Below Deck Mediterranean
We’ve officially said goodbye to Hannah’s “best friend” on The Wellington, Kiko, a true good person by both her and my assessments. While Hannah mourns her loss over a cigarette with Rob, Bugsy and Malia are gossipping in the galley. They get to talking about Tom, who has basically been offered the chef position before Sandy or any of us have met him. Malia says he’d keep a more organized kitchen, and Bugsy concedes that she wishes she could fix things about interior on her own, but she’s only second. I can’t fault her for that — it’s what’s kept the Hannah-Bugsy conflicts to a minimum these past three charters. At the tip meeting, Sandy reminds everyone that she’s only making business decisions, and the crew splits their cut of a hefty $20,000 tip ($1,685 apiece).
And halfway through the season, the crew gets a day off! Malia has a reason to shave her legs and Alex needs Bugsy to wax his back. (Later, Bugsy does indeed give Alex a wax, with this assessment of his back: “It’s like a carpet. Like, wolverine!”) This is our midseason no-guests episode, so it takes the opportunity to get a little random, and I’m here for it.
Before long, we meet the mythical Tom! If this man is going to be our Replacement Kiko, at least he’s cute like Kiko — and with a wonderful British accent, too. He has Sandy’s permission to stay on the boat with Malia, under the condition that Sandy can talk him into coming into the boat. We learn that he met Malia on a separate boat, and the two were introduced by none other than Malia’s coworker Bugsy’s Sister, who bears strong resemblance to Bugsy. Bugsy, ever the entertainer, has decorated a guest bedroom for the couple with Jess, and they spend some time drinking champagne and being away from the cameras.
We go out to dinner, and Hannah feels like a loner. Jess has Rob, Malia has Tom, Bugsy has Alex, and Pete doesn’t matter, which leaves Hannah by herself. Over a smoke, she strikes an alliance with Rob, who I swear she hasn’t said two words to before this episode, and Jess. Even so, Hannah leaves early because the couples make her miss her boyfriend, Josh. And honestly, poor Hannah! Not only did Malia get a visit from her boyf, she’s now going to get to spend the rest of charter with him. With Kiko gone, that makes Hannah the only one doing long-distance. She gets a night of curry in bed. On their own trips home, Jess and Rob kiss, Malia and Tom kiss, and Bugsy and Alex exist in the same space. And that night, Jess tells Rob she loves him back, because, well, did you really think she didn’t?
It’s almost time to go to the beach club, but first, Captain Sandy needs to talk to Tom. Malia has told her he has “mad skills in the … galley,” and after looking at his résumé, Sandy says he’s “exactly” what she’s been looking for. As in, he has direct experience doing the job he’d be doing. Truly uninhibited, Sandy just asks Tom to be her chef — and he obliges, because he’ll get to spend more time with Malia and it’s only two weeks. Just minutes before, he was saying he wasn’t ready to cook, since he was planning to visit a sick relative in the U.K. (and still may leave if things take a bad turn); now, he’s in a red polo and delivering his first confessional. I wonder how much pay Sandy had to offer.
So Sandy tells the crew in a quick meeting, and everyone seems excited except Hannah — who isn’t mad about Tom, she’s just feeling sick. She’s staying behind from the beach club, and we quickly get a series of confessionals where everyone calls her out for being unprofessional and making a big deal out of Kiko’s exit and the couples. Really, she just had some bad curry! Everyone else enjoys the beach club: Jess and Rob nearly fuck on their chairs, Tom brings, like, five bags from his hotel, Pete wears compression shorts under his swim trunks, and everyone falls off their paddleboards. At dinner, Malia rallies for cabin changes so she and Tom can room together. Conveniently absent is the person who arranges cabins. But Bugsy also says she wouldn’t be comfortable living with Hannah — to which her friend Malia replies in a confessional, “grow up,” adding, “We have to work together, we have to live together, this is just part of yachting.” I’d argue the working part is a lot more of a have-to than living with your boyfriend!
The next morning, interior is up without Hannah, and Malia is egging on Bugsy’s complaints about Hannah. Which honestly isn’t the best strategy if you want these people to live together! Malia goes to talk to Hannah, who says she’s going to talk to Bugsy — but clarifies, in her confessional, that no Hannah-Bugsy cabin is going to happen. “Hopefully you guys can be professional about it,” says Malia, who surely has room to talk in this field right now. To her credit, Hannah does talk to Bugsy, and Bugsy does agree that rooming together could damage the good working relationship they have right now.
Hannah tells Malia the news, right on the aft-deck. “And how fair do you think that is to the rest of the crew?” Malia asks, forgetting that she and Tom are just as much of the crew as Hannah and Bugsy. Logic is totally on Hannah’s side here: Tom came late, and Malia didn’t start the season in a couple, so why should the rest of the crew have to drop everything for them? All Malia can say in defense is, “That’s cabin arrangements!” Poor planning on Malia’s part for picking her one petty battle of the season with the most experienced crew member and reality star on the show. It’s disappointing to see the person who’s been keeping the deck crew professional and just one of the hardest workers on this crew turn into a jerk over living with her boyfriend for two weeks, knowing full well it’ll make everyone else’s jobs harder if Hannah and Bugsy live with each other. She lived season two!
Of course Malia goes to Captain Sandy, who she always has in her back pocket, and of course Captain Sandy says that her prized competent chef who has been on this boat for all of 40-something hours and worked zero charters can walk over the rest of the crew. Sandy’s announcement happens when Hannah is off the boat for a break, meaning she’s later greeted in the galley with the news that Bugsy is her new cabinmate. Living up to her title of chief stew, she is indeed stewing. She has the perfect appraisal of the situation in a confessional: “Just do your job and bang your boyfriend at the end of the season like normal people!”
And Hannah called it in that confessional: Malia is playing a game. When she’s moving out of Hannah’s room, she goes into their bathroom to dig around and takes a photo of Hannah’s prescription Valium, which she found out about during Hannah’s panic attack last episode. And we’ve known what happens from there since that teaser at the beginning of the season. As Malia explained in a long, since-uncaptioned Instagram post last week, maritime law requires boat crew to notify their captains of drugs they take and keep them with a designated person for administration. Sure, Hannah didn’t do that, but Malia found this out days ago, and could’ve chosen a thousand better times than after a blowout argument — when she eventually got what she wanted! — to tell Sandy. And all this over medication related to Hannah’s mental health, no less? It’s not dramatic or entertaining or shocking, it’s just gross.
The episode ends the next morning, with Sandy beginning her meeting with Hannah to discuss her drugs. I’m not ready to jump on the assumption that Hannah gets fired just yet. I hope Sandy reprimands her, but also recognizes that she can trust her and that her crew has undergone too much turnover in the first half of the season. At the same time, I know I can’t trust Captain Sandy anymore, and that she doesn’t give a shit about crew morale as long as she has workers. If this is that rumored quitting/firing of Hannah — the best damn star this franchise has got after Kate Chastain’s exit, flaws and all — at least she’ll get to go out with all of us on her side. After five seasons of ups and downs, she deserves it.
You won’t be surprised to learn that Jess was excited to take selfies at the beach club.
Tom has worked under Gordon Ramsey himself. That’s nothing on his mom, also a chef, who once cooked for the Queen Mother.
Tom also looks great cooking in a white T-shirt, but sadly, Bugsy has to get him a chef’s coat.
If Hannah gets fired, I can’t wait to watch two stews, one of which is Jess, put on a beach picnic next charter.