This epi opens with Jake and others talking about having dreams about work, waking up to confusion or as Jake says “*(&*& man, I’m in the Bering sea”…..Deadliest Catch by the way has THE coolest opening credits song in the history of television, I’m just saying that right now because it not only is a great song (Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi) but they time the words, beat and music to images shown during the opening. Remember last season, as it got to the chorus of “I’m a cowboy” and the shot went in close on Phil’s eye, through his Iris and to an image on the deck of the Cornelia?
Speaking of the CM, it’s a beautiful morning and they’re continuing their blue crab hunt. The crew is worried about how much running they’ve been doing and the rising fuel bill.
Josh and Jake need to turn a profit to stay afloat, since they own half the boat, so their hopes are in Captain Derrick. They see a seagull and Freddie says that the “old man’s” spirit is with them. Unfortunately, the pot comes up very very light. As Josh says “We can’t catch a crab to save our lives…”. With each bad haul, spirits sink. Josh ponders the money loss and it’s not a good feeling. We then hear a voice from beyond, that of Phil… “You gotta have some drive, there’s more to it to being a captain than what you’re doing. When you want it bad enough you’ll do what it takes.” So Josh goes to Derrick and says as he looks at what they’re catching and the prices, and then Derrick interrupts him…….and condescends to him completely. Seriously, he’s being a prick. Derrick says “boat” stands for bring on another thousand, and continues to talk down to Josh. Josh is trying to get info out of him on how to manage and run the boat. Says he dreams about his father praying he won’t fail. With him this is his own battle coming back, it’s not easy as his dad was his hero, best friend, skipper and boss and this is the first time he’s on the boat and not in shock. Derrick says Josh and Jake have a lot on their plate, but he won’t fail them, they won’t fail. (Well, then don’t talk to him like that, he’s not nine.).
Wizard time! Keith worries if he doesn’t have a catch soon his crew will lose faith in the job altogether. The two weeks at sea has worn away at crew morale. Keith is taking a major risk this time around, with a narrow canyon (Black Canyon). They’re renowned for fat pots, but it’s precision fishing. He has to hit a thin slither of land forty fathoms down on the sea floor and if his aim is off by even a few feet the pots will hit the rocks and miss the crab completely. Think what Phil did last year at the Rock pile and you’ll get the picture of what Keith is trying to do right now.
I notice Keith has new pics of his kids up too. Here’s where it gets confusing because Mike Rowe just said Keith’s daughter Bug is 9…..but last year she was 11. How in the hell did she age backwards by two years in one year? Is she Benjamin Buttons? She gives cute advice on how to catch the crab, but I’m way confused……WOW, that was a close one…they just about lost their greenhorn Paul. He got his leg stuck under the line and they barely got it off of him. That could have been BAD. With the buoy line snaked around his leg, Paul was seconds from being yanked over the rail by an 800 pound anchor hurtling to the floor of the Bering Sea. All of a sudden, a rainbow appears!
On the Seabrooke, Captain Campbell”s seriously brutal pace is taking it’s toll on his little brother Whipper. His ankle is messed up. Captain asks if he’s hurt or injured. If he’s hurt get back on deck, if he’s injured then he’s done. His ankle is wrapped and big brother tells him to eat and get back to work. Apparently when the skipper was 20 his finger got snapped off in the motor, but he kept fishing with an infection, he taped his hand to the throttle too! Dang! Remember, earlier this season he was on fire with his fishing, but it looks like the skipper isn’t having much luck with his fishing, or his deck boss and bait boy. Remember, the deck boss is the father to the bait boy. The deck boss is ticked off because there’s no luck fishing and feels like the captain is micromanaging. Says that he sucks and to get his lazy ass on the boat. Here’s the rub, his own boy is the lazy one! I never understand a crew’s logic to say a captain sucks when they don’t catch crab. Sure, it may seem logical, but I’ve always said that it’s not like the captain took a Magic Tic Tac and was an instant captain either. They obviously know what they’re doing and will find the catch.
Looks like JJ is off the Time Bandit! And a buoy was named in his honor, so the blame to the bad fishing has gone to his buoy. Their solution? Shooting the hell out of that buoy. Mikey says whatever it takes the break the bad luck he’ll take. Johnathan, keep shooting that gun, that’s hot! Problem is, he didn’t hit the buoy once, none of them can hit it until finally Eddie does. So they move on to their next prospect string and Johnathan comes out in classic style by saying that it doesn’t mean a goddamn thing when they start off fishing bad. Gotta love my Time Bandit boys! Around midnight they pull up to their string and as the first pot is raised…….there’s riders! Riders are crab that cling to the top and side of the pots. Only problem, it’s a lot of small crabs and female crabs. They can’t keep females, to preserve the species. Same goes for the juvenile crab. The JJ curse continues. But on the next pot, the culprit is really revealed. Starfish. They and crab are both bottom feeders and compete for the same nutrients. This is undoubtedly the worst trip Johnathan’s had.
On the Cornelia, the crew is egging on Jake to get a shot at the wheel. Like his older brother Josh, Jake is looking for a larger role on this boat. He asks Derrick for a trip, and he has no hesitation to say yes…even going so far as to show him how to do it. Derrick leaves him to guide the boat and goes for coffee, leaving Jake alone. Really? I love Jake and think he and Josh can run the boat, but man I wouldn’t’ leave the wheelhouse with his first time at the wheel. The first time he runs over the line and has to back up to set the buoy free. This isn’t something you can just pick up with one small lesson. He does get to the buoys, but now misses the crab count. He’s realizing there’s a lot of things to watch when you are at the wheel. Three pots in and Jake zigs when he should have zagged. Subsequently the buoy gets ripped off. Derrick comes back up and Jake doesn’t hide his mishaps, and I”m shocked b/c Derrick doesn’t freak out on him. This crew is going much easier on Jake Harris than the Northwestern did on Jake Anderson. The crab count remains low, but with each pot Jake’s confidence grows and Derrick leaves him once again. Freddie says what I feel, that Phil’s spirit is looking down on Jake right now going “That’s my boy!”. Derrick congratulates him on this job and Jake leaves feeling good.
Back at the Seabrooke, the deck boss’s son gets an ultimatum from Captain Campbell. He’s making no money, conditions are miserable and he’s worked harder than he ever has before. This goes to show that this job isn’t for just anyone because this guy, Kyle, is a 15 month Iraq vet. Deck Boss daddy says he’s doing better, but he’s got a decision to make. They’re due for an offload soon and the decision has to happen by then, especially since Captain Campbell is pulling up huge pots again.
Captain Greenhorn of the Ramblin’ Rose (Elliott Neese) is pulling up to another prospect string for blue crab. So far he’s been all talk, big talk for a big ego as I see it (have read a lot of preseason interviews). The pot comes up and it’s not bad but my god this guy is such a rookie It was 18 in the pot, which is fair to mediocre. I again picture Captains Johnathan, Andy and Sig laughing right now as they watch it, saying “Greenhorn captains, gotta love it.”. In my experience, a true kick ass captain doesn’t have to talk big to show how good they are. Captain Greenhorn gets a call from the processor and his offload schedule has been shifted. Blue crab can’t survive long in the hold, so Captain Greenhorn has to decide if he wants to go in early or risk dead loss. So, Captain Newbie reaches out to Sig for advice. But wait, Captain Greenhorn, I thought you were going to keep it real…I thought you said Sig and the other vets weren’t keeping it real so why call them for advice? Rookie all the way. Sig says not to risk it, and I’d take his advice since the man has been a captain since his early 20’s. Anyone having flashes of Blake Painter radio fishing during his first season as a captain right now? I sure as heck am!
It’s Wizard time again! The crew and chief talk luck and what they can do to get some, this is a definite change from last season when he finished the earliest he ever has. They’ve had a lot of failure this season, Keith wants success now (obviously). As the pot pulls up, we see a nearly empty pot. This is so weird because even though I’m not a Keith fan, I’ve never seen him suck as badly as he is right now. (Anyone wanna bet if Captain Greenhorn were on that boat he’d be dancing a jig at that pot?). Keith is freaking out at this point, and tells his brother Mouse their partner boat is nearly done fishing for the season. Keith doesn’t want to poach on another captain’s grounds (seriously? Can we say Captain Phil and setting him pot for pot for pot?). Keith says it goes against his grain to scoop up another captain’s leftovers, but they said out to do it. Keith then sees that the Time Bandit is heading that way as well, to the same place his partner boat is. Says “You know that guy’s territorial.”. We get a flashback now to Johnathan pushing Keith over. Keith proceeds to mock Johnathan and I reach through my screen to smack him. Seriously Keith, Johnathan is more of a man in this than you could hope to be so don’t even try to knock him. Oh lovely, then he says because he has a higher quota he has the right to go there too. I don’t know about y’all, but my money’s on Johnathan. I don’t care if Keith does have a higher quota either, he’s still an ass. Sounds to me too like Keith pisses in his pants when it comes to a confrontation with Johnathan. Could be getting shoved across the inside of an empty hull of a wrecked boat, not too sure.
The Seabrooke is at Dutch Harbor, offloading it’s final delivery of it’s small red crab quota. Captain Campbell and Prissy Boy Deck Boss banter back and forth with Prissy Boy getting prissier with the camera guy. This guy’s the perfect example of a man having a period. Yay! Captain Campbell fires his whiny deck boss for 8 weeks, who proceeds to say they’re buddies but he hates him. Sounds like he hates him because he was supposed to be captain until Captain Campbell came along. Sounds like his ego is majorly bruised and can’t say that he wasn’t as qualified. His son on the other hand is quitting voluntarily. As the Deck Boos leaves he says “See ya suckers!”. This guy has the worst attitude I’ve ever seen, I say he goes and works for Captain Greenhorn, they’d get along great.
Derrick Ray continues his poor streak of blue crab fishing, and Jake wants another shot at the captain’s chair. Derrick turns him down this time though. Seems to roll his eyes a bit as Jake leaves too. Finally, they pull up a good pot! Pay attention Captain Greenhorn, THIS is a pot to get excited about. 30 blue crab which is GREAT for that type. In the wheelhouse though, Captain Derrick isn’t celebrating, says he could smell weed on Jake when he was next to him. Says he’s still smoking dope on the boat, which is unbelievable. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, he says he smelled it, he didn’t actually see anything. Says that’s the last time Jake is driving the boat since he blew his opportunity. Do I think he was smoking dope? I don’t know. Next week we see Derrick says everyone in the world has had a parent die and this isn’t Disneyland. God, for a split second I was starting to like Derrick again, now he’s back in jerk-o category for me.
That’s it for this episode, but let me say this. I love this show, but there’s way too many damn boats on this season. I suspect they took on the two new boats when they weren’t sure if the Time Bandit or Northwestern were coming back or not and by the time those boats did come back they were stuck with the contracts of the others. That being said, it’s too many. Last week we didn’t have the Time Bandit on. This week we didn’t see a THING from the Northwestern except a short clip when Sig helped Captain Greenhorn. We have yet to see the Kodiak this season. Yet we’ve seen the newbie boats every episode. I understand they want us to get to know them, but the other boats are the reason this show is as successful as it is. Show them and the fans that made this show a ratings success some respect. That is all. As always, RIP Phil. Fair winds.