Do the Alaskan Bush People get paid? We asked! Read our interview with the Brown family.
In Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People Season 2 Episode 11, “Divide and Conquer” (June 12), the Browns are low on meat and send Matt and Bam out to hunt deer. Bear goes on a date, and some of the Browns go to the town of Gustavus to find chickens.
Season 2 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 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
Billy is lecturing us again about independence, self-sufficiency, freedom and all that jazz that they’ve failed to demonstrate during this series. It’s winter, and the family is low on meat. Billy’s run up a huge tab at the Misty Bay Lodge, so that rules out cheeseburgers and fries. Time to send some kids off for another very IMPORTANT hunt. So of course Billy sends Matt and Bam, because they cooperate so swimmingly. Maybe Bam might just “lose” Matt out there, if you know what I’m getting at. “Don’t come back without a deer,” Billy says. And don’t come back without Matt [wink wink].
Bear has his date with Sara/Sarah, and he can’t decide whether to wear the camouflage, the camouflage or the camouflage. Rainy — “the most fashionable of the Brown children,” for whatever that’s worth — weighs in on Bear’s choice of attire. The “Bush Barbie” — not to be confused with Barbara Bush — tells Bear to go with the black shirt. It reeks to high heaven, so Bear EXXXXTREEEEEME launders it in a frozen puddle and throws it to
scorch dry in Noah’s clothes incinerator.
Matt and Bam’s hunting trip gets off to a rough start, and the Accursed Skiff of Woe is snow-covered and frozen into place. The Skiff just might be my favorite ABP character.
Bear goes on his date in Hoonah. He wants to give Sara/Sarah a gift, so he and Gabe scour the shoreline for heart-shaped rocks, shells or other interesting-looking garbage. Bear eventually settles on a heart-shaped box of chocolates. He has a good strategy for this date: He will try not to talk about himself AT ALL. Unfortunately, Sara/Sarah doesn’t talk about herself AT ALL, either. She speaks only through eyerolls. Sara/Sarah is cute, but you could park a bus between her front teeth. They share a cinnamon roll, and it turns into one of the saddest dates ever caught on camera. It ends with Bear up in a tree. No, Sara/Sarah’s womb will not bear Brown family fruit. At least not on this day.
Bam and Matt are aboard the Seventh Skiff of the Apocalypse to search for deer. It is illegal to shoot at game from a moving vessel (Alaskan friends: Really?), so they have to park the Skiff from Hell and track on foot. Matt and Bam end up in a whisper-shouting match over who should stop talking. “Your voice is death in the woods!” one of them whispers loudly. Then Matt falls down a small hill and “twists” his ankle. Sorry, Matt, but that ankle is going to have to come off. The ankle just gives the boys a reason to park it for the night and have a man-to-man over a fire. Matt knows his character well. “I screw things up all the time,” he says. “It’s what I do.” Bam tells Matt, “You’re my only older brother, so I’m always expecting more from you.” This is The Godfather equivalent of Michael looking up to Fredo.
Back home, Billy feels like chicken tonight.
(Digression! I knew a guy in high school who released a live chicken into the local Burger King and then fled the scene of the prank singing the “Chicken Tonight” jingle.)
“Don’t come back without chickens,” Billy tells Gabe, Birdy and Bear. Someone in Gustavus is rumored to have chickens, so Billy sends the kids on an excessively long, fuel-wasting journey. Arriving in Gustavus, they find a random man walking alone on the dock and Gabe approaches him. “We’re looking for chickens,” he says. The man, your archetypical Alaskan mariner with blue-dyed beard and crooked finger, gives them convoluted directions to Josh Wade’s place. The Wade compound looks like an old-timey fort or something you’re forced to visit on a grade-school field trip. They’ve got various bits of weird Americana on the walkway to their place, presumably to frighten off evil spirits or small children. The Wades indeed have chickens, and Gabe barters some labor for a few of them. Josh has them clean the “summer coop,” which turns out to be an old van. “I painted it black, so ya know, it could kind of carry the heat,” Josh says of this converted van coop. “But it kinda stews the feces, too, ya know,” Josh continues. The van is literally full of chickenshit. It still probably smells better than most of Bear’s clothes.
“Shouldn’t be too bad,” Josh assures them. “It’s just the feces there.”
After cleaning the chicken crap out of the van, the kids then have to chase down their chickens. After a little slapstick chicken-chasing scene, Bird is able to calm a chicken with her animal magnetism. She says that animals like her and can sense her good karma. Meet Snowbird Brown, The Chicken Whisperer.
Elves have magically healed Matt’s ankle, and he and Bam are back on the hunt. They spot a deer somewhere about 50 yards away. Look! Over there! Behind the mist and somewhere in those dark trees! You don’t see it? Wait. I don’t see the deer, either. Did someone forget to CGI it in post-production? Bam shoots at something anyway, and BEHOLD! A dead deer! Matt starts gleefully giving the deer an autopsy. Matt loves the liver, and he loves cutting up and tenderizing the heart, mostly because he likes to gross out his family. But after Matt’s Hannibal Lecter act, he pauses and says, “[The deer] is truly provided for us, you know. It’s sent by the Good Lord.” The Good Lord or one of the Skaflestads, take your pick.
Back at Brownton Abbey, the family is celebrating the successful Easter egg hunt and the deer harvest. They’ve already built a chicken coop so Gabe will have something to shovel feces out of. Something bothers me about this chicken thing, and it involves an old biology test question that has haunted me. While it seems like raising the chickens and eating their eggs is a good sustenance strategy, remember that you also have to feed the chickens to keep them alive to produce eggs. Strictly in terms of bioenergy, the smartest thing to do is eat the damn chickens right now and then eat the bags of chicken feed.
I liked this episode. Foremost, Billy and Ami barely appeared in it. Bear’s date was terrible and therefore entertaining. Bluebeard was good comic relief, and Josh Wade delivered one of the all-time great lines in ABP history.