Below Deck Mediterranean
I have hated every primary to set their bare feet upon Below Deck’s motor yachts’ sometimes-vacuumed floors, but the “motivational speaker” chartering the Talisman Maiton these past couple episodes may actually represent an even more spectacularly worse parody of a human being than usual. He speaks with periods. Between. His. Words. His go-to outfit choice is a ’90s baby-tee and pleated trousers that have enough room to also fit ten pieces of table coral. He makes the crew endure a “sharing circle,” which turned out to be nothing more than a forward trust fall, which is the sort of office-worker team-building nonsense they took jobs like this to avoid.
While Brooke confronts Hannah about her laziness, the primary lectures his friends and wife (his poor wife) about teamwork: “Together. Everyone. Achieves. Miracles.” In the Nespresso closet downstairs, Hannah says she handles “lead service” and is with the guests “all the fucking time.” I think Brooke is right that Hannah is coasting on her status as a staple on this reality show rather than trying at her job. What she may be too inexperienced to appreciate, though, is that folding toilet paper points is actually better than having to spend hours indulging the ego of a Bloody Mary–swilling human fortune cookie with the self-awareness of a goldfish.
Post-fight, after the guests have gone to bed, Brooke mopes her way to the dinner table, where, through tears, she puts the deconstructed pageant dress serving as table décor into a Ziploc bag. Conrad goes to console her and Hannah gets mad because the person he’s consoling called her lazy.
Shout-out to the non-cast member sitting at the breakfast table the next morning, who I’m pretty sure is one of the engineers they introduced at the beginning of the season who does the work necessary to prevent everyone from sinking to their deaths. João checks in with Brooke about how the confrontation went and she says it “went down like a bag of nails,” which João thinks is just HILARIOUS. Brooke has internalized João’s nastiness toward his No. 1 enemy, which is probably what he jerked off to the previous night instead of staying up to console her like Conrad did.
Around the corner in the Nespresso closet, Hannah acts all chummy with Kasey. She complains about how Brooke told her she’s lazy, and instead of reassuring her that she’s not, Kasey is like, oh yeah, we’ve talked about that behind your back. Which is a great thing to tell your boss when she’s as petty as Hannah is.
On the main deck, the primary is reading a book called Wishes Fulfilled and wearing a tank top that says “the power of the dream.” They talk about going to visit the caves that line the coast of Capri and he says to his wife, “You want to share that experience with me?”
Inside, Hannah calls Brooke and Kasey to a meeting where she tells them that she’s not lazy and that the guests have never been without something they’ve wanted all season. Then the editors flash back to the previous episode where Hannah forgot to pack Grey Goose for Power of the Dream’s Bloody Mary. After the meeting, Brooke and Kasey are banished to bed-making, and Brooke says Hannah is “one of the most manipulative people” she’s ever met. Which would probably be true if she hadn’t also just met João.
Hannah may be feeling insecure about her image on the boat, because she helps Kasey do laundry. This leaves Kasey time to go off and flirt with João, an activity that’s actually more demeaning than all her other chores.
At dinner that night, Hannah forgets which plate has no dairy in it. If I’m not mistaken, after watching dozens of episodes of Below Deck, remembering guests’ dietary restrictions is about 75 percent of her job.
Adam comes to the table to tell the guests he cooked the fish with burnt cedar and contained said aroma under those little bowls. He asks them to lift the bowls and inhale like this is Eleven Madison Park. Only, we know it’s not Eleven Madison Park because Hannah then goes to non-dairy guest Lucy to ask her if she’s allergic to cream, and she nicely says it’s not a big deal if she has cream. Hannah got lucky, but what if someone came on the boat with a deadly nut allergy? Would she forgetfully serve them nuts and then ask, “Are you allergic to nuts?” Then go and text in the hallway while sort of hoping in the back of her mind the guest doesn’t die?
After dinner, the crew has to participate in, as Hannah says, “something around an arrow.” The primary has removed his dinner jacket to reveal his striped baby-tee and giant khakis, and shows the crew how to break an arrow with the front of their necks. João says, “I’ve been shot, I’ve been in fights, I’ve been attacked by a hippo, and this arrow might take me down.” Colin, bless his heart, still wearing his sunglasses, breaks the arrow so no one else has to, and João looks on all misty-eyed, like he’s watching one of his friends get married and actually has a soul.
Next, Hannah and Conrad go to that little hole they like on the boat with a rope in it to fight about how Conrad is sometimes nice to people Hannah hates. Conrad says he’s tired of “walking on eggshells” around her, and that love shouldn’t be this way.
The next morning, João asks Kasey to make him a cup of tea and they hug, which is gross. Speaking of gross, a level or two up, João bumps into the primary wearing a short-sleeved black pajama shirt and no bottoms, like he’s a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Brooke reads his book — which he gifted to all of the crew and looks like it was printed at Kinko’s — aloud: “Happiness is a choice. Today I will choose to be happy.”
After the primary changes into a neon-orange tissue tee, he leaves the boat and tells the crew he could give them things “financially,” but he likes to “gift from the heart.” Which is exactly what people who scrub the grime from the sides of your rented hot tub want to hear.
After a sweet moment where Colin’s parents surprise him on the boat, leaving him crying happy tears, the crew gets dressed to go out. Conrad plots to have Adam and Colin sit near him so that Hannah can’t sit next to or across from him, because, “I’ll have my balls ripped off if she sits anywhere close to me.” On the tender over to land, Hannah loudly tells the other crew women within earshot of Conrad, “As soon as I get married I need to give someone my black book … a basketball player, a rugby player — and to think I was going to give that all up for a 23-year-old English boy!”
As immature and stupid as this comment is, it actually bothers wee Conrad, who says Hannah makes him feel “this big,” making a gesture I’m guessing is the size of João’s penis. At the dinner, Conrad’s seating arrangement pans out perfectly, causing Hannah to look at him like he’s just asked her to reimburse him for a pack of Tic Tacs. Hannah simply swaps seats with Colin, who is as likely to say no to her as he is to not call his mom back, so she can “have a cigarette” at the end of the table. She and Conrad soon leave the main table to drink wine and smoke on a tiny nearby upside-down boat — a symbol of their destroyed love — where they fight about the same things they always do. Conrad says that over the past two weeks, it’s all changed! Which confused me because, don’t they film this show in like four weeks?
Hannah and Conrad seemingly break up after she “demeans” him by calling him “sweetheart.” And Brooke gets upset because João feeds Kasey dessert the exact same way he feeds it to her. “I don’t know if he’s trying to make me jealous or if he’s a serial flirt,” wonders Brooke. The sad thing about this is she thinks there’s a difference in those two things.
Next week, there will be another episode, but I may not be back to recap it. I’m going to change careers to motivational speaker, so I can defraud hardworking Americans out of 99 cents for self-published books that say things like, “You are the power.”
Just kidding! I’m obviously way too negative to do anything like that.