Gather ‘round kiddies, it’s almost time for yet another Duggar wedding!
But before we bust open the pickle jar and celebrate the nuptials of Joy and Austin, let’s check in for some more wedding prepping and a painful amount of flashbacks!
The episode starts off at the Duggar home, which, as always, is full of children and chaos. And, as per usual, Jim Bob and Michelle are nowhere in sight. (They are probably upstairs desperately trying to produce one last “blessing” in order to secure some sort of mother/daughter TLC pregnancy special.)
Jessa has stopped by her old stomping grounds with The Spurge and Henry, so she and house mother Jana are putting their heads together to come up with a wedding gift for Joy and Austin.
They finally decide to give the couple something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. (At this point, they really should just gift these Duggar couples with Babies ‘R’ Us gift cards as wedding gifts because…that’s pretty much where they’ll be spending their first year of marriage.)
Over in Laredo, Jinger gets to work on her part of the gift: something blue. In between spray painting a tin, she kicks off the first of a seemingly endless amount of Duggar montages dedicated to all things Joy.
In addition to ragging on Joy for her blue candy-stained mouth as a child, her siblings share memories of her getting down and dirty in some camo, pushing trucks as a form of exercise (as you do) and basically being the Duggar girl most likely to rock stretchy pants under her knee-length skirts.
Back in real time, Jinger and Jeremy are filling the sprayed tin with all sorts of newlywed necessities… like pens, blue nail polish, water bottles and lollipops. Oh, we can’t forget the blue bandanas! After all, Joy didn’t choose the Dugg life, the Dugg life chose her.
After escaping the Duggar compound, Jessa is back at her own house, digging through leftover gifts from her wedding to wrap up for Joy and Austin to serve as the “borrowed” part of the gift.
She finally settles on a collection of Chinnet’s finest acrylic utensils, and ever-so-graciously states that Joy doesn’t actually have to give back the random flatware.
In addition to the collection of unwanted kitchen crap, Jessa decides to include a recipe box with Duggar delicacies that Joy can cook for her soon-to-be husband. (She’ll probably have to cook via a trashcan fire, though, since the home she’ll share with Austin is sans kitchen at the moment.)
Jessa takes the opportunity to potentially sabotage her little sis, adding a recipe for the famous Duggar Family beef and cabbage, which she warns will “cause some rumbles.” Happy wedding night, Joy!
It’s montage time! We reminisce on Joy’s high school graduation — special shout out to the homemade “Duggar Academy” diplomas that Jana whipped up on her Cricket machine.
We also get a look at Joy’s time bonding with the little kids. The Duggar kids also talk about “buddy teams” — aka the cute name Michelle came up with to trick the older girls into not realizing they were raising their younger siblings.
Joy says that growing up, her buddy team consisted of herself, Mama Jill, James and Jennifer. She says it was “the coolest” buddy team of all the buddy teams because they got to do things…like make pickles and go grocery shopping.
And you people wonder why these girls are so desperate to get hitched and get out of that house?
Back at the Duggar house, Josiah, Jed and Jeremiah are on the hunt for something antique (and free) to gift to Joy and Austin as their “something old.” Instead of going to, say, an antique store and buying the couple something nice, Jed ‘n’ the Gang head on out to the Duggar Family Junk Pile to fetch something “real nice” for their sister and her husband.
Once they arrive at the family’s warehouse, it suddenly feels like we’re in an episode of Hoarders. While digging through the land of broken, discarded and unwanted items (that, strangely does not contain their oldest brother Josh), the boys opt for a dusty camping grill. This will come in handy, given that Joy and Austin are basically going to be living in Shanty Town for the first few months of their marriage.
We’re then treated to some childhood photos of Austin and learn more about his small family of four. Joy tells viewers that she didn’t like Austin at first, which makes since, seeing as how she was five years old when they met and years away from thinking about boys touching her knees.
We also learn (and see, thanks to TLC’s always present cameras) that prior to Austin popping the question to Joy, Derick and Ben took him on an trampoline outing to bond with him… just like all normal adult men do.
After seeing Derick fail miserably at the obstacle course —which, in itself was kind of a treat—the three talk marriage and Derick offers his oh-so-wise words of advice. (Meanwhile, Ben was probably busy texting Jessa to ask if he can have his next birthday party at the trampoline park.)
Over at the Duggar house, Jana wrangles the litter of kids to sign their name on some matching hard hats — the “something new” for Joy and Austin. While the hard hats may seem like an odd choice, it actually makes sense as Joy and Austin can wear them while they continue working on their hot-mess house and also for (the only form of) protection on their wedding night.
During the final flashbacks of the episode, we see the couple’s courting scene and a glimpse of the side hugs and triple dates that followed. We also see Austin ask Jim Bob for Joy’s hand (and knee) in marriage, and the day the two got engaged, which involved Austin blindfolding Joy and leading her down a dirt road like a prospective murder victim. And, of course, they couldn’t leave out Joy’s reply, when she pretended to be surprised, despite the fact that she had on her good skirt and was rocking a fancy side braid.
The episode wraps up with Joy and Austin talking about how excited they are to be married, but we all know they’re really just looking forward to breaking in those hard hats.
“I am a little nervous about marriage and being a wife,” says Joy. “But I’m excited.”
Um…that’s because you are still a teenager, hun.
On next week’s episode, we’ll see Joy and Austin (and the whole motley crew) finish up the final wedding plans and finally walk down the aisle. We’ll also see Joe propose to Kendra and Jana possibly have a breakdown at the thought of doing this whole wedding thing, yet again. It’s like she’s living in a wedding-themed “Groundhog Day” –esque nightmare, where everything ends in someone else’s wedding and her taking care of even more kids.
To read our other ‘Counting On’ recaps, click here!