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, E10: "Everyone Hates Kate"
Nearly the entire episode is devoted to various off-site crew activities, arranged by Captain Lee to give the Valor-ians much-needed R&R -- first at an elephant sanctuary; then, the next day, drinking poolside at a fancy beach resort. But Kate keeps everyone waiting on both excursions, spending forever on her hair before 1) washing elephants and 2) sunbathing. She makes it clear she's not interested in spending time with her colleagues on a day off, and she's pointlessly rude to Kevin.
By the time Kate jumps out of a taxi that's still moving on its way to bring the sodden, sulky Below Deck-ers back to the boat, she and Brian have gotten into it; Brian's mad in turn because Courtney didn't take his side; Simone and Tanner are on the outs thanks to his being a lout; and "Smashton" has forgotten all about hating Rhylee in order to go an a rant about Kate.
And everyone's laundry is on the floor of the crew mess. Who's a knife pleat and who's a skid mark? Your Episode 10 power rankings...
1. Captain Lee. I doubt that sending the crew on a 36-hour drunk-cation that would inevitably create major conflicts for the rest of the season was exactly what he had in mind. On the other hand, they're out of his hair for that time, leaving him free to sun himself on the aft deck while listening to a Robert Caro book on Audible. (Probably.) And you have to love a guy who announces that there's no reasoning with drunk people...so he's leaving the room to get a cocktail. Unassailable logic, IMO. [Last week: 2]
2. Courtney. Adorably into the elephants. And I don't know what Brian expected her to do when he went off on Kate in the cab; everyone's wasted, and Kate is her boss. Courtney didn't side against him, either, just tried to get him to simmer before he went too far. [Last week: 1]
3. Brian. No real objection...but it does feel like he's in the middle of things he shouldn't be, like deducing aloud that it's Rhylee who told Simone about Tanner's trash-talk, or getting all lofty about Tanner "disrespecting" Simone. For a guy who's spent this much of the season in his bunk with a knee the size of an Easter ham, he's sure got a lot of opinions about the "common denominator" of the problems on the boat. At least he apologizes to Kate. [Last week: 4]
4. Rhylee. She probably should have kept her mouth shut about what Tanner told her (and she's probably going to pay for it with her co-workers, who are looking for an excuse to shut her out), but Tanner deserved it, so I'll let it go. Here's what I don't get: did a producer tell her to pull Simone aside, while Simone was working, to chat about what a big meanie Kate is about Simone...not working up to standards? That was a weird scene. At least it ended eventually, unlike Rhylee going on and on about how she wants to bone Brian. Girl, we heard you the 14th time. [Last week: 5]
5. Ashton. Getting wound up about Rhylee wanting to be "in with" the girls and the boys, and becoming righteously infuriated by "disrespect" on Kate's part that had nothing to do with him, is exactly the kind of adolescent non-issue a guy who's been drunk for a day and a half chooses to turn into a whole drama that needs addressing. I mean, now it does, because you yelled at her for acting a fool in front of the captain in front of the captain. [Last week: 6]
6. The guests. It's not that the tip is just okay. It's that it gives Kevin an excuse to be a pill. [Last week: 7]
7. Simone. It's hard to watch her seething at Tanner as he gets up to gyrate on the dancers, then splutters that Simone told him to go -- what?! When he staggers back over and starts nuzzling on her, you can see the battle in Simone between feeling disgusted and wanting to "win out" over other women who might get his attention, and you want to yell at her that he's not worth it, but you also remember how many not-worth-its you failed to cut loose at that age. [Last week: 10]
8. Kate. It's like she's deliberately testing people these last couple episodes: she's sharing her frustrations with Simone...with Courtney, which, not really appropriate; she's taking her sweet time getting ready, and shrugging that she outranks everyone else so they can go scratch, which, not really how it works; she's snarky to Kevin when he's too drunk for it to land, and when that's proven pretty ineffective with him any other time; she could just hear Brian when he says he doesn't like the term "yachtie," and back off. And then she throws everyone's pants but Captain Lee's on the floor. She's as drunk as any of them, but she's not usually daring Lee or the producers to capital-H Handle her this way. The weeping at night's end might suggest an unconscious desire to get kicked off the boat? [Last week: 3]
9. Kevin. He's OCD about the interior crew storing wine in "his" cooler, he's snotty to Kate about settling his tab (and he may think she's exaggerating when Kate says he doesn't realize she usually settles up for the crew because he's usually asleep, but the editors side with her -- and me -- and provide a montage of exactly that happening), and he's far too ready to talk shit about her with Brian. He's got some good advice for Simone about Tanner's booty-call texts, though; hope she hears it. [Last week: 8]
10. Tanner. Called out for kissing and telling (his term for what happened between them, btw? "Chow town." Seriously!) by Simone, he's all eye-rolls in a talking-head, comparing the conversation to an interrogation. He follows that up by getting wasted by himself, texting her to come to his bunk, climbing into it naked, and passing out. And that's the first night. The next day isn't any better, as he's slobbering on Simone, but also on the poolside go-go dancers at the resort, then pouting when it's pointed out to him by literally the entire rest of the crew that he should low-tone that kind of thing. Brian's take, that Tanner is kind of young and doesn't get it, rings true. [Last week: 9]
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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!. Find her at her true-crime newsletter, Best Evidence, and on TV podcasts Extra Hot Great and Again With This.