Below Deck Makes New (Psychic) Friends
A super-sized episode features seasickness, squabbling, Speedos, and Sarah D. Bunting's all-time favorite charter guests.
Pretty much everyone needs to shut up on Below Deck, including the editors who put the tired sitar soundtrack cue over the arriving guests because the primary includes a self-described "well-known psychic medium." Ben's assessment of her as "a whack job" isn't entirely accurate; if she is well-known, it's because she's really not good at her job at all. Like, learn how to do a cold read period, never mind when you've had all the drinks. "Your mother's dead, correct?" is not a good look even if everyone's already aware that your job is basically bullshit.
But she's a nice lady, and the rest of her crew is hilarious; the real bullshit is coming from the galley, as Ben's insecurity about a "relationship" that doesn't even reach the kissing stage until the end of the episode is manifested in the off-puttingest possible ways. Who's a champ and who's chundering off the bow? Your Below Dick rankings, first to worst:
Is not having any of Ben's shit (I literally slow-clapped her "this line here is gluten" palm-reading for Ben); is openly exfoliating on a FaceTime call with Ro while refusing to have Skype sex; kills it on the decorating tip; is skeptical but polite during her own reading; and handles the choppy-seas nausea and resulting disrupted schedule with nurturing aplomb. The withering assessment of Kelley as "a very fragile piece of porcelain" is hilarious.
- The guests
The primary is not great at her job, or at not making people feel uncomfortable with her humblebrags about speaking to Jim Morrison through the veil (spoiler: not a selling point for most of us, hun), but her innocent "you're not the only seaman in your family" is a gift to us all, plus she's gracious about spending the better part of a morning hurling thanks to rough seas, and the rest of her party is fire. They don't feel so great either, and one sighs, "I have experience throwing up on boats." Hee. "As long as the drinks keep coming, we're fiiiiine," another chirps after Ben and Kate get busted fighting in their earshot. I believe it's the same guy who's styling this nuthugger:
Another guest has brought some of his aunt's ashes to scatter off the boat, and abashedly announces that she's in an Icebreaker gum tin.
At which time Cindy, who later has to reading-block an obnoxious Ben, observes, "Aunt Grace looks like kitty litter!" Good tippers, cute, snarky. Come back any time, friends.
Not that I have a problem with Kyle acting icily awkward towards Sierra, but since it later becomes clear that she's not necessarily his type, as well as that he's in a semi-relationship back home, I don't think I understand why he cares. I definitely don't understand the BFD about his dating trans folks, which kind of ties in with the show's somewhat scandalized foregrounding of the Kate/Ro make-outery, to wit, again: it's 2016.
That "your game is so sharp, I could shave with it" line is great.
- Captain Lee
The fearless leader's expressions during, and about, the "psychic-themed dinner party" he's obligated to attend almost defy description.
It's like Lee's almost frightened of how dumb the situation is. Love it.
Less fond of the grousing about Kelley, because I don't deny that he's not the perfect bosun, but I also feel like we haven't seen what's making not just the captain but KJ's underlings so over him.
With respect for his "fart cycling" with Kyle and his consistently splendid interview faces,
Nico still could stand to settle down about Kelley's leadership. I understand his hurling Kelley under the bus in the tip meeting about the pool floating away is more about establishing for Captain Lee that Nico didn't cause that contretemps, but there's a way to do that, and this isn't really it.
See above. He's not a great manager, probably, and the pool floating away doesn't show well, but he's trying. I just get the feeling other shit is going on he's not seeing, like that he waits to correct the others until he's gotten an earful, versus establishing boundaries up front? Guess we'll find out.
I feel for her when Ben crashes her reading, but why doesn't she consequence it?
Wait: I don't care.
"I thought we had a nice time!" Seriously, you dip? In her defense, she's right that it's not her fault that she doesn't "feel the same," and a montage of past scenes backs her contention that she made it "super-clear" to Kyle that it wasn't Like That. I mean, I wouldn't go as far as "super-," since he evidently still considered it a date and she evidently considered that license to passive-aggressively reference a guy back home. I still think she's acting a brat about it, though.
Not remembering that you sprayed pizza all over the captain's hallway doesn't mean it's okay that it happened, or that you don't have to apologize or act chastened for doing it. Get over yourself.
...Jesus. He's like a seventh-grade girl with the freaking out about whether Emily is freaking out about whether the psychic sees a relationship between him and Kate still, which, given that they hadn't kissed by that point, is maybe a bit premature? By which I mean completely? And is only going to freak Emily out, versus just rolling your eyes all "Kate has a GF, so so much for that" and getting on with your day. No such luck; after the umpteenth meltdown about the timing of meals, not knowing what or when the guests want to eat, and blaming Kate for a confusion that 1) isn't really and 2) comes with the job so please learn to fuckin' live with it already because this isn't the army, Ben and Kate both get clocked by Captain Lee because he's audibly yelling and clattering.
But wait, there's more! While Emily is getting a reading from a guest, Cindy, Ben barges into it to ask if he and Emily have a future. A future! Before they've frenched! Cindy, to her credit, refuses to get in the middle, but he won't stop pushing it so finally she's like, no, you don't, dickwad, so then Ben combatively asks Emily on a second date while smirking angrily at Cindy while a blizzard of red flags nearly obscures all three of them from view. Emily, caught off-guard, says yes, but it's horrendously awkward, if not outright creepy. I guess it ends well for him when he does the "let me cure your hiccups by kissing you" thing, but: dude. A molecule of chill. Please.