Alaskan Bush People Episode Recap: S12E4 – ‘Bush Below Zero’

It is Sunday evening, supper has been eaten, dishes put in the dishwasher. The TV set warms up, and then the hillbillies from hell appear on screen, to once again regale us with their Alaskan Bush People made up fairy tales and deceit. Tell your children that this is only make believe, tell great-grandma to put away the checkbook, sit back, take a stiff drink and try to keep control of your emotions.

To start tonight’s ridiculous episode, Bird and Gabe are sitting outside around a carefully controlled fire cooking some food. The bread is frozen it is told, how to warm it up? Bird says she can put the bread inside her pocket, or better yet, put it in her pocket and roll down the hill next to the starving horses. Gabe joins in on the nonsense and rolls down with her. The laughter is contagious as they go back to the fire and cook an awful mess (most likely’ bush spaghetti’, I spelled it correct this time !) and eat it till the camera is turned off. Then down the mountain to ‘Jimmies Cafe and Gift Shop’ for some french toast, bacon, eggs, ham, pork chops, beans and toast. Why didn’t they just cook the food in Mom and Dad’s trailer which they were sitting in front of the whole time?  Lets catch up with Asa as he explains the show’s ridiculous  theme for tonight…

Asa starts with the wonderful news of the birth of a new Brown family member, Sophie, which is Gabe’s and Raquell’s baby girl. Then on to the doom and gloom of a powerfully cold weather system headed straight for the North Star Ranch. Temps could fall to around -25ºF with dangerous wind chills that will certainly kill anyone stupid enough to stay out in the cold. Since the Browns are pretty stupid, we instantly get a feeling of dread leading into the show. He also mentions that the family is woefully unprepared to deal with the cold, as they have no suitable shelter, and the animals must also be protected. Sounds serious, well, at least to some gullible folks.

Gabe and Raquell are heading up the mountain pass with Sophie in Gabe’s arms. She is a cutie. Once they arrive at the ranch, it is apparent that the Browns must not listen to Asa as they are having a weenie roast around a carefully controlled and safe fire. Ami decided the help in the private lodge in town could do without her yelling orders at them, as she once again makes an appearance on the show. Everyone is gleefully unaware of the freezing cold snap, that means certain death is just around the corner. They all get turns at holding the baby, crack some lame daddy jokes, and then it is down to business. Billy drones on about how they have so much on their plate and so much to lose if they don’t get off their fat, lazy asses and get to work. It’s going to get cold and freezing and we may all die! So tonight’s program is about the cold snap and how pitifully the hobos are unprepared for any of it. Got it…

Asa returns with the dire warnings that, again, it is going to get freezing cold, real quick like, and then changes his voice to sound like an official weather report about cold, cold wind, freezing temps and so on. Great job Asa, can you do Cagney, or Christopher Walken?

Billy and his storytelling isn’t quite done as we return to the fire and he tells the family that the house has been delayed because of trouble getting the stolen lumber up the snow cleared road that Raquell just drove up with Gabe. He reminisces about all the abysmal living quarters that they have had to make do with, and then goes into flashback mode to pad the episode out a little further, as there is really nothing else to show. Their new house foundation is just sitting there snow covered, so let’s dream up another stupid subplot to keep the show streaming along. Bird and Bam chime in with the added trivia of how freezing cold and no food affects animals, Bird mentions the new calf, named Milky Way, who she bottle feeds when she isn’t to busy naming cats, and rolling down snow covered hills. Say goodbye to Bam tonight, that is his only appearance, as he needs to catch the red eye to L.A. to meet his sweetie and hit the dispensary before closing time.

Back at the campfire, Billy sparks some interest as he mentions their neighbor, Lance, and how he has a cabin that needs to be torn down, and he has let the Browns have access to the lumber. Please let us meet anyone new on this moronic show, a new neighbor, a lost hunter, a serial killer on the loose, so that we don’t have to listen to these incredibly thick-brained lunatics forever. Here is the plan, drive 10 miles up to the cabin and get the lumber we need, to construct protective shelters for the freezing cold, poor animals. Nothing like waiting till the absolute last minute to get the important, death defying job done. Gabe, Bird, Rain and Noah drive over to the cabin and get set to tear the place apart. I don’t know why Lance is wanting to tear it down, it actually looks like a nice little trapper’s shack that could see another season or ten. And, unfortunately, we never get to meet Lance, knowing these simpletons, they are at the wrong cabin. Anyway the crew get busy with their brand new tools and start ripping the place apart. Gabe stabs the wood to see if it is rotten, We never find out.

The demo is going good, Gabe climbs through a window, rather than just going in the door like the rest, and starts the inside demo. They tear off a wall board and find some old moldy maps in the space. Work stops immediately as they are filled with wonderment at such a treasure trove in old cabin walls. Noah gets all pretentious and announces that he is the ‘expert’ at deciphering maps, not like the rest of the dopes he is with on this excursion. I kind of wished he had found rat turds and deciphered that. Anyway, he mansplains that these are valuable survey maps from the last century, and the others decide to keep them, and possibly frame them under glass back home, to hang on their cheerless walls for posterity. They load the fifteen odd boards and junk on the trailer, the camera crew puts the chains on the tires, and proceed to make the perilous drive back home. Cut to commercial

Asa again gets the tension going by reminding us once again of the horrible freeze just over the horizon heading straight for the unsuspecting clods. I am getting excited to see the weather turn nasty with all the buildup he does. As the crew drives down the mountain with the lumber, the talk is all about the snow on the ground, lots of snow, looks like the regular amount to me. Noah is driving and puts on a headset to stop hearing the others monotonous chatter. For once, a good idea, I paused the show, and got out my headset, so I wouldn’t have to listen to the noise either.

More Asa, more distressing predictions. They will all certainly die if the animals  aren’t protected. Doesn’t really make any sense. Uh oh, trailer trouble, Noah’s reckless driving has caused the trailer to jack knife, or get stuck, you decide. Noah explains in detail how the trailer is dragging instead of being pulled, we laugh and continue. So they must get out and shovel the fake snow out from around the wheels (before they all freeze to death), the 15 man camera crew gives them a push, and once that is accomplished, they are off again.

First up is the shelter for the newborn calf, Milky, the chuds get out a tape measure and measure the dirt to make sure it is the right length. It is, I guess. Then they press on to construct the hot mess that is sure to do no good whatsoever to relieve the poor livestock from certain death. Gabe chainsaws a tree limb for no apparent reason and we are left to infer that Milky, and all the cattle, will be dead in a day or so.

Bear saunters over to the windmill they put up last last season, and discovers that their ramshackle construction was doomed to fail as we all knew it would. Wouldn’t they have noticed sooner that no water was being pumped, and the livestock was dying from thirst by now? He climbs up and being the skilled engineer he is, points out that a push rod has broken. Windmill flashbacks fill the screen as we remember the good old days when the family waited till the last possible second to actually fix a problem. He busies himself with a stolen drill and works on it.

Back at the ostrich pen the work on the wind break commences. Ostrich fact – ostriches can withstand cold temps. Thanks Bird, for the useless trivia. Gabe and Rain work a bit, and I anxiously await a new scene of Gabe getting the bejesus beat out of him again by the big birds. A flashback is seen of just that, and it is one of the more satisfying flashbacks of the show, I got to laugh all over again. Rain and Gabe stick frozen screws in their mouths and dangle the screws from their tongues. Oh boy…

Asa is on point again, declaring for the umpteenth time about the big freeze and approaching killer low temps. Now I am really getting animated to see the hypothermia, the frozen bodies strewn on the ground, the rescue team recoiling in horror at the discovery of a dead family and their pets frozen stiff and covered in ice. Bird and Rain are in the corral chasing down the horses to put blankets on them, the horses don’t get shelter built from used cabin wood. They seem to not have a clue as to what they are doing at all. But in the end, the animal handlers step in and professionally protect the horseys, the camera gets turned back on and the girls take all the credit.

Noah and Rhain w/H show up at the cattle enclosure, declare the work done there by the others as unsatisfactory, and get to work rebuilding their version of a total mess while getting all lovey dovey, since Eli is with the babysitter. What babysitter? No matter, they work hard at looking busy, without really doing anything better than the idiots before them. Nailing old sheets of plywood to a fence is not a shelter, if I was a cow, I would call a lawyer. Back to Bear swinging around on the windmill, he is close to getting the broken piece fixed. Bear says he is like a Swiss Army Knife™, only Alaskan style. Except he is in Washington State, and he is not like a Swiss Army Knife™, more like a bent rusted spoon. With that job completed he rambles on about pirates, and pirate stuff, and then climbs down. The windmill is shown and it appears to still not work, even though the wind is blowing.

Bird and Noah are at her cathouse, and she is standing next to an old rusted water tank that she wants to convert to a water heater, so she can wash the year old grunge off her body with warm water. The tank is full of holes and the water leaks everywhere. Noah just happens to have a welder nearby, and I am guessing 220V electric hookups, as he proceeds to weld the holes shut. Bird watches him weld and eventually goes blind. Now we are blessed with a scene of Gabe warming his frostbitten toes next to a fire. Asa continues on about, you guessed it, the freeze and death, blah blah blah.

Noah and Bird are shoveling a path to the windmill for no explainable reason, when she stops and asks Noah if he can procure a tub so she can take a bath, bathe her cats and do the dishes in it. But a trade must be made to secure the transaction. Will Noah accept her valued collection of Star Wars® memorabilia for a tub? Noah agrees and the path to the windmill is abandoned. Noah and Rhain w/H are still toiling away at the barnyard to get the plywood attached to the fence just right. I guess they succeed, as we cut to Billy giving an early Gospel reading on family and other pointless crap.

Bird, Rain and Bear are at the ostrich pen doing their feeble best, and once they are done, Bird lays down in the hay she spread out and rolls around in it instead of the snow this time around. She sure likes rolling around a lot. Strange gal, that Bird.

Asa- freeze almost there.

Bear now entertains us with an exercise involving a cow’s hoof, some tattered rope, and the insane idea that we actually care what he is doing. He twirls the rope around, proclaiming it to be a homemade nunchuck, smacks himself upside the head a couple times and then runs off to howl, climb a tree, punch a fish, fall in love, tumble on the forest floor and just be, well, Bear.

Asa starts to tell us about the cold, even starts to do a recap on the show we are watching. Hey Asa, that is my job, you do yours, I’ll do mine. Creep….

Once the horrendously bad shelters are done, Noah and Rhain w/H lead the livestock back into the yard where they will surely die, declare them nice and safe and grin with the knowledge that a job was well done.

Bird is now back at her treehouse where the hot water flows and a new bathtub stolen from town is in place, outside. She proceeds to shower fully clothed and furiously tries to come up with an excuse for doing such an idiotic thing. We watch as she induces pneumonia and we are left with the feeling that the counselors she sees on Tuesdays and Thursdays are shaking their heads at her behavior.

The Rhain and Noah waste of time playing like Star Wars characters is seen, waving swords at each other and obliterating the movies dialogue. I guess the work is done, the animals safely forgotten about, the windmill spinning off its axis, Lance still waiting for the morons to show up, the real owner of the cabin calling the law, Ami playing craps at the nearest casino, Bear tucked in his mouse infested mattress, Bird fixing some nauseating meal for her cats, Rain trying on new glasses at the eyeglass store, Bam baked on his couch, Gabe looking for his wife, Matt getting voicemail every time he calls home, Asa pouring a JD with a Bud chaser, the production crew ordering pizza, and Mr. Cupcake is frozen to the ground.

Billy is the only one left with some last minute useless wisdom, while a onscreen graphic shows the temperature is -16º at the good ole North Star Ranch Mental Asylum.

Another relentless episode is in the can, the storyline is still unknown, and I am trying desperately to figure why I still continue to watch this mundane program with such interest. The mysteries of the world surround us.

More, or less….

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15 thoughts on “Alaskan Bush People Episode Recap: S12E4 – ‘Bush Below Zero’

  1. please allow me to add the obvious –
    put the f…ing animal;s into the f…ing barn, you f…ing idiots!
    A good, solid barn was built by the Park Slop construction crew, for the purpose of housing the animals! Cows, horses – into the barn! Ostriches, back to Texas.
    The episode last night was so bad, and Asa’s voice of doom was so bad, I went a bit crazy.
    it caused me to pose these questions.
    Bird, are you familiar with feminine hygiene products? I have to wonder…
    And, Raquell, who made a 15 second appearance last night – will we ever see your other two children? Did you dump them off at an orphanage?
    that’s all I have. Grumble, grumble.

    1. Thanks again as always lakerman1 !

      I was going to put in the recap about the barn, but decided to let the viewers catch that absurd and obvious continuity problem. You and I would have shuttered them up pronto and moved on to better things. And they had to go to the abandoned cabin to fetch the wood? Why didn’t they just invent another milling machine (of course, that was Matt’s invention a long time ago), chop a few trees and mill the boards themselves?

      Raquell seems to come and go as she sees fit, wonder where she lives when she isn’t on the show. The other children are also never seen, maybe the producers didn’t want to add to the payroll?

      Asa and his tale of woe and demise is getting old, I finally got him a chance to have his foto in the recap of shame… haha

      Lots of grumbling going on, more, I am sure, to come…

  2. As I said I’m actually watching the older seasons when they are still actually filming in Alaska and those seasons are much more interesting than these Washington ones. I don’t know how this show has kept going on this boring landlocked private ranch. Hidden maps, from some local knick nack shop, in a rustic cabin you’re just given, (as usual), to take a few boards from? YAWN. Star wars themed adult childs play, YAWN. And Mutt was actually the most entertaining one when he was on the show. This show is on the way out.

    1. Thanks for the comment John ! I agree, the shows in Alaska seemed to be more thought out, still bogus, but better. I think they are running on fumes with all the meaningless crap they pile on, such as the cabin. Did they really find it necessary to show us 10 minutes of a cabin demo that only got about 5% done? Matt, I heard, is in the rumor mill with some serious accusations being thrown his way. Had to do with drinking and dames… Get ya every time…

  3. How does Bird Brain have Star Wars collectibles? Didn’t they ‘lose everything’ 5 times over? She claimed they played ‘Star Wars’ when they were kids. But, didn’t they live remote, cut off from society until Discoverup Channel and Park Slop discovered them? How can this be?

    That shower scene was just… wow… a new low. So goddamn phony and staged you have to seriously question the mental faculties of anyone that believes any frame of this shit-show is real.

    Anyhoo, great recap. Here’s my pitiful contribution 🙂

    Chud Wars

    Oh yeah, here’s an oldie but certainly relevant for this episode:

    1. Thanks Beavis !… The Star Wars stuff threw me too, all I could think of was the most famous line from the franchise, so I threw that in the meme. She didn’t collect any of that stuff over time, how? In the bush, no movies, no TV…. Oh well….

      Watching Bird taking a shower… the scene was made for your meme, good work ! Both memes were fantastic !

      On to next week, and the load they pile on gets deeper and deeper…

  4. Beavis, I, too, was amused by bird’s apparent good luck that her Star Wars collection somehow survived all of those Brown ‘we lost everything’ disasters.
    And where did she keep the Star Wars collection? In her cat house? and did they have collectibles shops in the alaskan bush? Comic cons? What did Bird barter with, to get those collectibles? (I guess I don’t really want to know – kind of creepy to even mention that. never mind.)
    One more thought – didn’t they have an entire season where Ami babbled about wanting’grandbabies?’ wouldn’t you think Park Slop, thinking continuity, would do some scripts where Ami is actually spending time with the babies?

    1. I wonder how much time Scami spends with the step-grandbabies from Rockwell?

      They kept hyping how cool her Star Wars collectibles were but all she had was a cape? Did I miss more?

      I totally forgot too about the one bucket of silt to pour on the road to help the trucks get up there… Good Lord 😉

  5. The old cabin was built in 1917 (or maybe earlier) without a foundation and sadly was ready to tip over. There was still some good lumber so it seemed like the right thing to do, Lance donated it so folks could enjoy some history, a story, and a laugh. As for Lance … one of the our local legends / mysteries and a great guy.

    1. Thanks for the clarification Tonasket ! It is too bad Lance didn’t do a cameo. Did someone else come along and do the remainder of the demo on the cabin ?

      1. The rest of the demo and lumber salvage was done by Lance, I believe he used some of the material in his new barn, combining the past and the present. The maps that were found under the plywood had been in the cabin for well over 60 years, with some of the favorite hunting spots marked. I doubt you’ll get Lance to do a cameo … give you the shirt off his back sure … appear on TV probably not 😉

  6. Good Morning …

    I heard that I had been mentioned in your review and on this web site so I just wanted to sign on and add a little. The old hunting cabin was about to tip over even with my repairs and added OSB to the interior. I did salvage to remaining useful lumber before the cabin came down. The old maps were in the cabin long before my dad brought me over in the 1960’s … most of the writing on the map margins were cribbage scores. I’ve live on the mountain full time for the past 17 years, it’s hard work but an amazing life … and yes … winters here are difficult and amazing all at the same time.

    I will say that the past 3 years have been fun. The Discovery / Park Slope crew have been wonderful and some have become very close friends. It’s a long story but without these people I might not be alive today … Lance

    1. Thanks very much for the comment Lance ! I am glad you enjoy your life on the mountain and hope you made it through the recent wildfires without any harm or loss. It does sound like a very interesting life up there.

      Thanks for clearing up the cabin questions, and I can absolutely see someone playing cribbage for a stretch in the long winters, it is also my favorite card game.

      I am glad the production team has been good to you while they are there and so nice to hear that they helped you out in a time of need !

      Please wish everyone up there, cast, crew, and others the best, and also hoping that the damage done by the fires were minimal and that they can continue on in their work.

      Stay well my friend, RO…

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