‘Jill & Jessa: Counting On’ Season 1 Episode 8 Recap: Slummin’ it & Scaring People in Central America

Jessa's obviously loving her time in Central America...
Jessa’s obviously loving her time in Central America…

TLC’s experiment to see if anyone still cares about the Duggars is coming to an end. Yes, kids, it’s time for the Season 1 finale of Jill and Jessa: Counting On! Since none of the Duggars have been able to squeeze a “blessing” from their loins this season, we’ve endured some extremely boring episodes. (Who could forget the segment about Joy picking out glasses? That’s 12 minutes we’ll never get back!)

Jill and Derick are still down in Central America, dodging mosquitoes and handing out Bibles, but for the season finale, some of Jill’s family has headed down there for a visit. Last week, JessaBen (and his ridiculous collection of hats) and the gang arrived in Heathenville. Ben, in preparation of coming in contact with that pesky Zika virus, came armed with “sunscreen and bug spray…and stuff.”

That face Jessa makes when her siblings suggest she ride in the truck bed with them...
That face Jessa makes when her siblings suggest she ride in the truck bed with them…

We pick up where we left off last episode, with Derick picking up the gang at the airport. Queen Jessa, her joker servant Ben and Baby Spurge get to ride in the truck cab, while “the rest” are thrown into the back of the truck bed, clinging to each other (and possibly some random goats) for their lives as they bump down the road.

Like we did last week, the Duggar kids have started to notice that their brother-in-law Derick is doing his best to look like Jesus.

“The last time we were with Jill and Derick, Izzy was much smaller….and Derick’s beard was much smaller,” Ben says as he giggles like a patient on laughing gas.

“Recently he’s grown it out…. I guess that’s a new thing that Jill likes…so more power to him,” Joseph says.

Jessa's face was priceless in this scene...
Jessa’s face was priceless in this scene…

Jill gives everyone a tour of their new home and quickly Jessa turns the conversation around so it’s about her.

“Aw, it’s so cute and cozy,” Jessa says of Jill’s new hut. “It reminds me of mine and Ben’s little place.”

Does anyone else feel like Jessa was throwing a little shade with that? Remember that, before Jill and Derick left the States to save the world one uncivilized local at a time, they were gifted the Duggars’ mini mansion, while Jessa and Ben got the smaller (mold-filled) house.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to the mini mansion? Why can’t Jessa and Ben live there while Jill and Derick are out of the country? Jim Bob probably doesn’t trust Ben with that many electrical outlets. He might electrocute himself.

"Enjoy the floor, biotch!"
“Enjoy the floor, biotch!”

Anyway, Jill shows Jessa the heap on the floor that she’s prepared for her and Ben. Jessa’s face is turned away from the camera when she sees the dirty mattress on the floor, but Jill seems to get a little joy out of forcing her sister to sleep there. (It’s actually better for Ben. He can’t fall off the bed and hurt himself if he’s on the floor.)

To fill time in the episode, the gang begins to reminisce about how Jill and Derick met while Derick was on the mission field in Nepal.

"Maybe if I ever got a day off from babysitting I could meet a man and move into a hut of my very own!"
“Maybe if I ever got a day off from babysitting I could meet a man and move into a hut of my very own!”

“Jill had to travel halfway around the world to have her first date,” Jana says quietly, obviously thinking about how great it would have been if ol’ Jim Bob had chosen to fix her up on the fateful trip to Nepal, rather than family favorite Jill.

“I would probably travel around the world to meet a guy…if the guy ever came along,” Joy says.

When the producers ask Jinger if she would travel around the world to meet a guy she says, “I don’t think I have to.”

Oooooh, girl! You go on with your bad self! Next thing we know, this girl will be wearing pants!

Jinger continues to imply that she may be courting when the producer asks her if there is something he doesn’t know and she just laughs coyly. Uh-oh. Is there another Duggar wedding in the works? TLC is probably already getting the cameras ready.

The side-eye is real in Central America...
The side-eye is real in Central America…

The women decide to (what else?) throw a party for all of the women in the area to hopefully convert them from their hedonistic ways. (Anyone else half-expecting to see Sierra run into whatever hut this fiesta will be taking place at, her eyes all bugged out and her arms full of cookies shaped like crosses and Bibles?)

"Hey y'all! The heathens are here!"
“Hey y’all! The heathens are here!”

Unfortunately, TLC didn’t shell out the bucks to send Sierra south, so the Duggar gals are left to throw the party themselves. A truck comes and dumps off a heap full of local women and children who look confused as to why they’re there, why these people are filming them, and why their meeting room looks like a Party City post-Valentine’s Day sale threw up in it.

I see those language classes are paying off big time for Jill...
I see those language classes are paying off big time for Jill…

Once the local women have gathered, the Duggar girls begin to sing and the women are all looking around like they don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves into. They just wanted some free pizza.

Jessa explains how crappy it is in Central America– there’s no air conditioning, and there are things like cougars and scorpions and tarantulas and whatnot. She admits that it’s not exactly a great place to bring a child…yet, she brought her child there willingly.

That awkward moment when...a Central American orphanage looks just like your childhood bedroom...
That awkward moment when…a Central American orphanage looks just like your childhood bedroom…

The next day, the gang goes to an orphanage to gawk at the babies and maybe steal one or two.

“It just makes you cry when you see all of these kids that don’t have anywhere to go,” Jessa says. “It just makes you want to take them all home. I wish I could gather up an armload and carry them out.”

Nope, nothing creepy about that statement, y’all!

"Jessa said I can't actually just go an scoop up a bunch of kids to take home and play with."
“Jessa said I can’t actually just go and scoop up a bunch of kids and take them home. Waa.”

Jessa says that she and Ben want to adopt a kid as soon as possible. But, seriously, who is going to let Ben be in charge of raising multiple children?! He shouldn’t even be trusted to take care of a Chia Pet!

Jill and Derick say that they also want to adopt but explain that their next child will probably be a biological child.

“I’m not pregnant…. yet,” Jill says.

"Why did I get stuck watching this guy? No fair!"
“Why did I get stuck watching this guy? No fair!”

Well that’s good considering the Zika virus is endangering pregnant women all over Central America right now, Jill. You’re not immune to dangerous diseases just because you’re on a “mission” trip. For the good of humanity, keep it in your pants, Jesus Derick, until you get back to the States!

The boys decide to put on a soccer tournament for the locals and a bunch of the local boys come out to play.

Ben is running around looking like a fool, of course.

Um…why isn’t he helmeted and being properly supervised?

"I had to marry an idiot, but at least I don't have to live in a hot dirty hut in Central America like Jill!"
“I had to marry an idiot, but at least I don’t have to live in a hot dirty hut in Central America like Jill!”

“My experience with football is with a brown…. pointed two ends…. you know American football,” he says.

It wouldn’t be an episode of ‘Jill and Jessa: Counting On’ without Ben saying something stupid.

Later the producers try to turn the episode back to what really matters: babies! It almost seems as if the producers are trying to turn mass breeding into some type of competition between Jill and Jessa. They ask the girls which one of them is going to pregnant again first.

"No...really, giving birth in the jungle would be, um, fun..."
“No…really, giving birth in the jungle would be, um, fun…”

Jill says she thinks they will probably be pregnant again at the same time. Their kids aren’t even a year old! Can’t they take a breather? Perhaps Jill should focus on avoiding diseases, while Jessa should concentrate on making sure her husband doesn’t get left alone with any sharp objects.

The next day, everyone says their sad goodbyes as they get ready to leave. Jill is especially sad to see her nephew, The Spurge, go.

"Come back! I promise I won't make fun of Ben's hats-- just take me with you!!!"
“Come back! I promise I won’t make fun of Ben’s hats– just take me with you!!!”

“I have milk, I can keep you!” Jill tells Spurgeon, jokingly.


Jill and Derick wave goodbye to Jill’s family, as Israel looks longingly at the car as it drives away. He knows that was his only route back to air conditioning.

I guess we will have to wait and see if TLC decides to bring this snoozefest back for another season. They do, however, have years of old footage to filter through a whole “new” season of episodes, so we could be watching Jill, Jessa & Co. for years to come!

It appears that even the show’s devoted fans are turning on them, due to how much “flashback” footage each of the “new” episodes contain. (Check out the comments here!)

To read our previous recap of ‘Jill & Jessa: Counting On,’ click here!

(Photos: TLC)


  1. Babies aren’t even one years old and all they are asked about is wheres more…I would have enjoyed seeing these girls get college educated, run their own business, enjoy being married & doing stuff besides breeding. Look at their sleeping arrangements…was Spurgeon sleeping each night in that bouncer?! And is Jessa against an inflatable mattress…or what’s the deal with the floor mat? They’re not camping, it’s a house so what the heck?! No sheets either. And that whole part thing for the women of Central America, definitely fake for the show. Those women didn’t know what was going on at all. And one last thing…WHAT HAPPENED TO DERRICK?? Ahhhh….guy was decent looking not the greatest but daggone, he’s scary now.

  2. Thanks to you, @ Holly and The Ashley, for making this shett-show tolerable. 🙂 The only reason I hope it returns is for more of your recaps!

    1. p.s. I still seriously have no idea what it is they really do on these missions. ;( I suspect that your take on Catholicism vs. Duggar-Christianity is correct.

  3. Hope the series is renewed. This family deserves a chance. Maybe they are different from me or others but they have a right to express their beliefs just as much as those who don’t like them. I enjoy the show and think people who don’t should turn off the tv. Sex sent me to ER is a horrible show. I don’t like it so I don’t watch it but don’t demand it be taken off the air or that advertisers should be boycotted. I do wish Derrick would shave beard but then again that is his choice.

    1. This isn’t an issue of quality, this is an issue of this family spreading hate, covering for a molester and looking down on people who don’t follow their lifestyle. If it were just a crappy show, I’d agree, but no, this family does not deserve a chance because they’ve already used more of them than they’d offer anyone else.

    2. Are you serious they all covered up for a child molested, wtf should they be rewarded for that, unless that’s what your in to you freak

    3. Idk how they covered up for a child molester. If it was your kid or your brother…would u reqlyl announce it for the world to know??

  4. I love your recaps. You are right this show tends to do more flashbacks of 19 kids and counting then anything. I did find it amusing that Princess Jessa had to sleep in a moldy apartment. I am surprised that Jessa didn’t demand TLC to pay for a luxury hotel.
    I have said this before that poor little spurge is more of a fashion accessory then a child to Jessa. She just doesn’t seem very nurturing to the child. In pics on Social media Ben is always holding him.
    This missionary trip seems very here is some food, oh I gave you food so you have to leave your savage Catholicism now. Central America is already very Christian or Catholic and you know their view on Catholicism.

  5. I lost it at Jesus Derick! Your recaps are way more entertaining that the actual show. I applaud you for getting through the entire season.

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