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!

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  • Gina Fuchs

    When Diggy went home I had to tune out. Lee needs to never have been on the show to begin with.

  • Tamikka Johnson

    I had to applaud 25yo Dean for the insight he bestowed upon middle America. “I SEE YOUR RACIST ASS, LEE.”

    I, too, was thrilled for the Top 3 Spelling Bee were Black men. Yes. I saw that. I loved when Peter called Anthony, “Mystery genius”…or something along those lines.

    Iggy needs a pop to the mouth. He is so annoying. I hope he and Lee dive off Hilton Head together.

    Poor Kenny. He’s trying with that twisted Lee. I am waiting for a Black Excellence Coup to collectively approach Rachel with, “Woman, we know you see this racist ass man.”

  • phillyspice

    How is Lee on the show at all? The producers have lost all credibility (not that they ever had any) for any genuine attempt at progress by inserting him into the mix just to stir things up with his transparently racially-motivated aggression. I wish Dean would have said the word “racist” aloud; maybe he did and they edited it away. It’s like the show is a microcosm of white male privilege: Peter, Dean, et. al. don’t have to worry about how their actions will be filtered through “this historic TV moment” so they have an automatic advantage in being able to relax compared with the African American men who must (as must Rachel, which she came right out and said) be conscious of how they are “representing their race” to the audience.

  • Andrea Raymer

    why do you hate Alex? I love him and his wonderful purple suit.

    Lee is an example of how the producers are trying to do exactly what happened in season 2 of UnReal, except he is more racist that the southern bimbo they had as the token racist character on that show. And clearly Rachel is not having it as evidenced by her monologue about being judged for her choices on the show (side note, she looked really amazing in that scene and I wish to look that beautiful when I am angrily crying)

    I missed much of the first half of the episode because I was busy covering myself with fake tanner so that I can go out in public this summer without blinding everyone around me with the light that reflects off my skin. Hopefully this means people will hang out with me this summer.

    Dean seems like a nice boy.

    I call shenanigans on Anthony not winning the spelling bee. He went to Northwestern. He is smart but was clearly given harder words than everyone else. This is up there with Kenny not winning the wrestling match.

    I am so confused about Iggy. On Instagram he is very close with all the other dudes but is basically the villain sidekick on the show. Maybe he is getting abad edit? He and Diggy Live streamed together for the whole episode on Instagram last night. I guess he missed out on getting a redemption edit on paradise a la JJ and Nick. Speaking of…

    CAN WE TALK ABOUT PARADISE??? I have so many thoughts.

    • TherapyCranes

      She went to law school in Wisconsin.

    • Cristina

      How is Paradise even LEGAL?! The more that’s revealed the more I’m done with this entire franchise. This entire show is so scripted, down to story lines and plots and people. I watched UnReal but I guess I was hoping that was at least a littleeeee exaggeration. But it’s not. The more I sit around and think my thoughts about it (haha) the angrier I get that this entire Franchise honestly thinks its viewers are a bunch of idiots. And we watch. And we continue to feed into it. I’m done and already read the spoilers.

    • Cristina

      Regarding BIP: People just released a statement from Warner Bros that the investigation is complete and no misconduct happened. Filming is resuming and the show will go on. This leads me to believe it was actually a giant, disgusting publicity stunt and I’m even MORE ANGRY. This franchise knows so lows, no boundaries. Shame on all of them.

      • Andrea Raymer

        Here is the thing, I don’t think was a publicity stunt by the show, I think was corrine. This is what I think went down: She has a boyfriend back home and they probably asked her to go on the show with the idea that she would get her own spin-off after (a la Ben and Lauren and The Twins). Then everything happened and she is already known to push the envelope but didn’t think it would jeopardize her chances at her own show until someone pointed it out after the fact, maybe she also didn’t want her boyfriend to see that. The two producers that filed complaints didn’t witness anything or see footage and are very new with the show, they also just so happen to be two of Corrine’s best friends. They were probably going to go with her to her own show and that sort of footage of Corrine would prevent a spin-off from happening (after all, this is Disney we are talking about). All of that I think is absolutely horrible because I think Lying about sexual assault is almost as bad as actual sexual assault. I didn’t want her to be lying, but her story never added up with what all the other witnesses were saying. I am a bit shocked that they are going to resume production though.

        • Jukebox_babe

          I second this. Shame on Corrine. She thought she could pout her way out of it, but she went way too far.

  • Sheila T.

    I watched with my friend last night. When Iggy came in to chat (dish) with Rachel one-on-one, she said, “Iggy talks about all the house drama because he has nothing else to talk about.” Which is kind of true?? Has he even kissed her yet?

    Also, someone needs to get to the bottom of that “Iggy injects steroids into his nuts” comment ASAP.

    • Iggy has NOT kissed Rachel yet. My teenage stepdaughter pointed this out last night.

  • Macon

    Rachel went to law school in Wisconsin!

  • Meg S

    I must confess, I’ve never watched a single episode of The Bachelor. The only reality shows I care about are Project Runway (and all the spin offs) and Drag Race.

    Part of me wants to watch this trainwreck just to see how Rachel deals with all this. And by all this, I mean Lee. I would kick him off so fast. I have zero patience for that nonsense. I just want to see her shut him down and send him on his way. I might be done after that.

  • Lindsey

    ONE HUNDRED PERCENT AGREE that the producers using Lee’s racist ass as the manufactured drama this season is NOT OK. I know the Bachelor franchise is ridiculous, but it’s like a ridiculous baby that you just love to be around anyway. It’s (mostly) harmless. Ok, sometimes harmless. But anyway. Racism is a serious, serious thing, the effects of which are evident every week in this nation when some white guy gets acquitted of all charges. Using that to stir up “drama” is not ok, and it’s completely at Rachel’s expense, which she was clear about from the beginning that she didn’t want to deal with that crap. Really, really bad move on the producer’s part.

    That being said, Kenny is amazing and should not have to deal with this crap from the literal SNAKE that is Lee.

    And I want to make Peter my second husband. Awful freestyle or not, I am all up on that situation.

  • I’m from the UK, so I can’t even watch the Batchelor/ette, but this column is literally my favourite thing on the internet right now. I laugh out loud at my desk every time I read it. R Eric Thomas you are hilarious and talented is what I’m saying.

    Also, fellow commenters, if you want to see the UK’s grimly low-budget answer to The Batchelor, look for a show called ‘Love Island’. It’s a real insight into love in the UK.