Below Deck Mediterranean: The Dark Side of The Love Boat

We open with Jess’s heart still beating fast and Malia telling her to take deep breaths. We really all should be doing that before we watch the show from now on, since it’s been nothing but a blood pressure increaser for weeks on end. And rarely in a good way. Malia radios to Sandy that they have a medical issue and Sandy says, “Tell her to come see me.” There’s that compassion in action, Cap. You can run to make sure Johnny Damon likes his food, but you can’t get up from your breakfast to check on your third stew? We see you.

Over at the closing party in Ibiza, Johnny’s wife Michelle is straddling Aesha to pour alcohol down her throat. Aesha takes the molestation like a champ though and keeps the mood light and fun. Maybe since Dolly the Sheep was so successful, we could just create a franchise with a boatload of Aesha clones and have a season where we can just laugh and be light and see how the other half lives.

One lone second stew cannot change the dynamic on the boat though and the remaining part of the episode is basically a shipwreck. What started out as a fun and flirty boatmance between Rob and Jess has now become a bird’s eye view of a bad marriage being watched on fast forward. Poor communication skills, jealousy, distracted behavior on the job. Bet they’re regretting that decision to share a cabin now.

But, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have her see me.

Sandy uses Jessica’s condition to share her own story about her heart attack. A normal viewer would think that made sense, but we all know I’m biased, jaded and completely abnormal so I saw it as yet another exercise in narcissism. For a girl Jess’s age, her first numbers were high. Even by the third round they weren’t great. When a cardiologist tells you it’s not “that” bad, it means it’s still not good. Jess’s numbers fall into the category of someone twice her age, so you’d think Sandy would be a little more sympathetic and concerned. But nope, just like panic attacks, it’s no big deal and not worth cranking up her sympathy meter.

Malia is going to be the sous chef for Tom for the evening. Makes sense after all considering how many more guests he’s serving than Kiko ever had to. Oh, wait…no he isn’t. Well then it must be the number of courses that far exceeds Kiko’s. What? Only two courses? Is that hypocrisy I smell wafting from the back burner? She’s actually even plating the dishes for him. That apron she had on was perfection though because she’s been nothing but a catty beotch for weeks on end.

The dinner is Great Gatsby themed, and I actually didn’t mind the tablescape as much because it fit the theme. The flapper dresses and the all black with gold glitter suspenders were a fun touch as well. I think I’m softening on Bugsy in general. Apologies if others are still not thrilled with her, but honestly in comparison to the Malia and Sandy, she’s a hangnail to their festering wounds at this point.

Catty fits Malia purrrfectly

Johnny gives a slurred drunken toast in Spanish and the editors are kind enough to translate it for us. “Health, love, money long time. The tree of fruit.” Yeah….I won’t be embroidering that on a pillow anytime soon or looking for a wall decal of it at Home Goods. Even in his drunken state he could see that his meat wasn’t done enough for him. Captain Sandy attempted to offer him hers so he didn’t have to wait or heaven forbid think that Tom isn’t a Michelin Star chef. Which, by the way, I found out this week from you internet geniuses is totally not a thing. Restaurants are rated, not chefs. He worked in restaurant that had the rating, but it’s not attached to him in any way. Sandy’s nose is going to make Pinocchio’s look like a Real Housewife’s aftermarket one if she keeps these lies up.

Sandy continues with the facade and after Tom sends out a replacement filet he had on standby, she makes sure to rave about how delicious it is. She then makes sure to tell Bugsy to pass along to Tom that it was excellent. No favoritism to see here, folks. Move along. Move along.

In the galley Aesha tries to keep up her cheeky banter with Bugsy by calling her an “S” stain. From anyone else I could see why that might not seem like a term of endearment, but she even clarified it and Bugsy still took offense. How anyone who is quirky enough to wear 1000 barrettes at once and use her childhood nickname as her professional moniker still doesn’t know a joke when she sees one is beyond me.

Most of the crew heads to bed for the night, but Aesha is up with the guests until the wee hours. And speaking of wee….what in the actual heck, Johnny Damon? You were on your way to your cabin and the entire length of the yacht is only 184.5 feet. You couldn’t hold it and had to pee over the rail? Are you five? Apparently World Series rings can’t buy you class.

Saved for posterity in case he wants to put a copy in his baby book. First wee off a yacht.

The next morning the guests are all sleeping in, and unfortunately so is Rob. Jess went to wake him at 7:20, but he was supposed to be on deck at 7:00am. Alex lets it slide and acts like it’s no big deal, and Rob kind of wanders around aimlessly and then heads over to give Jess a good morning smooch which Malia interrupts. Then he goes down to the galley for coffee and just chills. Definitely not the route I’d take if I were him. I’d be in hind-end and elbows mode where that’s all you could see of me because I was working so hard.

While Malia has a point that she shouldn’t be walking in seeing him kiss Jess if his work isn’t done, the hypocrite-in-chief needs to take her own advice, because the first stop she made before starting work was in the galley to kiss Tom. Not following your own rules kind of lets the air out of your argument balloon, brat.

Bugsy scores another point with me as she not only praises Jess for her improvement in the laundry department, but also shares the praise with Captain Sandy. Sandy even calls Jess up to the bridge to give her an “Atta Girl” and you can see it lifts Jess’s spirits some to not constantly receive only criticism.

The boat is docking so the guests can disembark, but Rob is completely off of his game and misses the dock with his heaving line throw three times in a row. I personally think it would be more difficult after it’s wet, so I can understand missing the second time as well, but it taking four times to land successfully is over the top. I can understand Malia dressing him down over it, but I don’t abide by her gossiping to Bugsy about it. For me this isn’t a case where one has to be right and the other wrong. Rob was poor at his job in the moment and Malia was poor at hers.

C’mon, Rob. Even Johnny got a piece of that 3rd ball and he was drunk off his butt.

The Damons and friends leave, complimenting the trip and giving Sandy what she was hoping for by saying it was an improvement over their last one. That sentiment isn’t really reflected in the 18,000 dollar tip considering that the Southside Crew gave them 20,000 for Kiko’s last stint. Sandy tries unconvincingly to get the crew to think it’s a great tip though. Aesha’s confessional was the only hint they gave us to the truth of the matter.

The crew gets a night off and after a conversation with her brother about the vibe of the boat and how hard it’s been to get banter going, Aesha hopes that this will be the ticket to closer bonds. Unfortunately, much like many tickets in 2020, it’s a ticket for an event that never happens. Rob and Jess continue their Bickersons impression. Malia (who is the wettest of wet blankets) whines about how annoying it is. And editing is trying to compare and contrast how awful Jess and Rob are as a couple with shots of how lovey-dovey Malia and Tom are. Funny that they didn’t choose to do the reverse when Rob and Jess were cuddles and bliss while Tom was screaming at Malia inside a freezer.

Alex and Bugsy make it out of the friend zone though and we may get a chance to see what weirdo love looks like. However, the new beginning happens when an ending is in sight. Jess is pulling away because she feels like Rob is already finished with their relationship and is just looking for a way out. We hear Rob say, “I’m done” and the episode ends shortly thereafter. As many people as I’ve heard say the same about the show this season, I’m getting pretty used to the phrase.

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