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‘Escaping Alaska’ sees ‘Hostile Hostel & Hollywood Bound’ on TLC

Alaskan Medicine Man related to Shamanism on Escaping Alaska
Wikimedia Commons

On last night’s episode of “Escaping Alaska,” titled, “Hostile Hostel & Hollywood Bound,” a group of young people have made a secret pact to leave Alaska and go to the lower 48. It is not customary for the indigenous younger generations to leave their homes, in fact; it is considered treason.

Their English names are Tamara, Frank, Mary, Q and Nuala. The native Alaskans are expected to take care of their elders, as generations before them. The communities in this show are led to believe that the young Alaskans are the subject of a documentary about the struggling economy and employment problems facing the younger generation.

Last week, Frank received a call from his friend who spoke to his mother. He told Frank that she was having a hard time buying food, and with Frank as the main provider of his family not there, it has been very rough. Q has a cough that will not go away. His mother is a shaman, and back home she would have cured him, so now he has to rely on Western medicine.

Tamara wants to go to Hollywood to audition for a movie or television. She takes her sealskin mittens to a pawn shop and received $200. It broke her heart, because they were handmade by her grandmother.

When Tamara was going to wash her clothes, she found a cockroach crawling on her shirt. This was a scary thing to her, as she never saw one in Alaska, and would rather face a moose. Q feels negative energy in the hostel, and the cockroach put it over the edge. He is going to smudge the place with sage and get rid of the negative energy, a purifying ritual. Although Tamara agrees to let him purify the place, she was taught that all shamans are evil, so she left while he performed his purification rite. When he was done, he still felt the negative energy and realized it was Nuala, who gave him the negativity.

Later that evening, when Frank was invited to go downstairs to hang with some friends, Nuala and Mary went too. They were dancing and having fun. Q phoned Nuala, called her names and told her not to dance and act stupid. He told her he would call the cops on her if she did not stop. Then he did call the cops, who arrived to see Nuala. She begged the producers to help her, and could not understand why he hated her. When the cops arrived, he told them she was a drunk, but they did not seem to care too much about his problem. Mary and Tamara were listening behind a door, and when the cops asked him his age, he told them he was 32, and was on steroids for bronchitis, and they make him hostile.

When he was outside, she asked him why he hated her, he told her she glared at him and gave him negative energy, that he bought her food and sunglasses. The girls believe he is in love with her, but now he considers her his enemy. Back in their room, Frank told Q that it was a dick move to call the cops on Nuala, but he believes it is because he never had a drink in his life.

While Q was in the bathroom, the girls went in and got the phone number for the girl he was going to go on another date with. They call to tell her his age and how he called the cops on Nuala because she gave him bad vibes. When she called to cancel the date, he wanted to talk to her, but the girls will not leave him alone with her. He apologized to her for being a jerk. They need to be civilized if they are going to Hollywood together.

A fellow from the hostel agreed to drive them in his SUV, and when they arrived, Frank and Q split from the girls, which made them happy. The guys bought them small trophies that resembled Oscars. Tamara went on the audition, and the casting director pretty much told her not to bother. She is not defeated, and will not give up her dream. When it was time to return to the hostel, nobody was talking to Q; even Frank preferred to listen to his music and plugged in his headphones for peace and quiet on this episode of “Escaping Alaska.”