On last night’s episode of Deadliest Catch, an ailing Capt. Phil Harris caught his son Jake, who’d been slacking off on deck, stealing his prescription pain medicine. The confrontation that followed (Phil: “I want you out of my life. You’re out of my life…. You’re nothin’ but a thief. A thief and a liar”) was painful to watch. Especially if you knew that in next week’s episode, Phil suffers the stroke that eventually took his life.
I don’t know how we’re going to get through the June 22 episode and those airing after it, which will follow Phil’s final days since he insisted cameras keep rolling. (At the end of this post: Discovery’s detailed description of the rest of the season). But I feel like we owe it to him. We’ve been with him for six seasons, we can’t leave him alone in the end. Not when he wanted a great ending to his story.
As for the rest of last night’s tension-filled hour, the opening footage of that Coast Guard rescue of the fisherman who’d suffered a heart attack at sea was unbelievable. You felt like you were on that helicopter, looking down at the stretcher blowing in the wind, and you were helpless. So much of what we see the crab captains do on this show is mental – figuring out where to put their pots, watching over their crew – that it was awesome to see Capt. Sig muscling the Northwestern into the dangerous harbor at St. Paul at night. I have no idea how the Time Bandit’s Mike Fourtner kept working after that 60-pound chunk of ice fell 25 feet from the crane above him and landed directly on his head. And do not even get me started on Jake Anderson, who breaks my heart time and again. He was making ice angels on deck when Sig was getting the news about Jake’s missing father’s truck being found? Really?
What’s still to come on this season of Deadliest Catch:
DEADLIEST CATCH: Episode 11 - Tuesday, June 22 at 9PM ET/PT The opening episode includes Phil’s initial stoke and the quick action taken by his sons - Josh and Jake - and the rest of the crew to get medical attention. The severity of the situation weighs heavily on the close-knit Cornelia Marie crew as they pray for the best and are left to wonder who will take the boat out without Phil there.
DEADLIEST CATCH: Episode 12 - Tuesday, June 29 at 9PM ET/PT The rest of the fleet begins to hear the unsettling news of their friend and fellow skipper. Captains Sig Hansen, Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand and Keith Colburn all react with stunned disbelief while still keeping an eye on the turbulent waters, as the Bering Sea stops for no one.
DEADLIEST CATCH: Episode 13 - Tuesday, July 6 at 9PM ET/PT Josh and Jake Harris continue to watch over their dad at the Anchorage hospital. They are joined by Johnathan Hillstrand as well as Phil’s inner circle of biker buddy friends. Ever the stubborn fighter, Phil rallies in the ICU.
DEADLIEST CATCH: Episode 14 - Tuesday, July 13 at 9PM ET/PT Despite small signs of encouragement, Captain Phil loses his battle. He passes away surrounded by family and friends.
AFTER THE CATCH (SEASON FINALE): Tuesday, July 13 at 10PM ET/PT The fleet wraps up its time at the French Quarter’s Blue Nile bar in the season finale of AFTER THE CATCH. Captain Phil Harris is remembered in true ‘Nawlins style as fans pour onto Frenchmen Street for a traditional, raucous Jazz Parade. The celebration brings together all the captains to pay tribute to their friend and colleague.
DEADLIEST CATCH: Episode 15 – Tuesday, July 20 at 9PM ET/PT The news of Phil’s death reaches the rest of the fleet. Captains Keith, Johnathan, Andy and Sig all struggle to come to terms with their friend and colleague’s passing.
DEADLIEST CATCH: CAPTAIN PHIL HARRIS REMEMBERED - Tuesday, July 20 at 10PM ET/PT A special one-hour look back at the life of Captain Phil Harris, skipper of F/V Cornelia Marie. The special includes never-before-seen footage, interviews with fellow captains and deckhands and memorable “Phil moments” from the past six seasons of DEADLIEST CATCH, from behind the scenes and fan remembrances recorded at CatchCon 2010 and Phil’s public memorial service in Seattle.
DEADLIEST CATCH: Episode 16 – Tuesday, July 27 at 9PM ET/PT –SEASON FINALE– On the finale of the sixth season of DEADLIEST CATCH, the fleet is still absorbing the news about Phil. But the stormy waters of the Bering Sea never take a break, and the Captains and the crew must soldier on in the race to make their quotas, as the Opilio season comes to an end.