It’s time for another week of babies, proposals and courtships over at the Duggar compound!
We start this week’s episode of Counting On with Austin talking about his plans to propose to Joy! He’s got the ring, he’s got permission from her current Commander in Chief Jim Bob, and he’s ready to wife-up one of the last Duggar daughters over the age of 18! (There’s still Jana, of course, but we all know that there’s a better chance of Michelle dancing on the Duggar dinner table in a bikini than this family ever allowing Jana to get married!)
Anyway, Joy has no idea what Austin is planning. While she may be unaware of her fate, Jill is settling into hers. She is prepping her husband, Derick, son Israel and unborn blessing for a return to Central America to be missionaries.
Just because Jill is in her second trimester of pregnancy, and sickly Derick looks like he just did 10 months as a roadie for Motley Crue, that’s no reason not to go back down to the jungle for a few months and save a few more unsavory characters from the horrors of Catholicism!
The Dillards are having a farewell dinner with Derick’s family before they leave. Jill is preparing a feast of canned green beans and meat slop for the family. Even Ben wouldn’t eat this meal!
Derick’s mom, Cathy and her husband come over, along with Derick’s brother Dan and his wife Deena. They’re all sitting around the dinner table chatting about how bad it sucks that they are going to pluck Israel from the family that he loves and stick him in an area full of pumas and kidnappers. Derick’s mother looks like she wants to scream “DON’T GO! What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is wrong with you people!?” but she refrains. She is very upset that her grandson is leaving, though.
To keep the conversation light and fun, Jill takes off her wedding ring and gives it to Cathy for safekeeping. After all, Jill tells us, she’s afraid the heathens in Central America will steal it from her.
“You don’t want to take the chance of getting your finger cut off just so they can steal your ring,” Jill tells us.
Jill and Derick tell us that they are enjoying the little things while they’re still in the United States…like safety from ax-wielding natives who want to hack off your digits…and also warm showers and decent food. (Derick is quick to clarify, though, that they are not indulging in these things in a gluttonous way because…Bible.)
The Dillards say that they plan to be in Central America for three months and then come back for the birth of their second child. The plan is for them to stay in the jungle until Jill is seven months along, and then they will fly back to Arkansas so that Jill can give birth on her own couch.
Jill’s sister-in-law Deena is reasonably concerned about what would happen if Jill had complications during this pregnancy while she’s out of the country. Jill and Derick don’t really seem concerned.
“We have connections with a medical director in the area, but it’s a rural area,” Jill says. “If we need to, they could point us in the right direction, but it’s not to say that it would be very quality healthcare.”
(So…the medical director could basically show you which hut has the Band-aids and buckets of ice?)
Derick just says, “Lord willing, we won’t have to give birth in Central America but you never know what will happen.”
Of course, Derick isn’t going to be the one dying in childbirth if something goes wrong. Or the one who will have to dodge scorpions while squatting out a kid on the floor of their jungle hut. Jill just smiles, knowing that her fate is sealed.
We find out that Jill’s baby is going to be named Samuel. Derick tells us that Samuel means “one who hears from God.” He also says that Samuel was the first of the judges from Israel. It’s nice to hear that Derick and Jill have chosen a good, solid name for their son…and one that doesn’t sound like a symptom of post-nasal drip. (Looking at you, Jessa and Ben!)
To kill some time, we then have to watch Jinger wander around Laredo and buy gifts for her family for no apparent reason. She’s buying clothing, jewelry, Mexican candy and firecrackers to ship back to the Duggar clan in Arkansas. (Hopefully she can find four-fingered gloves for Jill. You know, just in case…)
For some reason Jinger decides to speak like a robot during this entire segment.
“Today I-went-to-the-dollar-store-to-buy-gifts,” Jinger tells us as she diligently reads the script that’s been written for her. (Seriously, this is the worst acting we’ve seen on this show since we watched Jessa discuss how wonderful and smart her husband is. Now that was a performance worthy of a Golden Globe!)
While Jing is shopping for gifts for the Duggars, she stocks up on plenty of spicy candy for Jeremy…but not the condoms that are in view of the camera in the very back of the shot. That’s because Jinger has babies on the brain! She admires all of the baby stuff available for sale in Laredo.
“If the Lord would bless us with children, that would be amazing!” Jinger tells us.
Later Jinger and Jeremy pack up the gifts to send them to Arkansas, and Jeremy shows off his own poor script-reading skills.
“It.is.not.easy.buying.gifts.for.18 people.plus.in-laws,” Robot Jeremy computes. “I.can.only.imagine.what.Christmas.will.be.like.”
Back in Arkansas, Jill and Derick have roped all their family members into packing all their stuff and doing their household chores. Jennifer is doing dishes, Joy is doing laundry, and Jana is probably somewhere scrubbing the floor, nursing Israel and re-roofing the house.
Before they head back to Central America, Derick tells us that Jill is going to have to cut his hair, which has grown to nearly his shoulders. He says long hair is “viewed differently” in Central America and he doesn’t want anything to distract from their purpose of being there (which is to save the heathen souls, of course.) Because of this, he has decided to cut off his man-bun.
Jill says she learned to cut hair from Michelle who cuts all the Duggar kids’ hair. You can’t be paying $12 per haircut up at the Super Cuts and still follow Jim Bob’s motto of “spend less and save the difference.”
Jill does an impressive job, and Derick looks a lot less like starving Jesus with his hair clean and cut.
Ben and Jessa head over to the Duggar Compound to get their grubby paws on whatever free stuff that Jeremy and Jinger have sent over from Laredo. All the kids (and Ben, of course) are going crazy and puling things out of boxes like they’ve never eaten before.
While the kids are all exclaiming about how excited they are to get the stuff, Ben is probably in the broom closet, shoving Mexican candy into his gullet as fast as he can.
The next day, Jill, Derick and Israel are getting ready to leave for the airport. Joy tells us that she’s sad they are leaving because she’s “possibly going to be getting engaged in the next couple of months” and she wants Jill around for that. But, of course, the Dillards must go. They sadly board the Jungle Express back to Central America.
Over at the Caldwell Auto Shop, Joseph (‘member him?) is asking Kendra Caldwell’s father for permission to court her. Kendra’s dad is thrilled that his dainty daughter could eventually become a Duggar, and gives Joe his blessing to ask Kendra to court. Jessa tells us that she knew a year ago that Kendra was “going to be related somehow.”
(Remember, this is the girl who supposedly was promised to a different Duggar boy before she got with Joe. Apparently, it doesn’t matter which brother she’s dating as long as it’s one of them.)
Since Austin is about to propose to Joy, Jessa distracts her by asking her to come over to clean her house and make lunch for her. How generous of Jessa.
The first thing Jessa orders Joy to do is clean the couch. You know, the one Jessa just gave birth on. Yuck. Apparently, there’s now also snot on the couch, thanks to The Spurge’s, um, spurges.
Joy joyfully cleans her sister’s couch and says taking care of The Spruge and Henry makes her really look forward to being a mother.
“Austin and I have talked about kids. We both agree that we want as many as God wants us to have,” she says.
Of course they do. Otherwise TLC might stop filming them. I’d let a heathen cut off my ring finger just to hear one of these girls say, “We want to have two kids and plan to stop after that.”
Can you imagine?! Jim Bob’s big ol’ head would just explode. And then Jana would have to clean up the mess.
While Joy is busy scrubbing placenta off Jessa’s couch, Austin is up on a mountain, putting up lights and chairs and other props to set the mood for his proposal. Joy thinks that she and her little sisters are just going up there to ride horses, but Austin obviously has more in mind… and Joy has “no idea at all.”
Later, Joy, Johannah and (the habitually unimpressed) Jenny arrive on the mountain. Joy legit pulls up in a Mercedes. Um…was the thrift store having a sale on luxury cars?
Austin even comments how strange it is for her to be driving such a nice car into the woods. Joy just shrugs. Maybe the family’s Bentley is in the shop or something? Joy better get used to slumming it like her family used to because ol’ farmer boy Austin doesn’t seem to enjoy living in the lap of luxury.
Anyway, Joy and her little sisters arrive and the first thing Joy says when she spots Austin is “I LOVE YOU!” Reel it in a bit, Joy. It’s a lot.
Joy is acting like she has no idea what is about to happen, even though Austin keeps stopping at random places throughout the ride to try and throw her off the trail. Then he pulls out a blindfold.
On any other show, this would be the start of a really, really steamy scene. However, we’re watching the Duggars here so you know there’s nothing but side-hugs and googly eyes going to happen.
“Do you trust me? Can I blindfold you?” Austin asks Joy.
“What do you want to do?” Joy asks.
“I can’t tell ya,” he says before blindfolding her.
At this point, Joy knows that there are only two things Austin could be blindfolding her for. Either she’s about to be shot by firing squad, or she’s about to get engaged.
Luckily for Joy, it’s the first option. Austin leads her to the top of the mountain, gets down on one knee and proposes. She says yes. There’s a full-frontal hug. It’s getting scandalous.
Austin’s dad, who has been lurking on the side, chaperoning, is wiping away tears in the background. Austin tells Joy her ring has been in his family for five generations.
“Hopefully we can pass it off to our grandkids one of these days,” he says.
Whoa! Slow down there, Austin. Joy’s going to need to expel a couple dozen kids on your couch before you can have grandkids!
To toast their engagement, Joy and Austin have a sunset dinner, feasting on some venison that they slaughtered themselves!
That’s all until next week! Until then…watch your fingers and read our recap of the previous episode of ‘Counting On’ by clicking here!