Below Deck Mediterranean
Tom’s latest breakdown continues, and he has left the galley to curse in his bunk. Malia is there, because of course she is, and he’s telling her he feels disrespected. “I thought you were on my side,” he says, in response to her … reluctantly listening to her captain’s orders after overstepping the bounds of her position to advocate for her chef boyfriend? Tom is saying the food is bound to be terrible because he doesn’t have the right ingredients and his reputation is on the line and he doesn’t want to cook, but Malia is telling him he’s great and he’s saved the crew. Eventually, they promise this won’t affect their relationship — although it sounds like it already has! — and Tom goes back to the galley.
In the galley, Tom is angry at his fridge because it’s a mess and not even full of the right ingredients. He says, why have a good chef if you can’t give them proper ingredients, but I say, isn’t the point of having a good chef that they can improvise when things don’t go according to plan? He’s still talking about walking off, but as far as I can see, he’s still in that galley — as is Jess, who’s also stewing. This time, Aesha asked Rob about being “spread out” on the guest bed last night and turned it into a sex joke because, well, that’s Aesha! And there’s Jess, right on time, with a confessional about how she wouldn’t do that to Aesha’s boyfriend.
Sandy has a quick meeting with Malia, pleading with her to stay if Tom does walk off. Surprisingly, to me, Malia says — to her hero, Sandy Yawn — that she’d go with Tom! But Sandy also tells her to stop helping Tom in the galley and “go be a bosun,” and it seems like they can agree on that. Then Malia’s crying in the bunk as she gets ready with Tom, saying she feels bad for bringing him onboard and into this whole mess. She recounts her conversation with Sandy: “She’s giving me a talking-to about me being in the galley, and I’m like, I’m the fucking bosun” — and I’m just going to cut her off right there. Malia is the fucking bosun! When have we ever seen a bosun plating dinners and cuddling the chef while he’s at work?
Meanwhile, the provisioners have returned with frozen fish, which Bugsy takes and puts in the fridge while Tom is out of his galley. As Tom is heading back to the galley, Bugsy walks by and mentions it, and Tom’s reply is remarkably snotty: “Brilliant! Frozen halibut is much better than fresh,” he says, facing Captain Sandy, who has walked into all this. Sandy follows Tom into the galley, where he seems to somehow blame Sandy for his getting frozen fish. Sandy says the provisioner promised her fresh; she asks Tom to confirm that the fish is frozen, and Tom accuses Sandy of not being patient as he checks the fish for himself. Which, fair, but he did already get mad at her for the fish being frozen, so I think we’re safe to assume it’s frozen! They argue, and Sandy eventually curses at him — easily the angriest she has been with a crew member since she gave Pete those talking-tos. Sandy walks away before the argument can get worse, past Malia and Bugsy (who must have watched the whole thing), and says she’ll see them in the pre-charter meeting. Then she yells for them to come to the meeting over her radio and reminds the crew that, at this point, she’s okay with anyone walking off.
That pre-charter meeting is a rare performance from Sandy. First, she’s telling the crew they need to adapt and singling out Tom in front of everyone because she is (relatably!) over this season. But then she turns it into a motivational speech about how the season has been tough and she cares about her crew and they need to work together, and she’s tearing up. For a second, I’m able to look past all of Sandy’s micromanaging and overreacting for the season, and I feel for her, nearing the end of what must have been one of the hardest seasons she ever captained. (But I’m not sympathetic for long when I remember that she exacerbated a lot of those issues herself. Anyway.)
After all that, Tom somehow still has the nerve to litigate his fight with Sandy, his captain. He says their argument, and his treatment toward her, is “not relevant” and assures himself that his concerns over the ingredients are “valid.” What makes Tom such an entertaining character amid all this is that he never really chose to be on TV (or, arguably, on the Wellington). So he’s yelling at the Captain Sandy and pitching irrational fits and threatening to walk off because he’s not invested in being on TV to become a C-tier influencer afterward or at least come off like a good cast member. He literally just wants to cook — okay, and fuck his girlfriend — and if he’s going to come on this boat to save Sandy’s ass, he at least wants to cook enjoyably. It’s too bad no one told him that’s not how Below Deck works, but it’s extremely good for us, the viewers.
Isn’t it about time we met the guests? Our last charter is a group of stay-at-home moms because the producers decided we deserve one treat this season. I can already tell they’re going to be fun, because one of these primaries has a broken arm from parkour. Because people were still doing that in 2019! They go off to take selfies, so let’s check in on the deck crew, where Malia is naming Alex as lead deckhand. It’s a totally unsurprising and 110 percent deserved promotion for the most pleasant crew member of this season, and he seems to be pretty happy about it, too!
And before we know it, Malia is back in the galley, the one place on this boat where she shouldn’t be, checking on Tom. He takes this as a chance to complain more about the provisions to her, and he asks her to look at his frozen fish, knowing Sandy doesn’t want Malia in the galley, so he can complain more. He tells Malia he’s scared to bring it up to Sandy but she’s trying to get him to. Bugsy, meanwhile, comes to tell Sandy that Tom is complaining about the provisions again and she’s trying to resolve with the provisioner, but Sandy, for some reason, tells Bugsy not to “get on Tom’s wagon.” Uh, what? It may not be Malia’s job to help Tom, but it is actually sort of Bugsy’s job to make sure the guests are going to have fine meals to eat. Sandy does point out that Tom, and solving Tom’s problems, has thrown Bugsy off, and she uses their chat as another chance to dig at Tom for not working with the provisions he’s gotten. In moments like these, I do have to stan Captain “Zero Fucks Left” Sandy.
A lunch does eventually emerge from that galley — multiple courses, in fact — and the guests love every bite of it. Tom is still not pleased with that, though, because he knows it’s not the best he can do and also because, well, did you expect him to get out of this mood so easily? So he’s throwing things and yelling and hitting the walls of his bunk, and poor Malia has to calm this child down during his tantrum.
On the deck that afternoon (yes, things sometimes happen there, too!), a guest named Hannah flips her Jet Ski, and Rob strikes up a conversation when he goes out to make sure she’s okay. She’s the one who broke her arm doing parkour, which she says she picked up so she wouldn’t be stuck just being a mom. Rob somehow relates this to his turn from modeling to yachting and then, boom, Hannah gets stung by a jellyfish! So back on the boat, Rob is treating her sting while telling her how much he enjoys talking to her because he feels “seen.” Yes, Jess saw them, and yes, she’s pissed. She’s even more pissed later when Rob asks for Aesha’s help opening a trash bag.
It gets to be 8 p.m., and the guests are hungry as they sit around waiting for their 8:30 dinner. Sandy overhears and somehow manages to get in both Tom’s and Bugsy’s way by telling them they can sit for dinner now. So Bugsy is trying to entertain the guests while Tom finishes putting together their tapas. (Guests should request tapas dinners every season of Med, not just in Spain, for the drama of it all.) And it’s really Tom running Malia around his galley, where she shouldn’t be, to finish up the tapas. But the guests love the dinner, and, more important, they’re full. And Malia promises Tom that their work drama won’t get in the way of their relationship, which really just makes me laugh now. Although, poor Malia for putting in all that extra work on these last few charters for something that didn’t work out!
A few guests leave to go to bed at 9:47 p.m. — or at least they seem to, but really, they’re escaping the other guests, who they think are boring. I love this! Give me a whole episode from their point of view! They specifically don’t like one of the primaries, the one who complained about being hungry and is also picky, and we learn the crew doesn’t like her either. I have to admire these women for tolerating her to get a yacht vacation.
The next morning, the guests are getting ready for their little town field trip. Good for Tom, who presumably won’t have to cook lunch; bad for Jess, since Bugsy is sending Rob and Aesha along with the guests. “What woman wouldn’t be jealous?,” Jess asks. Aesha, for starters, who tells us in a confessional that she’s! not! even! into! Rob! As the guests get ready to leave, they take a group photo, and there’s Jess again, running out at the perfect time to ask Rob something. She sees Aesha’s hand brush Rob’s ass and blows up. Look, I don’t even want to give this the time of day, but come on! It looked like an accident! When Jess showed Rob the photo, Rob said he didn’t even notice it! The guest next to Aesha even accidentally touched her ass! But Jess is officially hell-bent on fucking Aesha up and we seem to have gotten our last actually good episode of the season, since next week once again will revolve around this bullshit.
• Malia reveals that Kiko used to give the crew “a bowl of spaghetti” for crew lunch, whereas Tom sends down “five plates.” I won’t stand for this Kiko slander!
• Aesha: “Tom is this spoiled little British brat. How do you see that as attractive?”
• I love that these guests are gossiping about which deckhands they think are cute, because I’d totally be doing the same if I ever ended up on a charter yacht.
• One of the guests asks Bugsy for a dirty martini — “Britney dirty, not Christina ‘Dirrty.’” Thank God, Bugsy knows what that means, because I sure as hell don’t.