The Gold Rush episode airing Friday on Discovery may well be the swan song of relatively new miner Rick Ness.
This is his last chance to keep payroll and not wipe out his entire savings as he struggles on the series that saw him introduced as a crew member of now competition Parker Schnabel.
This big boy game has Ness wearing his stress as he looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders.
That he does.
It’s not just the mining, but Ness has had another personal setback as he posted on Facebook on Jan. 12 that he lost his grandmother Lola too.
In our exclusive clip, we see his crew headed up by Freddy Dodge and the enigmatic fan-favorite crew foreman, Gene Cheeseman. These men are trying to help Ness get on track, and together they came up with some pretty good theories about where they might find some gold.
There’s a lot of chatter too on the socials about Gene heading into Rick’s orbit.
And during the coming episode’s 60 minutes, it will truly decide Rick’s season overall, and his future as a gold miner. We hope the clip is a ruse, and that he does well in the end.
After all, the clip has him working with not only Gene Cheeseman, but also Freddy Dodge, who is also a gold mining savant.
So how much did @Discovery pay Gene Cheeseman to drop what he was doing and go help @GoldrushRick out? A man like that is in high demand… @thedirtGR @Gold_Rush @ChristoDoyle @GoldRushNation #goldrushnews
— Kai Helge Aalhus (@khaa76) January 4, 2020
I think that we can all agree that Gene cheeseman is a national treasure
— scott varney (@scottva73444832) January 11, 2020
Rick is pensive in the clip and notes that there is no additional guarantee that there’s gold in the run of paydirt they are washing, but he is clinging to some hope, as are his crew.
After this one-hour bucket test he is running, he says: “If there’s not a quarter ounce of gold in each one of these sluice runs, I am shutting it down [and] we’re going home. It’s as simple as that.”
Gene and Freddy share that it is a tough business to be in and note that more than one miner has gone broke trying to do it more than once — just chasing an elusive dream.
Rick is trying to put on a brave face, and he says that he does not want failure to be an option for his guys, and together they will do the best they can to find what gold is at the site.
He says: “It could be the end of things here if this test doesn’t come out very good.”
The guys inspect a bucket, and the hour is up as Gene loads the final bucket into the feeder. There is some gold in it. Not a lot, but enough to keep them interested.
Rick says: “It is not quite as much as I was expecting to see… yeah, they’re not gonna look at it and judge it.”
Trying to be optimistic with Rick, Gene says: “Think I’ll pull this mat right here yeah …I’ll wash it in a tub, and I’ll pan it down, and we’ll weigh it and see what we got. till we know what’s in it, it’s all bullsh**.”
Rick needs this swath of pay dirt to produce at least a quarter of an ounce. Anything less, and his season is over.
Tune in to see if any luck returns to Rick.
Gold Rush airs Fridays at 9 pm on Discovery.