Alaskan Bush People episode recap S 13 E4 ‘Back to Browntown’

‘Back to Browntown’, well, I like that title. Maybe something more interesting then looking at a burned out mountain for 60 minutes. Since it looked like a good episode for once, I got out the special Orville Redenbocher’s™ A-1 quality grade mix of popcorn and the aged Pepsi™ I have been saving. Let’s Roll ! (My apologies to Mr. Beamer and the tragic victims of United 93).

The episode opens with a happy looking Bear packing his gear for the trip to Alaska. It was actually Bird and Rain who came up with the idea to head back north, I don’t know how this moron got invited along. Anything is better than being humiliated on national TV like last weeks public castration with Raiven and Lil’ River. So he is in his storage container/mental lockdown cell throwing his stuff in a bag and is ready to go. Rain is inside her little dollhouse gathering her belongings in her cute pink suitcases while Bird is with her cats saying goodbye. Bird is in her upscale resort condo where she shaves some cat hair from the poor animals as she rolls it together into a ‘catball’ to take with her, to sniff and remember them by. Which is probably a good thing, since we never see any preparations being made to care for the cats once she slams the door behind her. Once the packing is done, off to the truck with Noah, who is taking them to their point of departure.

The long drive down the mountain, up another mountain, down that mountain and so forth, is the perfect opportunity for Bird to fill us in on the need to get back to Alaska, back to her roots, back to the place where howling in the forest is okay. She mentions her sick dad Billy, who we now see coughing up a storm next to a campfire and a propped up Ami. He’s not feeling good, someone in the production crew mentioned work, and instantly he got sick, poor fella. The kids are worried, they have seen the previews where the old guy dies. Anyway, they are blasting down the road, yapping away about the great adventure ahead in Alaska, Bear is not allowed in the truck and must stand in the bed the whole way. The group apparently arrives at an airport, a scene is shot of the girls sitting in their seats, I’m guessing Bear is riding it out on the wing. Once that is done, they get off the plane and get on the chartered flight with the production crew to ride first class, eat Surf n’ Turf, and watch the in flight movies, ‘Congo’ and ‘La La Land’. Champagne is uncorked at the party has started.

Back at the North Star Ranch and Mental Asylum, Bam takes charge and lays out the urgent problems that need to be addressed, is it the house that desperately needs to be finished? Is it the medical attention for Billy that he so perilously needs ? Is it the continuing small fires that are an extreme danger to everyone on the mountain ? Nope, need to repair a small dip in the road. Gabe joins in on the mock seriousness to help Bam get a new culvert in place before everyone dies on the road. Gabe asks hopefully if he can possibly, maybe, just this once, drive the truck the required 15 feet to move a log in place. Bam allows the idiot behind the wheel with strict instructions to do as he says. Gabe does as he is told and everyone is proud of Gabe. A production crew worker hands him a cookie. Gabe gets out of the truck and instantly gets an owie, a small splinter in his hand. Bam goes into intimidator mode, railing on about what a clumsy oaf and simpleton his brother Gabe is. He ridicules the poor guy for not wearing gloves while working, and then helps the mindless chump to dress the wound. I mean, come on, it’s a freakin’ splinter. No need to make a production out of it. Yet the cameras roll and record this for posterity. Now we all know about Gabe and his small mind and clumsy adventures.

In Alaska, in a privately charted boat, sit Bear, Bird and Rain, streaming towards the known (as opposed to the unknown) while chatting up the good life in Alaska. The scenery is outstanding, the views majestic, the dialogue boring. Bear climbs up the mast as the captain curses the decision he made to haul these looney tunes anywhere. Hoonah, Alaska is sighted, the streets are empty, the mood eerily quiet. The city declared an emergency once they heard the Browns were on their way and went into lockdown, with many warnings issued. The trio hop off the boat and kiss the dock floor, and hug the dock pilings, they are so happy to be back in their favorite town to con, cheat and steal.

First up is to look up their old buddy, Trapper, and extort him for unpaid loans. They knock on his boat and he nervously comes out to talk to the grifters. They demand that he turn over his skiff so they can run out to Browntown, but he tries to convince him that his little boat is a worthless POS and they believe him. The Discovery™ team pay him off in union rate fees for extra actors, and Trapper mentions the best bet for a working skiff is the village idiot named Kenny. We remember Kenny, the junkyard king !  Rain breaks Trapper’s jaw for a stern warning and the group waltzes over to the Kenny estate and compound. A pounding on Kenny’s door and the lovable trash man comes out grinning. He proceeds to tell the guys he is a broken down bum who cannot hold a job and is just survivin’ in Hoonah. Thay inquire about the availability of a skiff, and his mad grinning reveals a mouth in dire need of dental care. Why didn’t the Browns just hitch a ride with the thirty man crew from Discovery™, in their private yacht out to the island ? Anyway, Kenny decides to cut them a deal, you help me chop 10 pieces of wood and I’ll ‘find’ you a boat. DEAL ! Then Kenny explains how he lost his tooth (teeth?) and runs inside to do a line of whatever is feeding his frenzy, and brings out the tooth for all to gaze at. They, and us, look at his tooth…

Back at the North Star Ranch, work is slowly commencing on the culvert work. Noah shows up in a ridiculous outfit of a leather cowboy hat and full length leather duster to ride his Tonka tractor around for awhile. He is ready to dig and haul and look goofy all at the same time.

Kenny and the group of Brown children head to the dock to get the boat Kenny has picked out. The owner is out of state, there is no one around, it has a tank full of gas, it is good to go. But hurry, before someone sees you. The three are shown cruising down the bay into the intersecting sloughs around the famous islands in south Alaska. Rain is at the helm, carefully guiding the boat in the now familiar territory that is their old homestead. They mumble on about the water, the trees, the bears, the birds, and each remembrance comes with it’s own little flashback of a happy group frolicking on an remote island, deep in Alaska, not far from ‘Joe’s Pizza and Italian Entrées’.

 They make it safe and sound to the island I guess, because the next clip is the group of three walking slowly towards the old cabin deep in the enchanted forest next to the secret oak tree. Lots and lots of drone shots fill the screen. I stop here to wonder exactly where they docked the skiff, since there is no dock, the ‘Integrity’ boat they used to have, had to be anchored out in the bay all the time, too close to shore and the tides either leave you stranded on dry land or 50 feet between you and the boat out to sea. And also, now they all are carrying rifles and sidearms. Where did these come from ? I didn’t see any of these on the other boat, or at Kenny’s. And as long as I’m nitpicking the hell out of this show, remember when Bird was heartbroken that her favorite hunting rifle was burned and destroyed in the fire ? Well, I guess they got new firearms, no problem, no background checks, no credit issues for homeless people. What a laugh…

So they stumble up to the abandoned cabin and Bird goes all mental, crying and sobbing on the outside wall of the condemned structure. Why is she crying ? Is it because of no future, no boyfriend, no friends, no job, no money, no self respect, no self esteem, no real home, extended periods of depression, crummy parents and family members ? I’d say all of the above. But it seems she is just overcome with anti depressive medication and is glad to be at the Alaskan ghetto and barrio. Meanwhile, Bear is crouched down outside on the alert for wild squirrels and angry landlords.


The magical door to the old cabin is unlocked (after Bird steals a nail or something from the porch) and they enter the barren expanse of broken dreams. Inside, the memories and flashbacks come flowing as we see a healthy, and alive, Billy pretending to build a dining table. The girls rummage through all the cabinets and drawers looking for food or something, but there is nothing but dusty remnants of empty and forgotten spaces of shame and guilt. How depressing.

At the North Star Ranch, Bam makes an executive decision and says the Tonka tractor and Noah combo hauling team is not working out, takes too long to get the gravel from wherever the gravel is to the worksite. Noah has changed into his leather biker vest and is wondering who made Bam boss. Gabe is wondering where his wife and kid disappeared to.

Morning time in Alaska as Bird rushes down to the stream to brush her tooth, Rain is washing her face and hair in the mercury polluted creek while Bear makes a fire outside. Bear relives his childhood (which was just three years ago), and climbs to the top off his ramshackle treehouse and howls for awhile. Back to Bird who is now, for some absolute unfathomable reason spreading what looks like animal feces all over her face, she tries to make is seem a little less insane by explaining it ‘opens the pores’ or something to that effect. It looks just like it sounds, absolutely dreadful, did Discovery™ really need to share that bit of lunacy with us ? They then gather around the fire and eat some spam cooked on sticks, yummy…

At the Ranch, Gabe is collecting some spare sheets of stolen plywood to build a sort of wall on the flat bed farm truck to hold the gravel in place. Bam gets to work designing and screwing in the pieces to complete the project. It seems to me if they had just let Noah transport the gravel one bucket at a time, it would have been quicker than this needless new project. They get it done and it looks like it might hold up to a half ton of gravel, maybe. We will soon find out.

Bear and Bird are getting ready to head out to the big hunt. The rented deer are chained to their trees and the Discovery crew are standing by to witness and film the poor deer getting their brains blown out by these two maniacs. Bear and Bird put on some really silly camo paint, or just dirt spread around on their faces, and start hiking towards the sound of the crew and the two way radios that they use. A flashback of Billy appears on the screen, he is holding a bow that he traded some ostrich teeth for, he never used the bow and now it sits in the family basement covered in dust.

Just as soon as the hunt starts, Bear warns of the telltale signs of big, deadly, horrible, trained bears lurking around every corner. This doesn’t bode well as they only brought deer hunting rifles, not bear killing rifles. I ain’t no hunter, but wouldn’t a high powered rifle still do a lot of damage to a bear ? So once he opens his stupid mouth about evil bears, we get treated to an endless montage of the trained and harmless bears that they have shown before to scare us all into thinking they are in imminent danger. And it is safe to assume that we already know that the island where they built the cabin, has the highest infestation of giant, attacking, wild bears in the whole universe ? They told us that for three or four seasons while they lived there. SO WHY DIDN’T YOU BRING THE BEAR GUNS YOU MORONS ?

A short clip is shown of the ‘Trapper’ goofball giving us an up close tour of his clearly disintegrating and disgusting boat. God almighty, what a mess. I think they filmed it and was shown on the show just for a laugh. He shows us the ‘new’ stove he bought that looks like it was made in 1940. He shows us the wine making apparatus stowed in the corner, obviously the grand scheme of a wino on a boat. He makes us look at the bucket of grime in the corner and tells us it will be the new hot tub, cause there is nothing better than a hot tub after a day of drunkenness he tells us. He points to the kitchen of filthy pots and pans and it just reeks of home made meth I bet. Trapper looks and acts like he is on his last legs, and someone at Discovery™ felt sorry for the drunk and offered him a few hundred dollars to be part of the show. What a dump… If that boat is still floating today I would be surprised…

On the hunt in Alaska, Bear can smell other bears and the two brave hunters call it a day after they get all scared that they will be attacked by the invisible bears that no one has seen all day. No deer tonight, Bird is saddened that her hunt for deer and melancholia has ended so quickly.

The Ranch work continues on as Bam, Gabe and Noah set the culvert piece in the ground and pour some gravel over it. The gravel looked surprisingly like regular dirt with some big stones in it. They must call gravel different from what the rest of the world knows as gravel. Anyway, in the semi climactic scene of doing a pretty ordinary job, they fade out and the job is either done or not. I really couldn’t tell, nor did I care…

The sun sets in Alaska and Asa has the nerve to point out in his narration that the dangers are only beginning, it is going to snow. Big whoop. Like it never snows in Alaska. Okay, in this case I would be worried about those lost souls surviving a night even if it was 80 degrees and sunny. And it really doesn’t matter as long as the producers, writers, food truck, personal assistants, make up people, and whoever else Discovery™ brought along, are only a few steps away in their double wide trailers, and their private boat is in the bay with first aide equipment and a medical staff.

Last but not least, Billy speaks from the grave about the same wore out values and gospel about family and dreams till the cameraman falls asleep and the episode ends.

What a goofy episode, about as interesting as me burping and sneezing at the same time.


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5 thoughts on “Alaskan Bush People episode recap S 13 E4 ‘Back to Browntown’

  1. Excellent review!
    I live in Pennsylvania, and hunt deer and bear – with the exact same rifle. So does most everyone I know.
    Discovery has been running a photo of big faced Billy, all week. I am not sure of their point, but they seem to be keeping him preserved on film, sort of like Lenin is preserved through taxidermy at the Kremlin.
    But my main focus on the episode was to watch as the girls sought romance in Alaska.
    And when Kenny showed his new smile with that gap, I was really worried that he would kiss Birdie, and their gapped teeth would lock., and stay that way for the entire season.
    Remember the Browntown house built by the construction crew? And the Browns pretended to build it, even pretending to install a metal roof in the rain? How stupid is that?
    And did you notice that the metal roof was gone, and someone had placed a large tarp over the exposed wood? Who did that? And how did the vacant house not get broken into by bears? Like the fake bear invasion scene from several years ago?
    Finally, the Integrity is for sale? Didn’t the kids give it away to a young couple who were clueless in Alaska?
    Shouldn’t there be at least some fake bartering to get it back?

    1. Thanks for the comment lakerman1 !

      I noticed the tarp also, maybe Discovery set it up for some reason ? I was surprised the house wasn’t trashed by the bears also. Maybe with no food inside they weren’t interested. The ‘Integrity’ storyline is next week, so I guess we find out the details then… Oh boy…

      So you hunt, the question I asked in the recap was it possible to kill, or even injure a bear with a deer rifle. I grew up around a lot of deer hunters, but there was no bears where I lived. Thanks for answering my question, I sort of figured a high powered rifle would knock a bear just as senseless as a deer. Bear’s meaningless excuse for stopping the hunt is about as meaningless as the show. Haha.

  2. Was that a kettlebell that Rain packed in her pink suitcase? What is she going to do with that in Alaska? What happened to the suitcase after they got there? So many questions…

    1. Thanks for the comment Jan !

      I saw that ball too and wondered why, of all things, she needed to take it along. And the suitcases got switched out for brand new backpacks… The writing and continuity and acting and production and presentation of this show certainly does leave a lot of questions…

      Maybe Rain was going to beat a deer up with that weight…

  3. There is just something off about Gabe’s new look when he’s talking to the camera. The new beard and hair and strange, but it’s his EYES. What’s wrong with them? Creepy.

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