Discovery Channel Alaskan Bush People recap: The Wolf Pack Returns

Alaskan Bush People Ryan Berenz

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In Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People Season 4 premiere episode “The Wolfpack Returns” (May 6), the Browns return to their homestead in Alaska after three months. They’re going to rebuild their home, but need to take on a risky hauling job to make it happen.

Welcome back, friends. It’s time to head for the mountains…

Alaskan Bush People

 

The Browns have spent three months in Seattle while Billy gets treatment for Billy Brown Syndrome. But the doctors say that Billy’s seizure disorder is in remission, and now he and his family are returning to Brownton Abbey. Goody for us.

ABPSignSeizure

Nature (or the production crew) has done its best to wipe the stain of Brownton Abbey off the land. The elements have knocked down Matt’s tire hut, drenched Bam’s house with water and infested Noah’s house with a cute, fluffy mold. There’s a lot of work to be done that Billy will watch others do.

Matt is still a goofy bastard. Matt, like his hair, is UNTAMED! Matt claims that his tire house is equipped with a “self-destruct mechanism” consisting of five gallons of gasoline and a 12-gauge pump. It shouldn’t surprise you that Matt keeps gasoline and firearms (and a flare?) in his hut. But under what circumstances would his hut need to self-destruct? And would Matt be inside the hut when the mechanism is triggered? If Alaskan Bush People had a self-destruct mechanism, it got triggered back in Season 1.

Noah “Dark Cloud” Brown calls himself a “mechanical physicist,” and I should note that “Dark Cloud” is the nickname spoken by Our Dear Narrator. This is not something I made up, nor would ever make up.

In the main house, Billy, Ami and Birdy are sorting through their garbage, determining what garbage to keep and what garbage to burn. Billy finds a small metal plaque with a replica of da Vinci’s Last Supper. “It’s just, like, symbolic,” Billy says. Indeed, it symbolizes Billy’s Christ-like journey of scammin’ and fraudin’ across the USA. I would totally PhotoShop the Brown family into that painting but blasphemy is something I try to avoid.

A little time in Seattle did Birdy some good. She got herself some new spectacles! She’s going for the Bush Hipster look. The teeth, however …

Now comes the time for the SYMBOLIC rite of cleansing with fire! The family gets together around a bonfire built by Bear to burn away their old stuff and start over. And what gets burned? A soiled bedsheet and … no, nothing else. Just a soiled bedsheet. The Browns can finally move on!

Billy decides it’s time to throw his self-respect into the fire. Billy acknowledges that he and Bam are going to jail in the spring over the PFD fraud conviction. We all knew that, but we didn’t know how the show would deal with it. The show is dealing with it by having Billy play the victim who’s been bullied by the big, bad bureaucratic state of Alaska. “The Browns have homesteaded in Alaska for more than 30 years, but now, Alaska was accusing them of living somewhere else,” Our Dear Narrator says through gritted teeth. “I’d never cheat Alaska,” Billy says with pants on fire. Then he plays up his jail sentence as an act of altruism, sparing the rest of his family from the slammer. “Just take me. Put me in jail as long as you want,” Billy claims to have told prosecutors. “They just wouldn’t give up.” Also sacrificing himself for the good of the family is Bam, who “demanded that he shoulder the burden of the remaining charges.” Billy’s playing the Alaska Oppresses the Bush Lifestyle card, blaming paper trails and bureaucracy for the mistake. But Billy’s more determined than ever to turn Brownton Abbey into a creepy cult militia compound. “This is where we live. This is where we make the stand. This is it,” Billy says. Hope Matt has his self-destruct thingy armed and ready.

But enough about that. It’s time to get back to work. Gabe gets busy throwing rocks in the mud.

And it’s time to find a working … skiff? That can’t be right. Our beloved skiff, The Skiff, has entered Valhalla? “She actually died on us recently,” Bam tells Paul, the Brown family’s hauling business benefactor. “All the rivets went out of the bottom and she kept sinking on us, so we had to put that one to bed.” So they’ve written off Alaskan Bush People’s most interesting character and the only reason I can tolerate watching this show. This sucks mightily. My story is that the The Skiff was too beautiful for this world, and it chose to take its own life rather than remain in servitude to the unworthy Browns.

SkiffScuttle

But I will press on with this recap and not allow grief to consume me. Paul has a skiff he will loan to the Browns for the season if they agree to transport his buddy’s Suzuki Samurai across Icy Strait. Paul must hold some kind of grudge against his buddy, otherwise he wouldn’t suggest that these imbeciles haul his car over a body of water.

Back in Brownton Abbey, the mold has driven Noah out of his tent of horrors, so he must find an alternative dwelling. He decides on the chicken coop, since the chickens were given to a friend in Hoonah when the Browns went in exile. So Noah’s going to sleep in a chicken coop. In the immortal words of Josh from Gustavus: “It shouldn’t be too bad. It’s just the feces there.”

Bam consults with Billy on the skiff for Suzuki deal, and Billy approves. This new bigger, more powerful skiff is going to change everything for the Browns, unlike that old Skiff that bailed out these fools a mere 300 times. In order to transport the Suzuki Samurai — which hasn’t been sold in North American markets since 1995 — they need to build a barge out of wooden planks and some empty oil drums. They visit the junkyard in Hoonah, where we are led to believe that Kenny! is alive and well and not rotting in the root cellar. Clearly this is previously shot footage edited to make it look like Kenny is alive. There’s probably enough B-roll footage of Kenny to give the illusion that he’s alive for 10 more seasons.

The construction of the barge is rather uneventful and it takes a long time, which makes it easy to recap. The only thing really worth mentioning is how Matt makes a little model of their barge out of pencils and a toy car. He tests it in a frying pan full of water and EUREKA! It floats! Now all they need are some really big pencils and they’re all set to haul a freakin’ Suzuki.

Noah fell and reinjured his already gimpy leg. This sends him to his workshop of horrors to build a Bush Robo Leg out of a knee brace and some plumbing parts. Noah needs to be in 100 percent physical condition if he’s going to make his date terribly uncomfortable. Yes, Noah has a date with a woman,Corrina Karryna, he met in the Lower 48. “I was just walking by and I complimented the view,” Noah says. “Killer introduction if I have to say so myself.” Pompous ass. Noah tells his mother the news that Corrina Karryna is coming to visit, because we all know real-world girls like to travel to the Alaskan bush at their own expense to stay with some creepy guy they just met. “She’ll be staying in the main house and she becomes my responsibility,” he says. “If I must, I will lay down my life to protect anyone that is in my care.” I really hope it comes to that.

“Noah couldn’t have gotten hurt at a worse time,” Billy says, fretting that Noah is making a run at Billy’s record streak of Days Absent From Work. Noah will stay behind to frighten his ladyfriend while the rest of the family goes off to see how well a Suzuki Samurai floats. Bear suggests that he ride in the Samurai while they’re towing it. “You have to respect the danger, man,” Bam says. Bear replies, “THE DANGER HAS TO RESPECT ME!” I really, legitimately laughed at that.

In the interstitial scene, which is often more entertaining than anything else in the episodes, Matt cuts potatoes with a seashell. He’s making Bush Potato Chips and frying them in oil. Matt thinks he should market them, with “Mild, Medium and Extra Bush” flavors.  To make them even less appetizing, Matt sets the chips on a dirty log to cool off and infuse some of that Extra Bush flavor. Alert the good people at Frito-Lay.

If you’ve made it this far and are still watching this series, then you are a hearty soul and I commend your fortitude. A lot of the Brown family supporters appear to have fled, and many of the most ferocious bush bashers have grown weary. And now they’ve killed off both Kenny and The Skiff. These are indeed sad times we live in.

But I shall soldier on in recapping this terrible show until the Good Lord tells me it’s time to stop. This is what I do. This is where I make the stand. This is it.

Man, I really want one of those self-destruct thingies.

 

 

 

42 Comments

  1. Hey Ryan

    What’s with the nasty snarky ill-tempered review? If you find the show so offensive you can stop watching it. Then save yourself the energy of spreading your negativity.

    And I’ll go back to enjoying the Brown family.

  2. I love it when they say that they live off the grid. That’s except when they need a doctor, hospital, dentist, gasoline for their generator, food(obviously they hunt like shit) clothing and every other amenity that city people use.

  3. Guess I am older than most of you, but maybe you should just change the channel. These people are not hurting anyone. Kind of nice not to see them drinking and doing drugs. Wonder how many people could live off the grid? Lets try one week without a cell phone, Oh, what would it be like to talk to someone face to face. Now thats a old fashion way.

    • Uhmm…not hurting anyone? They stole from everyone in Alaska….living off the grid? They stay in a lodge…check Matt’s criminal record if you think there is no drinking involved (hell, they are driving people to drink as evidenced on this blog!)

      • get it right please. matt went into hoona and drank. besides that drinking is not there thing. either is drugs. steal from everyone. they visited 4 places. they didnt live there for a period of time they visited. theres a difference. If this wholesome family really bothers you then i am worried about you.

  4. What am I to do it was Tampa Bay 3 Pittsburgh 1 and the Tigers lost 1 to nothing.The Tampa Pittsburgh game was real good some big hits and during periods the Tigers were bot hitting.

  5. Ok is it me or does Corrina Karryna noahs new guest look just like Bridgett B the porn stare!!!!

    • The only really interesting reason I have heard to hit play on the DVR for ABP in a long time.

  6. Im not positive which Brownbum is lazier, Billy or Noah. I realize that at first thought Billy is the obvious answer but Noah almost never aids in the physical side of any of their catastrophic projects. Also, what is with Noah naming his pipe-wrench hatchett “Damascus”? Has he completely lost any sense of basic reasoning along with his dignity? Anyway, I can’t wait to hear Ryans brilliant review of this week’s trainwreck. I wish the Suzuki had gone down in hopes that just maybe at least half of those idiots would have jumped in after it with hopefully no life jackets on.

  7. All I really want to know if the Suzuki sank and more importantly did No Brain Noah lose his virginity being all alone in the chicken coop? Was there a howling in the middle of the night signaling his graduation to manhood?

  8. I’m 10 minutes into Driving Miss Rainy and I can’t watch anymore. David, now I more than understand how you feel. I’ll wait for Ryan’s always satisfying recap.

    • I told you! This show has become excruciating to even sit through. It has lost all sense of any fun or even interesting in a train wreck sort of way. I haven’t watched it yet and only reason it is even on my DVR now is you persuaded me to stick around. I will try to watch it tonight. We will all need group therapy after this is said and done. Think we might have a case against Discovery for mental anguish or something?

      • David, thank you for reconsidering. I look forward to your posts just as much I do Ryan’s recaps.
        As far a case, unfortunately that may not be possible although a good idea if we were to gather more people suffering and brought a class action suit. I wouldn’t want to be put in the same category as these clowns and called a fraud.

  9. Hey Ryan I just came across A Billy Bryan Brown Marriage certificate dated 1969. He was 16 years old and from this marriage had two kids. Whats astounding me isn’t that the same year he lost his family!!??!! I recall he said he was devastated and wondered around aimlessly and not caring what happened to him till he met Ami. Well if he did have two previous children it’s nice to know that they are normal as far as they seem to be independent from HIM. Could you shed any light on this matter?

    • It will be interesting to see if offspring from Billy’s first marriage make an appearance. He probably owes them money. Maybe they can recoup some cash from Discovery for making the boat ride. If so, I hope they have good teeth.

      • Hey Ryan, do you think it’s possible Billy got married the first time to avoid the draft? Getting married and having children was a common practice to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War.

        • I hadn’t thought of that, but I really doubt that was the reason. Billy was 16 in ’69 when he got married, and I don’t know the circumstances of Billy’s legal guardian. I think he may have been an emancipated minor. I don’t know enough about family law (maybe Lower48Lawyer can help?) or if Billy’s family dying would’ve granted him a draft deferment.

    • He also said if I recall it right “not caring if I lived or died” till he met Ami. A lot sure did happen before Ami saved his life.

      • The more I read the more I find it hard to believe.Ryan you are the writer when this is all said and done (if thats possible) you should write a book.There is more here then in JFKs’ conspiracy books.

  10. Ok, first of all, Ryan is true genius unlike the self-proclaimed moron “mechanical physicist” that we have to endure on Friday nights. Secondly, what’s with all this sympathy for Bam people? He’s an egotistical, thoughtless, fumbling embarrassment to the human race just like the others. Finally, thank you Ryan and all the others on this forum that tell the truth and are not petrified of being politically incorrect. Gosh I hope they sink this Suzuki this week, haaa!

    • For me, I don’t think I have any sympathy for Bam. I merely think he is the most normal of the Brown clan, so that is a pretty low bar. He just doesn’t ham it up for the camera like much of the family. That said there is virtually nothing on this show you can believe, so perhaps he is the craziest one in the family but acts normal for the cameras.

  11. This show is making me feel dirty even watching it, and I support Christie’s munt.

  12. YOU’RE BACK!!! Love, love, love your recaps. The only good that has ever come out of this show.

  13. Oh Ryan,
    I am so glad that you are back! I wondered how I would muddle through my addiction to my favorite superstitious, fictional, reality show! When nearly a day passed without a recap, I thought you might have given up on us (said the skif)! But I am soooo happy that you are back because it’s only the recaps that make the show worth watching and the skif! Thanks!

    • Thanks, Jennifer! Recapping ABP when it airs on Friday nights in the summer is tough. It will probably take me a day or two, but I’d rather do a good recap than a fast, half-assed one.

  14. David, don’t go just yet!! As I’m new to this site, I look forward to your detailed analysis of the show just as much as I look forward to Ryan’s hilarious recaps. I believe it would be a disservice to us all if you discontinued your rebuttals to the morons who still actually believe what they’re seeing is true and the ABP are a real family “Recently Discovered Living in the Deep Alaskan Bush”.
    If you do then I just may have to send a check and care package to help this poor struggling family who according to Billy “they won’t let us live the life style we want”.
    Before you finalizes your decision please give this some additional thought.
    If not for us all on this site then do it for the sake of The Skiff.
    p.s. Ryan, can you please provide the Post Office Box in Hoonah where the Browns receive their mail? I’m sure when they were served with the legal documents informing them of their legal troubles they weren’t delivered by courier eagle if David does decide to leave us.
    Thanks

    • Oh good gosh… the thought of sending them a check is enough to inspire me. I will stick around for another episode or two. The Browns have tortured me over the last couple of years to no end. Hmmm… I think I am already regretting this decision. Dang it… where is the stupid remote so I can add ABP back on.

      • Thanks, David for reconsidering. I’m sure I’m not just speaking for myself, but for all who look forward to your detailed analysis.
        With regard to No Brain Noah, what’s with the top hat and goth attire, or that’s alternative bush attire verses a leather motorcycle jacket? Before I was about to slit my wrists during the ABP marathon that aired 2 straight days prior to the premier of season 4, No Brain Noah stated during the boat ride from Ketchikan to their Discovery purchased land “He would have to get to know a girl for 2 years first, before he would consider dating her”. Isn’t that the whole point of dating to begin with? Get to know the person to see if it works out or not, or did I miss something? Did he know “The One”, from Hoonah for 2 years prior to freaking her grandparents out when he appeared on their door step?
        Also, Billy, A.K.A. Slick Willy, indicated he never discussed with the boys, I mean MEN, the topic of dating. “It just never came up” according to Slick Willy. Toothless Ami raised them to be gentleman. So after all the talks, lectures, etc., Slick Willy never had a father/son talk about the proper etiquette of dating and what should be said if the opportunity presents itself?

  15. I love to hate (mostly hate) APB as well. I need help fellow watchers……I find myself conflicted about Bam. On one hand, I admire how he recognizes what idiots most of his siblings are, especially Matt. Yet his over inflated ego, barking orders, arguing, and condescending comments would make me want to kick his @ss if he spoke to me the way. I have a sneaking suspicion he resents not being the “first born” and “leader” of the pack. What are your feelings about Bam, everyone/Ryan?

    No one really mentions Bam.

    • To me at least, Bam seems like the most normal one on the show. He is definitely a control freak and tends to be a bit pushy and over aggressive at times, but still seems to be a normal person. If I had to deal with the Brown clan on an everyday basis I might be a little on edge also so I don’t really blame him for some of his behavior. I think besides the bush professor angle, Noah seems genuine also. I have know a couple of people that Noah reminds me of. Bear is the worst followed closely by Matt. The are complete caricatures. There is no possible way they could ham it up any more for the camera. Gabe isn’t too far behind. We get it Gabe, your a stocky kid. Enough of the “I am so strong” routine. Ami seems delusional, but also a bit like a POW just along for the ride. Obviously Billy is Billy. Not much to be said there. Compared to this group as a whole Bam seems fairly level headed from what they show us.

      • Then we have Birdie and Rain. Not that their family doesn’t love them, but education-wise where is their potential or future? They also both seem along for the ride, with neither having any choice in the matter at the outset—and Rain is still a minor. There are carefully-crafted moments to show us their “bush” skills, and Birdie and Rain both spout the “I want to be in the bush” mantra, but they also obviously have an attraction to other things—such as make-up and jewelry and the like. And where are these people’s friends? Do these two gals have any girlfriends at all? (Do the guys—Kenny excepted?) It doesn’t seem so and that is pretty sad not to have any peers to share things with and to expand one’s horizons. People can live “off the grid” but still not be totally isolated from friendships as the Browns (including Billy & Ami) appear to be—-at least that is the way it seems from the show—but, again, who knows.

        • Yes, Lower48Lawyer, I agree. When I first heard Birdy state in a personal interview “I CHOOSE to live in the bush”, I was horrified. She doesn’t have a choice! Nor does Rain and the boys, I mean MEN. It would be deplorable if that statement were true. It seems apparent, or we’re led to believe, they know no other life style, and therefore, this is forced upon them. It doesn’t seem like Birdy and Rain have any friends except each other. When I see both of them together playing with dolls, a 12 and 20 year old, I start to wonder if they’re now socially inept of forming relationships with others.
          That secluded or isolated life style of living off the grid is forced upon them by Billy, and it appears Ami doesn’t have a say and goes along with whatever Billy says (or orders). It doesn’t appear the girls or boys, I mean MEN and one WOMAN, have any friends or social life, except Matt’s friendship with Kenny, and we see how excited Matt gets during his short visits with Kenny.

          • You are very correct. I am not a violent person but I want to throat punch every single one of the lovers who gush about what a great dad Billy is. He might be if you are comparing him to Papa Pilgrim. He is an abusive control freak who has kept his wife and children uneducated so that they have no hope of ever having a good job. They have never had any friends or ever participated in any normal social activities with peers.
            They lived in Haines for 10 years and nobody was ever permitted to visit their home. Ami and Birdie were rarely seen and if they were out in public, at least one of the male members of the family was with them. The boys met cruise ships at the dock and sold unsuspecting tourists CDs of Billy’s stories. When those tourists were back on board they discovered the CDs were blank.
            They pulled the same con in Port Protection. Poor Gabe wasn’t involved because he was sent to fish off the dock everyday for food for the family.
            They lied and thieved their entire lives. They know nothing else. Billy is crazy and this family will never be normal.

    • Based solely on their TV “characters,” I’ve always been Team Bam. A lot of people don’t like his people skills, but he’s the smartest, most practical and least annoying of the lot. (Faint praise, I know.) If I had to be lost out in the woods with any member of the Brown family, I’d prefer it to be Bam. Plus, HE RESPECTS THE DANGER!

      • I agree Ryan/David. I was feeling shame for almost liking Bam. I was loathe to type the word admire earlier, but I do admire the way Bam tells off his idiot siblings and doesn’t hesitate to speak up when they are acting like fools. If I was ‘forced’ at gun point to date a member of the pack, I would have to say I would choose Bam. He talks kind of badly to his brothers a lot, but I honestly don’t blame him.

        • One of Bam’s brothers almost dropped a tree on him in the series’ first episode. Last season, Gabe almost decapitated Bam with corrugated sheet metal. I’ll forgive him for being a jerk to his brothers. He also delivered one of the series’ best lines: “I don’t need a nuke. I’m just trying to smoke some fish.”

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About Ryan Berenz 1969 Articles
Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.