'Alaskan Bush People' Season Premiere: 'Unbreakable Will' & 'Back to the Bush' (RECAP)
In the two-part Alaskan Bush People season premiere, "Unbreakable Will" and "Back to the Bush" (August 19), the Brown family prepares for a new adventure in the remote wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, following unprecedented obstacles over the past year. Then, the Wolfpack arrives on their property in the most remote remote frontier of the Lower 48, but the long winter in the region wreaks havoc on their first attempts to tame the mountain.
So many people waited so long to see so very little.
The Lost Footage/Review/Preview episode "Unbreakable Will" shows how the Brown family has endured the toughest tests the past year had to offer, as well as how many times we can endure Our Dear Narrator saying "unbreakable will."
It begins, as all episodes should, with big pile of guts. Birdy, who loves all animals—even their gross inside parts—gives Noah a pan full of various wild turkey viscera to do whatever ghoulish things Noah does with turkey innards.
On the subject of guts, Gabe has spent much of the past year filling out his flannels.
Noah survived Alaska, but a much worse fate awaits him...
Matt bid farewell to Kenny, who hauled a bunch of the family's crap away from Brownton Abbey so that Matt could start the business of blowing himself up.
Hey, so what really happened with Matt's infamous Night of DY-NO-MITE? Let's hear it from Bush Goldilocks himself:
"I wound up against three bears, and I didn't have enough ammo. So I built a charge. After the charge went off, the explosion, I was badly injured. I had a head injury. I remember the percussion, and the impact, the ringing. Everything else is just flashes. I went into an instinctual mode, and for me, that meant duct tape and something absorbent. I wound up with a large towel and a bunch of tape and that kept me held together long enough for the rescue team to get there."
Uh-huh. Three bears. And after rootin,' tootin' and shootin' at the three bears, Matt had the time to go inside and start assembling heavy ordnance? And no one in the production trailers close to Brownton Abbey heard Matt's desperate salvo of gunfire?
And then came the percussion...
Why didn't the three bears come and devour Matt after he turned himself into a helpless, bloody mass? And why didn't the three bears try to eat the much meatier Noah when they had the chance?
We'll let Bam have a turn.
Ha! Hit him again, Bam!
Ah, that's the stuff.
Bam recalls several of Matt's other accidents, like the time Matt got his hand smashed during cabin construction and the time Matt's necklace flew up and scratched him in the "retina." I'm not a Bush Ophthalmologist like Bam, but I'm pretty sure he means the cornea, not the retina. Scratching your retina would be really, really bad news.
In a bit of incredibly boring Lost Footage, we find Bear, Birdy and Rainy drinking from the creek near Brownton Abbey and bottling up some of the water in mason jars. The Browns will need to make this water last, since all the water in the Lower 48 has bleach in it.
We're treated to a sneak peek of Matt doing some Bush Apiculture. Matt, Birdy and Gabe make a bee suit out of a tarp, duct tape and a motorcycle helmet. A cape is added, and Matt is transformed into Beekeeper Man.
With his retinas of steel and his powerful explosive stinger, Beekeeper Man's only weakness is his complete lack of common sense.
In another sneak peek, Gabe will not be fathering any grandbabies.
We finally get around to the great mystery of why the family bailed on Colorado. Apparently, Billy's negotiations to purchase the land, which belonged to an old buddy and came on Bill Fuller's suggestion, fell through. According to Our Dear Narrator, "Mineral rights we're not included in the deal, leaving their land open to invasion by outsiders."
Nothing can stop the Browns...except mineral rights. I won't get into the legal mumbo jumbo of mineral rights, but basically the surface of the land can be sold or leased separately from what's beneath it. And even then, rights can be sold separately for oil, natural gas, gold, Ark of the Covenant, etc. It's a pretty weak plot device, which is why the show devotes so little time to explaining it.
But that doesn't matter, because the Browns were truly meant to be in
Alaska Colorado Washington all along!
Billy envisions a ranch full of barns, cattle and orchards on this land. I envision at least three more terrible seasons of Alaskan Bush People.
The episode wraps up with some good news regarding Mother Ami's health. Just guessing from the Santa hat, but I'd say it was around Christmastime when the Browns visited UCLA for an update on Mother Ami's condition. This scene is different from others that were filmed at UCLA. In past episodes, a few doctors were identified and appeared on camera. This time, we don't actually see the physician's face or get any identification other than Mother Ami calling her "Deborah," so we can infer that it's Dr. Deborah Wong. Dr. Wong cuts to the chase...
"No evidence of any active cancer" is very good news. But let's keep perspective. Doctors choose their words carefully for a reason. Nowhere is "cured" or "cancer-free" mentioned. Mother Ami's 3 percent chance of survival from her cancer is after five years, not one. She will have ongoing tests and treatments to detect and prevent a recurrence.
At least it's better than being dead for 20 minutes.
Ami's late-stage cancer last year was worse than anyone ever knew.
There has been a lot of irresponsible, deceptive sensationalism reported about Mother Ami's health. Alaskan Bush People's social media accounts are just as culpable for posting and sharing this garbage.
DC corrected it themselves, from "Ami is cancer free" to "Ami is doing well."
And thus ends "Unbreakable Will." My will is broken. I hope it gets better from here.
If the season premiere, "Back to the Bush," is any indication of what's in store for us this season, then...Wait. What the hell is that?
Unfortunately, it is. Noah installed a bug zapper into a top hat. It works great so long as you remain perfectly still.
Why sacrifice mobility when you can repel mosquitoes and look like a Teletubby with the Netsmen Wearable Mosquito Suit that's all the rage in Japan these days. Maybe Beekeeper Man needs a sidekick.
I really miss when Gabe was too tired to appear on the show.
The Browns are en route to their mountain paradise in Washington. But the road to paradise is windy, muddy and treacherous. Worse, Gabe has to go pee and won't shut up about it. Maybe you'd like it better in your Beverly Hills luxury hotel, Your Majesty?
Pfft. Here's Gabe last week at a Walmart in Idaho, which some people might consider to be civilization.
The Browns are pulling a trailer full of wooden posts they got at the Teepees R Us liquidation sale, and it's not going well. Billy urges his mighty steed on.
Eat that, Billy!
The Browns finally arrive at their mountain paradise. First order of business: brewing Bush Coffee. Matt pulls out a water bottle, a milk jug and a brand-new sock. Our Bush Barista blends boiling water with coffee grounds in the bottom half of the milk jug, then pours the brew through the upper half of the milk jug, filtering it through the sock. I see this as the next big thing in snooty hipster coffee preparation and hosiery. Alert the good people at Wigwam Mills.
It's time to assemble the teepees and insult the "primal people" who lived here before the Browns and their camera crews arrived. If you didn't know (or haven't already guessed), the Browns did not live in these teepees. They lived in a rented house. Teepees have lousy WiFi.
Billy looks around and decides that he doesn't want his wife recovering from cancer in a teepee, so he drives Mother Ami into town to to find a trailer that might fit his modest bartering budget. The perfect excuse for getting out of work! New land, same old Billy!
Finally, Bam arrives to help me mock his siblings. Bam delivers one of Birdy's cats, Mr. Chipmunk Cheeks, who I'm predicting will just love it in Washington and have a long, happy life there.
Bam gets down to business belittling his brothers.
That's the Bam I know and tolerate! The boys get to work repairing the access road, which has been damaged by heavy snowmelt, so Billy can get Mother Ami's trailer up to their mountain paradise.
Gabe! We told you to go potty before we left!
They formulate a plan to create a temporary culvert out of some logs and plywood. Bam and Matt bicker a little bit, just for old time's sake. A compromise is reached, and the two of them actually accomplish something.
I have good news for those of you who wanted to see an adult male wearing leather pants run around in the snow. Bear is out doing his Bear schtick, looking for animal tracks, climbing trees and playing in dirt. Pardon me, sir, how are the deer feces today?
Bear finds evidence of big cat activity, noticing claw marks on the trees. Bear says the cougars have large claws that can leave a "deep imprintion" in the wood. The hard-working folks at VITAC who do the Good Lord's work writing the closed captions for this show change it to "incisions" so Bear sounds less dumb.
Elsewhere, Bam's slow driving is causing congestion during the Loomis rush hour. Bam not only respects the danger, he respects all posted speed limits.
The importance of defensive driving hits home when tragedy strikes the Brown family.
A solemn funeral procession winds between the teepees. Gabe carries the mortal remains of Mr. Chipmunk Cheeks to his final resting place. Chippy, as he was known to those who loved him, wandered away from the Browns' new land and was struck and killed by a motor vehicle. He did not respect the danger.
Do not weep for Mr. Chippy, for he truly is in a better place. Anywhere away from the Browns is a better place. Rest in peace, Mr. Chippy, at least until Noah digs up your corpse for his freaky experiments.
Mr. Chippy probably faked his death as a stunt to boost TV ratings.
Billy worked his scammin' magic and got someone to loan him a trailer, but the guy hauling the trailer got stuck in the mud and needed a bulldozer to tow him up the hill. As we see in the previews, Billy gets his hands on this bulldozer and goes for a joyride.
Back up on the hill, the Brown kids are constructing a porch for the trailer so Mother Ami can sit in a rocking chair and frighten the neighborhood children. Since their own accents aren't strange enough, the kids start talking in a wicked bad Boston accent.
This guy is making fun of you, Bostonians. Time to unleash the vengeful fury of New Kids on the Block.
Billy and Mother Ami are on their way back up the hill, and if Billy drives a truck like he pilots a boat, they will surely meet the same fate as Mr. Chippy.
Billy and Mother Ami are pleased with the trailer and the porch the
kids crew built. The trailer has lots of creature comforts for Mother Ami and comes furnished with Teddy bears. Of course, we all know Billy got this trailer for Mother Ami so he could sleep in it, too. He is a sly bastard, that one.
All episodes end with Billy's self-aggrandizing spiel about Faith, Family, Bush, etc., and he's shoveling a hefty load of it today. He likens himself to an early pioneer who "might has well have come in a wagon," failing to mention that his wagon was pulled by SUVs, a bulldozer, Discovery Channel, the taxpayers of Alaska, and the oncology experts at UCLA Medical Center.
You are so full of crap, Billy.
Let's see what awaits us in next week's episode. Oh, dear Lord, no...
That was brutal. Thanks for sticking it out until the end.
Alaskan Bush People, Sundays, 9/8c, Discovery Channel