Do the Alaskan Bush People get paid? We asked! Read our interview with the Brown family.
There was no new Alaskan Bush People episode last week. Worst Christmas ever.
But the Browns were still busy drawing out their legal proceedings even longer. Seriously, it’s not like they’ve got Johnnie Cochran defending them. Their lawyer, James “Smooth Jimmy” McGowan, thinks the Internet has punished the Browns enough, and the prosecutor in the case isn’t even trying. (Yes, Lisa Kelley, I am calling you out for Bush Lawyerin’.) This case is becoming a bigger farce than the TV show.
I suppose I should recap this new episode. Sigh.
Yesterday I told my son to “respect the danger.” Bam Bam is in my head. PLEASE GET HIM OUT! New #AlaskanBushPeople tonight!
— Ryan Berenz (@ChannelGuideRAB) December 30, 2015
The Browns return from their productive halibut fishing excursion to discover that another bear has ransacked Brownton Abbey. The bear scoffed at the Browns’ meager fortifications and wrecked the place like a rented Ketchikan apartment. “Putting a sawhorse in front of the door will not stop me, fools!” said the bear. “And just to show my contempt for you, I will intentionally have an accident with my feces on your floor!” The bear ate all the dog food. He bit into canned goods. And the one speck of food that he left in the house was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.
@AlaskanBushPPL I ate all their cheetoes, Maybe next time they'll use more than a couple boards.
— Bear of BrownTown (@ImABearGrrr) December 30, 2015
— Ryan Berenz (@ChannelGuideRAB) December 31, 2015
Matt sets off with a very long stick to track down the bear and bark like a dog at it. But this one is smarter than the average bear and it realizes that it’s Matt out there and he poses no real threat. The bear will bide its time for that inevitable moment Matt does something stupid. And that moment would be when Matt pours frying oil on the “midnight fire.”
The following morning, Billy assembles the Counsel of Browns to determine what is to be done about the bear problem. Noah believes he can create some kind of bear-deterring device. Oh, I can’t wait to see this.
Matt skiffs Noah to Hoonah to visit the junkyard operated by Kenny and his partner Elijah, Alaska’s only permanent black resident. I give props to ABP for diversifying its cast. Kenny is not at the dump today, as he is still dead and his remains are interred in the root cellar back at Brownton Abbey. After some searching, Noah finds some junked police squad car lights. Not only would they make a good bear deterrent, but they could do double duty in Noah’s Bush Discotheque.
Over at the dock in Hoonah, Matt meets Paul, the boss man who has been funneling all of his unwanted hauling jobs to the Browns out of pity. Paul’s vessel is the LITE WEIGHT, which must be an homage to Matt’s tolerance for alcohol. Paul has some items that need hauling to Tenakee Springs: A crate of windows, some bags of flour and sugar, and a cooler for the grocery store. Matt accepts the job, because Matt’s character arc includes being able to make sound managerial decisions eventually.
Back at Brownton Abbey, police sirens are going off, frightening away Mr. Cupcake, the cats and the sacrificial chickens.
“RUN! IT’S THE COPS AGAIN!” – Billy #AlaskanBushPeople
— Ryan Berenz (@ChannelGuideRAB) December 31, 2015
Noah’s rigging up a motion detector that will trigger the police lights and a siren that will scare away bears. Billy starts talking into the loudspeaker like a kid who just got Mr. Microphone. I still don’t understand why the Browns are having such difficulty with the bears. The Browns have The Skiff. The Browns also have a trebuchet. So what’s the problem?
All this bear stuff is really turning off the female demographic, so let’s include some Bush Romance in this episode. Madeline, a seasonal hospitality worker at a lodge in Gustavus, is coming to visit Bear. Of course, Ami goes all apeshit about grandbabies again. Seriously, Ami is the only contraception the Brown boys will ever need. She’s dreaming that each boy will have four kids, and Bush Addition says that equals … 20 grandbabies! Rainy and Birdy? Ami dreams that they will be childless spinsters who talk to cats.
Bear wants to show Madeline that he doesn’t live with his parents and that he’s a grown, independent man who lives in a treehouse next to his parents. Bear figures he’d better get to work on that treehouse, and he’s got all kinds of pirate-inspired ideas for it. “Yeah, he’s working with cartoon physics,” Bam says. “He doesn’t realize he needs to tone it down.” They get to work and produce something that could support the weight of two people. At least Bam got some sweet digs on Bear while they were working. “One of these days I’m going to count how many times you say ‘AWESOME’ in a 24-hour period,” Bam says. Bear fires back with a sick burn about “Respect the danger.” Bear is excited about the view from up there. “I’ll just be staring out to the ocean, wondering if the EXXXTREME Princesses are staring out to an ocean somewhere.”
That night, the Browns hear a bear poking around near the chicken coop. Birdy would lay down her life for those chickens, so she mobilizes the Bear Patrol and raises the alert status to DEFCON 1.
The bear is chased away without incident. The Browns have won this round. But he’ll be back … and next time, he’s getting all Revenant on their asses.
The following day, Bear brings Madeline to Brownton Abbey via The Skiff.
Billy and Ami are just tickled to death with Madeline. Ami talks about all the bears and stuff around Brownton Abbey, but you know she’s checking out Maddy’s pelvis to estimate how many grandbabies it might bring forth. Bear takes Madeline out on an EXXXTREME date of tree-climbing. But there will be no Brown seed implanted in Madeline, at least not this summer. Madeline must return to Arizona and college, where she will have frat bros sucking shots of Wild Turkey from her navel. And so the Brown boys have lost yet another female to the scourge of higher education.
Noah is in his tent of horrors, listening to classical music and putting together his bear alarm. He’s soldering stuff and using water bottles again — everything Noah has ever built has incorporated water bottles in some capacity. “Some of my favorite scientists were classical scientists,” says. “They were completely original. Of course, I’m not Einstein. Einstein’s dead. I’m not Tesla. He’s dead, too. Me? I’m Noah Brown, and everyone will know my name.”
Matt and Gabe are preparing for the hauling job to Tenakee Springs. The Skiff is in need of maintenance. “Poor skiff has sure seen better days,” Matt says as he pounds a mallet on the metal hull. Matt gets the idea to attach some of the corrugated metal they used for the roof to reinforce The Skiff’s bow. “Franken-Skiff is alive!” declares Gabe. I’m a conceited sumbitch, so I’ll just say the producers threw this scene in there just for our amusement.
That night, the bear returns. He approaches the Browns’ cabin, runs into some rope, sets off Noah’s alarm, and gets the hell out of there. “My bear alarm worked. Of course it would — I made it,” Noah boasts. “But to make sure that it worked, I added a tripwire for redundancy.” I feel like this entire TV series is a “tripwire for redundancy.”
The day has come for the boys to haul stuff to Tenakee. Billy huddles them up and gives them a pep talk, and says he has some concerns about Bam’s abilities with the Integrity. “I can brag a little. I’m a good skipper,” Billy says.
The boys cast off for Hoonah. After a pointless argument about how they’re not going to argue, the boys pick up the cargo. Bear says that they must be 100 percent respectful of the cargo, while sugar and flour spill out from the bags on his shoulder. Then they go to pick up the cooler, which they just figured was going to be a little Coleman Xtreme (Ha!) or an Igloo. Instead, they learn they’re hauling a 550-pound commercial-grade beverage cooler from the fine folks at Beverage-Air. Beverage-Air has not yet added “As Seen on Alaskan Bush People!” to their marketing materials. The Brown boys start hoisting the cooler into the Integrity, but they’ve literally reached the end of their rope. (See, Billy, that’s how you use the word “literally.”) The chain on the hoist is too long and the bottom of the cooler does not clear the top of the deck. Matt gets the idea to remove the chain and replace it with a shorter length of old tow rope. The idea of Matt cutting ropes should terrify everyone, but they all seem cool with it. Matt’s plan actually works, though, and they get the cooler secured to the deck. Even Bam gives Matt some love.
In the interstitial segment, Birdy’s cat Bye-Bye has been missing for several days. To bring Bye-Bye back, Birdy is sounding out cat calls. “MOW! MOW! MOW!” Birdy’s trying to mimic a panicked mother cat, then she tries to mimic a mating call. And now I understand why Ami has no dreams for her daughters reproducing.
Back to the Integrity, where this hauling job is EXXXTREMELY important. Very very serious. Chance at redemption. Blah blah blah. But there’s bad weather ahead, and blah blah blah, etc.
Next week is the season finale. I won’t spoil anything but, here’s a hint:
“I AM THIS FOREST, MAN!”