Previously: Kelley was after Emily, but Ben swooped in with actual grownup dating tactics. The deckhands couldn’t get anything right. Kyle and Sierra had the worst first date ever. Kelley was mad at Emily, so he laid into Sierra about said first date, which had nothing to do with him. Drunk Kelley and Drunk Lauren left the toaster/grill/sandwich thingy on, which is indeed a major fire hazard, and Captain Lee was not amused.
It’s the morning after Big Drunk Fight Night. Kate thinks Lauren owes her an apology, but senses that Lauren may have been too drunk to realize that. Still, while she isn’t their boss, she does outrank them, and would like a little more respect.
Ben and Emily run into each other and giggle after their first date. I have mentioned this about ship’s crew romance before, but this scene really shows how it works. If you’re maybe-kind-of-interested in someone, you won’t see them at the party on Friday and then randomly at the coffee shop on Wednesday. You will see them at the crew party and then in the passage as you all go off to bed and then at breakfast and then twelve more times that day and every day after that. It’s like dating in a time accelerator. One where everybody knows your business. And that’s on a cruise ship. Dating on a yacht, with its smaller confines and much greater potential for running into each other, must be nuts.
The deckhands chat. Lauren says she’s tired and needs one of Sierra’s supercoffees. Nico says she might as well just chew a mouthful of coffee beans. Kyle wants to know when Sierra is coming to London so he can leave. He’s still “mugged off” after their nondate and Kelley is extra pissed for all the wrong reasons.
Sierra and Emily compare notes on their evenings. Sierra seems to have no idea that she had a bad date with Kyle (Um…) and then says that Kelley lost his shit for no reason, but she has figured out that it was jealousy over Emily and Ben. Sierra says she was clear with Kyle that she was not interested – which entirely depends on your definition of “clear.” Bravo helpfully runs a greatest hits of Sierra’s signals: Kyle says he thinks she’s attractive and she says she thinks he’s cool. Sierra suggests going Dutch on their big date and Kyle says no. Sierra tries very hard to make their big date a group crew thing. OK, that last one was pretty clear, but I can excuse Kyle for missing the others. If she wanted to be clear, the thing to do was either not accept the date or say openly that things were moving too quickly for her comfort and downgrade it to a coffee. Accepting a chartered fishing afternoon and then a (planned) private dinner before meeting everyone else for more togetherness was a hell of a mixed signal. That said, Kyle willfully charged ahead with what he wanted to see. Someone who invites everyone she can think of along on your first date is not awash in giddy anticipation.
Captain Lee calls Kelley in to talk about the pizza on the floor. It is pretty amazing that this would be an issue one would have to talk about. Lee doesn’t want to address the mess issues one more time – there was already a nasty sushi incident – and if it happens again, he’s confining everyone… Below deck. (WHY DID THEY NOT HAVE LEE TRAIL OFF AND THEN RUN THE OPENING CREDITS?)
Kate fills Ben in on the previous night and Ben mentions Kelley’s attempt at forcing a double date on Kyle. Kate calls Kelley a fragile piece of porcelain and says used to being the guy everyone wants and now he’s in a bad spiral. Can we have someone on this frigging boat that isn’t a K name?
Kelley comes in to talk to Kate. (See?) She makes the good point that leaving a hot appliance on is a real safety issue and the general drunkenness was a discipline issue. Meanwhile, Nico and Lauren laugh about the incident on deck. Nico fills Lauren in on what Drunk Lauren did and how she blew off Kate. The seriousness of the issue does not seem to have been impressed upon them. Kelley says that he should have listened to Kate and not jumped into being defensive for his deckhands so quickly. He says Kate is an enemy you don’t want to have.
Kelley also de-escalates with Ben. Ben does a little fudging, saying he’d already sent her flowers. Kelley says he had no idea, bro, and if Ben had already staked a claim, OK. Let’s hope that Kelley doesn’t find out that Ben wasn’t actually interested when he sent those flowers. Which he did because Kate told him to. Kelley interviews that Emily was talking to him, Ben, and Nico so she could decide who she wanted and pick one. KELLEY. SHE WAS NOT INTERESTED IN YOU.
Emily talks to her family on the phone. Her brother and father adorably call her “Rabbit.” They seem to have a lovely and open relationship. Emily says it’s a close one in which Emily pretty much does what she wants.
New Guest meeting. The primary is a psychic medium! Ben says that means “whack job.” And there are apparently a couple of less famous psychics among them as well. Also they’re going to spread the ashes of the aunt of one of the guests. There will be a spiritual yoga session and a psychic-themed dinner party. Kate gives her own psychic predictions about what will irritate Ben on this trip, including finding and reading his gluten line.
Ben and Lee crack up. This trip is a pretty blatant Bravo cross-over episode: Three of the other guests are Emerson, Scott, and Blake from The People’s Couch.
Kelley talks to the deckies. He calls them the tripod that he stands upon. Um. He says that Kate needs to be respected, as does the boat. Lauren doesn’t remember dropping the pizza – wow, she was really ‘faced – and she doesn’t see why it has to be a big deal. That seems needlessly defensive. If the captain says it’s a big deal, it’s automatically a big deal, isn’t it? Kelley wants everyone to step it up. Nico is feeling salty towards Kelley, partly because of the current dressing down and partly because of the douchebaggery last night. He feels Kelley could improve. Lauren theorizes that Kelley is in trouble for not being stricter with them. Nico says that if Kelley can’t take the heat, he’ll take that job.
The Psychic Friends arrive. Kate was expecting more mysticism from the primary guest, Rebecca the Psychic. Kate gives the boat tour again. Why do we have to see this every week? Why? Was it in the contract with the owner? I just want to know why. It’s always going to be the same big boat with nice furniture. The psychic says she doesn’t sleep much because she’s psychic and also that the bathroom “resonates.” I’m not sure what that means, but I’m almost certain I don’t want my bathroom to do that.
And we’re off! Scott is intrigued by Kelley’s good looks. When asked, he and Emerson say they’d like the slide out as a toy priority. (I have met Emerson, by the way, and he could not have been more charming.) The guests get turmeric lobster salad for lunch and refer to the napkin rings as cock rings. So they’re comfortable around each other. The deckies inflate the slide. Now it’s time to start on the pool and put out some toys. There is some serious rainbow Speedo action from Blake.
There’s also that dangerous-but-fun looking thing where they tow the dinghy very very fast happens again. We learn that this happens at 60 miles an hour. Holy crap.
…And the pool is floating away from the Yacht. Seriously? No one tied even one line on it? The guests grin as Lee glowers from an upper deck. Nico is mortified.
Sierra says there is obviously a lot of tension coming off of Kyle toward her. She says she’s done nothing to deserve it. This is another problem with having to see your first date at breakfast the next day.
As Emily sets up dinner, Kyle talks to the guests about how the North of England is chill and he knows a bunch of drag queens. Foreshadowing! Captain Lee is in full dress for this dinner he does not wish to attend.
Rebecca says Lee has a very purple aura, which is why he is a good captain. Rebecca says the spirit of Lee’s mother is here. She’s passed, right? No, she has not. Whoopsie! Rebecca stumbles and then says “I told them you were going to be hard to read, didn’t I?” Oof.
Back from commercials, we expand the scene. Rebecca is still trying to save the message from Mom thing. She asks if Lee got a letter or something from his mom recently. No, he did not. She says that Lee has always been in love with the sea. Nope, he says he didn’t even see it until he was 35. OK, this is just mean. Fun, but mean. Rebecca says there have been other seamen in Lee’s family and we deteriorate into seamen jokes, where we were always meant to be.
Kelley, off to the side, asks Kyle to be less chummy with the guests. Kyle isn’t sure why, but that seems to be a legit guideline for a deckhand.
Scott gives Kate his seat so she can get a reading. This is a transparent Bravo moment.
Rebecca says Kate will get a dog one day. As Ben and Emily listen in, Rebecca says that Kate has many options for men and specifically has a man she’s waiting for her, someone who is close to her now. That person is charming, funny, tall, dark, and handsome. Ben wonders if she means him. Your humble recapper wonders how much Rebecca was primed by the producers. Emily is not thrilled. Ben whispers to Emily that he does love Kate, but not like that. Emily asks if he’s sure. Also the psychic says that Kate’s man loves nuts. As in almonds and stuff. Ben is frantically whispering to Emily that it’s bullshit.
Kate interviews that she does have someone who is tall, dark, and funny. That would be Ro, her definitely-not-a-man girlfriend.
Day two of the charter! Ben is perturbed because he doesn’t believe in psychics but Emily seems to be taking it to heart.
It’s windy as all hell and the sea is choppy, so the Valor is moving to a calmer spot. Lee is dealing with “30 fucking knots of wind,” to be specific. The crew scrambles to secure loose stuff on deck and worry that the guests are going to vomit. But at least the guests aren’t pestering them for coffee. Yes, that is a universal ship’s crew sentiment.
A bunch of wine and champagne bottles bite the dust.
The deckies want help. Kate is annoyed to have Sierra go up because she doesn’t trust Sierra around that much broken glass. Ben swears as they hit a swell and the kitchen all falls apart. He seems to think that Lee has time to radio down and warn them before every big wave. Rebecca the psychic is hurling her guts out in her cabin. You can make the joke about her foreseeing that at your leisure. Lee finally gets them to a more pleasant spot. Phew! Emerson emerges and says his shower was a rodeo of entertainment.
Kelley leaves to pick up the yoga instructor. Kate says the guests are all “scattered and napping and hiding” after their seasickness and need to settle down. The yoga instructor arrives. At 11:00, they get going on the bridge deck, but half the guests are at the table.
Ben agreeably gets some hot brunch going for those who aren’t yoging. The guests are super nice about breakfast. The show does some entirely fair mocking of the psychic shenanigans, but this is another bunch of passengers who are delighted to be there and appreciative of what they’re getting. That always ticks up my faith in humanity a bit.
Ben is mad because Kate won’t define this meal as breakfast or brunch and he has no structure to his day because he doesn’t know if he’s cooking once more or twice more. Sorry, Ben, but I’m with Kate on this one. The primary guest is paying a truckload of money and they just had Neptune himself rise up and remind them of how small the boat really is and how volatile the human digestive system can be. Give them some time to get their legs back under them and make some decisions instead of dictating their schedule. Also the primary is busy puking. Ben calls Kate perhaps one of the worst people in the world as she walks away.
Scott is spreading his aunt’s ashes at sundown, but doesn’t want to force people to join. We’ll assume that they’ve checked in with all local laws on that point. Rebecca is up! She seems like she’s in good spirits (Har!) even after selling all those Buicks.
Rebecca is up! She seems like she’s in good spirits (Har!)
Lee calls Kelley in and asks about the pool floating away. Kelley says Kyle didn’t get the line attached. Lee says to pay attention. Kelley does have some priorities right: He and Kyle get some flour and check the potential trajectory of the ashes to make sure they won’t blow back onto the boat.
Ben is having a shitfit over whether it’s brunch or not. Lee can hear him arguing with Kate way up on the bridge, which means other people can definitely hear it. Emerson and Blake can totally hear it and want Mom and Dad to stop fighting. Ben steps in and apologizes, but the boys say as long as alcohol is coming they’re good. Emily says she’s not comfortable being around Ben and Kate fighting. She has to answer to both of them, she works closely with Kate, and she just started dating Ben. I’m wondering if Kate thought about that ramification while she was playing Cupid. Ben interviews that Kate is the most difficult person to work with in the whole entire world.
Kate rounds up some flowers and potential vases for the ash scattering. That’s thoughtful She says it’s weird to do the scattering like this because that feels like a private thing to her. Kelley says he’s prepped to hose Aunt Grace off the deck. Kyle doesn’t like the juju surrounding this little ceremony. Everyone is concerned about ashes hitting them in the face. But it all turns out fine. Scott does a short and sweet job of saying how good she was to him and then tosses Aunt Grace good and far. I’m sure that B-roll shot of a pelican flying by is in no way meant to imply that it scooped anything up.
Ben apologizes when Kate comes back. She says he yelled at her a lot. She’s not sure this new relationship will help matters. But, as always, after the explosion, things go really well for a while. Ben serves a beautiful dinner and the guests love it.
Nico and Kyle, roommates in a very small cabin, bond over gas passing and their apparently synced cycles. My editor hates it when the show does this, so you will never read these sentences.1 But I must report to the best of my abilities, and so here we are.
Emily wants a reading from one of the psychics, but she’s scared.
Rebecca, at dinner, says she’s a psychic but also a scientist. And then she gets gloriously, opulently bizarre. She says she knows how to connect to Heaven. She says “Heaven has psychology. I have absolute scientific proof.” I’m pretty sure we would differ on the meaning of those last three words. Rebecca name-drops all the dead celebrities she knows: Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock. I kept rewinding this because the words don’t make sense. I think Rebecca says that she has 600 phone calls from Heaven on her phone. One of the other guests confirms that you can’t leave her a message, on account of the phone is full of all the Heaven calls. Kate says it’s the strangest thing she’s ever heard. I think I saw at least one of the beta guests go back over her life choices. Rebecca says God confirmed all her readings.
Upon Emerson’s prompting, Emily comes in for a quick reading with a beta psychic. Ben sort of barges in and asks if he and Ems have a future. Whether you believe in psychics or not, it’s a little weird that the show is acting like it’s OK to just walk up and ask them to give readings. To the beta psychic’s credit, she won’t do a reading for the couple’s chances in front of both halves of the couple. Good call. Emily interviews that it was inappropriate of Ben to ask. It puts Emily and the psychic on the spot at the same time. And they’ve had one date, for chrissakes. Ben pushes and the psychic says no, they don’t have a chance. Well, don’t ask the question if you can’t handle the answer. Ben, in front of the psychic, asks Emily out for a second date. Ben feels like this is a bit of a defiant triumph, but the psychic is fresh out of rat’s asses. Emily isn’t cool with Ben doing this because it’s uncomfortable for everyone, but she says yes.
Afterward, Lauren saw how uncomfortable that was and checks in with Emily. She empathizes well, exactly ticking off the reasons why that wasn’t cool.
Morning! Lauren says she and Kate had a good relationship, but now Kate has a very polite wall up and is smiling the way stewardesses smile impersonally at guests. Emily left a note for Kate about what happened last night.
Kate wants to know why Ben stepped in on Emily’s reading. Ben says it was spontaneous. Kate says it was stupid. Ben says that mediums are there to be challenged. Again, that feels a little rude. They’re paying for this ride, at least theoretically.
Emerson says the boat is so fantastic that they’re ruined forever for mere catamarans. Kyle suggests exchanging contact information. This is probably an overstep for crew, but it doesn’t entirely feel like it? It feels a little bit like Kyle is thinking “Hey, we’re both going to be Bravo faces now. We should hang out.” Emerson seems genuinely into that. The guests are lovely about breakfast again. And we’re docking! We’re packing!
Ben acknowledges to Emily that last night was weird. He was hoping the beta psychic would just say that he and Emily would be good together.
Rebecca gives a little speech and a tip envelope. She says she likes the love life on the boat and seems, through the magic of editing, to indicate Ben and Kate, not Ben and Emily. Back in the galley, Emily thinks she was doing that too. Sierra thinks she was indicating Ben and Emily, and it doesn’t matter anyway, because Ben is smitten.
OK, this is mean. It should be over, but there are 15 more minutes of show. Below Deck must be making Bravo some serious cash.
Ben calls someone who sounds exactly like Ben. It’s his brother, James. James runs a multinational corporation and is puzzled by Ben’s life at sea. He also rags on his little brother with a dry humor. Ben “suggests” a visit that has clearly long been planned.
Everyone to the crew mess for tips! Lee critiques the deck hands on letting the pool float away, and Kyle on not securing the line. Nico says he was also calling out the fact that the pool wasn’t secure, but there was too much chatter. Kelley does not need Nico’s self-serving input at this time. Lee also says he doesn’t want any more screaming in the galley, which seems like a fair critique. (Though kitchens should be a sanctuary for swearing and blowing off steam. Build them stronger.) The crew gets $1350 each. Not bad. Lee tells them to enjoy their afternoon, but tomorrow is a work day and a hard one.
Kyle and Nico laugh after the tip meeting saying that Nico had Kyle’s back and kept him from getting thrown under the bus. I’m not sure how that’s the case, since Kyle’s the one who didn’t tie the line, but OK. Somehow Nico seeing it made it less Kyle’s fault for reasons I don’t understand. They laugh that Kelley didn’t like it. This whole stumblebum plotline is weird. The deckies were a great team while we had the drama of Trevor to rely on; now they can’t do anything right. I know these shows are always edited into storylines, but this one is surprisingly transparent: We need conflict! Here it is!
Ben is excited for his second date with Emily to prove that what the psychic said was bollocks. They go straight to champagne. Nico and Lauren drink on the Bunny Pad and look at the full moon. Kate talks to Ro while washing her face and refuses to have Skype sex. I can’t blame her with cameras everywhere. Back at the date, Emily defuses the psychic incident by saying that it was a funny situation that’s never going to happen again, which is a good point. They decide to go for a stroll. Ems likes how relaxed Ben is off the ship. She gets the hiccups and they kiss. Which cures the hiccups! Call medical science!
Ben and Em both seem happy upon their return. Kyle tells Ben if his game was any sharper he’d shave with it. Then Kyle shows video of him performing at Manchester Gay Pride to the crew. Kate says his shorts are honest. (What they are is silver hot pants.)
Kyle, watching the video, says he came out to his dad to this song. Kate, who has dated men her whole life before dating her girlfriend and who has also seen Kyle go hard after Sierra like three days ago, wonders if she and Kyle are both gay.
If you notice that the bisexuals in your life smack their palms into their foreheads a whole bunch, this would be why.
Kyle says he came out as bi, which explains why he was so calm and accurate in talking about Kate’s apparent bisexuality. (…And it’s not fair of me to force a self-definition on Kate. From what I’ve seen, she doesn’t currently seem to want to be locked into one, which is fine.) Kyle says he came out as bi because he had a transgender missus at the time.
He says he realized while he was in the army that he was into transwomen. And he’s not really worried about sex or gender. He doesn’t seem to currently identify as bi, and says his on-again-off-again girlfriend back home is transgender. (OK, but if Kyle has a kinds-sorta girlfriend back home, why was he such a baby about Sierra possibly having a guy back at home?) The others like this new side of Kyle. Ben says he’s evolved and full of surprises.
Next week: The show is on Wednesday instead of Tuesday thanks to the election! There is be a drag show and some controversially chewy conch, and Kyle has an allergic reaction to sea urchin. Maybe the show will be back to a single hour, or maybe it’ll be 15. Who knows? See you there!
Editor’s note: this is true. I do hate when the show does this. ↩