If you thought Jake Harris taking the wheel of the Cornelia Marie for a string of pots was the turning point in an otherwise gloomy season of Deadliest Catch, you must not have watched the end of last night’s episode. Jake went up to the wheelhouse to take a second turn, and Capt. Derrick calmly sent him back down to the deck. After the crew sorted their best pot of the season — 33 blue crab — we found out why: “I could smell frickin’ weed on Jake when I came up next to him,” Derrick told the camera. “You give the kid an opportunity to come up here and lean how to drive, and he’s still smokin’ dope on the boat. That’s unbelievable. You don’t respect yourself, you don’t respect the f—in’ fact that I came out here to do this for ya. That’s the last time he’s drivin’ the boat. That’s it. I gave his opportunity, he f—in’ blew it.”
The season of doom continued for the other boats, as well: Capt. Keith almost had a man go overboard (greenhorn Paul) when his foot got caught in the line. Fishing was so bad for the Wizard that he’s decided he needs to go where his partner boat is and take whatever crab it left. Making matters worse, the Time Bandit is headed to those grounds, too, and Keith knows his nemesis John Hillstrand will start a turf war. But he’s got to go: “At the end of the day, I’ve got a $2 million boat payment to make,” Keith said. “He probably has a $50,000 Corvette payment to make. I think I got more on the line.”
The Time Bandit provided some momentary comic relief when Andy tried to take out the cursed JJ buoy with an AK-47 and failed. John took some shots from the wheelhouse and also couldn’t hit it. Finally a crew member sent it sinking, and the guys hoped their bad juju went with it. Nope. Their next pots were full of female crab (which have to be thrown back) and starfish (which compete with crab for food).
Just when the Ramblin’ Rose finally landed on some blue crab, Capt. Elliott got a call from the processor saying he either had to return soon to offload or wait four extra days. If he did the former, his tank wouldn’t be full and he’d waste fuel; if he did the latter, he’d run the risk of his crab dying since blue crab is more fragile than red. He reached out to Sig, who told him he wouldn’t go longer than five or six days with them in the tank. Since waiting would mean 10 days in the tank, his decision sounds easy, but he’s yet to make it. (That was all we saw of the Northwestern.)
The Seabrooke caught enough crab to offload, but Jr. had to send his deck boss Bob Perkey on an involuntary eight-week vacation because he wouldn’t stop back-talking. (And he wasn’t even funny, which, speaking as a viewer, was the greater crime.) Bob’s son, greenhorn Kyle, left the boat on his own accord. Is it just me, or is Jr. the most levelheaded captain we’ve ever seen on the show? I don’t know if he’s making the right decision, but he’s always calm, which is refreshing. Also impressive: That story he told of losing part of his finger to an air compressor belt in the engine room on his first trip as a captain and soldiering on with his infected hand taped to the throttle because he didn’t have enough strength to grip it.