Below Deck Mediterranean
The return of Bugsy, Hannah’s mortal enemy, couldn’t throw this boat off course. Neither could guests who stayed up past 5 a.m. or a six-course meal for 12. But Jessica carelessly smashes her finger in a door, and all of a sudden things start going to shit. Thank God.
Like I said, I wish Jess a full recovery (judging by her Instagram, she’s able to hold a drink just fine these days), but I’m glad we’re getting some of our first sustained conflict since Lara left. Jess comes back from the hospital with a huge cast that has Hannah worried, and Sandy says it’ll be up to Hannah whether Jess needs to be replaced. Hannah doesn’t want to effectively fire Jess, she tells Kiko over a cigarette (a chef that Hannah likes! Finally!), so she decides to rough it out with Bugsy on service again.
The bridge is the hottest spot of layover day — after Jess and Hannah’s meetings with Captain Sandy over Jess’s finger, Bugsy goes to Sandy to talk about Pete. She’d told Malia that Pete made her feel uncomfortable, and Malia immediately gave her the go-ahead to escalate to Sandy. So she tells Sandy, specifically, that Pete’s made sexual comments about Lara to her and has been acting “threatening.” That’s all Sandy needs to hear, although Bugsy does add that she’s okay with Pete staying. Sandy minces no words when Pete — who hasn’t ever gotten back on her good side after calling Malia “sweetheart” and messing up the lines last charter — comes to the bridge. “I’m seriously considering letting you go and fucking leaving you at the dock,” she tells him, as she should! This elicits the most serious Pete we’ve ever seen, as he says he “might have said some inappropriate things” and “became too much of an open book.” An open book, indeed.
So Pete’s staying on the boat, but Malia is demoting him from lead deckhand. Seeing Pete experience some consequence for his shittiness feels cathartic, especially because we’re on our fourth episode of watching the man since Bravo fired him in postproduction. Malia is even more direct than Sandy: “I’m baffled as to why I have to explain this to someone who calls themself a captain,” she says, after telling Pete his behavior is affecting the crew. For once, he’s just listening to Malia and not trying to talk back. I don’t see that lasting too long. But Pete does apologize to Bugsy of his own accord, telling her he’s sorry “if” he said anything off-putting. If! But Bugsy is the better person here and accepts the apology, saying in a confessional that she’s “all about second chances” this season. Which has to be why she came back to work with Hannah too, right?
Enough of all that. There are guests coming to the boat! And if you thought Justin Thornton’s crew was bad, meet Bernardo and Giancarlo, husbands chartering The Wellington to celebrate Giancarlo’s birthday. And one of the guests is vegan, which is freaking Kiko out. As a vegetarian myself, I find it simultaneously humorous and baffling how much a vegan can throw off a yacht chef. Here are some of the comments we hear from Kiko as he’s preparing for the charter: “To cook vegan is not a pleasure for me.” “Why people are vegan?!” “Ay, vegan people. Fuck this shit.” Two guests (including the vegan) are gluten free as well, but he doesn’t even have time to stress over that.
What you need to know about Giancarlo is that he thinks juice from Europe is “disgusting.” He tells Hannah this with a half-smile and nod, staring with his piercing blue eyes, as if everyone knows this. He wants his orange and cranberry juices separate from his vodka so he can taste them. Of course, he doesn’t like them. Aside from drinking, these guests seem to just want to take photos, as that’s exactly what you charter a super-yacht for.
Bugsy can’t find lemons for some other guests’ drinks, so she believes Hannah didn’t order them, although Hannah insists that the provisioners gave her something that looked like lemons but weren’t (all I can think about now is what the mystery citrus was). Hannah calls for lemons to be sent to the boat, but later she tells her new BFF, Kiko, how she thinks Bugsy is out to get her over these lemons. I think that’s a little far — interior has been strained lately, the problem is getting solved, and they’re just lemons, anyway. But not to Hannah, who tells Kiko she’s “sleeping with one eye open” to watch for Bugsy. I have missed this, so I won’t complain too much.
For the guests’ lunch out on the neat little floating docks, Kiko is making a bunch of small bites, which is a vegan’s worst nightmare. And he makes it so because he’s doing exactly one vegan option, a quinoa salad. Oh to be on a yacht, around friends eating ceviches and shrimp skewers, picking at a quinoa salad. Of course, the vegan guest says it’s not enough and asks for more of the mushrooms Kiko made to go with the charcuterie from earlier. Kiko ran out of those mushrooms, so he cooks another kind — but those are too chewy, as resident vegetarian Bugsy notes. So he’s out of mushrooms and making the strawberry gazpacho he made for Roy Orbison Jr. two charters ago, which I can’t imagine is filling but the guest likes it.
Kiko was planning to use those chewy mushrooms for the vegan/gluten-free dinner option, so now he needs to order more for tonight. I just hope these guests aren’t sick of mushrooms — and that Kiko knows there are other “meaty” vegetables. Dinner is set for 9:30 p.m., but Kiko is stalling until his mushrooms arrive. Finally, at 9:35, the extra provisions come and Kiko now has … three packs of white button mushrooms. This is Kiko’s mushroom savior? He makes teriyaki mushrooms (and serves them in aluminum foil lit on fire, which he calls “art”), which are finally ready around 10:10 p.m. That doesn’t please Sandy, who has the uncanny ability to waltz into the galley at the worst possible times. The entrée is out around 10:45 and looks wonderful, even if it is late (purple mashed potatoes!) — except the primary’s sea bass is raw. And of course it would happen to the primary. It’s just not Kiko’s day in the kitchen, and it’s not even over because the guests aren’t full and want second plates. They make this known not just by telling Hannah but by shaking these rings they all seem to have. Yes, the food was late and raw and not enough, and you really can’t get worse than that, but you don’t have to annoy the stews about it! I hope they don’t still hear that ringing like I do as I’m writing this.
That’s where the episode leaves us, promising some new fights next week: between Malia and Rob, Sandy and Kiko, and Bugsy and Jess. The teaser also gives a glimpse at a serious conversation between Sandy and Hannah, the first flick at rumors that Hannah will get fired this season.
• This might be my favorite line of the season yet, from Jess: “I got boobs and was working on a charter in one week.” I do love this girl. I really do.
• During the preference-sheet meeting, Kiko thought the guests looked relaxed, but Sandy corrected him: “They’re from Miami.”
• In their bunk, Pete tells Alex to “watch out for Professional Pete.” I’m just wondering why we’re only seeing Professional Pete after Shameless Pete.
• With her broken finger, Jess struggles to button her shirts, put on deodorant, and use a vacuum, among other tasks. Poor Jess!