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


  1. This show is a disaster, obviously funded by a production crew who wants to stay in AK despite terrible casting choices and unbelievable (in the bad context) plot twists. Try again ‘Discovery’. This ones a sinker.

  2. How can you not admire this family, The spoils of
    Today and the kids.I sure hope discovery cut them a check
    and helped them back on their feet.Love the show, Could watch it over and over again.

  3. My heart goes out to you all in your latest INDEVERS. Words can’t discribe it just be true to one self, family , and god. Your faith is SOMTHING to shine toward in the dark hrs I myself am in very ruff times and im losing my whole family so in these times i but have more than I need. I’d like to help don’t have crazy amounts but I’m sure I’d be able to put a few go bags together for ya. You let me know. I love Alaska when I went homer was the most amazing place seconds from a different chapter in my life sooo close. Anyhow let me know BROWNS

    • Justin clearly ran out of crystal meth, but has a good heart and wishes them well. I am so confused I don’t know whether any of these cast “family” members ever even met each other or all just wandered separately into a truck stop in small hungry penniless groups where some Discovery Channel people were having a cup of coffee, and the DC people maybe just said, “Hey, if we offer to feed these people, they might do a reality show for us. And we can pay everyone in this town who wants to be on a TV show for a couple of days, they’ll come and pretend to do a barn raising type deal and then the next night we borrow one of their guns and pretend to shoot at them so we can all at least get somewhere warmer where there are more than 2 women and some of them are even nice looking.” Then the DC people learn that their cast isn’t willing to be eaten by bears, they say, “Well would you stand here on this dock and sink a boat, and we all clap hands and a bargain, because we noticed there was a 10 year old kid without a SAG card and we can’t prove nobody worked her more than 4 hours a day.” Then everybody literally skeedaddles on the first 6 boats heading south.

        • Nope. Never had any. I’m just worried about these people literally abandoned on a dock with a boat with all their belongings sinking below them–what little they have–and the Discovery Channel apparently ditching them to advertise the Siberia show they are replacing the Bush people (are they really a family, or did they just wander up at an open casting call?) with in that time slot in the future. I think something way off happened for the show to just end with a cooked up barn raising followed by death threats and getting shot at in the night, fleeing their home after living in it a week, and then the next week back on the southeast hundreds of miles away in a boat that rammed into something, called Mayday, and flooded yet still made it just to its dock space before it just vanished. Anyway, maybe they’ll all get jobs and rent some old milking shed from somebody and put that little girl in school where she will be guaranteed warmth and two decent meals a day–they seem to love her. This whole 4 episode deal was just weird, and I feel bad not knowing what became of them, if any if this was true. The premise was that they had been squatting in federal land for years and got kicked out of the cabin they built and the govt burned the cabin down, yet they had enough $ to buy 5 acres on the North Pole and drove there in a Suburban without windows? Then traded talking to a crazy lady for lumber and God knows what, a caribou for DVDs and DVDs for salmon for dental work for Merry Catherine Raindrop plus one more name I can’t remember? I’m so damned confused I wish I HAD some crystal meth so I’d stop worrying about the little girl and the one who sort of /snort of speaks sort of English sort of out of his nose as if he’d been taught to talk by pigs. I think there’s some dietary deficiency or something. But I’m pulling for them exactly in the way I want to make ALL the ” real” Housewives work in a salmon canning factory and force the Duggars to read Hamlet, Walt Whitman, and at least one book by Hemingway.

          • Yea Grub, whatever kind of nickname that is – a reality show of it’s own I’m sure.

            Yea, put the show back on. I want to see the look on Poppa’s face when two or three of the son’s ( two in particular – I’m sure ) decide to come out of the closet, and I don’t mean the closet they just built for the cabin.

    • I, myself, would would like to donate to you, a book on grammer and punctuation.

  4. This family to me represents the true frontier spirit in a land correctly described as America’s last frontier. If there is a way for them to survive they will find the way. If a fund is set up to assist them in continuing their preferred life stile it would be hard for me to not help them on their way. I see this family as having the true American spiri.

  5. Love the show, please bring it back. They’re good people trying to raise a family & survive like our grandparents did…off the land. We need more of them and less of the Kardashians!

  6. It would be a shame not to bring this show back. Maybe the producers should get together to help the browns . they are part of reason they lost their home! This show is awsome.

  7. Great show. The kids now a days do nothing but play video games. These guy are out side all the time. Tell your kids get off the games and go find your food. Not mommy bring it to you like jobs or work around the house

  8. I watch all the shows on Discovery, these “Bush People” are the most fascinating and intriguing. The series was cut short just as I was really getting into it. I would like to see more for sure. When they brought those cameras up north it really pissed off some people who do NOT want to be found.

  9. I love this show. I hope The Discovery Channel brings the show back. Most definitely, the Browns were shot at by one or more of the towns people. They were the only ones that knew they were there. What stupid punk cowards to sneak up on their property at night and start firing a weapon.

    • I really hope your being sarcastic… It’s more likely that the entire thing was staged conveniently for the camera crew who just happened to be there, and just happened to have the capability to film in the dark… If you really wanted to threaten someone you wouldn’t shoot a few shots in the dark. Sure it’s possible, but in my neck of the woods people just go in broad daylight, and the threats can be made face to face (country folk tend to be a lil more brash and not cowardly or on a television show looking for ratings).


    • I’ll pitch in as well. As long as Discovery Channel will setup a legitimate site I know my money is going to reach the Browns.

  11. I love this show and the family and the love they have for each other. The people that want to bash have to have something to hide behind. Did you notice that most of those that bash can barely spell and the grammer is awful. This family works harder than most of us ever will and if they fail, they pick it up and find another way. I am worried about the show not coming back on after tonights episode. I saw there is another show in it’s time slot next week. I want this show to go on. I for one will not watch the other show about Americans going to Russia to work. Really???

  12. I really love the Brown Family I watched this show since it started hopefully the producers will bring it back

  13. I am hooked on this show and got my family hooked as well. I just hope the Browns are 100% real. It would be very disappointing if they weren’t genuine. Watching that show makes me love Alaska even more!

    • Hate to burst your bubble, but they are very unrealistic/fake. If you want to live this sort of lifestyle invest in a good book or two. I’ll warn you that it’s not the easiest way to live, but it is more simplistic. Please do not follow their examples or believe everything you watch.

  14. I really enjoy the Brown family on the Bush People. I do hope they continue with the show add they lost their boat on tonight’s episode. I see next week Siberia Cut is on next week. Please let us know.

  15. What happens now that they lost the boat is the show over or will they make a come back?

  16. I really enjoy watching the Brown family. I sure he this show will continue. I watched this episode tonight May 27th when they lost their boat. Usually they show what happens on the next episode but they did not. Has Discovery cancelled it? I hope not.

    • The Brown family are had workers they said they would barterer to get what they need and they did but for the some people to come out in the dark and shoot at their family SHAME ON YOU FOR THAT DID …….The Town folks came and helped and you did this to them, SHAME ON YOU

  17. I admire the Brown family and all its members and the work they have set themselves to do. The thing that I don’t understand is that with such bad weather right on their heels, why wouldn’t they use the chain saw and other tools they had in order to get the ‘shack’ done soonest in order to beat the weather so that they could work on the house!. That made no sense to me. Chainsaw vs. ax wins every time. Look at the bartering they could have done without using precious time needed for construction. Bigger fires could have helped for warmth. What heat source are they going to put in the house? I would assume it will be wood? What is mom cooking for food. It basically ignores that part of the program?

  18. I enjoy the show also. Not sure why Ryan has to do so much bashing. He would not last a day. I guess it is human nature for some to have to make fun of others to make themselves feel better. There is a lot of love and respect for each other in this family. I am sick of Ryan’s stories and wish he would hang up his hat at journalisim. All he does is poke fun at others. Let’s see how successful your kids are in a few years and if your marriage is even still up a running. You need to teach your kids more about important things in life than Star wars.

    • I enjoy the show too, but only because it looks like a bunch of idiotic city folk making a run at camping. They say no one in america lives like this, but I have for several years. Based on this show the Browns are clearly incapable of self sustained living and would most likely be dead if they tried. But this is a show, and it’s all fake (I really worry for mankind if the majority of you believe shows like this, axemen, and goldrush are realistic). So, please don’t bash a man who clearly sees that it’s fake and doesn’t like watching it to mock it like me and mine do.

  19. Just love the show. The Brown family has a great attitude for life and treat others with respect. This family goes threw so much and watching I wish I could send movies , clothes to wear, and they could barter with it as well. I have a young granddaughter that is the same age as the youngest daughter. I would love to send her books for reading time and some clothes. I admire there life style and strength because I don’t think; I know I couldn’t do it. God Bless them!

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About Ryan Berenz 2045 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.