It’s been a few weeks since we last checked in with our procreating pals, the Duggars, so it’s about time to watch an episode of the snoozefest that is Counting On. Cross your fingers– maybe the girls will go shopping for new footwear this week, or do something equally as stimulating!
We start things off at Jessa and Ben‘s house, where Ben is preparing to pick up Jinger‘s boo, Jeremy, from the airport. He’s coming back to Arkansas because, well, without the Jeremy-and-Jinger story line, we’d be forced to just watch Jana clean toilets or Ben be distracted by shiny objects. There’s not a whole lot going on in Duggarville worth watching unless someone is getting engaged/impregnated/accused of having affairs with strippers.
Jinger just got back from visiting Jeremy in Texas, but apparently ol’ Jerm couldn’t wait to get another one of her killer side-hugs so he’s flying back to be with her. Jinger has no idea that he’s coming. They’ve been courting for about two weeks, and even Jessa is admitting that Jinger and Jeremy are moving their relationship too fast. (To be fair, though, Jessa’s married to Ben, she’s used to “slow.” It’s hard for Ben!)
Apparently Jeremy has a reason for the impromptu visit. He’s planning to go look at engagement rings and is taking Ben with him. (As stated, Ben really, really likes shiny objects.) All the other Duggar kids have no idea that Jeremy is planning to get a ring. (The fact that the producer asked them all if they felt that two weeks of courting was long enough to get engaged should have been a sledgehammer of a hint for them, though.)
Jeremy feels he’s waited long enough to propose. After all, he’s spent “days and days” with Jinger and her family, so that should be sufficient.
The guys call up Jim Bob to see if he can tag along to look at engagement rings. They head to White’s Jewelry store, where they meet up with Mr. White (who may or may not be Colonel Sanders on the side.) Apparently all the men who are looking to get a piece of a Duggar woman go to see Mr. White when they need a [free?] ring, and Jeremy is no exception.
The Colonel shows Jeremy a few rings (and most likely also tries to interest him in a crispy skin three-piece meal). One ring catches Jeremy’s eye, and this surprises Jim Bob, because he didn’t think Jeremy was planning to buy a ring that day. Jeremy decides to buy the ring for Jinger. (Meanwhile, Jim Bob probably had to go fetch Ben and prevent him from trying to stretch a diamond bracelet over his head or something.)
Back at the Duggar Compound, Jinger has no clue that her boo is in town. She heads out to that weird taco place with Jessa to have lunch. Jinger can’t stop talking about her trip to Texas, and Jessa tries to pretend that she’s not bothered by the fact that someone else is getting all the camera time this season.
It makes Jessa sad to think of Jinger marrying Jeremy and moving to Texas to be with him. Jessa says that Jinger will be the first Duggar girl to move far from home.
Um…have we already forgotten about Jill? She’s down there slummin’ it in the jungles of Central America! She doesn’t really matter, though, because she’s not engaged and she’s not pregnant.
Anyway, Ben and Jeremy head to restaurant to surprise Jinger. He’s nervous that Jinger will be in route to the crapper or something and catch sight of him sneaking into the restaurant, but luckily, that doesn’t happen. Jinger is back at the table, happily shoveling in tortilla chips like they were fertility pills.
Jessa is worried that Jinger is becoming suspicious. Everyone is acting like Jeremy’s attempting to steal the Hope Diamond out from under Jinger’s nose or something. He’s literally surprising her by bringing her tacos. Let’s tone down the covert operation talk a bit, guys.
Jeremy finally makes his way to their table and Jinger is genuinely shocked to see him standing there. She’s so shocked that she even forgets about the stupid side hug crap and lays a full-on forward hug on him. No doubt Mama Michelle fainted at the sight of her unmarried daughter front-pressed against some dude– ON CAMERA!)
Jinger is shocked. I’m shocked too. I’m shocked that ol’ Ben didn’t manage to somehow bumble the whole charade.
Speaking of Ben, he starts mauling everyone’s food while everyone is laughing about the surprise. As you do.
The next day, Jeremy and Jinger head to the local family fun center (with a few younger Duggars in tow to chaperone, naturally). We watch them drive around in go-karts, which is about as exciting as watching Joy pick out new glasses a few episodes ago.
Next, they head to the bumper boats. Of course, there’s no one else at the family fun center because…well, everyone else actually has jobs and college and stuff to attend to.
Meanwhile, Jessa and Ben are preparing for a visit with their pals Flame and Crystal. Duggar fans may remember Flame as the Christian hip hop artist who allowed Ben to mutilate our ears via rap song last season. I still haven’t forgiven him for that.
Flame and Crystal arrive, and Ben tells us that his friends’ have “very different” backgrounds from him and Jessa. In an attempt to look more “urban,” Ben has plunked on a hat with Old English lettering, Thankfully, he didn’t try to wear a big ol’ chain from the Home Depot around his neck or anything.
For some reason, they are allowing Ben to use the barbecue to grill some processed meat products. Seriously…WHY DOES BEN HAVE FIRE!? This should never happen. Ever.
In the kitchen, Jessa tells Crystal that Ben’s been busy with college. He has to stay up late and “cram” a lot of nights. I find that hard to believe. A brainiac like Ben should have no problem retaining all kinds of knowledge. But Jessa really should help him out with the big words…like “Cat” and “Hat” and whatnot.
Just kidding! A girl studying for college courses!? That’s ridiculous!
Anyway, Flame keeps talking to the camera in a really weird, exaggerated way. He’s kind of rapping, and kind of emulating that “Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife” guy every time he talks. It’s really strange.
Ben somehow manages to cook the food without singeing off his eyebrows or burning down the house.
Since TLC already paid to fly out Flame and his wife, they figure they better get their money’s worth of footage. They send them to a music store first, which gives Flame a random opportunity to “spit sick beats.”
Next, they encourage Jessa to play some guitar. She’s repressed all her music-making talent in recent years in order to concentrate on what’s really important– MAKING BABIES! She attempts to teach Flame a few chords, and then they head to the Duggar Compound to show Flame how Arkansas breeders live.
Flame and Crystal are welcomed in, receive side hugs and then the Duggar kids are paraded out to perform an impromptu concert for the guests. Everyone grabs an instrument and starts playing. (It is kind of cool that everyone can play a few instruments. That is very impressive, actually.)
In an attempt to show how cut off from normal society the Duggar kids are, the producers ask for their opinions on rap music.
“The only (w)rap I do is when I eat it,” John David mumbles. “Chicken wraps…turkey wraps. That’s the only wraps I do….”
Finally, they decide to make Flame go outside and do some yard work because…well, it’s the Duggars. Everyone (except Michelle and Jim Bob) has to put in some hard labor!
They get him all suited up, looking like an urban Billy Ray Cyrus. He heads out to work with the Duggars’ heavy machinery. Let’s just pray that they put a helmet on Ben before he’s allowed to hang out near all of that equipment.
The Duggar boys are impressed by Flame’s driving skills.
“He kept his eyes open and everything!” one says.
That’s it! Poor, long-suffering Jill didn’t get a second of camera time this week. She must have been too busy fighting off pumas and/or saving heathen souls to film for this episode.
Next week, Ben will put on his poor kid football camp, while Jeremy is planning yet another visit to see Jinger. This time, however, it appears that he’s bringing a ring.
To read The Ashley’s other ‘Counting On’ recaps, click here!