Deadliest Catch – Quick Take

DaGoddess @ 08:59

Each episode gets us closer to the inevitable: the stroke suffered by Capt. Phil Harris and his eventual death. This week we begin that descent and it’s difficult to watch. The great crab fishing is offset by tension between Phil and his son Jake, which sits heavy on the heart. Last week, we saw Phil explaining fishing the Rock Pile to his other son Josh. To make matters worse, when the Cornelia Marie’s captain’s back pain becomes worse, when he’s feeling as if he’s going to pass out (one of the warning signs of stroke)…Phil discovers one of his sons taking his pain meds and learns the problem runs far deeper than just a few pills. Suddenly, the enormity of what’s about to come down on this family becomes tenfold.

Over on the Northwestern, Jake Anderson is struggling with the news that his father has gone missing and has remained missing. What Sig doesn’t tell him is that his father’s truck was found but there were no signs of Jake’s dad.

The episode started with the rescue of a fisherman who was having a heart attack on another boat. That was the good news. For the rest of the hour, things only got bleaker as I mentioned only a few sentences ago.

Deadliest Catch has never been short on drama. Death has always been a possibility. But it’s heartbreaking to watch the snowball grow and pick up speed.

I was hoping to find After The Catch online somewhere, but I’ve yet to locate the first episode (finding this week’s episode of DC was difficult as well). Apparently the brief mention of Phil and some footage of Johnathan Hillstrand and Phil riding their motorcycles together was all it took to send Johnathan away from the table with tears in his eyes. It’s a brotherhood; one that grows smaller each year with fewer boats fishing, the loss of lives, and to watch as it happens is heart wrenching.

I don’t know if I can watch next week. I just don’t. As a nurse, I dealt with death all the time. I lost patients who meant the world to me. I was with them night after night, watching their recovery and their decline. I sat with families and held hands. I listened to stories. Yes, it got to me. Yes, I often went home and cried because most of my patients had extended hospital stays and we became very close. It was difficult to say goodbye. But I did it. For some reason, right now, watching this happen to someone who has always been so vital and vibrant…it becomes too much. It hits too close to home. Phil always sort of reminded me of my dad. And I just can’t quite go there in my head or heart these days, even though I know that time will come for my family sooner than we’d like. So, yeah…I’m not sure if I can do this and it makes me feel very strange. I know, however, that the discomfort I feel is nothing compared to the grief the Harris family and their friends have experienced.

For my friends who are also fans of the show, are you able to watch? And did you manage to TiVO After The Catch for me?


  1. Let me know if you can find After The Catch anywhere online. I did at one point managed to find some unused footage on the show, including *blech* the sewage lines freezing up on the Cornelia Marie and the efforts to unblock them. If you find it, whatever you do, don’t watch while eating. Pretty nasty.

    I was completely blindsided by the bombshell that Jake is an addict. Which raises the obvious question: how much did that sudden unwelcome piece of news affect Phil to the point of possibly causing the fatal stroke? Something you can’t help but wonder. I also didn’t know they were going to actually broadcast Phil’s stroke and his final moments, but that looks like what’s in store starting next week. The show is going to be pretty hard to watch from here on out this season. The whole thing with Jake A’s dad missing has become almost a sidenote.

    A little good news? It looks like, according to After The Catch, that Johnathan and Keith have buried the hatchet between them, at least for now. Even if they can’t be best friends, they can be cordial enough to work together and have a few beers together as fellow fishermen. I think that’s all anyone, particularly Keith, asked for. But seriously Keith, start watching where you put down your pots from now on.

    Comment by diamond dave — 2010/06/17 @ 14:02

  2. Yeah, I knew Johnathan and Keith were back on good terms. And here’s the thing: as the guys are getting together to get psyched up for the upcoming fishing, they’re full of adrenalin. You HAVE to get pumped up to prepare yourself for the intensity of what’s about to be thrown at you. I really think that’s all that was behind that scuffle. Deep down, that brotherhood is there.

    Phil, from what I’ve seen with stroke patients, was already having that stroke. The warnings signs were becoming apparent, to the extent that even the cameraman knew something was going on. The fact that Phil is like many men and very stoic when asked doesn’t negate the truth that the dominoes were already falling, one after the other.

    It’s really hard to watch this, but we were warned through various websites and such that this was documented and played out according to Phil’s wishes. he wanted the story told. It’s a heartbreaker, but that’s how it’s going to happen.


    Comment by DaGoddess — 2010/06/17 @ 18:03

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