Muddy Motives: The Bachelorette Season 13, Episode 3 Recap

Photograph by Paul Hebert via Disney ABC Press.

This week is all about the joy and the pain, the sunshine and the rain. It’s basically a Chekhov play but with binge drinking and a special guest appearance by Ellen DeGeneres. Oh, and a massive amount of male shirtlessness, which I’m never going to complain about.

Opening Statements

As you may recall, we ended last week on a cliffhanger because the ousted DeMario returned to the ranch. Rachel comes out to meet him, SLAYING in this black gown with some Queen of the Amazons gold trim and a huge gold waistband. The slit is “Angelina at the Oscars” high and I’m living for it.

DeMario says, “One of my favorite quotes is, ‘In order to experience joy, you need pain.’” This fool is up here paraphrasing Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.

Rachel tells DeMario, “I’m glad that that you realized you should move forward, but forward isn’t this way to the mansion. I hope that the pain you’ve gotten from this gives you joy somewhere else. It’s just not here right now. Thank you.” Thank you! I live! HONEY. SHE READ HIM THE RIOT ACT. Mini-Maxine Waters over here, giving him the headlines from the You Tried It Gazette.


After that, these dudes are shewk. Some of them are so impressed they look ready to propose right there. Lee, who is a secret racist btw, looks tense. (This week, sexist and racist tweets written by the contestant surfaced online. We’ll get back to this in a minute but for now, stay pressed, Lee.)

Reality Show Javert (Blake) spends the first half of the episode psychoanalyzing Rachel and Lucas and telling basically everyone about his theories.

Whaboom, that monster, claims that Blake snuck into his room while he was sleeping and licked a peeled banana over him. Lucas is about to employ the Twinkie Defense and I couldn’t be less over this homophobic dog whistle.

Rachel, who — we should remember — is a trained lawyer, asks, “Did he finish the banana?” Give this woman a spinoff of Law & Order right now, please.

Reality Show Javert has a strong rebuttal: “I don’t eat carbs; I’m on a ketogenic diet.” This is basically the endorphins defense from Legally Blonde and it works just as well here as it did there. Elle Woods continues to give us so much as a society.

Rose Ceremony

Deserved Their Roses: Bryan, Eric, Anthony, Dean (holdover rose from the Group date), Peter (holdover rose from the One-on-One date), Will, Jack, Matt, Adam, Kenny, Josiah (holdover rose from the Group date), Brady, Iggy, Fred, Diggy
Didn’t Deserve Their Roses: Bryce, Jonathan, Alex, Lee

Whaboom and Reality Show Javert are out, as is Jamey with the good hair.

Group Date #1

The guys meet Rachel at The Ellen Show. Ellen, God bless her, makes the guys run out in the audience shirtless and start Magic Mike-ing. They are are ripped and looking great but Jonathan is struggling in the dance department. Alex is intensely into it. I’m not mad. But I am deeply disturbed.

Peter is killing it in the “Nice guy dancing” department. He’s got a shy smile and some smooth moves and I need to shut this competition down right now and set him up as Rachel’s permanent wedding date for life. This is the dude you want dancing with your aunt to “The Cha-Cha Slide.”

Afterwards, everyone gets to smooching with Rachel except Fred.

He’s gotten a sympathetic edit about wanting Rachel to stop seeing him as the kid he was when they met. In their one-on-one, he rambles for a while about how he’s not jealous of her kissing other guys and then says, “Is this a time when I could kiss you?” IT IS THE MOST AWKWARD THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED. Rachel’s like, “Are you asking permission?!”

Rachel pulls Fred out of the room, with the Group Date rose, in a setup that clearly telegraphs, “You’re about to get this rose, my friend.” INSTEAD, she lets him down easy and sends him packing. Honestly, it’s pretty cold. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t taken the rose with her.

Anyway, life is hard, you can’t go home again, etc.

One-on-One Date

Anthony and Rachel are doing things you can only do in LA, which apparently includes horseback riding into stores. I don’t know a lot about LA, but I thought when she said, “Things you can only do in LA,” she meant, “cocaine in the bathroom of Chateau Marmont.” I’m learning so much. Apparently, it’s just that thing where two black people ride horses down a major street in 2017 and everything is totally normal.

Group Date #2

Let’s talk about Eric. Eric is frustrated because he’s not sure what Rachel’s reasons for being here are and saying that sparks a conflict with Iggy. Eric raises his voice and that gets all the focus, but it’s worth noting that he also reveals he thinks he’s falling for her and he’s never had a relationship before.

On the group date, he gets bad-mouthed by Lee and Bryce. It quickly becomes clear that for Lee, the issue isn’t even what Eric said, it’s that he yelled. Lee is trying to get under Eric’s skin by picking away at his presentability and feelings of belonging, which is a tactic on page 6 of the secret racist handbook. Stay pressed, Lee.

Later, in a one-on-one at the after-party, Eric confesses to Rachel that he’s feeling really vulnerable and this is a first for him. The guys are playing it like he’s not here for the right reasons, but in reality he’s here for the rightest reasons. He wants to fall in love for the first time and it’s scary and hard (not to mention on television). This is beautiful and terrible and impossible and surprising. Just like life. Eric gets the Group Date rose because sometimes life rewards you for being genuine.

But life never lets you off easy. The true villain edit belongs to Lee, who is portrayed with all the subtlety of the bad guy in a movie about the Civil Rights movement. Eric says, “Lee has a lot of snake in his blood.” Truer words were never spoken. Lee is a tone policer, he’s playing mind games and he has a superiority complex. LEE. STAY PRESSED.

Anyway, all that comes later. First, they wrestle in mud. Of course.

I am not complaining about this. AT ALL. My only objection is that they’re wearing trunks and it just seems like a waste of fabric. Obviously mud wrestling on national TV is a Speedos-only event.

Brady and Bryce start out and they go so easy on each other that Brady’s hair doesn’t even get messed up. It’s basically the opening scene from a “College Frat Bros” porn. Again, not a complaint.

Meanwhile, the big story here is that Kenny, who is a professional wrestler, absolutely decimates these boys one by one, ultimately reaching the finale with Bryce. Where, shockingly, he loses. What sort of Election 2017 injustice is this? Whatever, Kenny won the popular vote.


Iggy also reveals his snake DNA by bad-mouthing Eric in a one-on-one with Rachel. Iggy then returns and tells Eric what he’s done and gives Eric advice about his “opportunities for growth.” Why are these dudes so condescending to Eric?

Rachel circles back to Eric and puts him on notice, but doesn’t take the rose back. Eric calls a meeting of the dudes and asks them all to keep his name out of their mouths. Guess who the first person who yells is? Officer Lee of the Tone Police.

And with that, they smash to a To Be Continued once again. Will Eric survive this onslaught? Are we rooting for Peter full-time now? Will Lee stay pressed?

Let’s deliberate in the comments!

R. Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas is a playwright and person on the internet. He writes a daily humor column called “Eric Reads the News” on

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