It’s the moment Deadliest Catch fans have been waiting for since hearing that the Cornelia Marie would return in season 10: The beloved blue boat is back in the Bering Sea in the June 10 episode. Watch the opening of the hour below. The clip serves as both a tribute to the late Capt. Phil Harris and a recap of son Josh’s journey to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
Warning: it’s wonderful to hear Phil’s voice again, but you will see him exchange “I love you”s with Josh in the hospital — a moment that will simultaneously warm and break your heart all over again.
Jeff Conroy, president and executive producer at Original Productions, which produces the show, knows fans have been rooting for Josh. “Here’s a kid that has been trying to fulfill this legacy for years. If you look back after Phil died, it was like, ‘Oh yeah, this boat’s gonna be in the water forever. There’s never gonna be a problem. We’re gonna be able to do it.’ I think Josh, in many ways, learned the hard way how hard it was, what his dad had accomplished,” Conroy told EW before the season 10 premiere. “All that work to get here, the last thing he wants to do is blow it.”
He’ll have a co-captain, Casey McManus, the son of Phil’s good friend Jim McManus. “The reason that Casey is there is that Casey is fulfilling a commitment that Jim made to Phil that he would always help out the boys,” Conroy said. “When it came time for Josh to get this boat going, Jim’s feeling was, ‘Who better than my son, who is a very experienced young captain, to give Josh every opportunity to be successful.’” Josh being the owner of the boat will make for an interesting dynamic: “There’s always that question of who’s in charge,” Conroy said.
Back in April, Capt. Johnathan Hillstrand told EW he was looking forward to watching Josh’s return himself. “We gave him a S-H-I-T shirt: It says, ‘I am the S—‘ on the front, and on the back, it says Skipper Harris in Training,” he said, laughing. “We made him put it on without seeing what it said on the back…. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s gonna do it. He’s a little bit cocky.”