Clink, clink. Clink. Clink, clink. No that’s not a wayward anchor chain tapping against the boat. It’s the sound of these entitled charter guests still clinking their dang bracelets for their second helping. I seriously hope this is all for the cameras to garner sympathy for the crew, because if not…these people royally suck. Kiko is still flustered, but gets the second helpings out very quickly and it’s off to the jacuzzi for the guests.
Unlike past charters, Hannah is now on the middle shift and Bugsy is doing lates. I’m only bringing it up, because later in the episode the guests are raving about Bugsy. In my opinion, the late shift allows a more casual atmosphere, because all of the daily chores are finished, so the guests get the total focus and attention. Some will probably think I’m trying to take something away from Bugsy with that assessment, and they might not be wrong. My bias has definitely been showing more than a slip that’s three inches longer than the skirt on top of it.
The next morning Kiko is still frustrated by how he performed at dinner the previous day, so Captain Sandy is eager to give him advice to better his timing. Tips like “demanding serving platters and plates” which in my mind was a subtle way to put more blame on Hannah. Captain Sandy admits that his food is good, but she wants the galley to be more organized for the full experience. At this point, if I made “full experience” the drinking word for this show, we’d all need new livers.
After the guests are done with lip masks and talking to Kiko about lunch, they’re eager to play with the water toys. On charters past I seem to recall Sandy throwing a fit about them all not being in the water first thing. Strangely enough, she’s not looming around complaining that the exterior isn’t giving the guests the “full experience.” Rob (not wanting to leave Jess out as the only injured crew member) reopens a cut on his toe and heads off to bandage it. He’s barely made it back to the crew mess before Malia is radioing him to see how he’s coming along with the bandage. In what can only be a lesson derived from Captain Sandy herself, the blame for Malia’s inability to have her work done now falls on her least favorite crew member. At least her least favorite of those who are awake. He Who Shall Not Be Named is still in bed after anchor watch, and it seems we’ve finally gotten the edit we’ve been promised. He’s barely a blip on the ship’s radar this episode.
Her tension continues over into an interaction with Alex, who she expressly directed to a white box on the bridge that contains the manual she needs. Unfortunately when he opens the box it’s not there. Captain Sandy makes him look like the dummy though as she says, “It’s right here,” and hands it to him. Granted, she may not have known that Malia misdirected him, or the fact that he’s never seen it and wasn’t the one to put it away. Even when Alex lets Malia know it wasn’t where she said it was, you can note the hint of skepticism in her voice as if her rank is being challenged instead of her memory.
All of that causes a perceptible shift in her attitude as Rob returns (after a short kissing-in-the-laundry detour) with fresh towels for the guests and a freshly bandaged toe. Sensing the tension, Rob asks for a little politeness as not to envelop them in negative energy. Malia then goes into a robotic “your boss/the boss” loop that actually does her more disservice than good. Reinforcing her rank early on with the schmuck was one thing, but Malia has even commented previously that neither Alex nor Rob have disrespected her as a woman in power. Seems like someone’s stripe count is making her britches smaller, because she’s certainly getting too big for them in this moment.
And now for the main event! In the red corner with big white teeth and a thick accent you have “My Middle Name is Enunciation” Bugsy. In the blue corner with a shiny splinted finger and a need for clearer speech you have “My Cabin is Messy” Jessy . This middleweight championship fight is over the inability to comprehend what Bugsy is asking for over the radio. The answer is wine glasses, but it took her three over-mic shots to pound it into Jess’s head. Jess attempted to counter-punch and point out that if she could understand her by the third time, that speaking more slowly actually did make a difference. Before she could complete her follow-through, Referee Sandy jumps in and all but provides a body block for Bugsy and stopped the fight. And the crowd booed. (Okay, maybe it was just me, but my dog’s name is Boo and she was watching too.)
Kiko has his own issues with Bugsy as she constantly peppers him with guest orders and requests. He’s struggling to prioritize when it seems she wants something different every time she enters the galley. The eyerolls and exasperated sighs she’s giving aren’t helping either. It’s funny how Little Miss Positive gets rattled just like Hannah does when guests are demanding. The only difference is how they deal with it. Hannah goes quiet to stay focused and Bugsy manically goes from being sugary sweet to the guests to being impatient and rude to her co-workers. Personally, I’d rather work with the quiet person, but that’s not news to anyone reading. It appears I’m not alone though because Kiko is asking where Hannah is.
Even though the fight is over between Bugsy and Jess, there’s still color commentary to be had. Captain Sandy feels like Jess needs to train her ears because that’s how it is in yachting. I’m fairly sure that it would take less time and cause less mistakes if Bugsy only spoke a half a mile a minute instead of a full mile, but then again she’s not MY favorite. Bugsy thinks it would be better if Hannah put some structure in place, because as the 2nd stew Bugsy can’t do it herself. The only time Bugsy seems to remember she’s the 2nd stew is when something is going wrong and the blame can shift to Hannah.
It feels like lunch was just finished, but it’s already time for dinner and the vegan is yet again displeased. He made it clear that he didn’t want any more pasta, even though it’s gluten-free. I have some not great qualities, but being a hypocrite isn’t one of them. Much like when Adam gave the guest onions when he was expressly asked not to, Kiko needs to give the guests what they ask for to the best of his ability. “No More Pasta” should have been written in bold, black Sharpie on the preference sheet if that request was made. I will cut him some slack for being distracted though, because everywhere he turns Sandy is underfoot and he comments that he’s never had a captain constantly hover like she does before. Her micromanaging ways are throwing people off their game.
Copter Sandy is then hovering over the dinner table just waiting for her window of opportunity to get yet another critique of Kiko’s food. Bernardo attempts to be diplomatic and tiptoe around the topic, but the freeloading vegan cuts right to the chase. Mariachi bands and carrot cakes don’t buy the goodwill that they used to, and he considers it average in his estimation. Blunt force trauma would have hurt Sandy less than that word by the look on her face. She wants it to be the best experience ever, so she tells them she’ll take care of it.
The next morning things go from bad to worse. The primary tells Jess they’ll want breakfast at nine and she passes the information along to Hannah. Hannah decides to get some laundry done and Jess is singing while using a suction-less vacuum since she didn’t empty the bag. While Hannah is trying to show her how to change it, the guests seat themselves and no one checks on them. This is where you’ll see that I can be objective. The blame here lies on Hannah. She was told what time they’d be there and they arrived at 9:03. She should have been waiting for them and left the laundry for later and Jess to figure the vacuum out on her own.
Unfortunately for her, Captain Sandy discovers the error first and now Sandy is hopping mad. So angry in fact, that even after she barks at Hannah and Jess to get them moving, she wakes Bugsy up almost 2 hours early to make sure it goes smoothly. Brace yourselves, I’m about to be unbiased twice in one blog…this wasn’t Bugsy’s mess to clean up. That said, it wasn’t Kiko’s problem or fault either and he had plates of food ready. Sandy had zero reason to be snapping at him.
Sandy finds her happy place again when she gets to show Malia (aka: Captain Sandy Jr.) how to drive the yacht back to dock. Malia is thrilled at the opportunity and Sandy is overjoyed at the chance to clone herself. The guests leave and have praise for no one except for Bugsy. Well, there’s no accounting for taste, especially since they didn’t like Kiko’s food. They leave a measly 15,000 tip, so I’m guessing that the nouveau riche aren’t as riche as they’d like us to think.
In the tip meeting Sandy expresses that she’s tired of having the same conversations about service. She said that she’d like them all to be there through the last charter, but that if things don’t change it’s not going to happen. We end with an odd one-on-one with Sandy and Hannah. If Sandy had discussed the problems at breakfast, I would have understood. Instead she proceeds to tell Hannah how Hannah feels and what she’s passionate about. Hannah just sat there and took it like a champ. I don’t know how much longer she’ll be willing to do that though. Tune in with me next week and we’ll find out together.
If you don’t want to wait until next week to hear more, check out the Below Deck Med podcast I do with Brianna each week. For the latest episode, click here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/62-below-deck-med-season-5-ep-8-rise-and-dont-shine/id1482301675?i=1000485674311