Deadliest Catch star Elliott Neese was conspicuously missing from the Season 9 premiere, causing fans (and cast members) to wonder about his whereabouts.
Scott Campbell, Jr., a.k.a. Junior, the captain of the Seabrooke, was quoted saying about the MIA star: "Elliot should be here. He should be ready to go."
Northwestern captain Sig Hansen had a different take:
"In all honesty, I’m kinda not surprised Elliott isn't here this year … No owner is going to let a guy run a boat and not produce. You're going to lose your job."
It's no secret Neese had a hard time of it last season, struggling at sea and back on land. But absent from Deadliest Catch with no explanation at all?
His absence, it turns out, may be mostly for dramatic effect.
Discovery's website reads: "The youngest skipper in the fleet, Elliott Neese, is all in this year as he returns as the owner of his own boat, the F/V Saga."
"With more than $1 million in the hole and 10 bucks to his name, the stakes have never been higher for Neese," the network said in a press release.
And if that wasn't enough, the troubled captain took to Twitter and dispelled rumors about him not making it to the show by the Season 9 premiere.
"... Don't believe everything you see it a tv show there has to be drama and conflict and resolution its tv," the tweet read on his timeline Thursday.
So ... he's not really missing, or at least not permanently.
Now we're even more curious about his return.
Darn you, reality TV. Sucking us back in.