Well yachties, it appears we’ve made it to somewhat calmer seas. Eight weeks into this season of Below Deck Mediterranean and it feels like we’ve reached the first somewhat transitional episode of the year. That’s not to say that everything that happened this week was purely filler. But we’ve certainly come down from the emotional high of Lexi Wilson proudly declaring herself Satan amidst a full-scale attack against every other crew member on board.
Instead, this week’s episode starts out with the end of a good night out. Arguably the crew’s first, in fact. Everyone’s in a happy, tipsy mood. Some more than others — just ask Courtney Veale. Mzi Dempers may have drunkenly invited her to visit Cape Town, but David Pascoe‘s gallant attempt at helping her into her bunk only resulted in a head injury and vomit all over Malia White‘s bed the next morning. But hey, at least no one quit or walked off the boat this time. So we’ll take a win where we can get it.
The next morning is pickup day for charter number four. Which feels a little odd considering the crew only has four hours to clean up from the night before, prep the boat, handle all the provisions and go through a preference sheet meeting with Captain Sandy Yawn. Why is this preference sheet meeting happening with two and a half hours to spare? When is Mathew Shea supposed to have time to call in the provisions to suit the guests’ requests? The good news is that it seems these repeat charter guests from Season 4 plan to mostly subsist on alcohol. But they also want a full-blown Oktoberfest celebration during their charter. So it’s an awfully good thing Katie Flood managed to find all those lederhosen so quickly.
However, a few things need to be dealt with before the guests step foot on the boat. For this charter, Katie puts Courtney on lates to give her another go at service. Which leaves Lexi as breakfast girl again, banished to laundry when she’s not being forced to interact with Chef Mathew. Any guesses how well that goes over? Lexi doesn’t react in the interior meeting, but she is not happy. In fact, she’s getting increasingly paranoid that she’s being stripped of her duties as second stew and watching them get handed over to Courtney. Of course, that’s no at all what’s happening. Lexi may be paranoid, but Katie made it clear from the start that the stews would be rotating duties throughout the season. And there’s no reason for Courtney not to get the chance to service just so Lexi won’t pout.
The other issue is the lingering awkwardness between David and Malia after he confessed his feelings to her. But enough about that because the guests are here! And they’ve arrived wearing matching “Alcohol, Now” t-shirts and toting along an inflatable buddy they’ve named Chad. Oh boy, this is going to be
a nightmare fun. While Malia gets the honor of driving Lady Michelle out of the slip, Katie gets to drown in endless orders of Tito’s and iced tea. By lunchtime, Lloyd Spencer drops anchor in Seputina and the booze-loving guests at least get some food to go along with all the alcohol they’re guzzling. Because according to them, water is for quitters. Yikes.
Another yikes: no sooner has the deck team gotten all the water toys out than the boat is approached by a police vessel. The stern Croatian officer is only there to issue a warning that the (possibly drunk) guests must stay a minimum of 300 meters away from any shoreline. Meanwhile, Lexi‘s down in the laundry setting off alarms with steam from an iron. It’s a lot happening at once, but at least no one’s getting carted off to a Croatian jail? In fact, despite the hiccups, the whole crew feels likes they’re starting to work as a fairly well-oiled machine. Malia‘s particularly proud of her deckhands’ performance. And even if Lexi’s bad attitude is a weak link in the interior, at the very least Courtney‘s learning how to make a mean martini.
Speaking of weak links, Lexi‘s attitude problems are starting to bleed over into her job. She may be miserable doing cabins, but she’s also being needlessly sloppy in the process. She tells Katie all the cabins are done before dinner, but Courtney walks into the VIP cabin to discover it’s a total mess. And not only that, Lexi can’t even put a duvet cover on the bed correctly. What’s not a weak link, though, is dinner. Chef Mathew has notably not had a single complaint about his food all season long. And this meal of surf and turf only goes to extend his winning streak in the galley.
On day two of the charter, Lexi‘s reticent to do breakfast service alone with Mathew. And vice versa, frankly. But instead of, you know, setting the table, the second stew is busy taking pictures of the (admittedly stunning) sunrise on the water while Lloyd drives the boat out of the anchorage for the first time. In fact, Lexi is so absent-minded (or is it lazy?) that one guest’s order of yerba mate tea takes literally 30 minutes to be served. And by Katie, just for the record.
It’s also when the chief stew arrives on the scene that the guests complain that there are no plates or cutlery on the table. Seriously, what was Lexi doing since 6:30 in the morning? Because making a round of lattes shouldn’t be that hard. Plus, not only is Lexi’s inability to perform basic tasks making Katie‘s job harder, it’s also making her look bad in the process. So while Katie’s running around as a one-woman show bringing plates, water, mimosas and napkins to the table, Mathew is the one left to serve breakfast.
After anchoring in Smetnja, the guests want to do more water sports. And since there’s nothing Captain Sandy loves more than
micromanaging water toys, she’s — of course — thrilled at this development. But she’s not thrilled to discover the slide isn’t as inflated as it should be. That dastardly, obnoxious, ridiculous slide. It’s the bane of every deckhand’s existence, but Sandy doesn’t care how hard the slide makes everyone’s lives. Because she wants to look like the funnest boat in Croatia, OK? Her badgering leads to a somewhat surprising spat with Malia over the slide. And the pump. And whether or not there’s a leak. It’s the first time we’ve ever seen Captain Sandy and her protege at odds, and I have to admit I was more than a little shocked to hear Sandy snap, “Calm down, I’m not challenging you Malia!” Trouble in paradise between teacher and favorite student?
The rest of the afternoon is filled with the Beer Olympics, as requested by the primaries. Developed by the deck team, the drunken relay race involves multiple challenge. First there’s flip cup frenzy. Then drinks with Maureen the Magical Unicorn. Champagne bongs and shotgunning a beer through a snorkel, then jumping off the bridge deck. And finally a race of “Eggward 40-Hands,” which I honestly can’t tell you how it works. But eventually one team wins, everyone’s drunk and the deck team is the department that’s earning the tip this charter.
It’s certainly not the interior because Katie‘s still not finished putting out Lexi‘s fires. After the games, one of the guests complains that Lexi never even finished the housekeeping in her cabin. She left all the cleaning products in the room. And also there are no towels. Once again, poor Katie looks like she’s the one failing at her job. So when Captain Sandy pulls her aside to ask how things are going, she admits that Lexi’s failures are making her life harder than it should be. Still on a managerial redemption tour after last season, Sandy encourages Katie once again to not give up on her second stew. But in the closing moments of the episode, she gets a text. The new crew member she had on standby is finally out of quarantine. And suddenly, just like that, Katie might have options…
TELL US – IS IT TIME TO REPLACE LEXI? HOW SHOULD KATIE BE MANAGING THE SITUATION? WHOSE SIDE WERE YOU ON IN THE SPAT OVER THE SLIDE: CAPTAIN SANDY OR MALIA? WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE TENSION BETWEEN THOSE TWO?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]