‘Counting On’ Season 4 Episode 1 Recap: Storming San Antonio & A Surprise Courtship

“Kendra will you accept these roses? Just don’t break any because we have to use them for Joy’s wedding too…”

Counting On is back for some more fun-filled procreating, speedy weddings and side-hug-filled courtships!

This episode kicks off at Jessa and Ben’s House of Mold, as the two are preparing to visit with Jinger and Jeremy in San Antonio. Both Ben and Jessa are thrilled for the trip. Jessa is excited to see her BFF Jinger, while Ben most likely thinks that he is going overseas. (Hopefully Jessa pulled out the Homeschoolers’ Book ‘o’ Knowledge and showed Ben where San Antonio is on the map, so he wasn’t disappointed.)

“And I mean it, Ben! You better not turn the airplane bathroom into your own personal fort again this time!”

In the midst of packing their travel necessities — snacks and knee-length skirts aplenty — we get an update on the Seewald spawn.

Jessa tells us (not so) little Henry is now 15 pounds and we see The Spurge throw some toys at him, most likely out of jealously because he was given a normal name. (Who can blame the kid?)

Ben describes Henry as “intense” and the baby starts wildin’ out as he comes to grips with the circus he’s been born in to. The Spurge then climbs on top of the table and rummages through a backpack, searching high and low for proof that his name can’t really be Spurgeon Seewald.

When the kid finds out that his name is still going to be Spurgeon…even if he crosses over the state line…

The Seewalds are off to the airport as they worry about passing hefty baby Henry back and forth on the plane, while not bothering to change The Spurge’s clothes or put some shoes on him before boarding. If only they had a ton of reality TV money to pay for extra seats for the kids!


We then swing over to Jinger and Jeremy’s abode as the two are “enjoying this season of life as a married couple.”

(For those of you who don’t speak “Duggar,” they’re basically saying that they are humping like rabbits and not worrying about popping out a cornucopia of Vuolo babies.)

“I’m in control of my clothes and reproductive habits, and I don’t have siblings hanging all over me anymore! Life is great!”

Jinger reminisces about the days of having to pack for the larger-than-life Duggar family. She tells us how much easier the task is now that she’s married and only has to worry about herself for once in her life.

(We can almost hear Jana, resident Duggar concierge, kicking a Samsonite luggage set down the stairs in Arkansas out of frustration.)

Speaking of Arkansas, we next head to the Duggar compound and are greeted with a glimpse of a “Sorry about the mess but we live here” sign. Apparently Jana has been slacking on her housekeeping duties!

Meanwhile, Joy and Austin are basking in engagement happiness and scandalously announce they are holding hands, but will be saving their first kiss for their wedding day. Touching palms is A-OK for engaged folk, but touching lips? Hellllll no.

“Miss Cindy? They got Miss Cindy to do the wedding? Well it won’t be much of a wedding without Sierra’s special cookie balls! WTF.”

Decorator/designer/Michelle BFF Miss Cindy shows up to the house wearing jeans (like the rebel she is) to talk shop with Michelle and Joy about the pending nuptials. She has clearly brought the sass along with her lime blazer.

“Well one wedding wasn’t enough in the last six months, right? So we gotta do another one,” she says while side-hugging Michelle and Joy.

As the three head to the church where the couple will say I do, production asks antsy Austin what he wants most at the reception and he replies, “to get out of there.”

Surely Austin has been waiting for this day all his teenaged life. He’s been studying that Homeschoolers’ Book ‘o’ Knowledge day and night to ensure that, when he finally gets his bride in the honeymoon suite, he will know where things go in order to make a blessing.

When you can’t stop dreaming of your fiance finally getting to touch your knee…

Joy’s loins are also apparently on fire for the hot sack of stud that is Austin. She tells Miss Cindy and Michelle that the newlyweds don’t plan to stick around very long at the reception — just enough time to down a cupcake or two and indulge in some of the pretzels, pickles, peanuts and popcorn before they peace out. Michelle stands there proudly, knowing that her teen daughter is on the path to “being fruitful and multiplying” immediately after marriage.

“Seriously, Jana, where the hell are you and why aren’t you controlling these kids?!”

We check back in with Jessa and Ben who are mid-flight with their kids. Henry is handling the flight to San Antonio like a pro, while The Spurge is crawling under seats, crying and doing backbends until Jessa breaks out some toys and allows him to play on a blanket on the totally sanitary floor of the airplane.

(It was nice of Ben to share his toys like that!)

“I’d just like to say that it’s no fair that I didn’t get to play with the toys too. I was good and Jessa’s being mean.”

After landing, the couple walks through the airport as Jessa confesses that traveling is rough with kids, likely referring to her two as well as Ben.

Next, we jet on down to the jungles of Central America, where pregnant Jill and fundraising superstar Derick are working in a missionary with plans to head back to civilization before Jill pops out baby number 2.

“Jill! We got a fresh tank of Christian holy water to sprinkle on the heathens!”

They are trying their best to cram in as much Catholic heathen soul-saving as possible before Jill’s mucus plug pops out.

We see their son, Israel, doing normal toddler things like eating peanut butter by the spoonful, washing a football with a spray bottle and bouncing a ball in front of an oscillating fan. Hey, it ain’t Chuck E. Cheese’s but at least he’s not wrestling a jaguar or playing with a scorpion or something, so there’s that…

“Giving birth in the jungle hut could be fun…yeah…lots of fun…”

Meanwhile, Jill and Derick, the epitome of responsible parents, talk about the risks of being so far from a hospital.

If only they didn’t have to be in a third-world country during the final months of Jill’s pregnancy.


Jill and Derick all too calmly admit they frequently hear mountain lions and gun shots outside their jungle hut at night. Look on the bright side: the mountain lions may keep the kidnappers away!

We now head to San Antonio where Jinger and Jeremy reunite with Jessa, Ben and their brood. They all awkwardly greeting each other and Jeremy nearly makes The Spurge spew by repeatedly throwing him in the air before the toddler protests by throwing his sippy cup into the San Antonio River, hitting a duck in the process.

“…and I’ll have you know I didn’t scream ONE time on the plane and Jessa STILL didn’t let me play with the toys…”

The producers ask Jinger and Jeremy if being around the little Seewalds makes them want to have Spurges of their own, to which Jeremy busts out laughing (almost to hysterics) while Jinger blankly stares forward.

Jeremy’s laughing because he knows if the producers ask Jinger that one more time, they’re gonna get a tater tot casserole pan to the face…

The couple then remembers that the Lord and Jim Bob are watching and rattle (pun intended) off the old Duggar standby response, confirming they are looking forward to starting a family of their own someday.

Someday? Could this mean that (gasp!) Jing and Jer are actually using Satan’s magic potions (aka birth control) to prevent blessings from coming before they are ready? Somewhere Anna Duggar is incredibly jealous.

The sweater that started Jinger’s journey to freedom!

Jeremy and Ben then strangely reminisce about the day they all met. Jessa notes that Jeremy’s style is what confirmed that he would be a good match for Jinger. They all oddly rave about the sweater Jeremy was wearing when they met him, confirming nothing gets this group going like an Old Navy pullover.

The group wraps up their trip down memory lane and heads off to get paletas, which no one in the Duggar family can properly pronounce. The popsicles get the family talking about their love of pickles and we are treated to a montage of Duggar pickle-eating scenes from seasons past, all while the suddenly silent little Seewalds are parked in their strollers 10 feet away from the group.

Since this is ‘Counting On,’ and now episode would be complete without at least one Duggar kid making progress in his or her journey to courtship, we head back to the Duggar home as Joseph (‘member him?) is preparing to ask Kendra to enter into a courtship with him. It’s “dating with a purpose” as he explains. That purpose is, of course, to work toward another pickle-filled Duggar wedding.

“We can’t wait to date with a purpose someday!”

Jana (who else?) is helping Joseph arrange flowers in a vase before he heads off to the car auction in the hope of getting his courting on…because nothing says romance like a discount Chrysler with low mileage.

Our faces when Joe reveals that he’s going to take Kendra to a slab of concrete to propose courtship to her…

Joseph reveals his big plan is to follow up the auction outing with a trip to the slab of concrete that is the former Duggar home, where he will pop the (second) big(gest) question in front of a couple Duggar chaperones/siblings and Kendra’s dad and sister.

Jason thinks that Joe’s plan to take Kendra to “the slab” is absolutely “genious.”

“That’s pretty smart to go back to the place you were born, ‘Hey here’s where it started, you wanna start sumpthin’ else?'” he tells the cameras.

After nabbing three vehicles at the auction, Joseph doles out sets of car keys like he’s Oprah and the group is slab-bound, with Joseph and Kendra sitting three-deep in the front seat of his truck, separated by their chaperone. (Hey—these two aren’t even courting yet! We can’t have their knees touching or anything!)

As they arrive to the slab of love, Jana cheerfully points out the spot where the family’s old dirt pile was located. Ever the romantic, Joseph points out the sewer where he and his siblings would play in and (ew) swim in when it rained.

“And right here is where I used to bathe all the kids, scrub the toilets and hose off Josh every once in a while!”

Soon, Joseph awkwardly asks an excited Kendra to take their relationship to the “next step.” She’s shocked. She never expected this trip to the Swamps of Duggars Past to result in her getting herself a man!

“I can’t wait to feel your plaid shirt up against mine!”

“Joe!” she exclaims. “This means we can hug!”

Joe ashucks his way over to his new girlfriend and laughs nervously, “New thing, right?”

The couple seals their courting status with a side hug. Joseph goes to the cooler and pools out some roses. It’s like the fundie version of ‘The Bachelor,’ y’all…except that instead of exotic dates with helicopters, Kendra and Joe get a pile of dirt and concrete and a dirty truck jammed with Duggar spawn.

“…and right here is where I retiled the kitchen, painted the walls and cooked all the dinners!”

En route to the Duggar home, the now-permitted-to-sit-next-to-each-other couple reviews the list of limitations that come with courting, which does not include unsupervised time alone, as evident in the Duggar-required chaperone sitting shotgun.

Once they arrive back at the house, Joseph and Kendra reveal the big news to the whole Duggar clan. The younger girls (and Jana) ohh and ahh over Kendra’s courting ring, dreaming of the day that, they too, will be taken to a concrete slab by a special young man and be asked to court.

“I reckon it won’t be long now until I’ll be seein’ her knees!”

We then see the producers ask the couple if they plan to have a long or short courtship. Joseph dodges the question, although we know (in true Duggar fashion) it was the latter as the two have already tied the knot and are now living in their own pickle-flavored holy matrimony.

This season, before Joy and Austin walk down the aisle we’ll get to see their G-rated bachelor/bachelorette festivities and watch as big bro Joseph steals their wedding spotlight as he proposes to Kendra in the middle of their reception.

To read our recaps of previous ‘Counting On’ episodes, click here!

(Photos: TLC)

12 Responses

  1. Oh no! I love him! Yes, I’m sure he’s aware of his hotness and loves the camera, but seems like a decent person. They need to save this show by, first of all, setting Jana up and having the family down with Jinger wearing shorts/pants/tank tops/ a two piece swimsuit and they both chug wine for dinner. Jeremy’s grandma should also be a regular on the show!

  2. Has anyone else noticed that literally all of the Duggar boys hair starts thinning and their hairlines start receding when they get to be about 20? That’s super unfortunate.


    I love the constant jokes about Ben being a kid esp since he is younger than Jessa and was basically still 19 when she got knocked up with Spurgeon. Whose name is atrocious but that is one cute and funny kid. His sibling is not far behind.

    I LOVE IT how Jeremy and Jinger are avoiding THE QUESTION. I’m sure they know what to do in order to not get pregnant so I’m really loving how they just don’t care about it when they ask. No couple who would be struggling wouldn’t react like that, no way, they are NFP I have no doubt.

    As sad as it is, only courting and marrying a man will help Jana escape.

    LOL, I love your mockery of their courting rules, I’m sure Joe saw PLENTY of Kendra now (thanks brain) while still courting on the show, they are so behind, I’m sure they will again air the wedding before the wedding prep LAWD.

  4. Right?! That picture of the two boys suddenly made me realise that every Duggar kid has the exact same face, and that the difference is in the hair! At least the girls pass for pretty. The boys all look like their creepy Dad.

  5. Wait. Wait wait wait wait wait… Did he propose on the site of the house in which his brother molested his sisters????

  6. Spurgeon throwing his bottle at a duck was the best part of the whole episode. I can’t believe they are going to show all of Joy’s wedding crap again. A bit redundant now they’ve been married and knocked up for two minutes.
    And nothing says fundie love more than awkward courtship dates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share the Post:

Related Posts