‘Alaskan Bush People’ Episode 5: ‘Bam Bam’s Big Build and Bears’ (RECAP)


On the new Alaskan Bush People episode “Bam Bam’s Big Build and Bears” (January 8), a hungry predator encroaches deeper onto North Star Ranch, forcing Bird and Gabe to take strong action. Bam must play nice with his siblings in an effort to finally break ground on his homestead, and Gabe has an incredible surprise for the Wolf Pack.

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Bam is the most tolerable of all the Browns. He’s practical. He’s logical. He Respects the Danger. He uses foresight. He doesn’t howl. He’s the one you might be able to have a semi-coherent conversation with.

So, naturally, Bam is Alaskan Bush People‘s villain. He knows his siblings are imbeciles and he’s not afraid to say as such. He hates this show almost as much as I do, which is why ABP‘s hardcore blue-haired loons can’t stand him.

“Bam Bam’s Big Build and Bears” is a Bam-centric episode, which is why it’s one of the most watchable in the series (faint praise). The title is a very awkward, forced reference to the Build-A-Bear Workshop. Get it?

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The episode opens with Gabe searching the perimeter of the ostrich pen for evidence of ursine intrusion.

Indeed. This show is nothing but scat as far as the eye can see.

It’s circa August 2019 on Brown Star Ranch. WINTER IS RIGHT THERE! All of the Brown kids have made some effort at building or establishing a place to live on the ranch … except Bam, because he was hoping this show would get canceled before he had to put in the fake effort.

Back in Hoonah, there weren’t a lot of options outside of the Icy Strait Lodge. Billy always preached about how Alaska was the ultimate freedom, and now Billy’s saying they “didn’t really have a lot of choice” in how they lived. Billy sits Bam down and tells him that he’d better get his ass in gear and build a house because WINTER IS RIGHT THERE! and Fake Urgency.

Elsewhere, Noah is clearing a bunch of land for a horse pen. He is giving She Who Will Not Be Named a horse to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

Gabe helps Noah break rocks to clear the land, and the conversation takes a weird turn when Gabe brings up the fact that his marriage is off to a much better start than Noah’s marriage.

The hell? Why would Gabe say that? What does that even mean?

Gallivanting? Not sure that’s what I’d call it. Noah and She Who Will Not Be Named were having a pissing match with Billy over a lot of things, but primarily over She Who Will Not Be Named’s appearing on the show. The Browns weren’t fond of She Who Will Not Be Named and saw her as an opportunist seeking an easy path to TV (and they’re correct). Noah and his wife went into self-imposed exile in Colorado and Utah until the standoff was resolved with no clear winner and lots of losers.

Noah and his wife have spent much of the past year trying to get more “submersed” with the family again. He’s going to sink to their level.

Bear is doing some remodeling in his conex house. Perhaps inspired by the exercise/strangulation device he made previously, he is now stabbing holes into a mattress and hoisting it up with ropes.

Nine or 10 people? Maybe nine or 10 Bear-sized imps, but not real human-sized people. He calls this thing “AWESOME, Cool and EXXXXTREME” (ACE). It is a bed/hammock amalgamation, so Bear calls it a Bammock. Interested in purchasing a Bammock? You can call the phone number displayed on the screen.

I should note that I have blurred out the actual phone number as it was displayed in episode (the Discovery GO app streaming version) to protect the innocent company who ACTUALLY HAS THAT REAL PHONE NUMBER. That company may be experiencing higher than average call volume today.

That’s some shoddy work, Park Slope/Discovery. You usually blur out every freaking painting or corporate logo, but then you put some company’s phone number onscreen? You couldn’t reshoot that interview and have Bear say a 555 number? I can’t even with this.

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Bam enlists Gabe to help him cut down some trees. Bam brokered a deal (of course he did!) with a sawmill guy who will cut Bam’s timber into lumber so he can build his Crazy Palace of Fantasy. Before you can fell a tree, you must experience the tree with all of your senses. You must caress the tree, taste its bark and whisper sweet nothings into its ear.

This particular tree is a sassy one! It will be the first to die!

Gabe takes the chainsaw to the tree and drops it … directly into another tree. So the “widowmaker” tree is leaning against this other tree and would crush Bam and Gabe without mercy.

“The work isn’t up to Bam’s standards,” Gabe says. Well, that work isn’t up to ANYBODY’S standards. Gabe’s all golly gee whiz, Bam, these things happen, ya know? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Now Psycho Bam springs to life.

Then Psycho Bam does a bit of Noah’s Bush Tai Chi or something because he totally hops off the Rage Wagon and gets all zen about the world.

Bam’s been cooling out listening to some yacht rock CDs, and the urge to kill evaporates.

Ah, that’s better.

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Noah is going to take She Who Will Not Be Named out for their anniversary, so Birdy offers to “God-sit” her godson Elijah.

Birdy has always preferred the excrement of animals over the excrement of humans, and she fears Elijah will pee or poo while in her care.

When she’s not endangering children, Big Bad Birdy is shouting nonsense at bears, both real and imagined.

A bear has been video-bombing the trail cams and stealing bags of feed. The future of the Browns’ livestock could be jeopardized forever. They secure the feed by stacking it up in Gabe and Raquell’s Hayloft of Love, where it will become a piece of furniture.

Birdy and Gabe decide to use the heavy artillery to scare off this small bear, firing a few warning shotgun blasts toward it until it scampers off. That’ll learn ’em to never again contribute to a worn-out ABP gimmick.

I was wondering when they’d finally get to this. Bear and Noah are having a bro-to-bro chat when Bear says that he’s “been corresponding” with one of the photographers from Noah’s wedding.

When Bear says “corresponding,” he really means having gross shipping container sex. At the time of Noah’s wedding anniversary, Raiven was already a couple weeks pregnant with (allegedly) Bear’s child. The whirlwind romance of Bear and Raiven (we’re referring to her as Raiv3n) is one of the weirdest ABP offscreen fiascos, and you can read up on it below:

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There's been a brouhaha in the Browns' real lives, and it's a sordid tale of treachery, heartbreak, revenge, stupidity and SEX!

I like how all the Brown boys now come to Noah for counsel on personal matters, as though being the first of them to marry and breed with a desperate woman instantly makes him Bush Dr. Phil.

If you’re going to get advice, don’t get it from someone who says “might could.”

Noah might could be driving She Who Will Not Be Named to her surprise anniversary gift. She’s blindfolded and seems to be wearing one of Baby Elijah’s onesies.

Surprise! She Who Will Not Be Named gets a horse named … Knightmare.

It’s a real purdy horsey. It looks like Birdy and Rainy accessorized it with their dolls’ clothes. She Who Will Not Be Named had better enjoy this gift now, because Knightmare is on loan for 24 hours and is due back at the county fair’s pony ride.

Yeah, you’re a real Kate Middleton.

The interstitial segment returns to the oft-discussed topic of goat genitalia. Bambi, the goat that got castrated by banding, appears to have dropped something.

Birdy thinks of this as some kind of important milestone for Brown Star Ranch. Rainy prefers not to measure progress with goat testicles.

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Lastly, we find the Brown kids gathering for a powwow. They’re holding it in Noah’s tent because Birdy’s house has been overrun by feral cats. It is here that Gabe reveals that his wife is pregnant.

Raquell is like SIX MONTHS pregnant around this time. I wonder if she’s starting to show. Oddly, Raquell was supposed to give birth in November, but we’ve seen no announcement. There’s some foul PR stew brewing here.

Billy finally gets his ass off the couch to deliver his self-important spiel.

Billy’s so tickled, he could pop.

Tune in next week to see Billy spectacularly and violently burst like an engorged zit.

It’s time for this week’s edition of “That’s Matt!,” in which we take a social media look at Matt Brown’s sober adventures in Southern California.

Matt took a photo of a cricket.

Lots of really bored, lonely women from Spain seem to really like it.

Join us next time for another edition of “That’s Matt!”

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