This week, we were treated to an unexpectedly supersized episode of Below Deck Sailing Yacht. And true to form, it had a little bit of everything. Terrible guests getting even worse. A literal scalping. Blood in the galley. Crisscrossed boatmances. The start of the season’s much-hyped “love pentagon.” Not that this recapper is particularly looking forward to whatever mess that’s going to turn into. And a hookup no one, or maybe everyone, saw coming.
But before we can get to any of that, Captain Glenn Shephard needs to calm the primary’s husband down from having a tantrum over an omelette. Frankly, the term “hissy fit” is startlingly appropriate. Chuck stomps around the dining room calling Chef Marcos Spaziani‘s food “putrid,” “disgusting” and “inedible.” Among a variety of other choice words that couldn’t be less true. In the words of Heather Dubrow, I am disgusted by this vile, vulgar display. I mean, we’re used to bad behavior from charter guests. It’s part of why we all watch this show right? But have you ever seen more wretchedly boorish behavior in all your life? Like Captain Glenn says, have some class.
For Chuck’s sake, he’s lucky none of this ridiculous ire is directed at Marcos himself. Because something tells me that would not end well for the spoiled, tasteless, tacky man Erica Rose chose to marry. Captain Glenn‘s solution is to place the guests’ culinary fate in their own hands. By having them tell Chef Marcos exactly what they want for dinner. That way, they can’t possibly find a reason to complain about the food, right? Because unfortunately, they’ve still chartered Parsifal for another 24 hours.
Despite Chuck’s breakfast tirade of terror, the day must go on. Because there’s a beach picnic to plan, set up, and successfully pull off without him having another meltdown. Tom Pearson and Gabriela Barragan are in charge of the setup. And the junior deckhand is determined to prove to Gary King that he’s capable of more than just vomiting all over Captain Glenn‘s bathroom and dropping rope into the ocean. Meanwhile, back on the boat the guests go from bad to full-on destructive when Cindi Rose destroys a white couch with her self-tanner. It’s straight out of a nightmare about Adrienne Maloof at one of Kyle Richards‘ famous White Parties. (I say that with much more love for the RHOBH OG than for these guests.)
Everyone’s on edge by the time the guests arrive on the beach. But shockingly, they’re actually almost happy with the food. In fact, Chuck comes about as close as he’s capable to apologizing for his outburst that morning, telling Daisy Kelliher he must’ve just woken up grouchy. Yeah, that must be it. Though in the next breath, he’s stirring up trouble with two of the other guests — Erica‘s hairdresser Janelle and her husband Rhett. The name calling starts and threats are being flung across the beach. But at least the guests are too busy fighting to criticize anything the crew is doing…
Back on the boat, the simmering hostility between Daisy‘s stews intensifies when Ashely Marti chafes at Gabriela asking for help unpacking the bar. Yeah, these two are going to hate each other all season. And in an effort to placate the guests, Captain Glenn suggests going for a sail. It’s a lot of work for the deck crew, and all for Chuck to declare himself unimpressed by the magic of sailing. Somebody throw this guy overboard, won’t you? And Chuck’s attitude isn’t even the worst part of the sail. As Chef Marcos is prepping for dinner, he manages to hit his head in one of the cold storage holds. Hard. As in, the chef comes up to the galley with blood running down his face and a piece of his scalp in hand.
This is now an emergency medical situation. And one that, at first glance, looks like it could end Marcos‘ season altogether. I mean, a piece of the poor guy’s scalp literally came off! But what does he do? Wraps a bandage around his entire head to keep pressure on the wound and continues cooking. Wow. By the time a doctor makes it out to Parsifal to examine his injury, Chef Marcos informs Captain Glenn that dinner will still be ready for the undeserving guests on time. And there’s good news! The head injury may look grisly, but the doctor says it’s merely superficial and Marcos will be just fine. Eventually.
For their final dinner, Erica and Cindi have cobbled together a “menu” — if you can even call it that — of dishes they (and Chuck) are sure to love. And they’ve even invited Captain Glenn and Gary to join them. Chef Marcos has prepared everything from tuna tartare and salmon sashimi to creamed spinach and spaghetti with marinara sauce. There’s also miso broccoli and huge ribeye steaks just to really round out the Roses’ concept. The theme for the evening is a night through the decades celebrating the last fifty years. Which seems to have just been an excuse for Cindi to dress up as a flight Frankenstein version of Marilyn Monroe. Completely with a breathy, off-key and utterly cringeworthy performance of “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to Glenn as a reluctant JFK. The poor captain’s probably scarred for life.
The next morning is blessedly departure day. Though it gets off on the wrong foot for more than one crew member. Gabriela‘s left floundering over breakfast service because Ashley conveniently forgot to make fresh-squeezed orange juice during the night shift. And Marcos wakes up with his head pounding in pain, the shock of his self-scalping having finally worn off in the night. But thankfully the guests are fairly lazy and no one really gets up for breakfast. As they’re readying to leave, Captain Glenn has to awkwardly pull Cindi aside to assess the damage on the couch. She conveniently forgets she’s on a boat with cameras everywhere and denies even sitting on the now-ruined furniture. But either way, she’ll still have to pay for it. And with that, the Roses and their friends step off the boat. Hopefully to never return again.
At the tip meeting, you can practically hear the entire crew breathe a massive sigh of relief. And Captain Glenn has nothing but good things to say about how they handled that nightmare of a charter. But it turns out the Roses still have one piece left in their master plan for revenge. They’ve left a tip of just $6,500. It’s such a disrespectfully paltry number that it’s practically like not leaving a tip at all. Talk about one giant middle finger to the crew who just bent over backwards night and day to cater to your every whim. It’s also unhinged behavior, given that last season, Erica and Cindi actually left a rather large tip of more than $18,000 for the crew’s troubles. In fact, I can’t go back and cross-reference, but it could be the lowest tip in all of Below Deck history.
The crew is rightfully offended. But at this point there’s nothing left to do but go out to blow off some steam. So they head out to Menorca to get drunk while Captain Glenn tries to remove Cindi‘s self-tanner stains from the couch. At a restaurant called Bisou, the crew mates toast to even surviving the charter, terrible tip be damned! And at the table, Daisy gives Gabriela a pep talk in an effort to unite her stews.
While over at the other end of the meal, Ashley‘s much more interested in setting her sights on Gary. She even tells the first officer that if they’re going to hook up, she wants to be exclusive. But having learned his lesson (hopefully) from Season 2, Gary doesn’t know quite how to respond. Is it just me or does it feel more and more like Ashley came onto this show with an agenda to throw herself at Gary and cause problems in the interior?
Eventually, everyone heads back to the boat for the night. Where things get more intoxicated…and more complicated. While Kelsie Goglia and Colin Macrae help Chef Marcos wrap his head in plastic wrap, Ashley turns her flirtations up a notch and once again gets Gary to kiss her. It could all be fun and games, but he’s still not sure what he wants to do. So for safety’s sake, he retreats to the hot tub where he and the third stew can’t be alone. However, Ashley sees this as some sort of sign of immediate rejection. And quickly moves on to Tom instead, despite having insisted over the last three episodes that she could never be interested in someone her age.
So next thing we know, Ashley and Tom are making out on deck. While Gabriela takes pictures and, for some reason, narrates the entire ordeal. The romantic threads are being pulled and switched so quickly that I’m having a hard time keeping up. What is happening right now? Is Ashley just being petty? Did she secretly like Tom this whole time? Either way, Tom quickly agrees when she suggests they take things down to the guest cabin.
But sorry, Ashley. Gary can’t be bothered, if that’s what you’re after. Because he’s too busy having fun in the hot tub with Daisy. We all knew it was coming from the supertease. But part of me still can’t believe my eyes when Gary and Daisy start drunkenly locking lips. The other part of me is dying to know what Colin must be thinking as he watches his two friends’ hot tub hook-up. That is, before he promptly starts running in the other direction. I don’t know. Maybe I’m crazy, but I just never, ever felt like there was any sort of sexual or romantic tension between the chief stew and the first officer. Yet here we are…
TELL US – ARE ERICA, CINDI AND CHUCK THE WORST BELOW DECK GUESTS OF ALL TIME? WHY DO YOU THINK THEY GAVE SUCH A DISRESPECTFULLY SMALL TIP? DID YOUR STOMACH TURN WHEN MARCOS SCALPED HIMSELF? IS ASHLEY USING TOM TO GET BACK AT GARY? WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF GARY AND DAISY’S HOT TUB HOOK-UP?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]