Snakes on a Boat: The Bachelorette, Season 13, Episode 4 Recap

Photos by Bob Lerverone via Disney ABC Press.

Opening Statement

I cannot believe I have to write about the John Grisham novel supporting character better known as Lee. This guy is one mouthful of chewing tobacco away from being an extra in A Time To Kill. I’m just going to say it: the producers have made a huge mistake with this. I watch this show to be entertained and, frankly, racists aren’t entertaining. Sorry not sorry.


“Moving forward, just don’t say my name.” Eric says as we pick up where we left off: in the house during a confrontation Lee provoked. Lee bursts out laughing. Lee is absolutely a Tarantino movie bad guy.

In confessional, Lee goes full villain. His hair is sticking up wildly, as if he’s nervously run his fingers through it whilst plotting, his eyes swim in a soup of duplicitousness and alcohol, and he speaks the line that should be in every Reality Show Bingo Free Square: “I did not come here to make friends.” And then he ups the ante by promising the camera, “And I’m going to have problems with some of these guys. It might get crazy.”

Y’all, Lee is trying to be our new Chad Johnson. But Chad Johnson wasn’t actually evil; he just didn’t want to play pretend. Lee might as well be wearing a shirt that reads, “I’m dropping hints that I’m evil.”

Dean, with his perfect teeth, has Lee’s number from jump. He says ,“The only people Lee has a problem with are people he doesn’t see on a regular basis.” The producer is like “What do you mean?” Dean’s like, You know what the eff I mean. Y’all put this racist on this show with this black woman and right this moment he is holding his grandfather’s knife and carving words into wood for her acting like it’s charming when actually it’s just triggering. Don’t play.

I’m paraphrasing.

Later, having escaped Lee, Rachel tells Bryan he’s too charming and it scares her. Bryan responds, “You’re my future, and that’s all I care about.” They then go back to their regularly scheduled noisy kissing.

Question: Did Lee just start acting like this or has this been happening the whole time while we were distracted by Whabooming and whatnot?

Peter, that early ’90s Patrick Dempsey character, tells Rachel that he’s staying above the fray, with her. Just floating above the drama with their perfect tooth gaps and their love of dogs.

Rachel gets real about the pressure of being in the position as a black woman on the Bachelorette. She’s no fool. She knows that she’s putting herself in the bullseye. What she doesn’t say (but I will) is that the producers are setting her up something terrible. Why is this level of Maury Povich Show drama necessary?

Rose Ceremony

Chris lets the guys know that they’re taking the unusual step of going straight to the Rose Ceremony. He says it’s because all the drama is weighing on her, but our test determined that that is a lie.

Deserved Their Rose: Will, Dean, Peter, Adam (I guess; I honestly have no feelings about Adam), Bryan, Matt, Josiah, Jack, Kenny, Anthony

Didn’t Deserve Their Rose: Jonathan (what is the deal with this guy?), Iggy (too close to the drama), Lee, Alex

Should Have Gotten A Rose: Diggy

Diggy, Bryce, Brady go home.

Honestly, I cannot believe that these producers made her keep Lee around. That is actually evil.

I’m all about manufactured drama, but come on, this isn’t manufactured so much as baked into the troubled soil of the nation. Is The Bachelorette really trying to have a Very Special Episode?

One-on-One Date

They all travel to Hilton Head, SC. Dean gets tapped to have a picnic in an airfield with Rachel. Question: they have a whole field open to them and yet they’ve spread the blanket on the hood of the car. So, I’m concerned because they don’t know how picnics work.

Rachel reveals they’re going on a blimp ride. Dean is afraid of heights. What are the odds?

Photo via ABC

Rachel adorably clowns him by climbing into the copilot seat and goofing off. She makes Dean get in the seat and then mocks him for looking for the seat belt. I’m obsessed with them.

At dinner, they reveal that they both grew up in strict religious households. Dean then talks about how his family started to fall apart after his mother’s battle with breast cancer. It’s incredibly sad and incredibly touching and it’s clear that Dean is pulling from his reserves of bravery to reveal this part of his life.

Both seem intensely bonded by this conversation, so they do what all of us do when we’ve shared the most traumatic parts of our histories on a date: dance in front of hundreds of people at a Russell Dickerson concert that seems to be taking place at the end of a suburban cul-de-sac.

Group Date

They’re on a boat. And, shockingly, no one makes an “I’m on a boat” joke. You can’t tell me that all of these dudes have managed to move on, comedically, from 2009. I will not accept that.

They drink and take off their shirts and have a dance party and then a push-up party and then a rap contest and, frankly, I am not sold on the merits of boat-riding at this point.

Oh, God, and then Peter freestyles and it’s AWFUL but it does rhyme so… points for that.

Rachel makes the guys participate in a spelling bee in front of a live audience. Question: Is the entire island of Hilton Head required to show up to Bachelorette events? Did everyone get off of work for TV reasons?

At one point Peter spells coitus “coiqui” which is actually hilarious. Tonight, please tell your partner that you’d like to engage in some heavy coiqui.

The Black Excellence Bee gets down to Will and Josiah. Josiah spells polyamorous to become the winner. The crowd leaps to their feet because apparently there is nothing else going on in town that day.

Closing Arguments

Afterward, Peter and Rachel have a romantic one-on-one in a wine cellar. She reveals she’s licensed to practice law in Peter’s home state of Wisconsin. I need some additional information about what precipitated that choice in her past, tbh. But, then again, who among us isn’t licensed to practice law in Wisconsin?

Later, Iggy says, “I don’t want to be the reason that there is drama tonight,” and then promptly sits down in a one-on-one with Rachel and performs a one-man version of The Usual Suspects. He gives Rachel the tea on the drama in the house but then pivots and tries to throw Josiah, of all people, under the bus.

What’s amazing about Iggy is that when he gossips about you, he then immediately turns around and tells you about it. Honey, this is not a good look.

Meanwhile, Lee — whose eyes have gotten crazier and crazier over the course of the episode — is one-on-one-ing with Rachel. She’s like, “Why is there so much drama around you?” Lee tries to spin her a fairy tale, apparently forgetting that she is an attorney who is not here for your shit.

This is going to be Lee’s downfall. He is that villain who spends so much time monologuing about his dastardly plan that the heroine has ample time to foil his efforts.

Rachel cross-examines Kenny. Kenny says that Lee was baiting him and he wishes that he’d handled the situation differently.

Meanwhile, Lee is bragging to Alex and Peter that he could push their buttons and ruin them but he won’t. “I don’t have a problem with you (white) guys,” he says.

Back to Kenny, “Lee’s handshake doesn’t match his smile.” And with that Bryan whisks Rachel away and Kenny is left alone with his thoughts, regrets and simmering resentments. He monologues that Lee is an, “alternative facts piece of garbage,” which, thankfully, indicates that we are finally getting closer to telling the truth about what’s actually happening here.

And, of course, that means we are seconds away from a To Be Continued. Kenny grabs Lee and leads him to the balcony to have a talk. The only way this ends satisfactorily is with Lee clinging to the railing, begging for forgiveness. Sorry not sorry.

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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