Below Deck Season-Finale Recap: Full-Moon Party

Below Deck

Big Girls, Do Cry
Season 7 Episode 18
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

Below Deck

Big Girls, Do Cry
Season 7 Episode 18
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Bravo

Captain Lee would like us all to know he is NOT taking a bite of Kevin’s penis confection. Now that it’s next to him, it’s as if he thinks we expect him to turn his head to the side and start going at it like corn on the cob. Kevin realizes the primary is not at the table, and the mood isn’t exactly drunken and penis-cake-oriented. He becomes deeply embarrassed. Kate, knowing full well that she put Kevin in this very situation, asks if he’d like to present his dessert. Kevin says he’ll cut it up in the back, where he takes knife to penis and butchers it into ordinary plates of cake, the likes of which you’d find at any Las Vegas buffet.

As the guests enjoy the dessert, Lee apologizes that it was presented in penis form. Kevin is so distraught that he goes to sit by himself in the dinghy. Courtney, who sees how much the guests like the way the cake tastes, says Kevin is overreacting. After dessert, Lee comes into the kitchen and says the timing couldn’t have been worse for the penis cake, but it’s unclear if he knows or will accept that Kate wanted to create that uncomfortable moment for the purpose of making Kevin feel bad, regardless of how it would reflect on her or the team.

When Kevin extracts himself from the dinghy and returns to the kitchen, Kate and her team sip flutes of rosé Champagne. “Great season, everyone!,” she says, as Kevin mops in anguish. He wants to apologize to the guests in the morning, but Courtney says that would only perpetuate the awkwardness. Kevin blames Kate for hanging him out to dry with nothing but his edible penis. Kate first demurs, but then admits that she did, in fact, put Kevin in that horrible situation because he called her a “dick” earlier that day.

The argument becomes a dick-measuring (yes) contest over who is better at serving yacht customers. Kate accuses Kevin of not going to any beach parties; Kevin accuses Kate of not training her team well enough to avoid going to beach parties herself. Simone, who finds Kate “vile,” could not be happier about Kevin dressing down Kate, and beams behind Kate’s back, like the Florida Versailles woman from the last season of Below Deck Mediterranean just stopped by to bestow upon her a hideous $40,000 butterfly ring.

The next day, the guests tell Jemele about the “huge dick” she missed the night before after she went to bed, but the tone is one of amusement rather than the previous night’s horror.

On deck, Ashton calls Rhylee to a meeting to discuss how not to fight on their last night. After this painful conversation — the poorly timed penis cake of conversations — Rhylee says, “Tonight is our last night, and I don’t really give a fuck.”

Tanner sashays around the guest table as the guests enjoy Kevin’s food. All the flirting makes Tanner thirsty so he passes through the galley, where he asks Kate for a glass of orange juice. She gives him one, and he says, “Odds are looking pretty good with Kate.”

When Kevin visits the breakfast table, Jemele says, “I heard I missed some incredible dick.” Kevin expresses his embarrassment, and Jemele says his food has been “spectacular,” which is nice. As he walks away, Kate has to listen to the guests agree that he looks like Tom Cruise.

After they pop bottles on deck, the guests depart. Jemele tells Captain Lee he put “this grown-man sexy” on her, which is the best thing anyone has said to Captain Lee in Below Deck history. She leaves them with $20,000, $1,800 apiece, which may be the highest tip of the season. Each crew member will take home $14,063 in tips this season, minus, of course, money spent on liquor and scorpions on sticks.

Once surfaces are wiped and laundry is done, the crew separates into boys and girls to complain about one another. The boys jump off the boat together, and the girls have Champagne. Simone says she wants to say certain things to Kate but won’t, because, “It’s yachting. You need to be professional, you know?” Which is exactly why everyone comes on this show to begin with.

Courtney and Brian are still in a weird place after he insulted her on last week’s episode. She doesn’t think she’ll get back together with him, and says tonight is the last night she’ll see him for the rest of her life. This is why tonight they should finally do it: so that for the rest of her life, when she’s married and settled down with a hedge-fund manager in Connecticut, she can look back fondly on the hot South African she had a fling with when she endured the horrendous experience of being a yacht stew on a reality show.

Then everyone piles into a boat to go to a private island. Tanner has changed into a royal-blue shirt with a yellow and white flower print, and looks like a common Florida throw pillow. At the beach for the “full moon” party, they find not a young, topless Leonardo DiCaprio but, in a metaphor for the season, the letters “M/Y VALOR” lit up in flames.

At the beach, they take shots from tiny plastic cups. The guys remove their shirts and jump through the flaming letters. Dancers twirl and spit fire. Cut to the yacht where the sole occupant, Captain Lee, who must have a rider in his contract now about not having to attend the final cast party, would rather iron his shirt than spend a second on a private beach with this lot.

Brian finds Courtney and tells her he doesn’t want to end things on a bad note. He’s shirtless. Courtney regards his dewy muscles and cozies up to him for kisses. And America cheers.

Ashton, who is disappointed not to be at a nightclub in the presence of women he doesn’t know, meanders around the beach with a glow stick around his neck. He finds a tent and lies in it alone, either because he really does want to avoid fighting with Rhylee or he can’t see the point in wasting his energy socializing with people he knows for sure won’t sleep with him.

You know Kevin is pretty drunk at this point, because he’s shirtless and trying to take photos with both Kate and Rhylee. He then tells Kate that her problem is that she stopped caring about her work. She’s like, Excuse me? I’m a good chief stew. And Kevin says, You’re not a good chief stew. Kate hates this, and says, “You’re not that good of a yacht chef either … You make fucking weird salads with pumpkin seeds.” Then Tanner, who I’m beginning to think couldn’t get laid on his wedding night, defends Kevin. Kate hates this, too, but not nearly as much as Kevin kicking sand in her face minutes later. Brian leaps from Courtney’s side to run to Kevin’s. He says that even if it is Kate, Kevin can’t kick sand at her. Kevin says, “Fuck off,” and then the editors make it clear that he’s so drunk, those were some of the last consonants he’ll be able to enunciate all night. His next caption: “I walrahluhahh …”

At 12:23 a.m. Kate tells everyone it’s time to go. Ashton, still not in a fight with anyone, leaves his tent and gets on the boat. Brian says, “That was the best experience of my life.” And Kate says, “Except the sand kicked in my face.” He tells Kate not to worry about it right now, which is good advice. On the last night, the only thing more tedious than another orgy of torrid fighting is being Captain Lee, alone on the boat, sifting through empty liquor bottles, trying to find a speck of alcohol left behind in this group’s wake.

Kevin can barely move, but Ashton shoves him into the kitchen to cook them all food. They tell Kevin to take off his shorts because they’re full of sand. Then, Kevin is stark naked and wandering the boat. After finding a towel in the laundry room he collapses onto his bed, exposing his penis to Below Deck’s night crew.

Meanwhile, Courtney and Brian finally steal away to their own, camera-free guest cabin. The next morning, Brian will not tell Tanner what happened, just that he was so drunk he fell asleep.

Downstairs, Kevin gets up and looks across the hall at Kate. “Why are you smiling at me?,” she asks. “Because I’m happy,” he says. Kate wants to talk about Kevin kicking sand in her eye, and Kevin says he did it because Kate called him a shit yacht chef.

Then everyone leaves. Simone heads to the Mediterranean to find another boat. Tanner tells Captain Lee it was “a pleasure and a priv,” before walking barefoot down the dock to head home to his mom. Courtney gives Brian two hugs and says she can’t wait to have a nice meal that isn’t pad Thai. Kevin says bye to Captain Lee, Ashton, and Brian, but doesn’t say goodbye to Kate or Rhylee because he hates them. He just can’t wait to get home to his daughter, he says, unfortunately reminding us all that he is a father.

Then Brian, who may have lost a chunk of his knee this season but retained his dignity for the most part, says he’s going to become a captain. He also can’t wait to see his daughter, which is actually sweet, because he wasn’t nearly as horrible as the other non–Captain Lee men this season. Rhylee, proud of the “reserve” she thinks she showed this season, goes back to Alaska to fish, not think about Ashton, and to “slay.”

When Ashton says goodbye to Captain Lee, the only thing Captain Lee can think to say is that he has a farmer’s tan to even out, which really says everything you need to know about Ashton’s abilities as a bosun. He heads off to Florida to find a Bahamas-bound boat and, as he walks down the dock, says, “Time to dance with some ladies.”

Lastly, Kate departs, saying a casual good-bye to Captain Lee because they see each other all the time in Florida. Kate says she plans to move to New York, where both the weather and throw pillows are far less joyful. But she doesn’t say she’s leaving yachting, which suggests she’ll be back next season to torment another cast.

And then it’s just Captain Lee, finally free of all that chaos, still certain that he has “the best goddamn job in the world.”

Below Deck Season-Finale Recap: Full-Moon Party