Discovery Channel Alaskan Bush People Recap: “All That Matters”

Ryan Berenz

On the season premiere of Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People “All That Matters” (Jan. 4), a storm overtakes Chichagof Island and threatens the safety of the Brown Family as they set out on a journey to bring home a new addition to Browntown, while oldest brother Matt returns home for a fresh start.

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After seeing how Bear makes his Bush Shampoo stew in last week’s season preview episode, we get another edition of Bush Cosmetology Tips. We learn that Billy has always cut the kids’ hair, which really does explain a lot. Today, it’s time for Gabe’s cut. Billy once gave Gabe a half-mohawk, half-mullet. Billy also once shaved lightning bolts in the side of Gabe’s hair. I also imagine that Gabe went for the hi-top fade a few years ago. Gabe says his current look is 1950s Punk Elvis Trucker. Mission accomplished, I guess.

It’s early fall on Chicago Bears Island. BUT WINTER IS RIGHT THERE! It’s harvest time for some of the Browns’ crops. (Notice that no crops are harvested from Matt’s stupid plastic wrap greenhouse.) Ami is pleased with the fertile soil that washes down from the mountains and makes the carrots especially sweet. Ami heaves a massive zucchini and moans, “That’s a heavy zucchini.” I had to listen to it a few times. She almost sounds like a sound bite from an Italian porn film.

Because it’s a new season and there might be some (zero) new viewers tuning in, we have to get reintroduced to the Bush Way and how it’s so much better than how you live. “I don’t think that most kids in the Lower 48 carry a 12-gauge to go to the bathroom,” Billy says. Clearly Billy has not been to Chicago.

The kids were all home-schooled by Ami, who married Billy as a teenager and didn’t finish high school. Birdy says that it was “actually really great” being home-schooled by her mother, because Birdy doesn’t know any better and thinks her mom is a Nobel Laureate.

And now it’s time for another round of The Browns Pretend to Not Know Stuff! Let’s meet our our contestants. First contestant is Birdy, who loves animals and is fluent in Cat. First question is for Birdy. Birdy, who won the World Series last year?

INCORRECT!

Our next contestant is Bear, who lists AWESOME and EXXXXTREME! as his hobbies. Bear, here’s your first question: Who are the Golden State Warriors?

Bear: “AWESOME! EXXXXTREME!”

WRONG!

Birdy, for the win: Who is Rihanna?

Birdy: “A sinker, or something.”

Sure. Whatever. You win.

Let us give a warm welcome back to Matt, who is back from his alcohol rehab stint and ready to recommit himself to the Bush. He’s come back to find a lot of answers to questions he has about himself, foremost is “What does a guy have to do to get a drink around here?”

Billy’s moaning about the recent lack of crabs in the waters off of Chicago Bears Island. Maybe if there weren’t 12 Discovery Channel reality shows about Alaskan crab fishing, there would be more crabs for the Browns.

Billy wants Brownton Abbey to rely less on the outside world and be more self-sufficient. The obvious solution is to get a cow.

Yes, Billy bought a cow. As my weird uncle used to say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the sex for free?” Not surprisingly, Birdy is exceptionally excited about this cow, since she’ll have yet another beast with which to communicate.

I am from and live in Wisconsin, so far be it from me to disparage cow ownership. The truth is that bringing a cow into Brownton Abbey for the sole purpose of providing milk is utterly (udderly!) stupid and makes zero practical sense. The resources and effort needed to keep the cow alive and producing milk in the Bush are far greater than the benefits. And unless Noah is going to invent Bush Pasteurization, it’s probably not wise to drink raw milk.

In his first display of sober wisdom, Matt says he wants nothing to do with this cow-hauling business. Instead, he wants to go out into the hills on a solo hunt to find himself and kill a deer to provide meat for the family. So Matt wants to go on a potentially dangerous hunt for meat despite the fact that Billy just bought a whole lot of living, breathing hamburgers.

I don’t understand what Billy starts talking about next. He’s either having another seizure or it’s further evidence that he has gone batshit insane. “You can flash forward a couple hundred years,” Billy says. “You got people in the Bush. You’ve got my family. The Browns have done the same thing.” These, my friends, are the ravings of a madman.

And when Billy’s not spouting lunacy, he’s just plain lying.

Here are the Browns struggling for survival in Hawaii:

Gabe and Bear are discussing the benefits of cow ownership when Gabe hears something in the woods, prompting a bunch of silly Bush Sign Language. They stalk stalkily and discover a bear minding its own bear business. While the boys claim that they “chased her out of our boundary,” the bear just kind of walks away on its own volition. Even the bears are bored with this crap.

Gabe tells us about how the Browns are such stewards of the land and the wildlife. They don’t just go around walking through the forest kicking squirrels. The squirrels appreciate this. The squirrels have a few other requests.

Matt’s going to go off and do his spiritual hunt/walk of Faith, because his mom has Faith in him, so he can find Faith in himself, and he has Faith in the Family’s Faith in him. I spent a whole Sunday assembling extensive flowcharts of who has Faith in what, whom and when. If you have a few hours, you can view them. They’re quite thorough.

Oh, good. More barge-building. The Browns are going to take the Dragon Samurai barge and construct a cow enclosure on top so Sabrina doesn’t end up as fish food. Rainy wonders how they might be able to make Sabrina more comfortable. Bam has a few ideas.

ZING! Bam proves once again that he’s the only member of the family with anything between his ears, and he admits that this whole cow thing is ridiculous, but he’s once again been overruled by his nincompoop kin.

With the cow enclosure built on the Dragon Samurai, the Browns are ready to set sail on this fool’s errand. When they get out into the bay, we get warnings of our first Magically Appearing Bad Weather of the season. There’s a storm a-brewin’ out there. (Is anyone else annoyed that they’re suddenly calling a storm a “blow?”) If you’re keeping score at home, Billy is now risking his boat and much of his family, not to mention burning expensive fuel, just to pick up a cow that they don’t need and can’t realistically use in the first place. He should be arrested (again).

Back at Brownton Abbey, the task of building a cow corral falls on Noah and Gabe. Of course, their corral is pathetic and won’t contain a cow, much less keep bears out.

How’s Matt doing on his spiritual quest? He’s doing just great! He’s already hiked 10 miles northwest of Brownton Abbey!

On the Integrity, the seas are getting rough. Suddenly it dawns on Billy that he shouldn’t be out in this mess, and he gives some spiel about his kids and “souls onboard,” and how he’s going to find an anchorage and not shipwreck over a stupid cow. Billy is remarkably foolhardy for a man who supposedly spent 34 years in the Bush and many of those years at sea.

First time for everything.

Let’s check in on Matt. Last seen, he was 15 miles northwest of Brownton Abbey.

Oh, that’s a shame. And Matt was just starting to get his life back together…

The storm is growing more intense back at Brownton Abbey. Ami keeps her mind off her family members’ impending doom by — wait for it — re-creating the Mosman Mayonnaise Candles. As legend has it, when Ami and Billy first came to Alaska, Ami found a jar of old mayonnaise in which the oil had separated from the other mayonnaise crud. She put the oil in a small dish, cut Billy’s jeans to make a candle wick, and set the thing on fire to make a candle. No, Ami didn’t invent this, either. Check out this instructional video from CrazyRussianHacker on YouTube. “This is very awesome!”

“The mayo candle is like a symbol of hope,” Ami says. “It’s light, and it shines the way.” And a sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without it.

The morning after the storm, Gabe and Noah go out to assess the damage and AWWW, SNAP! A tree snapped and fell on Gabe’s biohazard shack. So that whole pointless endeavor turned out to be for absolutely nothing. This is a metaphor for the human condition. This is the Brown Way.

The Integrity remains afloat after the storm, and Billy gets right back to exaggerating the importance of this Magic Bush Cow that’s going to deliver the Browns to the Land of Milk and Cheese. Get a load of this: “Getting this cow home, at this moment, it’s everything to us,” Billy says. “It’s the very beginning of living our life on our own. It’s the beginning of being truly independent, which is what living in the Bush is all about. The more self-sufficient we are, the more free we are. We’re out here because we’re free. The Bush is a simple life. It’s a hard life, but it’s a simple life. And that life starts right now.”

It starts RIGHT NOW? Then what the hell have we been watching for the past five-ish seasons? What the hell has he been doing out there for the past 34 years? Blow it out your ass, Billy.

Gabe and Noah decide to tear down the remains of the biohazard shack, but it proves more difficult than they thought. The solution, obviously, is to shoot at it with a cannon.

We’re told that the Browns picked up this cannon in Pelican for doing a hauling job. I imagine that exchange went something like, “Um, sorry, we don’t have any money, but can we pay you with a cannon?” (An Alaskan insider said that this cannon was actually purchased in Juneau by a producer.) I’m not sure what they were shooting out of that cannon, but it couldn’t have been much bigger than a golf ball. Of course, the cannon does nothing.

The Browns finally arrive in Hoonah and complete the cow transaction, which we don’t get to see because it didn’t really happen the way Billy said it did. They load Sabrina in the Dragon Samurai without incident, and the voyage back to Brownton Abbey is a success. Welcome to your new home, Sabrina. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Then Billy jumps back onto the crazy train, waxing all philosophical about this sacred cow. “But, in a way, this isn’t just one cow,” he says. “It represents, you know, the beginning of everything that we can do to be independent.” Yes, now that they finally have a cow, the Empire of Brownton Abbey shall grow and prosper for eternity.

… or whenever the ratings drop too low.

37 Comments

  1. Ryan, I am missing your hilarious recaps. Did you go off the grid? Are you living in the bush on Chichagof Island and have, thereby, lost all contact with the civilized world? Eaten by a bear?

  2. Anyone catch how Matt said “it’s not just about killing a deer and putting the antlers up on the wall it’s so much more” and the wall behind him during this commentary has exactly that. Hilarious. Sad. Ironic.

  3. Dear Matt Brown, deer horns are covered in what is called velvet while they are growing to protect them because they are soft…not “felt” . Once there the horns have finished growing where I live is end of August to early September they rub the velvet off on small saplings . This is called a buck rub this all takes place before the “rut” or mating season. For living there life in the bush the Browns are the worst hunters I have ever seen.

  4. So after 30 years they built an outhouse… And up until then they just “walked into the woods anywhere.”

    30 YEARS??? If I’m camping for more than 2 days I dig a trench latrine. Over a month or two would mean a traditional wooden 2 hole latrine.

    Even their lies don’t make sense. Or, if true, they are far more demented than we thought!

  5. For 30 years my mother-in-law always asked the guys if they’ve “caught a deer yet”, and we laughed every single time. Now the Browns have ruined it for me. I would like to cut Billy’s stupid mustache off, spin it into fine thread, and sew his mouth shut so I never have to listen to his total nonsense again. Sabrina has to be so whacked out by Browns (weird language, shooting cannons, hovering in trees, howling like idiots) that any milk the poor old thing could produce is surely sour. I hate to comment further as I watched the Jan. 11 episode, but deer DO NOT have horns!

    • One other thing….the only time you should run while shooting a gun is if someone is shooting back at you!

  6. Ryan, you’re the best! I don’t even know where to begin with the whole cow deal. These jokers can’t feed themselves, let alone a cow. The “barn” they built will be blown away with the first storm that comes in off the water, and even if it remained standing, it’s not gonna keep anything in or out. I only hope the poor cow doesn’t go the way of their chickens. The episode chronicling the bear’s ransacking of their house showed a chicken carcass in their yard. I can say with certainty that the bear wasn’t responsible for that chicken’s death. Do these imbeciles know that livestock need fresh water & food on a daily basis? Do they know that the chances of obtaining a sufficient amount of milk from that cow are slim to none? As far as the cheese-making goes…which one of the geniuses will be responsible for that endeavor? Billy has confirmed what we’ve all known for (literally) years…he’s a lying sack of crap. They want to “start” being self-sufficient? The only thing I can figure is that the Brown’s have finally worn out whatever welcome they may have had with any other humans. People are finally wise to their ways and probably will no longer be so generous. Also, as pointed out, if they’ve been living in the bush for all those decades, just starting to be self-sufficient now is the most ridiculous comment the walrus could’ve made. One thing he said that was spot on is that it’s a hard life. Quite honestly, I don’t think he or any of the others have what it takes to be truly self-sufficient. And, once more…if they call that crap “town” of theirs a “homestead” one more time, I may suffer an aneurysm. Thank you, Ryan for putting things into perspective in the way that only you can!

    • There was a guy who posted on the internets claiming to have been the new owner of the Browns’ chickens. He wondered how long it would be before he was the new owner of their cow.

      Like every good Wisconsinite, I once worked in a cheese factory. I’d rather eat that Giant Jar of Rotten Mayonnaise than eat any cheese the Browns curdled.

  7. Ryan, I literally laughed out loud at least three times while reading this recap! These asswhipes are so ignorant and truly uneducated that It’s becoming more and more painful to watch each week. I think noah needs to to volunteer his services as a testing human guinea pig at the nearest university in the name of science. I also think that birdturd and rainstain are now officially so far gone in the head that there is no coming back from the poison they have bought into from there maniacal father. Keep em coming brother, laughed harder this recap than ever before!

  8. This show is made much more entertaining if you pretend the bears have formed a home owners association in an effort to force these hillbillies out of their neighborhood before their shanty town destroys property values.

    • Are we honestly suppose to believe Ami teaches chemistry to Rainy? I think those bozos are doing good just to learn basic math. And I can’t tell you how angry I am to find out my wife has been buying store bought candles all these years while throwing out the old mayonnaise and her maternity jeans! Dagnabbit!!

      As usual another great recap Ryan! The only reason I get excited that this turd circus is coming back for another season is because I know your hilarious recaps will be coming. Keep them coming!

  9. Great recap Ryan!
    Wow, other than the cow angle this seems like it could be an episode from any of the last 3-4 seasons. They are expert survivalists from 30 years living deep in the Alaskan bush yet STILL cannot figure out how to feed themselves. Billy and all of the kids are EXPERT boat captains but cannot seem to operate a boat or know how to read a weather update. Yawn, this is so unbelievably repetitive.

  10. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t admit this but I actually laughed out loud when the tree fell on Gabe’s “house.” What did Noah say—something like it was a “piece of junk” anyway—an actual moment of honesty.

    Back to Sabrina, the Bear-Bait Cow, I could build a better fenced-in yard in my sleep. When Billy says the the cow is the start of “everything” I guess he means the Browns’ demise from the raw milk products they are planning to consume.

    Why does Ami have a giant jar of rotting mayonnaise sitting around?

  11. Ryan, Excellent blog as usual. A few pick ’em ups from the premiere and not in chronological order because like the Brown clowns , I don’t know what chronological means.

    1. As Matt sets off on his spiritual sojourn to prove himself to a higher being, the dramatic voice over says he is going to “catch” a deer. Been hunting all off my life and yes have killed deer but never went with the purpose to catch a deer, which I think would be illegal anyway. And the best he could do was to miss a shot at Bambi. And what was this 20 mile walk to catch a deer . It seems from the previous 22 years when the guys go hunting the just get a little lost but hardly break a sweat.

    2. As an old Texas rancher from Texas but now wandering aimlessly around the deserts of Arizona, I have to believe old Sabrina to be a Jersey and probably past her prime as no diary farmer ‍ I ever knew would give up a good milk producing cow, especially to the likes of ABP.

    3. What is with the Mayonnaise candles, which is a story line that was ripped from “Life Below Zero”. I thought Noah, the Einstein of Browntown, had previously provided light for all Browntownians needing light.

    4. Poor Sabrina being guarded from becoming cow pate to all the bears on Chiggerbite Island. Gabe and Bear were almost comical with as far as i could tell/see, Gabe had the only weapon which was a 44 or 45 caliber pistol. This was the same Gabe whom in season 16 was on a hunting trip with the “boys” and couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with a rifle and scope. And as far as the bear snorting and growling, I put my ear next to my tv’s soundbar and what I heard from the bear was “redrum”, “redrum”.

    5. I know the gal Bam married. I know her as Ali, yes I know her name is Allison, but to her best buds she is Alii. I wanted to see if she wanted to do a reality show about some 72 year old fart wandering the desert like Moses. She was hopped up on the idea and took the first non stop Greyhound bus out of NYC to Phoenix. We met at the Oyster Bar at the bus station Phoenix but without oysters in the desert we had to settle on oyster crackers and cheap beer until we passed out in our pool of drool. Not the experience she and Bam had at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central station but I rather think that was photo op for New Yorkers rather than an intensified date. Had to scour the old net to get a picture of their Oyster Bar date and ruined a dang good computer cause I used too hard of a scouring pad. But I digress, after sobering up and taking Ali to my wigwam for dinner, she immediately bolted after dinner saying this wasn’t reality cause I didn’t rinse the dishes before letting my version of Cupcake lick them clean.

    Thanks again for you excellent recaps!!!!!!!!

    • Bob, all I can say is:
      1) I believe it is legal to “catch” a deer, but only by using a crab pot. Any deer that wander around on the seabed are fair game.
      2) I have seen a Jersey cow before. It was named Snooki.
      3) So now the mayonnaise candle thing is a trend? Then I will make a fortune selling them to hipsters.
      4) The bear meant no harm. It just wanted to be on TV.
      5) You, sir, are a genius.

      • No sir. You are the genius. If it were not for your rolling in the aisle recaps of each episode, I wouldn’t watch 5 seconds of this miserable show.

  12. I thought the boat trip from Hoonah to Browntown Abby was twenty minutes. How did it suddenly get to be six hours? Oh yeah they are using the mighty Integrity. I also like the way Billy decided to stay behind and look for leaks rather than help with the cow. That way he could get out of work without having to hurt himself.

  13. Ryan, dude — a sandwich isn’t a sandwich without Miracle Whip…..and we don’t know if they’re out of money and Miracle Whip candles nor do we know how those burn as compared to mayonnaise candles…..just sayin’

  14. Poll: How will Discovery play off the cow being gone after it’s 30 day lease is up?
    (A)Cow dies of Billy Brown Syndrome
    (B)Natives of Chicago Bears Island have their way with the cow
    (C)Cow ventures out on a 20 mile hike for deer, never returns
    (D)Kenny trades the Browns a 1972 Vega for the cow
    (E)Cow mysteriously disappears without no explanation, much like Chris on the Partidge Family went from dark hair and brown eyes to blonde hair and blue eyes

  15. The fans of the bush people would all like to know if bam bam got married this last show it did not have her name on it nor did the show say anything about her. So if you could let me and the fans know what up .thank you

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About Ryan Berenz 1972 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.