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…
We’re headed to Ibiza, baby! That’s right. Below Deck Mediterranean is leaving Mallorca behind for the bright lights and unstoppable party of Ibiza. Well, for the next charter, at least. No promises after that because it’s not totally clear if we’re staying there for the rest of the season.
In the closing moments of last week, we learned the identity of the new second stew: returning yachtie Aesha Scott! Everyone’s favorite bushpig from Season 4 is beyond thrilled to be back, even if the entire crew are strangers to her. In fact, the only cast member she knows is Captain Sandy Yawn, whom she envelopes in a huge hug the moment she steps on board. (Personally, I don’t know that I would come back after being thrown up on by a charter guest last year. But more power to Aesha!)
Welcome to a new chapter of Below Deck Mediterranean. The dawn of a new day. A time to set sail for the unknown sea, the wind at our backs and Captain Sandy Yawn still micromanaging the boat from the bow. Just kidding, we’re still in Mallorca.
For those of you just tuning in, this week is the first episode in the history of the show’s five seasons without Hannah Ferrier as chief stew. The OG’s firing — over an unregistered Valium prescription — was decidedly hard to watch last week. The fallout in interviews and other press was even harder to swallow. (Need an example? Just listen to the way Sandy chooses to use the phrase “do Valium” in this clip from the Below Deck Med After Show.)
“I haven’t even seen tonight’s episode and I’m already angry about it.” That was the tweet that popped up on my timeline before I sat down to watch the latest Below Deck Mediterranean. Or something like that. After having now sat through a grueling 75 minutes, I can confirm that viewer’s harbinger of things to come was accurate. Remember when this season was supposed to be about girl power? Women supporting women? How cool it is to have the first all-female leadership team in franchise history? Yeah, that’s officially a pipe dream.
Tonight was the episode every Below Deck Med fan has been waiting all season to see. We knew going into the premiere that Hannah Ferrier didn’t make it through the charter season. That she left sometime in the middle of filming. Did she quit? Was she fired? All fans knew was that the chief stew was now glowing and pregnant. And that she’d given up her career in yachting (and on Bravo) to give a life on land a try with her boyfriend and daughter-to-be.