Below Deck Recap: Caroline and Chandler Sitting in a Tree?

Below Deck

Bitch in Charge
Season 6 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

Below Deck

Bitch in Charge
Season 6 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Bravo

Grab a Core water bottle filled with vodka and let’s continue the honeymoon of our nightmares. Are you ready for Chandler’s disorganized jelly? Me neither. I’m still Team Rhylee — as are Ashton, Caroline, Ross — sort of — and Captain Lee. But mostly, Lee is Team Ross. If he didn’t have a boat to drive and an entire team of employees to make feel like idiots, he would ride off into the sunset with Ross on a romantic Polynesian canoe. They’d sing songs to one another like Moana and The Rock. But most importantly, they’d shit talk Chandler, who Captain Lee thinks should really be doing a better job.

It’s the last night of this charter and they’re throwing a luau on the beach. This, apparently, is like a beach picnic on crack. Not only do they have to shuttle a bunch of furniture and raw meat to shore, but they also have to organize musicians and dancers and make sure Captain Lee’s best florals are pressed for the occasion. As Adrian pipes pastry, Kate tells him Josiah is her favorite stew of all time. Quick cut to a shot of Josiah not allowing a guest to pass without being offered a drink to prove Kate’s point.

After packing commences for the beach dinner, Chandler goes to take a nap. Caroline complains to Kate that he wouldn’t help her with the dishes and the trash the night before, which kept her up til 4:45 in the morning. Kate thinks Caroline is actually upset that Chandler didn’t seize trash fetching as an opportunity to flirt with Caroline. Kate’s obsessed with Caroline being obsessed with Chandler. But actually, Kate and Josiah are the ones who are truly obsessed with Chandler. And Ross, sort of. Hell, after talking about it so much now I’m obsessed with Chandler!

Kate tells Caroline it’s not the bosun’s job to wash a dish, therefore she shouldn’t be upset about him not helping her. Then Caroline runs to Chandler to blather about how she was confused “about what our joint role was.” Chandler says he has no idea what she’s talking about and, “Sometimes I don’t think she even knows where she is.”

Kate and Caroline go ashore to work on tablescapes and other stressful beach dinner tasks and Kate tells Caroline to conceive a baby on the boat with Chandler and name it “Seanna” after the boat. They can wrap it in a gold brocade pillowcase instead of a standard-issue hospital blanket, and give it a gold tassel to play with instead of a rattle. Adrian can feed it foamed formula.

On the boat, Ross and Rhylee are shoving random carbs into their mouths when Ross apologizes to her for bringing up her name to Captain Lee when he went to complain about the deck crew’s disfunction. “I shouldn’t have said anything,” he says. Rhylee is like, “What the fuck have I done? Besides my JOB.”

After the crew dumps the guests on shore for dinner, Kate throws margaritas at them because part of getting a good tip is keeping everyone consistently buzzed to drunk the entire time they’re around. Adrian serves different kinds of meat and the primary jokes to Captain Lee that he’s taking Adrian home with him, which he thought was a compliment but kind of comes off as belittling. Like telling your friend you love her new Goldendoodle so much you’re going to take him home with you. Even if Adrian is a human Goldendoodle, maybe there’s a way to compliment him without non-sexually objectifying him?

Before dinner ends, we get a scene of Kate and Josiah comparing Captain Lee to Beyoncé while Caroline awkwardly tries to join the conversation. Although, I’m not sure there’s anything to do but nervously laugh when someone compares Captain Lee to Beyoncé.

Back on the boat, Caroline collects herself over a cigarette. Chandler takes a break from playing with tarps to chat with her. They talk about how they’re going to travel once the season ends, and Chandler brags about how he’s traveled more than his yacht captain dad and he’s only 28. Caroline doesn’t say she’s into Chandler, just that she’d “swipe right” on him on Tinder. Then she tells him that she enjoys his company but finds him guarded. I’m not sure if he’s guarded or just doesn’t have much to talk about on the boat except for how much he hates Rhylee.

After the luau, Chandler tells Ashton and Ross to “knock off” before clean-up is done. Gazing upon a pile of tote bags filled with crap, he radios Rhylee and tells her to come clean everything up. “I’m tired,” he says. “Junior crew gets the shit jobs.” If he really thought Rhylee was incompetent would he trust her with all this stuff or slam an espresso martini and do it himself?

Kate asks Caroline how she thinks the charter is going, and Caroline says she feels left out because Josiah and Kate are BFF’s, an impenetrable tangle of inside jokes and hair spray. Kate says they want to be friends with her, too. Which is true, if by friends she means “willing object of our derision.”

In the morning, while Adrian cleaves potatoes and Ashton wanders about with a mop, a real non-cast member crew person convinces Lee to do a “synchronized fender drop” when the boat pulls into port, because it looks cool. I gather this is like the boat getting dressed up for an Instagram versus slopping about in athleisure at sea where no one can see her.

After the fenders drop at almost the same time, Lee watches Rhylee wipe a rail and goes, “Well done, Rhylee.” And Lee is not one to lavish praise so you know he must mean it. Before departing, the primary and his wife, dressed in her “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” Halloween costume, leave a large tip. Chandler scolds Rhylee for not helping with luggage before going to change, and Kate and Josiah eat stale Cheetohs in bed. At the tip meeting, Lee tells them they’ve each earned $1820 in tip money. Everyone is thrilled except Adrian, because, “Money doesn’t have that much value in my eyes.”

Lee calls Chandler to the wheelhouse to talk about the deck crew’s problems. Chandler starts blathering and Lee asks him to “be specific.” Which leads to him to bash Rhylee, who Lee thinks is working hard. Chandler would rather fire her than work with her on being a better team member, but Lee tells him he can’t, and then proceeds to mansplain how to manage a team. Have a team meeting before each charter, he says. People work best on a schedule, he says. Chandler, who is 28, is like, OH RLY?

Then all of a sudden Rhylee is resting on Ashton’s chest in his bed. Did I miss something? I know he said she was hot at the beginning of the season, but we went from them hornily standing around on the boat wiping surfaces in their respective areas to them hornily cuddling?

Then we cut to one of my favorite moments of this season so far — all the guys crack open bottles of beer to sit on the deck and gossip about Caroline. And Adrian wanders up and slinks into the booth with a foamy drink in a mug — probably a chai — and chuckles that he should really be doing his yoga up here at night.

They get dressed to go to dinner, and Kate and others in her van observe that Rhylee is wearing a bra this time. At dinner, they all order espresso martinis, except for Caroline, who’s not drinking tonight. She and Chandler have the following flirtatious exchange:

Caroline: As fun as all of this is, the worst thing is being tired on charter.
Chandler: Yeah. I’m on the same page. I love my sleep.
Caroline: Oh my God — it’s the most fun thing in the whole world.
Chandler: I don’t know about fun.
Caroline: Oh, it’s fun for me.

Then it finally dawns on Rhylee that everyone but her assumes Caroline and Chandler will bang at some point this season. She says she can’t believe her roommate would secretly have the hots for her “arch nemesis.” While she confronts Caroline over peach cake they night-binge in the kitchen, Josiah makes ramen for him and Kate in a very sophisticated fashion with some kind of glass tea kettle. Some of us get drunk and eat cold leftovers out of the fridge, and Josiah gets drunk and starts ferrying munchies about on polished serving trays.

The episode ends with both him and Kate, very drunk, in their bunks, talking about who they would fire. Kate says she would fire Rhylee because “she’s a moron,” but then they say they would fire Caroline because she talks too much and listens too little. Actually, she listens quite well, because she hears everything they’re saying, and awkwardly, soberly patters into their room. “Hearing them mean-girl me behind my back is upsetting,” she says. “I don’t know why they think they can treat me this way. It’s become a really fucked up pattern.” She’s right. It is mean when she’s not in on the joke.

Next week it’s the requisite episode with — dun dun dun — Instagrammers. Yay!

Below Deck Recap: Caroline and Chandler Sitting in a Tree?