Throw on your favorite plaid shirt and polish your courting ring — it’s time for another episode of TLC’s Counting On!
Our first stop this week is Joy and Austin’s future home, which they oh-so-appropriately dub their “humble abode.” The future Mr. and Mrs. Forsyth bring Jedidiah along for the tour of their casa so he can keep an eye on them and make sure their knees don’t touch until they are officially husband and wife. He is also there to assess the work he and the rest of the Duggar boys (and Jana) are going to be roped into doing for the next month.
Before we get a glimpse inside the future baby-making bungalow, Austin warns Jed, “It’s kind of bad” but even that warning can’t prepare Jed (or viewers) for what’s inside Joy and Austin’s House of Horrors.
In addition to the neon yellow kitchen equipped with a microwave that looks like it’s survived a nuclear war/Duggar family gathering, the house comes with a sinner-red bathroom and a good amount of water damage… And no, we don’t mean the holy kind.
Adding to the seemingly endless to-do/fix/perform a miracle on list, Joy and Austin also want to knock down some walls and add a second bathroom. In an effort to relieve Jed (no pun intended), who has been informed of the four week deadline, Austin says the main focus before the wedding will be fixing up the existing bathroom and master bedroom.
Hey–he can’t go deflowering a Duggar in sub-par conditions!
Speaking of fun, Joseph and Kendra are living it up in their new courtship. They’re now sitting next to each other for interviews, cramming side-by-side in the front seat of Joseph’s truck and are quite literally attached at the hip… or as close to the hip as their limitations will permit. (Surely Michelle is frequently getting between them with a “Jesus Loves Me” ruler to ensure that there is a proper amount of space between their hips.)
James and Jackson get to join them for their first official date, which Joseph for some reason decided will be roller-blading through the park. We sure didn’t take ol’ Joe for the roller-blading type, but, hey, now that he’s felt the flesh of a woman (it was the flesh of Kendra’s shoulder that he felt during their sidehug, but, hey that still counts), he’s a whole new man!
Despite her knees already being protected (since birth), Kendra decks out her date look with some kneepads, wrist guards and a helmet.
Jackson, vying for the most fashionable Duggar title, dons a full motorcycle helmet for the rollerblading outing and somehow still manages to look less uncomfortable than Kendra does trying to get her glide on in a skirt.
James talks about his days of tagging along with Jill and Derick and explains some of the responsibilities of courtship chaperone to Jackson. He proudly refers to himself as a “pro chaperone.”
Meanwhile, Kendra is proving she’s a lady in the streets and a catastrophe on the concrete as she shuffle-skates alongside Joseph. She’s determined not to let her long skirt get in the way of her physical fitness fun!
We see her reach out to grab on to him more than once to keep from falling and splitting her skirt, but Joseph avoids hand contact like it’s the plague and offers his arm for support instead. You can’t rush these things, ya know? After all, they’re already averaging two side-hugs a day for goodness sake, and that’s not even including that “special event” side hug Joseph mentioned.
Kendra (very seriously) tells viewers she talked to her parents and they confirmed that holding on to Joe’s arm for balance is not in violation of the courting limitations. Crisis averted! Even the Lord himself has to cut them a little slack here—it’s either hold on to Joe or get a face full of concrete.
With our newly courting couple roller-skating through the park like it’s 1991, we next head to a bakery where Austin and Joy are trying to choose a wedding cake. Naturally, they do this while awkwardly holding hands atop the table. Michelle and Josie come along to see that the couple doesn’t get too feisty around all that frosting.
Austin looks (and sounds) confused by this particular wedding detail and Joy continues to be indecisive about it all. Let’s face it: neither one of these kids care about fondant—they just want to get to the post-wedding fondling!
Eventually they manage to decide on buttercream frosting and (sort of) agree on a white cake. (I mean—did you think they would get a red velvet cake? That’s the Devil’s dessert, y’all!)
Joy talks about her excitement to smash cake in Austin’s face, which he doesn’t seem too opposed to, being that it involves some form of human contact with a real, live girl!
Next we check in with Jinger and Jeremy down in Texas. Jeremy is growling like a Neanderthal as he sips his Starbucks on the way to a cooking class. It’s mildly disturbing.
“I didn’t ask for lava, I asked for coffee,” he quips, proving that he has no business drinking out of anything other than the sippy cup we saw The Spurge chuck at that duck last week.
They arrive at the cooking class and throw on some bandannas before getting down to work on their chorizo dishes. We cut to various Duggars and spouses trying to identify what chorizo is. Surprisingly, Ben is the closest to answering correctly.
Anyway, Jinger and Jeremy then accent their bandannas with some latex gloves. Latex is, of course, a material that’s very foreign to the Duggars.
After successfully completing their hotplate dishes, the two dig in. Jeremy calls the food “legit,” fully embracing this whole bandanna look. He even throws out some high fives to Jinger, because he’s not like a regular husband, he’s a cool husband.
This scene brings back memories of Jeremy and Jinger’s honeymoon in Australia, when the pair took a cooking class and kept getting in trouble for basically rubbing naughties while trying to throw some shrimp on the barbie!
Over at Jessa and Ben’s House of Spurge, the girls are helping an overwhelmed Joy pick out her bridesmaids’ dresses. Jana calls the Duggar family’s vicious wedding cycle as of late, “one ride after the other.” She suggests that a time span of at least six months be required in between nuptials. Luckily, poor Jana isn’t going to be strapped to a sewing machine sewing dresses for this wedding like she was before Jill’s wedding.
Since it’s Snooze City at Jessa’s place, we head back to Austin and Joy’s fixer-upper. A few of Austin’s friends have shown up to help (and they’re all wearing cowboy hats, naturally.)
As the group tears into the walls, reality sinks in (much like the ceilings) for the groom-to-be. He realizes that this dump will probably not be ready in time for the wedding. He tells us that he and Joy’s may have to use Plan B. (He’s referring to their back-up housing option, not the birth control pill, obviously.)
Austin says that he and Joy may have to start “making blessings” in an apartment or camper if the house isn’t move-in ready when they get hitched. In the meantime, the renovating will move forward. Austin and Joy say this is a good project for a couple, as it teaches them how to work together.
Over at Jessa and Ben’s house, The Spurge is stuffing cheese slices in his mouth and green beans in his pockets while Ben shares some philosophical words with viewers.
“There’s two of us, there’s two of them,” he says, patiently waiting for Jessa to reward him with a cheese slice for correctly counting the number of people in the house.
Jessa and Ben share how tough it is to find time alone with two kids. It’s too bad they both have to work full-time jobs and don’t have any help from family. Oh…wait.
It sounds like ol’ Jana will be getting a delivery of Seewald spawn any day now so Jessa and Ben can “get to work” creating their next blessing.
Over in the jungles of Central America, Jill, Derick and Israel are getting ready for baby Samuel. Derick is using a Doppler machine on Jill to “see what’s down there,” he says.
Well, being that this is their second kid, you would think that Derick would be well-aware of “what’s down there” but, hey…who knows?
Being a certified professional midwife, Jill is confident that she is able to keep an eye on herself, look out for signs of complications and as Derick puts it, “make sure nothing is popping out that shouldn’t be.”
This is also, coincidentally, the Duggar Courting credo, FYI.
The (never-ending) wedding plans are moving ahead back at the Duggar compound as Joy gathers her bridesmaids to check out their stylish wedding day frocks. While modeling their floor-length blue cotton show-stoppers, Jana talks about how fast Joy has grown up and we’re treated to some throwback Duggar pictures, including one of Jana surrounded by her now married little sisters. #RealShadyTLC
Next week we see Joy jet off to Kentucky — aka the fashion capital of the world — where she will continue the “I Don’t Know” Wedding Planning Tour 2017.
We’ll also need to buckle up for some real excitement because Ben is taking his kids to the park with no adult supervision! Hopefully The Spurge is smart enough to keep Ben on his kiddie leash!
Until next time, Fundie Friends!
To read our recap of the previous episode of ‘Counting On,’ click here!