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Below Deck Down Under Recap: A Christmas Story

It’s Christmas on Below Deck Down Under! And Benny Crawley is on the naughty list. Well, not Santa’s naughty list. Or even Captain Jason Chambers‘. But Jamie Sayed‘s? For sure. In fact, if the bosun were in charge of Christmas, Benny would be kicked out of the North Pole and get nothing but coal in his stocking for the rest of his life. That’s all a festive way of saying Jamie wants the junior deckhand fired. But Captain Jason isn’t quite so rash or emotional. So cooler heads prevail and he makes Jamie calm down while promising to get to the bottom of the drama.

Besides, Captain Jason already has more than enough staffing problems weighing on him. Chef Ryan McKeown‘s been on his best behavior since their clash in the galley. And the cocky chef seems to think he’s redeemed himself in a matter of days. But little does he know the captain’s still anxious to get him off the boat. And is actively on the lookout to replace him, if only COVID protocols made that decision simpler. Sorry Ryan, your days are numbered no matter how many wet eggs you serve up to Jason. Meanwhile, Aesha Scott is pleased to see that Magda Ziomek is actually showing signs of improvement. So that’s the one silver lining in the crew’s staffing issues.

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Meanwhile, the weather has turned gloomy and it reflects the mood hanging over the boat. Jamie calls Benny to the main deck aft in an attempt to have one more conversation. Though he can’t even keep from gossiping to Brittini Burton before Benny’s even arrived. The bosun starts the talk by saying he now doesn’t want to meet with Captain Jason. Huh? What was the point of that temper tantrum, then? But when Benny starts trying to speak up for himself, it turns into yet another conflict between the two. Jamie feels like Benny is belligerent and doesn’t respect the authority he demands. And Benny feels Jamie picks on him, leads by intimidation and has his “foot on his neck,” metaphorically speaking. So now Captain Jason’s going to have to step in and mediate. So much for that attempt at peace…

The guests are stuck playing board games thanks to the rain, and Brittini once again runs the idea of their #vanlife road trip past Culver Bradbury. Except now things are getting uncomfortable since the entire crew is pushing them to hook up. And Brittini might be catching some feelings. Will these two make it to the end of the charter season with their friendship in tact? For now, Culver’s more concerned about putting on his Santa hat as the unofficial chief entertainment officer and helping Aesha out with the guests’ Christmas party.

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Aesha and the rest of the crew start transforming the boat into some kind of winter wonderland. There are Christmas trees, Santa hats, and Magda even comes up with the idea of making fake snow out of…tampons? Ok, sure, whatever works! At least the third stew gets points from Aesha and Tumi Mhlongo for ingenuity. Chef Ryan‘s also cooking up a full Christmas dinner with roast turkey, glazed ham, mashed potatoes, candied carrots and more.

Before dinner though, Captain Jason calls Jamie and Benny into the wheelhouse along with Aesha to serve as a witness. Benny insists he’s doing his best at work. But Jason’s ears perk up when the deckhand throws out the word “intimidation.” If that’s what’s happening here, there’s a bigger problem. And for all of his big talk and bluster, Jamie’s relatively reserved in the actual meeting. In fact, he’s actually pretty polite to Benny in front of the captain. Instead of demanding Benny be fired, he pretty much agrees to keep working as usual while Captain Jason continues to investigate.

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The guests are completely oblivious to any of the drama happening on board. They’re just ready to celebrate Christmas! And so is Culver, who dons a Santa suit complete with a beard and a pillow in the shirt to entertain the guests. He even convinces Aesha to play along as his red-nosed reindeer. Though the leather harness she uses as she paws on the ground reads…a little different from the Christmas cheer she’s going for. But hey, maybe it’ll increase the tip money?

Merriment aside, Captain Jason pulls Culver aside to get his take on the drama happening between Jamie and Benny. The self-appointed entertainment officer claims he’s never seen any evidence of the bosun intimidating Benny. But definitely chalks up the tension to their differing styles of communication and sees fault on both sides. Brittini essentially echoes the same thought in her own meeting with the captain, though she feels that Jamie is really the one in the wrong.

As a Christmas treat, Aesha lets Magda off for the day a half hour early. But only under the condition that she’ll go to sleep, not spend the thirty minutes talking to her boyfriend in Poland. And which of those things do you think Magda actually does? Yes, she spends the time arguing with her boyfriend over someone named Paulina. Aesha literally has to tell her to get off the phone and go to sleep once she gets to the cabin for the night.

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The next morning, it’s time for the guests to leave. Christmas is over, folks! Chef Ryan serves a decent breakfast of smoked salmon and avocado toast. But Magda takes two steps backward and starts once again getting on Aesha‘s nerves. Everything else goes fairly smoothly though, and Captain Jason even keeps Benny on deck during docking instead of putting him behind in the tender. Maybe due to the crummy weather, the tip only amounts to $14,000. That’s a few hundred per person than they would’ve liked, but what can you do? Guess a reindeer in bondage leather can only get you so far.

Once the tip meeting ends, Brittini calls a meeting with Benny and Culver on the sun deck. Because, the whole season, they’ve never sat down and gelled into a single unit. She wants to create a safe space for Benny outside of Jamie‘s reach. And that starts with her confessing that Jamie changed shifts without telling Benny he wasn’t pulling his weight. The deckhand is blindsided by the underhanded slight. And it just gives him one more piece of ammunition against the bosun. However, it may be too late to save him. Because Captain Jason calls him to the wheelhouse to let him know he’s made a decision. And…we’ll have to find out what that decision is next week. To be continued!


[Photo Credit: Peacock]