Below Deck Recap: The True Cost of Ashton’s Splash

Below Deck

I’m Sorry You Feel That Way
Season 7 Episode 11
Editor’s Rating 5 stars

Below Deck

I’m Sorry You Feel That Way
Season 7 Episode 11
Editor’s Rating 5 stars
Photo: Bravo

Is this the inside of a dryer, or the basement of a huge motor yacht run by people who have been drinking for 12 hours? Because how else do you explain the downright sinful act of uniforms flying around and landing on the floor in the presence of the captain, who the Kate-hating faction suddenly regards as His Holiness whose ring must be kissed upon entry to the boat? Kate throwing uniforms on the floor after Brian called her a bitch and the entire deck team purposefully made fun of her within earshot isn’t great. But it’s not like she’s throwing sea urchins at people.

Ashton, Kevin, and Tanner make a show of being offended while Kate crumples in her bed and weeps beneath the blanket Rhylee applies to her shaking body. I’m not saying Captain Lee isn’t His Holiness of the high seas or that his gold dolphin jewelry shouldn’t be customarily kissed (because he is and it should be), but Ashton, Kevin, and Tanner wouldn’t have treated him like such a god if it weren’t for the purpose of making Kate look bad. The editors cut to a serene shot of Captain Lee striding through the wheelhouse in his sleeveless athleisure, like it’s any old night when he’s between brushing his teeth and FaceTiming his wife.

Courtney goes to bed by herself and Brian — the only one of the guys who apologized to Kate with some sincerity — comes in wondering why Courtney “took Kate’s side” instead of his. Courtney says she didn’t take a side and Brian and his abs patter out.

At 1:33 a.m., Tanner texts Simone to confirm she’s up. Tanner tells Brian to do “the old switcheroo,” so Brian goes into Courtney and Simone’s room and tells Simone to go to Tanner’s bed. Instead of telling Brian to tell Tanner she’d rather they both jump into the jellyfish-filled sea than go back to Tanner’s bed, she goes to Tanner’s bed.

In the morning, Lee calls Kate up for coffee before she’s even put on her blue T-shirt. She’s hungover, has makeup on her face from crying, and feels embarrassed about it all. Lee tells her that he’s “bitterly disappointed” in her. Kate seems understanding, but she’s a season regular, so there are no real consequences here. She goes off to visit with Courtney, the only person who seems to like her.

At the preference sheet meeting we learn those children who previously had to walk barefoot through broken glass on deck in Tahiti are returning with their parents and the lady Chandler dropped on a rock. Lee says last night was a shit show and, “Going forward, I expect you to act like adults. It’s not difficult.” If Master Pearson can do it…

These guests experienced so much carnage the last time they were here that I’m not sure why they’re coming back. The producers must have offered them an additional discount off the 50 percent guests usually get, because between the sea urchins and the jellyfish and the crew’s competence, someone is going home injured. A broken bone, a sting, a flesh wound, smoke inhalation — take your pick!

Ashton invites Kate to the bow to talk. He asks what happened last night, and it seems like he’s going to hear her out and then offer an apology for the sake of being the bigger person. Except, rather than do that, he then tells her the real problem here is her being late every time they have to go somewhere as a group. Kate tells Ashton she’s sorry that has been so difficult for him, then goes off to promote Courtney in front of Simone.

In the kitchen, Kevin realizes his fan broke. This means he’ll be trapped in there with no ventilation, forced to comingle with cooking smoke and the smell of his own farts.

On deck, Ashton swiffers, and his team asks how it went with Kate. He says, “She’s sorry I feel that way HAHAHAHA.”

Then Tanner pulls Ashton aside to mount an elaborate defense of his sleazy behavior at the Dream Beach Club:

Tanner: “You and I danced with those dancing girls? I got so much shit for it.”
Ashton: “Ohhh. From Sims?”
Tanner: “Fucking dancing with a party girl? It’s like pretending a stripper likes you.”

Tanner rants about how if he had a girlfriend it wouldn’t be someone who got jealous “that fucking easy.” And, “How many people have you ever talked to that have gotten married that have said thank god I’ve gotten married?” *everyone married to a person who is not Tanner raises hands*

Simone steals a minute alone in her bunk to call her mom and say, guess who got promoted? That girl who couldn’t turn an iron from low to maximum.

Hours before the family arrives for their charter, Captain Lee calls the crew to an emergency meeting. The emergency is that the DJ equipment at the Dream Beach Club has been damaged by the crew’s cannonballs. Ashton takes responsibility for the charge and goes to apologize to Captain Lee, who informs him he owes the Dream Beach Club $1,000. Ashton is like, for fuck’s sake, because who wants to owe the Dream Beach Club $1,000???

While Courtney affixes her extra stripe to her shoulder and Kevin sniffs his own armpit, Ashton apologizes to Kate for being so embarrassing the other day. She says it’s okay, it must have just been pent-up frustration from having to wait for her and Rhylee. Ashton goes to Kate Hater Number One Kevin to complain that “the queen bee bitch has to have the last say.” It would be nice if Kate were the bigger person in these interactions and just accepted the apology but it’s still less bad than Ashton going around calling her a bitch to anyone with ears.

The guests board the boat and Lee drives them to park somewhere scenic and full of jellyfish. Not little jellies that you’d be fine noticing during a snorkel, but horrifically large Planet Earth-style jellyfish. Ashton tells the guests not to jump in the water, and the mom says, well, don’t you have a pool you can put in? Have fun setting it up, your muscles charm me not at all, ’kay thanks!!!

Kevin gets right on grinding up the almonds he soaked the night before for his Caprese salad dressing. He thinks this is the perfect food to serve because his kitchen is 89 degrees and “everyone likes cheese.” Only, mozzarella is white and it looks especially bad with a huge dark hair on it. When one of the women notices this, she sends it back. Kevin says this is “a nightmare.” And the primary: “Strike one! First meal!” Like he is maybe a little happy that the first thing that went wrong was this instead of human bloodshed. Kevin says it’s not his hair unless he pulled a pube out, which he didn’t. (But did Tanner?)

The deck crew does manage to deploy the in-sea pool, which is basically a giant net with a border, along the likes of what you’d use to pick out a goldfish at Petco, but large enough to fit many people. The guests use the pool for 40 minutes which annoys Ashton, who now has to lead his three-person team through 90 minutes of physical labor and mental gymnastics to figure out how to put the thing away.

For dinner, Kevin serves fried rice in tiny pineapples along with pork on a stick because his daughter loves meat on a stick. Only, no one’s going to care if the kids dislike their food, because kids dislike food all the time. His real audience is this mom, whose verdict is: “Pork’s, like, not my favorite?” Dessert is an elaborate black sticky rice pudding/mango parfait, but the mom is just “not, like, into rice for dessert.” I’m supposed to hate this woman, but I don’t. I want to be on a private yacht in huge sunglasses with my small children asking for sea pools the way I would a pamplemousse LaCroix, being served dinner in tiny pineapples and deciding it’s not good enough.

In the crew quarters, Tanner asks Simone if it’s “cool” they’re “keeping it casual.” Simone says yes but that she still wants to be treated with respect. She hates that she thinks Tanner is hot.

At breakfast they eat what the dad thinks is a passion fruit. The grandparents make a “surprise” arrival by water taxi, and they adorably tell Captain Lee they’ve never been on a boat like this before. These may be the first normal, non-odious people who have ever appeared on Below Deck. It’s confusing. Please rescue them.

A group of guests sets off in a dingy for the beach, which was supposed to be a big important activity. Ashton approaches shore and decides that if he risks taking the kids and “elderly” people to the beach they could all get slammed against jagged rocks by the waves and that would be even worse for their tip — which he now badly needs to pay off the Dream Beach Club — than him and Kate fighting. So he decides to take the guests back to the boat, which means his team now has to take out all the pain-in-the-ass equipment they would have avoided by depositing these people on the beach for the afternoon. While they set up the pool, Master Pearson gets antsy and demands water toys, putting pressure on Rhylee and Tanner, who find themselves incapable of tying off important lines. If you have a deckhand tying a knot for a line for a sea pool that small children are swimming in as though she’s practicing, that seems pretty bad?

While Tanner and Rhylee struggle, Kevin decides to grill fish. What happened to restraining his style in his fan-less world? Why, of all the ways he could serve fish — sushi, ceviche, baked, lightly seared — would he choose to grill?

The fire alarm ends the episode. Next week, we find out if the boat burns down or the smoke merely suffocates the children and elderly.

Below Deck Recap: The True Cost of Ashton’s Splash