This week’s Swamp People is a sad one, Y’all, as the show opens with Bruce Mitchell reflecting on his friendship with Ron Methvin and how the economics of gator hunting now threatens their seven-year run. Ron is just like kin to Bruce, we learn.
Day three of gator season is under way with the episode taking on major themes: Brotherly love, knowing when to cut bait and Grand Noir mulligans.
The beginnings of an unheard of truce are teased early on, as we see the four patriarchs, Troy Landry, RJ Molinere, Daniel Edgar and Bruce Mitchell convene over a fire in the swamp to come up with a gameplan for survival so they can hand down their way of life to their heirs.
It’s serious if these guys are considering working together, but we don’t see much more than the beginnings of their “Cajun Cartel” deal being sorted out.
Here are the other major happenings in Swamp People Season 9 Episode 3:
The Edgar brothers face adversity and do not turn on each other
Unlike the Landry brothers, the Edgar brothers communicate and rise above the s**t that happens. Tonight at Lake Fausse, Dwaine and Joey Edgar each examine their lives in profound ways. Dwaine went out into the world while Joey stayed and helped Pop-pop (Daniel).
Joey says Dwaine is “like dad” at times, and talks about his ego, but they have a healthier relationship than Chase and Jacob Landry.
Dwaine reflects on his path from college to pro ball to back in the swamp, and applauds how Joey “stepped up to help dad.”
The two then have a record-breaking day. Joey knows the limits of his rebuilt engine and yet Dwaine eggs him on to a whopping 30 gators in the boat. Big’uns.
Problem with too many gators? Weather is on the horizon and Joey knows what is at stake — being swamped in the swamp, and losing their hard-won haul because the boat is too heavy.
The boat is loaded with gator carcasses and the sides and stern are at the water level.
The engine is working too hard as they race against the weather. Things are looking bad. The engine runs hot, burns out and they are left dead in the water.
Dwaine knows he caused a hardship for Joey and vows to make it up to him.
Bruce and Ron bid adieu
In Hammond, the sadness tonight comes with the realization that Ron cannot remain as a crewman for Bruce.
Ron’s fate hangs in the balance, while Bruce just wants to break even to keep him on. “You gotta fight for every inch,” he says.
Almost metaphorically, force majeure strikes as a wall of lilies blocks their once open route. The engine gets choked with the dense vegetation, and Bruce is forced to relaunch his boat miles down the bayou.
As the episode progresses, they seem to be back in business as Bruce commiserates about the sorry economics of gator hunting and how to afford to pay Ron, who he considers family.
Close to $200 a day expenses with all the five-foot runts they are pulling means no money. They land a five footer, then another five-footer. But they don’t add up to cover expenses.
Then the weather turns, wind gusts of 50 miles an hour mean the boat is starting to swamp. The guys finish deep in the hole, and Bruce needs to make a hard decision.
But Ron is already two steps ahead and makes the pain easier, walking away and bowing out so Bruce and Miss Janet “can make ends…”.
It’s sad to see how after seven years that these two have to part.
Daniel and Big T reflect on mysterious seedless watermelons and butt-pinching airboat rides
In Franklin, Daniel and Big T, his new deckhand, are looking for the new alpha gator that may have swum into Grand Noir’s hole, and are on the move.
Logs and winter storms have made the chase for hopefully the new “Grand Noir” — a giant bull gator who may have moved into the territory. They need a chainsaw, a lot of nerve and hard work as the boat bangs over downed logs, causing Big T to nearly soil himself.
The two hack their way through as the hunt for big gators is on. T spots a monster. Daniel works hard to keep him above water as T gets the shot.
Big T and Daniel break for watermelon. The men ponder weighty subjects like how a seedless watermelon can propagate, a conundrum equal to the “chick and egg” question.
Then they are back to business. T finds yet another big gator, over 12 feet long.
Next week, Frenchy and Gee are back y’all!
Plus Kristi Broussard and hat-wearing hubby String Bean are on the hunt, while the Molineres are hot on Houdini’s elusive trail.
Swamp People airs Thursdays at 9 PM E/P on History