The last charter of a Below Deck season can always drum up drama for the yacht crew and the demanding guests, but the final cruise of this season's Below Deck Mediterranean took things to a new level, with Bravo fans dubbing season 8 the worst "of any Below Deck franchise."
The penultimate episode of the season, “Curb Your Stewsiasm”—which aired on Bravo on Monday, January 15 and is available to stream now with a Peacock subscription—kicked off with a stew's worst nightmare: Captain Sandy's announcement that, due to bad weather, the boat would have to stay docked throughout the entire two-day charter, leaving the guests very frustrated and heavy on the complaints. That meant poor Tumi Mhlongo had to scramble to come up with ideas to placate the charter guests, including a tender ride through the port that one vacationer dubs "redneck yachting." Oof.
One Twitter user said the mere thought of being stuck on a docked yacht with Captain Sandy enough impetus for them to "jump overboard". (Excellent use of a GIF featuring noted Captain Sandy hater Hannah Ferrier, BTW.)
And then there was some crew shuffling: onboard medical emergencies frequently pop up throughout the show and it looks like lead deckhand Lara Dupreez was so ill, she couldn't continue through the final charter. But where one leaves, another returns: in the very same episode, deck team member Haleigh Gorman made her return to the Motoryacht Mustique following her own recent mystery illness.
All of these staff change-ups are giving us a serious case of whiplash, but one Below Deck fan tweeted that Haleigh has left such a lack of an impression on them that they "totally forgot about her" until she reboarded the boat.
And then there's Kyle Viljoen, the latest in a grand tradition of overly dramatic, conflict-attraction Below Deck stews, who is allegedly "triggered" by the mere mention of his former fellow stew and frenemy Natalya Scudder...who may or may not be returning in the finale episode next week for one last hurrah (a.k.a. yet another screaming match).
All in all, the penultimate episode, like the bulk of this long and meandering season, has been plagued by pointless melodrama, incessant crew feuds and the overall feeling that too much is happening and yet nothing of consequence happened this season.
As such, Below Deck Med die-hards took to social media to criticize not only this week's episode but season 8 as a whole. One poster dubbed this season of the reality franchise "obnoxious," citing the never-ending beef between Natalya and Kyle, Jess's passiveness and Luka's playboy ways, though they did single out Laura as a bright spot:
And another, @BravoAndBlaze, didn't hold back, proclaiming that season 8 was the worst season "of #BelowDeckMed or any #BelowDeck franchise," including the much-maligned first season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht.
One commenter to that post said that it's been "a chore" to watch Below Deck Mediterranean this season, and another said that the crew's annoying antics have forced them to stop watching the season before it's even over. Not the kind of reactions any show's cast or crew wants to hear, I'm sure, so maybe they should stay away from social media until well after the finale comes around.
Speaking of, there's one more episode left of Below Deck Med, with the finale airing on Monday, January 22, at 9 pm ET on Bravo, but it's unclear where the staffers of Motoryacht Mustique can turn this season around in time or if they'll simply remain stuck at the dock.