Discovery Channel Alaskan Bush People recap: Bush Heart

ABP Seizure Ryan Berenz

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

The Integrity is bound for Tenakee Springs, heading into bad weather with a cargo of sugar, flour, windows and a giant-ass Beverage-Air cooler. They must deliver these supplies intact and on schedule, or Paulie “Lite Weight” Weltzin of Sea Level Transport will have the Brown boys sleeping with the halibuts. But thank the Good Lord for all that Magically Disappearing Bad Weather on ABP.

Back at Brownton Abbey, Billy’s got ants in his pants about his four grown sons out on the boat during the Magically Disappearing Bad Weather. He bravely ventures into Noah’s Carnival of Oddities & Curiosities tent to complain about how they have no way of communicating with the Integrity. “It’s great being isolated and all that, and we love it, but it’s not great.”

Wait. What the hell did Billy just say? “It’s great being isolated and all that, and we love it, but it’s not great.” Yes, according to Billy’s Bush Logic, living in the Bush is great except when it’s not, which is practically all the time. This quote, and the one about the chicken feces from this episode, sum up everything I feel about this sublimely terrible TV series.

After some unnecessary time-killing docking drama, the boys unload the Integrity. First up, Bam and Gabe have to deliver windows to someone. It’s a Bush Delivery, meaning that they just lean the windows up against a wooden footbridge and call it a day. I suppose the deformed guy living under the bridge will pick them up at some point.

Matt wastes time by going to a Bush free-cycle shed, which is sort of like a Goodwill store, but free. The unwritten rule is that you’re supposed to bring something to the shed in order to take something out of the shed. Matt’s contribution? A pair of socks. Dude leaves some socks “for the next guy.” Matt takes some spoons, a gorilla suit (sans mask), an ice tray, a book and a cordless drill (no battery charger?) … in exchange for socks. Is there no end to the Browns’ ripping off Alaskans?

Because there can’t be an ABP in which Noah doesn’t make your skin crawl, Rainy and Birdy bring Noah an injured baby bird. “Whenever something is close to death, they bring it to me, so that I can be the one that has to deal with it,” Noah says. “I prefer being the one that deals with it.” Noah’s character has become so ghoulishly campy that I half expect Thing to pop out of a box somewhere. “Out here, it’s very unforgiving. Things die,” Noah says. “And then they end up in jars in my tent.” (I may have added that last part.)

Feeling bummed out about the injured bird? Here’s a little comic relief:

ABP Seizure

Yes, Billy has another off-camera seizure. It’s “debilitating” and “massive” but it’s not the Big One.

Back in Tenakee, the boys manage to get the cooler off the Integrity without incident, and some bleeding-heart hippie locals offer them a hand and an ATV assist. It seems the ferry situation in SE Alaska has gotten so bad that Snyder Mercantile in Tenakee had to resort to using Alaskan Bush People to deliver stuff. (Maybe ABP could help Snyder Mercantile update its Facebook page once every year or so.) The Browns deliver the cooler intact, and the old lady with the giant polar bear dog is very pleased. She has many exciting things planned for that cooler.

Then the boys must deliver whatever’s left in the bags of sugar and flour to the Party Time Bakery, which also desperately needs Facebook help. (Call me. I am willing to barter for some of those cinnamon rolls.) The delivery goes without a hitch. The boys have totally redeemed themselves, and Paulie doesn’t have to bust any kneecaps.

Billy and Ami discuss what’s the best course of action (or inaction) for Billy’s health. Billy’s sick of doctors with their know-it-all science and medicine that might prevent him from dying. They’re just gonna run the same bunch of inconclusive tests again. “This is déjà vu is all this is,” he says. Experiencing déjà vu is not serious, but you should seek medical attention if you experience déjà vu all over again. Ami asks Billy to remember the Great Coma of 2005 (it used to be 2006) and that time he died twice in the ambulance.

The following morning, the Integrity is ready to shove off, but first Bear and Bam must debate the role that socks play in the drying of one’s boots. What’s up with this episode and socks? Then in a scene out of Jaws, they sit around comparing scars and their origins. None of those can compare to the emotional scars I will always have from watching this show.

All of this tomfoolery enrages The Skiff, who decides he’d rather die than put up with these imbeciles. The Skiff intentionally takes on water and starts sinking.


The Browns try to bail the water out of The Skiff, but The Skiff puts up a fight. It’s decided that they’ll hoist The Skiff onto the Integrity‘s deck, and after some mildly comical fumbling, they eventually do it.

Then comes the call. Noah’s on the radio telling his brothers on the Integrity that “Dad had one of his episodes.”

Billy, Ami, Noah, Birdy and Rainy are on a boat headed to visit the doctor in Juneau. Then suddenly they’re on a boat on their way back to Hoonah. It’s almost like they didn’t get off the boat to see the doctor. The producers didn’t make an attempt to make this look authentic. We didn’t even get to see an exterior of the hospital in Juneau this time. Not even a phony waiting room. I smell EXXXTREME B.S. here. We’re told Billy received some bad news from the doctor, and he’s trying to figure out how to break it to the family when they’re all back together.

The Browns return home to find that a bear has busted up Brownton Abbey like a high-school kegger. It laughed at Noah’s weak bear alarm and ransacked the place. It knocked down a wall from Matt’s tire hut. It trashed all the trash inside their house. At least the bear left Billy’s dad’s bible alone, since the bear prefers the King James version and Billy’s dad had the Douay-Rheims translation.

The Browns have lost everything, even the stuff they lost the last time they lost everything.

Billy sees this as a good time to tell everyone that the doctor wants him to go down to the Lower 48 and get evaluated by more doctors. All this would be more surprising if we didn’t already know that Billy was phoning in his court appearances from Seattle last fall. Billy breaks into his whole “I AM THIS FOREST, MAN!” spiel. He’s afraid that if he goes down to Seattle, he’ll never come back to Alaska. But being away from the bush didn’t seem to bother him for those years he admitted he didn’t even qualify as a permanent resident of Alaska. And a reasonable person should be skeptical that Billy is even really ill, which makes this all the more insidious.

So that’s why I get infuriated when Billy starts name-dropping the Good Lord and preaching about how leaving the bush is like “closing your ears to God.” Billy’s faith is just another set piece, another prop, another stupid bear alarm that looks and sounds cool on TV but doesn’t actually work. Viewers offering up prayers for the Browns may just as well ask the Good Lord for Klinger to get discharged from the Army on M*A*S*H or for Ross and Rachel to finally get together or for Doogie Howser, M.D., to get laid.

I do not know what lies ahead for ABP or if there will be a Season 4. It might depend on if/when jail time is served. A lot will depend on just how much growing up Discovery is willing to do. And a lot will depend on just how long we’ll be able to laugh at this show in great enough numbers to warrant it remaining on TV.

But I’ve heard reports of the Browns filming stuff in San Diego.




  1. If nothing else it was something different to watch.Also I’ve heard due to these Alaska shows people are heading there.which is what Alaska intended by airing the shows.

  2. What is with these clowns and the way they emphathize their speech so carefully?? Hahaha
    And that Bam ?? He is the creepiest of them all (if that’s possible?)
    OMG, he goes on & on in his miserable voice and just downright nasty as hell!!
    The jumping bean, Bear is just a complete moron and the rest are as fake as anyone could be!! I don’t know their names correctly ? And really do not care enough, to learn them. They where entertaining for awhile, but then I thought WTH am I wasting my good eyesight on this garbage. Stupid is, as Stupid does!!

    • I suspect some losers who sit on the Internet all day and never experience anything unique or challenging in there life like to sit on there couch and talk shit because ABP makes discovery and The Browns more money in one season then they will make in there lives.

  3. Life is about drama epoIsodes ..this show is btter than a lot of the shoot em ups I have had to ednure over the years ans so what if they get paid for it you get paid for what you do….

  4. Oh, so what about everything the Brown family has encountered, shows the family is normal, right? The family gave us great and better than some shows currently showing on local channels, I enjoy the family stories and especially the guys and their sisters. The Brown family gave you a good show even if a lot of it was drama, you need that drama for a real story. Hope the family recovers from all their issues soon.

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About Ryan Berenz 2106 Articles
Some things 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