Below Deck Season 11, Episode 11 Recap: The St. David Needs an HR Department

Photo: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo via Getty Images

Welcome back to Below Deck Season 11, Episode 11. In this week’s episode, titled “Royal Rumble,” a new stew on board gets Ben’s attention, and Sunny’s not happy about it. Ben makes a problematic choice for his new lead deckhand, and following last week’s big blowout, Barbie and Fraser make a fresh start in their working relationship. Here are some of the highlights from Below Deck Season 11, Episode 11.

Barbie makes a toast

Photo: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo

Last week, Barbie was crying on the phone with her mom after yet another fight with Fraser. Can’t these two just make peace with each other? Fraser’s your boss, Barbs. Stop arguing about everything.

“Can you not be a bad bitch and just do it?” Kyle asks her.

“I am a bad bitch,” she says. “I’ve never quit anything in my life.”

“If you quit,” Kyle says, “I will never, ever speak to you again.”

Everyone’s getting cleaned up after the beach day to go out to dinner. Sunny thinks Ben is giving far too much attention to the new girl Paris.

“I feel as though I’m dating this guy since pretty much the first crew night out,” she interviews. So, having sex with someone equals dating now? That’s stretching things a bit, but Sunny feels Ben’s flirting with Paris is “so disrespectful to me.”

“That’s not cool,” she adds. “You just look like an asshole.”

At dinner, Barbie suddenly announces, “Crew, I just want to apologize for all the sh*t that happened today. Everybody here knows that there’s sh*t going between me and Fraser. There’s a sh*t ton of drama going on. Fraser, we have to figure this out, and I’m really sorry it has affected everybody.” I think she meant well, but it just didn’t land right.

“That’s the worst toast I’ve ever heard,” Xandi says. “I think she just made things worse.”

“It was more of a passive/aggressively f*ck you sort of thing,” Kyle interviews.

“This is a sh*t show,” Paris laughs.

“That was the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life,” Fraser tells Xandi. “I’m done, and tomorrow we’ll be three stews again.”

The new girl

Sunny’s had enough of Ben’s drooling over Paris. Finally, she trades places with Kyle at the other end of the table.

“I’ve got no idea what’s going on with Sunny and I,” Ben interviews cluelessly. “F*cking hell. Why am I in a situation like this again? Women!” Because you can’t keep it in your pants, dumbsh*t. You shouldn’t fish off the company pier.

Ben asks Sunny to go for a “ciggy.” When Paris tries to tag along, Sunny tells her, “No, just him and I.” Awkward.

“I just want to spend more time with you,” Ben says.

“I feel disrespected,” she responds. “[You were touching Paris’] waist and ass … in front of everyone. That is just not okay, Ben.”

“I like you,” he says. “You know that.”

“I like you, too,” she says. “Are we on the same page, though? Are we an item?”

“We’re not dating,” Ben says abruptly. Like I said, having sex does not equal “dating.”

“We’re becoming an item,” Ben adds. “We sleep together.”

“We’re just sleeping together,” Sunny repeats. “That’s it?” Oh, honey. He’s a player. Cut your losses now and save some shred of your dignity.

“Sunny,” he interrupts. “We have half a season to go. Hopefully, by the end, we can be dating … But right now, we’re [just] sleeping together.”

“Okay,” she snaps. “Cool.”

In the van returning to the boat, Sunny tells Barbie, Anthony, and Dylan, “The conversation we just had was so full of sh*t. He’s all over Paris. I’m not the only one seeing that sh*t.”

Over in the other van, Ben asks Paris, “Did I touch your ass today?”

“Probably, I don’t know,” she answers. “It gets touched regularly. I had probably, like, four people touch my ass. It’s a hello.” Girl, set some boundaries. That’s not okay.

Captain Kerry cools Fraser’s jets

Photo: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo

The next morning, Fraser radios Captain Kerry and asks to meet with him.

“I need [Barbie] gone,” Fraser interviews. “She’s causing that much aggravation amongst my team.”

“Hey, matey,” Kerry greets Fraser. “Give it to me.”

“[Barbie’s] lack of respect … is [unacceptable],” Fraser says. “Insubordination is a fireable offense. The cherry on top was after yesterday, she made a speech … airing her dirty laundry between [us] to the whole table. It’s horrible.”

“We need to find someone first,” the captain responds. “I don’t want to be down a stew. The second thing is separating business from personal … Her insulting you on a day off, you took that personally, which is fine. [But] it’s separate from business.”

“I understand,” Fraser says. “This started three days ago on charter.” Even though I love Fraser, I think he’s being overly sensitive and just needs to find a way to work with Barbie.

“But you told me two days ago she was doing a great job,” Kerry says.

“She does a good job,” Fraser responds. “She’s just impossible to work with.”

“Leadership isn’t just about hiring and firing,” Kerry says. “I know you want to improve on your strength as a leader, but strength isn’t always acting on the power that you have.”

“That’s a very good point,” Fraser admits.

“I’m happy to have a talk with her,” Kerry offers. “Try your best to remove the emotion from the situation.”

“It’s starting to feel like Fraser’s pushing his own agenda more than the boat’s agenda,” he observes in a confessional. “It’s a problem for anybody who’s in a leadership role to let their emotions override their decision-making. One thing I can do to help Fraser become a fantastic chief stew is to not act on emotion.”

Captain pep talks Barbie

Captain radios Barbie to meet him on the aft deck before telling the rest of the crew he’ll “be off the boat for a while.”

“F*ck me,” Barbie mutters.

At a picnic table in the shade, Captain begins, “I spoke to Fraser. There seems to be some personality conflict thing going on, and I just want to ask how I can help.”

“It’s such an honor to be under Fraser, who knows so much,” she says. “But … we clash.”

“You’ve gotta get through that,” Kerry says.

“That’s the thing,” she agrees. “Lately, I’ve just shut up … I’m just gonna [smile]. I’ve never had a chief stew. I’ve always been a solo stew. Maybe that’s also a challenge.”

“And it’s emotions,” Kerry adds. “He respects the work you do. You can’t fix what he does, but you can fix the way you see things. If you’re in a bad head space and you can’t handle it, you’ve just gotta say, ‘Right now I’m struggling. I’ll do my best’ … If that doesn’t work, come and talk to me.”

“That’s a solid approach,” Barbie says. “I need to sit down with Fraser.”

“I’m gonna talk to him now and tell him to come out here,” Kerry decides. “You all right with that?”

When she says yes, he returns to the boat and tells Fraser, “I just had a chat with her. It would be very good if you would go and have a talk with her as well.”

“She wants to stay here,” Kerry continues. “She wants to do a great job, and she does respect you. But her delivery’s not great, and she realizes it’s wrong. For you, as a manager, I would want to listen and just process it before you respond. What do you think?”

Peace … for now

So, Fraser heads off to meet Barbie. “I’m a bit sad yesterday ended the way it did,” he tells her. “I want things to be better.”

“I just want you to know, I really do actually admire you,” Barbie responds. “And I know I can be a nightmare.”

“You can,” Fraser says. Fraser’s no Miss Congeniality, either.

“What you and I had since Cat left,” he continues, “we worked with such harmony and such grace. You were that person in service that I need … I think if we put effort into it again, I think we have some really f*cking good stuff ahead of us.”

“Just start over,” she says. “Don’t fire me.”

“I’ll try not to,” he laughs. And they’re friends again. But how long will it last? They’re both very strong-willed.

Ben appoints a lead deckhand

Photo: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo

Ben needs a lead deckhand. “I need someone I can trust on the bow and to be my eyes and ears when I’m not there,” he says.

Kyle doesn’t have enough experience, so it’s between Dylan and Sunny. Dylan’s new and isn’t that familiar with the boat. Sunny doesn’t have that much experience, but she’s eager to learn and improve.

But if he chooses Sunny, the rest of the crew will think it’s because they’re sleeping together. If he makes Dylan the lead, Sunny will get pissed off. That’s why you shouldn’t screw the crew, Ben.

Finally, he chooses Sunny, who’s the best candidate overall, but there are bound to be some questions.

The captain is pleased and agrees that she’s the right person for the job. But he doesn’t know about Ben and Sunny after hours. Ben thinks Sunny can keep work and personal life separate while staying professional.

When Ben makes the announcement, Sunny is thrilled. But Dylan thinks, “He’s got to be joking. This isn’t [April Fools’ Day].” When he realizes Ben’s serious, he decides to take it in stride and be cool with it. But even though he says he’s not going to “be a dick,” he can’t help complaining in the privacy of his own cabin.

“Let’s do our best, Dyl,” he says, “regardless of the situation. [But] Sunny’s asking me for advice. How is a lead deckhand supposed to be asking a lower deckhand how to do things? Oh, yeah, I forgot! You just have to have sex with the bosun to get there.” Dylan’s a little odd. He’s having an entire conversation all by himself.

“If I had a vagina, I would not be in this situation,” he concludes. So, not so cool then, Dyl?

Dylan’s not-so-private pity party

Dylan’s still upset about Sunny’s promotion. And Ben rubbing her neck on the job that afternoon was not professional.

Dylan tells Barbie that he has more experience than Sunny. “Be a big man about it,” Barbie advises.

“Sunny’s my girl,” Barbie interviews. “[But] personally … I’m team Dylan here. I think her getting the job has a lot to do with her relationship with Ben. It just doesn’t really make sense.”

Next, Dylan complains to Paris that he’s “pissed off [that] Ben made Sunny lead deckhand … I’ve got [more experience] … And they’re f*cking, right? It just feels like a slap in the face.”

Later, Paris tells Ben, “Dylan’s a little upset that you chose [Sunny]. He thinks that you’ve given it to her ‘cause you’re banging … His panties are 100% wrapped around his ball sack.” Ugh. I didn’t need that image in my head.

“It’s not about qualifications,” Ben says. “It’s about attitude on deck. [His] going around to other crew members is … not okay in my books. It’s starting to piss me the f*ck off.”

When Ben sees Dylan, he says, “I’m gonna talk to you tomorrow … [It’s] come through the grapevine that you’ve been chatting to other people about [me making] Sunny lead deckhand.” Wait, if you’re going to talk to him tomorrow, why are you talking to him now, Ben? You’re stealing your own thunder.

“For f*ck sakes,” Dylan says in a confessional. “You’re offended by the fact that I am offended by your sh*tty decision. Dude, f*ck off. I guess I cannot tell anyone anything.” It’s not that big of a boat, dude.

Below Deck continues Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo.