A few minutes into Tuesday night’s dramatic season finale of ‘Deadliest Catch‘ on Discovery, one of the show’s rough-and-ready crabmen related how he’d had a dream in which he visited the home of Phil Harris, the beloved crab boat skipper whose death became part of the show this season.
In the dream, the crabman saw Phil’s house and prized possessions such as Phil’s motorcycle, but something vital was missing: It was Phil himself.
The dream could be taken as a metaphor for this great, courageous series, which ended its most emotional (and highest-rated) season yet after several weeks of episodes that incorporated the death of Harris, who in real life suffered a stroke last January and died a few weeks later in an Anchorage hospital at age 53.
The question now is: With Capt. Phil absent, will this show, like his home, ever be the same? Without him, will the show’s fans follow its remaining boats and crewmen into its seventh season? Based on Tuesday’s sensational season finale, the answer should be a resounding yes.
Why? Because like any good serialized show, ‘Deadliest Catch’ left us with a number of storylines yet to be concluded. “We had a traumatic loss this season with Capt. Phil,” executive producer Thom Beers told ew.com, “but I think the lesson in the last episode is that we all go on.
“We’re swinging the focus to the other subjects in the series,” Beers said. “Edgar’s body [Edgar Hanson, deck boss on the Northwestern] is wearing out and he has no place to go, but Sig [Hanson, Edgar’s brother and skipper of the Northwestern] is not going to give up the helm of the ship to him. The other Jake [Jake Anderson, deckhand on the Northwestern] … his father is still missing. And now the question will be, what will happen with Phil’s sons? Where will that go? There are some interesting cliffhangers.”
On the show, Edgar had a heart-to-heart with Sig, informing his big bro that he’s thinking about quitting the crab biz to spend more time with his family. Sig later commented that he didn’t believe his brother would really quit. And Jake was seen departing to his hometown and concerned about his dad, who had apparently become lost in the woods and was the subject of a massive manhunt.
But before the deckhands and skippers disbanded, the crabbing season continued to its conclusion in Tuesday’s finale, with all the boats filling their tanks with fresh, deepwater crab (a good thing too because two seafood restaurants – Red Lobster and Joe’s Crab Shack — are big sponsors of ‘Deadliest Catch’!). The hands-down winner in bagging the most crab: the Wizard, with $1.8 million worth, which will pay each of its deckhands $57,000 for the season, according to Mike Rowe’s narration on the show.
Even the Cornelia Marie, Capt. Phil’s boat, went back out for more fishing after Phil was laid to rest, with son Josh finding some comfort in his return to crabbing. Josh’s little brother, Jake, was seen checking into rehab, another storyline to follow into next season.
In the wake of his father’s fatal stroke, Josh vows to quit smoking. “I am trying to quit smoking and Jake’s trying to follow suit,” he told Us Weekly this week. “Smoking is what killed my father. We want to use our celebrity to help people stop smoking and just more than that, just be healthy.”
How did you like the ‘Deadliest Catch’ season finale? And will you be back next season?