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, E06: "Smashton"
With Abbi gone, Ashton's short-handed for the next charter, and he's freaking out a little... until Brian takes a digger on a side deck and bangs his knee, and it gets infected, at which time Ashton's freaking out a lot. Tanner's back in the rotation, but with beach picnics and beer bongs to manage, the deck crew needs an extra set of hands. It's not until the episode's last moments that we find out it's Rhylee from Season 6. Because things were going too peacefully? I mean, I liked her, but she's not exactly soothing.
Meanwhile, Simone's a little too happy Tanner is up and about, to the point where she's watching a sunset with him instead of taking advantage of her parole from laundry to actually attend to the guests. Kate isn't impressed, and suspects Simone doesn't have the experience she claims in yachting, but in Simone's defense, 1) I'd rather chill with Tanner than deal with these fratty louts, and 2) the primary fratty lout, Michael, starts acting a creep towards Simone almost immediately.
...You guys: these guests. The requests for a college-themed party, including Jell-O shots, and Florida State-themed decor; the primary almost killing himself shoving a kayak off the deck after 196 cocktails; the sexual harassment of Simone and Ashton...it's bad.
Did that one lady who Brenda Walsh-ishly ordered a banana daiquiri keep them out of the basement? Here are your Episode 6 power rankings...
1. Courtney. She's right that asserting "'[blank] is life' is a red flag." She's also right that ironing is kind of pointless, especially in 90/90 heat and humidity, but she's rightest of all that she's fine with doing laundry 24/7 if it means minimal contact with the guests this time around. Kindly nurses Brian's knee and has a sense of humor about everyone's teasing about their so-called hookup last time. [Last week: 1]
2. Kate. She's surprisingly gentle in teaching Simone how to open a wine bottle, and in clocking her for screwing off flirting with Tanner instead of checking on the guests (and...on thinking "checking on the guests" means "looking at them, then leaving the area"). Even Kevin's nagging about salt and pepper and micro-managing the beach lunch doesn't get a rise out of her...yet. [Last week: 2]
3. Captain Lee. Is his growling, in Brian's presence, that Brian's injury is going to be "a pain in my ass" the cuddliest? No, but he's not wrong. I can't mark him down for hiring the gasoline to the crew's fire that is Rhylee, either, as it surely wasn't his idea. [Last week: 3]
4. Tanner. His close friendship with his grandma is endearing; more importantly, we do not hear him vomiting at all. [Last week: 7]
5. Brian. Does try to work through his injury; laughs off the gossip about Courtney, although he clearly likes her That Way. [Last week: 5]
6. Simone. Her silent, yet eloquent disgust at Michael's guessing her ring size (immediately after announcing that he just broke up with his girlfriend because "she was a hooker"...k?) is hilarious, but whining that she wants a full "service lesson" when she -- the second stew, IIRC -- had to learn Bottle-Opener 101 is a bit much. [Last week: 4]
7. Kevin. Kevin finishes the episode strong by wearing a too-small felt pirate hat while cooking, and his singing self-deprecating songs to himself is a point in his favor, but he's impossibly condescending about Kate having "checked out of the stewardessing side of things" and how he doesn't trust her with a beach picnic. Remind me who it was who forgot to feed Captain Lee a couple weeks ago? Wasn't Kate, I'm pretty sure. [Last week: 8]
8. Ashton. I sympathize with his freaking out that he's down another deckhand, and he shouldn't have to put up with the continual commentary from the lady guests about when he's going to take his shirt off...but he also shouldn't shrug that his wastoid alter ego, "Smashton," "just does" stuff like hiking his tongue down Kate's throat unsolicited. You grossed her out, "bru" -- you did. Take responsibility and start going home after four drinks. [Last week: 9]
9. The guests. Kate's assessment of Michael as a typical frat rat who golfed instead of going to class and has "a Republican haircut" is proved nauseatingly correct when the editors cut to him announcing to his friends, "If you guys don't vote for Trump in 2020, you're never getting invited on a trip again." Even as a joke: no. For what it's worth, his "friends" may only be tolerating him for the free trip to Thailand, but that's a steep price to pay. [Last week: 6]
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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.