Viewers white-knuckled their way through the beginning of Below Deck to learn deckhand Rhylee Gerber‘s fate. Gerber was likely white-knuckling along with fans as she was called to the wheelhouse to learn whether or not she was going to be fired.
Bosun Ashton Pienaar had been pushing to move Gerber out, nearly from the minute she set foot on the boat mid-season. He admitted to her he was only being “tolerant” of her presence, while at the same time was continuously bad mouthing her to the rest of the deck team. He approached Captain Lee Rosbach during the last episode to ask that she be fired.
Rosbach seemed pained at the notion, considering they only had six days left in the season. He even reminded Pienaar the crew only had six days, likely hoping Pienaar would realize removing Gerber at that time wasn’t a smart move. But Pienaar didn’t budge so Rosbach had to ask for opinions from deckhands Tanner Sterback and Brian de Saint Pern.
Chastain may have been the voice of reason
Gerber knew Sterback and de Saint Pern would back Pienaar. They called her “a cancer” behind her back, plus told Rosbach they too wanted her gone. They both asserted they couldn’t work with her any longer, parroting everything Pienaar fed to them for the last few weeks. However, when Rosbach consulted with chief stew Kate Chastain, she reminded Rosbach that Pienaar was not being a manager and instead allowed his personal feelings to pollute the deck team.
Rosbach also talked to Gerber and reminded her that sharing her opinion can also seem like criticism. He knows Gerber has a hot temper, but also shared she is one of the strongest workers he’s had. During the last episode, he admitted he had to make a decision and looked unhappy.
Producers didn’t leave viewers hanging for too long. The episode began with Gerber being summoned to the wheelhouse. As Gerber made her way to meet with Rosbach, Chastain reminded her to take ownership of her behavior. Although Rosbach looked like he was going to fire Gerber, he told her he would prefer she and Pienaar work out their differences.
She shared her appreciation on social media
Although Gerber has had her differences with Rosbach, she shared her heartfelt appreciation for how he handled the situation. “Thank you @capthlr for allowing me the opportunity to show my value onboard M/Y Valor,” she tweeted. “I really do feel that your desire to hear @Kate_Chastain opinion and her being in my corner regarding the boys mistreatment of their crew is what saved my position on deck.”
During the episode, Pienaar was angry with Rosbach’s decision. While he went along with Rosbach’s orders to work together, he shared in a confessional he was surprised. “I’m the bosun that Captain Lee brought back and trusted,” he said in a confessional. “And when a decision needs to be made, he’s going with a third deckhand. I’ll always respect him and do what he says but I just hope there’s a very good reason for what just happened.” Rosbach tweeted, “Obviously misplaced Ashton, you need to learn how to manage not just fire. Thats the easy way out and you have been doing it from jump street.”
Rosbach also responded to Gerber’s post too. “As I said, I talked and listened to everyone and made my own decision. You are welcome to be sure. The obvious term here is to listen and actually hear. The boys all sang the same song, and it wasn’t an objective viewpoint. I was comfortable with my call. Thanks again.”