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

39 Comments

  1. This show makes me pissed— that’s not it at all. They look like city slicker hillbillies slumming the Alaskan slopes. I’ve lived in Alaska 29 yrs….. Never have I seen such stupidity, building a home and not knowin the community around you. It’s Alaska hello we know everyone in our town/village, more like newbies. If not then they suck at acting — leather coats — hahaha. Did ya see they never had gloves on while they hunted — 6 hours of freezing cold right — lmao .

  2. I really loved that show ,I was wondering what happen to the show ,this show was very interesting .will there be another series? Iwould like to know how thy are doing.

  3. This show sucks. It is scripted. Theese idiots wouldn’t survive a week in the wild. They live off goverment hand outs and now off of dc paychecks. this show is a discrase to real bush people

    • someone got shot or eatin’ — by a bear…or maybe they just want to do a “Who shot JR?” promo. What a coincidence/crok that papa got sick and did not know the house gets built while he sleeps off, some made disease…please, these dudes are weird enough…don’t need to me add any silly bs.

      • U got on and off button use the one that says off or better yet, change the channel . I love the family,”go Browns!

    • Hey, that pic w/mama & papa bush, is really quite nice as they sit in front of there hut?…very lord of the rings vibe…who took that photo?

  4. Please keep the show on. You cancelled Dirty Jobs and that was a great show. Miss seeing Mike Rowe. I am starting to like all the family I was not sure for awhile, but keep it on. Need to know was has been happening to all of them.

  5. Please, these people never even dressed like Alaskans. Stylish leather jackets? Multiple rings on their fingers? Perfectly manicured fingernails? These people did not live off the wild, and their neighbor that was right close by was not happy about the helicopters flying over and frightening his 4 year old child all the time. They were not in the wilderness at all. There was a pizza joint half a mile away. The women appeared wimpy and soft, nothing like a true Alaskan bush woman. These people are so weird it was painful to watch.

    • Ami doesn’t look whimpy to me, she is outside in freezing weather, working along side of her well mannered family…she’s a good parent , she isn’t vulgar nor trashy and that takes SMARTS and strength

    • SERIOUSLY???? You are calling yourself an Alaskan & think that just because they wear leather jackets & have rings they aren’t bush people. Bush people cant have a sense of style??? LMFAO!!!!! Ami is nowhere near wimpy or soft…what you see is a very-strong, quiet, stable, reliable, roll-with-the-punches wife & mother. I am a home-grown Alaskan…..& I have lived in the bush & I even have a bottle of purple nail polish!!!! OMG!!!! My nails are even clean & so is my hair….I washed it in a stream that was SO DAM cold that it gave me a brain freeze like nobody has ever had that got ‘brain freeze’ from eating ice-cream too fast!!! HOW can you call yourself an Alaskan person!!!

      • Well thanks for fowling up the Alaskan waters with your nasty hair-oil and your shampoo and all the bacteria and grossness that came off you when you bathed and washed your hair and took a crap and whatever else you did in the water! People have to eat fish and crabs and other things out of that water! Idiot!

  6. I wish Discovery would tell us where they are currently living. There seems to be some confusion. Some people think they have a nice cabin with lots of money. But I thought they had to leave that cabin behind for whatever reason. When the boat sank, it appeared that they really did lose some belongings. The daughter’s teddy was reclaimed, but apparently, not much else. The looks on their faces did not look fake to me. I wish Discovery would do an update on their lives.

    • Yes, they chose to leave their newly built cabin in the forest, because there were neighboring folks threatening lives with gun shots aimed at the filming crew and the Brown family

    • 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.

  7. I really enjoyed this show and I hope it comes back on. I really want to know what will happen next. If they leave it the way the last episode ended will suck. I want to see the Browns find a new place and and be able to live the way they want to! !!!! Please continue with the show! !!!!!!

  8. I loved that show, great family that cares about each other. I just would not want to get a tooth ache, those pliers might smart a little bit! Please bring it back in some form.

  9. I thought the show was great, I hope it comes back on! What is wrong with watching a close knit family stick together. I hope who ever ran them off gets the karma they deserve!

    • Because they are idiots. They are never prepared; basically just leecher’s and that is why they were run off.

      • The Brown’s were run off the land by cowards who come out at dark and shoot at mountain folks and the unarmed TV crew.
        BTW, The cowards don’t own the land and if the TV crew hadn’t been there to document the shootings, I’m quite certain the Brown’s would have defended there newly built home in the frozen forest….relying on the law to punish career criminals is hopeless…. So, last I saw the Brown family , they all be living on their 40 foot boat that they own….I wish them luck

  10. This is the best show on T.V. right now and older people my age Love it. I especially like the boys comedy and Billy. They act like older U.S. Americans. Please keep this show on.

  11. My husband and I loved the show. We hope discovery channel will continue to air episodes of the brown family. It is amazing how this tight family group accomplished so much in such a short time. Imagine what a whole season of brown family power can create. Lol! We need more family’s like them in the world~

  12. Wow, I can not believe what I have read here! You people worrying about the Browns? STOP!!! They are doing just fine. It was a TV show. They got payed a lot of money. They have a web site selling selling books and videos. They have never had money problems and never will. It is funny how so many people want to help them when they have more money than most of you!!! IT WAS a TV show people!!!!

    • Exactly, Michael. Not only that, the Browns also take home the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend EVERY year. That’s between $1,000-$1,500 PER PERSON, usually. October last year it was $900 apiece so the family took home $8,100. This year it’s reported to be $1,300 or $1,400 which means they will get at least $11,700. They don’t NEED people’s money.

      Also, if Gabe has a restraining order against him from a young woman in town, how nice can this family BE, really? Restraining orders are issued because of serious threats of bodily harm. That’s horrible, actually; this family hasn’t even been in the Chitina area for very long.

      I think Discovery has done a pretty grave disservice presenting this family the way they have without disclaimers saying it is an “embellishment” of the truth.

    • Michael , I believe the people are real and this was an opportunity for them to have a TV show produced by Discovery Channel to show how they actually lived in the wild and to show others that if you have the desire to live off the land and make the best of what you find in the wild to survive? Anyone can do it, if you have any common sense about how to take care of yourself. I know that there are people that take advantage of other people to make a living by making up signs that says “will work for food” or ” need money for gas ” and I have seen some that had signs that said ” Homeless, need food for family” now for most of these I have stopped by and told them of places where they can go like the food bank or some churches that offer help to needy people. I for one will not just hand over money for them to buy whatever, instead I will offer to pay for filling their car up with gas or get a gift card to buy groceries {$50.) worth. I know that does not buy a lot but at least that will help them out. I do know that Discovery Channel paid these people money to be able to put this on TV. How much is unknown. So I would say that the Bush People have no more worries about where they might find a place to live. I do think it will be dangerous for them now that everyone that has seen them on National TV will know that they will have plenty of money to go where they want. No doubt they will have a target on their backs from now on. I hope the best for them and may the good Lord will keep them out of harms way.

      • Yes and If you ever lived here in Alaska you would see right and clear thy are full of poop— everything around them is potentially put there for picture — if they had been living anywhere for those 25 years of kids they have they would have a HELL of a show. Unlike this one

  13. You finely get a show that is basically like what early settlers were up against, in a way, but you stop the show I think you should take a look at your management and fire most of them, regroup and start fresh, read the posts the people liked the show, wake up and smell the Alaskan air, keep the show going.

    • 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.

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About Ryan Berenz 2008 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.