‘Alaskan Bush People’: ‘Bears of a Feather’ (RECAP)


On the Alaskan Bush People episode “Bears of a Feather” (December 11), a hungry bear breaks into Noah’s tent and spooks the livestock, and the Browns suspect it is being attracted by the ranch’s newest arrivals, three young ostriches. Later, the windmill assembly takes the siblings to dangerous new heights.

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I’ve always said that Alaskan Bush People is two or three ostriches away from being the best show on TV.

Ostriches are awesome. They’re so weird-looking. They’re so stupid. They’re like dinosaurs that were too lazy to fully evolve into birds. They stick their heads in the sand rather than face the truth that the Brown family and their show are all a bunch of baloney.

Ostrich meat is less artery-clogging than beef. Ostriches consume fewer resources, produce less waste and take up less space than beef cattle. They run really fast and lay super-huge eggs that are about the equivalent of two-dozen hen eggs. A fresh ostrich egg can go for $35, whereas you can buy two dozen chicken eggs for about $3.

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Ostrich hides can be used for expensive and ugly cowboy boots and handbags.

The oils from rendering ostrich fat have many cosmetic and therapeutic benefits.

You can ride on ostriches or hitch chariots up to them and reenact scenes from Ben-Hur.

So, of course, Brown Star Ranch is getting ostriches.

Delivering the ostriches all the way from Texas is Bill Fuller, the Brown family’s favorite stooge.

They unload the ostriches without incident or anyone getting their asses kicked. I’d love to see one chase Billy around the pen, but that’s not going to happen (at least not on camera).

Birdy has named one of the ostriches Southern Belle. Another one is Seymour Legs. The third one is Ostrich To Be Named Later.

Elsewhere, Noah and She Who Will Not Be Named take a little excursion to Lake Palmer, where they let their infant son Elijah splash his toes in the water. Get this: She Who Will Not Be Named and Elijah have not been living on the mountain! It seems that living on the set of a TV show is not a safe and healthy environment to raise a young child.

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But wasn’t Noah going to build a mighty castle to protect his family from nature’s fury? Well, that project has ground to a halt because of “permits and building issues.” You mean Okanogan County won’t sign off on the construction of a structurally unsound and thoroughly unsafe dwelling designed by an idiot? That never stopped the Browns before!

More than likely, the production’s building crew was like, “No way in hell we’re actually gonna build this thing,” and the whole project will be scrapped.

Noah realizes that if he ever wants to get his wife and kid back on the mountain, he’s going to have to make improvements to his tent so bears don’t break in and eat them in all their pudgy deliciousness.

D’oh! Too late!

In the great Alaskan Bush People tradition of fake bear break-ins, a bear ripped his way into Noah’s tent and threw a bunch of knives and stuff around. Noah wants to build a bear deterrent that involves poking the invader with pointy things (literally “poking the bear”!). He envisions a “spiked board” propped up against the exterior wall.

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Because getting counsel from an imbecile is always wise, Noah runs the idea past Brother Bear, who finds this idea unnecessarily cruel to the bear. He proposes electrifying a wall of chicken wire.

Why not enjoy the best of both worlds and electrify the spiked board? That’ll get ’em! They build a wood frame, attach some chicken wire to it, then lean it up against the tent. Noah hooks up some jumper cables and voila! We have a shockingly stupid deterrent against bears and unsuspecting passersby.

As you’d expect, Birdy has gone totally bonkers over the ostriches. In an effort to connect with them on their level, she makes a headdress of ostrich feathers and parades around their pen. She must look like the ostrich, act like the ostrich and, yes, even smell like the ostrich. Only then shall she truly become ostrich-ized.

But all is not well in this ostrich paradise. As evidenced by heavily edited night-vision trail camera footage, a bear has shown interest in some of that exotic meat. Bear, the most erudite of the Brown clan, is asked to investigate the scene.

His solution is to spread cayenne pepper (“fiery fairy dust” as it’s known among the culinary elite) around the perimeter of the birds’ pen. And now I crave ostrich buffalo wings.

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With that fake crisis dealt with, Birdy and Gabe can get on with the business of pampering the ostriches so they’ll start producing eggs. This involves digging wide, shallow nests in the ground and filling them with bedding material. Gabe tests out the beds and approves of their coziness. He, too, is being assimilated into ostrich culture.

Alas, we must leave our ostrich friends for now and turn our attention to the dull, ostrich-less reassembly of the stupid windmill. Bam and Birdy tackle the project, and it’s a total fiasco before it even begins. When the Browns disassembled and transported the windmill frame, they failed to put identifying markings on the pieces so they could easily know how Tab A fits into Slot B.

Whenever prudent Bam calls out his siblings’ half-assery, he gets tacked with the “uptight” label. Because trying to do things the sensible, safe, correct way just isn’t as AWESOME or EXXXXTREME as electrifying stuff.

The structure is a bit rickety, and Bam wants no more of it or his family’s ridiculous TV show. He’s going to leave the rest to his half-witted brethren.

This is a job for the chimp-like Bear, who scales the structure and puts the metal pieces together without losing half a limb.

When it’s time to install the motor, Noah arrives with a rusty old cherry picker he rented from the guy at the junkyard. They only have it rented for the day, so Fake Urgency demands that they do this quickly before nightfall or the entire future of the family will be jeopardized forever.

Rainy, who has some acrophobia and nothing else to do in this episode, volunteers to go up on the lift with Gabe and install the motor. She will try to overcome her fears to help her father’s monthslong dream of a self-sustaining ranch become a reality. The cherry picker’s lift doesn’t move smoothly, and the jerking motion causes Rainy to scream. Discovery used that clip in previews to make viewers think that Rainy and Gabe were in serious peril. They were not.

After some Unnecessary Drama and Fake Urgency, the motor is put into place on top of the frame. There is much rejoicing.

In the interstitial scene we learn how Gabe gets water up to his Hayloft of Love: One 5-gallon bucket at a time. He fills the buckets from a nearby storage tank, then hoists them with rope. He and fiancée Raquell use about two buckets a day for drinking, bathing, cooking and a Slip ‘N Slide. Wheeeee! As long as they rinse the goat droppings out of the bucket every few months, they’re all good.

Finally, the Browns are ready to reap the rewards of their ostrich’s labor. They have one big egg.

Bear punches the egg, but it won’t crack until he borrows Birdy’s brass knuckles. WOW! Look at all the orange goo inside!

They scramble the egg, orange stuff and all, and cook up it in a pan. Billy would throw a fit if he found out they just wasted the only ostrich egg they’ll ever get. The rented ostriches have to be returned to the farm tomorrow.

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Alaskan Bush People, Wednesdays at 8/7c, Discovery Channel