And we’re back with what’s technically episode 3 of this, the seventh season of Deadliest Catch (what we saw last week is now known as Bad Blood, Part 1 and Part 2). The end of the previous episode had the first blue crab pot being raised on the Cornelia Marie, with Freddie’s proclamation and dedication to Phil. (RIP Phil). This episode opens with shots of various boats having horrible luck finding the crab (with the exception of the Seabrooke pulling full pots).
But first, the new opening, set to of course “Wanted Dead Or Alive” by Bon Jovi….I like that the new boats don’t’ have a ton of coverage since I don’t think they’ve earned that right yet. I also like that the specter of Phil is still ever present as it should be.
The episode opens with Derrick and the Cornelia Marie pulling up their first pot, where the last episode ended. They’re by St. Matthews Island, where blue crab traditionally are fished. The closest mainland? Russia. Freddie has the crew rub the albatross for good luck. We get a flashback to the Derrick/Steve blowup. Now, with the first pot off the bow it’s time to shut up and fish. Derrick says he’s super comfortable with blue crab, succeeding more than he’s failed. But as the first pot comes up…..Josh says it’s sink or swim, Freddie says this is for you boss (Phil)….and yet, basically blank. Very few crab in the pot. Derrick says there’s a little bit, but no keepers….oh wait, there’s one….nope, two! The next pot isn’t any better. Keep in mind, a good king crab pot averages between 20-30 crab. It’s a rough ass fishery. Derrick’s first pots are averaging two. Freddie, ever optimistic says they can run but can’t hide and Jake says attitude is key to keeping spirits up. Steve qualms that they need to find better, and he goes up to the wheelhouse to talk to Derrick. Derrick says that the crew isn’t buying it yet, Steve then says that he has to prove to him that it earns b/c he’s never earned at it. Plus, he says all the guys who say how great they are shouldn’t have to, that Sig never says it, he just does it. Derrick says he’s never said how great he was, he just succeeded. They go back and forth on whether it’s a “you” or “we” situation, e.g. all together or captain separated from the crew.
Also fishing king crab is the Ramblin Rose, or as I like to say Captain Greenhorn and his misfits. They’re 2.5 days from any sort of help, not even the Coasties could save them in time if they ran into trouble. Captain Greenhorn is either ambitious or foolish. Either way, he got a tip from a friend to make him think he’ll score big. He says he’ll kill it, that everyone else says it’s hard but it’ll be easy for him. Prove me wrong Greenhorn but I think you’re full of shit. Let’s see if he gets lucky. As the first pot comes up, we see……..a so-so pot, there’s crab there. More than Derrick pulled, but the captain is more excited than the crew. There’s signs of life there. They pulled five, and only a Greenhorn captain could get this excited over single digits. Not all in the pot were keepers. Rookie. The females have to be preserved to maintain the species (take that testosterone!). One crew says he’ll throw the skipper overboard if he doesn’t get more than five. After 25 pots the number of crab continues to drop and Captain Greenhorn seems to have been Punk’s by his buddy. He’s averaging 2.5 crab per pot at this point.
We’re on the Wizard now. Keith has chosen to go to new grounds, on his gut, and so far it’s a bust. He struck out at the Black Hills and is now on grounds he knows better. Keith has returned to his old playbook, and now he’s on safety mode to minimize danger on deck. He wants Mouse on the controls and wants younger deckhands on the stack. Mouse doesn’t like this and immediately goes to the wheelhouse, or rather the window, says the younger guys aren’t ready. Keith counters that they have to have younger guys ready b/c Mouse won’t be able to do it forever. Mouse continues to complain that you don’t put a guy up there that isn’t’ ready. The guy chosen to go up there, well, looks nervous and Lynn Guitard, a vet on the boat wants the chance too. As the newbie climbs the stack, the danger is being outlined for him. The newbie? Paul. Mouse directs him from deck as Paul climbs over the pots. There’s over 200 of them, with four ties each. One missed tie could send the entire stack tumbling to the deck below. Mouse immediately complains that it’s taking too long (does he ever not complain?). The crew seems unwilling to train Paul to do a new job and I agree with Keith, Mouse doesn’t want to each a newbie, he wants to prove he’s right over Keith. The lack of discipline is evident and Keith reaches the “red”. He’s pissed…..and goes off on the crew. He asks them who the captain is, Mouse says it’s Keith but argues. Keith basically lays it out that he gives the orders, they need to take it. Lenny tries to answer back to Keith and explain to him what’s going on but Keith cuts him off, seriously yells at Lenny even which sucks b/c I think Lenny is the most loyal guy he’s got. Back in the wheelhouse, Keith declares that the Gong Show is over.
We come back to the Northwestern, yay! They’re coming up to their first pot of the season and it will set the mood, as the crew says. Sig steers it weird and the first bag is missed…..but WAIT, it’s NOT Sig! Jake is at the helm! Sig has allowed him to come up and steer the boat to the first buoy. Edgar says Jake driving the boat will make the long day even longer. For the past five seasons Jake Anderson has pestered Sig for responsibility. Now, he’s got the chance and the crew isn’t missing theirs to give him crap. Edgar says he doesn’t know it’s take your daughter to work day. Driving the boat and hauling pots takes timing, and Jake is far away from the buoy. Generally you should get within 20 feet of the bags. Poor Jaker, he only gets to do one pot. The crew needs to remember they were all rookies too I think. So now the first pot comes up STUFFED, it’s a BEAUTY! Big honking crab, HUGE ones….as Edgar says “big ass crab”. They pull 57 on their first pot. The next one is just as stuffed and they literally dance a jig on deck. They’re all keepers too. Half full pots, or rather, “crossbars”!!!
We head back north now to the Cornelia Marie. They’re coming to their furthest northeast gear with 20 pots in the string. Derrick remains hopeful, but he seriously needs the string to pay off big time. Jake is still in good spirits, and Derrick says it just takes hunting them down. The first pot comes up and it has some in it. Freddie screams “JACKPOT”! It did have some crab in there, it wasn’t as bad as the others at all. They pulled 19, but as Jake gives the crab count Derrick complains that he doesn’t know how to do it right. He hopes it holds up and as the next pot comes up, it has crab in it too. The third string is paying off, with double digits (you hear that Captain Greenhorn?). 10 pots into the string though the crab die off completely. Ewww, there’s sand fleas in the pot, they ate the hanging bait. They start off small, but then grow fast. Sand fleas can wipe out an entire string. They’ve literally eaten the hanging bait down to the bone. The next pot comes up blank too.
We get our first glimpse of the Seabrooke as Capt/ Campbell talks about the good luck he’s had so far. He’s been on the crab for days and as he pulls up to the first pot of the new string the mood on deck is pretty upbeat. I’m liking this new captain better than Capt Greenhorn, that’s for sure and they pull up another full pot. They pull up 52 with this pot. He orders the crew to set back immediately, which is a good thing. The next pot his riders on top, a ton of them in fact. It’s another fat pot too and they keep setting back. To put it lightly, he’s having the seasons Johnathan’s had the past three seasons (but you’re no Johnathan either Capt. Campbell, sorry). However, the bait boy is dragging, remember he’s the son of the deck boss and he seems to be slogging through it with a slow pace. He’s not really doing his job well at this point. The other crew members say he’s being a “bleeping p**sy”. Deck boss Bob jumps in to help his son, but Captain Campbell isn’t too keen on that, saying he can’t nurse his kid and has to cut him off at the nipple. The skipper calls the deck boss and says he’ll come unglued if he has to wait each time for the bait boy to do his job, after which Boss Bob says it’s micromanagement. Bob’s kid says he’ll probably just finish out this season and go out. I say shut up and fish. The next day, Skippy orders his little brother off the pots and to do bait. Fifth string, coming right up and it’s another stuffed pot! They set back, stack and move and the captain says they’re going to do that until they’re full. But he’s setting them back north to capitalize on the movement of the crab.
We head back far north to Captain Greenhorn and the Ramblin Rose. The weather’s come up hardcore. The waves are at 18 feet right now and the skipper says if it gets up to what it’s supposed to, 30 feet, they won’t haul. The crew’s worked 36 hours straight and the haul hasn’t been good whatsoever. He’s pulling blanks on his friends advice, I’d be kicking said friend’s ass. Captain Greenhorn then decides to stack his pots and head out on his own. The current haul sucks, and the crew remarks that if this move doesn’t work they’re going to mutiny, with one remarking he doesn’t “like this game anymore”. Son, if you thought it was a game you need to go home!
Back on the Northwestern, Jake is on wheel-watch, with a Sig voice-over saying the child on board isn’t happy and the only way to make him happy is to give him his way. Jake says he’s the punching bag on the boat, that’s why they must bring him on. He wants to be somebody, five years to get into a wheelhouse and he wants to be somebody. It flashes back to Jake hearing about his dad going missing. Jake says the whole crabbing thing leaves a bad taste in his mouth and so many tragedies happening reminds him of an awful time in his life. Jake tells of how they went to where they found his truck, and left food/water there because his dad would never have left him there to die. He quickly became the man of the house, with his four sisters and their 12 kids and feels it’s his life to make sure they’re all okay. He wants to make sure their bills are paid; he’s torn, he wants to run a boat and doesn’t see Sig leaving the boat to him.
We’re back on the Wizard, and reflecting on his blowup with the crew previously. Keith hasn’t talked to his brother since that blowup 26 hours ago. He reflects on how he hates his temper and being a tyrant to his crew. The best way to win back the crew? Land on the crab of course. These are Keith’s favorite grounds, and the pots have soaked for 18 hours now. Keith calls out for double digits and we get a thud, dud, not good. They got 5 crab and at this rate, they can’t rest. They have to put another stack on the boat now. As Keith says, it’s another 180 pot mistake and the crew has to go another day or two without sleep. With no more than a snack break in fifty hours and the third time in four days the crew is stacking a full load. Finally, Mouse approaches the wheelhouse, joking about having a candy bar. They’re back in synch, joking around. Mouse urges Keith to do what he does, which is tells the crew to co me in and have a candy bar since they have a couple miles. We get shots of the weary crew as another cool song plays and Keith says if they battle (to Mouse), they can’t run right.
Next week we see the crews not pulling good pots struggling to find their luck again (and hopefully more of my Time Bandit boys!). Join us once again out on the Bering Sea for Deadliest Catch. Fair winds and following seas boys and as always, RIP Phil.