Whew! What a week! Last week’s episode of Deadliest Catch was emotionally charged, with the final showdown between the Cornelia Marie crew and their “skipper” (if you can call him that) Derrick Ray. After no evidence was found on Jake Harris’ person, and no evidence was found in his stateroom, no charges were filed as to drugs themselves and we ended the episode with Freddie aptly saying “This is not the same boat”.
I agree with Ryan Simpson though….I can’t believe it went down the way it did, for everyone involved. I agree with Freddie, the boat won’t ever be the same….but maybe, just maybe, something can turn it around.
So what’s to come this week? Let’s find out….
King crab season is coming to an end now. It looks like we might finally get all the vet boats on one episode….could Discovery have heard us? Oh, congrats to Deadliest Catch for finally being put into the right category when it comes to the Emmy race, “Best Reality Program” instead of the “non-fiction” category that always saw our dear show lose to some obscure PBS show.
After 8 grueling weeks the end of the 2010 king crab season draws near. Captain Greenhorn Neese laments that there’s a lot of eyes on him, the Wizard has never had a run of bad luck like this, and then the Northwestern’s fight. Every man is ready to stack up and go home. For the final push, the Bering Sea will deliver one last vicious test. Johnathan says there’s a good storm coming and nothing comes easy for them. Sig listens as big weather is predicted as well. A 1200 mile wide Arctic hurricane is plowing into the Bering Sea and in just 19 hours will cover the red crab grounds. The first boat to feel the brunt is the Ramblin Rose.
They need 2,000 more pounds. Greenhorn Captain Neese races to get his last 40 pots before shutting down and he NEEDS to get that last amount of pounds since he came up 1500 pounds short on his last haul…since he DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HOW BIG HIS TANKS WERE. Then he tries to say every skipper knows they have to deliver…..but I bet every other skipper knows the size of their tanks too. His crew takes stock of their season, and feels like Neese hasn’t delivered what he promised. All of them talk of leaving the boat at this time. Neese says no sleep until they get this done and challenges the Bering Sea. The first pot is barely in the block when the weather picks up, but Neese drives on. Still, with very low pots. The crew hasn’t eaten in 20 hours, and have little faith in their skipper, who is preoccupied understandably with having the last 2K to secure his spot in the wheelhouse. He’s been grinding his crew since they left port. On this final string, the beaten deckhands are still caught in the crossfires of Greenhorn Neese’s ambitions. He listens in as they call him a slave-driver, who says to the camera they can bitch all they want but they still have to do their job100%. Then a HUGE wave hits the deck. Captain Neese orders them back to work immediately after it eases off. Kado says it’s a lot easier to say that when you’re in the wheelhouse. For the next 5 hours, the crew muscles through their final 36 pots. The last pot of the season comes up, and it’s just like all the others. Remember the guy that said he was going to keep it real before this season started to air? Captain Neese, yeah, if this is keeping it real I want it fake. He got his 2,000 pounds, and he feels he proved himself to the owners and they made a good call putting him in charge. But you have to have faith in your captain too and this crew don’t….reminds me of Derrick quite a bit. You might be able to fish (MIGHT) but you have to inspire too. This guy doesn’t even own a brush, how can he inspire?
Off to the Northwestern now. Jake, Edgar and the rest of the crew wonder when the weather will show. The red sky screams an omen of bad storms coming. With the storm marching south and an offload in 36 horus, the men of the Northwestern have 60 more pots to haul and then they get to go home. The pots aren’t bad either. The crab are HUGE! Jake says there’s crab on the table and they’re having a good time making money, they’re on their way home. As the crew works to plug the tanks, Sig gets an unexpected call, one that’s long overdue. It’s Matt Bradley! 8 weeks ago he had a drug relapse and missed crew call for the king season. He wants back on the boat. Sig says they can’t take him back if he’s gong to be like that, he can’t do it again. Sig offers Edgar to Matt via the phone, and he goes up to talk. Edgar and Matt have been friends since they were 12 years old. Sig says the deal is nonnegotiable, drugs that is. They share the struggle with addiction, Matt and Edgar. Matt is miserable. He says he’s a mess. Edgar says he knows how it goes. Matt has relapsed several times over and never had this much trouble getting clean. He’s living minute by minute and doesn’t want to die. The crew continues to work on deck. Matt says he loves them. After the call is over, Edgar says it sounds like a typical addict who’s relapsed, pretty straightforward guilt, shame, remorse, lost.
Yeah! Time Bandit time! They’re skirting the southern edge of the storm. Mikey says by tomorrow afternoon they’re facing 25 foot seas. Johnathan says they just need a 7-8 average and are stacking out there today. 10 days ago he landed on a mile wide biomass. They worked their tails off to get there and are reaping the benefits, he’s determined to haul 25 pots before the storm hits so they can go home. And haul they do…..like the Northwestern, the crab are HUGE! Each pot comes up as full as the last, Justin Tennison says the crab are bigger in each pot. But he notes it can be bright and sunny one minute and dark the next. He then says they can have a vacay, regroup and come back for opies but remembers that he has to ask Andy if he can come back. As the newest guy on deck, Justin will find out the hard way how they get initiated. 14 hours ago, while Justin was racked out the boys prepped the last pot of the season with their infamous flour bombs. As they go to that last pot they put Justin on the rail….he throws the hook….throwing the final hook is an honor on most boats, but here it’s a liability and BOOM! The flour bombs hit him hard core! But he doesn’t back off, he take sit full on. That’s a Time Bandit right there. R.I.P. Justin …..Justin says this either means he’s part of the team or they don’t’ like him much. The Johnathan says they love him and he’s going fishing for opies.
Back to the Northwestern…..more pots come in full. The crew has one final string to haul before chaining the stack and heading to Dutch. Edgar tells the crew about how Matt’s doing, which is not well. Edgar says this is what that crap does to you and they talk about how pretty much every person up there deals with that. Edgar talks about his own addiction, says burned out sailor fisherman, that’s how they suffer. As the sun sets the crew grinds through the final 39 pots of the season and for Edgar they could be the last. His sites are set on being able to go home at night and that requires him to basically quit. Of course he’ll worry about the guys, and he hopes that Sig realizes that they’re his family. Sig watches a pot come in and it is STUFFED. The crew cheers and Edgar jumps on top of it literally bouncing. Sig asks why it’s the last day this always happen, that this is their going home ticket. Edgar throws out the traditional flaming hook, saying it’s quite the send off….and they pull up an awesome last pot.
We’re on the Wizard now. Keith talks about the pending weather, says it could happen at any time. The first half of the seaosn was nothing but misery, but the second half has been nothing short of spectacular. But, with only 13 pots to go, his luck has run out. That’s because he pulled the punk move of dumping Andy’s guitar. No, really, his buoys have gone underwater. A current could drag them under and then the pressure could cause them to pop. All he has to look for are his white bags in a sea of white birds. An hour of fishing lost could be $20,000 of crab you don’t’ catch. The crew cal out a buoy sighting, and the current is screaming. The trick is to throw in front of the bag, not behind it. The hook is thrown and it’s just off the back side of it, they don’t get it. They do get it on the second toss though. As the pot comes in, it’s not a bad catch at all. They have a “cravalanche”. Off the bow, the next pot is falling prey to the currents. The crew struggles to catch it with the hook and it sinks under yet again. The hook tore the bag open! That means they won’t get this one and that’s a pot lost. $2,500 worth of crab plus the $1,000 pot is lost. The next pot is in that position as well, they have lost 3 pots so far, about $10,000 in crab. Man, the next one is down too, that’s four pots under. And then pot number 5 is gone too. DANG. Andy’s guitar is kicking them in the ass right now. That totaled about $15,000 lost. With that, the Wizard’s season from hell comes to an end. Over 8 grueling weeks the boat hauled over 249,000 lbs of crab, $1.8 million and each deckhand gets about $44,000. That’s even with the $15K lost.
Onto the Seabrooke, in the heart of the storm. They’re grinding through their final 40 blue crab pots. Their new greenhorn, Stroker, is feeling the pain. In the wheelhouse, the other greenhorn, the captain’s brother, complains that he has a pain right above his penis…um, okay. Says it burns when he pees, the captain says maybe it’s a kidney stone. The captain has burned through two greenhorns already, and at this rate he could burn through two more. If he loses them they’re in bad bad shape. But they both want to work through it, and the captain says if you want to be someone you have to stick, stay and make it pay. That’s Sig’s line there Captain Scott. The crew cautions Whipper not to lift things if he has a hernia, and the captain laments the greenhorn curse. But they still both seem to want to stick through it. You can see the newbie stumbling around too, Stroker, while Whipper says he’s been drinking water but he’s hurting bad. A fellow crew member jokes he’s had a hernia and they cut off his belly button. Only 3 pots into the final string and things are not getting easier for the greenhorns. They took a BAD roll and one guy tipped part way over the rail it looked like. The waves are something fierce, that’s for sure. After enduring 8 weeks of pain, the last pot of the season. It’s not bad for blue crab either. The most successful season of Scott Campbell’s career has come to an end. He says the fishing wasn’t good, they were shorthanded and he’s proud of his crew pushing through. But, in the fore-peak, we see Whipper saying something isn’t right.
Back on the Time Bandit, they’re out of harms way and they’re conducting an experiment……it’s like these cloth balloons lit by candles or something. With the test complete it’s time to est the plan. Step 1, unplug the automatic identification system, Step 2, turn off the lights…..and finally, deploy 40 Chinese lanterns upwind of the Northwestern. This is EPIC! Love it. Love my Time Bandit guys. They begin to light and deploy the lanterns, and it’s actually very cool to see. They’re launching now! They totally look like UFO’s and that’s the point of this, to scare the shit out of the Northwestern guys, or just spook them out even. The lanterns fly across the sea, 1 mile downwind and Sig is lamenting the tough season. They’re steaming back to shore now. The crew is beat, they have over 2 million dollars in crab and Sig spots the lights! He’s spooked, you hear him saying “what the hell” and spooky music plays. He yells “What is that?!? What the f is that? Is that a boat coming, what is that?”. He yells to the crew asking what that is, is it a chopper he says? The crew goes out on deck and they immediately say it’s like a UFO. Johnathan then calls over the radio and BOOM, there they are, the Time Bandit. Sig says they scared the crap out of him, he says he thought it was a chopper, he didn’t see lights, and was pissed. Johnathan says if he didn’t k now what they were he would’ve thought the same as Sig. They’re all rolling, and they cheer across to each other. Sig says “You got me good.” and Johnathan says “Okay man, we’ll see you in town buddy.”
The Seabrooke has the biggest haul at the end of the season.
In the heart of the Alaskan red crab grounds, the storm hits and unleashes it’s fury. In the safe haven of Dutch, the battered warriors treat their wounds and collect their bounty. On the Kodiak, this could be Erik Anderson’s last check pulled from the sea (remember the foot last week?). In a place where careers are built on pain and suffering every man his a limited shelf life. Erik’s sacrifice landed over 2.1 million dollars of crab and over 32K for each man. The Ramblin Rose brought in a catch worth $900,000+ of blue crab, over 30K for his crew (each). Now he has to try and keep his crew, and none are too thrilled with coming back. With cash in hand perspectives can change and they’re coming back. On the Seabrooke, Junior struck out with two greenhorns before finding his men. But, for the skippers’ brother, Whipper leaves the boat with a possible hernia. But his pain won’t go unrewarded, the boat hauled in over $2 million in crab, and each member gets $45,000. On the Time Bandit, the crew is getting $250??? Huh? A bonus for anyone willing to dive for crab, OMG they’re having guys dive into the tank for crab. They got almost $1.2millino in crab and each deckhand gets $54,250. Wow, that looked, um, cold.
We see an eagle flying over and we see the Cornelia Marie, who only got about $100k of blue crab. After paying fuel and expenses, the deckhands and the owners got nothing. Thanks a lot Derrick Ray you TURD. On the Northwestern, Sig calls the end of the season, Jake says it’s misery. But they still got $2.1 million in crab and each guy gets $56,000. Edgar says he’s nervous, he hasn’t talked to Sig about quitting yet. With that, he heads up to the wheelhouse. Lights a cigarette, and Edgar says he doesn’t love it anymore. Several factors brought him to this choice, this season working on deck has shown him that he can’t do it. Sig thought they had this convo before, and they did but Edgar says he won’t be back for Opies in January. Says it’s mostly family, they need him. Sig says he pulls the home card? And Edgar says he enjoys home, but Sig says when he was screwed up, Edgar, he put effort in, and Edgar says he gave 22 years working for Sig. Edgar says no one plans or can fish forever, only Sig Hansen can. Says Sig will die in that chair one day. Then Edgar leaves the wheelhouse and Sig sits looking a bit stunned. Sig says he’s never run it without Edgar and it’d be hard to swallow without Edgar there.
Our episode ends here and my heart breaks for Josh Harris. That one lone shot of him sitting forlorn in the captain’s quarters made me bawl for him. With what happened last week, it’s understandable that the Cornelia wasn’t really seen in this episode with that one painful exception. Where’s Waldo isn’t here this week BUT as always…..
Rest in Peace Phil. Fair winds and following seas.