As I tell anyone who asks me, I’m a Deadliest Catch fanatic. I first watched this Discovery Channel show a few years ago when I was home visiting my parents, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Now in the middle of Season 5, so far we’ve been able to see 59 episodes, but I definitely have my favorites. The best episodes of Deadliest Catch fall into two categories for me – exciting or fascinating. These Top 10 Deadliest Catch best episodes are exiting or fascinating or both.
10. Episode 1, Greenhorns – Personally, I think Deadliest Catch’s episodes get better and better but I had to pick the first episode as one of my favorites because it’s when we’re introduced to many of the now-familiar characters. (I discounted the Pilot as the ‘first episode’ as I think it’s one of the weaker episodes in the series) “Greenhorns” is the name of the first episode of Season 1 and here we meet the captains and the new greenhorns, the deckhands who are new on the boats. Captain Sig Hansen, unlike the other captains, stands out as he refuses to talk to any of the greenhorns until he knows what kind of workers they’re going to be.
9. Episode 4, Beat the Clock – For excitement alone, this one has to go on my Top 10 best Deadliest Catch episodes list. It’s a really short season and all the boats aren’t really sure where to put their pots to get the best crab catch. The excitement mounts as the Captain Sig Hansen decides to not launch more pots but instead go after old ones, but his gamble pays off and the Northwestern wins big.
8. Episode 26, Cheating Death – Captain Phil Harris is beyond angry when he finds out that Jake and Josh had gone shopping and charged everything to his accounts. But, all of this is forgotten as the episode progresses and a deckhand is swept overboard by a gigantic wave. Time Bandit’s Captain Johnathan Hillstrand and his crew work desperately to rescue the man and they succeed. It then comes out that something similar happened 10 years before but, at that time, the Hillstrand brothers couldn’t save the fisherman. They were both overwhelmed with emotion as, this time, they succeeded and ‘cheated death’.
7. Episode 31, Crossing the Line – In number 7 on my list of Top 10 best Deadliest Catch episodes, it comes out that Northwestern greenhorn, Jake, is even more immature than we think, as he plays pranks on the Deck Boss. The Wizard gets a new greenhorn, Guy a former cowboy, but the greenhorn finds it difficult to really figure out what’s going on and it seems likely he won’t last long.
6. Episode 5, Dead of Winter – One that has to go on my Deadliest Catch’s Top 10 best episodes list is ‘Dead of Winter‘. Tragedy strikes when the Big Valley goes down and when boats get to the scene, only the Deck Boss, Cache Seel, is found floating in a raft. Five men die. Dead of Winter, unlike any other Deadliest Catch episode really shows the dangers of commercial fishing and how quickly a fisherman’s life can end.
5. Episode 32, Trials of the Greenhorns – Now in Season 3, this episode on the Deadliest Catch’s best episodes list is actually quite funny. The greenhorn in Episode 31, Guy, proves he can’t hack it when he walks off deck (a no-no in the commercial fishing world) and everyone calls him a ‘quitter’. On the Northwestern, greenhorn Jake decides he’s going to prove himself and works by ‘Sig Rules’ , which means every time he misses he loses a piece of clothing. He’s actually quite successful but, at the end, he’s not really wearing many clothes at all. Finally, one of the greenhorns on the Time Bandit is arrested on an outstanding warrant and the guys have to go and pay his bail.
4. Episode 44, No Season for Old Men – Deck Boss, Edgar Hansen, is hit in the head with a hook, and the Time Bandit and the Wizard battle to win a best catch wager with the Time Bandit finally coming out ahead. This episode ends with the Hillstrand brothers back home in Alaska and honoring their dad, who died several years before. I love No Season for Old Men, because you realize it actually is a season for old men, because they still seem to come out on top almost every time.
3. Episode 57, Stay Focused or Die – Another sad episode, the Katmai has disappeared in the previous episode and, in Stay Focused or Die, the coastguard finally finds a raft from the lost boat. On board the raft are four fishermen, including the captain, but they tell a horrible tale of how the raft was overturned by a huge wave and two other men were lost to the sea. The coastguard searches for four days for the missing men, but finally has to call off the search when all hope is lost.
2. Episode 48, Mortal Men – Captain Phil Harris from the Cornelia Marie gets thrown out of his bunk and hurts his ribs. He continues working but is soon coughing up blood but he still decides not to tell his crew. Eventually one of the crew tells Captain Phil’s sons that their dad needs to go to a hospital who tells Captain Phil he needs to head to port. Captain Phil ignores him but, after two days, realizes his condition is getting worse and needs to head to port. At the hospital, we find out he has broken ribs and his lung might be punctured – a serious situation for anyone but especially for an older man. The episode ends with a cliff hanger as to what will happen to Captain Phil.
1. Episode 34, A Frozen Finish – I chose this as number 1 best Deadliest Catch episodes because, out of all the episodes, it really shows how dangerous this job is and how hard the men have to work. There’s too much ice and the Time Bandit is stuck near the beach overnight. The boat starts to get pushed towards the beach and Captain Johnathan Hillstrands is forced to sound the alarm so that the crew will take turns on watch. As day breaks, open water appears and the Time Bandit is able to leave. The Cornelia Marie has its best season ever and one of the few female greenhorns, Ragnhild Moncrief, on the boat the Farwest Leader decides women don’t belong on a crab boat. Finally, Captain Sig Hansen of the Northwestern gives greenhorn Jake a boat jacket as his performance has been so stellar.
These are just 10 of the best Deadliest Catch episodes. Honestly, I don’t think there’s a dud in the bunch, but these 10 got on my Top 10 best Deadliest Catch episodes as I found them just a little more memorable. Don’t forget to watch Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel or buy one of the seasons on DVD.
SOURCES: The Discovery Channel