to Alli. But Dani’s not interested in playing those games. If Sydney wants to stir up trouble, she’ll have to take a more direct route. But first, she’ll try the gossip train one more time, letting the secret “slip” to Colin and Natasha. This girl is not going to stop until she wreaks as much havoc as possible
As the night draws on, the partying takes bizarre turn after bizarre turn. While Sydney‘s busy enacting her revenge, Jean-Luc starts throwing a fit about the crew leaving ash marks on Parsifal’s teak. Because out of everyone, he’ll be left scrubbing the mess they leave behind. Somehow, this turns into a weird quasi-fight with Dani, who doesn’t like JL being a total party pooper. So instead of hooking up with her boat fling, she drags Alli away from Gary, takes her down to the master guest cabin…and the two stews proceed to make out while agreeing that boys can just be so dumb sometimes.
Eventually, Gary and Jean-Luc go in search of the girls, and are more than a little envious to find themselves locked out while Alli and Dani continue their tryst. To be honest, I couldn’t quite tell if the stews were really hooking up behind the closed door or putting on a show, but either way, it certainly got the guys’ attention. Leaving JL behind with Dani, Alli and Gary venture back above deck. And Colin decides it’s the perfect time for the crew’s resident throuple to hash things out.
To no one’s surprise, the drama finally ruptures between Alli and Sydney. Well, mostly on Alli’s side. Because Sydney mostly doesn’t want to talk about anything. She’s denying Gary and Alli hooking up bothers her at all. Even though it very clearly and evidently does. To his amusement, Gary simply can’t believe he’s watching two women fight over him. But at the end of the day, the fight really goes nowhere because Sydney won’t be honest about how she feels. In fact, she just wants to be left alone, OK? Which is what I wish we could do with this whole storyline, frankly…
TELL US – ARE YOU SURPRISED GARY AND ALLI FINALLY HOOKED UP? WILL SYDNEY GET HER REVENGE? IS DANI PLAYING BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE BETWEEN ALLI AND SYDNEY?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]