Below Deck Sailing Yacht Recap: Toss Gabriela a Lifeboat

Below Deck Sailing Yacht

Big Fender Energy
Season 3 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating 3 stars

Below Deck Sailing Yacht

Big Fender Energy
Season 3 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating 3 stars
Photo: Bravo

First thing’s first: Our horny talent-show charter guests paid up. The crew made away with a whopping $21,000, or $2,530 each. I don’t do math (I’m a writer), so I assumed this chunk of change had been divvied up between the eight remaining crew members — Tom, who? Of course, our noble Captain Glenn points out there is indeed a ninth portion. Ever magnanimous, he shares that he feels it’s only fair to give Tom one-third of his earnings and to split up the rest among the team.

Compared to the drama of anchor dragging and near shipwreck, the titular fenders of this episode were a snooze. Last season, the Parsifal III crashed into the dock, and the damage done to the stern of the boat looked nasty. Again, I have zero concept of numbers: I thought the fixing fee could have run anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, but Captain Glenn revealed during the second-season reunion that it “was a couple grand” to fix and that insurance took care of the dock destruction. “It was just the filler that was damaged,” he told Andy Cohen, whatever that means. Anyway, in the hopes of preventing that from happening again, the crew got the fattest inflatable fenders imaginable to protect its precious vessel.

A deckie down, the stews had to step in to help handle these massive fenders while the charter guests looked on, observing the chaos. Ashley, temporarily in charge of calling out the distance between the yacht and a catamaran, announces they’ve got about 75 feet from the boat. Nobody thinks this is accurate! “This is making us look like fucking idiots,” says Gary as they push the floating fenders overboard and glide into their docking spot, and he’s right.

We’re between charters this episode, which means binge-drinking with the crew save for Captain Glenn, who opts for a quiet night in. I forgot that Captain Glenn has a room of his own without Tom. Perhaps Tom’s firing was all a cover in his search for a new roommate? Whenever we get a shot of Captain Glenn propped up in bed with his iPad (?) and presumably noise-canceling headphones, I melt. This is a perfect man. He is salt of the earth; he is content with his boat, his book, and his bed. I feel an overwhelming Darla-esque (of Finding Nemo fame) cute-aggression urge to shake him, maybe violently, or at least shrink him and put him in my pocket for safekeeping.

While Captain Glenn is tucked away in bed, our crew hops into two cabs, split up by gender, because of course. Housemother Daisy and her gaggle of girlies gossip en route to dinner, imagining how each of the boys is in bed. Their predictions? Gary: shy. Colin: too polite. Marcos: crier. “Basically, they’re all unfuckable,” Daisy deems. True, but that won’t stop our gals from trying.

I’ve been avoiding writing about what makes up the bulk of the episode — Gabriela versus Marcos — simply because it’s so boring to me. Their feud, if you can call it that, started in the last episode, when Gabriela didn’t specifically tell Marcos to “fire” dinner and the guests were hungry for five minutes while Marcos had to rush dinner service. Marcos alleges that Gabriela withheld information from him and wasn’t clear enough with her language.

For the people of the court, here is their exact transcript:

  • Gabriela: Daisy’s doing wine, and everyone is seated. What is the first thing we’re sending up?
  • Marcos: I have to try to send everything at the same time.
  • Gabriela: Okay.
  • Daisy, minutes later: Ready whenever you are.
  • Marcos: Huh?
  • Daisy: Ready.
  • Marcos: Oh, yeah? Why didn’t you tell me that?
  • Daisy: I thought Gabriela came down and told you.
  • Marcos: You told me to go ahead?
  • Gabriela: Are you serious right now? That’s why I’m standing here staring at you. Loco. How dare you? Throw me under the bus like that …
  • Marcos, in confessional: What the fuck, Gabby?

I’d much rather focus on sweet, normie Kelsie and her screen time, but nevertheless she (me) persisted.

Nothing pisses me off more than when someone I like starts behaving in ways that are simply intolerable. I like Gabriela! She isn’t my favorite, but she’s fine, and a lot of the shit she calls out is accurate. She’s a hard worker who has to work even harder because Ashley is useless. But all dinner long, Gabriela and Marcos drunkenly bicker, and it’s bor-ing: over what languages to speak, over Marcos’s constant redirection of the conversation back to himself, over Gabriela’s sarcasm. And it goes on and on and on — two drunkies droning. I don’t even want to dignify their fight with my opinion of who’s right and who’s wrong because they’re both annoying me so much! And not to be a Mary Cosby, but when Gabriela mocks Ashley and Daisy’s lovefest for each other with an honestly gross blowjob gesture, I was practically begging her to stop. Like, enough! Again, Gabriela isn’t necessarily incorrect, but she’s flushing any goodwill she has down the toilet. “I wish I was better at sucking dick,” she jabs. Gary tells her she’s welcome to practice at any time. As Kelsie says, “So anyway, now moving on!”

Gary and Ashley smooch in the cab (which he doesn’t remember the next day), and back on the boat, Gary, in an uncharacteristic move, decides to hit the hay early. Kelsie, of course, also goes to bed at a respectable hour. Gabriela keeps drinking (spilling wine on the bar and chugging an empty bottle), and the gang heads into the hot tub.

Gabriela slithers out of the hot tub in a move I can only describe as gymnastic before slithering into Gary’s bed. The poor girl is wasted. Marcos enters the room (which, to be fair, is his), prompting Gabriela to ask him to pipe down because she’s trying to sleep. Iconic. While Marcos and Gabriela are sniping, Ashley peers in and spots the pair in bed before going off on her trust issues (as we recall, she recently revealed how her sister slept with all her crushes in high school — which is deranged!) and how she’s done with Gary for good!

Colin finally asks Ashley the question we’ve all been wondering: Why are all the ladies fighting over Gary? “We’re not, we’re not,” she insists before issuing an ultimatum to Gary (by way of Colin): decide whether you’re going to hook up Gabriela or Ashley. Still no clear answer re: Why Gary? Daisy, like a good hen mother, puts her chicks to bed.

Ashley then quite literally drops out of her top bunk and knocks her face into the door handle. The replay is painful to watch, but I can’t look away. To describe the incident in a frame-by-frame breakdown:

  • Ashley climbs into bed.
  • Ashley sits up in a kneeling position, her knees dangerously close to the edge.
  • Ashley extends herself over the bed as if reaching for something across the bunk. (I can’t tell if there’s a shelf or what she’s attempting to do.)
  • Ashley falls, almost perfectly parallel, onto the ground.
  • Her head smacks the doorknobs, and her knees crash against the bottom bunk. She strikes the floor — hard.

Unlike SZA, she does not break a foot in the process. Big sis Daisy comes to her rescue. “Honestly, she’ll be fine. Her head is made of rocks,” she reports to Kelsie afterward.

The next morning, Gabriela and Ashley are at it again. Gabriela is wildly passive-aggressive about Ashley not waking her up in time, and though I think it’s rude Ashley didn’t, I’m surprised Gabriela would rely on a frenemy to act as her alarm clock. Then, in a complete 180-degree pivot, Gabriela confides in Ashley that she wants to quit and that her self-esteem is in the garbage and that she trusts no one onboard. Again, fair, but why are you telling this to someone you just admitted you couldn’t trust? Ashley is just going to run and tell Daisy! Gabriela is clearly experiencing some sort of hangover-induced mental breakdown and needs comfort and validation, but of course all Ashley can offer is a feeble 30 Rock “There, there.” Gabriela declares she’s done drinking on the nights off. Famous last words.

The following day, Gabriela can’t catch a break. Minutes before the next charter boards, she spills and shatters every single Champagne flute. The group is still short-staffed, and even though primary guest Dawn & Co. seems relatively chill, I’m expecting nothing but stormy seas next week.

From the Galley

• Marcos has been in love many times, to the point where he doesn’t trust anybody. Kelsie, meanwhile, has never been in love but wishes she were more open.

• Our new deckhand isn’t arriving until the next charter, so this upcoming one should be interesting, especially if Gabriela makes good on her confession to Ashley.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht Recap: Toss Gabriela a Lifeboat