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 12, “Bloodlines” (June 19), the Browns have boat trouble which sends the boys into Hoonah looking for work to pay for the repairs. Ami is forced to confront her past when an Alaska State Trooper requests a meeting with her.
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
Another beautiful day in the bush. It looks really nice out there with the white, fluffy snow and the mist over the water. It’s the perfect day to lose your boat.
Yes, the Lorcan pulled up its own anchor and just floated away into the bay with the tide. Billy says the Lorcan is cursed, but we all know that this is the sinister work of the Skiff.
The Skiff, who has hated the Lorcan since he stole his date at the junior prom, saw this as an opportunity to get rid of his nemesis while screwing the Browns at the same time. The Skiff is all iced over again, and he ain’t goin’ nowhere. Gabe and Matt have to take a canoe out into the foggy bay to try and track down the Lorcan. They find the ghost ship, board it, and try to fire up the engines. One of the engines won’t start. Bam opens the engine compartment, looks inside, and determines that it’s shot without even touching it. Must’ve blown the Johnson rod.
It’s going to cost money to have it fixed, and one has to work to acquire money, so that counts Billy out. Bam, Gabe, Matt and Bear head into Hoonah to look for work, and find a posting for a demolition job. “What else do you need to know?” Bear asks. “DESTRUCTION!” This lady, Barb, has this old shed she wants torn down, and she’s gutting the inside of the main house. The demolition job won’t pay much money, but the Browns can salvage whatever they want from the places. The main house has a tanning bed, which one of the boys mistakes for a grill. Actually, he’s not entirely wrong.
“This does look like it might be some kind of advanced torture chamber in a sci-fi movie,” Bear says, also not entirely wrong. I can imagine Alaska has quite a few tanning beds still in operation, given the amount of daylight they get — or don’t get. The main house has tongue and groove planks on the ceiling, and the Browns could definitely use those in their Brownton Abbey cabin. Tongue & Groove sounds like a sleazy disco club, no?
But there’s no tonguin’ and groovin’ in the morning, as we get more OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYING and more ONSCREEN TITLES OF IMPENDING DEATH: “The next morning, Alaska State Troopers reach out to the production crew. They request a meeting with Ami in town.” Ami flips out and overreacts to this information, complaining about being “treated like a common criminal.” Birdy says that this is “so unfair.” Yes, Brown family, you are so oppressed by The Man.
I believe that the whole sequence of events from when the Browns were informed of the Alaska State Trooper’s request for a meeting up to the meeting itself was filmed after the meeting took place, just so the producers could play up the drama and tension and have Ami act all indignant. Seriously, watch Billy and Ami talk to each other. It’s like they’re reading from cue cards.
Ami and Birdy meet with Officer Blurry Face of the Division of Alaska State Troopers at Misty Bay Lodge. We’re told that the officer requested that the TV production step out, so the scene is filmed with concealed cameras and microphones. So, uh, does the trooper know he’s on Candid Camera? And if the trooper was so concerned about this being on camera, why would he do this thing at a public place like Misty Bay Lodge? There’s probably some dude two booths over who just wants to enjoy his pizza and instead has to listen to Ami’s crazy talk. The officer gives Ami the opportunity to call her mother (that explains the smartphone on the table), but there’s no answer. Oh, well.
We’re all disappointed that Ami’s not getting thrown in the Hoonah hoosegow, at least not this time. Officer Blurry Face is only responding to a request for a welfare check from Ami’s estranged family that she’s had no direct contact with for 35-some-odd years. So officer Blurry Face has to do due diligence and ask Ami if she’s been put in danger by Billy or any of her children. Ami gets all defensive, saying that Billy treats her like royalty. “I’ve seen that. I’ve seen it on TV,” Officer Blurry Face says. “But TV only tells part of the things. It doesn’t show the whole story, right?” Officer Blurry Face watches Alaskan Bush People and knows it’s totally fake, too!
To make this long story short, Ami left her unstable home at age 17 to escape an alcoholic father. She hitched up with Billy, who was a drifter after his family died in a plane crash when he was 16, and just completely cut off any contact with her mom or brother. “I don’t let them know physically where I am,” Ami says. I guess Ami was really gambling on her mom not having cable.
Back to the funny stuff. In Hoonah, the boys are attempting to take down Barb’s shed without killing themselves. Always levelheaded Bam takes charge and thinks safety first, while his brothers just want to goof off and break some stuff. Matt is thrilled to find a container of muriatic acid, the label on which reads “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND MATT BROWN.” It’s highly corrosive, so Bear may want to use it as cologne. “I’m an interior desecrator!” Bear yells. Gabe just bashes himself through walls. It’s all fun and games until someone gets a roof dropped on them. Matt has an idea that will speed this job up without someone having to file a workers’ compensation claim on Barb.
Back at Brownton Abbey, Ami and Rainy do a little crafting, making bush clothes hangers out of sticks and twine, because NO WIRE HANGERS EVER!!! Ami tells Rainy something about haunting her after she dies. I wasn’t really listening. But OMG! LOCKET POWER!!
Matt returns with his secret weapon: Crazy Kenny From The Dump! I love this guy. He’s a few rungs down on the evolutionary ladder, but Kenny’s still freaking Einstein compared to Matt. Kenny could’ve turned that roll of plastic wrap into the Taj Mahal. Billy should swing a barter to acquire Kenny and get rid of Matt. Kenny’s got “The Beast” of a pickup truck, and they’re going to chain the shed’s supports to the truck and have Kenny give ‘er gas until the shed comes down. Kenny brings that shed down somethin’ fierce. “How you like them apples?!” Kenny yells. I like them apples fine, thank you. Someone else is going to clean up the shed debris, because hiring someone to do both demolition and clearing would make too much sense. I don’t know what Barb paid the Browns, but she essentially paid them to goof around and take whatever they want. The only real work was subcontracted out to Kenny, who did the job pro bono.
Ugh. More Ami stuff. Now I’m being forced to confront bad memories from earlier in the show. Hoonah police sergeants Pixelated and Anonymous show up at Brownton Abbey with urgent news. Hoonah friends can set me straight on this, but aren’t these two guys like half of the Hoonah police force? (Remember when the Browns tried to “date” a Hoonah cop?) At the request of Alaska State Trooper Blurry Face, the Hoonah cops deliver the message that Ami’s mother has had a stroke. Ami heard from a friend that her mom had a stroke three or four years ago, and Ami has the show’s exec producer call to determine if this urgent news is about the Old Stroke or a New Stroke. Turns out this message was regarding the Old Stroke and the Hoonah cops wasted more taxpayer money on the Browns.
Ami is really pissy about this whole thing, and she takes her family’s attempt to contact her as some kind of threat against her family. “I think it’s probably because I’m on TV,” Ami says, perhaps implying that they’re trying to extort something from Ami’s cable-TV-reality-show stardom. On this show, Ami pretty much gave her mom and brother the big “F you.” Ami writes a letter to her mom and brother, but we’re not told if she actually sends it.
So if Ami’s mom happens to read this, know that your daughter is fine. She has everything she needs except teeth and grandbabies.
Back at Brownton Abbey, the Browns are enjoying their new “Uptown Bush” tongue and groove wall coverings and having a meal that consists of cannibalizing Gabe.
So aside from The Skiff’s evildoings and a Crazy Kenny cameo, there’s not a whole lot I liked about this episode. The Ami stuff was mostly irritating, which seems to be the general direction they’re taking this series.
Oh, and sorry I’m so late with this recap. Had a busy weekend. Whether you like the show or not, I appreciate you guys for keeping me going on this thing.