Raise the anchor because it’s reunion time, yachties! The entire Below Deck Mediterranean crew is back and dressed in their best whites to hash out a season’s worth of drama on the high seas. Well, most of them, anyway. And just like most Bravo reunions these days, this year’s proceedings will be entirely virtual. Though this time around, the decision is just as likely to be about logistics, what with the entire cast spread out around the world.
Captain Sandy Yawn seems to be only one landlocked, stuck at her apartment in Colorado with the protective foam corners still stuck on the frame of the artwork behind her head. Meanwhile, Hannah Ferrier is eight months pregnant in Australia, where she filmed the reunion at four a.m. The rest of the crew is scattered everywhere from London (Malia White) and Long Island (Alex Radcliffe, who’s blessedly shirtless in the opening montage) to the islands of the Bahamas (Bugsy Drake) and Martinique (Kiko Lorran). Meanwhile Rob Westergaard and Jessica More are both in Florida, but definitely not together.
This is it, yachties. Congratulations. We’ve done it. We’ve reached the end of this seemingly never-ending charter season on Below Deck Mediterranean. Is it just me, or has it been the longest season in Below Deck history? (It has. I just checked.) And with a two-part virtual reunion to go, we’re not technically done yet, but as they say on the high seas, a finale is a finale is a finale. (Do they say that though?)
Maybe the season just felt extra long coming after the first season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht, which I actually quite enjoyed. Maybe the near-constant cast turnover made it feel like the season never got its sea legs. Or perhaps it was the combination of Tom Checketts‘ spoiled brat tantrums mixed with Rob Westergaard and Jessica More‘s confusing relationship drama that dragged the season on and on. Yeah, it was definitely that.
As I sat down for this week’s episode of Below Deck Mediterranean, I had one distinctly iconic Bravo-ism flash through my mind. “Please don’t let it be about Tom.” I just couldn’t handle the thought of having to sit through another week of Chef Tom Checketts‘ temper tantrums and histrionics taking center stage. I’ve ranted about them. I’ve railed against them. I’ve written about them ad naseum for what feels like the entire back half of the season now. And the Bravo gods seemed to hear my plaintive cries because, for the first time in Bravo history, it wasn’t about Tom.
Instead, we were treated to a full hour of Jessica More and Rob Westergaard‘s boatmance completely unraveling in the space of a single day. We’ve known since the pair’s first appearances on Watch What Happens Live that this was coming. But as the season inched toward its end, I was starting to wonder when we’d see the sinking of the ship rather than just the iceberg from 100 miles away. Err, kilometers? Knots? Whatever the unit of distance between ships and icebergs is to complete this apt metaphor for the couple’s doomed love affair.
Bad news, yachties. If you thought Chef Tom Checketts‘ temper tantrum last week was the worst we’d see of him this season, would you believe me if I said it’s about to get worse? Or better, depending on your appreciation for drama in the Below Deck Mediterranean galley. Either way, you’re in for a disappointment. Or is it a treat?
Last week’s episode ended (once again) with Tom mid-fit. Remember? Quick refresher: the final charter of the season was about to start. The high-maintenance mom squad of guests decided to arrive an hour early. Now everyone’s frazzled and rushing. But no one more so than Tom. Because (also once again) there’s a problem with the provisions. Or, the quality of them, rather. Something about too-warm fish being replaced with frozen fish? Considering this recapper originally hails from the (landlocked) Mountain West with a strong aversion to seafood, I’m not the one to be asking about the qualifications of decent halibut.
Welcome back to Below Deck Mediterranean. You know, home of spoiled British brats throwing tantrums over cucumbers. Last I spent the majority of my recap railing about Tom Checketts‘ ego-centric histrionics and vile treatment of Aesha Scott. And if you think that won’t continue into this recap…well, you don’t know Tom.
This week’s episode picks up right back in the middle of the cucumber confrontation, where Aesha is tasked with explaining the basic principle called empathy to the furious chef. Tom literally doesn’t understand the concept. By saying “I’m sorry,” Aesha was simply trying to validate his feelings in the moment. She wasn’t personally apologizing for anything she did. Because guess what? She didn’t do anything wrong! It’s honestly infuriating watching Tom berate the poor girl to the point of tears. Infuriating and sad.
As the Below Deck Mediterranean season comes to a close, we can now reflect on it all. I have to admit – the last few episodes after Hannah Ferrier’s firing have been snooze-worthy. And after what Bosun Malia White and Captain Sandy Yawn pulled in getting rid of Hannah, there isn’t anyone likable left either.
Enter fan favorite Aesha Scott. She came back on board again once Hannah was gone and Bugsy Drake took over as Chief Stew. Aesha may be the only likable cast member left. Too bad that won’t save the sinking ship that is The Wellington. Pun intended.
There’s a fundamental principle to being a rookie cast member on any long-running reality show. I wouldn’t call it a hard and fast rule, but it’s basic common sense for any newbie. And especially for one who joined a given show as the boyfriend of a cast member almost universally reviled by fans. And it’s this: if you’re brand new to the show, try not to make the fan favorite cry. Simple, right?
Well somehow Tom Checketts managed to do just the exact opposite to Aesha Scott on this week’s Below Deck Mediterranean. Over, of all things, a cucumber. And an avocado. It was bizarre. It was unnerving. And it was a confrontation so out of left field that it bears being addressed right at the top. Plenty of viewers had reservations about Tom when he magically popped on board as Malia White‘s boyfriend. The timing felt suspiciously perfect for him to take over the galley, and helped fuel rumors that Malia had somehow managed to basically cast the show in the wake of several firings by Captain Sandy Yawn.
Heave ho, heave ho, it’s off the dock we go. If last week’s Below Deck Mediterranean felt like a filler episode to reintroduce Aesha Scott, this week certainly ramped up the drama for poor Rob Westergaard. But not before enduring the rest of the drunken charter featuring Johnny Damon and his band of merry pals. Or before dragging out Jessica More‘s heart palpitations from the end of last week into a full-blown medical crisis.
Remember pre-quarantine when Captain Sandy Yawn had a heart attack during SoulCycle? Apparently one in three women die from a heart attack or a stroke. I was not aware of this statistic. But Sandy used the third stew’s heart palpitations as the perfect excuse to inject the episode with a PSA about women’s heart health. First the captain lays Jess down on her couch and checks her blood pressure. She even goes as far as to text a cardiologist friend with Jess’ stats, but the doc says, and I quote, it’s “not that bad.” So, basically the entire medical emergency was all for naught. But I suppose if it helps even one female viewer be more aware of her heart health, it’s worth the tangent. And good thing Jess is OK! Well, at least before she’s about to get her heart broken…