Discovery Channel Alaskan Bush People recap: Block and Tackle

Alaskan Bush People

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

“If they can stay alive. It will be the biggest summer of their lives,” says our dear narrator.

No, he’s not talking about some new teen slasher movie. He’s talking about Season 3 of Alaskan Bush People, premiering on Discovery Channel Wednesday, Nov. 11, with “Block and Tackle,” which disappointingly has nothing to do with football.

But it has everything to do with summertime in Southeast Alaska. The Brown kids while away the days in flights of fancy, playing a game called “It,” which disappointingly has nothing to do with terrifying clowns. It is a really EXXXTREME version of tag in which you run around until you pass out from exhaustion or fall and strike your head on something. Either way, someone always ends up unconscious.

While the Brown kids frolic about happy-go-lucky, elsewhere the grim spectre of doom hangs over Brownton Abbey. It’s time for one of those intimate talks between Billy and Ami. They discuss issues of mortality and how they want their kids to carry on their TV series after they’re gone. “I admit we’re getting older every year,” Billy says, finally understanding how time works.

Meanwhile, all the Brown boys are involved in their solo side projects that in no way will cause the band to break up. Matt is forging a sword that looks more like a fireplace poker, but whatever. Good for Matt. Brownton Abbey has already advanced to the Bronze Age. Bear wants to build a treehouse, because AWESOME! EXXXTREME! TREEHOUSE! Noah’s workshop of horrors is growing ever more sophisticated.


WTF is that on Noah’s head, you ask? That’s Noah’s Retractable Magnification Monacle (RMM). It’s a headlamp attached to a bunch of reading glasses that he calls a “wearable microscope.” Now, surely at some point in your life you’ve put on the eyeglasses of some very nearsighted schmuck like me just to see what it looks like and nearly puked from the instant nausea it caused. Now imagine putting this contraption on your head and looking through it. “It seemed to smoke a little bit for some reason,” Noah tells Matt. Maybe try looking directly into the sun with it on and see if that helps.

The Browns are discovering that all of this technological progress has a cost. The Brown boys are now competing for space and resources, and some greedy bastard has mooched all the lumber. Billy calls together a special assembly of Brownton Abbey representatives to deliberate which projects are most deserving of lumber and should take priority. Of course, each representative wants priority for their constituency. Matt wants to build a summer house, because he’s an idiot, and the rest of the family tells him as much. You can see the fractures forming in the halls of power at Brownton Abbey. And so the ground is set for the great Civil War of Chicago Bears Island.

Billy decides the family must acquire more lumber. Lumber Guy Rick, the easiest pushover in the history of the barter system, is all the way back up in Chitina, so he’s useless.

It’s decided that the Browns will drop a tree all up in here and take the logs by boat to be milled 60 miles north at Excursion Inlet, where Billy knows a guy who will let them use an Alaskan Mill to saw the logs into boards. Billy’s plan is to cut the tree and transport it to the water while the tide is high, Blondie-style [Update: Why didn’t the Browns just rent or borrow an Alaskan Mill to use at home? ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ]

The Browns start clearing a landing spot for the tree to fall on log rollers. They haphazardly whack away at the brush and I wonder if one of them is going to get dismembered. “Some people prefer machetes and axes. I prefer, actually, my sword,” Noah says. “Because it is a tool, it’s just a ninja’s tool. Not to mention it looks really cool.” Sure, it’s all cool until someone gets impaled. You know, I think Matt forged a sword to defend himself against possible Noah aggression. There is now a Sword Race in Brownton Abbey. The plot thickens!

Gabe pulls chainsaw duty. Billy would do it, but, you know, that would be work. Gabe drops the tree as gently as one would drop a grandbaby in a bassinet. Now to move the damn thing. They rig up a block and tackle system with pulleys and move the log some distance. But the tide rolls out and the Browns have to go to plan B, which is to tie the log up to the Integrity and drag it to the water. After cutting the log into manageable lengths, the plan works and the Browns tie all the logs together in the water and call it a day.

The following morning, it’s time to haul the wood to Excursion Inlet. All goes well until Billy loses throttle control of the boat. (Did you have Mystery Boat Malfunction on your Alaskan Bush People bingo card?) The Browns tied up the logs in a raft formation instead of an end-to-end train formation, and the extra drag was stressing out the Integrity. The problem gets fixed. Matt and Bam bicker. Circle of Life.

In a delightful little comic interlude, Matt uses axle grease as a shaving lubricant. Take note, good people of Barbasol. But you see below that Matt looks pretty clean shaven already. So this is just idiocy for the sake of idiocy.


The Integrity arrives at Excursion, and the saw mill guy helps get the logs ashore with machinery, because there’s no way in hell he’s staying late at work waiting for the Browns to do it the Brown Way. We get to see the Alaskan Mill in action, and the Browns cut some nice-looking planks from the logs.

And then tragedy struck. Back on the Integrity, Ami is in severe pain. It seems to be her back, which is alternating between a tightening vise pain and a burning sensation pain. Billy examines her with his vast knowledge of Bush Chiropractics and diagnoses that her back is swollen down to the spine. This will require a trip to the hospital in Juneau. Dadgumit, woman! Always falling ill when there’s work to be done!

It’s decided that Bam, Gabe, Matt and Bear will remain in Excursion to do some salmon fishing while the rest of the family goes along to take Ami on a whale-watching boat tour. Yay! Whales! 🐳 And then there’s that scenic bus ride from the dock in Juneau to the hospital, which gives us this gem:


Yes! Exactly what everyone wants to hear from the person sitting behind them on the bus! Anyhoo, Ami gets checked into the hospital and gets all loaded up with pain meds and muscle relaxants. The perfect end to the perfect day. [Update: Based on what we see onscreen, I’m now doubting that they’re actually in the hospital.]

After much incompetence and bickering and nets getting caught in The Skiff’s motor, the boys back in Excursion score a nice haul of salmon. Many fish are punched and bludgeoned to death with rocks. Here, Gabe samples some Bush Sushi, which I call Bushi™!


Before Billy left, he told the boys to remain in Excursion until he contacted them. And Billy was never seen or heard from again.

The end.


  1. I really enjoy the series. They have to be real, there is no way they could do all of the things they do if they weren’t. I hate the haters! The Bears are very life threatening, why can’t they shoot them ? My only complaint is that it seams as though Bam is the only one that is stable, but the other boys have a strange idea that the oldest has to be in charge. I think it would be challenging to follow his unthought out orders. When Bam had problems docking the boat because of size and weather, all of the boys jumped at the chance to TELL on him when they got home. I don’t blame Bam for acting like his father when in charge, those boys just don’t respect any one who knows more than they do. Then Billy gets on his case also when Matt is hollering louder than anyone else. When someone is put in charge….don’t just say you boys get along with each other! Say HE is your captain or (in charge over you) do as he tells you and when it is your turn, you will get the same respect! Just my opinion. Love you all.

  2. It saddens me worse that poor Matt, who was trying desperately to drive that poor girl home, who is wrongfully not labeled as a prostitute and meth head drove head long into a motorcycle….Well, heck, the poor guy has lived in the woods all his life, how was he going to know how to drive a car? No good deed goes unpunished, eh Matt?
    And then the cops go and charge him with DUI when in fact he was just sea-sick from spending too much time on a boat that was either sinking or burning up! And all you haters out there don’t have the level of human empathy to see this! For shame! But there is the one thing that troubles me: The boat that was on fire…It was billowing out all manner of white smoke which almost always indicates steam. A fire burning of paint and wood and plastic is always black. But all the smoke coming from the engine well was white which only means that the head gasket was blown or some similar issue….Unless well, there is one other possibility. White smoke does mean that a new Pope has been elected.

  3. Please don’t cancel the Browns.Haters are going to hate.We all make mistakes.We are all HUMAN.I love the Browns Its entertainment people get over it…..

  4. When I see all of those obnoxious, self centered and rich people on the west coast or named Kardashian, I wondered how some of these critical comments are really being laid at the foot of Alaskan Bush People.

    • Hmmm, well last I heard the Kardashian’s didn’t just plead guilty to theft of public money and lying by way of false statements on legal documents. That theft by the way was stolen from all Alaskans including myself. That my friend is how you get comments laid at your feet.

  5. I know they have made some mistakes but I admire the way they raise their children. They must have done something right because their adult children still want to live at home! Give credit where it is due!

    • First how do they raise their children exactly? How you see them on TV? You have no idea what actually happens in real life.
      They seem to have little to no formal education or training of any kind. No real job prospects. No wives or girlfriends. No life they ever show us outside of the parents. All of the kids, some in their 30’s, still living at home with their parents (just a tad past not normal). Now it seems like Billy has dragged them all afoul of the law where they could spend years in prison. So yea, complete admiration of their parenting skills.

    • Living off welfare, trashing a state fores,t and trying not to think about how your sisters are the only women around is no way to live son.

  6. I’ve been watching from day one, and to find out that most of this show could be fraudulent breaks my heart. I’ve read several pieces this day and find myself physically sick. I was just saying last night to myself, ” Billy just shut up.”, it sounded scripted. I so wanted to help them, send them money, resources, be there for them some how. I’m on Social Security and was willing to give up what little I have only to find out that they maybe phonies? I’m really feeling sick. All of you involved, not just the Browns have really let me down. I don’t have much to look forward to as I am a young terminally ill person and you have to take this away from me. You’re all not fair… you broke my heart.

    • Very sorry to hear that you are having health problems and hope everything works out well for you.
      You just can’t believe what you see on TV, especially anything that is “reality TV”. This was not some shocking development for the Browns. This was supposed to go to trial almost a year and a half ago. The Browns just kept making excuses to delay the inevitable. I am sure so they could keep the TV show running. Who wants to watch know liars, thieves and frauds. There was plenty of evidence long before this that things weren’t on the up in up. If the rating weren’t good then Discovery would have dumped the Browns a long time ago.
      You just keep your money in your pocket when it comes to the Browns. There are children all around the world that go hungry every night that really need help. The Browns were making good money from their TV show to pretend to be hungry and live off the land. They didn’t even have to camp at night. They were staying in a lodge every night with satellite TV and a full bar living it. This show was a fraud and a lie for the first episode. Don’t even give the Browns the time of day to effect your mood.

    • I’m sure when they started filming and kept loosing everything they had several times, they had no money. Although after filming for several years, I would think that they now have money of their own. We do need to stop to consider that they are a family of nine and with all of the things needed for a family of that size the cost must be staggering. Can you imagine what all it would require to live in the bush with nine people? Just guns and ammunition would be staggering and then bears tear every thing apart every few days….lol. God bless them. I believe Gabe needs glasses and Bird needs dental work. Bam needs new glasses and dental work also, he was much better looking with shorter hair. No, I don’t believe that you should donate money because these people could find jobs if they didn’t get paid by the Discovery Channel.

  7. The hearing was today and part of the verdict is in…

    ‘Alaskan Bush People’ stars admit to lying on dividend applications
    Father and son would plead guilty to misdemeanors under plea agreement

    So there you have it. They admit in their statement that they didn’t even live in the state of Alaska for the time they claim. Here is Billy’s statement from today… “I left Alaska in October 2009 and did not return until August 2012,” Billy Brown wrote in a signed statement. “Contrary to what was stated on several Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) applications, I did not have a ‘principal’ place of abode’ on Mossman Island during the years 2009-13.”. Lived in the bush of Alaska for 30 years and were recently discovered by the Discovery channel my @#$%$#. BTW, Discovery channel had no comment.

      • I know, isn’t that an amazing plea deal? Good gosh talk about a slap on the wrist. This judge has sent people to prison for this exact crime before. I have a strong suspicion that jail time will be coming. How on earth can 40 felonies turn into paying back what you stole and a little community service. Amazing really. I will 100% hire their lawyer in the future if this stands

    • This really saddens me to hear all about the lies and false stories that we the public were led to believe while watching your family story. At one point I believed your family was sheltered more than what has been shared and only to learn this is only partially true. Time to change the channel. I do hope Ami gets better. And to think I have been dedicated since day one.

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About Ryan Berenz 2045 Articles
Some thing I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife