‘Counting On’ Season 8 Episode 4 Recap: A Haircut & the Babymoon of Horrors

“After this, I’ll let you make dinner for me too, Joy!”

Hey y’all! It’s time for another thrill-a-minute episode of Counting On!

On this week’s episode, Jessa and Ben explore the exciting world of goat cheese (no seriously), while Austin decides to make his super-pregnant (and miserable) wife Joy go on a babymoon to do his favorite activities. Jinger and Jeremy head to Arkansas to reveal to the family that they will no longer require the producers to come up with weird tennis, art and coffee storylines for them because…they’re expecting! 

Oh, and Josiah gets a haircut. This is riveting television here, folks! Better buckle up!

First up, the Seewalds head to a farm to visit goats and other barnyard animals. Jessa tells us that “Spurgeon” has been reading about farm animals in his books so he’s eager to pet some goats. (We all know that it’s really Ben who has been reading barnyard books and is eager to see if the cartoon goats pictured in the books compare to the real thing!)

“SPURGEON is so excited about this trip…Yeah…Sprugeon, that’s it. “

Jessa says Ben is looking forward to this outing because he likes to research and study organic food. (#ThingsYouCanDoWhenYouDontHaveAJob)

Once they arrive at the barn, Spurgeon feeds some goats. (There was, no doubt, a scene off-camera where Jessa had to order Ben to share his goat feed with his son.)

Meanwhile Henry seems to be over this whole creamery field trip.

“It’s no fair, Spurgeon! Jessa said it was my turn to feed the goats! Give me the goat food or I’m telling!”

After that, the Seewald clan heads inside to eat cheese. How the hell is this actually their main storyline this episode!? We sit there and watch as Jessa and Ben slop down various goat cheeses, trying to act like they like them even though their palates have been decimated from years of eating crap like Tater Tot Casserole.

Somehow Ben refrains from proclaiming on-camera that the goat cheese is “icky.”

Since the producers of this show seem to enjoy creating scenes that show us just how out of touch with reality the Duggar kids are, they force a variety of Dugs to sample goat cheese. Everyone is bewildered by the “new-fangled cheese.”

Seriously, they’re all acting like it came from the moon.

“This tastes like old sweat socks…or worse, one of Jill’s recipes!”

They even bring the littlest Duggars in for the cheese samplin’! Poor Jana sits next to her youngest sisters as they try the cheese. Her face basically says, “How is this my life?” as she silently participates in the scene.

The Seewalds are getting ready to leave the creamery, having stuffed as much free cheese into their gullets as the store’s owners will allow. They retrieve The Spurge, who is attempting to escape his parents and live a life as a farmhand drifter. Unfortunately for The Spurge, Ben sees him and grabs him before he can hop a freight train and get the hell out of Duggarland.

“I already have to live with the name Spurgeon! Haven’t I suffered enough? Let me live with the goats!”

Better luck next time, kiddo! You should just give up now, Spurge. If Jana hasn’t been able to escape all these years, even with access to power tools and the ungodly Internet, how the hell can you expect to?

Jessa, Ben and the kids jump in the van and head home.

Um….are they prepping for the future and adding in extra kids (or did they include their maid Jana and Ben’s imaginary friend?)

Over at The Compound, the Duggars have enlisted Jinger to photograph the cover of the little girls’ album of fundie-meets-Kidz Bop tunes. (As we know, the only thing Ma and Pa Duggar love more than child labor is making their oldest kids do free stuff for them.)

Jinger and Jeremy normally wouldn’t have agreed to fly all the way from Laredo, Texas, just to photograph the kids. However, Jing & Jerm have a VERY.SPECIAL.ANNOUNCEMENT to make to Jing’s family. (Bet ya can’t imagine what it could be…even though they literally told Jeremy’s parents that Jinger was pregnant last episode!)

Before they head out on the photoshoot, Jeremy talks to the producers and keeps saying that Jinger is “pregnant.” It almost feels like they’re allowing him to say “f**k” on camera or something, because Dugs never seem to use that word. They always say that they’re expecting. It’s almost as if “pregnant” is a fundie swear word.

“That should sufficiently piss my mom and dad off. I love it…”

Jinger looks uncomfortable every time Jeremy says that she’s ‘pregnant’ instead of ‘expecting.’

Jinger greets Jim Bob and Michelle with some awkward hugs.

“Oh, you brought your camera, didn’t ya?” Jim Bob asks Jinger…who is very obviously holding her camera.

Um…yeah, you blockhead, of course she brought her camera. You asked her to take photos for you. WTF?

Jinger heads upstairs to check on the little girls, who are having their hair done by Jessa and Jana. We’re then treated to a flashback of the days before any of the Duggar girls were married. Back then, they were all still living it up at The Compound and sleeping in name-adorned beds…which Jana still has the misfortune of doing every night.

Someone who is not forced to slumber with siblings who are literally two decades younger than her is Joy. As we know, she got knocked up immediately after getting hitched to Austin, and is now about ready to pop out a little fundie of her own.

“She’s pregnant, so yesterday I only made her re-tile the kitchen floor. She can make up the work after she has the baby.”

Joy looks absolutely miserable. She’s unable to put her thrift store boots on by herself anymore, she’s very pregnant and tired, and just seems to want to relax. However, Austin (who is, remember, the same man who had Joy out in the yard sanding wood last episode, despite the fact that she was sick and in her third trimester) decides he wants to go fishing before the baby comes.

Austin declares that they will be going on a “babymoon.” After packing some food and their trusty ice-proof Bible, Austin tells us that he’s excited to go fishing, even though Joy says she has a cold, and that the smell of fish literally makes her sick to her stomach.

“And the best part is, if she goes into labor early, she can use the ice to numb her baby shooter!”

It’s going to be every nine-months-pregnant woman’s dream! The babymoon will involve staying in a yurt, with Joy watching Austin ice fish as she vomits into a frozen lake! After all, a pre-baby vacation to a spa is overrated. Surely Joy would much rather forage for her own food and risk hypothermia!

At this point, the producers decide to find out which Duggar can correctly describe what a babymoon is. This one is a real hoot, and properly demonstrates that “Michelle’s University of Fundie Learnings” was not exactly successful.

“We never covered no babymoon in them school books we used to read…”

John-David claims that a babymoon is either a medical term or a type of product to put a baby in. (Apparently ol’ JD thinks that it’s common to purchase some sort of moon to place your child in. Umm?)

Jed and Jer (or, as I like to call them, the Fundie Beavis and Butthead) get a chance to be on camera. They also have no clue what a babymoon could be. They mutter some random words and giggle until the cameras leave. (Anyone else think these two have something “very special” growing in Jana’s garden?)

“Huhuhuh…he said ‘moon.'”

It’s time to change scenes and focus on the Duggars’ newest “courter,” Josiah. If you experienced slight heart palpitations from all the excitement of Jessa’s trip to the dairy, you better pop a couple of Bayer aspirin before we get to this next scene.

Safety first, kids! (Unless you’re talking about birth control, of course!)

We head over to the home of Lauren Swanson. (As you’ll remember, Lauren is Josiah’s new “dating with a purpose” girlfriend).

Josiah’s hair (well…what’s left of it, anyway) needs cut, so Lauren has assumed the task of grooming her possible-husband-to-be. Lauren says she’s been cutting all of her siblings’ hair for years, so she feels she’s equipped to buzz-saw Josiah’s head and chin whiskers. (She can relieve Jessa or Jana of that special duty.)

Have these people never heard of Supercuts?! Seriously.

“SAY IT!”
“OK, OK, I promise to never make you go ice fishing when you’re nine months pregnant!”

Lauren starts off by grooming Josiah’s beard-thing. She gets a pair of scissors and just starts cutting, as Josiah sits there with a creepy smirk on his face feeling like he’s “the man.” (This must be the fundie guy’s equivalent to getting a lap dance.)

Lauren also tells us that it’s hard to cut Josiah’s beard because never stops talking.

Finally, it’s time for the haircut. It’s downright captivating TV! Lauren clips her boyfriend’s hair.

I need a moment to catch my breath, y’all! Hold tight!

“‘Member that time you cut my hair on…”
“Shut up, Derick!”

Luckily, we are not forced to sit through much more of Josiah’s grooming session. They move on to the littlest Dugs’ album cover phootshoot. Jim Bob and Michelle are front and center (of course). The little girls (as well as a super-reluctant Johannah, who looks like she would rather clip Josiah’s toenails than be part of this album nonsense) pose for photos by some abandoned barns and cabins.

Jinger is trying to make things exciting by having the girls throw leaves at each other. (Perhaps she was trying to distract JB and Michelle so that her sister Johannah could escape while the foilage was falling?)

“They really love doing this album…”

Michelle suggests that the girls all join hands and go around in circles. The little girls (and Johannah) play a weird, staged game of Ring Around the Rosies. Johannah and Jennifer reluctantly do as they’re told, while everyone is yammering about how cute Josie is.

Poor Johannah looks miserable. She can’t even keep her disgust inside of her like a good fundie girl should.

“This is weird!” she blurts out, and everyone laughs her off.

Johannah be like… “I’m way too old for this crap. Take me back to Texas with you, Jinger!”

Poor Hannie knows that, as the oldest of the “younger” Duggar girls, she’s in prime position to be the next Jana, which means she’ll be sleeping in Jessa’s old bed in The Compound until she’s nearly 30.

Once the kids have exceeded the limit of their attention span, Jinger hands the camera over to Jim Bob and asks him to take a pic of her and Jeremy. (Jim Bob actually refrains from working his big ol’ mug into the photo). Jinger and Jeremy pose, and then pull out a sign that says “We’re Expecting.”

Jana ain’t no fool…she knew this whole thing reeked of a pregnancy announcement…

The Duggars actually seem surprised and thrilled. This is, of course, a very different reaction than they had when Joy and Austin, or Kendra and Joe told them they were knocked up. Since Jinger and Jeremy didn’t immediately create blessings after marriage, the Dugs must have assumed that their procreatin’ parts were broken.

Jim Bob and Michelle are Duggar-level excited. They (as per usual) make it all about them, proudly announcing that this will be their twelfth grandkid…just don’t ask them to rattle off what the other kids’ names are.

It’s time to head to the frozen lake to check back in with with Austin and Joy, who are on the babymoon of Austin’s dreams.

“When I said I wanted to ‘Netflix and Chill’ I didn’t mean flick a fishing net and get chills!”

They arrive at their random babymoon spot in the middle of absolutely nowhere. After carrying their bags inside, Austin proposes they head down to the water to “wet a worm,” which is, sadly, probably the exact phrase Austin used to persuade Joy to hump him on their wedding night.

Just when we think this nightmare of a trip can’t get any worse, Joy and Austin (OK, well, Austin) decides they should hop in a canoe and “row” despite the lake being almost completely frozen.

This babymoon just out-depressed Jessa and Ben’s anniversary from a few episodes ago…

So let’s just get this straight: this knucklehead thinks it’s a great idea to take his very pregnant (and already sick) wife out into the wilderness while it’s freezing cold, while said very pregnant wife is WEARING A SKIRT…all because he wants to go ice fishing?!

What a catch that Austin is! I’m actually surprised he didn’t make Joy jump into the lake so she could pull the canoe for him!

Austin actually allows Joy to sit in the canoe while he pushes it into the middle of the lake. They start playing the circus music as Austin says “Are you ready?” and Joy screams, “Hold on! Hold on!” and then screams to Austin that he’s “gotta get in!”

“Are you in? Are you in? Is this a good idea, babe?” Joy asks.

We hear ice cracking as Austin asks Joy, “Am I gettin’ on top of it?”

“I haven’t worked this hard since our wedding night!”

It is, legit, the EXACT SAME CONVERSATION these two probably had on their wedding night right before their blessing was made!

You know you were thinking it too!

Joy and Austin quickly realize they’re not going to catch anything, besides maybe pneumonia, so they head back to the yurt to work on a scrapbook for their baby. It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but anything would be better than Austin’s Slushee Canoe Ride From Hell!

“Dear Baby Forsyth, sorry I almost went into early labor and gave birth to you in a dirty canoe in the middle of a frozen lake. Blame your father.”

They discuss how surprised they were that Joy got knocked up so fast after they got married.

“I’m 24 but I don’t know that I’m old enough to have a kid,” Austin says.

Um…think about how your barely-20-year-old wife must be feeling right about now, guy!

Back at The Compound, it’s time for the typical larger-than-life, buffet-style Duggar dinner. After the slop has been properly dolled out, Jinger and Jeremy decide to tell the rest of the family their big baby news. Jeremy is worried the little girls will ruin the surprise so he decides to drop the bomb almost immediately while leading the family prayer.

After the news is out, Jinger says she’s excited to talk to her sisters and mom about pregnancy.

“I vow to never make you ride in a frozen canoe when you’re nine months pregnant.”

Jinger embarrassingly slips and mentions Jana’s name when rattling off the list of Duggar mothers, but she recovers by touting Jana’s skills as a midwife.

Meanwhile, poor Jana would probably be willing to wade through slush-filled frozen lake water and push a canoe all the way to Tennessee if it meant getting away from all the wedding- and baby-themed episodes of this crappy show. Hey, Jana, we agree with ya!

“Just a few more to raise and I’ll finally be able to get out of here, too…”

Until next week!

To read our other ‘Counting On’ recaps, click here!

(Photos: TLC)

16 Responses


  1. I genuinely love seeing everyday life, not set-up, super-scripted to the ‘nth degree, “reality” that isn’t at all reality. This is the most real reality show there is on television. Yes, still scripted somewhat, but one can’t control a 2-yr old’s expression, for example. I love seeing how they’re tackling life. No one’s life is a bed of roses. It involves wrangling toddlers, cutting hair, and trying goat cheese. And there is nothing wrong with that. I’d far rather Counting On be on TV than premarital pregnancy, alcoholic, drug-filled, curse-filled, self-obsessed, worldly FILTH.


  2. I’m not watching the show now, but thanks for the hilarious recap!! I really needed a good laugh today. I do feel sorry for Joy. Austin is very controlling (more so than the others).


  3. Even though it’s a dumb stunt for cash I was still happy to see that they included Mackenzie in the little girl group since she’s been so close with them. Also she was the least miserable of the group-she takes after her mother who is somehow able to make a rainbow out of a pile of shit. On the outside at least.


    1. Yes, they do. It is very sad. They’re not allowed to just be kids. they will never know what that’s like, because all they will know is chores, chores, marriage and babies.


  4. “Apparently ol’ JD thinks that it’s common to purchase some sort of moon to place your child in. Umm?”

    I only just managed not to spit coffee all over my laptop at that.


  5. When Jim Bob said that he thought the sign was going to say that they were married, I was very embarrassed. Does he seriously not understand how done that makes him sound? But, then again, Jim Bob Duggar’s not very bright.


  6. That poor girl looked sick and very tired. I bet he wanted sex after his fishing excursion to which she has to be joyfully available. Sad..


  7. Austin says he doesn’t feel he is old enough to have a kid…….while his wife is pregnant with his first kid. It just shows you how fundies have children because they are “Expected to have them” not because they want them. Which is very depressing if you think about it. How many of them would have stayed childless if they didn’t think this is their only purpose in life? Prob quite a few. (Joy and Jinger definitely being two of them)


    1. Sad for the children, too. Not that they will be unloved or uncared for, but just knowing you exist, at least somewhat, because of your parents wanting to meet expectations. But I guess so long as the children grow up sharing the fundie beliefs, they won’t think about it like that.


  8. Jana should be given a Bachelorette style “courting” TLC series. I wish Jinger would leave her hair alone, looks so much prettier natural.

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