Did Chandler Brooks from ‘Below Deck’ Get Off Too Easy?

Jamie Jason and Chandler Brooks | Jamie Jason Instagram

Even though it was inevitable, when Captain Lee Rosbach from Below Deck fired bosun Chandler Brooks, the exchange was rather anticlimactic. After the crew complained and seemed pained by Brooks in previous episodes, fans were waiting for some explosive departure.

Instead of laying into Brooks about countless missteps and mishaps, Rosbach gently explained that the working relationship wasn’t ideal and they should part ways. Even the crew, who smack talked Brooks behind his back, seemed genuinely sorry to see him leave. So what happened when Brooks got fired and how did the crew react?

The crew seemed frustrated throughout the season

BELOW DECK — Pictured: (l-r) Ross Inia, Rhylee Gerber — (Photo by: Greg Endries/Bravo)

Deckhands Ashton Pienaar and (now bosun) Ross Inia got along with Brooks but often seemed confused and frustrated with the lack of direction. However his relationship with third deckhand, Rylee Gerber was more than strained. The two butted heads at every turn, with Brooks even going to Rosbach to try to get Gerber fired.

“With Chandler, our recurring problem, at least on my end, is the way he speaks to me,” Gerber said in the Below Deck After Show. “The way he doesn’t take the time to guide me. I can sit there and say that I’ve done something on one boat all day long. It doesn’t mean it’s the same. If I’ve never been in that situation, it would be stupid of me not to ask questions. And maybe there’s a time and a place for it, but that time and that place was never given to me.”

In addition to the deck team, the interior staff was annoyed with Brooks as well. When third stew Caroline Bedol needed assistance during night cleanup he couldn’t be bothered. She seemed frustrated and annoyed. But then Brooks dissed chief stew Kate Chastain after Rosbach put Chastain in charge. Chastain asked for help but Brooks preferred to eat ice cream instead. When she put his pint away and told him he had to work first he was angry.

And so was Captain Lee

Time and again Rosbach seemed let down with Brooks’ performance. When Brooks allowed a guest to ride a jet ski without a life jacket, Rosbach was angry. As the season progressed, Rosbach’s patience began to wane. “When I watched tonight’s episode, I saw everyone not get a break but you,” Rosbach blogged. “You got two of them and then turned in early shortly after coming off one of those breaks. Really? A good bosun leads by working longer and harder than his constituents. That doesn’t seem to be the case with you.”

But after a family with children arrived on board, Rosbach had enough. He called the entire deck team to the bridge. While the entire team was present, comments were directed toward Brooks. He said he was making some changes, some that the team wasn’t going to like. Rosbach was fed up with the lack of communication and leaving the guests stranded with no supplies.

This is how it went down

Rosbach told Brooks it was time for them to part company because it wasn’t a good fit. He said there was no “final straw” for firing Brooks but more of a feeling that things weren’t getting any better. And that Brooks demanded respect instead of earning it. Rosbach and Chastain agree that Brooks seems overwhelmed and relieved. Brooks admits he is relieved to leave.

But when the crew found out Brooks had been fired, they genuinely seemed bummed and even surprised. “Sad to see you go,” Inia says. Then Gerber says, “I’m sorry to see you go. I’m sorry that we didn’t connect better.”  Of course, Gerber admits in an off-camera interview she’s happy he’s leaving.

Even Bedol, who seemed annoyed with Brooks said she was bummed he was leaving and that she didn’t see it coming. “It’s going to be a loss for us,” Bedol says to Brooks. So after the complaining all season the crew seemed to bid Brooks farewell and move on. While his dismissal and the crew’s behavior was very professional, perhaps fans were expecting something with a little more kick instead of a balloon losing air over the ocean.

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