The Curse of Oak Island Season 5 premiere was probably the most-anticipated episode of the series ever — and it didn’t disappoint.
An emotional-rollercoaster, it saw the tragedy of the death of Craig Tester’s son and Jack Begley’s brother Drake play out, as the meaning of the episode’s title — Forever Family — became clear.
There were also some hugely significant finds and very tense moments as the Lagina brothers and the rest of the Fellowship of the Dig embarked on what will be the most ambitious engineering project the island has ever seen.
Here are 10 things we learned on the Season 5 premiere.
1 The weather really WAS bad over the winter
We knew from the trailers that the weather had been bad over the winter before filming started for Season 5. But by the looks of the extensive damage to the south-shore road — which literally wasn’t there any more — it really WAS bad.
That’s good news for fans, because bad weather means the surface of the island will have been churned up, which will hopefully lead to lots more of surface finds to come.
2 We know how they’re going to try and find the original Money Pit
We got shown this in the sneak peek of the premiere last Thursday, but we’ll include it here because it’s obviously fundamental to the season ahead.
40 6in-wide boreholes around the Money Pit area, drilled down to depths of up to 200ft, is no easy feat — but it also gives the best chance yet of locating the original Money Pit.
And as the season trailers revealed, the future on that front is looking good with all of them showing Marty saying: “We not only found the Money Pit, the Money Pit is real.”
3 Gary Drayton is a metal-detecting wizard
Next time you lose your keys, just call in Gary Drayton — because if anyone can find something that’s hidden and made of metal it’s him.
The Season 5 premiere not only saw him discover what he thought was an English or French copper coin estimated to be from the 1700s, but also a historic rose-headed nail.
If the team really want to find a “shiny gold object” at the bottom of the C-1 shaft, they should sent GARY down there.
4 The nail could be hugely significant
The rose-headed nail, discovered in the spoils of the GAL-1 shaft, could be a hugely important find and help shed more light on the various artefacts the team recovered from GAL-1 last year. Find out more about rose-headed nails — and why the shape of its shank could be significant — here.
5 Shiny gold objects are incredibly elusive
Facial expression of the week has to go to Marty when he realised that diver Mike Huntley was losing visibility at the bottom of the C-1 shaft because of all the sediment.
Seeing Mike chisel away at what he thought could be the “shiny gold object” on the wall of the chamber, to then report back that it just wouldn’t budge, was extremely frustrating to watch — and the object remains elusive.
However, the footage from the new-fangled Spectrum 120 HD camera definitely show something at the bottom of C-1 — what looked like a hook, a tangle of mesh and a few other objects.
Mike may only have brought up black sludge, but get him back down there! Preferably with Gary Drayton.
6 Diving down 40in shafts is a dangerous business
I don’t think ANYONE watching Mike’s dive felt comfortable — as it actually appeared that they came pretty close to disaster.
It was hard enough to sit through for us fans, but imagine actually being there. The expressions on the faces of Craig, Rick and Marty as the seconds ticked down said it all. They thought things were starting to seriously go wrong before their eyes.
A spell in the hyberbaric chamber and Mike was right as rain. But their decision to give him just one task next time he goes for a dive is definitely a good one.
7 You need ‘eyes and boots’ to find treasure
Rick said this A LOT in the premiere. “Eyes and boots, that’s how you get answers”. That suggests we’re going to be seeing a lot more of things like dives and metal-detecting in the season ahead.
All things considered, the haul of finds from the premiere wasn’t half bad — so we’re all for more eyes and boots if that’s what it takes. (And not to flog a dead horse, but the boots would probably be best if they had Gary Drayton in them.)
8 The ‘fragment’ they find is bone
The ‘fragment’ of what we previously thought was stone was shown in a sneak-peek of the season ahead at the end of the episode — with scenes showing it being tested and actually found to be bone.
Rick is heard asking: “Is it human?” If that isn’t a hook to draw you into the rest of the season, we don’t know what is.
9 We’re nearing the end of the hunt
Another scene from the season sneak peek showed Marty saying: “We’re nearing the end of the hunt”. We also saw more footage of the huge boulder — previously shown in earlier trailers — being excavated, as Rick asks: “Might this be the back door to the underground workings of Oak Island?”
Cameras then show him exploring inside a cave by torchlight. Whether the boulder and cave are linked remains to be seen, but things really do seem to be coming together nicely for the team this season!
10 The bond between the team is truly remarkable
The scenes at the end of the premiere as the team paid tribute to Craig’s son Drake — who tragically passed away at the age of 16 earlier this year — were extremely emotional to watch.
However, they also reinforced one element of the show that has been evident ever since Season 1 — that the bond everyone involved in the hunt shares is hugely strong. Once part of the Oak Island family, always part of the Oak Island family.
The hunt continues with Drake at the front of everyone’s thoughts. As Jack said: “We’re going to miss him, but he’s always going to be with us.”
Annoyance of the week: That pesky sediment at the bottom of C-1.
Find of the week: The nail, without a doubt.
Quote of the week: Marty describing the shiny gold object in “all its sinewy” beauty. Oh, and Rick saying “eyes and boots” at least three times.
Treasure-hunter of the week: Do we really need to state the obvious? The Draytonator, by miles.
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on History.