Alaskan Bush People Recap: S12E5 – ‘Water to Ice’


The TV is turned on, the sound is adjusted, the Browns are back. After all the usual speculation of what goes on behind the scenes has been laid to rest, all the drama and chaos of the Alaskan Bush People ‘real’ stories have been exposed, we settle in for the made up and totally unbelievable tripe of this weeks program. Cue the banjo music, prop up the cast to look like they still matter, wake up Asa and stick a mic in front of his mouth, transport the animals from wherever they really live to the North Star Looney Bin, turn on the cameras and sound recorders, and the director yells ‘ACTION’ ! Scene one… Take one…

Tonight’s episode begins with Noah sitting in the snow, puffing on a flute, and then explaining how Star Wars™ is his favorite movie, although they have never been to a movie theater ever in their life, according to previous episodes. He twirls a stick around for a while and says that he is ‘Darth Cloud’ when he wears the cape. He thinks he is a modern day Jedi, he only missed it by two letters, ‘Jerk’. And now for something completely different…

Asa gets the action stirred up by telling us it is cold, real cold, and the house needs built in the freezing temps and the water supply is frozen up, the air is about to evaporate making breathing difficult, the sun may explode and the bears could attack at any moment. I mean, why not, on this show anything could happen. Billy solemnly announces that the cold in Washington on Crazy Place Mountain is different than the Alaskan cold for some obscure reason that is never told. Billy runs off to have a smoke, while Bird and Noah decide to play chess in the freezing, death inducing, frigid temperatures with pieces of fallen tree scrap in the snow. They pretend to know how to play a game of chess, ‘bush style’, instead of doing anything worthwhile to help the family avoid certain and quick deaths from the cold.

New challenge to be completed is the retrieval of stolen lumber at the bottom of the hill. The roads are covered in snow, it is cold and the floors need to be laid on the foundation they poured with concrete last week. Noah appears to be in charge of keeping the Suburban that they own in tip top shape, so naturally when he and Bird try to start it, it fails. After scraping off the ice on the side windows with some antler, they pop the hood and find the fuse box has been attacked by those pesky mice and chewed through the wires. I am wondering why use the Suburban when Noah has a pickup that will serve the purpose. Bird beats me to the punch by casually mentioning that Noah’s white pickup is ‘getting maintenance’. And you got to wonder why doesn’t genius boy do the work himself, and what maintenance has to be done ?

So while Noah figures out that predicament, the foundation needs to be shoveled out in a snowstorm to clear the way for a bunch of flooring that hopefully will be headed their way. The shoveling lasts about a minute when it is time for Gabe and Bam to look at the blueprints and construct a useless form for some reason. The blueprints are a mess of scribbled lines on a piece of lumber that Bird is sent to find in the scrap pile. She amazingly finds them among the mess, and they pore over the minute details that Billy has written down. Since it is not much more than a square and some measurements, it takes all of ten seconds. Work on the mystery form commences, it is about three feet by three feet and what it is supposed to do is anyone’s guess.

Since we didn’t seem to get enough of the windmill and Bear last week, we get more this week. Apparently the PVC pipe exposed above ground in -20º weather has frozen the water, and the family will die of thirst unless the wizard Bear can solve the problem.  I was wondering what doofus was responsible for thinking a pipe left exposed to that weather wouldn’t freeze at first chance, and why they didn’t insulate the pipe in the first place. It gave me a headache, so two aspirin and back to Bear and the windmill. Then I was wondering why if the water froze in the pipe, why didn’t the pipe crack or burst, it happens all the time, it has happened to me once. Another dose of aspirin and back to the show.

Campfire scene begins with Billy all annoyed the kids ain’t got the house built for him and Ami, and they literally have to do some work at the ranch to get a supply of water. Flashback city as we relive the good ole days in Alaska where water was just a stones throw away, everywhere. Ami looks around and doesn’t have any lines this week, which is good for us, since most of what she says is nonsense. Billy starts barking out orders, Noah is to get the water he buys in town somehow up to the ranch. No information is given just how the water is to be bought, paid for, or hauled, just figure it out yourself Noah. Billy pegs Bear for the windmill rescue, just because. Noah and Bear run down to the Suburban and this time the old jalopy starts. Noah is going to get water while Bear goes running off to the windmill, Bear has a solution all planned out.

Rain and Rhain w/H are up at the house foundation supposedly sorting through the scrap pile of lumber to pick out the good, and use the rest for firewood. Now I am thinking, why didn’t they use this pile of wood to build the pathetic structures to protect the animals, instead of tearing down Lance’s cabin last week ? The girls love working, Rhain w/H says so, she mentions that Ami is babysitting Eli so that she can work with Rain and bond. The bonding scene is initiated with shallow praise and fake banter. The girls separate the scrap of one pile and create a newer mess of another pile. After about two minutes of non stop work, the job is completed. Why they do this is hard to interpret, as they have the new lumber allegedly coming soon.

If we haven’t seen the inside of the sad, ignorant, little forest boy’s storage container enough already, we get to be invited in again tonight. This time it is to watch as Bear gathers blankets and other materials to use as insulation around the pipe, to get the water unfroze. Bear starts telling us the ins and outs of insulation, and then we slide into another flashback of the family pushing moss and other trash between logs up north in Alaska before they were thrown out of the state. Bear teaches us the fine art of ‘punch packing’, which is incredibly just as he describes it. Then off to the windmill that just will not wind or mill, and Bear wraps the blanket and duct tape around the pipe, which incidentally, I am sure will do not one bit of good.

After a series of commercials advertising stuff you don’t need, Bird is ready to fix breakfast in the snow.  I got the barf bags ready expecting a demonstration from her last endeavor of rat stew. Luckily this time around it is just some eggs and cat meat in a pan. She is in front of her cat house, but I didn’t see the tub and shower anywhere, so maybe it got stolen by the tub bandits or something. Why they need to prove to us that they are forced to cook food over a fire, and eat outdoors, still amazes me, they have a house, sort of, and a trailer where Mom and Dad live and watch TV, why not go there. I assume it is to show us, the city slickers, that they are ‘bush people’. Got it…

Noah arrives at his favorite place in any town, the junk yard, to find a new vehicle to haul the water tank to town and back. Again, why not stop by the mechanics shop and see if your pick up truck is finished ? Instead he bothers the old guy in a shed marked ‘office’ to sell him a flatbed truck. Last time Noah was at the junkyard we met Jason, who traded them rebar, I guess he quit or got fired.  The old paid extra points to a couple of wrecks that doesn’t meet Noah’s stringent standards, then he shows Noah the one truck that Noah wants. Can Noah trade in the mice ridden Suburban for the truck, plus some cut rate labor by his brothers later on ? The gullible old guy says yes and that’s a deal. The producers pay the old guy for his camera time and Noah is a happy used truck owner. Bought it without so much as popping the hood or a test drive, wattajerk. And it has, more than likely, no title, no registration, no license plates and no insurance.

The windmill rescue is in full speed as Gabe, Bam, and Bear rush around cutting lumber and building a box to cover the pipe, and since this is not an adequate repair, the mention that they need insulation inside the box to help keep it warm. Bam yells at Bear’s insipid building techniques while Gabe carries a large chop saw up to the worksite. Where he got the chop saw, and how they plan on using it out in the middle of nowhere without a power source, is never mentioned. But use it they do, they shovel out the snow, enclose it in a box of wood. While Gabe eats snow, as the camera crew refuses to share their take out from the local Arby’s. Otherwise they had some nice new drills and a skil saw to use, someone’s credit card got scammed somewhere. (Edit: I googled ‘Battery Operated Chop Saw’ and found several for sale at around the $800 – $1,000 range)

Noah and Rhain w/H magically appear in the new flatbed truck, loaded with water in a tank, on their way back to the ranch. It appeared that Rhain w/H never went to the junkyard with Noah, so I am assuming he drove back to the ranch after trading for the truck, got Rhain w/H and then back to town to fill the tank with 300 gallons of creek water. They stop to put chains on the front tires and right away a new dilemma makes itself known. The truck leaks oil, more specifically, transmission fluid. Luckily, the truck came with an old bottle of tranny fluid, so Noah pours it in and off they go to save the ranch and the thirsty animals, just in time. But on the way up the mountain road, the truck makes all kind of strange and evil noises like the engine is about to fall out. They make it, just in time.

Gabe is in the barn loft tossing down brand new stolen rolls of insulation. This is the barn loft where he and his wife, Raquell, supposedly resided. Which of course made me ask, where is Raquell? Where is the baby, Sophie? Why aren’t they there at the ranch? Why isn’t Gabe wherever his wife and baby are? I mean, seriously, WTF is going on with that marriage?… Anyway, the insulation roll is loaded on the sled (and the name on the insulation is blurred out for whatever reason), and Gabe, with a lot of trouble, pulls the sled to the windmill. And again, two weeks ago we were treated to a full on training of the horse, so Gabe could use it to patrol the area and haul stuff on the sled. Why not just use the sled again to haul the insulation? Gabe is turning out to be a couple Brady’s short of a bunch in my opinion.

With Bam out of the picture, Bear and Gabe finish the windmill repair and pray that somehow it will finally produce some water so Noah doesn’t have to travel back and forth to town to steal water.

With the windmill job complete, Bear and Bam take the new farm flatbed truck to the bottom of the hill to retrieve the ‘gifted’ lumber for the house. Bear mentions that Noah has done a complete repair of the truck’s transmission, so everything will be peachy. Which of course begs the question, Noah repaired the tranny with what? If he could repair a transmission at the FEMA tent he lives in, why not work on his own pick up truck that he apparently has to take to town to get maintenance ? And he fixed the flatbed’s transmission in one night also by the way. Wow. Bear and Bam start discussion about all the miserable second and third hand vehicles they have had to deal with, flashback to the original wreck they drove, the boat, the RV, it is a long list. Bam wants a dependable ride that doesn’t fall apart in a matter of owning the vehicle one week. Has he ever considered getting a job, a car loan, a new car? Guess not…  After Bear and Bam argue about how much lumber to load on the trailer, they head back up the mountain while discussing how much they would love to build Ma and Pa a nice new house. Billy and Ami already live in the nicest building on the property, an RV trailer. Where exactly does Bam live ? We have seen him on several occasions either discussing or planning a shelter for himself, but it seems we never have seen an actual building. He must couch surf with the others.

Now is the perfect time to include the ‘Stupid Segment Of The Week’ clip. This is when we see a totally unassociated bit of nonsense from one family member, doing something that has nothing to do with anything else on the show. Up tonight is Rain, and her frozen make up. She first has to find it, that’s done, then complain about it being frozen, check, then start a fire and thaw out the mascara and lip-gloss in a filthy pan of melted snow. Once that is concluded, apply makeup and go to commercial.

The trip up the stupid hill is made with Bear and Bam all safe and secure. Bear now rails on about how extreme he is, doing extreme things, in extreme ways. He indeed uses the word extreme about fifteen times in two sentences. That, I think, is a record. Any way, the lumber is delivered and now it is time to check the water supply. Bear and Rain and Gabe gather around the PVC pipe and valve in the barnyard, and open the valve. Water rushes out and then slows to a trickle, they declare a victory and watch as it takes two hours to fill a gallon bucket.

The weekly Billy Gospel Hour begins with Billy proudly stating that they will survive, nothing can stop the Browns (except tax fraud, crazy neighbors, sunken boats, illegal hunters, bears, mice, snow, cold etc etc), He even gets bored with the speech I believe, and that is enough of that.

Gabe and the girls start laying the joists for the floor (which I neither saw in the pile of lumber, or get loaded on trailer, or delivered to site), and start pounding them in secure with their trusty bent nails and brand new hammers. After a minute of intense work, it is time to start goofing off playing Whack a Moron, among the joists the paid building crew assembled during the night, while the family was in town eating lobster at the lodge they rent. Billy comes back after his smoke break and says that they are pushing the edge, whatever that means.

Tonight’s episode was the middle of the season boring run through of nothing really. Every season so far has them starting out on a bold adventure and then dwindling down to rather stupid, contrived, made up crap about halfway through. Tonight we saw basically nothing interesting or noteworthy, just some lame ass repairs to a windmill, a shady truck deal, doing some hauling and a lot of talking by Bear, Bam, Gabe, Bird and Rain. Noah had plenty to say without really saying much. No inventions by the genius tonight, even though it would have been interesting to see him rebuild that trucks transmission with a homemade tool set. Even if he only repaired the leak, I would have found it interesting to see him analyze the problem, plan a solution and then solve the problem. All we got was Bear saying he fixed it last night. Sure he did….

The show is over, the cast is paid, the extras sent home with some salmon, the crew headed to the local bar, the animals safely transported to wherever they really live, Billy and Ami in their suite at their hotel getting ready to binge watch the 3rd season of Downton Abbey, and me, typing this trash up and sending it out for you all to read, laugh, cry, kick the pet in a rage, or whatever you do…

More or less…

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11 thoughts on “Alaskan Bush People Recap: S12E5 – ‘Water to Ice’

  1. Great write up RO. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or kill. I thank God for you having the intestinal fortitude to view this made for TV bull$h!t and then relive it through your story. I would gladly pay to throat-punch anyone of the Browns. Again thanks for putting your sanity at risk.

    1. Thanks for the comment ToNo ! I don’t think a punch anywhere to these fools would do any difference. haha

      See you next week…

  2. I watched this episode twice and still got nothing out of it, it’s just filler stuff, thankfully this is just background to more productive/interesting things on my end. The Last Alaskans is much more real and almost contemplative and the Seldens have a great blog with some interesting info about their experience. That was canceled after 4 seasons, not enough profit bc they were actually a long ways from civ, not pretending to be, and those people weren’t willing to lie for money and do stupid “skits” to keep it going for longer. ABSP is way overproduced and jarring to watch and Asa seems to be trying to hypnotize people with his voice lol I really liked the photography of coastal Alaska more than anything. I’m curious as to exactly where they were looking in SW Colorado though, was that ever revealed? My guess is near Mesa Verde Natl Park but I can’t find any info as to where they were looking.

    1. Thanks for the comment John ! I also enjoyed ‘The Last Alaskans’, was sorry to see it was cancelled, interesting program.

      I did a bit of a search and wasn’t able to find exactly where in Colorado they planned to stay. And that scenario only played out for one dismal episode, a ‘friend’ of Billys was going to let them stay on a 40 acre property. It was the last episode of a season, and by the time the new season was on, they had already moved to Washington. I think the state of Colorado passed a law forbidding anyone named Brown, from Alaska, to move to the state. lol

      1. Yeah from what I saw on the brief view of the map in that episode they were somewhere around there, four corners. I’ve been to that area and it looks like it. Have to say the Last Alaskans is fairly good but they repeat the same things over and over about the bush lifestyle, family honor etc, survival, dying lifestyle, how easy it is to live in the lower 48 etc ad infinitum, binge watching really brings the monotony out. True for all these “bush” shows. Even there it’s nonsense, they have scoped rifles, binocs, snowmobiles, planes and all sorts of other tech, try to kill a moose, caribou etc with a bow and arrow or spear then talk about it lol Some cringey stuff with the Bob guy.

  3. there is not much more to say about this episode.
    Gabe talked about how difficult it was to work in 3 feet of snow, as he stood in maybe 4 inches of snow.
    Someone talked about it being minus 20 degrees, but no one had steamy breath. Odd.
    insulating frozen pipes, if they actually did it, would guarantee that the pipes would remain frozen.
    Why would the mice attack Bear’s silly mattress but not attack his dozens of dirty blankets?
    Where did the rolls of insulation come from? The barn was not insulated. The children’s shacks were not insulated.
    If it snowed so much, why was the 7 mile road up the mountain bare? who plowed the road? With what?
    Why didn’t they use Noah’s John Deere tractor to haul the lumber up the mountain?
    will any snowmobile riders die by hitting the barbed wire strung over access points? In some states, hanging the barbed wire like that would be a felony.
    Is there a more annoying woman on the p[anet than Ruth?
    And, finally, has anyone called Child Protective Services to check on the two babies?
    Billy spoke so much gibberish in the episode, he may have qualified himself to run for President.

    1. Thanks lakerman1 for your ever insightful comments ! This show was one of the most perplexing episodes yet, for all the reasons you mentioned. Yes, why not use the tractor ? Or a horse team ? Seems reasonable enough.

      I’ve mentioned before that as Asa drones on about the cold and the heavy snowfall trapping the Browns atop the mountain, all the arial shots show the roads plowed and perfectly clean. Maybe the production crew clears the road, and once they are in place, they put the snow back on the road or something.

      Billy for president… oh my… too political for me…. haha

      See you next week !

  4. Brown Station Zebra – LOL. I struggled to find another ‘winter is coming’ one so I took inspiration from shithead playing a flute and meditating. What the fuck does he need to ‘meditate’ for? It surely isn’t to relieve stress ‘cuz the lazy endogenous blob does nothing all day.

    This show has really sunk so low it has to look up to see down. You would think they would be embarrassed at how child-like and incompetent they all come across. And seriously, BirdBrain needs professional help.

    Oh, and that phony bullshit staged chess game in the snow? JesusTapDancingChrist.

    Noah Brown plays his flute

    1. Well said Beavis… Love the meme….

      This episode was clearly below the barrel, the scraping just plainly wore through.

      See you next week !

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