The only thing better than a new episode of Below Deck on Monday nights is Sarah D Bunting's Tuesday morning power rankings. Click here for previous Below Deck power rankings.
Below Deck S07, E13: "Exodus"
Kate leaves Valor and orders the cameras not to follow her...but she's back 14 hours later, fairly unapologetic (even to Captain Lee, who was worried about her wandering around Thailand unaccompanied in the dead of night) and with a renewed DGAF attitude. While she's gone, Ashton has to spin the situation to Lee without really remembering what he said or what set him off in the first place; Simone sniffs that she hopes Kate's replaced with someone who will "actually teach" her something; and Tanner denies kissing Kate, then accuses Rhylee of being a pot-stirrer when she brings it up.
When Kate swans back in the night before the next charter in the same going-out clothes, almost everyone's disappointed -- especially Kevin, who finds a way to blame Kate when he forgets both a no-cheese proviso on a guest's preference sheet AND two guests' birthdays. He's swiftly punished by the universe when the group quickly reveals themselves as a bunch of patronizing uptalkers who tattle to Captain Lee about a rooming-assignment disagreement instead of working it out amongst themselves...and who have complaints about every single thing Kevin serves. And also everything else.
Who's bunking in the captain's quarters and who's stuck in a dinghy? Your Episode 13 power rankings...
1. Courtney. The "worst nightmare" riff is really funny -- and who among us IS "emotionally ready to iron"? She's probably the only one on board who doesn't freak out about Kate leaving OR Kate returning. [Last week: 4]
2. Captain Lee. His concern for Kate and description of her as "family" is sweet, but he could have taken a stronger tone with her -- and could have told guest Lauren to settle her odd-man-out rooming situation with the primary. I get that he's trying to save the tip, but these people will find a reason to under-tip no matter what anyone on the crew does. [Last week: 1]
3. Kate. The show is focusing too much on how "awkward" the situation is on board, and not enough on Ashton's inability to control his temper -- or remember that he can't. Kate (possibly thanks to a producer asking her to re-take the line) stops short of saying she left because she felt unsafe, but that's what's really at issue, and it's probably why she readily accepts Ashton's so-called apology: to avoid setting him off again. When she asks, "Why should the asshole stay on the boat?", I was kind of hoping we'd get a halfway adequate answer. [Last week: 5]
4. Rhylee. She's the only one besides Captain Lee who's even a little concerned for Kate's well-being, physical or emotional. She's also a fishing-boat captain in Alaska, so I don't think I understand how the various failures of the fishing trip are her fault when it's a completely different skill set -- and why didn't Ashton look up where on the coastline fishing is allowed? If the guests wanted to take a turn with the rods, why didn't they say so? Why is Ashton conflating his personal dislike of Rhylee with her ability to do a job that, again, this particular set of guests will never reward with a decent tip, because they're dingleberries? [Last week: 6]
5. Brian. Whatever. [Last week: 7]
6. Simone. The sense of entitlement about the chief stew providing instruction on aspects of service Simone should have had down before taking the job is not cute; this isn't a teaching hospital, lady. But she's mostly keeping her head down and trying to stay out of drama this week. [Last week: 3]
7. Kevin. Doesn't pay attention to the preference sheet; oversalts the breakfast; blames Kate for forgetting the double-birthday celebration (and didn't have candles). When the personal chef amongst the guests comes into the galley to talk down to him about going "more upscale" for the next dinner, it really couldn't happen to a nicer guy. [Last week: 2]
8. The guests. They're really terrible, you guys. Jamie is a whole medicine cabinet of pills, but the primary getting all passive-aggressive about his salty egg sandwich while styling a trucker hat at the table...I can't. They don't even like each other. And since when is the Sky Lounge such a bad bedroom situation? That they direct most of their shittiness at Kevin is one of the only reasons they're not dead last. [Last week: 8]
9. Tanner. ...And here's another of those reasons, denying he smooched Kate in the cab -- not that he can even remember, or that Kate wanted any part of that. Of course, that Kate's not interested would never occur to this Ass-anova, because he says later that the "flirtation" is ramping up between them. He's also quick to take credit for stopping Ashton from physically assaulting Kate, when that was totally Kevin. [Last week: 9]
10. Ashton. His evident terror when he wakes up the next morning and has to ask his crewmates what set him off doesn't last long; he can't wait to announce in a talking-head that he's going to be the "bigger man" and apologize to Kate, since she'll never apologize to him. I still don't understand what he thinks she said about his mom, but it's not on her to say she's sorry for his Hulking out. At no point does it seem to occur to him that he has a problem with blackout drinking, or with anger management; he actually refers to his temper as a thing of the past. Just because you can't remember it doesn't mean it didn't happen, or that it isn't scary and out of line. [Last week: 10]
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Sarah D. Bunting co-founded Television Without Pity, and her work has appeared in Glamour and New York, and on MSNBC, NPR's Monkey See blog, MLB.com, and Yahoo!. She's also the editor-in-chief and publisher of Tomato Nation, and true-crime blog and podcast The Blotter Presents.