Original air date: July 6, 2010
After 12 hours of surgery, the neurosurgeon who worked on Phil Harris has a grim prognosis as he shows the results to Josh, Jake, and Johnathan Hillstrand. Although survivable, the location of the stroke makes a fatal complication possible, and he anticipates a very long road to recovery.
On the Northwestern, Jake Anderson continues to ponder his missing father as the rest of the crew deals with broken bodies. The crew takes a break to celebrate Jake’s six months of sobriety from a situation pre-season. Their next delivery date is jeopardized as they hit a nursery and draw low numbers of keepers. Edgar Hansen feels the job is killing him, and is feeling the end of his career drawing closer with each grind. Sig overhears Edgar’s personal concerns, and thinks if he’s close to quitting, he should get serious about training a replacement. Sig thinks Edgar’s problem is that he’s the one everybody goes to on the deck. The Wizard grinds through ice on the north side of the crab grounds to get some ice-covered strings pulled. Frequent calls from his daughter try to keep Captain Keith in line regarding kicking his tobacco habit. The crew gets breakfast as Keith and Monte try to work through the ice. Keith sees a seal. They find clear ice, and their pots. They also manage good numbers, convincing them to gamble and keep fishing there. The Kodiak returns to the grounds and takes to its soaking pots. The numbers are outrageously good, and the crew is finally clicking. But when the numbers dry up, some pots show they weren’t properly secured, allowing crab to escape. Wild Bill chews out his crew after the string, then calls in reinforcements, prepared to fire one of his crew if things don’t shape up. On the Time Bandit, Captain Andy is losing focus with his brother keeping watch over Captain Phil. The crew pulls crab pots in −30°F weather, conditions cold enough to make the crab fall apart before they get in the tank. To make it worse, everyone is sniping on Mike Fourtner, since he’s being groomed for the captain’s chair.
A day after surgery, with more friends in town, Captain Phil is making progress, and is breathing on his own again. He manages to be able to speak as well, and cons Jake into giving him an ice chip early. Three days after surgery, those around him are really feeling down with his vulnerable condition. Josh and Jake are regularly arguing about things, with Jake seeing Josh as being more concerned about the Cornelia Marie than their father, but Josh seeing Jake as drowning his sorrow in alcohol and drugs and not really caring about anything. Johnathan just happens to come up to the brothers hotel room and catches most of the shouted argument through the door, which saddens him as he goes back down to the lobby. Jake leaves the hotel angry, and Johnathan talks with Josh. Meanwhile, Derrick Ray takes over as relief captain on the Cornelia Marie, and the boat finally gets back underway.