The best episodes of ‘Alaskan Bush People’ are the ones that journey through the Alaskan backcountry, something out of a scene of a Mark Twain novel, but more real — and all that much weirder. Like “Dead in the Water,” the latest log from the Browns. There are trebuchets and carved bears, dead boats, and bears breaking and entering. In other words, another day in the Alaskan wild
The oldest brothers are still in the middle of their cargo-hauling job from last week’s episode, but when a local wants to get rid of something that’s been taking up space on his property, three of the brothers intend on returning with something even cooler than that awesome bear statue — a giant, medieval style trebuchet, because who doesn’t want a catapult big enough to lay siege to a city?
Bam, frequently the voice of reason, says it’s only going to lead to trouble, “it’s only a matter of time until somebody sticks their hand where it shouldn’t be and gets all his fingers chopped off” — but he loses the vote (Bear: “Don’t you think Mom and Dad would think it was cool too?”) and they load the trebuchet onto the boat.
They set off for the 35-mile across Icy strait, one of the chief waterways of the Alaskan Inside Passage. Once out to sea, the water is rough and the waves are choppy. Then, the engine cuts out on The Integrity. Something has happened with the throttle cable, and Bam has to radio for help as the teeters back and forth in turbulent waters. Luckily, a nearby boat responds and tows them back to Hoonah, where they then work together to repair the mechanical issues with the boat and make it home.
Billy sums up the journey for them: They were late on the first delivery, Bam rammed the boat into a dock, they had to be towed back to Hoonah — in short, it was a disaster. The brothers stare back nervously, awaiting his harsh judgment, but it never comes. Instead, he laughs, calling it ” a normal trip in bush, man”. Also, he thinks the trebuchet is awesome.
Reunited, the whole family works together to set up a giant fishing trap to catch tasty halibut, this time of year they’re abundant near the surface of the water. They work to rig together a giant line, buoyed by anchors, and lined with baited hooks. It brings in a pretty nice haul, and the family will be eating good for a while.
They need to spend the night on the boat though, and while they’re out to sea, nightcams capture a massive bear ripping the windows off the family’s cabin, and entering their home. Next week they’re going to have to come together to figure out how to deal with the bears – it’s a conflict that’s been building all season, and they’re going to have to finally confront what to do as the creatures grow increasingly menacing, and invasive on the borders of Browntown.