Captain Lee has to be retiring, right? I know he’s rejecting rumors left and right, but that retrospective at the end? That’s a farewell, my friends. That highlight reel is nothing but Bravo’s version of sending Captain Lee into the sunset — at the helm of a superyacht, of course.
Speaking of retiring, Rachel also seems like she’s packing up her knives. In her exit, she argues that this season is not one of her most successful (which I mostly disagree with!) and admits she’s not having fun anymore (fair!). “I’m too old for this shit,” she claims before saying she’s planning on leaving yachting … until she gets bored and landlocked! I love Rachel, but I don’t think Below Deck is doing her any favors. It’s obvious she’s over it, and it shows in her cooking. Maybe she and Captain Lee will hang up their hats — and isms — together? Poetic if you think about it. They certainly made enough money this season to take a break: nearly a quarter of a million dollars, or $17,000 each, no thanks to Alissa or Camille, the latter of whom still continues to haunt us like a ghost from the SEC.
Ben goes back and forth all episode: Camille or Leigh-Ann. In the end, he chooses both. He frets over coming clean to Camille and solves that problem by saving it for later, presumably once they’re on their ten-day trip in the Dominican Republic. When he asks Camille about their future via text, she replies that she doesn’t have the capacity for that conversation right now. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Does he not realize how much distance their long-distance relationship would span? This response rattles him. Poor heartbroken Ben. He says it’s his own fault for not picking up on Camille’s red flags earlier, then copes with this by flirting with Leigh-Ann.
The next night, they make out and disappear into a guest cabin together … only to disappoint us all the next morning by admitting nothing happened. What a waste. Part of me wants to believe they’re lying to us so Ben doesn’t have to face Camille’s wrath, but then I remember that if they did hook up, there’s no way Leigh-Ann would have been able to keep it a secret. Ben admits that Camille has his heart and he’s going to follow her. You were crying about her yesterday, Benny boy! Make up your mind! Whatever it is, it doesn’t look like it’s lasting. I did a quick scroll through Instagram and have concluded that Camille and Ben have broken up. Somewhere out there, Leigh-Ann is opening her Instagram DMs …
In a refreshing twist, Katie seems to have joined us back on planet Earth. It’s like she just woke up one day and decided to become fully conscious. She sees Ross clearly and knows they’ll part ways once the season is over, and she’s fine with it. Even if she’s lying, I guarantee that watching just one episode of this season will convince her she made the right decision. You can’t risk it all for a man who shows up to the airport without a ticket and decides where to go at the counter! You just can’t! They have a romantic last fuck in the bunk bed and knock a phone onto poor Tyler’s head. Use a guest cabin — Tyler has been through enough!
Speaking of, I need to thank Tyler and Hayley once again for their hilarious drunken antics. It’s their last night, and they’re blowing up condom balloons and cackling. I love this pair and pray they stay in contact — as well as make another appearance on WWHL. Best line of the entire season goes to Hayley for telling us what she plans on doing following their final charter: “First thing I’m going to do when I get home is lay all of my tip money on my bed, strip off naked, and have a lot of sex with my boyfriend … Sorry, Dad.” And I hope she does! Hayley embodies big-sister energy. She’s such a solid friend and support system for Tyler. She listens, really listens, and gives him solid advice regarding coming out to his parents. Although he doesn’t end up coming out onscreen, he recently shared that he has since come out to his family and that it’s been a relief.
And where would we be without Tony? The only crew member to recognize our bodybuilding guests. Tony is honored to be in the presence of legend Dexter Jackson, and I am giddy over his giddiness. I don’t think Tony will be back on Below Deck — Below Deck Adventure is more his speed — but I am proud of him for getting through the end of the season in high spirits. Maybe I’ll start working out at the crack of dawn too. Tony’s impact!
During dinner with the guests, Captain Lee admits he’s a gym rat. “I’m a firm believer that each day I spend in the gym is one to two days I won’t have to spend in a hospital.” I’m not really sure about all of that, but at least you’ll be happy, and happy people don’t shoot their husbands! I love these guests, and I love how Fraser loves them even more. They’re easy and laid back and don’t complain (too much) about Rachel’s dry-ass wings. They’ve taught Fraser a lesson, not to judge a book by its cover. “They’re lovely. They’ve just got scary faces,” Fraser concludes.
Katie hauls the anchor on her own, Ben debates having a DTR conversation with Camille (good luck), and just like that, the season’s over. One by one, our beloved deckies and stews disembark the vessel, and St. David is docked for the season. Some of our crew is heading home, and some are heading to Fort Lauderdale. But just like demanding guests and bunk-bed hookups, a new charter is always on the horizon.
From the galley:
• Fraser’s story of how he came out to his mum will forever be seared into my memory. For those who want a refresher, he and his mum were listening to the news when a story about a murderer came on. She turns to her son and says, even if you murder several people, I’ll still love you. He says, “Mum, me killing someone is slightly different than me preferring to sleep with men.” Still, he reports to Tyler, “it was one of the most liberating moments of my whole life. I got into my flat and I was the lightest I’ve ever felt.”
• Tony’s impression of Katie meeting at Ross deserved a special shout-out of its own.