Previously: Ashley came to visit and called Kyle an asshole; Ben wanted to preserve Emily’s flowers; Emily felt she was caught between Ben and Kate; Kate thought Emily and Sierra were taking advantage of her leniency; Kelley crashed the tender into the boat; Nico became senior deckhand; and Ben asked Emily to stay in a hotel with him. Platonically.
It’s the last charter (BUT NOT THE FINALE. I SWEAR TO GOD I THOUGHT THEY SAID THIS WEEK WAS THE FINALE.) and Kate is tired and stressed out because she feels like Emily and Sierra and much of the crew have just given up. She chats with Ro would like Ro to say something supportive about her situation like girlfriends sometimes do, but that doesn’t seem to be Ro’s thing. An annoyed Kate coaches her on what she could say.
Kelley says he’s disappointed that Captain Lee doesn’t have 100% faith in him. He works on the schedule and hopes to prove that Lee was right to make him his bosun.
Ben and Emily come back from their platonic hotel night holding hands. Ben says it was nice to “become more comfortable with one another.” And then he laughs wickedly and says “That’s all you’re getting.” Eh. I’m a little grossed out by that. Ben is trying to leave a definite impression that they hooked up while pretending to be a gentleman. You don’t get to play both games.
Nico tells Kyle he liked Ashley. Kyle says she handled the Sierra thing well. Kyle says he never used to tell the truth and this is a new thing. Kyle interviews that he can’t help himself around beautiful women and he just comes out guns a-blazing. ENOUGH OF THAT. Ugh. You’re either a fully functioning grownup who can control himself around all sorts of people or you shouldn’t be allowed out in public by yourself. Yes, you can control yourself around beautiful women. You choose to take the risks of not doing so, so take the consequences. Kyle says Ashley hated Sierra even before she knew about the date thing. Nico says Sierra is a different breed. We cut to Sierra looking aimless in the laundry room.
Pre-charter meeting for the last charter! It’s a bunch of former models, the Good Life Gals, who have a lifestyle website. The primary’s personal tag line is “Supermodel to Role Model,” so we are done with her. The guests want a photo shoot and a thank-you dinner for the primary for getting them all together. Kate says there’s a lot of potential there for Kelley. Kelley says when he was 26, he dated a woman who was 42, and older women love him.
Kate says it’s sad that it’s their last charter and Captain Lee can’t believe she said that and peaces out. We’re all a little tense.
Emily and Sierra make a bed. Kate checks in on them, and they grimace.
Captain Lee tells Kelley to assemble the deck crew. Lee gives a last-charter-so-raise-the-bar speech. He says these are women who want to have fun. Piece of cake. Lee says that instead of getting out every single possible water toy, Kelley should maybe give the guests some guidance on what they might enjoy more than the chickenshit pool. Wow, Lee is really tired of chasing that pool. Let’s be honest: It was never a good thing. Lee says to take a page out of Kate’s playbook on how she steers people away from items they’re out of in the galley. Nico interviews that this means Kate is manipulative.
Kate calls the stews and can’t roust Sierra on the radio. She talks about how you need to have your radio with you at all times. She says that when you’re crew, your radio needs to be like your egg baby when you’re in school: You should always know where it is. In a flashback, Sierra names her radio Misty and Emily names hers Bridget. So, yes, Kate has covered this point rather thoroughly.
Kate has a meeting with the Stews. She would like them always to have their radios on, especially during dinner and turndown. She has some tweaks to Sierra’s dishwashing/dish drying technique so that dishes aren’t left in the drainer in rough seas. Sierra is offended and interviews that she doesn’t know where this came from. Sierra, Kate said to you directly that it came from the dishes crashing around in high seas. I know they’re tense from a long season, but no one on this boat seems to be able to handle being told to improve their job performance.
Kate also wants Emily to radio when she’s back from break to save the other stews some time and work. Emily is annoyed because she feels like she hasn’t gotten credit for being a good stew. Actually, Kate specifically said that Emily was great about taking the initiative before asking her to radio in. Some people need a compliment sandwich. This crew needs compliment parfaits or compliment trifles.
Kyle chats with Ashley on the phone. Kelley strategizes with Nico on what shifts to take. Ben and Emily are in the pantry canoodling as Emily misses Kate calling her on the radio.
So Kate does have a point, Emily. Kate radios that they’re all fired. Kate finds Emily and asks where the radio, which she just asked the stews to have on and with them at all times, is. Emily says her radio is upstairs. For chrissakes, Emily.
Kate notes that the chief stews who she didn’t love are the ones who taught her the most, so she feels OK about cracking down on Sierra and Emily. Emily brings Bridget back and Kate talks to Emily’s radio baby, saying she was sorry it was so cruelly abandoned.
Nico hands Lauren her radio, which she apparently loses all the time. I know these things take forever and a half to edit, but this would have been a good running bit throughout the season instead of catching up on all of that now. Lauren says it’s the last charter and she DGAF where her radio is. Eh. I like Lauren a lot, but that’s making me lose some respect for her. The crew razzes Lauren a whole lot about that missing radio, so I’m guessing this has happened a ton.
Kate suggests telling the guests that the chickenshit pool is usually for children and older people to make their guests stay far, far away from it. Kelley spots that for the brilliant idea that it is. See? Kate will have your back if you’re with her on the Perfection Train.
Kate has her getting ready face on. She confirms that it’s somewhere between Instagram duckface and resting bitchface.
The guesties arrive and seem very amiable! OH, GOOD. ARE WE HAVING A BOAT TOUR? I WAS SO HOPING WE WOULD HAVE A BOAT TOUR. I HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR WEEKS WHEN WE WOULD FINALLY GET TO SEE SOME OF THIS BOAT.
We cast off and get rolling and unberth and pull into the blue, blue Caribbean sea.
The ladies’ first photo shoot is indoors on the beds? OK. Kate says every drink she brings them is one drink closer to freedom, so she’s happy. It’s this sequence that shows the conflict of this week’s whole show: Kate knows they’re in the home stretch, so she goes into Power Through and Make it Great mode. Unfortunately, every single other person on the (filmed) crew except for Lee goes into Fuck-it Mode. For people who are living and working together and are also supposed to be cheerily serving other people’s needs, this is a powder keg.
Kelley and Nico come in to talk to the guests about what toys they have available and which ones they want the most. Kelley is way, way less smooth than Kate would be with the line about the pool being for children and the elderly, but it still works a treat. The ladies say any toys the deckies put out are good.
Ben says he’s doing a quinoa salad for lunch because “models love that shit.” Sierra has lost Misty. (How perfect is it that she named her radio Misty? It is a shame that storylines seem to have to be pulled together so quickly as the season is still going.
The models pose in swimsuits on deck now and one nearly loses – But saves! – a hat.
They call each other gorgeous a lot, which is no bad thing. Ben says he wants to do a charter with no arguments. Good luck with that. Kate says she tried “avoid so I don’t get annoyed” last charter, making it clear that Ben is the one she was avoiding. To Ben’s face. Oh, Kate. This is one of those little human communication areas you could work on.
Kate finds Misty. Kate says she’s Social Services and ties Misty to Sierra’s wrist. Sierra interviews that if she did something wrong, it’s because she didn’t know, not because she didn’t care. No, that doesn’t work this late in the season, and not with something as fundamental as having your radio with you. Sierra immediately pulls her radio tie offs, entirely missing Kate’s point of joke-but-not-joke-punishing her.
Kate chases Sierra with a tie to affix her radio to another body part. Sierra takes evasive action, walking fast and pretending she’s busy and not stopping for Kate. I know Kate’s being a hard-ass about this, but I’m on Team Kate with this one. Sierra is being rude by walking away in the brisk manner that she is, and she’s refusing to acknowledge that she screwed up and take the consequences. She says “I get what you’re doing, but don’t take it too far” to Kate as though Kate is a peer and not her boss. Kate points out that this is lenient compared to other punishments she could mete out over this, which is true. She could absolutely have chewed out Sierra in front of the whole crew, but she didn’t.
Kate interviews that brains and beauty are hard to find in combination and Sierra is really pretty. So very pretty.
The deckies put out the toys. The models call the deckies eye candy. Aw, man, just once, Lauren should get some play. Lauren, you have been underserved by Below Deck this season. But overserved when it comes to alcohol, so maybe it works out.
Lunch! The dishes are healthy and tasty, and the models seem delighted. Good Life Gals! We’ll be shouting this a lot.
Ben tells Emily that the foie gras is amazing, but Emily doesn’t want to try it. I’m guessing Emily is aware of how it’s made. Ben says he doesn’t know if they’re now an item, but his feelings for her are genuine, and he hopes they keep going.
Kate says she appreciates the blossoming of romance and the hatching couple that is Bemily, but she wants some fucking work to get done. Which is understandable, but, again, the romance was entirely engineered by Kate, so she should maybe go ahead and take this one on the chin.
The primary gives a speech about how she is very proud of how they are all smart and successful “entrepreneurs,” and this is how they reward themselves. She further talks about women mentoring and inspiring and being kind to each other instead of being negative and catty. And then she keeps talking. Kate comes back into the galley and gently parodies the speeches. She interviews that going onto the aft deck is like walking into a Lifetime movie. This is beautifully intercut with the primary talking about having to choose between traveling around the world and going to college. Kate says that being independent woman involves many things, but she doesn’t think lunching on a yacht while talking about independence is part of that list. We finish with the primary saying that the world was her classroom and Kate not vomiting. Well done, editors.
Lunch is in full swing, and there is work that is undone, so Kate pulls Sierra off break, saying that there are no breaks right now. Sierra is annoyed.
One rich lady says she gives back by going to the Dominican Republic and not going to resorts, but going to tin shacks where people are sleeping on cardboard. She is applauded by the group. Oh, dear.
Emily is annoyed that Sierra was called off break to take care of cabin service. I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, customer-facing work is exhausting and these yacht days look long, and you really do need breaks to recharge, and a manager should recognize that. On the other hand, Kate got pulled off her own break just last episode because no one was answering service calls on the radio – she isn’t asking for anything she isn’t willing to do herself. I don’t know. The crew is fried, and Kate hasn’t picked up on the fact that she’s not approaching that the right way. But Sierra and Emily are not acknowledging the fact that they seem to be sliding into suckage. It’s a conundrum.
Ben peels spuds and says he’s in a great mood. Kelley says he’s getting loosey goosey for the last dinner and will even get Kate loosened up. So, yes, we can confirm that Bravo sponsors these dinners and will be foie gras–feeding them alcohol. I believe that is called foie drunk.
The guesties play on the slide and jump off the boat and paddleboard and yell “Good life gals!” OK! Nico and Kelley are working well together. Sierra says she feels like she was disrespected. She had such a good season of being a good stew and now this! Honestly, it doesn’t seem like more than a tough day, but I’m sure that everyone’s nerves are fried after weeks of customer service plus being filmed.
Barry the first mate (Hi, Barry! We’ve missed you!) lets Kelley know he found Lauren’s radio on the jet ski bench. Oh, dear. You guys might not know this, but crew members are supposed to have their radios on them at all times. I’m not sure if the show has made that clear.
Crew lunch! Sierra says she feels like she has more energy if she doesn’t eat. Kyle seems to roll his eyes at Sierra making excuses not to eat, but in an interview, he says it’s her chewing with her mouth open and claims that table manners have always been extremely important to him.
Well, maybe, or maybe Kyle is petulantly looking for reasons to dislike her.
Lauren looks around for her radio, which the deckies have confiscated to mess with her. Kelley has two radios on his belt. They’re getting a surfboard tieline to tie Lauren to her walkie because apparently radio bondage is an ancient law of the sea. Sierra is also looking for her radio at the same time. IT IS A PERFECT STORM OF LOST RADIOS. Sierra, seeing a radio on the table, picks up Kyle’s without asking (WHY, SIERRA? WHY?) to see if it’s hers, and Kyle thinks she’s accusing him of stealing her radio and suddenly we’re in a Category 5 shitstorm. Sierra calls Kyle a child. Kelley says she’s paranoid.
Sierra says Kyle isn’t over her and takes every opportunity to belittle her. Well, they’re both being pretty damned prickly. Over ONE DATE that did not even end in a kiss. Learn to write things off, people. They call each other “kid” and “idiot” and Kelley tells them to chill out.
Sierra leaves, saying “Being mean to a girl, you’re so cool!” which is, I’m sorry, the exact wrong time to play the sexism card, Sierra. You must now write every woman on the planet a little note of apology for making it that much harder to call out actual sexism.
Kelley, finally stepping up into leadership, says “Kyle, we have 48 hours. Go fix that.” And he says it in the exact right tone of voice. Kyle, in an interview, speculates that Sierra’s ex is chopped up on ice. (Hey, you know where the actual sexism on the show is? It’s where we keep hitting the idea that Sierra is ca-razy when the show doesn’t seem to be able to show us much more than some entitlement and tightly controlled repression. Why are we not calling Kyle crazy for obsessing over a single date? And for getting furious for Sierra having a possibility back home when Kyle had an actual girlfriend back home?)
It’s night! Kate says the guests are ready for an 8:30 dinner and we say goodbye to the photographer. I pity the poor future cultural anthropologists who have to try to figure out and explain what the fuck a lifestyle blog is.
Kyle goes to Kelley and says he doesn’t want to apologize to Sierra. IS THERE NO ONE ON THIS BOAT WHO CAN ACCEPT A LEGITIMATE PIECE OF WORK CRITICISM AND TAKE A DIRECT ORDER? Kelley says that it’s a confined space, so freaking apologize. Kyle interviews that Sierra is the fucking devil. Good lord.
And then Sierra comes barreling into the corridor to undo all my good work on explaining the sexism of everyone calling her crazy. Kelley, after making the crucial mistake of bringing up Sierra’s “attitude” first, backpedals and tries to explain what happened with the radios and de-escalate the situation. Sierra does not listen at all and interrupts to tell Kelley he’s talking over her. Yes, he was an absolute irrational dick to her before, but Sierra is so busy being defensive that she’s missing the chance to let this freaking go and even get a bit of an apology. Kelley says that how Sierra talks to people is disrespectful and rude. Sierra says she only has this problem with him and Kyle. Kelley again makes a case for everyone getting along and being professional for 48 hours. That’s not happening with either Kyle or Sierra without way more than mere radio bondage.
Kyle interviews that Sierra is an idiot, and you can’t argue with an idiot. Kyle, that sentiment would land a little better if it came from the mouth of someone who wasn’t pouting because Sierra had not let him successfully cheat on his girlfriend in front of television cameras.
Kelley says that when Sierra does laundry, nobody gets their shirts right. Again, this would have been a delightful little running tidbit to follow through the season. Either Bravo is not into subtlety and slow builds or they just ordered eleven million episodes and made the story editors just dive in and start cutting and had Kate take away their breaks.
Sierra (as Kelley predicted moments ago) gives her version of the Great Radio Fight to Kate. It is a tad self-serving, which Kate has intuited. She says she has no time for another Sierra freakout. Kate would like everyone just to do their damn jobs. Kelley walks in on the end of it and begs to differ with Sierra’s version. He explains that he and Kyle were trying to apologize and we’re off into completely pointless random statements being thrown around and nobody listening. Ben, innocently bystanding, says he takes everything with salt, but everyone is too irritated to get the pun, so he has to repeat it and explain that he uses salt in all his cooking. Because he is a chef. And they use salt.
Sierra interviews that she’s keeping the peace and taking the high road. She is doing neither of those things.
Ben serves up some sea bass! The ladies love it so much they howl! Kelley says Ben is giving them orgasms Ben does not deny it. The guesties want to meet the chef. Ben comes out with the bananas Foster and laps up the lavish applause. Ben so could have gotten laid tonight.
Nico and Kelley look at the moon. One of them says he used to be a werewolf. Ben snogs Emily goodnight.
Lauren asks Kyle if he’d be a deckhand again. Kyle – Totally not crazy! – drags Sierra into the equation to insult her. YOU HAD ONE DATE AND YOU WERE CHEATING ON YOUR GIRLFRIEND. Lauren deflects the project of insulting Sierra, saying they’re all a bit crazy, but Lauren is happy to bitch about Kate. Lauren, we will recall, dislikes Kate because Kate has objected to Lauren’s conduct while Lauren was blackout drunk, which means Lauren thinks Kate gets mad over nothing because Lauren can never remember it. Ye gods, this boat.
Ben and Kate talk late at night. He says he can’t sleep because he has anxiety. They were once close enough that Kate seems to know about that. Ben says Kate helped him today. She says she avoided him, so that kept her from being annoyed. He laughs and says that he hates her and she laughs and says she hates him too. I mostly agree with them that they would have been a terrible couple, but not entirely.
In the morning, Kate fills the guests in on taxi rides to The Baths. Nico and Kyle do window bits, pretending to paddle canoes and ride down escalators.
Kelley gets a banana. Kate is annoyed because the stews are supposed to make up the guest cabins while the guesties are occupied with breakfast and Emily and Sierra should know that and hop to. But they have not.
Nico and Kyle will go with the ladies to Virgin Gorda. Two guesties sit in the wheelhouse with Captain Lee and one will not, no matter how much he silently screams to heaven, shut the hell up. Lee finally sends them to watch Nico as he works his fascinating magic with the anchor.
Ben bitches that he’s dealing with 12-foot swells while he’s trying to cook breakfast because nobody tells him anything and it’s unsafe and difficult. Kate interviews that Ben, oddly, is the person she’s least annoyed with right now. She does indeed let his anger roll right off.
Kyle asks Sierra to pack the cooler for the guests. She asks him to hose it out. Pause here and take a guess as to whether either of them will deal with this simple exchange well.
Sierra complains that the deckies are asking her to do their jobs (like fill the cooler) while she’s been running since 6 a.m. Kate listens to Sierra and says she understands. But in an interview, Kate says it’s important to ask yourself whether something is worth complaining about or whether it’s easier just to do it. Kate, to back up her stew, goes to Kelley to talk to him about the cooler, and so Kelley says Kate’s on the warpath. This boat is like one of those giant domino formations, only malevolent birds fly in from the heavens to knock down the wrong pieces all day long. Nico bitches. Kelley bitches. Kyle says there’s drama every time he has an interaction with Sierra. Kyle, can you think of any reasons for why that might be the case?
Kate says they have three meals left, so let’s make them amazing. Ben says thanks for the advice because they were planning on giving really bad service. Kate sends Emily away and tells Ben that she was trying to be inspiring, like a football coach before the big game, and maybe Ben doesn’t need to crap all over that. Ben takes offense at the idea that Kate is his coach and Kate says that she wasn’t even looking at Ben. Every single crew member on this boat needs a baseball bat and 15 minutes in a room full of heirloom china.
Anyway, we’re back in Virgin Gorda! Seriously, go there. Sierra sweetly-angrily tells one of the guests that she won’t be going to the baths with them, making sure to give that statement the same undertone that might be appropriate for a Victorian street urchin who has been forced into service as a scullery maid. Kate makes the guests a cocktail before they go to the baths because of course she does. Kate is delighted because The Baths equal no guests on the boat for a solid three hours. You would think we would immediately cut to Kate reading comic books and dancing in her underwear, but in fact what Kate wants to do with this quiet time is make sure things are perfect.
Kate checks the cabins. Things are not perfect. Uh-oh. There are full trash cans, and the guests are out of toilet paper. Kate interviews that she thought the stews respected her enough to not just give up. That was incorrect.
Kate shows the stews the situation and asks them to, you know, do things. Kate interviews that we’re at Resting Bitch Face Code Red and they’d better pick up on those warning signs. In a disastrous tactical error, Kate says there will be no breaks because nothing is getting done.
Next week: The deckies hug! Ben and Emily wonder what’s next! Kate refuses to rat out her crew! Ben and Kate fight! Kyle proposes to Ashley! Emily talks to Ben about Kate! Plus, presumably, an eighteen-way screaming match that can be heard from space.
Bravo definitely said next week is the finale this time. I checked. Get in there. We can do this. Keep your radio with you, and I’ll meet you back here.