Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People recap: Blindsided

Alaskan Bush People Ryan Berenz

Do the Alaskan Bush People get paid? We asked! Read our interview with the Brown family.

In Episode 3 of Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People, premiering Tuesday, May 20, the Browns race against winter to build their cabin, have to pay back a debt and then go into town to barter for essential supplies. Also, there’s somebody shooting out there.

RELATED: What happened to Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People?

Alaskan Bush People Season 1 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | The Wild Life

Season 2 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2Episode 3 | Episode 4Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8  | Wild Times | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | SHARK WEEK! | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Lost Footage | The Wild Year

The Browns have the foundation and floor of their cabin completed, but time is running out as temperatures are dropping to -10 degrees and the trapper shack’s moss insulation can’t keep out that kind of cold. They’re all packed in there tight, they smell bad and now there’s some sickness spreading around the family.

Daylight is getting slimmer, too, and the boys want to rig up some artificial light so they can pound nails at night. This task falls to Noah, the family’s MacGyver, who tries to power a tiny lightbulb by rigging up a poor-man’s generator with a chainsaw and an old car alternator. Of course it doesn’t work. Stupid laws of physics.

And then it’s time to pay the piper. Remember Lumber Guy Rick? He’s come to collect on the barter for the lumber. He needs two weak minds and strong backs to drive into Chitina to do some horrible work for one of his clients. The duty falls on Gabe and Bam, who always seem to get stuck with paying off the family debts (see hunting the caribou last week). Lumber Guy Rick’s client is Crazy Catherine, this weird old spinster who proceeds to gross us all out with the image of her in her Hawaii Day bathing suit (I suspect Crazy Catherine, like Lumber Guy Rick, is an actor). At first I think the labor they’re sent to perform is just to sit and listen to her lunacy, but they’re actually supposed to do some demolition on her greenhouse. It takes forever for Gabe and Bam to tear it down, because they’ve got crappy tools. Hours later, Crazy Catherine emerges with a power drill. She knew she had it all along. She just likes screwing with people.

So we come back to the generator problem. Bam, Gabe and Matt find a junk dealer, Grizzled Old Gale, who seems like he could be an obscure Lord of the Rings character. He’s an ornery old coot, and he has an old generator in his yard that he won’t part with easily. “The system says I have a violent personality,” Gale says, and he’s pissed that the Brown boys have come with nothing to offer. They eventually settle on a cord of spruce firewood (cut from the mightiest tree in the forest with … A HERRING!)

The boys must now go somewhere to barter for firewood to barter for the generator. They stop at Uncle Tom’s Tavern, the Mos Eisley of Alaska, to get taunted by the drunk townies yet again. Uncle Tom has a crapload of firewood, but he won’t trade it, the selfish bastard.

Next stop: Gizzly Pizza, scene of last week’s skirt-chasing debacle! It’s open mic night or something at the Grizz, and the guy with the guitar (He’ll be here all week!) is willing to trade a cord of wood for some DVDs. DVDs are a valuable currency in Alaska. You can put a nice down payment on a house with your old copy of You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.

Back to Uncle Tom’s. It seems there are only three establishments in Chitina, and they can’t go to the general store because the cashier has a restraining order out against Gabe. Uncle Tom is willing to trade his DVDs for 20 pounds of lake trout, because he is clearly insane or the producers of the show are as bored by this tiresome barter chain as we are.

Then we are subjected to an ice fishing scene. Fortunately, the fish are biting. Bear likes to do the humane thing and punch trout repeatedly in the head UFC-style so they don’t suffer.

Gabe and Bam deliver the catch to Uncle Tom, who is pleased with the sacrifice and offers up the precious DVDs in return. The DVDs are then delivered to Guitar Guy, who is mildly disappointed there is no porn in the collection. The cordwood is delivered to Grizzled Old Gale, who gives the boys a generator that is clearly not the same one we saw in the junkyard earlier. Bam sweet talks Gale into adding two windows into the mix.

See? Wasn’t that easy? And here I am exchanging money for goods and services like a sucker.

Back at the homestead, Billy’s fallen ill and is out of commission. It’s then that like 20 townspeople show up ready to lend a hand in building the cabin. Looks like a DVD copy of It’s a Wonderful Life finally made its way to Alaska.

The same elves that built the cabin also must have cured Billy, because he’s totally fine the next morning. And behold! The cabin is nearly completed! It’s a Hawaii Day miracle!

And so, friends, that concludes the adventure that is Alaskan Bush People. We sure had a lot of fun and also learned a lot about how to be miserable. Thanks for coming along on the journey.

Wait. What? Someone’s outside shooting guns in the middle of the night? You mean we have to come back next week?

Son of a…

Alaskan Bush People

Photo: Credit: Discovery Channel

27 Comments

  1. I don’t understand how the Brown’s of Alaskan Bush people have survived as long as they have in the bush. They are accident prone! They also have clothes that aren’t handmade, they aren’t ratty or worn, ill fit or old. Billie says he knows boats but always managers to get & pay for ones that could sink in a bathtub. He doesn’t think ahead before he decides he can start a business to support the family. He would have know about the other guy that was doing the shipping. You would think they would have realized the bears would destroy their camp if no one was there to protect it. Just saying

  2. The kids are brainwashed. After all the years in the bush they have nothing. Live on the town. Everybody get jobs and save your money. Ya’ll could make $100 grand in a year. Who does the thinking? Obviously not the right one. Ami should get all her teeth pulled and Birdie needs major dental work. Keep playing with your
    Dolls. That will teach you a lot. Learn to quilt. Come on parents get it together.

  3. I’m not a hater but, I do think Billy Brown is an egotistical clown who has lived his life conning good people out of anything he can get. He obviously couldn’t survive in “the bush” for one week. I feel sorry for the two daughters. Hope they can get the hell away when their parents are in jail. Discovery channel should be sued!!

  4. An indictment means that they have charges pending against them. They are awaiting their court date in June. After that they could be going to jail.

    Might be best if you take your own advice and get your facts straight.

  5. Oh and an indictment means that they have charges pending against them. It does not mean that they have been convicted. The jury will convict them or not after they go to court in June.

    Might be best if you take your own advice about getting facts straight.

  6. I’ve enjoyed this show, no matter the comments, and I do wonder about some of the things mentioned above, but still watch, and hope they’re back on after tonight’s “mid season finale”… I do wonder what they’re being paid for making it…

  7. Why do they always wait until winters upon them to try to build a house? And if theyve been out in the Alaskan bush for over 35 years, why have they not built a permanent home long before now? I just dont get these people. So many questions i could ask.

    • I think they receive $1,500.00 each for living in Alaska, This comes in October; they it to purchase the wood; giving them only a couple of months to finish their cabin.

      I think; it’s a guess.

  8. Where are those girls getting lipstick in the bush?? Hmmmmm. Also, I know the family is showing us what life is like in the bush and therefore cannot exactly spend the money they are making from the show on what they need when times get really hard, so I wonder what it will actually go for later on?

  9. 20 year old woman and a 12- year old playing with little dolls and pretending they are family members??? Seriously??? What have those two parents done to these “kids?” they are not toddlers anymore! The guys are in their 20’s and 30’s and are lonely for women but are socially inept and outcast. Proud, Ami & Billy?? This is what your selfishness has done to your kids!

  10. What do the females do when its that time of month?? I have a feeling I may not want to know the smelly, messy answer to that! Also, for a family that says they dont need the outside world and are self-sufficient and dont see the outside world for months at a time, they seem to have a lot of outside world stuff! Canned food, bananas, onions, coffee, potatoes, spices, tea kettle, tents, baskets, lumber, nails, axes, hammers, sledge hammer, shovels, ropes, chain-saw & other power tools, generator, DVD’s, dolls, bottles, gas, water jugs, gas cans, lanterns, mirrors, glasses, guns, ammo, pots, pans, containers, clothes, jackets, shoes, jewelry, tarps, blankets, pillows, crab pots, and I think I also spotted a guitar case, plus they’ve had vehicles, boats, they go to dentists and doctors when they need to, etc, etc. Sure seems like they DO need the outside world, or they wouldnt be able to live as isolated as they do!! They dont need us? Ha! What a joke! And where is all that stuff when they are shown moving place to place to a new home?? I never saw that stuff loaded onto the 2 boats they bought to go to their new home. And I thought they supposedly lost everything when the previous boat sank after hitting a rock or piece of wood. A lot doesnt make much sense. Like certain current phrases and references they use that are current. How can people living in the bush 30+years know these sayings and phrases??

    I also cant fathom how they can stand to go without baths. How can they stand to smell themselves and eachother?? Its all so gross! Do they use soap? Deodorant? Tampons? Sanitary napkins or RAGS like in the 1800’s?? MORE outside world stuff. What do they wipe with? Clip nails and toenails and washhair and brush teeth and brush hair, etc?? More outside stuff! Shame on Billy for claiming they dont need the outside world! They couldnt survive without us!

    I feel sorry for the kids. Yes, they claim they love that life, but it’s because its all they know! Of course they would say that! If theyd been raised in the real world and not the wild, theyd hate being in the bush! When I see people in their 20’s and 30’s with no dating life or friends or social interaction, no wives or husbands, I wonder how Billy and Ami could do that to their children! And eating grasshoppers and seaweed when low on food! My God! That is horrible!

    Wonder what will happen when Billy dies, or he and Ami get too old and feeble to live in the wilderness…..would the kids still go on living in the bush that way? Why are they all so reluctant to get jobs and live a normal life? They dont have to live in the city, they can live in the same private areas of Alaska as other people without being in “the bush.” They could go to the U.S, and live in the country, and be just as self-sufficientand off the grid as they are now, life would just be a bit easier and more secure. I cant imagine living like that, or subjecting my kids to it, with no choice about it. I feel for those kids, having to live like wild animals and hermits. Those two old hippies have turned out 7 socially awkward, lonely, animal-pack “children.” I think they were very selfish and self-serving to do that, putting their own whims before the good of their children. The kids turned out respectful and obedient, but they need REAL lives among other people, not just bears and their family. That’s just weird. And sad.

  11. Love the show, but where do the family get their clothes. They always look nice. Don’t they need some food stuff and medical stuff. I hope they do well in their new place to live.

  12. I love the show .but there kids need other young people. The boys need wife’s and the mother and father need to thank about this they have each other

  13. Mr Brown brags that they don’t need the outside world, as they stand there in their factory made shoes and clothes…using factory made nails and hammers, pots and pans. They show nothing but contempt for the people who make the things that make the Brown”s life possible . Hippocrites and now apparently thieves.

  14. Brown brags that they don’t need the outside world…standing there in his factory made shoes and clothes. Factory made nails and tools and kitchen implements. He has contempt for the people who make the things that make HIS life possible. Now it appears he’s a thief as well.

  15. WOW!!! I cannot believe how many haters their are on these comments about the browns .this is so wrong these are not actors this is a great family trying to live their life’s to the fullest and not begging or asking anyone to give them a hand out .they work and trade for everything. These children are very smart and are very happy thanks to their mom and dad. The people that are making all these bad comments must be rich. And to you Alaskan people why can’t u stop hating on this family . It probley all low life’s that are mad cuz someone offered them a show . If the brown family ever gets to read this I want to say to you your a great family and don’t ever let people put your family down .to the brown children u are great all of you and I would give you the shirt off my back to have such polite and respectful children like you .and don’t ever change like these snobs out here .and never let anyone take advantage of your kindness….. I hope to see you back on the air real soon so you can teach these snobs and haters in the world how to act like a decent person. Your an amazing family !!!! May god bless you all and keep you safe!!!!!!

    • The Brown family with exception to the youngest and the wife, were indicted on felony fraud charges. They supposedly stole money from Alaska through lying on an application. The show was cancelled for good after Oct, 2014. Game and Fish is hot on their trail also for illegally bartering wildlife.

      • Evidently, the show was NOT canceled for good, coz its back on. And if they were indicted on felony charges, why arent they in prison? Some people believe any crap someone else decides to invent. Get your facts straight, please, before you come on here hatin’. These are nice people, all of them. Who are you to throw stones? Are you perfect? Would love to examine YOUR life and see what YOU have done, lol! Would be very enlightening, I’m sure. Live and let live.

        • They have felony charges on them. They are scheduled for arraignment in June 2015.

          You are welcome to have them as your neighbors.

    • Thank you for your post. Exactly how I feel about the Browns and the show. I love it. I love the Browns. Well said and you saved me the time of attempting to say all the same things

Comments are closed.

About Ryan Berenz 2006 Articles
Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.