Alaskan Bush People returned on Sept. 19, and the death of patriarch Billy Brown echoes through the new season. In a preview clip for the episode airing Sunday, Sept. 26, the Brown family has to face the fact that Snowbird is ready to fly the nest in an exclusive sneak peek for PopCulture.com. Snowbird explains to the rest of the family that she wants to return to Alaska, much to the dismay of Bam, who thinks she should stay behind to help rebuild the family farm after the fire.
However, Billy and Ami, despite their misgivings, realize that Snowbird has to have the chance to build a life on her own. "When Bird said she wanted to go back to Alaska, I was like 'Is she crazy? What's going on here?'" Billy explains in an interview. "But I know she misses it. She left a great love there. You know and she had to, for us." Ultimately, he thinks that Snowbird's decision will be good for her. "I think it's gonna boost them up," he admits. "I really do. I think it will give them what they need emotionally and all that inside."
Ami agrees, pointing out Snowbird's deep bond with Alaska's wilderness. "Alaska to Bird is like snuggling up under a warm blanket on a cold day with a cup of hot chocolate," Ami says. "It's so deep inside her and what she is." Billy thinks that ultimately this decision will bring her closer to the family. "I think it'll be good for them," he declares. "I think it's gonna in some inherent way focus them back to here, and let's get home and get to work.
Later in the season, the Brown family is sure to grapple with the unexpected death of Billy, and the first trailer offered a glimpse into how they all handle their grief. "Dad always told us one day we'd have to carry on without him, but we weren't ready for him to go," Bam says In the video before It cuts to Gabe calling 911 and asking that they "just send an ambulance." Snowbird also hints at the Idea that Billy had a clearer-eyed view of his death than previously thought. "Looking back, Dad knew his time in this world was coming to an end, and we can see how he was laying out a plan for us, preparing us to achieve the vision," she explained. "If only we understood his plan sooner."
Snowbird also wonders in the exclusive clip if the Brown family can keep up their off-the-grid way of life without Billy as their leader. "Life now is unlike anything we've faced before," she says. "We'll never give up our fight for total freedom, but can we do it without Dad?" The video narrator calls it a "defining" year for the Browns, and the video also shows that the new season will cover the months leading up to Billy's death as well as the aftermath. "I'm ready to start thinking like we used to think, you know, let's get some craziness out here," Billy says as he's shown working on the family's ranch In Washington.
"He really was my best friend," Rain claims in the clip. "He was there for me like nobody else ever was." Billy's wife Ami also weighs in, saying "we all have to find our peace with what's happened somehow." New episodes of Alaskan Bush People air Sundays on Discovery and discovery+.