There is one thing that makes tonight’s Swamp People stand out: Chicken bores the crap out of reptiles, just like it does for us.
The Swamp People episode entitled “Mystery in the Bayou” begins with a bunch of rotting chicken carcasses dangling on lines from Lake Verret to Violet.
The focus initially for the episode — after once again reminding us that bull gators are overrunning the ecosystem — is that the swampers had to switch their bait midstream.
And sugar, just like da foosball y’all, is the tasty little devil that brings the bulls to the yard.
Those bastards have a sweet tooth.
And not enough toothbrushes.
Swamp People’s got new blood
And now, a note expressing my irritation at the producers attempt to inject new blood into the Swamp cast mix.
Cajun beefcake-wrapped-in-a-beignet Brock Theriot and his cohort Aaron are a pair of handsome 19 year-olds, as the camera deftly pans over their taut jawlines and willingness to whoop it up.
But they are not interesting. At all. Brock’s old Cajun Paw Paw, however, is knife-and-fork delish and gave them great advice so they could catch something.
I mean come on now… with cats like Frenchy, Gee, Bruce, and the Willies, not to mention Kristi Broussard and shoeless Glenn Guist, these people are hilarious in very specific ways.
Even Joey Edgar’s cohorts, the wheelchair-bound critter caller Josh and Cody, the death-from-above pilot, are all interesting people.
And I understand that casts age out and contracts aren’t renewed for various reasons, but the Brock/Aaron combo ain’t nothing compared to Ashley Dead Eye Jones and Ronnie Adam’s mad gator alchemy.
Even newcomer Don Brewer is a riot, he’s got that intangible swamp charisma and understanding of what makes for good TV.
But sometimes… new, young and shiny don’t cut it. Y’all feel me?
Swamp People rundown, chicken is out and marshmallows are in
In the opener of this episode, the swamp bosses Troy and Terral are deep in the canals of the GA cut, they are running lines in a bull gator infested area.
Something is wrong. The bait is still hanging. The stink is on their chicken literally and figuratively as they realize the gators have no interest.
“Something very strange is going on I’m not sure what,” says Troy. A plan is devised. They roll up on a rotting gator corpse stinking to high heaven inside a long fishnet.
“That’s what he went after ‘dem fish right dere,” says Troy with no punctuation needed in that sentence. Light bulb moment! Feed the gators the fish they like, catfish heads.
“Hopefully it pays off,” says Troy. Spoiler alert: It does!
Switching over to several miles away, Jacob Landry is having no luck with his rotting chicken, enter newbie catfish noodler Don Brewer, his new sidekick. What happened to Holey Boley?
Don is a thinker. He puts marshmallows on the rotting chicken because why not. “Smorgasbord? You know what a smorgasbord is?” He asks Jacob.
Nowhere near as worldly as Don, Jacob deadpans: “I have my doubts… but let’s see what happens.”
Jacob posits that Don is equal parts crazy and a genius and wonders if the marshmallow theory has merits. Spoiler alert: It does!
They catch a huge bull with this anti-Keto diet bait, and Jacob acquiesces to Don’s unorthodox bait combo. The gators are more like us than we care to admit.
A moment for the producers and camera crew, the insect closeups have 1000% put me off ever visiting the bayous of Louisiana. Swarms of huge hornets, spiders the size of dinner plates, and other unidentifiable crawlers that would give me a coronary if I ever saw them in real life… good job there, y’all.
Over in Bayou Black, the aforementioned eye-candy first-timers Aaron Lee and Brock Theriot begin their season, Brock’s fascinating backstory is that he played college baseball and grew up down south.
Their chicken hangs on the lines like forgotten graying laundry as these gators have spread the word among themselves that the chicken is No Bueno. Not sure what to do, Brock says: “It gets frustrating I am not gonna lie to you.”
His bright idea is to ask his Paw Paw for help. That old Cajun granddad knows every trick in the book to get gators, and then we hear that he used sticks and machetes diving deep into their dens on the banks of the bayou to capture them back in the day.
Y’all, we are so screwed with this new generation of kids who get triggered and need safe spaces.
Anyhow, Paw Paw suggests tying a white rag to mimic a white bird that the gators love to ambush to get them to bite the line. Spoiler alert: It does!
Meanwhile, over in Pierre Part, Jacob and Don’s chicken lines are sucking wind still. They commence sniping gators with rifles. “Swamp Donkey” is what Don calls them.
Don scores a hit and races to him to treble-hook him from the bottom. The twist is that Don jumps in the water and feels for him with his hands not knowing if its alive or dead…an 11-foot gator.
“What he’s doing is really really dangerous,” says Jacob.
“Hopefully, he dead,” says Don. He yanks up the 11+ footer, luckily dead as a doornail. This prompts Jacob to go with trying marshmallows solo now so that Don keeps his limbs, and they can save money on chicken and bullets.
Over with Joey Edgar and Zak Catchem at their bull honey hole, their chicken is not working either. “It’s a bad feeling,” says Joey.
“Dude they’re all hanging,” says Zak. Then a break. They track a big alligator at the water’s edge. They follow it to the woods. “The big ones are getting away from us,” Zak continues.
Time to call Josh Carney, Joey’s game caller who was rendered paralyzed but who helped Joey last year with a monster. Josh does a distress call, and Zak agitates the water, and the bulls come out to play.
On the other side of the bayou near Pierre Part, Terral and Troy’s smelly catfish heads are now hanging. “I hope this will get the job done,” says Terral in his best wife beater.
They head to a downed line. “Line looks tight Big Buddy,” says Troy. They nab a 10+ big male. Their switcheroo to catfish heads from chicken is paying off big time.
“‘Bout to pull me over,” says Terral with another beast on the line. “That thing weighs a thousand pounds, man!” Troy spots him as he pulls the line, then pops it. “Son of a bitch,” Terral continued.
“We gonna keep on rolling,” says Troy.
Meanwhile, with Jacob and Don, the marshmallow plan is in full effect. They haul up huge gators with just the fluff.
South of Violet, In an effort to lure the big bulls, Josh Carney’s calls have hit a wall, until a bull shows himself. Dramatic music cues the gator being hooked on Zak’s line. “Come on Pop!” says Zak.
Joey salutes the fact that Josh hasn’t given up on life despite his misfortune. “He’s got an upbeat personality, and he’s beautiful to be around,” says Pop. He’s a great cast addition — more Josh Carney, please.
We wind up the jam-packed no winner chicken dinner episode with Troy and Terral going after the monster that popped the line. Big Buddy gets him on the line by reeling him in, and Troy ‘choots em dead.
“We got him bay-bee,” says Troy.
Back at the dock, the Landry’s reconnect, and we see Troy’s grandbabies who admire dad Jacob and their King of the Swamp Paw Paw’s gator haul.
See y’all next week!