Deadliest Catch Season 4 proved to be just as much, if not more popular, than the first three seasons with many episodes being viewers all-time favorites. It’s weird, when you think about it, that so many of us love this show. After all, you’d never think a Discovery Channel documentary about a bunch of guys on fishing boats in the Bering Sea would be that interesting. I’m addicted to it because of the constant drama on board and, also, because the dangers are not just to the boat crews but also to the documentary crews who can’t suddenly get off if things start to look bad. Fishermen have the most dangerous job in the world when it comes to their chances of dying on the job and, on Deadliest Catch, the documentary crew’s jobs become just as dangerous. Deadliest Catch Season 4 is just as exciting as the first three seasons with every episode grabbing my attention. The following episodes, though, are my Top Five episodes of Deadliest Catch Season 4.
Deadliest Catch Episode 37 “Get ‘Em Back Safe!” – One of my Top Five best Deadliest Catch episodes on Season 4 was the season’s first, “Get ‘Em Back Safe!” It all starts off with The Wizard getting a huge hole in its hull when it’s hit with a big wave. Repairs take valuable time, as the new fishing season is about to start, so by the time the boat is ready to set sail, tempers are starting to flare. Captain Keith Colburn hires two new deckhands, Jason Moilanen and Lynn Guitard, and also re-hires Crosby LeVeen, who was the greenest guy on the boat in season 3. LeVeen is so happy to not be the new guy anymore but, just because he’s got one crabbing season in, doesn’t mean he won’t make any more mistakes. Captain Phil Harris’s idiot son Jake takes his dad’s credit card and buys a flat screen TV (you’ve got to wonder how a guy who does such a dangerous job can be such a fool when it comes to normal life!) and then, right before the Northwestern sets sail, Captain Sig Hansen realizes his deckhand, Jake Anderson, isn’t on the boat. They start to leave, Jake shows up, and they have to turn the boat back to the dock to go and get him. It turns out he was calling a girl, which goes down really well with his captain. The Hillstrands’ mother has a premonition that tragedy will hit the Time Bandit this season and we’re off to a great start with the boats having barely left port.
Deadliest Catch Episode 40 “Unsafe and Unsound” – Another in my Top Five best Deadliest Catch episodes is “Unsafe and Unsound“, a pretty ominous sounding title when you think how dangerous fishing is. Cornelia Marie’s Captain, Phil Harris, calls some of the other captains to try to get advice on where to place his pots, because he’s almost 100,000 pounds of crab away from his goal in 3 days, but nobody answers. So, he drops his pots in water they’ve never tried before and anxiously waits for the results. Deckhands Josh and Freddy get mohawk haircuts in an effort to change the boat’s luck but to no avail. The Cornelia Marie continues to have a terrible season. In a typical show of “being a man”, Northwestern’s Captain Sig Hansen and boss Edgar Hansen have a bet about who can stay awake the longest, with the Captain losing when he falls asleep at the wheel after 2 days awake. Finally, Time Bandit is one crew member short when Scott Hillstrand decides he’s done with fishing because his family is more important to him and he leaves the boat. What makes this even worse though is he tells his dad that he was gone for most of Scott’s childhood and he doesn’t want the same to happen to his kids. We leave this episode of Deadliest Catch with Johnathan Hillstrand not a happy fisherman after being told this by his son.
Deadliest Catch Episode 43 “Seeking the Catch” – Crew safety gets compromised on the North American when the Captain orders them to drop the pots faster because they need to make up ground on catching their quota. The Wizard’s Captain, Keith Colburn, goes into an area of water he hasn’t fished in more than 30 years but gets nowhere, and there’s excitement when a coiler that broke recently breaks again. Time Bandit’s Captain helps a hurt cormorant and intends to have wildlife experts take care of him when the boat gets back to port but the bird disappears. Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie gets sick, even though they have a great day with the pots and we’re left to wonder if the stress of crab fishing is worth it.
Deadliest Catch Episode 44 “No Season for Old Men” – I’d love this episode for the title alone, but it made my Top Five best episodes of Season 4 of Deadliest Catch as I think it’s one of the most exciting. At the beginning of the season, the captains made a wager and now is the time we see who will win it. The Wizard and the Time Bandit are the only two boats left in with any chance of meeting the wager, but Time Bandit wins when they end up with an average catch of 75 crabs per pot versus 65 average for the other boat. It’s a bad day for Deck Boss Edgar Hansen when he gets smacked in the head with a hook but, old hand that he is, he just keeps on working. It’s scary time for the North American, who have less than a day to go in the season and a long way to go to catch their quota (but they do make it in the end!) The Cornelia Marie struggles with a broken crane and the engineer has to climb the crane in terrible seas to fix it. At the end of this episode, we see the brothers Hillstrand back in Alaska honoring the memory of their dead father and happy that this latest crabbing season is over. I love this episode because you keep thinking the excitement really can’t continue – but it does.
Deadliest Catch Episode 49 “Fresh Blood” In episode 49, my number five out of my Top Five best Deadliest Catch episodes of Season 4, we realize how dangerous crab fishing can be when Captain Phil Harris goes to the emergency room at the hospital after he falls out of his bunk during bad weather. At the hospital, it’s discovered Captain Phil had a blood clot that went through his heart and lungs and could have killed him if not caught in time. Captain Keith Colburn of the Time Bandit fires Jason Moilanen after he questions the captain (something you never do aboard a boat as it could cause lives). On the Northwestern, the crew is struggling with a lost anchor and the anchor chain starts to drag the boat to one side which, if not fixed, could cause the boat to capsize. It takes hours before the crew is able to recover the anchor and tempers fray. The Wizard has a pipe burst and the crew has to fix it before the engine room gets flooded, and the North American’s captain, Captain Sten Skaar, lets greenhorn Darrell work the rail. Darrell is just too inexperienced to do the job properly and this causes the crew to respect him even less. And finally, Jason Moilanen’s replacement arrives. His arrival looks like it will bode well as he even brings on board two Cup Noodles for Captain Keith Colburn (Colburn uses them as spittoons and is very nervous if he doesn’t have one as superstition sets in).
All in all, Season 4 of the Deadliest Catch is one of the best. Old characters are still around and some of the greenhorns are interesting enough (and cute enough!) that the show keeps its appeal. With Episode 54 doing a recap of the season, we’re all set up for Season 5, with the excitement (and the danger!) continuing.