By Lori Acken
The seventh season opener of Dog The Bounty Hunter, premiering tomorrow at 9pm ET/PT on A&E, is — believe it or not — all about the mamas. In fact, it’s so about the mamas that, in one portion, Chapman brothers Leland and Duane Lee don’t even show up until a fugitive-free goose chase through a field of Colorado scrub pine (thanks to a camera-loving goofball named Leo) is almost over.
The premise of “The Ice Man” is reassuringly familiar: Clan Chapman is back in Denver helping their ol’ gold-jewelry-loving pal Bobby Brown chase down Mark Burk, a serious player in the local meth scene whom a series of locals place at pretty much every trailer park and/or junk car lot on the outskirts of town. In the meantime, they get a Bonus Bounty in Wendy Iles, Burk’s beloved and a child neglect fugitive from Florida who is rumored to be pregnant with her sixth child.
And while Dog fans like me get a huge kick out of watching Chapman Senior hunting down the baddies with his longtime comrade Brown — two old dogs doing the trick they do best — this time it is the Chapman women who are clearly the forces with which to be dealt.
The Burk capture marks Baby Lyssa’s return to bounty hunting following the birth of her second daughter, and the new mom is clearly torn about being dragged away from the adorable pink bundle, morning, noon and — on this sucker — often late at night. In fact, she offers the baddies a warning from the back seat of Beth’s SUV that they are facing the worst kind of huntress — one with “Angry Mom Aggression.”
On that subject, Chapman matriarch Beth (looking buxom, but considerably slimmed down) is also none too pleased with hunting on the fly either, explaining into the camera on one morning dash back into the Colorado hinterlands, “This is the problem with bounties on the run like this: I look like a clown; I have too much blush on; my hair is sticking out the side of my hat; he is rushing me and the boys aren’t even here yet.”
So you can bet your acrylic tips that when a none-too-cooperative junk lot owner named Old Man Webb gets up — or actually down, because he’s a good foot taller than she — in her business when the crew shows up on his property, it isn’t the Old Man or the cop he sends after her that winds up put in their place.
I won’t spoil the ending — you know how these things go — but suffice it to say that the fate of Wendy Iles, the mama on the run, is a prime example of why Dog fans find themselves on his leash, season after feel-good (there … I said it) season.
A&E photo/Credit Scott Gries