Anyone watching the new season of Below Deck Mediterranean knows that a boat romance is on the horizon. Take that from experience watching the Below Deck franchise, and the powers of hiring a certain mix of attractive people and its inevitable that crew members will be hooking up. It’s just a matter of who, when, and whether it will be a hookup or something more.
Boat romances are just messy, season after season. Gary King and Sydney Zaruba didn’t wait past the first episode of Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 2. This rather unfortunate decision prevented Gary from getting the girl he really wanted in the end. Of course, Alli Dore moved on to greener pastures and is happily awaiting the birth of her first child with boyfriend. Jessica More and Robert Westergaard got in over their heads with emotions, but there was nothing to keep them together in the end. Even after a dream vacation in Bali together. Former chief stew Hannah Ferrier and Bosun Conrad Empson bonded over cigarettes and a mutual distaste for Captain Sandy Yawn before things went sour over an argument about fifty euros. This small sample of broken hearts is, of course, one reason we keep watching.
Last season on Below Deck Mediterranean, viewers were inundated with dysfunctional boat romances. Bosun Malia White had to placate her then boyfriend Tom Checketts whenever things didn’t work out in the galley. Their relationship dynamic was all about Malia managing his ego and poor problem solving abilities. Then there was Jessica More and Robert Westergaard. They met on board and were an item for a hot minute before arguments and jealousy took hold.
But there was one coupling that fans were rooting for. It never really took off during the season, but watching deck hand Alex Radcliffe trying to woo Bugsy Drake was endearing to say the least. He adored her, but ultimately got friend-zoned. They are still friends and communicate often on social media, which raised hopes that some feelings could be rekindled. So now that Bugsy is promoting her new book, The Art of Tablescaping: Deck Out Your Table with the Queen of Theme, she also offered an update on where she and Alex stand currently.
Anyone need a Valium? Truly, I don’t know how you could’ve gotten through Part 2 of the Below Deck Mediterranean reunion without anxiety. Or at the very least a substantial headache. Because as much as Hannah Ferrier‘s firing (rightfully) angered fans, I never want to hear the words “maritime law” again. Except, sorry, you’ll probably be forced to hear them a whole bunch in this last and final recap of the season.
The first half of Part 2 of the reunion all revolves around the drama between Hannah and Captain Sandy Yawn. Was Hannah’s vape pen for CBD or THC? The chief stew claims it was CBD for anxiety; the manufacturer claims it matches their THC pen. Ok, that doesn’t stop Hannah from insisting you can put whatever oil you want in the pen, and doubling down that it was CBD. Jessica More jumps in to add that she also had a CBD pen on board, which promptly sets Sandy off. But what’s the captain going to do? Fire her? And really, does anyone even care anymore at this point?
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…