‘American Pickers’: Full Recap of First Episode to Air Since Frank Fritz Departure Confirmed

by John Jamison

Fans of “American Pickers” knew something was amiss since long before the show publicly announced that Frank Fritz wouldn’t be returning. Since March 2020, it has been understood that Fritz’s absence from the show was due to the one-two punch of his health issues and COVID-19. While this may have been the case initially, the show apparently has no intentions of bringing him back.

The first episode of “American Pickers” since they officially broke the news aired recently. It should be interesting to see how the fan base responds to the recent development by way of their viewership in the coming weeks. But for now, the History channel hit seems happy to continue rotating through guests to join Mike Wolfe in his search for hidden gems across the United States.

In Monday’s episode, the 18th installment of Season 22 titled “Paradise Picking,” that’s exactly what fans saw. Except, in this case, the other featured picker was Mike’s brother, Robbie. He has appeared in more than 70 episodes of the show, but Fritz seemed to believe that Mike wanted Robbie to replace him all along.

Regardless, Robbie is a gearhead and was ecstatic to come across what was described as a time-travel bike as he passed through Mississippi. On the other front, Mike was preoccupied with an old pickup truck from 1932 in his jaunt across North Carolina.

‘American Pickers’ Leaning on Robbie Wolfe in Frank Fritz’s Absence

The presence of Robbie recently has seemed to confirm, at least in part, the show’s intention to lean on him in Frank’s absence.

“I think Mike wants to get his brother Robbie in there to replace me. I don’t know why he’s behaving like that towards me. You couldn’t just stick two people in a van and get the chemistry you get from me and Mike. We’ve known each other for about 40 years. We can finish each other’s sentences,” Fritz told The Sun in a recent interview.

Apparently, Mike and Frank haven’t spoken to each other in two years. And Fritz claims that he didn’t hear a single word from Mike or “American Pickers” in the wake of his back surgery. For two guys that have known each other for four decades, Fritz didn’t take the lack of communication very well.

Based on the way Mike Wolfe handled his social media after Fritz went on the record, however, you’d think nothing was wrong between them.

“I have known Frank for as long as I can remember, he’s been like a brother to me. The journey that Frank, Dani and I started back in 2009, like all of life, has come with its highs and lows, blessings and challenges, but it has also been the most rewarding,” Wolfe wrote in a recent Instagram caption.