Welcome back to Deadliest Catch, the adrenaline rush of reality TV! Last week we saw Opies getting going, and we saw a LOT of injuries. Judging by the previews that Discovery has been giving us, we’ll be seeing a lot more weather this episode…how Nick got his nose crushed ..as well as a very (non-injured) bloody Freddie….so kick back, relax and watch with me!
We open with shots from various boats talking about the nasty conditions and how it’s not for everyone. And, of course, the “get down!” moment from Sig. THIS is the stuff that gave Deadliest Catch it’s name. Still holding out hope for a Jovi endorsement for the show (well, they did give one with letting Discovery use the song) but hey man, how about a public shout out! Tom Hanks gave one!
So, here we go, thanks to frost brewed Coors Light. We start with the Wizard, 320 miles northwest of Dutch as the man prepare to drop their first pot since the arctic storm shut them down 30 hours ago. Keith has no choice but to send his guys out in this weather, he has to make up for lost time. Freddie talks bout how the ice and weather has ruined three days easily and Lynn says it’s going to make for a long day. To get things going, Freddie slices open a giant piece of bait and….WOW….drinks the blood. He confronts a modern problem with an ancient ritual. Lynn tells us it’s a good luck ritual for drinking cod blood. The crew tells him he’s hard-core and Freddie gets Kevin to drink it too!! Freddie’s face is COATED with the blood and Kevin can barely digest it. Freddie says back home when they go hunting they gut the fish, drink the blood and get war paint on. Keith says “right on”. Six hours later, as Keith approaches his chosen grounds, Freddie’s plea to the crab gods is answered. The weather after about 8 days is cooperating; it’s a break, a small break. Lynn says this could be a win-win situation and Keith calls for them to launch the pots. He says sometimes you have to fish the weather and sometimes you fish crab; this trip they fished the weather. He sets while the weather holds. Up until now they haven’t had the weather to set the pot and go but now they do. Is it just me or is Keith much more tolerable this time around?
40 miles to the southwest, the storm wages on as Sig battles 30 foot walls of water to reach is gear. Sig says you see them coming and you have to power into it or they’ll take you. You want to manipulate the boat through the waves but just then you see him yell “Get down! Get the ‘f’ down!” as he gets the camera guy to get to the floor. Out of nowhere, a 35 foot wave slammed into the wheelhouse, putting Sig and the cameraman directly in the line of fire. Sig doesn’t want to fish in this but while they’re out there and blowing the way it is, as long as they can get through a few of the pots, a little of the time…Sig’s pots have soaked for five days, he has no choice but to haul. Sig says it’s nerve wracking to see the monster waves every once in awhile and he doesn’t want to lose anyone. They come up to their first pot….Sig says it’s all you as Nick tells Jake where and how to throw it. But Matt says it’s hard to throw the hook in this weather, Jake misses. He tries again and misses. He calls “Nicky”, and makes way for Nick. Nick throws and gets it. Way to go Nick! Sig said Nick has always been his go to guy and now he can be that for the crew. The pot comes up and it’s not that good, Nick says it’s a little light. They continue the sort in the waves; Sig says 40-50 knot winds with snow squalls is not ideal to haul gear and they have to watch it. They’re not out of the woods by any means. Even though the count is low, Sig resets and explains they’re doing the most they can with what they have. Stacking pots on deck int his weather isn’t an option. Sig says unexpected things can happen and you have to be on your toes. Nicks says it was fun for about an hour, but not any longer. The crew earns every pot they pull on board. They continue to sort and Matt says hauling isn’t really productive but they’re catching some and it’s part of the grind. Holy GOD! Nick just got SLAMMED in the face by a picking hook! Jesus, you could feel how that hurt through the TV. The camera guy even asks if he’s okay and the crew tells Sig that it is bleeding.
Nick’s laying on the floor now with blood coursing down his face. Jake takes the wheel as Sig tends to Nick, who tries to get up saying he’s okay. But they make him lay down. Sig takes a look, Nick says he’s okay.. Jarred free by a wave the hook sprang across the deck and hit Nick in the face. Sig sits him up and Nick says he’s not dizzy but it got him on the face. He says it’s just cut and doesn’t hurt. Sig says when it’s numb you don’t’ feel it but he will and it’s dented in. Nick again assures him he’s fine and doesn’t want Sig to pull him off deck, but Sig makes him. They tell him he’s swollen and Sig says he tweaked it good. Nick doesn’t realize the extent of his injury until he looks in the mirror; the steel hook snapped his nose in two. Sig asks if he can breathe out of it and tells someone to give him Ibuprofen. Sig makes a call down south, he thinks they’ll need to take him in. First, the weather and now he may have to go in. He calls in and describes the incident. They show it again and Jesus, that hit him HARD. They ask if his nose is crooked side to side (where Sig called) and Sig says there’s a curve to it. They say if there’s no bleeding or loss of consciousness he’s lucky. Sig asks what they do for this injury. He’s told they just let it heal and he says then Nick will have the mark of the Northwestern.
The Time Bandit is heading into St. Paul. Andy and Johnathan disagree on how to anchor up in crowded waters at the dock. Andy says it’s blowing 50-70, he’s getting unwanted help from a backstreet driver, brother John. This is the first time I’ve seen them bickering actually. Andy feels better as he gets more room. Mike tells the crew to stand by and with enough breathing room the crew starts dropping the anchor. But they’re not holding. Andy asks why and John says to let more out, Mike tells them to. The anchor doesn’t catch and the Time Bandit drifts. Johnathan calls for more line. Why are Mikey’s eyebrows shaved? But there was more let out, the anchor and now there’s too much slack. The anchor just broke off. Under Johnathan’s orders, the crew let out too much cable and pushed by currents the boat drifted; the added momentum snapped the cable. Johnathan says to mark the spot so they can find the buoy. Like a crab pot the anchor is attached to a buoy to mark it’s location. But with no anchor Andy must jog the boat for 8 hours until it’s time to offload.
After jogging for 8 hours outside St. Paul harbor, the Time Bandit finally heads in to offload. But they have extreme ice conditions, blowing hard and there’s ice in the harbor. Andy heads in and they pull safely to the dock. Eyebrowless Mikey says they’re ready now. With the boat ready to offload, the captains tend to an injured deckhand. For close to a week, Eddie’s son has been dealing with abscessed teeth. Johnathan tells him they’re paying for it, his dental care, but Andy says they’re going to watch. At the dentist in St. Paul, they prepare for extraction and yeah, thanks DC for showing us…yuck. Then we see clips of the offload. It’s a good one too. More of his toot coming out as Eddie Sr. and Andy watch. Jesus god in heaven. Back to the crew at offload. Time for another tooth to come out. Time for more laughing with Junior saying if it wasn’t him he’d laugh. After the teeth come out and the crab come off Andy says the lesson is to brush and floss to Eddie Junior.
Now, we’re in Dutch with the Ramblin Rose, who are six days behind the fleet. After extensive engine repair, the Rose is put to the test. Victory! Elliott says it’s music to his ears. The crew like what they hear too. The battle scarred vessel is once again sea worthy and the youngest skipper in the fleet embarks for his first Opie. Elliott says he could do what everyone else is but he’s going to go in the deep and make his mark. He says its a long time coming. Finally underway, the rookie skipper faces a long steam to the ground, saying he’ll never get another boat to run again if he messes up. This is the biggest stakes for his career. Later, he wakes the crew to prepare. Elliott is headed for the same storm that batters the fleet. He summons his crew to secure the stack. He says they have to be careful. But out on deck, a gruesome discovery. The boat is littered with lifeless seabirds. You can see the crew throwing handfuls of dead birds off the boat. Elliott says they were drawn to the lights and hit everything. The ominous sign will have to be ignored. Elliott says obviously he wont’ go back in, failure is not an option.
325 miles northwest of Dutch is the Wizard. Keith approaches the gear he set 24 hours ago. The crew is ready to go and Freddie throws for the first pot. Keith says if they get the chance to fill the boat they will. The first pot comes up, and you hear Freddie yelling “JACKPOT!”. Keith says good call, that looks awesome. 495 in that pot. More great pots come in. Looks like Freddie’s tradition worked, after a hellish start of weather and ice, and nearly a pint of fresh cod blood, the Wizard is on the crab. Lynn says they’re on the crab, all Wizard crab. Freddie DIVES into the sorting table! Keith says he’s on a roll, he’s got that cod blood, yeah. Have to start feeding everyone that blood. With just 7 days on board the Wizard, former Cornelia Marie vet Freddie has become the pride of captain and crew. Lynn says with Freddie there’s an older brother/cousin who always cheers you up. Keith says Freddie is like a lightning bolt that wakes the crew up and that’s huge.
We’re on the Rose again. They’re splashing their first pots of the season. Elliott notes how the weather is coming up, he’s dumping his gear in a 10 mile radius. Most skippers prospect, but Elliott says it’s a waste of time and makes no sense. The crew says they don’t’ need prospect strings. The rookie captain is going all in. The crew says all in or nothing. Over the next four hours all 100 pots go over the rail. I hope for his sake he does catch because if not he’s going to look, well…..bad. Elliott says it feels good to have all the gear off. Elliott’s bold move is in the hands of fate.
We’re back at St. Paul now with the Time Bandit. After offloading 150,000 pounds of crab and two teeth, the Time Bandit is ready for another round. Junior says this trip will be better without the pain and junk of his teeth issues. Before heading for open water, they have to retrieve their anchor. Andy has a 1500 pound problem to deal with. Johnathan heads out to supervise as the crew tries to bring it in, and if they can it saves Andy 7K. There it is! Johnathan directs them to boom up. Trying to get it on deck and securing it now. Andy wants it lowered safely to the deck, Johnathan directs his son Scott differently though. Andy calls to John and says there can be only one captain and jokingly yells to him. It is set safely on deck. The chain is pulled up now, Johnathan gives his awesome “yeah baby”. It’s time to go fishing!
Back on the Ramblin Rose now, Elliott is excited to haul his first Opie pots as primary captain. It’s been a 12 hour soak. He says the hardest part for him is waiting; the weather has subsided, but pressure is mounting on the skipper who gambled all his pots in one place. The crew has a bird on deck, one of them that washed on deck and now can’t fly. We revisit the bad omen bird tragedy on the boat as they make their way towards the pots. Elliott calls for them to ready for the haul. They come up to the first pot, and the first bag is diving, Kado says that’s good. Before hauling a single pot, luck on the boat begins to wain. They can’t get the buoy line, but finally do. They pull it in, it’s a tug of war between the boat and the tides. As the pot comes up, the crew anticipates the catch. But unfortunately it’s totally empty. It’s a blank. They go for the next pot as Elliott says the first pot sucked. Crew says it can only get better though, but the next one is blank too. The next one? Blank. Elliott’s bold gamble….has come up short. He says they’re wasting time, but then again he said prospecting wasted time too. His first Opie season ever, is off to a rocky start. But the crew says he won’t stop until they find them and Neese echoes that sentiment.
Back to the Northwestern as it pushes through angry seas. Fishing is still shut down after Nick’s injury, and it looks nasty but he says it could have been worse. Jake is in the wheelhouse looking sick, Sig asks why and Jake looks tearful. Says he saw him go down and then come back with him holding his face and the blood. Sig says if it hit his temple it could’ve killed him, he’s lucky. Sig says it really shook Jake up, but it brings reality home. That’s his uncle. Jake is nervous, doesn’t want to see anyone get hurt and that’s all they’ve seen; big storms, Nick gets hurt and he’s scared. As the crew readies to go back on deck, Nick calls home. He tells his wife about the accident. Jesus, his nose was pushed sideways. He tells her he’s fine. Says he’s a fisherman and he’s fine. After the call he says she’s not happy, maybe he shouldn’t have called her, lol. Jake shows the camera the “culprit” and says it gives you an uneasy feeling. Says Edgar says it’s not a matter of if, but when and the when was the last string. He puts nerves aside though and gets back to work. Sig says he won’t have Nick fish the next string, he’s sitting it out and they’ll keep an eye on him. Nick says Sig has insurance on him and maybe he’ll get a nose job; Sig says he might get a plastic surgeon’s bill. Nick heads back on deck and Matt calls him crooked man, the nose. Sig wishes Nick would’ve taken a string off, hopes he’ll be alright but he’s a tough cookie. Sig is so happy that it didn’t go bad, still have to keep an eye on him but odds are he’ll be alright. Matt says that dude is one tough SOB, half man, half animal. Nick Mavar, manimal. Sig thanks the gods for making the fortunate through their close calls. And with that, another episode is done.
Sadly, we have to bring back a feature we’ve been lucky enough to leave out the last couple of episodes…..the Where’s Waldo picture of the week. This week it’s the Cornelia Marie, led by Tony Lara.
“Have you seen us because our fans sure didn’t! It’s not Where’s Waldo, it’s Where Was The Cornelia Marie this week?!”
As always though, we end with this….RIP Phil. Fair winds and following seas my friend.