FWIW, there are many places that only allow you to fish with barbless hooks. Typically, you just bend the barb down with a multi-tool or pliers. The fishing regulations in the part of Manitoba I worked in wouldn't allow them. In general I don't disagree with your observation that he should probably have brought fishing gear, but it's not a deal breaker to make your own hooks even if they don't have a barb. Much less efficient than bringing gear though.
I too wish they hadn't teased the medical emergency with Nicole. She is a very likable person and obviously is an extremely competent survivalist, but I'm left feeling like it was a serious mistake to cast her this season. TPTB don't really show us how close the filming sites are to a hospital but it can't be easy to evacuate someone. Accidents happen but she was coming in with a pre-existing condition and that seems risky. It was riveting though and I'm glad she took the time to explain and film what she was going through. If anything, I learned quite a bit about MS last night.
Loving the cabin. Interesting how some people build a very simple tarp shelter that doesn't seem like it would provide any insulation when the snow comes. The cabin is a gamble since he's not gathering food and burning a lot of calories but could be the difference between staying 50 days and staying 90 days once the weather changes.