Deadliest Catch S06E13 – “Cain and Abel”

DaGoddess @ 23:15

Seems the theme this week was brother against brother. Jake and Josh Harris are cracking under the strain of watching their father, Captain Phil, fight for his life.

Back out on the vast Bering Sea, Sig and Edgar Hansen are struggling to figure out what their respective futures will be — will Sig keep his deck boss or will Edgar opt out, train someone to take his place, and retire so he can heal and spend time with his family? The jury’s still out.

Normally, it’s about this time in the season when we see Monte and Keith on the Wizard going after each other, isn’t it? But so far the only drama there is Keith’s inability to quit a 20+ year chew tobacco habit. Thank goodness he has his daughter, Sienna, who happens to call right after he grabs a pinch. The calendar Bug made for him (and how cute is that nickname?) shows he’s not been very successful in fighting the urge to kick the habit. Stressful job equals dirty habits-that’s what happens when you play a game of with your life as collateral. The other problem Keith has faced is the ice pack. Stressful job equals dirty habits. The other problem Keith has faced is the ice pack. This is the first time during opie season we’ve heard about the pack, but we know how fraught with danger it can be from previous years. Thankfully, the Wizard’s gear is out in open water and the hauling of pots begins.

On the Northwestern, Sig and Edgar are still trying to find balance. Edgar’s in pain. Sig’s actually made a concerted effort to ease up on the crew. And Jake Anderson continues to worry about his missing father.

Wild Bill and his crew on the Kodiak are finally on the crab, hauling in pots in the 5-6-700 range. Until, that is, they reach a bunch that haven’t been properly tied shut, leaving the crab an easy exit. Bill radios in and tries to line up a replacement for one of the crew. I think we can all guess that it’s Clinton Bush who’s about to be cut.

On the Time Bandit, Andy does his best to keep his head in the game. He’s worried about Phil. However, he has a more immediate problem: “Strong currents are dragging down the trailer buoy, making what seems like an easy hook toss a whole lot tricker.” Mike Fourtner, captain-in-training, can’t snag the buoy and it’s causing some amount of amusement and frustration with the rest of the crew. If Mike’s going to command the Time Bandit, he’ll have to redeem himself in eyes of the crew.

Back in Anchorage, doctors review the progress Phil Harris is making after the 12-hour surgery needed to help him survive his stroke, which the doctors say most people don’t survive. His scans reveal serious calcium deposits in the brain, indicating that this has been building for a very long time. Part of Phil’s skull is removed to relieve the pressure in his brain. As tubes are gradually removed and support gently decreased, Phil is able to begin interacting and talking with his sons. Demanding ice chips the nurse has said he can’t have for another hour (until the doctor for his throat comes in to see him), Phil continues to hound his boys. Josh tells his dad that he’s not the captain of this boat — he’s just a deckhand. Even with his head shaved, Phil looks pretty good and there’s a twinkle in his eyes.

Sadly, this progress is exactly what causes everyone around him to start losing it, which is often very common with serious illness and unpredictable futures. Loved ones feel a little relief and all the tension, all the worry begin to take them down. John Hillstrand breaks down crying after letting Phil know he’s loved and cared for (and this is what caused me to start crying, too). Josh Harris is feeling even more pressure to keep everything together — the boat, his brother, all the details that need to be overseen. He gets into it with brother Jake, who is, apparently, sitting back at the hotel getting wasted. At one point, John stands on the other side of the door, a sort of witness to the collapse of Phil’s sons.

Next week is the tribute to Captain Phil Harris. Get out your tissues and settle in for an emotional evening.


  1. This one was hard to watch, and next week is going to be almost unbearable. We finally get to see all the crabbing captains at their most vulnerable – when one of their own is in serious peril. Then they all drop their petty differences (with the exception of the meltdown between Josh and Jake) and stand by their friend’s side.

    It’s also hard to see the previously unflappable Edgar pretty much admitting he’s burned out and needs to do something else with his life other than crabbing. And Sig, who knows no other life and don’t care to, trying his best to keep everyone’s heads in the game and catching crab.

    These episodes, leading up to next week, are a killer, watching Phil struggle to stay alive and knowing ultimately what the outcome will be.

    Comment by diamond dave — 2010/07/07 @ 23:26

  2. yeah. I’m not rushing my week forward, that’s for sure, even though LD will be here on the 14th. I just don’t want Phil’s death to be real

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2010/07/07 @ 23:28

  3. I’m not to surprised the boys sort of turn on each other. with all the stress there needs to be some relief of the tension. We already knew about Jakes addiction so we kind of knew what way he’d go and Josh being the Big Bro, I knew he’d vent on Jake. I’m glad to see from the web site that Jake did go to rehab during the off season.

    Much more respect for John Hilstrand than ever before. Here he was on his way to a vacation, but has chosen to hang around for the boys and Phil. Not very many people would do that. Just goes to show how much of a real Man and how much character he has.

    Comment by Retired Navy CPO — 2010/07/08 @ 09:14

  4. RNCPO, you hit the nail on the head about John. You know these guys are friends, but you don’t know how much is for the show and how much is real. His being there said it all. And for me, this is the kind of friend I want by my side.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2010/07/08 @ 14:19

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