Below Deck Recap: Captain Lee Saves the Day, Krystal Ruins It

Below Deck

Shame Cocoon
Season 6 Episode 15
Editor’s Rating 5 stars

Below Deck

Shame Cocoon
Season 6 Episode 15
Editor’s Rating 5 stars
Photo: Bravo

Bravo bookends this episode with two sets of totally horrible guests and I am so happy. We pick up at the cliff-hanger involving the two dodos who ignored Ross’s instructions to ride the Jet Ski wearing the kill switch, before falling off the Jet Ski, which shoots across the sea and could very well (but doesn’t) kill a human or piece of endangered coral. Here I thought climate change and plastic garbage were the sea’s man-made death sentence, but perhaps an equally serious problem is Bravo depositing yachtfuls of liquor-soaked drunk people into the ocean along with motor vehicles for them to operate.

Lee watches this shit-show unfold and is so enraged by this display of idiocy that he hops in the tender himself and drives out to the guests in a masterful action sequence one could easily confuse with any James Bond movie. He tells them to get on the tender now, and one of them says, “Did we go too far?” Like he has no idea why Lee might be plucking them from the ocean like plastic garbage bags.

Lee lectures them about how people driving Jet Skis need to use the kill switch because otherwise they might, you know, get killed. Then they switch to unicorn and flamingo Instagram floaties that have been ruining the natural beauty of oceans everywhere since 2018. Kate and Josiah serve them “sparkling unicorn drinks,” which is the kind of cocktail you drink if you have the personality of a friendship necklace from Claire’s. It consists of vodka, soda, champagne, sprinkles, and, per Kate, “whatever the hell else is lying around.”

Down below, Tyler has a break, which he uses to eat and wear a sweater. He tells Josiah he doesn’t know what he’ll do after this charter, and Josiah’s like, “Alaska!” And Kate comes by and says, “You look so different in your Alaskan sweater!” And I love this scene because it confirms that Tyler is the kind of dense self-professed alpha male who has no idea when he’s being made fun of.

“I don’t want anything more [from Rhylee]. And god forbid anything less,” he tells us in the same artificially deepened tone of voice he’d use to tell his 15-year-old cousin about the time he did [insert “manly” thing here].

While the guests dress for their “wig party,” Rhylee asks Ashton about Laura. “I think she has feelings for you,” Rhylee tells him, and he considers it for a second before saying, “That’s cool,” like Starbucks accidentally served him a grande instead of a tall.

The next morning, Tyler asks Rhylee out to drinks, just the two of them, since “our parts fit together so well.”

Back to the “Adrian sexually harasses Laura” plotline: He sits on the counter staring her down while she presses orange halves onto a juicer. Feeling pressured to make conversation, she goes, “Sweet and juicy,” and Adrian says, “Just like me.” Disgust creeps into Laura’s face. “It’s been over a month, so trust me, I’m juicy,” Adrian continues. I feel bad for Laura, who has to go from that to taking orders for seven drinks from two guests.

In their bunk, Tyler tells Rhylee he’s thinking about finding a boat to run when this job ends. Rhylee says with Tyler’s sailing skills and her fishing skills … And then Tyler freaks out. Over an ellipsis. “The quickest way to scare me off,” he tells us, is “by forcing yourself into my future.” His reaction to Rhylee is ridiculous because everyone knows that vacation relationships are just like this. You talk with the other person about the future and how you’ll see each other here or there, but it never happens and you go on to date and marry other people and it’s fine. Rhylee suggesting they see each other in the future is something that she will probably have forgotten about 36 hours post-charter, and if she doesn’t they can just mutually ghost each other on WhatsApp like normal people. But no. Tyler, because he assumes he is so great that a woman like Rhylee would desperately chase him down after filming, thinks he has to shut her down.

Kate has to literally shoo the horrible charter guests away from the bar and off the boat. They hand over an envelope containing $17,000 and the primary says if he could give them $100,000 he would, but this is all they can afford. Which suggests they were only able to afford the trip by splitting the cost amongst the group, which would explain why 100 of them had to go.

Rhylee and Tyler then prepare for their date, and after much agonizing over her outfit, Rhylee settles on a confusing combination of an oversized gray blouse and small shaggy cutoffs that I can only describe as PTA-meeting–meets–Burning Man.

Tyler says that he likes Rhylee and wants “to treat her nice,” before sitting down to drinks with her and telling her that he wants to “pump the breaks” because he “obviously hasn’t experienced” the sort of epiphany Captain Lee told him he felt when he met his wife.

Back at the boat, the last preference-sheet meeting occurs and we learn that the incoming primary is investment banker Krystal, who’s coming aboard with a bunch of women to abuse in celebration of her birthday. Kate suggests that these women will be easy because they’ll just guzzle wine and wear caftans all day. But, thank the Tahitian gods, Bravo would never end a season as spectacular as this one with easy guests.

Rhylee and Tyler get back to the boat and Rhylee is in tears because Tyler has “made it very clear he doesn’t want to be a part of my life.” They go to the same restaurant with the nautical décor at which they previously fought, and everyone notices Rhylee is in a bad mood. Tyler, Ashton, and Laura meet off to the side to talk about what happened with Rhylee, and Tyler explains he doesn’t like how Rhylee “intertwined her idea with my idea.” He’s like, “Let’s just go back to banging. What was wrong with that?” I don’t know why men think any woman wants to serve as nothing but a means of relieving a man’s sexual frustration, but whether this is done verbally (Adrian) or physically (Tyler) no woman is truly fine with this and these man-children annoy me by having the type of disordered personality that prohibits them from grasping this very simple concept.

The next morning, the charter guests come aboard shouting about boob sweat. Before Kate can begin the tour of the boat, Krystal demands sunscreen for her “crisp feet” because “the six bottles of rosé for breakfast were a really bad idea.”

Once they’re seated on deck with miniature olive-and-cheese tarts, Krystal demands an old-fashioned, but “like, the pre-1800s old-fashioned where it’s just a little bit of bitters and the lemon rind — no, like, muddled fruit.” When her drink comes back with an orange rind in it she somehow restrains herself from throwing it in Kate’s face.

Then a super-gross thing happens in the kitchen, where Laura is crouched on the floor rummaging through a refrigerator for meat. “The meat’s right here!” Adrian says, standing over her. She’s like, huh? And turns around, and he sort of shakes his crotch at her face and laughs and Laura is justifiably appalled.

Krystal then has a fight with someone named Chelsea who flees in tears. Krystal shouts, “I don’t want to ruin the rest of my trip with this WHORE! She fucking tried to apologize and she was a WHORE about it!” And the crew, along with the rest of America, is so happy to be witnessing this outburst. Except for Adrian because he’s insane.

But this fight was just a warm-up to the truly special one that unfolds at dinner. Krystal falls asleep in a booth wrapped in a blanket and her “friends” leave. Ashton offers to carry her to bed and she cries from within her cocoon, “Don’t fucking touch me.” At 1 a.m., one of the said “friends” peeks her head into the blanket and says, “Are you ready to be an adult? Go inside, please.” Krystal emerges from the blanket to punch this woman and say, “Go away and talk to somebody else that gives a fuck about you. Like, I don’t care anymore.” She then returns to pretending to sleep while everyone talks about her.

Because it’s a liability for her to sleep in the booth, which, Kate says, could result in her rolling into the ocean, someone either has to stay up all night watching her sleep or get her to bed. Kate asks one of the abused women what they should do, and she says they should probably just leave her there. Obviously, Kate has been doing this too long to acquiesce to this insane situation, so she tells Josiah to get the hose. A look of fear grips Josiah’s face, because if this woman is capable of punching someone who just asks her to go to bed, what will she do to the guy who dared serve her an old-fashioned with an orange rind who’s now spraying her with a hose? Ashton’s already gone to bed! Josiah’s defenses might be limited to his citrus peeler and one of Kate’s bobby pins.

Below Deck: Captain Lee Saves the Day, Krystal Ruins It