By Mandi Bierly
October 24, 2012 at 08:20 PM EDT

Gold Rush

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Discovery’s No. 1 show, Gold Rush, returns Friday (9 p.m. ET), and we’ve got your first look at the premiere’s cold open, which sets up a season of big changes, competition, and straight-faced usage of the phrase “glory hole” (as in, “At Porcupine Creek, the Dakota Boys pick up where they left off…. on the hunt for the millions in gold they are sure sits at the bottom of their glory hole”). 

The season 3 premiere is preceded by a 90-minute off-season special following miner Todd Hoffman as he makes plans he hopes will allow him to find 10 times more gold than he did last year. He doubles his crew, equipment, and wash plants, and his righthand man, Dave Turin, insists on running the second claim his way. “Between the two mines they break all previous gold counts — but the pressure to get to 1,000 ounces drives a wedge between the crews and it’s a battle between Team Todd and Team Turin for who can produce the most gold,” Discovery teases.

As for the other crews, as previously mentioned, the Dakota Boys will resume work in their glory hole after hitting bedrock just as the weather turned last season. Per the network, “With a female miner joining the Dakota Boys this season, they excavate a 90-foot crater and deal with the effects of the worst winter in 50 years to get to the gold.” Fun. And then there’s 18-year-old Parker Schnabel, who’s out to prove himself to his grandfather. “He hires a new crew, mines new land and rebuilds his aging wash plant from the ground up. And it pays off,” Discovery says. “In one week Parker gets more gold out of Big Nugget than all of last season. But can he keep up the momentum and turn a profit for the mine — and his grandpa?” Good luck, kid.

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