Discovery Channel Alaskan Bush People Recap: “Bear With Us”

Ryan Berenz

On Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People episode “Bear With Us,” (Jan. 11) the Browns decide they need to protect the newest member of the family from the excessive number of bears now looking for food on the Island. Meanwhile, Matt is in a race for his life as he tries to return home through obstacles of life and death.

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Matt manages to stave off death another day as his journey of self-discovery continues. He has yet to shoot a deer to bring meat to his family that just bought a cow. At least there’s always chicken … of the woodsLaetiporus sulphureus is a kind of mushroom that grows on trees, and, yes, it tastes like chicken when cooked. Alert the good people at Buffalo Wild Wings. Matt knocks a bunch of ‘shrooms off a tree and eats them raw, which he describes as having a bitter taste, quite similar to the awful taste in my mouth that began about the same time as this show did.

While Matt feasts on the fungi in his self-imposed exile, the Browns are back in Brownton Abbey slowly realizing what an incredibly stupid and unnecessary inconvenience this cow, Sabrina, is to the entire family. “No doubt Sabrina is putting off quite a bit of smell,” says Bear. Between the smell and the mooing, Sabrina is advertising herself as a Happy Meal for bears. As such, the Browns are guarding Sabrina around the clock. Good. When you have a pet, you have a responsibility.

Matt says, “Not returning with a deer is a total sign of failure.” So is this:

Matt goes fishing for food, casting his line in very shallow water. Matt appears to be holding the rod and reel upside-down, but I’ve seen fishermen do all sorts of weird stuff. Matt finally hooks a salmon, reels it in, stabs it — where’s fish-punchin’ Bear when you need him? — and cooks it up over a fire. It’s a little raw, but you can’t spell “salmonella” without the “salmon.”

Brownton Abbey is once again home to chickens. Real ones, not the mushroom kind. Bear thinks some of his family members may be getting too domesticated in their big, fancy house. Bear always keeps it EXXXXTREME and lives in a tree! And not just any breakfast can satisfy Bear’s EXXXXTREME appetite. Bear demands EXXXXTREME Scrambled Eggs! I don’t know why Bear didn’t go for the obvious pun and say “EGGGGSTREME!” But the only thing EGGGGSTREME in these scrambled eggs are bits of eggshell and a pine needle. Alert the good people at Denny’s.

I only find Matt interesting when he’s failing at something, so this next scene was very disappointing. Matt finally gets a shot at a deer, and though it’s customary to put your finger on the trigger when discharging a firearm, Matt gets his quarry.

We should say that one of the Skaflestads probably got Matt’s quarry, since it’s pretty well known that the Browns don’t do any actual hunting on the show. That’s why every hunt scene is edited to show you nothing at all and then … Hey, look! Someone left this deer carcass here! Matt starts slicing and dicing the deer up and removing the innards.

Um, no. Kidneys, even deer ones, don’t look like that. And a guy who’s field-dressing a deer doesn’t look all clean and not bloody.

Bear’s EXXXXTREME Scrambled Eggs have his creative juices flowing. And when the inspiration to paint the interior of your treehouse with mud and berries strikes, you must go with it. Bear wants to paint his walls red to match his Michael Jackson leather jackets. Bear believes red to be the most EXXXXTREME color, since it’s the color of blood and danger. [DIGRESSION! While red may be the most EXXXXTREME if you’re talking about the size of wavelengths in the visible spectrum, I think white is the most EXXXXTREME color, since it’s ALL of the colors of the visible spectrum at once. I think the full brunt of ROY G. BIV coming at you is much more EXXXXTREME than red alone. Any Bush physicists want to weigh in?] Bear collects red berries and red mud, mixes them in a bucket, and then just punches and stomps on the mixture until it’s smooth. He then slathers it all over the walls in his house, and Rainy comes up with a Bush paint roller idea, just because Rainy needs something to do in this episode.

Birdy and Gabe are washing the cow with her stinky cow breath and her smelly cow turds. Attracted to all the yummy bovine scents is a bear, who roams nearby in a rare instance in which the Browns are actually in the same frame as a bear. The Bear just hangs out, keeping its distance, trying to get a nice look at that smelly beef. Birdy tries to keep Sabrina calm while Gabe, Bam and Betsy DeVos shoo the bear away.

Now, what was the first thing that popped into your head when you heard the Browns were getting a cow? First was probably “Stupid!” Second was probably “But won’t bears want to eat the cow?” But this very simple, obvious thought didn’t enter the mind of 34-Freakin’-Years-in-the-Bush Billy Brown, who says says this bear was a “wake-up call.”

[DIGRESSION! Longtime readers of these recaps know that I refer to Chichagof Island as Chicago Bears Island, because it is both swarming with bears and Chichagof is just too damned hard to spell. But did you know that, despite my being a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, that I grew up as a Chicago Bears fan? Yes, the Bears are my favorite NFL team, and I hate them so very much. So while I tried to avert my eyes from the Bears’ worst season in recent memory, the Green Bay Packers are once again one victory away from the Super Bowl. I am in Football Hell, and I deserve it.]

Billy wants the boys to build a bear-proof barn for Sabrina, and he tells them to “knock it out as quick as you can.” Then he goes off to eat butter and do gross things with his wife. Billy’s become so lazy, he doesn’t even try to fake an illness to get out of working anymore.

Sabrina’s not the only thing the bears are interested in. Matt is lugging the deer carcass through the woods, and there’s a hungry bear hot on his trail. Matt decides to wrap the deer up in a tarp to mask the deer’s smell and make it easier to drag along the ground. But wrapping the deer up might also hasten decomposition of the meat, so Matt could have a side of E. coli to go with his salmonella. I’m just hoping the deer springs back to life, like in Tommy Boy or Kalamazoo, Mich.

Blah. I thought that we might not see Noah in this episode, but fate is cruel. Ami wants to turn the rich cream from Sabrina into butter, so she enlists Noah — who appears to be sharing living quarters with the chickens — to build a Bush butter churn.

Oh, Noah, you are so badass! You’re like the James Dean of the Bush! Noah says that butter churns are not rocket science, but …

Screw you, Noah. The Bush butter churn is just a bucket with an old porthole for a lid and a crank made out of pipes.

Gabe, Noah and Birdy are supposed to build the bear-proof barn before nightfall, because they don’t want to sit outside another night for cow-guarding duty. Yeah, good luck with that. Fortunately the Browns have a bunch of unused milled lumber and some corrugated tin sitting around, so they get right to work. Somehow, Gabe ends up as foreman on this job, and he’s incompetent. He doesn’t really have a plan, and he’s not into the whole measuring thing. He’s just going to slap a bunch of stuff together as hastily and half-assed as possible. Bam, who thought the cow was ridiculous from the start, once again has to step in and fix someone else’s mess.

Inside the house, Ami and Billy are enjoying some rare alone time churning butter.

This scene is creepy, and I don’t know how I survived watching it. Some of the innuendo made me laugh, but then the images it conjured up made my stomach churn.

Then Billy and Ami eat butter and share happy buttery kisses.

Then Billy and Ami engage in some more kissing, heavy petting and, well, you know… Here we have an exclusive still photo from Lost Footage of Ami and Billy in the act of passionate lovemaking:

Outside, the barn raising isn’t going so well. There will be no shelter for Sabrina tonight. The failure to live up to his father’s ridiculous expectations weighs heavily on Gabe, who volunteers for the night watch so he can sit alone and sulk. Birdy comes to visit with gifts of bread, freshly churned butter and moral support.

It tastes like Mom and Dad having sex!

[DIGRESSION! The history of butter-substitute spread products is long and humorous. We all know of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, but the various store-brand knock-offs are much funnier. Wal-Mart’s version is Wow! I Totally Thought It Was Butter! Kroger has Butter It’s Not, which sounds like something marketed to Yoda. Those of us of a certain age can remember the glory days of Parkay. Ah, what sweet days they were!]

In the interstitial segment, Bear and Rainy play “kick the bucket,” which is literally kicking a bucket and not a euphemism for death.

Anyway, this episode gets wrapped up in a neat little bow. Gabe, Bam and Birdy complete Sabrina’s barn. Matt returns home with the deer. There is much howling and self-congratulating. The Browns celebrate their scripted successes by devouring that whole deer in one sitting. They don’t need to stock up for winter, since they’ll be spending the season in Las Vegas.

Finally, an announcement:

Channel Guide Magazine‘s recaps of Alaskan Bush People are moving to a new home on our sister site, TVInsider.com. But unlike all other changes in life, this one is not too horrible. Channel Guide Magazine and TV Guide Magazine have the same parent company, NTVB Media, and we want to work together to build a single TV news and information website of extraordinary magnitude. All shall be awestruck at the sight of it!

What does it mean for Channel Guide‘s Alaskan Bush People content? Older ABP stuff will stay here on channelguidemag.com, and future generations will study it when they explore the history of President Solomon “Bear” Brown’s rise to power. New recaps will soon live on TV Insider, and I will continue to write them as poorly as I have done since Season 1, Episode 1. One benefit is that TV Insider has a whole page dedicated to Alaskan Bush People recaps, news, polls, humor and your comments. There will be some adjustments, and you’ll have to log in differently to post comments. (Get a free Disqus account.)  Yes, you’ll have to update your bookmarks (start here!) and all that other stuff  that is a royal pain in the ass. But I hope to make it worth all the effort.

And if I don’t, please tell editors@tvinsider.com.

 

15 Comments

  1. I am neither a physicist nor an artist, but here is an interesting website about black and white as we contemplate whether Bear’s color choice is the most EXXXXXXtreme: http://education.seattlepi.com/not-list-black-white-colors-physics-3426.html

    Rain’s “Bush Paint Roller” will have to go in the “Brown Bush Museum of Things that Didn’t Work.” I think most of Noah’s “inventions” already reside there.

    Each time I think of Bear’s scrambled eggs—overcooked, and complete with eggshells and pine needles—it makes me queasy. My queasiness extends to the consumption of the alleged butter made from what one is led to believe is raw milk (and the subsequent cream) from one Sabrina, the Cow. Ewwwwwww. It further extends to the rotting deer meat that supposedly made a 20-mile trip through hill and dale, dragged through the forest in a tarp, then ending up in Ami’s frying pan. Double Ewwwwwwwww!

  2. Thank goodness you’re back, Ryan! I love, love, love “Eat Mor Chikin” and the addition of “Bears” to Sabrina’s corral. And, “Hello!” to Senor Wences & Johnny.

  3. Ryan:

    You are just too good as you nailed everything.

    I feel like a superstar as I too, noticed Matt throwing the deer liver wherever Matt throws deer liver but at the same time calling it a kidney.
    And what was his fascination with the deer’s heart? He reminded me of a Mayan King whom has just plucked the heart out of the village’s virgin to appease the Gods.
    Shant go into his ability to field dress and quarter a yearling buck which at best will top out around 70-80 lbs after quartered. After removing the innards and skinning the deer he could have simply quartered the deer and fixed his tarp as a pack back to carry the deer the 220 miles he walked on his spiritual commune with nature, God or falling leaves. If he learned anything it is best to “catch” a deer a heck of a closer to home. As far as rancid I would think so. As far as being stalked by a bear I would say so especially after smearing deer blood on his face (see Mayan king above).
    Matt could have been Matt in a can to any bear. I do believe that all the deer hunting has to be away from Chiggerbiteof island as per the net it is only 50 miles long and 25 miles wide and more bears per square foot, square yard, square block or whatever square it is. Bears would have cleaned that island of any wildlife years ago.

    Which brings us to Sabrina in a can. Wonderful them boys had perfectly milled 6×6 posts as well as milled 2×4 or 2×6 planks. They still don’t give Sabrina in a can much of a chance with a inward swing door but that is the least of Sabrina in a can problem. I see a bear muttering ” redrum, redrum” and the picking its teeth with the metal siding after enjoying Sabrina in a can.

    Ah, sexuality exists in Browntown between Billy and Ami. For a moment I thought I had butt flipped my remote to the porn channel I watch to better explain evil and sin should to anyone who should ask. Then I saw it was Billy and Ami with some contraption that Noah built which looked like a cross between a manual ice cream maker and some type of weird sex machine that only Billy would understand. I wanted to tell them get a room when they started smearing butter all over themselves, making gooey eyes at each other and going kissy, kissy. I thought I was gonna be blinded like the time I walked into my parents bedroom while the were having……..ugh, ugh, ugh and was blinded for three months.

    Look forward to catching you on your new website and know your blog will be enjoyable where ever you post.

    • Thanks, man! Good insight on the deer hunt. You’d expect a guy who’s spent his entire life in the Bush to know this stuff, but … I expect the ABP stuff on TV Insider to be just as awful as it has been here. 😉

    • That was bloody brilliant haven’t seen the new episodes us in England uk are last on list but at least I got to have a bloody good lol b4 watching it.

  4. “Heavy petting” Ha! Yes, that whole butter affair made me want to hurl. And why is Matt wearing a blanket throughout his hunting/soul searching venture? Who does he think he is, Clint Eastwood?

  5. Ryan, thank goodness for your recaps. I can’t watch this crap anymore but your reports are priceless! I feel like this is a weird concept version of Gilligan’s Island. I remember reading that there were people actually writing to Sherward Schwartz to please rescue those poor castaways. ABP is a disgrace to Gilligan’s Island. I watch The Last Alaskans, the real bush people. Also, I live in the burbs of Chicago. I can appreciate your pain. Thank goodnedd we have our World Champs Cubs!

    • I have many dear friends who are Cubs fans, and I am happy their long suffering came to an end. I have many friends and family who are Packers fans, and I want them to be very sad about football.

  6. Another good one Ryan! So Ami can add her magic jar of butter to her magic bowl of food. Supposedly, they churned butter into the jar, then Billy and Ami reached in and took handfuls of the butter and ate them like it was honey. Then the butter jar ended up with Bird and Gabe using more butter for her fresh baked, hot rolls, in a neat little basket!

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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.