Below Deck Mediterranean
A squall’s afoot near the Isle of Capri. The seas are gray, the sky is angry, and only two things are certain: Someone’s gonna bitch and someone’s gonna barf.
This week, La Isla Bonita becomes La Isla Full of Bitches after the Talisman Maiton unleashes its charter guest-squad of Medusas upon its fair lands. The producers of Below Deck have a special talent for casting the world’s worst people to rent these boats, so I find myself a bit stunned to think that with this batch of guests, they’ve managed to find a new low in American society.
The primary, Nichelle, half-woman, half-statement necklace, opens the show by telling Captain Sandy that she’s not having fun. She got on the boat with Gucci logo-emblazoned Ursula the Sea Witch, but the real problem here is that Adam had the audacity to serve spaghetti to her with a single piece of asparagus chopped into pieces. There’s also Hannah’s face, which “didn’t look very pleasing” and the suggestion that the guests had to fill their own glasses.
In the crew mess, the deckhands, who may or may not know how to tie knots, are hitting each other in the crotch with a piece of rope. The editors also treat us to one of the first of the 47 shots they have of pageant queen Kasey barfing into a trash can.
From there, the editors begin methodically making João look like a self-righteous dick. He picks a fight with his wee boss Conrad about how to wipe down the tender. João says that in Zimbabwe, he learned to challenge authority when authority disagrees with him. João uses his Zimbabwean nationality as an excuse for all of his odious behavior. He’s the kind of guy who would call you a bitch and then say, “I didn’t call you a bitch, I said you’re being a bitch,” as though it’s all YOUR fault he’s a monster.
At last, Kasey gets to remove her head from the trash can and leave the boat. You know she has to feel really ill because hanging out with João and the terrifying guests fills her with joy.
João tells us that he thinks Kasey is attractive and that “it does seem like there’s more to her than a bucket.” Then Kasey tells him she’s allergic to raw fruits and vegetables, which connects to her latex allergy. (I briefly Googled this so you don’t have to and this connection does seem to exist.) João, who has the winning personality of a 13-year-old boy, then gleefully asks her if she uses condoms. Kasey drops what I guess is supposed to be the big sexual bombshell of the season by telling him she hasn’t done it in eight years.
João then carries on about how shocked he is, to make sure we all know that he could NEVER go without sex for eight long years. As though anyone would see him wearing his sunglasses on the bill of his hat, and think this man, of all men, is having sex more than a few times a decade. He then tells Kasey she needs to have sex with him so she has someone to compare with her high-school boyfriend. This may have been one of the other 47 times the editors cut to Kasey vomiting into a trash can.
Back on the deck, it’s pouring, and Hannah scrambles to save her coral centerpieces that may or may not be from a Tampa airport gift shop. The primary, no longer subjected to Hannah’s face or Adam’s vegetables, enjoys eating in a restaurant.
After they return to the boat to change for dinner, the redhead starts blathering on to Hannah about a birthday cake which, like all their other requests, wasn’t listed on the preference sheet. Hannah runs to tell Adam that either they can pull this cake out of their asses or tell the women they can’t have it. Ass cake it is!
At the dinner table, the primary forces everyone to endure each other’s company while wearing diamanté masks. Looking the most ridiculous is Captain Sandy, who is the only person at the table who doesn’t constantly wear necklaces that looks like they came from the fine jewelry gift shop at Walt Disney World.
Hannah grows concerned when she notices that the blonde woman wearing a dinner napkin as a dress isn’t eating her lobster bisque. Adam’s main course is crab-stuffed lobster with hollandaise, so what if she doesn’t like lobster? Hannah gently asks her if she dislikes lobster and the woman says she doesn’t really like seafood. Hannah passive aggressively informs her the only thing she said she didn’t like on her preference sheet was eggs, but that Adam will make her something else.
Hannah returns with lobster for everyone except Dinner Napkin, who gets duck. Now, I know circumstances aren’t on Adam’s side here, but expecting this lobster-bisque-hating woman to enjoy a nice breast of duck is like assuming the people who go to Trump rallies spend the rest of the night relaxing with the latest issue of The New Yorker.
Dinner Napkin, who now wishes she had the same lobster as everyone else, regards the breast like it might come alive and stain her dress. This prompts Sandy and the primary to get involved. Everyone agrees Dinner Napkin just told Hannah she doesn’t like seafood. Sandy fetches Dinner Napkin’s preference sheet to show her that she never specified she was anti-duck or anti-shellfish. She says all she wants is a piece of chicken. By now it’s clear that this woman isn’t going to be happy with Adam’s food unless he can microwave her a frozen Amy’s burrito.
The next morning, Dinner Napkin emerges from her chambers to let everyone know she’s famished because, despite having 17 dinners made for her, she didn’t eat last night.
And finally, the guests get off the boat, leaving Sandy with a $12,000 tip — $1,000 a person — and everyone with a burning desire to get wasted. So the round brushes come out, the hair dryers go on, and the crew finally has the chance to dip into their stash of going-out tops. Ferry captain Colin gets his only real scene this episode, in which he shows his drawer full of shoes to João. A drawer of shoes, despite having just moved onto a boat where you’re not allowed to wear them.
At dinner, Colin gets to tell Brooke about his last girlfriend, whom he dated for nine months before she ghosted him. He asks Brooke, who speaks English, if she knows what “ghosted” means.
The meal finishes with the revolting image of João chugging red wine before pounding his limoncello. They move on to some club or other, where Hannah grinds on João. She then chooses Brooke, whom she likes best because she’s not seasick, to go into the toilette with her, where Brooke tells Hannah her boyfriend dumped her.
Back on the dance floor, Kasey laughs at João for the way he’s doing a creepy dance all by himself. He spills a drink on her lap and then wipes it off, telling her, “I’m not gonna touch your vagina!” After Hannah tries to flirt with 23-year-old Conrad, who is probably the most mature person out of all these people, they stuff themselves into an oversize party van.
Then we have the first real fight of the season, which I would have enjoyed a lot more if I didn’t despise João so very much. After a moment of apparent merriment that involved Adam sitting on Hannah and João coming over to hump both of them, Hannah makes a comment about João flaunting his balls, which leads to him calling her “a stew.” Hannah snaps and says, “I’m your chief stew,” prompting João to retort that she’s a chief stew, but hot his chief stew. We cut away to João’s interview with producers, where he again uses Zimbabwe as an excuse for being an asshole, explaining that he’s “not from yachts” and refuses to accept the hierarchy of the boat. To show everyone he means business, he says Hannah has a “goat laugh” and insults her age.
Adam then tells João to STFU because “I’m sick of listening to this.” And so are all of us.