At the beginning of the latest Gold Rush episode, titled “Crew War,” things looked promising for Parker Schnabel and his crew. Parker came up with the brilliant idea to have his massive new sluice he named Goldzilla sitting right in the middle of what they call the boundary cut. With a 90,000-yard stockpile of pay dirt piled right next to the massive machine, they are saving a lot of time and money by not having to truck dirt to the sluice. As they get Goldzilla fired up and sluicing for gold, Parker Schnabel points out that only one man is needed to feed dirt to the machine.
Gold Rush posted to their Facebook page, “Goldzilla’s up and running…but the test isn’t over for Parker’s crew.”
After watching the latest episode, fans may think that is an understatement.
If Parker Schnabel wants to make his goal of 3,000 ounces of gold, which translates to $3.3 million, then he will need Goldzilla and his crew working seamlessly. Unfortunately, in this episode, that doesn’t happen. To make his goal a reality, Parker Schnabel had to push himself and his crew to the breaking point. An hour into the first shift, there is a problem: no water is getting to the prewash, and the pay dirt is piling up. Water is gushing underneath the plant, and they discover a water hose that feeds the plant blew apart. Parker Schnabel gives his newest and youngest mechanic, Derek Antoniuk, the job of repairing the hose.
Parker and Derek had previously worked on the hose in the middle of the night, and apparently, their repair didn’t hold. While they work on the hose, Parker Schabel’s two other mechanics, Mitch Blaschke and Carl Rosk, jump in to make other repairs. Mitch levels the machine while Carl welds a plate. Mitch states that every time Derek and Parker touch something, he and Carl have to clean up their mess. The crew feels that Derek is causing problems, and they are getting the blame for his mistakes. Derek’s mistake with the hose cost the crew three hours of sluice time.
Parker Schnabel doesn’t see what’s happening with his crew and believes Derek is fitting right in and doing a great job. Schnabel says it’s nice to have someone who is really stepping up. Meanwhile, the other mechanics are angry and grumbling about the new mechanic. Obviously, they don’t feel the same way about Derek. As Chris Doumitt feeds pay dirt at 200 yards per hour into the machine, Derek notices a four-foot steel plate has ripped off the prewash and landed on the screen deck below.
When Parker Schnabel arrives at Goldzilla, Derek says that everything Carl welded came apart. As Derek makes repairs, someone off-camera asks him if he did the welds that came apart. Derek denies doing the welds, saying his work is in another spot. Carl arrives and Parker immediately tells him to call it a day. As Carl leaves, he has words with Schnabel, explaining that he did the upper welding, although Derek says he did those welds.
According to TV Ruckus, running such a high-dollar operation would be a lot of pressure for anyone, so it is probably safe to assume that Parker Schnabel is feeling the stress of Goldzilla being down. Every minute they’re not sluicing, they are losing money. In this instance, it may have been a good time to take a few extra minutes to sit everyone down to try and diffuse the situation. All of the crew, including Parker Schnabel, are feeling angry and disrespected. The lack of any real communication is beginning to slowly unravel Parker Schnabel’s crew and possibly his season.
Carl packs up and leaves, saying he’s had enough. Mitch is understandably upset and is hoping that when Rick Ness returns, things will change. Although he’s been Parker Schnabel’s mechanic for three years, he talks about moving on. Rick does return, and he’s not happy about Carl quitting and feels that Derek is causing problems. He tells Parker that he ran into Carl and that he was pretty bummed about the situation. Rick believes Parker doesn’t see what’s really going on. He tells Parker he doesn’t even want to meet Derek and wants him to stay away, which doesn’t sit well with Schnabel.
Parker Schnabel defends Derek and later goes to talk to Chris about his angry and splintered crew. Parker asks if he should fire Rick because he believes he’s causing additional turmoil. Doumitt tells him if someone is tearing up “their family,” that person should leave, not someone who has been with him for a long time. Parker Schnabel is visibly upset and unsure of what to do as he heads over to talk to Rick. Parker tells Rick he is making an enemy of him. He also tells him that things were going fine while Rick was gone, which was a surprising statement to make given what had just taken place with his crew. Shockingly, Parker Schnabel tells Rick to leave.
Next week, the fallout will undoubtedly continue, but Parker’s family arrives to help him out. Maybe it is time for a little wisdom from his beloved Grandpa John Schnabel. Parker always listens to what his grandfather has to say and, hopefully, his words of advice will be able to help Schnabel to resolve the major issues that could jeopardize his season.
Are you a fan of the show? What do you think about what occurred between Parker Schnabel and his crew? Leave your comments, opinions and thoughts below. Gold Rush airs on Friday’s at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.
[Image via Gold Rush/Facebook, cropped and resized]