Last night on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” Captain Wild Bill finally lost his patience with greenhorn Kelly “Tinkerbell” Collins. Week after week, Captain Bill has hoped that his hire for this season would finally click with not only his crew, but with crab fishing in general, and that somehow he would work out as a permanent addition to the Cape Caution. But, after last night’s episode, it does not look like Kelly will be sticking around long-term. In fact, at this point, if Kelly just makes it to the end of this trip, it will be a wonder.
Kelly came to the Cape Caution after two years of asking for a job. Claiming to be an experienced commercial fisherman, he apparently gave the captain a resume and persistent personality that he thought he could roll the dice on and win. But, as the season has gone on, Kelly has not only been unable to find his footing, he has yet to show how he could possibly have been a crew member on another boat. No, he never claimed it was another crab fishing boat—the Bering Sea is new to him—but just the fact that he had worked on a commercial fishing boat in another region should have meant something. Of course fishing elsewhere would be different, but it would have its own aspects of danger and difficulty, and Kelly just seems shocked that it is hard. Has he never even watched the show?
More likely than not, that’s actually the real deal: He wanted to be on “Deadliest Catch.” Whether or not Kelly ever worked on a commercial fishing boat is suspect, given his performance. If he really has, how he could have been successful is another mystery, given his poor attitude and extreme slowness on deck. But, it would not be surprising in the least if Kelly’s real motivation was not a great desire to crab fish—which he has not demonstrated to this point, to be sure—but to have his face on TV and show what he could do. Well, he's definitely shown what he can do--and it's not impressive.
Kelly finally retaliated at being yelled at last night, and it ultimately ended with Captain Bill tossing him back to the bait bins and threatening to withhold his paycheck (see video—it’s a great one). One thing is for sure: Kelly probably learned last night that one thing you do NOT do on the Bering Sea is threaten a captain. After telling Captain Bill he might just finish out the rest of his trip on his bunk, Kelly found himself unceremoniously ordered back to deck, and without the support of the one voice that mattered: that of his boss.
It remains to be seen—anything can happen on reality TV, after all—but it looks like Kelly punched his roundtrip ticket back home this week. Maybe one of his former bosses will take him back onto their deck—but he better not ask Captain Bill for a reference, that’s for sure!
“Deadliest Catch” airs on Discovery Channel on Tuesday nights at 9/8c.