by Dalai Mama
Welcome to the Below Deck Med Recap. This week, dysfunction aboard the Sirocco becomes explosive, and by journey’s end someone has tendered their resignation and abandoned ship.
First off, I must question why Bravo felt they needed 90 minutes special for tonight’s episode. The drama that unfolded here is would translate to about 115 seconds of footage if it were measured in MTV:The Real World time. The dramatic arc of this show has speed of a geriatric hamster on a lopsided hamster wheel.
Of course we must revisit the Errant Hair Atop Key Lime Pie Slice mishap of last week. Anastasia says, “I take responsibility for every single little thing that is on their plates. It was a boy hair.” Therefore not her fault.
Hannah tells June she will be on duty at a quarter past 7. “Twenty-five”, June confirms, nodding. Confusion ensues. Turns out, June’s gone the first 23 years of her life thinking quarter after the hour meant twenty-five minutes. Because, you know, a quarter is 25 cents.
Anastasia whines about the guests not being on time which is bogus. She’s not the soup Nazi, and Sirocco isn’t the Clove Club where diners book tables months in advance. What part of “The Rich People Are Never Wrong” does Anastasia find so hard to understand?
Initiative to Not Let the Boat Burn
Hannah observes that though June may not be able to tell time, she does set a great Mardi Gras table. That’s the kind of thing June could put on her resume if for some reason she thought she might be looking for a job soon. (Look Ma, I’m FORESHADOWING!)
Colin is being nice to June. “He seems to care about other people’s feelings.” June says. This moment FORESHADOWS the events later in the Below Deck Med Recap when..oh never mind. The highly skilled and resolutely employed June goes into the galley, notices a pan on the stove with the burner on that is smoking, and without hesitation she…begins to make orange juice. Anastasia reenters and sees the smoking pan. June is still at the juicer. Anastasia then offers the first sensible suggestion for June that I’ve heard come out of her mouth. “Take initiative to not let the boat burn”. I’ll even forgive the split infinitive.
The Vomiting Wilbur
The guests gather up Vomiting Wilbur and leave. On handing over the tip envelope, the primary makes a few pointed comments about cold food. Fast forward to the tip meeting, in which the crew is not happy at all with the tip. Somebody somewhere makes the primal connection: bad food mean bad tip.
Anastasia promptly resigns her chef position. The eyes of a grateful nation scan the horizon for Ben. He’s not there.
I’m beginning to understand Hannah’s problem with Travis and his drinking. As the crew goes out to dinner together on their night off, it’s becoming clear that Travis really does change his personality when he’s drunk. He’s like the little girl with the curl right in the middle of his forehead. When he is good (and sober) and is very very good, but when he is drunk, he’s torrid. The first clue in the evening is in the van, when he accidentally slams his seat-back into Aesha’s face. It’s an honest mistake. But as Hannah points out, what is notable is that Travis refuses to apologize. First he doesn’t believe it happened, then he turns and looks at Aesha and says he doesn’t see a mark on her face, so she’s obviously fine. Yeah, that IS bad.
The Smack Heard Round the World
Travis gets sulky at dinner and goes outside to brood. Hannah follows him and tries to diplomatically explain why hitting someone with your seat-back and refusing to acknowledge it happened is problematic. Travis just gets more irritated with Hannah, so she gives up and goes back to the table. After a few moments, Travis follows.
What ensues is (to me) the most genuinely jaw-dropping moment of my Below Deck Med Recap season. Travis returns to his seat, and notices Anastasia with her elbow on the table and her chin propped in her hand. He looks at her for a moment, lifts his hand, and smacks her across the face. HARD. Joao immediately jumps in, and for once I don’t mind his moral outrage. Once again, Travis has NO idea what the big deal is. He seems like a great guy, but this is a problem. A big one.
The next morning Travis does his own recap and feels terrible. Anastasia does a good job of defusing his “I am not a batterer of women” defense. Good for her for having a cool head on this one, because she is able to reassure Travis that he’s not a woman beater, but to point out that what he is doing, which is accidentally hurting people while drunk, is unacceptable.
That’s Not Nice
Meanwhile, the still not explicitly-named Ben send a telegram that he’s on his way. Sandy immediately calls June to the wheelhouse, tells her they found a chef, and fires her. June is blindsided and says, “That’s not nice,” while making this face:
While work is work, and people do get fired, and June needs to grow up and stop whinging, Sandy totally mishandled this. Why was it not made clear to June from the get go that her job might likely be only temporary? Why did Sandy not let her know when Ben agreed to be put on standby? In the real world, Sandy is the boss and she’s allowed to be peremptory and cold if she wants. But it wasn’t necessary. I continue to think Sandy is being super strange and acting very defensively this season.
Then in a strange twist, Colin feels so bad about June being ass-canned that he sacrifices his own position so that she can stay. Which makes no sense, because he’s creating a deckie shortage, and leaving a stew surplus. Whatever was going on with Colin, his exit story did not hold much water.
On next week’s Below Deck Med Recap
The Sirocco is under attack by a band of very demanding cougars. Anastasia manages to accidentally shrink a guest’s dress. Is Colin gone? Is Ben finally on board?