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The Gold Rush Fan Theory That Explains Season 13 Episode 1's Rick Ness Cliffhanger

The Season 13 premiere of Discovery's "Gold Rush" is finally here, bringing with it perhaps one of the most ominous cliffhangers in series history. Indeed, the episode description from Discovery includes the menacing tagline "Rick Ness is missing in action," which — considering the immense dangers and struggles that come with the world of gold-mining — is sure to make fans worry about whether or not something terrible has happened to Rick while working in the mines.

That said, as the episode progresses, it becomes clear that Rick's disappearing act has nothing at all to do with the mines themselves. Instead, he appears to have cut off all communication with his crew, and he is no longer responding to any texts or phone calls. This, obviously, now leaves his role in Season 13 completely up in the air. Although it's unclear what exactly sparked this isolated behavior from Rick, the episode makes it clear that Rick's crew is extremely worried about him, to the point that several of his friends and coworkers actually travel to his house to see what has happened to him.

Unfortunately, the episode ends just as Rick's friends knock on his door, though hopefully, we will get some answers about his strange disappearance during Episode 2. Although "Gold Rush" certainly seems to be implying that something bad has left Rick unable to communicate with the outside world, several fans on Reddit have a much more positive theory about his absence from the premiere of Season 13.

Fans think that Rick and his girlfriend had a child

Following the release of "Gold Rush" Season 13 Episode 1, fans on Reddit theorized that the ominous cliffhanger surrounding Rick Ness is an elaborate ruse staged by the showrunners, and that the real reason he hasn't been in touch is because he just became a father. "There's been so much rumour and unsubstantiated gossip about Rick Ness... putting my bet in now, it's all guff. Rick had a kid with his girlfriend," asserts u/Clarky1979. "I actually had the same thought," agreed u/nutbucks. "The twist could be that he had the kid with someone else."

Although there is currently no evidence online that Rick Ness and his girlfriend Leese Marie have had a child, most of the conviction surrounding this theory has to do with the series' history of staging events for the sake of television drama. "You know its scripted when a 'concerned friend' shows up to your house with a full camera crew," claimed u/morbidshapeinblack. "'He hasnt text or called me back in a while.' So lets ambush him at his front door with a **** ton of cameras so we can blast his issues out to the public!"

Indeed, there have been plenty of claims over the years that most of what you see on "Gold Rush" is completely fake and scripted — including one from former cast member Jimmy Dorsey who alleged that his dramatic departure from the series was 100% staged. As shocking as it could be to discover that Rick Ness' disappearance actually stems from Rick having a child, it seems as though most fans still believe that this dramatic cliffhanger is complete fabrication from the show itself – regardless of what the truth might be.