Discovery Channel’s ‘Alaskan Bush People’: ‘All Falls Down’ (RECAP)
On the Alaskan Bush People episode “All Falls Down” (Feb. 8), the hopes for the wind turbine are threatened when Bear and Gabe make a miscalculation. Noah and Rhain reunite and move their relationship further along. Matt takes on a project to up Browntown’s ability to store food supplies.
It’s late fall at Brownton Abbey, but WINTER IS RIGHT THERE!
The season brings more bear activity, and the Browns are looking for deterrents that exceed their previous methods in both stupidity and ineffectiveness. Gabe and Matt develop nonlethal shotgun shells by stuffing the cartridges with raw bacon. “I have faith in bacon,” Matt says. In Bacon We Trust. So the Browns have gone from pouring grease into their firearms to using meat as ammunition. I’ve learned from many credible online news sources that shooting carnivorous wildlife with meat usually makes the animal go away and not want to come back to be shot at again with free, delicious meat. If you’ve been using outdoor survival tips from Alaskan Bush People, then you probably died two years ago. The real transgression here is not the absurdity of the idea, but the waste of perfectly good bacon.
“The Wolfpack is preparing for one of the most brutal winters in decades,” says Asa, Our Dear Narrator. They are preparing for this most brutal of winters by packing their suitcases and going to Las Vegas, South Carolina, New York City, the posh ski resorts of Colorado and some other less brutal, non-Bush places they’ve been spotted at since the fall.
Kenny managed to keep Sabrina alive while the Browns were on their two-week-long hauling-job odyssey. The tomatoes in the garden were not as fortunate, having succumbed to neglect and the frost. I suppose someone could’ve stayed behind to tend to Sabrina and the precious garden, but that would make too damn much sense to happen on this show. Why again did Matt build that plastic-wrap greenhouse?
Billy doesn’t want a repeat of “The Dread Winter of ’95,” when the Browns were burning pieces of their house and the 70-some children’s books Billy authored to keep warm. At Brownton Abbey, the job of setting stuff ablaze belongs to Bear, who kindles both the flame that burns wood and the fire that brings light to the mind’s eye. “It starts with the fire. It ends with the fire,” says our Bush Confucius. “Browntown, essentially, is the fire.” And it was always burning since the world’s been turning.
With Bam vamoosing to have a Lower 48 sexytime, the Browns are without the only competent member of the family. And their P.O.W. trip down memory lane left them behind schedule on the winter prep, so now they have more Fake Urgency than ever before. Billy wants the wind turbine put at the top of the For Someone Else to Do List, and this will require Noah to stop dissecting things and daydreaming about dissecting things and give full attention to his father’s foolish projects. Noah would rather be hanging out with his woman, Rhain With an H. “You have to choose work or your woman, which is a shame,” Noah says. Ah, but if work is your woman, then…I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Noah rigs up a gantry to hold up the wind turbine for testing, giving us another of Noah’s grandiose delusions.
I’d like to see a supercut of all the times Noah has used the word “actually” throughout the series. I bet Discovery could do a whole special episode with those and call it “new” just to fill up your DVR with garbage. Noah’s overuse of the word is especially amusing given that there’s actually very little of anything “actual” depicted on this show.
Because there aren’t enough of Matt’s failures littering the landscape, Matt is going to build a “meat shed.” The shed stores deer carcasses and keeps them safe from bears. The meat from this shed will be cured and sliced into bacon, which will then be packed into shotgun shells and fired at bears.
Gabe and Bear are going off to kill a deer and lots of screen time. Bear knows a “secret” primo hunting spot, but it requires them to take the canoe “across the ocean,” over the river, through the woods, through seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, over hill, over dale, through Bush, through briar, over park, over pale, through the gates of Mordor, where they must cast the canoe into the fires of Mount Doom. Also, they must paddle the canoe with a shovel.
Hunting scenes are terrible. They’ve become as bad as Boat Malfunctions. The hunt scenes are shot and edited sloppily (ParkSloppily?) to create a total mess designed to draw your attention away from the fakery. If you pick apart the scene, you’ll see that the fallen tree log they aim for at a distance is not the same fallen tree log you see close up. And you can see the dead deer slumped over the fallen tree log in the frame before the gunshot is fired.
Yes, I realize that spotting editing mistakes on this show is like complaining about the temperature of the tea served on the Titanic. I guess my point is that Alaskan Bush People hunting scenes suck and are only good for giving Bear a reason to paint a skull on his face like a moron.
Back at Brownton Abbey, we’re forced to suffer through more of Noah. “I have never met a woman that I could imagine myself being with, and I want my family to meet her,” Noah says. I have never imagined a woman that would imagine herself being with Noah. Amazing how quickly he forgets all his moping and pining for Minnie from Ketchikan or Christie from Wherever. Noah wants to bring Rhain to Brownton Abbey so Ami can scare the bejeebers out of her. Noah asks Billy if he can take a break from work and give some time to his woman. The look on rain-sodden Billy’s face says it all…
But Billy agrees to let Noah bring Rhain over to be tortured. So Noah requests a Bush Uber and Rhain arrives there lickity-split! Noah is dressed up like he’s a member of the Alaskan Bush Village People. (Is he wearing spurs on his boots?) He shows Rhain his house.
I’m sure that Rhain can’t wait to raise grandbabies in there with Noah some day. Rhain asks why Matt built his house out of tires, and Noah explains that it’s because his Saran Wrap house burned down. This is false, as Matt abandoned his plastic wrap hut before it was crushed by branches that fell during a fake storm. Noah then brings Rhain to see his mother, who is pretending to knit something while there’s a pistol in front of her on the table. Ami possesses all the warmth and cordiality of a James Bond villain.
There’s something very off about Rhain. She emits a strong vibe of BS. She’s definitely not like the other aspiring actresses who’ve been paraded through Brownton Abbey in the past. Maybe Rhain’s an actress who grabbed for the lowest-hanging fruit on Earth. Maybe she’s an ABP superfan who’s off her meds. Maybe she’s really smart and cunning and wants to make a grab for the Browns’ cash before Discovery cuts off the supply. Maybe she’s a free-spirited millennial who’s watched too much Girls and thinks it’s fun to make terrible decisions. Um, who would really say something like this?
“This is kind of my Alaskan adventure,” Rhain tells Ami. Why didn’t Rhain just take a cruise ship like the rest of us? Of course, Ami brings up the discussion of children without using the word “grandbabies.” Ami then talks about how hard the Bush life was before they checked into Chateau Discovery.
Ami: “It will either accept you, or…”
Rhain: “Chew me up and spit me out?”
See this woman, Rhain? If you play your cards right, this could be you in 30 years. Why again is Noah afraid to bring girls to Brownton Abbey?
But enough of this terrifying silliness. It’s time to get back to pretending to prepare for winter. “In the reality of our world, winter’s coming,” Billy says. Winter’s also coming in the reality of Westeros.
Matt’s work on the meat shed is so dull, not even Matt can stand it. Since Matt quit drinkin’, he doesn’t have as many imaginary friends to talk to, so he had to make a real one out of a paper plate and a clothes hanger. This guy, Rob, also holds the light bulb, so he’s already doing more work than Billy.
Here’s a great tip for improving efficiency at your workplace, wherever it may be or whatever your profession. Do as Matt does and just sprinkle nails all over the ground at your worksite or office space. So when you say, “Oh, I need a nail,” you can then immediately say, “Well, there one is!”
Birdy and Rainy haven’t contributed enough nonsense to this episode, so we get to watch them make a cowbell for Sabrina. I don’t really think a cowbell is on the top of Billy’s winter prep priorities.
Fine. Make your stupid cowbell.
Birdy tests out the cowbell by putting it around her neck and getting on all fours. Well, at least there’s still hope for Rainy.
It’s time for Noah to get back to the work side of his work/woman balance. He enlists Bear and Gabe to help him get the wind turbine off the gantry and up onto its permanent pedestal. Gabe, he of the strong back and weak mind, tries to carry the whole apparatus by himself, which does not go well. “It’s an age old problem of inventors, creators, people with a vision,” whines Noah. “It’s always difficult finding good minions.”
After disconnecting the turbine from the gantry, Bear and Gabe carry the thing over to the tripod. They rig up some pulleys to hoist the turbine, and Noah says he has to go make some calculations or something, and that Bear and Gabe shouldn’t try hoisting the turbine without him. Bear does not care for all of Noah’s planning and precautions because those things are not EXXXXTREME. “If you worry about something before it happens, and then it happens, you’ve, like, experienced the bad thing twice!” Can’t argue with that! GIVE ‘ER HELL, BEAR! Bear climbs up the tripod and almost drops a pulley on Gabe’s head.
In addition to the constant rain, there’s also a “supertide” coming in that’s starting to flood the area around the tripod. Gabe and Bear decide to go for it and try hoisting the turbine up without Noah’s say-so. This also does not go well. The turbine crashes to the ground and the tripod collapses on top of it.
Billy and Noah arrive to assess the damage. Noah’s pissed that his minions didn’t follow his instructions. “It proves once and for all that people should listen to me!” he snipes. Noah will have to take the turbine apart to see if it still functions. His biggest concern is the saltwater from the supertide getting into the turbine’s innards. “We’ve worked a whole season on this,” a dejected Billy says. By “whole season,” don’t you mean that one afternoon a few episodes ago?
“With winter right here, I do have to second-guess myself that maybe the time and the efforts and the energy that we put on the turbine,” Billy says. “Maybe we should have been out doing all the chores to prepare for winter because it could put us in a real bind.”
Alaskan Bush People, Wednesdays, 9/8c, Discovery Channel