Meal service is not going well for the Below Deck Down Under crew on this particular charter. It started with Chef Ryan McKeown serving fish at lunch. And has now continued into dinner…where he’s also serving fish. Lots of it. But before the first dish is even served, four of the guests are turning up their nose at the idea of kingfish crudo. Because it’s cured rather than fully cooked. So we left the arrogant chef angrily torching each individual piece of fish at the slowest pace possible.
And that’s exactly where he is at the start of this week’s episode. It’s been a week and the fish is still not cooked. That’s basically how slow he’s working. And no amount of prodding from Aesha Scott can get him to move any faster. Nor does the primary literally walking down to the galley to see what’s taking so long. By the time he actually gets around to serving the first course, there are even more complaints. One of the charter guests doesn’t actually eat fish altogether. So he wants steak. And the guest who claimed last week that all she eats is fish would rather have scrambled eggs.
In an effort to save the dinner from completely sinking, Magda Ziomek volunteers to give a very special dance performance as…the ghost of Marilyn Monroe. Huh? The inspiration may make no sense, but the third stew paints one of Culver Bradbury‘s mullet wigs gray, stencils on double eyebrows, throws on some glittery blue eye shadow and waltzes out to the dinner table. And the performance she gives is…amusing? Alarming? A bit NSFW? Let’s go with all of the above. Not only does Magda whip off her sheer housecoat to reveal lingerie, but she gives the guests even more than they asked for with her nipples exposed as she leaps around on deck. Uhh…whatever secures the tip, I guess?
Cut to the next morning. Aesha‘s hoping to turn the second day of the charter around after a couple of lackluster meals. But the primary is less than impressed when he asks the chief stew for an almond milk latte. According to his refined palette, she apparently burned the milk. She brings him down to the galley to demonstrate how she prepared the latte, and he’s disgusted to learn she microwaved the milk. (As a one-time barista, I have to agree this is sacrilege…and kind of a shocking level of service for a luxury super yacht.) So while the guests go scuba diving, Aesha gets a proper frothing machine delivered to the boat.
For brunch, Chef Ryan caves and actually takes requests from the guests. And would you look at that! The guests actually come away from the meal satisfied! But things in the galley calm down just in time for drama to erupt amid the deck crew. And it’s all thanks to Benny Crawley deciding to take the smaller tender out for a little joyride while moving it over to the starboard side. Of course, Jamie Sayed is bringing the larger tender back to Thalassa just as Benny is racing back, leading the two tenders to come thisclose to crashing into each other. But Captain Jason Chambers, who witnesses the whole thing on the swim platform, mostly blames the bosun rather than the junior deckhand for not having control of his deck team.
The guests have requested a nautical-themed dinner. And leave the actual menu up to Chef Ryan to decide. And nautical only means one thing: more seafood. Though this time, he pairs the giant lobsters with a bland salad to keep the guests from asking for one. Technically, the move works. Though once they’re seated at the table, all the guests roundly make fun of the terribly bland salad they’re all eating. Leave it to Chef Ryan to do the absolute bare minimum at his job. And he finds yet another reason to be upset with the guests when one of them sends her lobster back to be taken apart by the chef. Because she simply can’t handle the act of tearing her own lobster apart for the meat.
Meanwhile, it’s all hands on deck for the deck team to put the crane away for the evening. And the simple task involving three people soon descends into Jamie and Brittini Burton teasing Benny. Captain Jason‘s favorite deckhand doesn’t take being laughed at all that well, and promptly storms away without finishing the job. An unhappy Jamie later corners Benny on the main deck to reprimand him for walking off the job. But the deckhand isn’t exactly in the mood to rehash the drama, and merely brushes the incident off with a curt apology. Besides, Aesha needs Jamie’s ear for a bit of advice about how to handle Chef Ryan. She’s worried that service is going to continue suffering for the rest of the season. But she’s equally nervous about approaching the pessimistic chef with anything that looks like constructive criticism.
That opportunity, though, arrives bright and early the next morning. Over the simple task of making muesli of all things. It’s departure day and Chef Ryan just wants the guests off the boat. But Aesha chafes at the idea that the chef would rather use instant muesli than, oh I don’t know, cook for the guests that are paying thousands of dollars for their luxury yachting trip in the Great Barrier Reef. Aesha asks point blank how many yachting jobs Chef Ryan has worked. But rather than answer, he bites back, condescendingly asking the chief stew how many vacuums she’s pushed in her career. Yikes. The tension between these two isn’t dissipating anytime soon. And Ryan just refuses to understand the parameters of his job description.
Soon enough, the boat docks, the guests hit the dock and the slightly hellish charter is over. It was certainly the rockiest charter of the season thus far, both when it comes to guest demands and inter-crew drama. And the guests aren’t quite finished wreaking havoc yet. As they depart, one of the women hands out envelopes of personal tips. But not to everyone on the crew. In fact, Brittini and Tumi Mhlongo are the only two who don’t get extra cash.
Being overlooked sends Brittini into an emotional tailspin of tears. To the point that Captain Jason has to follow her with a camera in order to give her a pep talk and hug it out, even after all the other crew members offer to pool their tips and add it to the grand total. Which happens to be $16,530 U.S. Plus roughly $277 each in the envelopes. I can’t do that math, though.
For her barista fail, Aesha is awarded Captain Jason‘s Disco Ball Helmet of Shame for the charter. And it’s finally time to blow off some steam on a much-needed night out. But surprise, surprise, the drama kicks off within seconds of the crew sitting down at a restaurant. Specifically, once again, between Jamie and Benny. The bosun’s under orders from Captain Jason to speak with his underling. With specific instructions not to talk down to or chastise him. Yet, Jamie does exactly that. And when Benny defends himself, Jamie threatens that if he keeps performing the way he did this charter, he won’t be having much of a good time at all for the rest of the season.
TELL US – HOW AWKWARD WAS MAGDA’S DANCE AS MARILYN MONROE? DID BRITTINI OVERREACT TO THE EXTRA TIPS OR WERE HER FEELINGS VALID? ARE YOU TEAM RYAN OR TEAM AESHA? WHAT ABOUT TEAM JAMIE OR TEAM BENNY?
[Photo Credit: Peacock]