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Below Deck Recap: Fraser’s Husband

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Photo: Bravo

On paper, this should be a good episode: Three different couples make out and we have the beginnings of chef drama. Unfortunately, it’s all pretty boring. No voices are raised. The people want love triangles, sex in the master, and shouting matches. Instead, we get the polite Yelpers at it again, taking photos of breakfast. Fraser says the eggs Benedict needs more drizzle, but Nick disagrees, standing firm that his parsley garnish is enough. Fraser mutters, “What a disaster,” when it looks completely fine. The guests gush that it’s perfect, although they’re being hyperbolic because those photos were not grid-worthy.

In the galley, Barbie hears Nick say, “These incompetent people are driving me **** crazy.” She asks who he’s talking about, and he claims he was talking to himself, not endearing him to the stews any further. Pretend you were talking about the guests, Nick! He’s also clashing with Paris and fatphobically judges her for eating mayo. Paris doesn’t care what he thinks; she knows she’s hot and eats mayo straight from the container in an interview. Eating mayo plain is still less gross than a man making comments about a female coworker’s body. You never know if someone has struggled with eating disorders or body image in the past, and it’s just rude. Nick later tries to compliment Paris by insulting her entire gender: For a chick, she’s not weak. Paris: “You really know how to talk to a woman, huh.”

The exterior-crew drama is less heated at the moment. Ben says good morning to Sunny, who gives him the silent treatment in return. She tells us she’s trying to act like everything’s fine, but it’s a little difficult. Later, they fix a chair together. Sunny drills it herself, relying on no man. Given his actions later that night, Ben must see this chair as a sign they could fix their relationship just as easily. We also learn that Dylan used to operate cranes on cargo ships. He says it was the worst job ever, but it was when he started listening to podcasts which inspired him to get into yachting. In my headcanon, Dylan getting distracted by mantras and admiring his own abs is the reason that ship got stuck in the Suez Canal a few years ago.

On the Barbie-Kyle front — Barbyle? Kybie? Have they earned a couple name yet? — Barbie has worked through some of her guilt about having sex. She may not be modest like her Argentinian family, but there’s nothing wrong with what she did because she and Kyle are two adults who like each other. On break, Barbie calls her sister, who is well aware of their dad’s standards and thinks he’ll already be disappointed. Or, to put it in boat pun terms, that ship has sailed. Barbie decides that being herself is most important, and she likes this guy, who’s actually really nice to her. All day, Kyle’s unsure where he stands with her until night when she pulls him aside to apologize and tell him she’s ready to own it. They kiss. I want to be bitter, but they’re so smiley; the happiness is contagious.

Someone who’s not afraid to own the fact they have a crush is Fraser. He jokingly calls guest Steven his husband and is excited to see him in a bathing suit. I worry this is one-sided, but I am then relieved to see Steven joking similarly to his friend Stephanie about proposing to Fraser tonight. Barbie plants the idea of a midnight kiss between the two. When she teases Fraser about it, he jokingly threatens to try and fire her again. I love that they’ve moved past their issues, and Xandi’s laughing with them, too. The interior crew is united because nothing brings co-workers together better than a mutual enemy. Thanks, Nick!

Fraser checks in with Kerry about the potential guest-crew member midnight kiss and doesn’t mention that the crew member in question is himself. Kerry, who is functionally HR, clocks it as sexual harassment. Fraser: “And if the crew member was really actually keen?” Kerry approves but stays tight-lipped about his own past boatmances. He makes a Dr. Evil pinky gesture that I hope someone turns into a GIF.

While prepping for the NYE-themed dinner, Nick continues to antagonize Paris, calling her his third favorite stew. She doesn’t enjoy the joke, and he doesn’t like that a person with so much less experience than him is giving him garnish suggestions. He makes a foam that splurts sadly onto the plates. Fraser thinks this is horrific and is surprised the guests aren’t complaining. They’re happily taking pics as usual, and making their own video content by pouring sauces, which seems like the kind of tableside presentation Nick should’ve stepped up and did. This makes the diners slow to finish eating. There’s been a lot of talk about finishing dinner exactly at the stroke of midnight, and that could be in jeopardy. As part of the dessert, Nick makes Chantilly cream quenelles, which I’ll acknowledge are very hard to do, but the plating is still not wowing me.

Fraser’s not only anxious about the food: He’s been single five years and says he feels like he’s lost his game. Luckily, Steven seems to lack any game, too. His gold suit is awful, but it allows his friends to enlist Fraser to take it off and help Steven avoid overheating. The Yelpers film the strip down, and it’s pretty awkward, but at least everyone’s having fun. The guests move to the bridge deck for the countdown to midnight, so I guess that dinner timing thing was abandoned. I’ve never seen someone less excited about having four sparklers in hand than Paris. At midnight, Fraser gives Steven a kiss, which is the least surprising thing ever since it’s been teased so much. It’s chaste; Fraser was hopeful for a bit more. More excitingly, Steven messages him that night. He asks about sleeping in Fraser’s room, which Fraser professionally shuts down. Less professionally the next morning, Fraser finds and wears Steven’s shirt. I would be weirded out by this, but Steven is chill about it.

At breakfast, the war of the garnishes continues. Nick thinks the stews’ suggestions like cucumber stars and sliced cherry tomatoes are tacky. He and Fraser argue about crepe options after Fraser already told the guest it’d be chocolate. As a lover of both organization and crêpes, I feel passionately that they should have had a menu figured out beforehand, and that the default flavor should be lemon sugar, not chocolate.

The charter comes to an end with the best docking they’ve had all season, according to Kerry. He’s confident in his leadership decisions to promote Ben and Sunny. Does he still not know the two have been sleeping together? I’m rarely excited about the reunions, but the prospect of Kerry calling out Ben after watching this back would definitely be something to look forward to. For now, though, Kerry feels the crew’s synergy and believes the guests did too. Primary Alex is super complimentary and leaves a nice $23,000 tip. I assume this money comes from his tech salary and not his nacho Instagram page. There are also nacho recipes on his website for anyone brave enough to try them …

Post-charter, Kerry checks in with Fraser. Fraser says he doesn’t want to speak too soon but then does: He’s unimpressed by the food’s presentation, plus Nick is unfriendly and stubborn. Kerry says it seems like Fraser doesn’t want to be as helpful as he was to Anthony, and Fraser needs to shift his attitude. This inspires Fraser to call an all-stew meeting. He declares they should give Nick some grace because he’s new but still watch out for food that looks like a cafeteria lady slopped it onto a plate. Paris raises the issue that Nick’s said some questionable things to her. Fraser says they should all be as positive and helpful as they can. To cap off the meeting, they group-hug and he calls the girls “cretinous whores,” which may be teasing but feels firmly the opposite of a positive and professional attitude shift.

At the preference sheet meeting, we learn the upcoming primaries are yacht owners used to butler service. The guests will include their college student/former dancer daughter and her friend, to which Ben goes, “Uh-oh.” Ben is the worst. There must be no teenage girls for Ben to flirt with at dinner that night because he walks over to Sunny’s side of the table to hug her and gets a bit handsy. She says her dinner was very garlicky, and he’s a vampire. Ben kind of takes the hint. Nick rivals Ben for the shittiest man award by telling a story about the time he bought a Chanel bag for an ex-girlfriend, and when they broke up, he took the bag back.

After dinner, the cast goes to dance at a club in search of some DFMOs. Xandi is drunk off Pinot Grigio and clumsy like “a baby giraffe.” Steven meets up with Fraser and they get their proper kiss. Barbie decides not to hold back with Kyle. PDA is new to her, but it feels good as long as nobody makes it a thing. Cue Dylan and Nick, who make it a thing by obnoxiously cheering them on. Dylan even steps in to hug Kyle when Kyle’s arms are literally around Barbie. Dylan and Nick are rightfully punished for this behavior by being exiled to a car alone when everyone else piles into the other car.

Back on the boat, Ben and Sunny make out. She figures there’s chemistry, so why not? I’m like, girl, you know why not! The margaritas are affecting your decision-making skills! But the roommates have a good system set up where Sunny and Kyle swap rooms to be with Ben and Barbie. Paris looks after drunk Xandi in their room. Barbie and Kyle cuddle, marveling at how opposite they are. The pair both admit in interviews that they’re falling for each other. Barbie is the espresso martini to Kyle’s lager. He’s feeling vulnerable with his heart on his sleeve — “That’s that me, espresso.”



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Emma Soren , 2024-05-07 04:00:37

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