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Swamp People recap: Friday the 13th, bagging The Ghost, and copperheads too

Daniel is too old to be wrangling 12 footers with a treble hook
Daniel is too old to be wrangling 12 footers with a treble hook. Pic credit: History

Okay. No one said there would be copperheads. Just now we are seeing copperheads on Swamp People? The only copperhead I want to see is Ashley Dead Eye Jones. But sadly she and Ronnie were MIA on this week’s journey through the bayou.

Welcome to the weekly musings of a Yankee who lived in swamp country for a spell and still can’t with the humidity and the various spiders and bugs. But copperheads, well that just ended my plans for booking a swamp tour.

The grand theme of Swamp People

It feels like every week there’s a grand theme and then the subsequent action by teams of hunters, and the narrative is stitched together when they hit the docks at the end of the episode.

Last week was an emotional one that sort of set up Mr. Daniel for maybe announcing he might be bowing out and letting Joey Edgar take the mantle of Edgar Family representation on the series, but we’ll see.

This week it’s the notion of luck, be it good or bad. The episode titled Friday the 13th is all about the hunter’s moon, that full moon that falls on a Friday the 13th and is big and bright. Does it bring bad luck?

Well in some ways it did but overall the luck eventually seemed to favor the humans and less the reptiles.

Truly bad luck would be that the Buzbee lawyer down in Houston got a hold of the gator union and told them he could shut down this History show… as being big ol’ fat reptiles was no fault of their own and that the producers were exploiting their existence. This is the world we live in y’all, everyone can sue.

Swamp People recap, what happened y’all?

Big Tee on Swamp People
Big Tee is ready to get his game on after calling out sick last week. Pic credit: History

Bad luck based on lunar cycles and the date seem to be the driving theme tonight. A full moon is rising over the chilly bayou as Willie Edwards explains that Friday the 13th AND a full moon equals mega bad luck. He says, “That old bad luck day…it comes by tons.”

Hey! Big Tee is back, good. We were worried when he called out sick last week. Mr. Daniel and Big Tee are heading out for the “Ghost,” an elusive behemoth guestimated to be over 12 feet. They drive their boat through the tobacco road of the swamp, dilapidated shanty shacks and hunting blinds long abandoned. It doesn’t take long for man-made things to rot in the swamp.

Apparently this “ghost” gator will eat your dog during hunting season according to Tee, and it vanishes like the ghost it’s named for. So apropos to this knowledge about their reptilian foe, Daniel and Big Tee have a silver bullet at the ready. Yes, a silver bullet.

Willie is a big believer...in the luck theory that is
Willie is a big believer…in the luck theory that is. Pic credit: History Channel

The Willies are really freaked out about all this luck business. “You bettah watch what you doin’,” cautions Big Willie. “Friday the 13th? Perfect day to go to the graveyard.” When Willie issues edicts, I tend to believe him.

This graveyard is an actual hunting place. Willie crawls around in the brush on the riverbank where gators, snakes, and huge spiders live.

It is insane. He is literally in the sort of riverbed area that dens of snakes (copperheads!) and gators and other things that can kill you nest and live.

Later in the episode he got out of the boat again, chased down a gator of about 12 feet, and shot it with a pistol. Willie at best is 5’9″ and maybe 150 pounds soaking wet? I know I am close.

This scene needs to be nominated for the CCA Real TV Awards this year.

Insanity as this not large man goes after a live 12 footer with a pistol! Pic credit: History Channel
Insanity, as this not so large man, goes after a live 12-footer with a pistol! Pic credit: History Channel

Mercifully he survives this lunacy and we head over to Jacob Landry and his man Don.

Man of mystery! Jacob revealed more of his personality tonight than he ever has, I believe, he cracked some good jokes. He’s not Ronnie Adams level yet with the bon mots a-flyin’, but I like this Jacob.  You can keep Chase. I do miss Holey Boley though, he was great too when paired with his Nunkie Troy. That’s about all I got for the Landrys this week.

Jacob says he’s not superstitious but he kinda is. His buddy Don and he catch a mean one, another feisty small one. The gator bit Jacob’s foot and luckily he was small. Eventually, they get a 12-footer, now we talking.

Another gator bull meets his bayou makers and takers
Another gator bull meets his bayou makers and takers. Pic credit: History Channel

Later towards the end of the episode, they push it, using the light of the full moon but they hedge their bets and get back to the docks.

Baby-face killah Brock brings a lucky frog with him in the hopes of catching “some big scary alligators.” Aaron is pleased. They have some high-quality H2O and both are set for a day of hunting. At least they get an 11-footer.

Later in the episode, their rifle breaks and Brock breaks out his handgun to kill the gator. That ends the saga of Brock.

Back to the veterans.

It wouldn’t be swamp people without a critter lesson from sage swamper Willie Edwards. He explains luck versus coincidence to nonbeliever Little Willie. It’s a religious-y kind of moment as Willie ain’t got no time for nonbelievers and the preachin’ coincides with a visit from big red.

Copperheads are one of the most lethal snakes in the continent and they are worse than gators for lethal danger
Copperheads are one of the most lethal snakes in the continent and they are worse than gators for lethal danger. Pic credit: History Channel

Boom! A copperhead is in the water. A baby one at that.

The backstory on this is that Willie was bitten when he was nine, with the venom so powerful it put him in the hospital for two weeks.

Off they go to the graveyard where the big bulls roam. More bad juju as the gun jams, and predictably Willie blames Friday the 13th as he reiterates his theory on luck in total. Then as you witnessed in the image above, a crazy thing happens, he leaves his boat to go after a bull and it wriggles and rolls and is larger than he is.

The episode closes out as master storyteller Daniel Edgar in Patterson bayou talks of spooky things as Friday the 13th winds down.

Tee sees a ghost spider the size of a dinner plate which quite frankly is one of the scariest things ever seen on this series, as Daniel explains the creepy location is inexplicable but the creep, y’all dat’s real.

Then he nearly is pulled overboard doing what Tee should be doing which is wrangling the heavy beast on the treble hook. Daniel should be the shooter in this deal. They manage to kill it, and the Ghost is dead. Long live the Ghost!

See y’all next week.

Swamp People airs Thursdays at 9/8c on History Channel.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
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