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The Curse of Oak Island recap: 10 big moments from Season 5 Episode 4

Rick Restall and toy gun on The Curse of Oak Island
Rick Restall and the toy gun he was reunited with on this week’s The Curse of Oak Island

Bad news, folks. Still NO TREASURE! However, The Curse of Oak Island Season 5 Episode 4 did have two big redeeming features.

Firstly, it showed that the team are definitely on the money with this whole goetech drilling business — as long as they do it safely and cover all bases.

Secondly, it reinforced that this story is not just about treasure; it’s also, as Rick Lagina often says, as much about the history of the island and all those who have been part of its incredible story.

While a toy gun is is obviously not going to have metal-detecting expert Gary Drayton doing a gold dance any time soon, putting all the pieces together through time is much of what this is all about.

Here are 10 of the biggest things we took away from Season 5 Episode 4.

1 30ft is one BIG void

Rick Lagina smiling
Rick Lagina wins facial expression of the week after hearing the drill team have struck a void

One of the most intriguing things from the episode were the voids found underground in the Money Pit area, including the huge one thought to be “at least” 30ft tall.

We knew this was coming as it was shown in the previews, but what could it be?

2 The geotech system seems to be doing the business

The 16 shafts seen from above
The 16 shafts that the team have dug so far this season

As Marty said at the end of the episode: “So far it’s Money Pit “16”, us “0”. That’s how many holes they have drilled so far.

But if you look back, they have already had some pretty interesting finds — charcoal, random bits of metal. This week there was the 30ft void — from 179ft down to 215ft — and also what looked like axe-cut wood found at around 200ft. These are all good discoveries.

Meanwhile, at the end of the episode the preview for next week also saw a member of the drilling team saying they hit something when inside another void. Our immediate, admittedly optimistic, thought is TREASURE CHEST! Well, here’s hoping.

3 Drilling can be a dangerous game

Explosion of the high-pressure hose
The moment of the explosion as pressure causes the hose to blow out

The explosion that left Max Williamson injured was a stark reminder of just how careful you have to be when carrying out work with, as Marty put it, “heavy equipment, high pressures, cavities unknown…it’s inherently dangerous.”

The story he told Rick over the phone about another person being killed by a high-pressure pump was a sobering one. Hopefully with the new safety measures in place nothing like that will ever happen again, but the whole team must be breathing a huge sigh of relief because…

4 Max Williamson is one lucky guy

Max Williamson
Max Williamson after the accident, with debris on his face apart from where he was protected

It’s remarkable that drill team member Max Williamson came away with as few injuries as he did. It was looking touch and go for a while, but he was back at work within a week.

However, as Marty was quick to acknowledge, things could easily have been MUCH worse. If that coupling had hit him in the head he would have been a goner and, as one of they guys pointed out, if he hadn’t been wearing his safety goggles he could easily have lost his sight. It was good to see him get back to work so quickly.

5 Bob and Mildred Restall were an extraordinary couple

Restall family photo
Mildred and Bob Restall with their sons Rick, left, and Bobby, right

Thought your weekly trip to the rock-climbing gym was exciting? How about spending your youth as part of a daredevil motorcycle act spinning around a metal sphere known as the “Globe of Death”, then deciding that wasn’t exciting enough for you so you’ll move to an island with your kids to hunt for treasure.

Who does that?! The Restalls did.

6 It’s all about respecting history

Map of Oak Island by Bobby Restall
A map drawn by Bobby Restall hanging on the wall of the Oak Island Interpretive Centre

Some fans may have greeted last night’s episode with shouts of “what, we waited a whole week for a toy gun?!” But if you haven’t noticed, that’s not how this Curse of Oak Island game works.

Rick Lagina evidently gets just as many — if not more — kicks trying to piece together the island’s history than he does drilling for treasure. Whether that’s to do with the Knights Templar, Samuel Ball, or the Restalls, Oak Island is all about one big story.

So paying tribute to the Restall family and their time on the island the way they did on last night’s episode felt right. As does devoting a section of the Interpretive Centre to the family’s exploits.

They played a huge part in its history. And who knows, maybe the 1704 stone DOES hold the key to the Oak Island mystery.

7 This was a very emotional trip for Rick Restall

Rick Restall in the Interpretive Centre
The moment Rick Restall realizes the toy gun was his from when he was a boy

It was hard not to well up as Rick Restall was handed that toy gun and looked it over, unsure at first, then had that magical moment when his facial expression changed slightly and he realized, yup, this was it…this was HIS toy gun which he hadn’t held for more than 50 years.

The moment was a reminder of just how wonderful a carefree childhood can be, when your imagination is allowed to roam free. Tragically, Rick and his mother’s time on the island came to a sudden halt after the now famous accident which claimed four lives including those of his father and brother Bobby.

Rick had only previously returned to the island once since the tragedy. But as Rick Lagina said: “I think in that moment, certainly it brought him back to his youth and my hope is in that moment that they were good memories, that that moment would be a bit transformative, if you will, for him. That he could perhaps let go of the past.”

8 They might not have been looking in quite the right place for the Money Pit

Geotech grid
Rick pointing out how there are not many planned holes in the center of the geotech grid

The sneak peek for next week’s episode looked VERY interesting — including suggesting that the team may not have been looking in quite the right place for the Money Pit with their initial geotech grid.

Time was also devoted to this idea during the episode when Rick Lagina and Charles Barkhouse met in the War Room to revisit their strategy. They now have more information than they did when they first drew the grid, and the sneak peek for next week showed a bit of further research is done which could really help point them in the right direction.

9 Next week looks like a biggie

Laird Niven's hands with apparent fragment of bone
The fragment Laird Niven says he thinks is bone on next week’s episode

Next week definitely looks like one we don’t want to miss. As well as the team hitting something in a void, as mentioned above, we also got a glimpse of a pottery fragment seemingly found at 190ft and…dum dum dum…a piece of what Laird Niven thinks is bone. Also…

10 X could really mark the spot!

Map of Oak Island
A close-up of the map shown in the sneak peek for next week’s episode

Best soundbite of the sneak peek definitely went to Marty for: “Wow, I didn’t expect there to be be ‘X Marks The Spot!'”

Which treasure-hunter worth their salt doesn’t have their ears prick up at the sound of that?

His comment came as he pointed at a diagram of various shafts, and after footage showed Alex Lagina and Charles Barkhouse examining an old document which Charles said he’d never seen before. A close-up of the document showed a map of Oak Island with “THE MONEY PIT” marked on it along with several intriguing notes scrawled alongside.

One that made us chuckle read: “Has anyone noticed that from the air the island looks like an elephant?” However, a separate and perhaps more significant one — underlined — reads “another Money Pit”.

The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on History.


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