And they are back, with a vengeance, to remind us all about Billy and his master plan, and a fire that just won’t go away. We are reminded that Billy Brown died, they don’t say how, maybe he tried to do some work and the shock to his system was too much. But anyway, we are treated to some old footage of him blabbering on about his dreams for freedom, family, Alaska, Washington, and whatever thoughts pass through his jumbled brain. Now a new dream is included that comes out of nowhere, but was in his head since he was a boy apparently. A new zipline for trouble free transportation from one miserable kid’s shack to the next, all meeting at the new house that is famous for refusing to be built.
While Ami nods her head in a stupor, Billy describes how the zipline will work, how it will be built, its usefulness and then sends the cult members to the forest to build it without any questions asked. They all seem fine with it because Billy said so. Meanwhile Billy and Ami head back to their deluxe condo to count their money and feast on lobster and caviar.
So now we understand that this is a semi-new episode, filmed in the summer of 2020, before the fire, before Billy’s demise, and they just want to share the last few months of Billy barking orders, preaching his mundane gospel, and other silly stuff. And geez, it is 2 hours long, get out the popcorn, some alcohol, and a pillow to manage this mixed up mess of insane plots, lost continuity, and insane dialogue. I’m ready, are you?
Let’s start the episode with a shot of the North Star Ranch flag (really ? A flag ?) flying in the breeze, once that is done, turn off the wind machine and get to the stories that will astound you and amaze your friends. First some B-roll shots, Bear getting ready to paint his storage container/living quarters/rage getaway, the pond needs cleaned of a years worth of algae and scum, Ami trying on her new 1920’s hats. Billy is still going on about the zipline, and now a gazebo, a park, a regular homey style little village occupied with total imbeciles. Noah interrupts the old guy to whip out his new Gladiator axe he found somewhere and talks it up like anyone cares, they ask some polite questions and it is quickly forgotten.
With a zipline to be built, Bam, Rain and Gabe set out to scout the area to set up the first line. It is truly amazing that not one person asks why it is so urgent to put a zipline up or why, it makes not a whit of sense. Regardless. each one is now trying to assert authority that they are in charge and practically beg to be the one who will take responsibility for this bizarre idea, one that will surely fail as all of their other schemes meet the same fate. First, the chainsaw, and it refuses to start, and it is filmed, why do we need to see this ? After a crew member who is experienced in outdoor gas powered tools, and just happens to be standing by, fixes the saw, things get off to a slow crawl. It seems that once you figure out which tree to hang the zipline from is chosen, it is imperitive to saw every other one within 100 feet to a stump.
I guess we have seen enough of that weird tale as we join Bird and Noah on a hunt for, I was going to say jobs, food, precious resources, nope, none of the above. These two loons are out looking for bones to collect and it seems, to hang from trees. Noah points to some bones that just happen to be near, and picks them up. Must be some of Bear’s old girlfriends, or maybe Gabe’s bride who seems to have disappeared so long ago, or any number of victims who defied the Brown Mountain Rules. As they go about collecting the remains, the chat turns to Bird’s lack of a man in her life. Noah gives a bit of advice about not telling future beaus that you collect rotten bones, that you have 100 feral cats, that you make slippers out of rat fur, that you are related to morons, and other traits that would make a guy run into the night screaming in disgust and fear. Bird mentions the options her new mate must have, he likes animals, has a heartbeat and is blind. I am sure that there is someone out there for her, think of Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, Charlie Manson…
Back to the zipline work as Bear muscles his way into the camera’s view and instantly picks up a rock that has been lying there for eons, he mentions that it is quartz and wherever you find quartz you find billions of dollars in gold. Bear the geologist explains to everyone this bit of information and sends Rain back to tell Billy that they have found GOLD ! Billy is mesmorized by this discovery and then rambles on about how the mountain they live on was the largest producer of gold in history, or some such narrative. Rain is attentive like a good cult member, and rushes off to collect Bird and Bear to explore the old mine they once stumbled across a while back. Zipline, house building, and everything else is consigned to oblivion as the family of fools now have GOLD FEVER !
More gospel from Billy about family fun, then we join Noah and Gabe as they walk to a wooden crate that Noah has filled with VHS tapes and a few DVD’s to rent out or whatever. In the middle of a freakin’ forest. Gabe holds the tapes like they are his rarest possessions, a few flashbacks are shown of the kids getting overly excited about watching a movie at home, and then the crate with movies is never heard of again. What is the point ?
More GOLD talk as Billy examines the gravel that Bear found, he is convinced that they will all be rich by 4:30 this afternoon by this important find. Palmer Mountain is basically made of gold, according to Old Bill ! If Billy knew all this beforehand, why bother with all the other crap like ostriches, barn building, and other stuff ? Why not just mine the gold, get filthy rich and live in splendor ?
Could it get any weirder ? Let’s stop by Noah’s luxury villa and find out. The short answer is yes… Somehow Noah is convinced that if he says something, it is true and that is the end of it. He once again reintroduces us to the moldy, smelly, old used FEMA tent that he and Rhain w/h call home. It is, of course, pathetic. He gets right to work telling us, in all seriousness, about his newest, soon to be, invention. He asks if we remember Leonarndo Da Vinci, and then says he is going to make one of Mr. Da Vinci’s penciled sketch inventions come to life. After the audience watching this lets out the community collective sigh, he announces he is going to build the flying boat. A bit of flashback about the Brown’s boats appears (which BTW, none of them flew) and then Noah goes into detail about the workings of his new invention. Take a boat, attatch it to a helium balloon, turn on some fans and fly away to Kansas. Uh huh… Why couldn’t he have looked at a book from Dr. Kevorkian, or Joseph-Ignace Guillotin and tried to prove their inventions instead ? The world would be so much simpler…
The gold prospectors head out to the abandonded mine to search for gold and Rain volunteers to go down the 3 foot hole to look for gold. She tastes some rocks and then Gabe and Bird chuckle away and say it was an outhouse hole instead of a gold mine hole, and the rocks she tasted were certainly just old turds from Noah. Wow, who wrote this bit ?
Back to the fabric flop house of Noah and Rhain w/h, Noah is still carrying on about his flying boat idea but realizes he is a gigantic glob of fat and lard and must lose a lot of weight before any balloon will get his montrous body and ego off the ground. He reveals that he must lose weight to accomplish his fairy tale goal. He reminds us how he was once ‘jacked’ and did 6 hours a day of exercise every day. Sure ya did… He even throws in a flashback of him writhing around on the ground looking like a beached whale pretending to stay in shape. He then rants on about his new diet of one meal a day to cut the disgusting layers of putrid flesh from his body. Once said, he sits down to a meal of fats and fried processed food that the old ball and chain was preparing earlier. I mean, this whole scenario of flying boats and jacked bodies and worthless diets is just laughable to the extreme.
With Bird in the search for a suitable soulmate, her Sister Rain steps in to give some much needed guidance. Being that Rain is a minor and has never been seen with any boyfriends on the show, this seems rather like a poorly thought out written subplot in a poorly written show. Anyway, Rain puts a baseball hat on backwards and acts like what she imagines most men to be, stupid, impolite, gruff, low IQ cavemen and Bird just laughs and giggles. They do make it through the scene though, with Bird getting some pointers from her little sister. But Rain totally missed the mark of the new boyfriend after the first date running madly down the road, blocking all social contacts with the Browns, packing up what he can carry and moving away as fast as he can to avoid any further contact with Bird and the others. The scene does end with Bird and Rain acting out the BF and GF routine but the cameramen get tired of listening to them, and it all shuts down rather fast.
We are reminded that it is one week to the big fire. Bear and his sisters go out to the mineshaft which Bear claims to be 300 feet deep, more like 15 if you ask me. They come with all the necessary tools and accruements you need to successfully prospect and process gold samples for a experienced geologist. In other words they brought a rope (this is referred to as satire). They tie one end of the rope around Bear and toss him down the hole as the girls hang on. How many of us viewers were waiting for the rope to snap, or the girls to go flying down the hole behind Bear ? Bear uses his flashlight to inspect the dark recesses and of course finds nada, as many of us expected. If you have ever watched ‘Gold Rush’, you quickly find out that gold isn’t just laying around to be picked up. So the great 2020 Palmer/Brown Mountain Gold Rush ends almost as soon as it started. History will record it as…well, as nothing…
Noah takes a trip into town to visit his favorite store, the junkyard. He is intent on finding a boat for his new project, he already has the hot air balloon next to him, no wait, that is his wife, Rhain w/h. Oops… sorry Rhain w/h. After a deliberate and exhausting search of about 30 seconds, he makes his decision on a worn out runabout that has definitely seen better days, but it doesn’t matter if it is seaworthy, this boat is gonna fly ! Rhain w/h is standing by looking on incredulous and mentions that her husband and his ideas are insane.
Gabe drew the short straw and now must escort Bird into town to instruct her how to attract a desirable male friend to emasculate. Gabe mentions that he, being a married man, has a lot of experience and knowledge on the subject of dating and courtship, marriage and love. Except for the fact that he hasn’t seen, or heard, from his wife in a year, has no clue where she is and acts like it doesn’t matter. I mean, where is his wife ? Apart from living a couple nights with her in the musty barn loft after their cornball wedding ceremony, we haven’t heard from her in a long time. Anyway, Gabe and Bird hang out in front of an abandoned gas station and shoot the shit while eating ice cream cones. Immediately I thought of Jay and Silent Bob hanging out in front of a convenience store wasting time. Made me actually laugh out loud, and it takes a lot for me to do that, I’m even laughing as I write this. So after sitting there and Bird letting her hair down, absolutely no one shows up as expected. Word must have spread through town the two were coming, and the deadbolts were activated and the shutters drawn until the two meandered back up to the mountain.
Now that Bird has her love life all squared away, we are led into the forest where Rain has located a hot corrugated tin roof. Now the assumption is that it is extremely hot, so hot that you can cook a meal on a corrugated tin roof in the sun, and Rain has all the ingredients ready to make a pizza. First the crust, which strangely resembles a flat tortilla, then add some bacon, some rat meat, sliced pickles, take a break to lick the roof and comment on how delicious it tastes, add some awful looking brown sauce and some thick brown chocolate sauce. Then sit back and wait for the ants and birds and squirrels to gnaw at it and then dinner is served. Luckily, Rain says she will be back in an hour to eat, but she never returns and we gratefully never have to look at that mess ever again. I bet it is still there a year later. Who wrote this nonsense ?
Back to zipline construction, now deemed by the miscreants as the most expansive project ever attempted by the Brown cult. Really ? What about the barn build ? The house on the island in Alaska ? The commercial boat ‘Integrity’ ? Hanging a spool of wire from this tree to that tree is the ‘most expansive project’ ever ? Whatever… The bush genius Noah gets all busy on his tractor and immediatly screws it all up when he pulls the low grade steel cable too hard and it breaks. As they gather the broken cable together to try again, we are blessed with some more Billy gospel, doesn’t this guy ever stop ? Meanwhile Bear is howling in the woods, blissfully unaware of the malfunctioning wire and genius over the ridge. Okay, Noah gets ready again to pull the wire in half and right on cue, it snaps again. This is presumably the last we ever hear of the Master Plan Zipline Production. So after about an hour of work, it is now in the dustbin collection with all the other ridiculous dreams and projects of this equally ridiculous family.
It’s hot…. 103º hot on the mountain, Bear tells us so. And yet, with the temps soaring so high, no one seems to consider the benefit of taking off the long heavy jeans and opting for some shorts. Even Rain is wearing a tee shirt with a long sleeve shirt on top of that. People like that deserve heat stroke… Gabe has found a perfect solution to keeping cool, fill a circular horse water tank with cool water and hop in. But wait, load the stupid thing on a trailer and drive around like a nutjob while the girls sit in the tank fully dressed in before-mentioned jeans and clothing. I guess they are all nuts… Gabe stops by the Noah ghetto to show him the water tank on a trailer and he throws his boy, Eli, into the filthy water for a laugh. At least they took a bath for the first time in a couple months… After that the heat issue is no longer discussed, so I assume it either cooled down or it was just made up BS to get the girls to bathe…
Billy spouts some more good time gospel as he slowly but surely is dying, whils Bear is running around on the top of the mountain with his nose to the wind.
At this point I want to go back to the beginning of tonights episode, and even further back to last seasons episodes. The main talk and work seemed to be getting the new house for Ami and Billy built against all odds. They talked of bad storms, winter weather, road problems that prevented delivery of materials, then Covid and other things. I mentioned it was the ‘house that refuses to be built’. At the start of tonight’s show they were still going on about getting it finished and ready for the elders to move into, yet they did absolutely nothing at all to further that goal. Just like last season, they did everything else except work on the house, foolish stuff, ziplines, looking for gold, cooking on tin roofs, playing in a water tank, inventing flying boats etc etc… What a bunch of worthless creeps, and then Billy goes on about his dreams, and what a great family he has, yet the results of all his talk and actions are practically nothing to show, except foolish people doing foolish things and expecting us to believe anything they say. What a load of crap…. Oh well…
Bear smells smoke ! He smells SMOKE ! Not only that but he now sees FIRE !!!! Run for your lives ! FIRE !!!
Now about this time last year is when the program showed the big fire ripping across the mountain, and out of respect for all involved, I decided to end my recap there. But since the production team has elected to show it all over again and even more, I will release the krakens of my satire and wit upon them like a hurricane making landfall. You should have stopped when you were ahead…
Lots of shots of fire and smoke on the mountain, and the cultists crying for the cameras about the tragedy of it all. Hurried shots of the family racing around in nice vehicles that we never saw before to escape the blaze. I would bet they were not even on the mountain at the time the fire hit, but returned from their hotels and rented condos to film the action. So on it goes, let’s follow along.
Lots of boo-hooing over losing their filming set. Bird and Rain visit a paid extra named ‘Pat’ who gives the girls some advice about fires, but more importantly, looters. The looters show up before, during and after the fire to rob the fire victims and then flee the location with their booty. After watching this show for 7 years, I found that if I was a looter, I would not find anything of much value at the Brown’s reseidence. A handicap school bus transformed into a fire engine ? Pass. A windmill that really doesn’t work very well ? Pass. I would think the looters coming across the Noah enclave would break out in laughter long before hauling off the mosquito hat, or the knife Noah claimed he made. So the girls listen intently to ‘Pat’ and then start the rescue mission to save all the rented horses and goats and oatriches and cats. And to shoot looters.
After awhile the fire department lets the family back up on the mountain after the fires are cooled down and no one can possibly get hurt. Asa tells us that Billy and Ami stay behind because of all the smoke that can adversely affect their breathing. Wait, isn’t this the same Ami and Billy who we saw sitting around smoky campfires for the last seven years ? Or are they down in Vegas staying at Ceasar’s Palace enjoying the shows and buffets and can’t be bothered with such stuff ? The family and their security crew and production staff and caterers and makeup artists and set designers and medical staff and private assistants make it to the North Star Asylum to survey the damage. The barn is toast, but they are able to save the chickens, ducks and goats that they just hauled up there to make it look convincing. Bird is now overly concerned about the horses that no one ever rode or looked after and is in tears because the script said to cry. A week later they show up and are reunited with the other rented animals in a big homecoming scene in a rented lot.
Rain (not the girl but the wet stuff) falls from the sky to everyone’s relief. Billy and Ami are still a no show on their own program a week later. Bam’s little acre is gone, Noah’s tent and everything he owns is gone, Bird’s birdhouse is just a burning stack of stolen lumber, since Gabe never seemed to live anywhere they pass over him and show us how Bear’s storage container/living quarters/hell on earth actually survived the fire and is ready to move back into. Rain’s little dollhouse is saved also, but since it is just a prop, we only get a glimpse and then its gone. Now we get to see the reaction of not very good actors weeping over shanty houses that they probably never once stayed overnight in, really pathetic. And now Billy decides to leave the slots in Vegas to hold hands with his kin and preach a little gospel about family, rebuilding and whatever else he is paid to sermonize about.
They all get in a car and drive the final 30 feet to the house that refuses to get built and by the grace of God and Baby Jesus, it is still standing ! It would be an inspirational moment if it wasn’t planned out, written into a script and then acted out when the director yelled ‘action’. Billy gives one final bit of pontification, “Keep banging nails !”. Then a group hug, no howl this time, no shouting ‘more’ and it fades into the final scene of them actually doing some work by hauling away burnt planks and ruined fencing. We are told North Star Ranch has just begun ! Oh boy !
This past year has seen events that have never happened before. And most of the stuff is wound up in some sort of conspiracy theory which further clouds the event, be it elections, covid, masks, insurrections and other such stuff. I even read an article or two on the internet that possibly Billy Brown’s death was faked because the producers were not getting the viewership they once enjoyed. So a change had to be made and they decided to get rid of Billy, maybe because Billy had lost interest, maybe he got to demanding more income, or he just got to be a bore. I decided to send a crack team of investigative journalists out to get to the truth and the results were unclear. One sighting of Billy was reported at a Wal Mart in Keokuk, Iowa where he was employed as a greeter (see photo), another had him spotted in Xenia, Ohio driving a garbage truck Monday through Friday while a woman in Norfolk, Virginia was convinced that Billy was the new commander on her son’s submarine in the U.S. Navy. We are still sorting it out…
Matt is gone from the show for good it looks like, and Mr. Cupcake is nowhere to be seen either…
MORE… or less
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