The episode showcases how the central them of the season is how trauma affects people, how they treat others as a result and how difficult those two things are to navigate, especially simultaneously.
- - Mzi and Courtney's reconciliation was wonderfully kind after his attempt to give her flowers resulted in a meme-worthy rejection.
- - Lloyd is right that the members of this crew by and large really do take care of each other.
- - It's taken too long this season for the show to merge the operational drama with the cast conflicts.
There are only a handful of episodes left in season 6 of Below Deck Mediterranean, but just one charter. It’s been a taxing season for the crew of the Lady Michelle, and they are getting a bit sloppy.
After Mzi throws the tow line into the water, Malia gets fed up with the deck crew’s slipshod performance, and after the ship’s guests disembark, she gives him, David and Lloyd a thorough dressing down. In the interior, however, Katie decides to make Courtney Second Stew, an honor she has more than earned after meeting her chief’s demands, navigating around Lexi’s lazy, mercurial behavior, and eventually, shouldering half of the interior duties for not one but two charters.
With gratitude, their guests tip $15,000, or $1,362 apiece, and Sandy says the owners of the boat booked dinner for the crew at a local winery as a reward for their hard work. As the crew cleans the boat for its next charter, Mzi engages in even more introspection and soul searching than Malia probably wanted when she scolded her team, while Lloyd begins to worry about his next job, and whether it will feature as loving and supportive people as on this one.
After flirting during the previous charter with Ben, one of their guests, he leaves behind a boss hat for her as a gift, and tucks an innuendo-laden poem in the brim. This instigates two simultaneous conversations in the taxis to the winery, one by the men and the other by the women, as they collectively express their sexual frustrations. Nevertheless, everyone is in good spirits when they arrive for dinner.
Shortly after sitting down, Mzi knocks over a glass of wine, a gaffe that Malia uses as an opportunity to give him some constructive feedback. Conversely, Malia calls Courtney the team’s foundation, and they all raise a glass to her. Mzi corners Courtney and apologizes for his romantic overtures, she apologizes to Mzi for minimizing them and the two of them happily reconcile.
Of course, a night off the boat cannot pass without Mathew instigating some kind of drama, so of course he brings up his gratitude that Lexi is not there with them. A trip down memory lane through each of their conflicts with her oddly produces a strain of empathy for Lexi, starting with Malia and Katie and then many of the rest of the crew members, while Lloyd and of course Mathew continue to argue that she’s a bad person. It’s remarkable, but at the same time indisputable, how poisonous Lexi was to this crew; she was such an unhealthy presence that they continue fighting about her even when she’s gone.
Eventually, Courtney breaks down in tears, both insisting that Lexi is “a human being” and also pointing out that everyone is going through a rough time, but that doesn’t give someone the right to take it out on other people. This also prompts her memories of the struggle she’s facing with her father’s Alzheimer’s, and the moment of understanding and compassion she shared with Lexi early in the season.
Meanwhile, David, who was surprisingly quiet through much of the evening, ends dinner seeming extremely unhappy — and admits as much. As they head back to the Lady Michelle, Malia draws out of him that he felt like he was being “condescended to” when she read them the riot act, and she both admits she holds him to a higher standard than the rest of the deck crew and also reassures him that’s because he works at a level closer to hers than theirs.
In the second taxi, Mathew, Lloyd and Mzi are all drunk, but even if he thought Lexi was unredeemable or a bad person, Lloyd makes a point of telling Mathew that he has behaved poorly, multiple times (“you’ve been a knob,” he says), and is lucky to still be employed. A drunken dance party ensues back at the boat, and almost everyone goes to sleep in some semi-extreme form of intoxication.
The next morning, both Malia and Captain Sandy check the weather report and see that it’s going to be an extremely windy day. In fact, they decide to weigh anchor early and head to a different port where they will pick up the boat’s final charter guests of the season. Malia assigns Lloyd to the bow, but he is off his game and just generally seems like he’s in a bad way. When they’re putting out the floating dock later on, he has to pause multiple times to retch, so Malia sends him to his cabin and promptly tells Sandy.
Sandy decides to take Lloyd’s blood pressure, but he can barely sit still without needing to vomit. Afterward, he rushes to the nearest bathroom to be sick. With his blood pressure spiking and additional other ailments preventing him from carrying out his duties, Sandy elects to call a water taxi to take him to a hospital. What this means, at least temporarily, is that both the deck and interior crews will be down a member as they go into that final charter.
As indicated above, “Three’s A Crowd” underscores how one bad person on a team can challenge the solidarity of the rest of it; what it also observes, however, is that two can be even worse. Mathew is “a human being” just like Lexi, and his offenses didn’t cross the same line as hers, but he is immature, petulant, insecure and prone to a certain kind of volatility when he’s been drinking — which he does to excess, frequently. This season as a whole, however, has been a study in individual traumas and how bad events in a person’s past can catalyze all kinds of conflicts as they go forward, and ultimately, as with Lloyd, challenge their ability to feel safe, secure and happy in the future.
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