Discovery Channel Alaskan Bush People Recap: Released to the Wild

Alaskan Bush People Gabe Dummy

On Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People episode “Released to the Wild” (July 8), the Brown family reunites and plans a trip after 30 long days in Juneau, but an issue plaguing one of the family members puts the unity of the Wolfpack in jeopardy.

Go Here For All Of Your AWESOME And EXXXXTREME Alaskan Bush People Needs!

Greetings, friends. I’ve missed you guys! It’s been a long two weeks since the last new ABP episode. I’d be totally cool with never seeing another.

There have been been lots of bad episodes of this series. I mean, fundamentally, they’re all bad, but some of them are just a little more entertainingly bad than others. “Released to the Wild” might possibly be the worst of the entire series. (State your case in the comments section for an episode worse than this one.) This episode is a pioneer in the field of crapularity.

Bam and Billy are serving their time in Juneau on home monitoring, and the Black Screen of Fake Doom informs us that, by law, Discovery Channel can’t show us any of their incarceration. I suppose it’s no big loss, since all we’d see is Billy sitting on his ass and we already get to see that every week. In preparation for Billy and Bam’s triumphant return to freedom and the Integrity, the rest of the Browns are sprucing up the boat. Bear gets a bar stool and he and Gabe decide to convert it into a captains chair that is unstable, uncomfortable and will most certainly kill anyone attempting to sit on it. Welcome home, Dad! Here’s this awful thing we built for you! Rainy gets one of those over-the-door shoe organizer thingies and puts plants in it. Bear and Birdy are collecting bullwhip kelp from the harbor to make candles. (The excellent blog Alaska for Real has the DIY details on how to do this.) Bear swabs the deck using his Human Mop technique that involves breakdancing and having his sisters drag his soaped-up carcass across the floor. Is this EXXXXTREME? You betcha!

Being in Juneau gives the Browns easier access to dental care. Sorry, Birdy, you’ll have to wait until the next time someone has to do time in Juneau, because it’s Gabe’s turn to get his teeth fixed. The good Dr. Joseph J. Mirci of Alaska Dental Arts says Gabe has a laterally impacted canine (Did you see the X-ray? GROSS!) that could absorb the roots of the other teeth and cause them to fall out. So Gabe comes back with braces. “They said they were willing to barter, but not for anything like fish or deer,” Gabe says. So I suppose Gabe just charged the dental work to his CapitalOne Platinum Bush Barter Cash Rewards card.

The Browns decide to give Billy the gift of the thing he hates most: Work! They want to have a hauling job set up when Billy’s released, so they hook up with Crazy Chris, the Crocodile Dundee of Alaska, who we met way back in this episode. Chris has some garbage he needs hauled to Pelican Bay. Among the rubbish is a mannequin torso thing that Chris claims is training equipment for Pelican’s fire department. Sure, Chris, I’ve heard that story before. Chris also gets rid of some tires, cinder blocks and a couch for good measure.

But where is Matt during all of this? Matt’s busy wandering alone around Juneau, deep in contemplation. He has a lot on his mind, and the world weighs heavily on his soul. He has so much plastic wrap but so little time.

Bam and Billy are released, and there is much rejoicing at the dock. But this moment is bittersweet, as the Wolfpack is not whole, and so they are bummed. Sad Trombone. Stupid selfish Matt and his personal problems ruining it for everyone.

They need to move the Integrity to pick up the junk from Crazy Chris, and wouldn’t you know it … the engine won’t start. Feels like it’s been a while since the last good ol’-fashioned Boat Malfunction. They were all so focused on shoe-organizer flowers and candles and stuff that no one thought to make sure the boat actually functioned. It falls on Noah and Gabe to fix this snafu. Step aside, girls! You’re just in the way. Man, Noah is an arrogant prick, ain’t he? Everyone’s trying to help, and he’s just the most insufferable condescending douchebag to them. He’s an antisocial ass, even by Brown family standards. After some troubleshooting, Noah determines that the starter needs to be replaced. Somehow, he’s able to find a refurbished starter in less than an hour. I am not a man of the sea, so someone please tell me how commonplace starters for WWII-era boat engines are. Do you just walk up to the corner Boats ‘R’ Us in Juneau and they have this sort of thing in stock? Noah installs the thing, then joins Gabe up in the wheelhouse. “All we can do is say a prayer and push the button,” Noah says.

Just kidding. Everything’s fine. The engine starts. Unnecessary Boat Malfunction Drama has come to an end.

Good thing, too, because the journey to Pelican Bay is 130 miles from Juneau and will take all day. They take the boat out for a test drive to waste fuel and make sure the boat holds together. Matt has rejoined the Wolfpack for this little excursion, and he takes advantage of the opportunity to corner Gabe with some of the worst soap-opera schlock. After building up the suspense, Matt finally confesses, “I go to town and I get drunk.” Oh. That’s it? Whew. I thought it was something bad. Where I come from, that sounds like a typical Tuesday night. Then Gabe says, “I’ve known for a while, man. It’s all right.” WHAT? Gabe knew for a while and he still let Matt go through all that torture? “This road doesn’t go anywhere good, and I’ve got to get off, even if it means blazing my own trail,” Matt tearfully says.

Let’s examine this. Matt does not say he’s an alcoholic. He does not say he has a drinking problem. He says he goes into town and gets drunk. He doesn’t say specifically where or how or with whom or how often. Matt gave an interview to People magazine that I am reluctantly linking to, because it’s another case of People getting an “exclusive” in exchange for writing a pandering article that tows the ABP storyline. It makes no mention of Matt’s DUI incident in Juneau a few years ago. It’s supposed to evoke sympathy, but it makes me distrust this drinky drinky business even more. Since this all started before the family went to Juneau, are we led to believe that Matt sneaks off alone at night in the Integrity to get hammered in Hoonah and comes back before his folks know what’s up? Matt’s story doesn’t flow with the ABP narrative. Since we know that the Browns stay in Hoonah when the cameras are off, it’s entirely possible that Matt frequents the bar at Icy Strait Lodge.

Based on what Matt says, his problem stems not from drinking but from the guilt he feels because of his family’s attitudes about alcohol. “Our family is not very keen on it,” Gabe says, citing the many old sea dogs the Browns have come across who’ve ruined themselves with the bottle. Not mentioned is Ami’s past revelation that her father had a problem with alcohol. So it’s understandable that drinking would be something that’s frowned upon in the family. Every person’s experience with alcohol is unique. They’ve either known someone who had an addiction to alcohol, or suffered through that addiction themselves. Alcoholism can destroy lives, careers, marriages and families. I won’t make light of Matt’s problem, yet it’s hard to take this seriously given ABP‘s penchant for fiction.

Bear and Bird light a candle in a window of the Integrity for Matt, citing a family tradition for when members of the Wolfpack are away. How convenient that they just happened to make a bunch of candles that morning, as if they knew they’d be needed. They are Bush Psychic!

Ami and Billy get all weepy about Matt. “He’s no different than when he was a toddler or in my arms,” Ami says. How right you are, Ami! Cut the friggin’ cord already. He’s 30-something years old. I’d drink heavily too if I were stuck with my overbearing parents and six numbskull siblings, making an ass out of myself weekly on a bad fake reality TV show. “This road he has to walk with God alone.” Ami says.


So the Browns shove off and leave Juneau sans Matt, who is checking himself into Bush Betty Ford. Billy’s just tickled to death to be free and out on the open water. But the seas are a little choppy, and I sense some impending Unnecessary Drama stemming from Magically Disappearing Bad Weather. “It’s gonna be a blessed trip,” Ami says. “That’s all there is to it.” Sure, just keep telling yourself that.

No ABP episode is complete without Noah constructing something futile. Today it’s an intercom system built from a cordless telephone that allows the wheelhouse to communicate with the engine room without requiring a “middle man” to relay the messages. This, of course, could easily be accomplished with some cheap walkie-talkies, but that’s not the Brown Way. “Any emergency situation, I think, could be covered with the intercom,” Noah says. “Or if it’s lunch or something.” Ha! If they’re relying on Noah’s half-assed creations in an emergency situation, THEY’RE ALL GONNA DIE!

Something’s wrong with the new skiff. It’s taking a pounding in the waves. Somehow the skiff’s motor got knocked back into the water and it’s causing excess drag. Paul’s gonna bust their kneecaps if anything happens to that precious loaner skiff, so they’ve got to reel it in and lift the engine out of the water. Bear struggles with the “Advanced Skiff” and can’t get the motor back up, and Gabe comes in for the assist. I’m surprised that the skiff has such a flimsy mounting bracket, but whatever. It’s just more time-killing Boat Malfunction drama.

Hey, remember when Ami was going to knit something out of dog hair? Ami used Cupcake’s hair and knitted bracelet for Billy as a “back-to-the-bush” present, so “he’ll always have a little piece of Cupcake when the years pass on and we no longer have Cupcake.” Oh, thanks for that, Ami. Now we’re all teary-eyed thinking about dead dogs. Maybe Noah can use the DNA from the hair to make a Bush Clone of Cupcake.

Elsewhere on the boat, Rainy and Gabe are making another fire-practice dummy out of plastic bags, burlap sacks, sand and duct tape. I’m sure the volunteer firefighter(s) at Pelican Bay will really appreciate it. “Uh, when we rescue someone, are all the limbs supposed to fall off like this?” With that much sand in it, their Bush Dummy is more likely to be used to extinguish a fire than to be rescued from one. Gabe starts dancing with “Mandy,” which amounts to the most intimacy any of the Brown boys have ever had with a lady.

Where’s Bam Bam during all of this? Apparently he’s sick and is sleeping it off below deck. He must be having trouble adjusting to life on the outside.

The passage to Pelican Bay involves going through Cross Sound, an “extremely dangerous” place where bodies of water converge and produce rough seas. There’s a storm brewing, and the Browns need to get there before dark. Fake Urgency! You’ll notice during this sequence how there’s no continuity with the darkness of the sky, the size of the waves or any of that stuff. Magically Disappearing Bad Weather! They arrive in Pelican Bay just fine.

[Digression! I’m watching this episode Saturday morning, and my 4-year-old son sits down with me. He knows enough (i.e., too much) about ABP to recognize Bear and his EXXXXTREMENESS. But then Cupcake jumps out of the boat, and my son yells, “There’s Donut the Dog!” I start laughing, and he realizes his mistake.]

In Pelican, Billy starts up with the self-aggrandizing nonsense about how the Browns are Bush Social Activists and Philanthropists, preserving a way of life that they don’t even live themselves. “We feel it’s really important to help Pelican all we can,” Billy says. “We feel it’s so important to do anything we can do to save this lifestyle and try to keep these communities strong and let them grow instead of shrinking.” Perhaps Billy can best help the people of Alaska by not stealing over $20,000 from them.

Mercifully, the episode ends.

As a public service, I’ll try to get you all caught up on the ABP stuff happening offscreen, which is vastly more interesting than the ABP stuff onscreen.

First, Ami’s elderly mother, MeMaw, made her trip to Alaska to attempt a reunion with Ami. It was a total bust. In fact, it was such a bust that it seems all photos and videos from the trip have been removed from Facebook and YouTube. There is some seriously underhanded stuff going on with this mess. Because this show’s B.S. has made conspiracy theorists of us all, I suspect that Discovery was behind the whole fiasco to keep ABP chatter up during the show’s bye week.

Why was it such a bust? Because the entire Brown family was in Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii, the other freak state outside the Lower 48. Did Discovery foot the bill for this? Did this intentionally coincide with MeMaw’s trip? Is this all just horseshit? YES, YES and YES!!

The Downfall meme is an oldie but a goodie, so I’ll share this clever and informed one made about ABP:

Next week is already the season finale. Thank you, Good Lord.



  1. Sounds like I am not missing much. Not that I was ever missing much.
    The Hitler thing was comedy gold! Laughed hard at that one. The last part of it was something I was saying for a long time. Just be honest and you could have made the show into something real. Now it is just a laughing stock with fans having pretty low IQ’s or love to watch cartoons. At this point it still continues to defy gravity. It isn’t that they lie about absolutely everything, its that the show is so horrible and completely boring and is still on the air. I noticed that it kept its 0.7 rating in 18-49 but fell down to 2.85 million overall viewers. That is an all time low as far back as I can remember. They said they are going to film another season but I am sure it was a bit of a decision rather than a slam dunk. I know this show makes money, but WOW Discovery. Apparently you will show absolutely anything on your network.
    I hesitate to link anything from the Inquisitr but they just put this out a few hours ago and I thought it was a bit interesting. Shed a little light on the family and Ami’s mother…

    • MeMaw’s Trip to Alaska didn’t pass the smell test when it was announced. The whole thing was a charade, and some hospitable Hoonah locals got played for chumps. The biggest question: Will any of this mess end up airing on ABP? I give credit where it’s due: Inquisitr actually did a good job reporting the skulduggery.

      BTW, my uncle is a competitive walleye fisherman and is buddies with a charter fisherman from Homer, AK, which is in your neck of the woods. He talked about possibly making a trip up there to fish for halibut.

      • I thought the article was somewhat interesting and shed light on a few things. Rare decent post from them but also give them credit. They are a funny site as they used to be the worst puff pieces about ABP and now they are full on “this show is such @#$#”. Quite a turn they have taken. ABP wears us all down
        MeMaw’s trip smelled worse than rotting salmon the first time I heard anything about it. You don’t have to know much about this shows background to know nothing was what it was being portrayed as. Fly up unannounced and hope to catch them? They don’t even live in Alaska… yea right.
        Well Homer is in Alaska so that is somewhat in my neck of the woods but it is like a 10 hour drive so pretty far. Great halibut fishing and super gorgeous scenery there. If I can be of any help even for just information please let me know. I am always happy to help visitors to our fine state.

  2. Ryan, Billy’s daughter Twila was also in Hawaii. Coincidence? Or she met up with the family for there annual vacation? I wonder if she address Ami as “Mom”?

  3. I do agree with your comment about Ami. It was sad when she mentioned the meaning of the bracelet.

    • Don’t be sad about the meaning of the bracelet after all its’ the smell that counts.

  4. I just stumbled upon this column and haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. As much as I want to continue blocking this weekly atrocity from coming through my cable box, I will now start watching again knowing that I can come here to read these freaking hilarious after-show reviews.

    CapitalOne Platinum Bush Barter Cash Rewards card?!? LOL!!!

  5. Did anyone notice that in the preview for next week’s season finale,Gabe and noah were in a scene together and noah just smacked Gabe upside the back of his head? I just wish more than anything that Gabe would rear back and coal-cock noah and knock his teeth down his throat. Along with his current laziest Brown award, noah now holds the joint title of biggest Brown asshole with Bam. I mean seriously people, even acting, how can noah possibly be any more of a worthless piece of trash. I’d much rather watch useless mind-numbing scenes of birdturd fake making bush arts and crafts than see one more second of the village idiot noah. Yes, I didnt capitalize his name on purpose, he just doesn’t deserve that common grammatical courtesy.

    • I noticed that too, Ben and I feel the same way! How perfect would it be for Gabe to just haul off & punch the arrogance right out of Noah?! In the real world, Noah could definitely prove to be a danger to others. Maybe even a danger to himself, but that would be his problem…

  6. I have came to the point long ago where I could not watch this show anymore due to it just being way to damn stupid. I had to stop commenting in a few groups for awhile due to blowing my top on people who were lovers of the show.

    I thank you for your views and stories on the show and love the fact that is has given me a new dimension once again. I think I can once again find some unsuspecting lovers to torment with ease and have a laugh about doing it.

    • I’ve found the secret to watching…. it’s called the remote FF button. When you see dangly white mustache hippy… hit the button… an aside where a Brown is going to explain things to the audience… button… clips of past episodes (or what just happened before commercial break… you got it – the button.
      Turns an hour of tedious, teeth grinding viewing into 15 to 20 minutes of cartoons
      Still needs periodic warnings that parents should caution impressionable children that this is all fantasy ((Donut Dog indeed ))

  7. As usual, Ryan…you’ve outdone yourself! Not an east feat given that this episode was a mish mash of thrown together crap off the cutting room floor. There is so much psychologically wrong with this family, but I guess that’s what their cult leader was counting on. Billy continues to remind me of Papa Pilgrim with his constant praising of our Lord…coming on the heels, always, of some underhanded action. Even some of the places they’ve “lived” in Alaska have been formerly occupied by the Pilgrim family. It also seems as if the older boys are moving farther and farther away from the “wolf pack” with each passing episode. I find myself wondering how long it will take to deprogram the “kids”. Now THAT would be a show to watch! “Life After BrownTown”. Ah, crap…better not give Discovery any ideas…! Will the season finale end up being the series finale? I guess only time will tell.

          • Got it. Billy, the family and the show are so cool, awesome and exxxxtreme! I hope it’s never cancelled. I can picture Ryan, jr. taking over the writing recaps in the future. The story lines could be endless. I think CT_HomeSteader is on to something, Life after BrownTown. The boys break out and branch off on their own after years of psychotherapy to deprogram the effects of Billy Brown Brainwashing Syndrome. That’s good for 20 episodes. Not all is successful, i.e., Bear, Noah. Bear can’t stop crawling through the mud or insisting it’s normal to live in a tree house at the age of 35. Noah, well is the same arrogant Noah=20 or more episodes. They find wives and girlfriends. Having children is probable, not impossible. Of course, after successful completion of therapy. I’m still of the opinion they not be allowed to procreate, but that’s for professionals to decide in the way distant future=40 episodes. The possibilities are endless.
            Ryan, CT_HomeSteader and Alaskan David can form their own production company, write the scripts and consult for Discovery, while Lower48Lawyer provides legal consults. The “Gang” will be together for a long time to come.
            I have so many ideas for scripts. Amateurs like the boys give it a go living in the bush. That’s more believable then what they tried to portray up to this point or the bush of Maui.

          • He he! We joke, but I actually found someone writing ABP fan fiction in a dark corner of the internet that had detailed stories about the Browns’ future wives and kids and stuff.

  8. Great review Ryan, and you’re right, the producers are scraping the bottom of their reality show barrel of ideas, on this episode….There’s a definite personality change ongoing with Bam and Noah, especially in this Season 4 episodes. Noah is “acting” more pompous, arrogant, and self centered. Bam is “acting” more detached, arrogant, and self centered! Bam’s problems could be the result of the way his fans and the public treat him in real life when not filming the ABP Series. I think that Noah got bit by the “Hollywood star bug.” He thinks he’s the star of the series. The snickers and head shaking that they must encounter, out in the public eye, has got to be awkward if not agonizing. Walking through an airport and having people pointing at you could be daunting to the Browns.

    • I’m sure DISC doesn’t much like the Browns being photographed everywhere off the set and out of costume. Pretty much blows up the facade. Of all the Browns, Noah’s character is the one that’s changed the most over the series. He went from being a quiet, introspective kid in the first season to the pretentious fop he’s portrayed as today.

  9. I do Love the show, it is TV. Funny, and take it as it is entertainment. Not bette or worst then some of the other shows on. But I do have to say my liking the show, doesn’t stop me from the laughs you give me about the show. I will continue the look for both.

  10. I cant believe they allow your shit on tv. I grew up in the bush. You guys are a bunch if lying pussies. Jyst saying:-)

  11. I knew Ryan would have ample material for his critique from this episode. From the human mop to making candles from fur bracelets to walkie talkies from soap opera crying scenes to “The Whip” captains chair from sea to shining sea this had to be the most insipid show of all time.

  12. Your recap like usually has me chuckling and smiling then the Adolph vid. Had to go over it twice and then a third. I almost produced tears the first time I was laughing pretty good. That was a good memory you’ll have with your son on his dough nut comment. As for the side show. Right it was the best advertising since Miller Lite with the Taste Great-Less Filling that ran for what seemed like years.How could they pass up the window of opportunity when billy was serving his time? Then you go when they are in Hawaii is senseless. I could go on but I will eventually read it here in the comments but you petty much nailed it.

      • Hey wait till your son gets interested in sports. My youngest was watching a ball game with me and Cecil Fielder was getting a intentional pass. He’d ask on every pitch Thats a Ball? Yes and I finally got it down to saying they are doing it on purpose. Ball 4 take your base he turns to me and says Boy those guys stupid. There’s more but why ramble on-Enjoy those kids it goes fast they grow up quick.

  13. How come no one left a candle in the window for Billy and Bam? Or Ami when she got her teeth yanked out? Or when Billy’s fake seizure sent him to the hospital? Clearly, Birdbrain and Raindrop discovered Pinterest!

  14. This episode was pathetic. Loved the Hitler thing! Bear, as a human mop, was so over the top. It was beyond EXXXTREME. The Browns deserve to be called “kids” and “children” by the narrator. And poor Matt ….and Bam…hopefully they are just looking for a way to get out of their contracts. If Discovery tries to make a cliffhanger from Matt’s alcohol problem(?) or Meemaw (God, I hate that term) visiting, I might have to quit the Browns. Something worth watching better happen next Friday or else!

  15. Great recap Ryan, as usual. I know you really had to stretch on this really bad episode.
    The “Hitler reacts to Alaskan Bush People” is a classic.

    Did you notice that ol’ Billy lost his crutch during the 30 day stint! I guess that ankle bracelet might have magical healing powers for fake injuries. Also, speaking of fake injuries, did you see No-uh jump off the boat onto the dock to greet the returning returnees? No leg brace, no limp, no cane. Another miracle!

  16. If anyone is interested in electronic home monitoring in Alaska here is the website:

    Basically, Billy and Bam were not “confined” as Bam tried to make out—they could work (of course, they had to have a real job) or go to church or do their community service, etc. I do not believe for a second that the other family members did not see them for those 30 days. Further, it was a heck of lot better than sitting in the local jail.

    In the meantime, it seems the others could have done a lot more for their stupid boat than repaint the name and scrub the deck with a human mop—-such as put up some running lights. But, no, instead they had to make dog-hair bracelets and candles—and then burn an open candle flame on the boat!!! Can anyone be anymore clueless about the dangers of doing that on a boat???

    I could build a better captain’s chair with my eyes closed. What a piece of junk. I don’t think it would even be accepted for deposit in the Hoonah dump.

  17. Billy, the voice of doom, displayed the face of doom as he docked the ‘Integrity’ for the delivery. But he didn’t break the boat, so that’s a plus.
    The unstable bar stool converted into an unstable skipper’s chair, was one of the more amusing inventions seen on the browntown clown show. it was EXTREMELY dangerous.
    I just wish birdbrain would barter for some dental work. that fang of an incisor should be fixed. surely the dentist could come up with a suitable barter. and her brothers would surely appreciate it.

  18. Just love love your commentary on The Nine Stooges, although that is a kind term. It does not take into account stealing from the State of Alaska. However it covers the dumb stuff the three stooges did. Although I am hoping the show gets cancelled because it is an elobrate hoax I love all the funny people on our Facebook page. Hilarious commentary, funny observations, it’s just great. I am hoping though that after its cancelled we can write about The Last Alaskan and Life Below Zero. Although certainly a peculiar lifestyle these people are just wonderful. Hearty, clever, engineering, bright. It brings us much joy to follow their lives. The last few episodes hurt watching Bob Harte obviously declining. It’s nice to watch something without the dopey antics, phony bush talk, pontificating asshole explaining the bush way of life each week. Ugh to the Brown family, Boys of 33 years old indeed, incapable of having mature relationships. Dear daddy overseeing every aspect of their lives. Cancel the damn thing already, it’s become unbearable in the phoniness. Your critique was hilarious BTW.

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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