‘Alaskan Bush People’ Episode 6: ‘A Bottle for Your Thoughts’ (RECAP)

Alaskan Bush People Birdy rat slippers
Discovery Channel

On Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People episode, “A Bottle for Your Thoughts” (September 27), Bear overnights in the wild and Bird makes Gabe an unusual gift.

What kooky stuff are the Alaskan Bush People up to this week?

[Opens internet]

Awwww! Such a cute publicity stunt!

Bear hasn’t had the opportunity to see his six-month-old son River until now because of COVID-19 and not at all because he and Raiv3n were locked in a bitter legal battle and a thermonuclear online feud. And Raiv3n traveled all the way to Bushington on her own dime just so Bear could meet their son because she’s a kind and thoughtful person and not because she was compensated by Alaskan Bush People producers for this feel-good photo shoot. And since the show unexpectedly acknowledged River’s existence (more on that in the recap), I have no doubt that Park Slope captured footage of this for Season 13ish.

Back in reality, the court case continues and Bear is reportedly not holding up his parental responsibilities. The court is still waiting for Bear to file the necessary financial documents so Raiv3n can start getting that child support for the next 18 years.

It’s entirely possible that Bear has no financial statements to submit. Bear hasn’t officially worked a day in his life. Bear is dependent on Billy, who doles out whatever funds he sees fit. It’s probably wise that Bear has no assets. He’d just piss his whole net worth away on NERF guns and awful tattoos.

Anyway, this maudlin stuff with Bear’s kid might be just enough for some people to forget that Matt was just accused of sexual assault and the cause of the Palmer Fire has yet to be revealed.

On to the recap of “A Bottle for Your Thoughts,” or whatever the hell that was I just watched.

Noah keeps important documents in a fire safe, which in hindsight turned out to be an excellent idea because, you know, the fire and all. But what vital records does Noah keep in the safe?

The safe holds books about insects and how to produce your own power. There’s also a Certificate of Ministry from the Universal Life Church Monastery. These are available for free online to anyone who can fill out their name and email address in an internet form.

It’s the dead of winter on Brown Star Ranch, so it’s the perfect time to do all those important projects that coulda/shoulda been done while it was nice outside.

Matriarch Ami and Patriarch Billy need their patriarchal and matriarchal cabin built, and it’s up his kids to pretend to build it for a few takes during that day’s show production.

It’s wall-raisin’ time, and the Brown kids manage to stand the frame up. It’s just a tad uneven with the edge of the foundation, so they start beating one side of the wall with a hammer to shimmy it over a tad.

When he’s not lobbying against shimmying, Noah is busy with his latest Bush innovation. He wants to attach a snow plow blade to his tractor because displacing the snow with the tractor’s shovel is about as tedious as watching this show. Noah thinks it might be a moneymaking opportunity.

When they were kids growing up in the Bush, the Browns had no need for actual currency, so they made up their own: bottle caps. So Birdy could pay Noah something like 10 bottle caps to plow the road to her house. It’s unexplained if different beverage brands had different valuations, like if a Mellow Yellow bottle cap was worth more than a Mountain Dew cap. This is something I might want to explore further after I have run out of all other things to do in life.

Noah, She Who Will Not Be Named and son Elijah go to Rory’s junkyard in search of a wedge-shaped piece of metal that might work as a plow attachment. Junkyard guy Rick has a conex shipping container that’s been cut in half, and that will probably do the trick.

Nah, Rick. It really wouldn’t. We don’t get to see Noah cut or weld anything. There’s just a scene of Noah operating the tractor while She Who Will Not Be Named tries to help him guide Tab A into Slot B (sexy!) to attach the “mad plow” blade. Noah then plows some of the road. Like most of Noah’s inventions, they only have to work properly for a few seconds on camera.

Another subplot involves Bear heading out into the woods in an attempt to clear out his already very vacuous mind. He is troubled by how things went with Raiv3n. He drowns his sorrows in a nice big snowball doused with an entire packet of hot cocoa mix (with marshmallows!)

Then he tells us what else is weighing on him.

Oh. I honestly didn’t think this show was going to go there. None of what happened with Raiv3n aligned with Patriarch Billy’s wholesome, God-fearing Bush family fantasy. I figured this would be kept offscreen as to avoid alienating the Bible-thumping audience segment that lights candles and holds daily vigils for characters on the worst show on TV. Perhaps this extramarital fornication will make more of them turn off the show. (Please, please, please let it make them turn off the show!)

Bear and Raiv3n’s brief romance was a total debacle, but they “at least did something right.”

What thing was that, exactly? The unprotected intercourse thing? Yeah, you did that right. Congratulations.

Bear talks nonsense about fatherhood and hoping his kid looks up to him the way he looks up to Father Billy. Yeah, Billy’s an awesome dad, especially to those two daughters he abandoned along with his first wife.

Back at the cabin construction site, another wall is about to go up. It seems that everybody but Gabe and Bam had something better to do, so propping up this wall is going to be a two-man job.

Bam was tired of playing the villain, always pointing out his brothers’ and sisters’ incompetence. Bam has chilled out a bit, and now he’s letting others embrace their stupidity.

Among the Browns, Gabe is the best at embracing stupidity.

When they realize the wall is too heavy for the two of them to lift, Gabe concocts some harebrained plan involving pulleys, a tree and their truck.

Bam is still about respecting the danger, but he’s now also about respecting the ideas for creative solutions that his brother presents. Bam goes along with this plan. And the result is:

A busted wall. Gabe expects Bam to go ballistic, but Bam is uncharacteristically laid-back about it. Some lumber, some labor and some screen time were wasted, but it’s all right with Bam. The real construction crew can handle this tomorrow.

We’ve saved the worst subplot for last. Birdy is finding new uses for dead rats: cozy footwear!

Yet the Browns have wasted the most precious resource of all: their time on this Earth. Birdy gets busy slicing and peeling the hide off of rats so she can turn them into slippers.

Disturbing indeed. A producer asks Birdy if she’s OK in the head.

Yes, this is gross and weird, but it’s all made up for the show. Birdy’s really diving into her expanded crazy cat lady role this season. Noah’s dialed back a lot of his ghoulish stuff, so it’s Birdy’s job to pick up the slack. She’s doing it with gusto.

Once clean, the rat hides must be properly tanned. To achieve this, Rainy conditions the skins with a solution consisting partly of rat brains.

Ah, yes. Birdy is pioneering a new branch of Bush neuroscience. She’s seeking a grant to study the effects of handling rodent brains on human cognition. Perhaps some endowment fund could throw a few million bottle caps in Birdy’s direction.

Time to reveal the finished product:

Now THIS is where style meets comfort! They remind me of the gopher slippers that Mr. Burns wore on The Simpsons:

Gabe is not so keen on sticking his feet into rats, and he fears for his sister’s mental well-being.

In the interstitial segment, Noah pays Birdy a visit. He’s not there for disease-ridden rat slippers, but to collect what is owed him for services rendered.

This is the dark underbelly of the Bush bottle cap economy that the American public rarely sees.

Flush with cash, it’s time for Noah to hit the casino. The Brown kids gather in the barn for poker night. They’re using bottle caps for chips, of course. Bear returns from his solitary retreat just in time for the card game and for everyone to gush about what a great dad he’s going to be. I wouldn’t bet on it.

Billy’s now too lazy to organize his spiel into complete sentences. He’s just going to throw out his favorite words and hope that we’re dumb enough to believe they matter to him.

There are only two more episodes left this season. They’re going to be brutal, but I know that through faith, family and God, we’ll through them.


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