Tonight’s episode of "Deadliest Catch" was titled “Cornelia Marie Blue.” As the episode begins, the voice of Phil Harris states that the crab fleet is his family, and several famous quotes from him give fans a smile as they remember his good nature. Suddenly, his last words on his death bed are seen as he tells his son Josh how much he loves him, as fans are surely wiping a tear away as they see him again in this vulnerable state.
As Josh flies into Dutch Harbor, the Cornelia Marie, awaits a new Harris at the helm, but relief captain Derrick Ray’s words ring in Josh’s ear, when he stated that Phil did a huge disservice to his boys by not teaching them everything he knew about being a captain. At 53, Phil passed away, and since then, Josh worked on the Time Bandit. When the season ended last year, Andy told him he no longer had a job on their boat, and it was time for him to be on his own. Josh now has his big boy pants on, and is the captain of the Cornelia Marie.
It is January and opilio season, the worst of the winter season, as the boats all prepare for their share of the $32 million of the Bering Sea bounty.
Josh has spent the last four years trying to acquire the boat, and wonders how his dad would feel, about his efforts. He is now responsible for his crew. To help him along the way, Captain Casey McManus is aboard to guide Josh as the skipper in training with the youngest crew in the fleet. As they try to prepare the pots, they are in bad shape, as they were sitting idle for four years. Heckle & Jeckle, aka Johnathan & Andy Hillstrand come over to the boat to give the crew their condolences for having Josh for a captain, but at least they have Casey. They also presented him with a shirt that read on the back; Skipper Harris In Training, highlighting the first letter of the four words, and on the front it read, I’m the S.H.I.T.
On the Saga, they are ready to make some money. Captain Elliott is back after a stint in rehab.
As Edgar Hansen drives into Dutch, he states that only an addict can understand another addict. He also has had his share of addiction. So Edgar pays him a visit as one addict to another and gives him some words of wisdom and lets him know he has a friend.
On the Northwestern, another generation of Hansen has joined the crew; Sig’s eighteen-year-old daughter, Mandy. Her dad agreed to let her spend her winter break in Dutch Harbor. In three days, she will head home to finish school. Now she is here to help get the gear ready for opie season. She has spent the last three seasons on salmon charters on the Northwestern; but never out for the crab. She expects to go crab fishing after school, but Sig prays that she does not like it. She gets her safety training from the Coast Guard. She puts on her survival suit and jumps in the water with the rest of the crew.
As the day of the launch arrives, for all boats but the Seabrooke. Junior is still not seaworthy, and Johnathan is sidelined with high blood pressure and other ailments resulting from those broken ribs he had in the off season. Years of smoking have caught up with him. His brother has officially relieved him of command. He does not need to have a stroke like Phil did, and if he is in town, he has a better chance than if hundreds of miles out at sea. Get well, Johnathan.
On the Cape Caution, the newest greenhorn is Myles Johnson, who has been working on boats for about eight years. Bill deserves a good greenhorn for a change, so Zack hired this guy, and prays that he does not disappoint.
Sig drives Mandy to the airport. She is one ball of determination and plans to work on the crab boat. If Sig does not let her work, she will go on another boat. (Like that would ever happen!)
As the boats pull out of the harbor, they head for the opie grounds, far north of the king crab grounds. Finally, the first pots of the season hit the water, as the sea is showing them who is boss, by knocking them around with waves over the boats.
Casey is an awesome teacher for Josh, who tells him that their job up there is to keep the guys safe down there. The area they are in is deserted, so they are hoping they will be on the crab and stay on them. As the first pots go down, Josh is fired up, and can feel his father’s hand on his shoulder, as the legacy goes on. Josh’s crew consists of Timmy Pennington aka Home Alone, Zack Fritz, Travis Lofland, Jake Jolibois, and Cody Moen, who fans of Bering Sea Gold may recognize from the Christine Rose. When Josh was ready to take over, Casey handed him the reins as he stood behind him and let him lead his boat.
On the Northwestern, everyone is biting the head off a cod, including Sig. Just ten minutes into the first set, Sig loses steering; he can steer to port, but not to starboard. Edgar comes to the wheelhouse to check it out. With no steering, the boat is at the mercy of the Bering Sea. They take first things first, and check the wheelhouse rudder connections. Everything is fine up top, so down below, he and Jake go. They find the problem, a cracked solenoid, that is leaking, and Edgar has no spare. The give Sig the make and model, and hope that their fellow fishermen can help. Mike on the Kiska Sea, the boat Jake Anderson left to fish for, and returned to the Northwestern is the boat that will be helping them out. However, when they retrieve it, the part is not the one they need. But Edgar has been known to fix things deemed unfixable in the past and will give it another try. As Jake Anderson steers the boat with the old ship’s wheel, a labor-intensive job, at least they have some sort of steering. Edgar performs another magic act, as the steering is working again.
On the Cornelia Marie, Casey gives the chair to Josh to pull the first pots, but with the seas very rough, he asks Casey to let him watch, so he can learn exactly what to do in a situation like this. Casey told Josh he was proud of him for giving back the helm. Josh is not about to take a chance with his crew, and knows how dangerous a slippery deck can be. As the first pot is about to make it to the rail, the episode ends leaving everyone in suspense on this episode of “Deadliest Catch.”