Alas, Catch Nation, the time is nigh. The time to say goodbye to another season of Deadliest Catch. This season went by FAST, didn’t it? Ups and downs, heartache and tragedy, along with triumphs and pranks. I do want to take the time to say a quick prayer for the eternal soul of Justin Tennison, deckhand seen on this season, on board the Time Bandit. Shortly after the taping ended for this season, and three days after the Time Bandit pulled into port at Homer, Alaska, Justin passed away in his sleep due to sleep apnea.
So, here we are. Last episode we saw, at the end, Keith from the Wizard, getting pretty violent with a cameraman. How will this episode go?
But first, this episode of Deadliest Catch was brought to you by frost brewed Coors Light.
Sig wants to go home, junior’s down with a kidney stone, Keith wants it over with, Jake tells Josh not to be scared, everything he’s done in his life has lead to the chair….Josh says you can go, get along, get your own boat. It’s sweat, misery and pain. The Time Bandit with fireworks of course. And our opening. Thank you Discovery for keeping Phil in your into too btw.
We start off on the Wizard. We see Keith going off on Carper, the camera guy again. In an EW article recently, he’s said it was wrong and right to do. I think the Keith on the boat isn’t the same as the Keith off the boat, because friends of mine, who know him, say just that. After 8 hours of pulling empty pots, Captain Keith cracked under the pressure. He says he doesn’t snap over something small, it piles up and he snaps, He unleashed his wrath on Brad Carper, who we see going off as well. Keith says he gets spun up, the frustration with the numbers could be bubbling out. While captain and camera man stew, out on deck, a 14 hour grind plagued by sand fleas finally comes to an end. Keith says the area isn’t working, not what he’s after and he sets a course for new grounds. 10 hours later, Freddie says it’s time for a hair cut, for good luck before the next string. His way of turning fortunes is downright hairy, lol. He’s cutting Mohawks for many of the guys and Keith loves it. Says he’d do it but he doesn’t have the proper hairline for it. Freddie encourages it as he shaves Lynn and others….Keith says he’s doing it too before he loses his nerve. He lets Freddie cut his hair!! The crew heads out saying good luck is coming, ala Cornelia Marie style (remember that?)….Keith thinks the screws have come completely loose now but the crew is hopeful. They’ve even put the hair in the bait bin!! The pots drop. The music swells. Rock on.
30 miles away, the Cornelia Marie stares down her final haul. Tony shows Josh how it was his set, says nice job. Josh says we’ll see what comes up before we say nice job. This was his first string, which for the CM, may be the last. Josh wants to keep the boat fishing and will make it happen. Tony says if they get decent numbers, they’ll stack. Not only will solid numbers end the season, with Tony rooting for them, they’ll fuel the confidence of two aspiring skippers. Josh is taking it personal, he expects and hopes for numbers with his fingers crossed. As he first pot comes in, with baited breath I type. The crew will blame Josh though if it sucks. The pot comes up, and it’s a beauty! WAY TO GO JOSH!!! Your father would be proud of you. Josh has faith and Tony is happy there’s crab. Jake says if this keeps up they’ll make money. It’s a BEAUTIFUL string! The crew is happy, the bounty offers the Harris boys a glimmer of hope. Josh says it’s a great string, bountiful. They’re having good luck. More great pots come up, their good fortune continues straight through until morning. The last pot comes up, Jake says they’re going home, it’s sunny out, nice and everything’s going their way. The last pot comes up STUFFED. Tony tells them they have what they need so they dump it and Tony says “See you next year”. Josh says rough but good season. With the fate of the boat still hanging in the balance, the crew heads home with $21,000 for their effort.
At the Northwestern, they only have a day before a storm hits to get their load. He races to finish before another storm engulfs the ground, they need between 40-50K of crab. He can’t stack pots before stuffing the tanks. Matt Bradley says they need about 300 per pot to end the season. Sig says if they don’t see the crab they’ll have to dump, go back in and wait. It’s all or nothing. The first pot comes up, and it’s a BEAUTY! Everyone cheers and Sig smiles at the camera. He asks if they’re going home and the crew cheers. They’re dialed in. Another pot comes up stuffed. It’s looking good. With numbers like these, Sig says they have enough to stack and get out of there. The rest of Sig’s quota is soaking on the ocean floor. Sig calls Jake up, says it’s all you, take control. If they don’t listen, let him know. The crew must build an intricate, 170 pot stack without Edgar. Jake is scared of stacking pots, normally Edgar does it. It’s a lot, he asks for a huddle. Jake says you guys taught me what I know, before we start be safe, Matt throws the hook and Nick’s on the stack. They cheer Northwestern. By the way, how adorable is Jake with his beard? So they start. But he’s not steady and the crew already say he’s not ready. 30 year old Jake Anderson must oversee the hauling, sorting and stacking of every last pot. Nick calls out after awhile for him to wait, and a pot swings wildly. Sig says get control over your pot. The crew prays to get them on safe and out of there. Sig says the weather’s coming sooner than expected, with snow squalls and it’s picking up. Jake’s looking at the stack and biting his nails. The only wait to learn how to do it is just do it, Sig says, while Jake remarks it’s very high stress. After stacking 60 pots, Jake begins to find his stride. The crew then starts telling him he’s doing a great job. Jake says he can go home and tell his mom he’s doing a good job and she can be proud of her son. His dad is smiling down from him from heaven. He once lived on the street, but now he’s gained the respect of the crew. Sig says he’s so passionate about what he does, you can’t buy that either. Good for you Jake. Six long hours later, the final pots are lifted from the sea. His Uncle Nick says good job, you didn’t kill us. Matt says he proved himself, Jake, he got the pots on and pretty much pulled it off. Sig comes out and says awesome! See, you did it! He says he has to get a stripe, tells him to get on his knees. Sig has a swords and knights him Sir Jake of the Northwestern, deck boss of he Northwestern. The crew fist bump while Sig says “Let’s go home”.
Across the fleet, the finish line to Opie season draws near. Final pots are splashed. The fate of the Seabrooke remains unknown. For a fortunate few, a two month battle is finally over. Bill from the Kodiak says it’s nice to end on a high. The Time Bandit finishes up too, 600K pounds in a month and the Time Bandit season is over. The crew cheers Captain Andy. While Johnathan praises his brother too. The course for home is plotted and back in Dutch Harbor, one captain plots his revenge. Sig says they got him good, and we see the prank the Time Bandit pulled on him with the Chinese Lanterns during king crab season.
Sig says how do you teach a child when he does something wrong? You give him a time out and it’s time for the Time Bandit to have one. The crew says they owe them, Sig says it’s payback time.
But on the Wizard, Keith is about fed up, it’s the trip from hell. He wants the season over and it’s the Mohawk string. The crew is hopeful. Freddie says pound it sucka. Keith says we’re not going in light and stranding any crab. Freddie throws the hook, and the pot comes up. It’s a keeper for sure! Keith screams in jubilation. They yell “Jackpot!!!”. Freddie DANCES across the deck, and says he’s bad ass. More great pots come up. Monte says it’s about time the pots come up full, they’re ready to go home. Freddie says they put hair in, the crew offered up hairy bait and the crab gods answered with full pots. Keith says the way to do it is finish up in style. The last pot is on the bow. This trip is over. Soper says the trip from hell. Crab and weather problems, but they won. And they sure did! Freddie again has blood on his face and he fist bumps Keith. The tanks are stuffed, and each crew member rakes in $81,000 in cash. Wow!
Back on the Seabrooke, Bob was told he’d only have to drive a string, but Junior may be in dire need of medical attention. The crew doesn’t know what’s going on and now the boat’s entire season is on the line. Taking the skipper to Dutch will tack on an extra week of fishing. After a gut wrenching 14 hour fight, the kidney stone the size of a speck of sand comes oi. He’s passed the stone. Junior says it’s like pissing razor blades for the next 12 hours, but it’s back to work. He goes back up to the wheelhouse taking no time to recover. Junior heads for the top of his gear. He’s going to have one time through the gear, and get what he gets. With their final offload in just 36 hours, the Seabrookes’ fate comes down to one last string. The crew says happy thoughts and it worked b/c the pot is a beautiful one! That last pot had 385. The crew can taste the jet fuel which means they’re on their way home. Junior says this is just what they needed. The crew hauls into the night. One pot has 1120, the crab count SOARS! He couldn’t have dreamed for this fishing, for one crew member it’s the biggest pot they’ve ever seen. 1285, a new record. That’s the last pot, and they’re going home. After surviving pain that brought him to his knees, Junior rallies back. Stuffing the tanks, sending his men home with $40,000 each. Junior wants to be the best, with the highest catch, more than anyone. He wants to be a legend, it’s how he rolls and that won’t change. Scott, I can understand that, but please know it’s SO much more than the catch too.
As the fleet returns home to Dutch Harbor, aboard the Kodiak, Bill’s on the bow and no one’s ever seen him there when it’s moving. He turns the wheel over to deck boss Adam McCalden, saying he’s not there yet but it’s a small step/effort. Adam says it’s cool to see father and son on the bow, Bill thanks him for coming up and he says he’ll be back next year. Bill says you wont’ want to give it up. After putting in two months of sweat and pain, each crew member receives $70,000 in return. With Dutch Harbor firmly in their sights, the Time Bandit is nearly home. Andy says it feels great to be getting home. JT and Scotty say it’s going to be great to get home, JT is ready to get home to see his kid, they look at pictures of their boys. JT says it gets better as they get bigger, his son is 6 and Dakota, his girl is 15. Says she watched him screw up for so long but now she’s proud. You see pictures of his kids too, they’re beautiful. As the Time Bandit navigates Dutch, on the Northwestern, Sig tracks tehhir every move. Sig says it’s just a matter of when they come around the corner, and there they are.
Sig calls over to Andy and asks about his season. Says he has a shake in the back, can’t tell what’s going on, Andy asks if he wants him to swing by his stern to check it out. Sig says by saying that, it’s believable b/c it does happen, they’ll come help. They will stick to the code, even if leery. Andy comes in and says “Hello Northwestern.” Johnathan says they miss the. The NW crew is battle ready, Sig says come to poppa. The crew lights up, Sig says payback’s a bitch, and they fire away! Andy says we’re under attack, the Northwestern is shooting at us! Get on deck! So the Time Bandit shoot back, it’s a fireworks explosion! Johnathan says they lured you in, it’s a war now! Hilarious Sig says take cover, they’re shooting back! Sig says light me up! He fires over too and Johnathan sets off a doozy, Sig ducks and fires back. Sig heads for cover, says it’s like WWIII!!! This is so cool, Andy calls for a cease fire and Sig does too. Andy says you got us good you albino ^*($(%^*P(. Sig says the problem with his warfare is expect the unexpected, didn’t think they’d be ready for that. They say they got them, so fire it up into the sky. After spending all that time going for their bounty, each person on the Northwestern takes home $46,000 while the crew of the Time Bandit walks with $72,000 of cold hard cash. Dang! They seriously light it up, the fireworks are amazing and from BOTH boats! WOW!
The Cornelia Marie has ended their final voyage this season, but the vessel has a shaky future. The boys say they have to keep it going for their dad, they know what type of captain they want to be. Jake wants to take the bull by the horns, Josh says you have to do it the right way, being smart and not fast tracking. Jake says everything has led up to this, dad was there at 21, without answers but with will. Jake says he’s doing it the right way, how many years do you have to sit back? Josh says if you want to do it your way you can get a loan, get your own boat. Jake says you want to hire someone to run your boat? Awesome. The crew talks about things, Ryan says it’s hard to say what the future holds, not sure if he has another trip in him. The crew says they don’t come out for fun but to make money, it’s not as easy as they think it is. The boat passes Phil’s final resting place. Josh says hopefully he’s proud of us for trying and doing our best. They throw him a cigarette. Josh says he misses the old man a lot. As the Cornelia sails away, and pulls into dock, they watch. The crew works. Jake says it was a whole lotta laughs, good time, hard time too not having the old man here. Life goes on. The offload is done. After 21 years surviving the deadly Alaskan crab grounds, the CM’s storied legacy falls on the shoulders of two young fisherman. It’s a family business, doing what they can to stick together and make it work. Josh says he’s had it hard the last couple years and this is their redemption season. Josh says he’ll do everything in his f’ing power to keep it going too.
The last show, fittingly, is in memory of Justin Tennison, 1977-2011. I had wanted to say something profound about Justin, but the Time Bandit website said it best in this:
“It is with great sadness that the Time Bandit family announces the death of crew member Justin Tennison. Justin died peacefully in his sleep the night of February 21, 2011.
Justin fished commercially for many years, living in Alaska for 28 years. He worked on the Time Bandit, alongside his second cousin, Eddie Uwekoolani, Jr., serving as Engineer during the tendering seasons, and joined the Time Bandit crew as a deckhand fishing the Red King 2010 and Opilio 2011 seasons.
Justin was tough as a bull and was an all-around good hand. The Captains and Crew appreciated his hard work and many contributions this past year. We will miss him terribly and wish his family all the best during this most difficult time.
Justin is survived by a son, daughter, sister, father and grandparents. He was 34 years old.
A trust has been established for the children of Justin Tennison. Anyone wishing to make a contribution may do so by sending a check payable to the JUSTIN TENNISON MEMORIAL ACCOUNT at the following address:
Justin Tennison Memorial Account
C/O Wells Fargo Bank
88 Sterling Highway
Homer, AK 99603″
I started this series of recaps this way, and I’m going to end it the same way.
Phil, may you rest in peace. I hope you are riding your Harleys, building your birdhouses, blaring your music and finding endless pots stuffed with crab up there. You are DEARLY missed by all who knew you personally, and all who knew you through the show. Your presence was larger than life, and your heart was even larger. I, personally, want to thank you for showing me how someone can admit their flaws, and yet persevere through them. You inspired such a high degree of loyalty from your crew that they stayed with you even when they knew they could make more money elsewhere. You many not have always had the biggest catch, but you made that crew into a family and that boat into a home. THAT’S why you are so loved, even after death. Johnathan said it best, “I was blessed to walk the earth with Phil Harris, and that’s a damn fact”.
In Memory, Also, of Captain Phil Harris. December 19, 1956 – February 9, 2010.