When does a solution become more of a problem than it’s worth? That’s the question on everyone’s mind on this week’s episode of Below Deck Mediterranean. The interior’s been struggling for a few weeks now thanks to Lexi Wilson‘s incompetence. At the end of last week’s episode, Katie Flood announced she was doing away with ranks among her department. No more second and third stew. Everyone’s equal now. So get ready, because things are about to change on board Lady Michelle…
Yes, that means a fourth stew is joining the boat. Oh, and she’s already here. Like, now. Even before Lexi and Katie finish up their conversation, the new stew is stepping on board. Everyone meet Delaney Evans! The girl has been sitting in a hotel under quarantine since the night Mathew Shea walked off the boat with his fake knee injury. So needless to say, she’s happy to be here as the new deck/stew.
Except…wait a second. Apparently that’s only half true. The staffing agency hired Delaney under the allusion that she had experience in both departments. It even says so on her resume. But that’s not exactly completely accurate. Introducing herself to Katie and Captain Sandy Yawn, the newbie admits she’s really more of a deckhand. In that she has absolutely no stew experience whatsoever. Umm…this is a problem. Particularly for Katie. Because now it’s looking like she’s been sold a false bill of goods.
In all honesty, the first thing that ran through my mind was, “Could this be a plant from production? Or Bravo, even?” I mean, the girl just spent two weeks sitting in a hotel room doing absolutely nothing. Don’t you think it would’ve been helpful to mention that your previous stew experience involved setting out platters from Costco and handing out sodas? Other things to know about Delaney: she was the valedictorian of her high school class. She has a speech impediment she taught herself not to improve as a way to get out of class in elementary school. She’s been a sailing skipper on much smaller boats, but has never worked on a super yacht. Oh, and David Pascoe might have a little crush on her, except he thinks her name is Andrea.
There’s no time to think about how Delaney throws a wrench in things, though, because charter number five is about to start. As in, the gaggle of girlfriends are already strutting down the dock. So Katie agrees to try the newbie out for this charter and basically throws her down in laundry. Because how hard can laundry be for a high school valedictorian, right? Surely it’s easier than Chef Mathew having to coordinate all the conflicting dietary demands this group of guests threw at him via their preference sheets. His solution once they anchor in Mala Ostrica? Serve a deconstructed lunch family-style. That way, all the ladies can pick and choose what they will and won’t eat.
However, Mathew‘s seemingly endless string of good luck is about to run out. Because while the guests are going full tilt on every water sport imaginable, he’s prepping for dinner. And for not the first time this season, something catches fire in the galley. Without thinking, the chef grabs the fiery sheet pan and runs it to the sink, seriously burning a few of his fingers. Umm, to say this is bad is an understatement. Mathew calls Sandy to the galley, and she immediately knows he needs to see a doctor. And listen, I totally get that accidents happen. Especially in a kitchen. But how many of these injuries and fires could have been avoided? Because two fires in a single season kind of seem like two too many…
With second degree burns on his fingers Mathew is now down a hand. Which means he’ll need some help in the galley to get dinner on the table, courtesy of Lloyd Spencer. However, the evening’s meal of bacon-wrapped dates, chicken parmesan, and gnocchi Alfredo goes off basically without a hitch. Meanwhile, Lexi is tasked with teaching Delaney how to do to turndowns. (Which seems like an odd choice considering how terrible she’s been at housekeeping lately, but I guess Courtney Veale can’t do everything.) And yet, the drama isn’t over for the night.
Just as dinner service is winding down, Captain Sandy calls Katie to the bridge. There’s a problem with the new cabin arrangements. See, Delaney was originally supposed to bunk with Mathew, but management has laid down the law that that’s legally not allowed. For liability reasons. So if Delaney’s going to stick around, there has to be a major cabin shuffle. And I mean more than just Mathew intruding in the chief officer’s cabin for the remainder of the charter. (Which, for the record, he’s less than pleased about.) To make things work, the three stews will have to share the trio cabin currently occupied by the boys. Katie will move in with Malia White. David will have to go back to rooming with Mathew after he’s already moved out. And Lloyd and Mzi Dempers will take over Katie and Lexi‘s old room. Yikes.
The next morning, Katie‘s left wondering if all this rearranging is worth the trouble. After all, it’s late in the season. There are only two charters left after this one. And pretty much everyone on the crew will be upset with her over having to switch cabins. Well, except Malia, who doesn’t have to move. And David, who’s still recovering from the lap dance he received the night before from a charter guest in an inflatable suit. Then there’s also the question of whether Delaney‘s even happy as a completely green stew when she’d probably much rather be on deck. Should she just let the newbie go? Of course, Sandy passes the buck when Katie comes her with the conundrum. This is all on Katie, and is it just me or does the captain seems oddly pleased to be putting her chief stew in such a no-win position?
Poor Katie‘s so worked up that she’s literally making herself sick over the decision. After breakfast, she pulls Delaney aside for a meeting in the bridge, and proceeds to lay out the situation. The new girl may not have outright lied, but she certainly wasn’t honest on her C.V. Katie doesn’t really have time to train her this late in the season. She’s basically giving the newbie an out. But inexplicably, Delaney seems to have no intention of going anywhere. She makes several valid counterpoints: she’s taking laundry off everyone’s shoulders, the other stews all got two-hour breaks the day before, and things are still getting done. She wants to stay, and somehow convinces Katie that it’s only fair to give her a chance. Seeing no other option, Katie reluctantly agrees to reassess once the charter is actually over.
But will we even make it to the end of the charter? The weather that started out in the morning as simply crummy has morphed into a full-blown storm. The wind is so bad that the anchor is dragging, which means Malia and Lloyd have to venture outside to reset it. It may seem like just doing the job in a little heavy rain at first, but within seconds it becomes clear that the situation is more dangerous. As the bosun tries to guide Lloyd through the process, lightning flashes in the sky behind her. Ever calm, Captain Sandy promises the storm will pass, but the episode ends with Malia letting loose a string of curse words before shouting, “Red on deck! Red on deck!” Guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out what that actually means…
TELL US – WHAT’S YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF DELANEY? HOW LONG DO YOU THINK SHE’LL STICK AROUND? IS MATHEW SLOPPY IN THE GALLEY OR JUST ODDLY ACCIDENT-PRONE? IS CAPTAIN SANDY SETTING KATIE UP TO FAIL AS A LEADER?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]