‘Alaska’ Week 3: Salmon Get Caught Up in Another Palin Fish Tale

Sarah Palin's Alaska (TLC)

Sarah Palin's Alaska (TLC)

Our advice for fish: If you see any Palins approaching, swim the other way – fast! As the last two episodes of ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’ demonstrate, encounters between fish and members of Sarah Palin’s family usually end fatally for the fish.

Look, many of us love to eat fresh halibut and salmon caught in the abundant waters of Alaska. And we all know that someone somewhere has to catch, kill, gut and filet them so we can enjoy them. Still, one can’t help noticing, and remarking on, the fact that this TLC series this past Sunday featured Sarah Palin and her relatives once again pulling vast quantities of fish from the sea and prepping them for consumption and for sale, as well as for a smokehouse, where strips of salmon were put up for winter.

This week’s fishing exercise – following the previous week’s voyage with a commercial halibut fisherman – involved capturing salmon in great nets stretched across an expanse of Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Bristol Palin was named for the bay, Mama Sarah disclosed on the show. It just so happens that Todd Palin, husband of the former governor of the state, possesses the location that is said to be the best site on this bay, which is home to the world’s most populous salmon run, according to Sarah.

And so, thousands of pounds of salmon were caught, and the Palin family came together to clean and bone their catch. It was all part of a July Fourth weekend celebration of daughter Willow’s 16th birthday, and she herself joined in the process of beheading the fish and yanking out the guts (she expressed particular interest in eyeballing the contents of one salmon’s stomach to see what it had eaten lately).

But the episode wasn’t all fish heads and fish guts. Portions of the show had Sarah talking candidly, and tearing up, about her youngest son, Trig, born with Down syndrome. She was especially touched when the family went to visit some cousins, and she got a chance to interact with Matthew, a cousin who also has Down syndrome.

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Here were some other highlights from this, the third episode of ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’:

Rugged, frontier-like statement of the week: A week earlier, Sarah proved her Old West bonafides when she encouraged daughter Bristol during a skeet-shooting exercise with the phrase “Don’t retreat, just reload!” This past Sunday, Sarah made a point about family loyalty when she said: “We circle the wagons when we have to!” Yee-ha!

Sarah’s TV preferences, Part 2: A week ago, she revealed her taste for ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Deadliest Catch.’ This week, it was ‘Cheers,’ when she set sail in an Alaska lake where mail is apparently delivered by boats like the one she was in. “I’m the Cliff Clavin of Alaska!” she declared, referring to the hapless Boston postman on ‘Cheers’ played by John Ratzenberger. “Do you know who Cliff Clavin is?” she asked others in the boat, including daughter Piper, 9. “No?” said Sarah, 46. “Never mind!”

Fireworks in daylight?! Unfortunately for Alaskans, that’s a fact of life on July Fourth, especially if you want to get to bed early. On ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska,’ the Palins were seen lighting fireworks by the water in what appeared to be broad daylight. It was probably evening, though – last July Fourth, the sun didn’t set in those parts until 11:35 p.m.

The fish swimming in Alaska’s waters seem to get a reprieve in next week’s episode, as Sarah and her family turn their attention to hunting caribou, according to the preview seen at the end of the show. All we can say to that is: Run, caribou, run! The Palins are coming! The Palins are coming!

Have you been watching ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’? We can’t get enough of it. How about you?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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