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Below Deck Mediterranean Recap: The Final Straw

I ended my last recap by saying that I hope Natalya and Kyle get thrown overboard, and after nine whole weeks of having to deal with their obnoxious behavior, it has finally come crashing down. It was a long time coming, but Natalya’s tenure has come to an end after her fight with Kyle put the final nail in the coffin. More satisfyingly, Kyle also gets a much-needed reality check. While I don’t think the season will be able to recover from an awful first half, I can’t help but feel glad that this chapter is nearly over. Manifestation works.

After Kyle fires off several insults at Natalya during their heated argument that began last week, Nat gathers her things to spend the night in the master cabin at Tumi’s suggestion. She’s appalled by Kyle’s behavior toward her and calls him Satan in a confessional, which is honestly justified. Don’t get me wrong, Nat and Kyle are two peas in a pod, but it still doesn’t warrant his aggressive bullying. Kyle seems to believe that he’s the only person allowed to talk shit, telling us he’s “sick and tired” of Natalya inserting herself in situations that don’t concern her and hearing her gossip about everyone. Pot, meet kettle. Could he be any less self-aware?

While Jessika and Luka flirt and Natalya talks with Lara (and later Tumi, who lacks a sense of urgency in shutting all of this down) about the situation, Max and Kyle have another interaction after Max accidentally runs into him on deck. Max asks why Kyle was mad at him earlier and then threatens to quit because of it. Kyle counters, “Because of me or because of your attitude?” There was a language barrier that caused things to get a bit lost in translation, so I don’t understand why Kyle’s trying to act like he’s always the innocent party. In the end, they hug it out and agree that Max can call himself an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, but Kyle’s actions still leave a bad taste in Max’s mouth.

The next morning, Tumi checks on Natalya to tell her that, above all, she wants Natalya to feel safe. Natalya and Max ultimately decide to hold off on going to the beach resort with everyone to avoid Kyle and, as Max says, his “drama.” Elsewhere, the rest of the crew gets ready for their day off, with Jack asking Lara to help shave his back hair. “This is why I’m gay,” she says in a confessional.

When Natalya checks in with Max later, she reveals that she’s reached her breaking point and will be leaving the next day. After this shitty season she’s had, I can’t blame her and am glad the time has finally arrived. They eventually show up at the resort, where the energy immediately shifts to the point where you can feel the tension through the screen. Kyle, as dramatic as ever, gets up and leaves the area because he doesn’t want to be near Nat. He even tells Tumi that if Natalya sticks around, he’s going to leave completely, which would be ideal.

During what’s supposed to be a relaxing day, Natalya is upset that nobody came to her defense the previous night, especially Luka, since he didn’t check on her. Then while Jessika chats with Max about how she’s spiritual and tries to put “good energy into the world,” Natalya says, “Bitch [you] should not be talking about energy right now.” She adds that Jess avoiding her the entire day after seeing her in such a bad place says a lot about who she is, and Jess just sits there and agrees.

While I think it sucks that no one stood up for her, it just seems like nobody wants to get involved because they all can’t stand her and the drama she’s mostly inserted herself into. Well, that is everyone but Jack, who spends the day fuming at the fact that nobody has spoken up about how badly Kyle treated her and feels that there’s a “big divide” as a result. As I’ve said before, Natalya is awful, but it’s equally bad to see most of the crew not directly call Kyle out for his inappropriate behavior.

Natalya leaves the beach club shortly after talking to her boyfriend on the phone and immediately starts packing her bags upon returning to the boat. When she texts Lara about asking Luka to help carry her suitcase during dinnertime, everyone at the table is informed that she’s planning on leaving. No one seems to give a fuck, save for Jack, who says it doesn’t sit right with him that his co-workers — like Tumi, who tells us she isn’t going to hold her back — for dismissing Natalya’s feelings and not giving much of a shit about her impending exit.

Max also spent the entire day keeping a distance from the crew due to his fight with Kyle, which is making him question his future on the boat. In the van ride to the nightclub, Kyle starts yapping about how he doesn’t like Max because caring about his feelings is “so much energy.” Only Vile Kyle, as Nat called him, would think that being a decent human being is draining. He even spends the evening expressing how “liberated” he feels now that Natalya is departing. What a prick. (Side note: I wish I could unsee him shaking his thong-clad ass directly into the camera during the group’s van dance party.)

At the club, Jack drinks his worries away to the point where he can barely walk and stumbles around. Meanwhile, Jess chats with Tumi about her blossoming boatmance with Luka and how she gets attached too easily. This immediately worries Tumi, who can tell that Luka is the type of guy who gives zero fucks. This relationship is going to spiral into a mess, and I sort of can’t wait. This is the type of drama we signed up for.

Back on Mustique, Natalya confirms with Tumi that she’s leaving, and then Kyle, who quite literally spent the whole day bitching about Natalya, decides to have one last conversation with her. He goes into the master cabin and starts expressing how he’s heartbroken their friendship is over and apologizes for everything he said. Cry me a river. He’s so fake he might as well get the word tattooed on his forehead.

The next morning, it’s time for the moment we’ve all been anticipating. Natalya asks to meet Captain Sandy in the bridge and proceeds to tearfully share everything that has happened with Kyle, from his outburst at Jess to his argument with Max and the fight with her that followed. Sandy immediately recognizes that Kyle is a bully, and Nat breaks the news that she’ll be leaving immediately. While disappointed — not only because Nat is great at her job but because it means they’ll be a stew down the next charter — Sandy understands and supports her decision. In a perfect world, Nat and Tumi would’ve had a great working relationship without Kyle’s involvement, but instead, she showed us all her true colors. So arrivederci and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

While Sandy meets with Jack and Tumi to get more insight into the Kyle problem, Max wakes up feeling that he isn’t in a good environment, mostly thanks to Kyle. He tells Luka an analogy about how yachting is like gambling and that you need to know when to cash out, so he’s decided to quit after the next charter. I, too, would love to cash out of this season. Luka’s confused because this is coming out of nowhere, especially since Max has been making great progress. I agree. We have seriously lost the plot, and I hope he ultimately chooses to stay.

In the episode’s glorious final minutes, Captain Sandy goes off on Kyle, pointing out that he’s been the common denominator in every situation that’s happened in the interior (correct!). She even goes so far as to say she would never bring him back as a Chief Stew because of how emotional and unprofessional he is. I’ve prayed for times like this. If Sandy doesn’t fire Kyle next week, we must riot.

Jihane Bousfiha , 2023-11-21 03:00:21

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