Below Deck Mediterranean: Pets and Pet Peeves

I try to remain objective. No, really, I do. I’m finding it extremely difficult to do that this season though. First off there was the Lara situation, which seemed as contrived (if not more so) than the Mila one last year. And then we had the putrid post from Pete that thankfully got him fired. Bravo promised a reduction in his scenes, but so far that hasn’t happened. To spare myself having to stock up on Pepto, I’ll be editing him out of this blog unless something he does is absolutely integral.

Next came the hiring of Bugsy, knowing full well that she and Hannah don’t get along. There were plenty of other choices from this franchise or the original that were already vetted. I have a tendency to stick up for whomever is being targeted from multiple fronts. I haven’t always defended Hannah, because when she was in the power position she didn’t need me to, and at times didn’t deserve it. Now she’s got Captain Sandy, Bugsy, production, and potentially Malia at some point coming at her. Gang-ups are a huge pet peeve for me, so if I seem uncharacteristically biased in my retelling…now you’ll know why. So let’s get to the show, shall we?

Bugsy arrives with the built-in hashtag of “Bringing the thunder.” You don’t really even need to know how to spell foreshadowing to see what’s in store. Malia is overjoyed, Alex seems pretty pleased, and Captain Sandy has her tablescape goddess back. Hannah was cordial and reached out for a handshake only to be met with a hug. She covered it smoothly in the moment, but couldn’t help but comment on the awkwardness after.

For those who weren’t watching back then, production sprinkles several flashbacks throughout the episode to show exactly why Hannah might be reticent to want to work with Bugsy again. After her pep talk from Anna Wintour’s Masterclass, she is prepared to give it a shot though and even shows Bugsy around the boat.

The primary is a financial consultant from New York named Justin Thorton. He’d do well to get himself a friendship consultant when he’s back stateside, because at least one of his guests is a total nozzle, but we’ll get to that in a bit. The owner of the Wellington doesn’t allow pets onboard, so Justin’s dog Scout will be staying on shore with a sitter and visits ashore should be expected.

We discover that Bugsy gets her creative side from her mom, who owns a B&B. According to Bugs it’s all about thinking outside the box. She boasts that as a Chief Stew she entered herself and her girls in a tablescape competition and won first place. Captain Sandy is in awe and her dreams of having a stew that cares about table decor as much as she does are all finally coming true. Joy! Rapture! Eye roll emoji!

Shells are super outside of the box for a yacht, right?

The guests are arriving and I have to admit, Scout is adorable. I wouldn’t want to leave him home either. I can’t tell if he’s a puppy or a pomsky, but I’d be willing phone the owner of the Wellington myself to see if he’s willing to allow Leon and Scout to trade places. If you’re reading before watching the drinking game phrase is “Bugsy is killing it.” You may not get wasted, but you’ll definitely hear Captain Sandy say it enough to get a decent buzz on. This time she got the praise for bringing out towels on a tray. Scout isn’t the only pet on the episode apparently. Captain Sandy’s got a shiny new one of her own.

Scout’s sitter arrives, and if I was forced to wager a guess, I’d say that it was someone from production. (If you haven’t read the recent New York Times article, give it a Google. Lots of inside info about the logistics of filming a show with a structured six week time frame.) Hannah shows the guests around the yacht and lets them know that the weather will force them to stay docked. That definitely puts the pressure on the interior to keep them happy.

Hannah is booking them a VIP table at Tito’s that night and meanwhile Bugsy is serving the guests Belvedere on the aft deck. Leon wants to know if they have any oysters, but Kiko can’t oblige and offers up caviar instead which they all seem keen on. A little observational tidbit…while Leon is the one who requested the oysters, he isn’t the one Bugsy explained not having oysters to. Wouldn’t normally be a big deal, but it will be later and Hannah, not Bugsy, will catch the backlash.

Easiest way to deal with difficult guests? Get them off the boat.

The guests sit down for lunch and Captain Sandy comes in before they’re even served to get their opinion on the table setting. She even takes the time to point out that Bugsy gets the credit for it. This is where no amount of ginger ale or any other anti-nausea aid could assist me any longer. It’s a flipping table. Your favoritism is not only blatant, but it’s obnoxious. Bugsy didn’t make the clouds part and the winds stop so you could leave the dock, for crying out loud.

Malia came up with a great idea to keep the guests occupied by setting up a poker game. Even though he just ate lunch, Leon is still waiting on the oysters that Bugsy told Daniel weren’t available. Funny thing though, when Hannah suggests that if there’s something they want, they just need to put it on their preference sheet, Daniel doesn’t let Leon know Bugsy said they’d be getting them fresh tomorrow. So Leon decides to imply Hannah can’t read. Hannah’s been insulted by better than Leon and quickly grabs his preference sheet to make him look like the jerk that he is. Why does it seem like the secondaries are always so much more entitled than the primaries?

After some pressure from Captain Sandy to talk to the primary, Kiko finally relents. He’s shy and uncomfortable doing it, because English is his second language, but he’s planned a great meal and Justin is happy. You know who’s really killing it? Kiko. Great job. Maybe even good enough for Sandy to stop hovering over you, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The meal looks amazing (even if the table looks like a Dollar General exploded on it.) The guests are all happy and head ashore to enjoy the nightlife.

I’d be waking up from a full night’s sleep around that time.

Their nightlife almost becomes dawn life as they bring the party back to the boat and keep Hannah and Alex serving them until 4:30 in the morning. When the rest of the crew awakens the weather has cleared up enough for them to leave the dock. Well, that was the plan until one of the guests decided to take a walk off of the boat. The window of departure closes as the wind picks up before she returns, and it’s going to be yet another day of a non-motoring motor yacht.

Malia comes up with yet another idea to keep the smoke and mirrors of not going anywhere alive by setting up a toy island on the beach in a protected cove. The randoms from the night before are guests again, and as if staying up until 5 wasn’t enough for Hannah to deal with, Jess wakes her up an hour early so Justin can see Scout. The crew lugs over all of the water toys as well as gear for a beach picnic only for Sandy to receive a call from the beach representative who tells her they can’t have glass or tents there. With no protection from the sun, the guests quickly lose interest in the toys and decide to head back to the boat with their extra four friends.

We’ll have to wait until next week to see if Kiko can pull off a 6 course meal for a party of twelve. Wishing him good luck and Godspeed, and wishing you thanks for reading. Hope you’ll join me next week.

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