‘Alaskan Bush People’ Finale: ‘Where There’s Water There’s a Way’ (RECAP)

Alaskan Bush People Season 11 Finale

On the Alaskan Bush People season finale, “Where There’s Water There’s a Way” (January 29), as the siblings race to complete their ambitious water system, Billy gets news that shakes the Wolfpack and redirects their future. Meanwhile, Bear goes on an important hunt where he reflects on an important life decision.

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Alaskan Bush People has always been bad. But, way back when, there used to be a few enjoyable morsels to be salvaged from this heap of hot garbage. There used to be Kenny from the dump in Hoonah. There used to be The Skiff. There used to be Shrambuie, Cowboy Dean, Gale and Bruce Gordon’s Pants.

There’s none of that now. There’s no spark of joy in this show. There’s no longer the glimmer of hope that an appearance by Kenny would make watching this dreck somehow worthwhile. All the delightfully weird folks who gave us a much-needed distraction from the Browns’ flimflammery are gone and have been replaced by wives or girlfriends who are either insufferable or completely devoid of personality. There is just B.S. and boredom.

We have reached the Season 11-ish finale. It is autumn on Brown Star Ranch, which means — say it with me — WINTER IS RIGHT THERE!

Bear interrupts Gabe’s important chainsawing to get advice on proposing EXXXXTREME marriage to Raiv3n. Bear didn’t expect Raiv3n to be into him as much as he’s into her, so clearly it’s time to marry her. (If you’re not up to speed on the real-life drama, Raiv3n is not even all that into dudes. But she is into seeing herself on screens, so she’s willing to pretend that she’s attracted to this hotheaded twerp.)

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The past month with Raiv3n held hostage in Bear’s conex has been just magical, and Bear is convinced he’s found the EXXXXTREME Bush Queen who will put the “bam” in Bammock.

Nah, that’s just common sense talk. Ignore it.

Bear, who claims to be all-EXXXXTREME in all things, confronts the fact that he may need to compromise some of his EXXXXTREMENESS for the sake of his relationship with Raiv3n. “You know, because with, like, relationships and stuff, you may have to tone down some EXXXXTREMENESS or lose EXXXXTREMENESS or have the less EXXXXTREME,” Bear says. “But I’m not sure if I will ever be able to do that.” Trust me, dude. Don’t change for her. She’s not changing for you.

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Billy has some important news to share with the family about his Billy Brown Syndrome diagnosis, but first he must tell everyone they need to flip the Fake Urgency switch on this tedious windmill water-pump subplot before the ground freezes. They will have to dig a trench four or five feet deep and a quarter-mile long so they can run the water pipe to the barn and they have to do it right now or this whole fake ranch enterprise is just wasted and they will all die.

Birdy’s very excited to work the bulldozer, or the “D4” as they’re calling it now. The terrain where they have to dig the trench is treacherous and there are steep declines. Oh, and we should mention that the bulldozer’s brakes have been a little sticky lately.

Birdy drives the bulldozer down a hill where they’re supposed to start excavating the trench.

And, of course, there’s a harrowing scene of Unnecessary Drama in which Birdy can’t get the D4 to stop and she’s 10 seconds away from letting it loose down the hill until Gabe tells her to drop the front shovel to bring it to a stop.

After some of her brothers repair the brakes (sure they did!), the D4 is back in business and ready to defy the laws of physics.

Elsewhere, Noah is pretending to do his part in the excavation project by teaching She Who Will Not Be Named how to operate the backhoe on the tractor that she claimed to have purchased for Noah for Fathers’ Day.

Forward for forward? Back for back? How the hell is she supposed to remember that? Rather than using the backhoe to help with the family’s life-or-death ditch dig, Noah’s going to dig the portion of the trench that leads to his tent because he’s a selfish tool.

Bear needs time to contemplate his own EXXXXTREMENESS, so he goes out on one of those “important” hunts. This requires him to observe the time-honored Brown family tradition of making themselves look like idiots.

Yes, the face paint will take some of the shine off your face and help you blend in with your surroundings. That blaze orange cape really sets off the whole ensemble!

Like most of their “important” hunts, Bear’s is a complete waste but it’s still a good way to burn screen time. There will be no meat for dinner tonight. He’ll be eating the leaves he had set aside for toilet paper use.

Billy gathers the family (you too, Bam) to break the news to them about his latest episode of Billy Brown Syndrome. It seems the old man has a weak heart, something like the “first half” of his ticker is only pumping at 25% capacity and it’s affecting his lungs, kidneys, vestigial tail, etc.

The doctors advise Billy to stop living in a trailer at the higher altitude. Pfft. What do doctors know, anyway? All they did was miraculously cure Mother Ami’s lung cancer with their modern medical know-how. No, the Browns just need faith and family and they can overcome inoperable Stage 37 Billy Brown Syndrome.

It’s a miracle Edgar Winter hasn’t stopped by to get his ’70s wardrobe back.

Yes, because every parent wants to see their children die before they do. Billy is just the nastiest breed of asshat.

Billy might keel over any moment, so it’s important to live life to its fullest and take advantage of every minute the Good Lord’s given us on this earth. Now get your asses back out there, kids, and dig that ditch for your dad.

Birdy’s back at the helm of the D4, digging away like nobody’s business.

Then the backhoe hits a bunch of rocks, and it grinds the whole operation to a halt. Rainy thinks they may have to dig around the rocks, but Birdy wants to do this the stupid Bush Way and just plow ahead. Rocks be damned!

Eh, or they could just go around that way a little bit. It’s all the same to the Browns. They’re not really doing this, anyway. Overnight, the Trench Fairies came, dug out 11,000 cubic feet of dirt, laid over 1,300 linear feet of pipe and refilled all the topsoil.

Well done, Birdy. You’ve earned your big boy pants.

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Bear, Rainy and Birdy head over to the barn to test out the new plumbing.

Yay! It works! Let’s build a water slide!

Uh, oh.

I hate it when Billy starts devising things. That usually means more Alaskan Bush People. Billy corners Gabe and pitches him an idea. Since Gabe’s house won’t be built before winter, maybe he should instead build a nice big house for his Da on the mountain and then build a smaller one for himself and his family right next to it. Of course, this would all be for Gabe’s benefit and not at all for Billy’s.

I don’t understand how having a bigger house on the mountain is going to help with the Billy Brown Syndrome. It’s almost as though Billy’s making this up to get what he wants.

Hey, maybe Billy can sucker Noah into doing the same thing. Billy heads over to Noah’s place and is like, “Hey, big boy. Remember that time you came crawling back to the family and I let Kitten be on the show? Now it’s time to pay the piper.” Billy’s really sorry about all that tension and conflict between him and Noah, and for acting like a raging rectum to She Who Will Not Be Named.

Noah accepts the proposal. What else is he going to do? Noah’s got another mouth to feed, and he needs to stay on Da’s good side or the cash flow dries up.

So it’s settled. Billy’s kids will pretend to build him a lavish compound on Brown Star Ranch and get Park Slope to foot the bill for it. The Good Lord works in mysterious ways.

In the interstitial segment, we find Birdy and Bear laying pipe in the trench. They communicate by talking into the pipe. Then Bear fights the giant pipe monster.

I’m sure an anaconda could swallow Bear whole and still eat a goat or two for dessert.

Now for one of the worst, most awkward marriage proposals you’ll ever see faked on TV. Bear takes Raiv3n up to the scenic part of Brown Star Ranch and gets her in the romantic mood with talk of hot dogs and jalapeños.

Bear and Raiv3n have a lot in common. Not only do they like jalapeños, they both like snow.

Now that they’ve agreed on that, it is time for Bear to pop the question.

Raiv3n follows the script and says yes, but she really means “Sure, maybe for about a week, I s’pose.”

Well, Raiv3n will sorta be with Bear forever, or for at least the next 18 years that Bear Billy has to pay Raiv3n child support. I love it when the scammers get scammed.

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And we’ve reached Billy’s season-ending Bush/God/Faith/Family spiel. Thus ends Season 11-ish of Alaskan Bush People.

Will Billy get his dream house before Billy Brown Syndrome does him in? Will a baby bring Bear and Raiv3n back together? Will Gabe and Raquell ever show us their kid? Will Birdy and her cats live happily ever after?

These are all questions I hope we’ll never see get answered.

Thanks again for checking out these recaps. If I can’t have Kenny, at least I have you guys. Much love.

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