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What I Watched Last Night

Gilmore Girls ends with a whimper, in character with these last two disappointing seasons. The entire town of Stars Hollow throws Rory a going away party. She's leaving to cover the Obama campaign for an online magazine and apparently won't be seen again for years.

Luke orchestrates the party, sewing a big tent for the town square out of old tents, tarps and raincoats. After everything that's gone on between Luke and Lorelei, this is just the sign Lorelei has been waiting for and they reunite with the most passionless kiss in television history.

*

The Cubs held on to their lead and beat the Mets 10-1.

*

Over to the DVR for tonight's episode of Deadliest Catch. Last week's episode concluded with the end of king crab season, when many of the boats haul in more than a million bucks worth of giant sea spiders. Tonight is the opening of opilio crab season. First lesson: there's such a thing as an opilio crab. Much smaller than king crab, these creatures hardly look worth the effort. They're in season during the brutal month of January and the Bering Sea looks absolutely wicked, mixed with snow, ice and bitter wind.

I'm getting nauseous just watching these boats ride the waves up and down. The commercials are actually a welcome respite.

Anyway, Jonathan, co-captain on the Time Bandit, is letting his brother Andy captain the boat for the winter. I'll miss Jonathan's happy crab dance when the baited traps (the large steel cages called pots) come to the surface full of crab.

At the crew's request, the Northwestern takes on a new deckhand, a fifth man to help during the difficult season. The new man is a 23-year-old greenhorn named Jake Anderson and he'll have to prove himself to the crew, most of all to Captain Sig Hansen. Following his tradition, Sig won't shake hands with the new guy until the season is over and Jake has proven he's got the right stuff. Tough captain.

Greenhorn Nick on the Wizard eats raw cod intestines for good luck. He's game, chewing on it for a good ten seconds until he spits it out. I don't know what's worse, watching it go in or come back out.

Still at dock, the Northwest Leader runs through a Coast Guard fire drill. The crew has to find a strobe and smoke bomb hidden somewhere on board. They pass and then it's on to the survival suit race; each crew member must don their survival suit in less than a minute. The show's producers are getting a lot of mileage out of harrowing footage from last season, replaying the rescue of a man overboard for the umpteenth time. Lesson number two: the survival suit can save your life.

The Northwestern searches for missing pots, a job made harder by sea lions using the diver bags that bob on the surface as toys, puncturing them so they fill with water and sink. It's like searching for a needle in a liquid hay stack.

Rookie Nick on the Wizard wears glasses. I'm wondering how the heck he works with glasses on? All that sea spray? You wouldn't be able to see a thing on deck. Might as well fish with a blindfold on.

Heading out to the fishing grounds, pots stored on deck run the risk of icing over, adding weight that could make a boat top-heavy and in danger of rolling over. Imagine shoveling and chipping ice off your driveway if it were suspended 20 feet over the rolling deck of a 127-foot crab boat in 15-foot swells and 30-foot gusts. Good times.

The Cornelia Marie has to wait it out while their crab processing boat is repaired after a fire. Fisherman seem as superstitious as baseball players. Captain Phil shaves his beard and mustache to bring the boat some much needed good luck.

The episode concludes with another appearance by the Coast Guard, called out to rescue a gravely ill fisherman. The man has been vomiting blood and once he's safely up in the helicopter, he buries his head in a plastic bag and does so again. Lesson number three: when you barf in a Coast Guard helicopter, it's called a "biohazard," as in, "We've got biohazard here."

The crab count at the end of the program shows the Wizard in the lead. They're also the only boat to pull any pots out of the sea.

*

Now I'm off to catch-up on two episodes of The Riches waiting on the DVR. With all the talk in these pages about the dreaded jumping of sharks, I hate to admit I'm already sensing the shark beginning to circle about Rich family motorhome. So soon? We shall see.

*

See what else we've been watching, in the What I Watched Last Night collection.



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Posted on May 16, 2007


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