Below Deck Mediterranean
Here we are, back in Plastik, a fitting name for any Ibiza club but especially the one where Jess and Rob’s relationship is put to the test. Turns out what we saw last week really was the end of their arguing for the night; for the rest of the crew’s time at the club, Rob mopes, Jess mopes, Aesha is homesick, Malia and Tom embarrass themselves dancing, and Bugsy and Alex make out. And for the record, Jess explains, she isn’t jealous — her parents are divorced, and she always gets cheated on. That can all be true, but at the end of the day … come on, Jess is jealous.
The most important detail of the drive back is that Alex and Bugsy seem to get a van to themselves, and Bugsy places her hand over the camera, as she should. Bugslex (Algsy?) forever. Everyone has trouble getting back to the boat: Aesha needs help walking, Jess isn’t helping anybody, and Bugsy falls flat on her face. It’s the drunkest the crew has been this season, because when in Ibiza! Once everyone’s back onboard, Rob and Jess still aren’t talking — well, Jess wants to, but her requests are met with silence so she kicks Rob out of their room. Later, Jess is walking on the deck, and Rob goes out of his way to avoid her. It’s all pretty entertaining until they finally get to bed for the night (in separate ones!) and Jess cries herself to sleep.
The morning brings an argument that I’m pretty sure wakes up the rest of the crew. Jess is annoyed that Rob is ignoring her, and Rob, in true Rob fashion, says he just wants time “to breathe.” Eventually, Rob says it’s clear what he wants; Jess says the same goes for her, “but maybe it’s not enough for you.” “Maybe I’m not enough for you,” Rob replies as he leaves, a retort that Jess brought on herself.
Meanwhile, we’re en route to Palma, where we’ll pick up our next charter. It’s Eric Cotsen, a retired “entrepreneur” (his late dad was the CEO of Neutrogena) who worked with college-prep organization the Princeton Review. He wants a “naughty game night” with the crew and likes his coffee like his women (hot, if you’re lucky enough to have not heard that line before).
In Rob and Jess news, Alex is explaining to Rob how he and Jess are still figuring out each other and where their relationship is going to go. I’m focusing more on the blue paint left on Alex’s face and the fact that he still sounds just as drunk as he was the night before. Jess goes into the kitchen to hug Bugsy and cry, and after comforting her, Bugsy takes Jess to the salon to talk some more. But actually, she’s going to bring Rob in for them to talk, like a charter yacht Dr. Phil. (She reasons that their fight could take a toll on the whole crew.) As Bugsy leaves, they just stare at each other at first. Then they start speaking in that vague way that they do about their relationship, about feeling “detached” and “the space” they’re in and being “mindful.” In a confessional, Rob says he wants to “be open” and “experience things,” which honestly sound like phrases that precipitate a breakup, but then he turns things around by talking about their relationship being a “fairy tale.” I guess they make up, because then they’re hugging and saying they love each other, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what got resolved during all that.
Sandy tries to dock, and everything goes to shit for a minute when something called the “bow thrusters” stop working. Sandy and Malia talk about it like the Wellington is guaranteed to crash into another boat, but really it sounds like the engineers just needed to turn something off and back on again. Whew! There’s another (non)issue when provisions arrive and Tom doesn’t get the two kilos of fresh mussels he ordered. He pitches a fit, Bugsy liaises with the provisioners, Tom curses a bunch, the provisioners eventually return with two kilos of fresh mussels, and Tom curses some more. The most exciting part of this whole event, by far, is getting to see inside the fridge — from the view of a camera in the back of the fridge? — which we haven’t yet seen on this boat. It’s so big and organized!
Eric arrives just as you’d expect him to: wearing a T-shirt that says “almost single” on the front and “almost married” on the back. (That shirt also describes Jess and Rob’s relationship, Alex accurately notes.) Like a group of rich guys, Eric and his friends spend their first bit of time aboard talking about how nice the boat is. And Sandy blows the horn for them!
Eric and his friends really want to play ultimate frisbee with the crew for some reason. At first, I have no idea where they’re going to play ultimate. On the boat? On Jet Skis? Eventually we anchor and boat the guests and crew over to a nearby beach to face off. (I’m sure the Spanish beachgoers love them for it.) And Bugsy, who isn’t even part of the group competing, has made a bet with the guests: The losers will have to wear Speedos to dinner. The thing I don’t understand about it all is who would want to spend time with the crew like this on their vacation? I truly don’t understand it when guests want the crew to participate in their activities or even when they invite the captain (especially this captain) to dinner. Like, sure, the crew is kind of fun, but if I’m chartering a yacht with my friends, I’m going to enjoy my friends and the ocean. Also, who goes to Spain to play ultimate frisbee? Anyway, the guests win, which makes sense because none of the crew strike me as particularly gifted ultimate players, except for maybe Pete.
The guests return to a tapas lunch on the aft-deck, which Bugsy decorated the hell out of in a “Spanish” theme that really translates to “fans and red.” It seems like the guests like it, but we don’t even get to see half the dishes come out, which is a shame because I wanted to know what the white stuff was that Tom poured over the asparagus.
After lunch, for some reason, the guests want to teach Aesha and Jess jujitsu. Again, this is your vacation! Bugsy and Tom both go on break, but another one of the guests wants cucumbers. They’ve asked Captain Sandy, for some reason, and cutting a cucumber is beneath her so she goes to Tom’s bunk to get him out of bed. Aesha comes down to check in on things just as Tom is getting out of bed, which seems to make Tom think she couldn’t cut the cucumber herself, which leads Tom to take his anger out on her. I’ve forgotten how much of a royal dick a chef can be! At one point, he tells Aesha that “there’s no point in apologizing” after she tries, yet he continues to berate her while insisting he’s “pissed at the situation.” When the guests then want an avocado, Aesha offers to cut it, to which Tom replies, “Oh fuck no, just give me the fucking avocado.” It’s a wonderful line because it underscores that we’re really arguing over a cucumber and an avocado! Aesha starts to cry, and Tom has the audacity to tell her to “calm down with the waterworks.” Even though I’m sometimes entertained by angry chefs, they’re very rarely in the right with their anger, and Tom lashing out at someone as wonderful as Aesha is uncalled for. She leaves crying and asks Bugsy to talk in their cabin. Think Bugsy will have Aesha and Tom talk things out in the salon next episode?
• Jess and Rob have been dating for about three weeks. What were Malia and Tom doing three weeks into their boatmance? “Just banging it out,” Tom says. “Like jackrabbits,” Malia adds. (Maybe that worked out for them, with the couple putting those breakup rumors to rest — or at least a little nap — by posting new Instagram photos together on September 13.)
• Eric likes his brownies “female: no nuts.”
• At one point during their fight, it looked to me as if Tom casually tried to shut Aesha inside the fridge. Maybe that’s what the camera is for.