Grab yer guns (and your positive pregnancy tests!) because we’re about to have a rootin’, shootin’ good time watching another episode of Counting On!
On this episode, one of the Duggar offspring is preparing to have a baby (which is, of course, business as usual for this birth-control-challenged batch). Joseph and his teen bride Kendra are eagerly waiting to find out if their first spawn with be a Jim Bob Jr. or a JimBobette (which, sadly, will probably be the name of Jessa‘s next child). And, naturally, the baby’s gender reveal party will include a gun and an explosion.
(It will not, however, include weird party games planned by the ever-bug-eyed Sierra, which makes The Ashley sad.)
Also on this episode, Jinger and Jeremy celebrate the one-year anniversary of Jeremy taking Jinger’s “Big V” (and, no we’re not talking about the giant last name initial letter made out of flowers that hung on the church wall when she and Jeremy got hitched).
We kick things off in Texas, where Jing and Jer are preparing to go out for their anniversary. Before the outing though, the couple is playing a friendly game of darts.
Unlike Jessa and Ben, who prefer to celebrate their anniversaries by staying away from each other, the Vuolos are marking the occasion with a night on the town, featuring Jeremy’s sweater vest.
As if a trip to a moderately-priced chain restaurant wasn’t exciting enough, Jeremy has a couple of other tricks up his un-sweatered sleeves, the first being a brand new piano for Jinger to crank out some Jesus tunes on (#JingyAndTheJets).
Jinger’s other surprise is that Jeremy has arranged for a heap ‘o’ Duggars to fly to Texas for a surprise visit. Apparently, when you get a blessing lodged in your lady pipes, it makes you want to be near your parents…even if your parents are Jim Bob and Michelle. Jinger’s got a hankerin’ for some Dug time, so John David has agreed to load an assortment of family members up in his plane and take them to Texas.
Nothing says anniversary romance quite like Jimmy B somehow make the Vuolo’s special occasion all about him, while a bunch of random siblings (who only came along so they wouldn’t be stuck at home doing chores…sorry Jana), turn your living room into a squat house.
The Vuolos are out wining and dining (sans wine, of course, because even Fundie Lites like Jerm and Jing don’t indulge in the Devil’s Fruit Punch). Meanwhile, the Duggars snoop their way around the house by checking out Jinger and Jeremy’s dartboard (not to mention the blessing-making room where another sort of scoring takes place.)
Jeremy’s laying it on really thick to Jinger, which is weird because he knows he has a house full of Dugs so he probably isn’t getting any that night anyway. (In all seriousness, though, it’s actually really refreshing to hear Jeremy and Jinger talk to each other like human beings, and see how much Jeremy values his wife…unlike some Dug husbands who shall remain nameless…cough…Austin…cough.)
Before leaving the restaurant, Jeremy has a waiter bring Jinger a music book, with a rose marked to their special Baby Jesus song. Jinger explains that the tune has a lot of meaning to her, since Jeremy put it on when he proposed, and it was played at their wedding. Jinger seems genuinely thrilled with the gift, and Jeremy seems genuinely thrilled with his wife, which is kind of awesome.
As Jeremy and Jinger near their house, Jim Bob herds his crew into a bedroom to hide, carefully warning them “don’t squeak the bed” — a phrase we never thought we’d hear come out of his mouth. (I do believe Michelle’s loins perked up at the sound of the squeaking bed, just out of habit.)
Once they arrive at home, Jeremy instructs Jinger to close her eyes and she opens them to see her dream piano. Jinger is more excited about the gift than Kendra’s knees when they finally saw sunlight for the first time in Greece. Jinger can hardly believe that anyone would put so much time and effort into doing something so nice for her.
But our lil’ Fundie Romeo is just getting started! Jeremy tells her has one more surprise for her. He calls for the stampede of Duggars to emerge.
Jinger starts crying and immediately runs into Michelle’s arms. Michelle gives her a hug– a real hug, not one of her signature fake arm-wraparounds–and it’s one of the first tender moments I’ve ever witnessed between Michelle and one of her older daughters. Jinger was really missing her family, and it almost seems that the Dug parents missed Jinger too. Even Jimmy B sheds a tear or two seeing his long-lost (and newly knocked up) daughter for the first time in months.
Speaking of people who are knocked up (which is, of course, basically everybody on this show), we next check in with Joy and Austin, who are back home from their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad babymoon. Joy’s managed to unthaw her sausage gobbler, which is a good thing, since she’s about to give birth.
Since Joy isn’t in labor yet, Austin puts her to work helping him set up the baby’s crib. (Hey– unless Joy’s dilated to 8 cm and has a blessing barreling through her lady tubes, she doesn’t need to rest!)
Austin refuses to look at the assembly instructions for the crib since, well, apparently he knows everything…
Since watching this knucklehead put together a crib is about as exciting as watching Jim Bob clip his toenails, the producers decide it’s a good time to, once again, show viewers just how dumb the Duggars are. They ask the different Duggar couples who is more likely to throw away instructions and wing it.
Not surprisingly, Jessa tells us she’s the “stereotypical man” in that sense, as she prefers to throw out instructions, whereas Ben tends to read them. (It was surprising to hear confirmation that Ben can, indeed, read, though. He must be sharing The Spurge’s Dr. Seuss books.)
Joy and Austin continue struggling to match lettered pieces to their corresponding parts while pretending to not be annoyed with each other.
Austin seems very frustrated with his pregnant wife, who is obviously willing to do just about anything to please him, even if it means crawling around the floor while nine months pregnant (and wearing a sweatshirt with Austin’s name on it).
After watching this scene, something tells me that there will never be a surprise piano gift and romantical anniversary dinner date in Joy’s future….
Meanwhile, back in Texas, the Dugs have turned the Vuolo house their very own free Air BnB.
Jinger takes the opportunity to get some one-on-one time with Michelle to ask questions about being pregnant expecting. (Honestly, though, there really is no better woman to ask about spewing babies than Michelle Duggar.)
While chatting, Jinger gives her mom all the details on her morning sickness and then Michelle shares some of her own gruesome toilet-bowl-hugging stories. Their informative chat on all things up-chuck is still more appetizing than any of Jill’s recipes, though.
Jinger tells her mom she doesn’t really want to pop out her blessing on her beige couch and is considering an actual hospital delivery…WITH DOCTORS! If Michelle’s Fundie wardrobe permitted a string of pearls, she surely would’ve clutched them at this moment.
Meanwhile, Jim Bob and the boys decide to push Jinger’s vomit threshold to the limit by whipping up some famous Duggar Tater Tot Casserole and barbecue tuna—from a can, naturally. Jim Bob and the boys head to the market to pick up supplies for their disgusting meal. However, Jim Bob is quick to mention on-camera that this is not a task he usually takes part in.
“Usually the women do the shopping!” Jim Bob tells the camera. “This will be a great experience.”
Insert eye roll here.
The Duggar men eventually ask Michelle to help them make the food. Once the tater tots have been casseroled and the tuna has been smothered with barbecue sauce, Jim Bob demands that Jeremy try the Duggar specialty cuisines.
Jeremy tries the seafood special for the first time and manages to not hurl all over the Designs by Jana kitchen. He tells Jim Bob it’s not bad.
Who knew ol’ Jerm was a big fat liar?!
All the Duggar kids swear that they actually enjoy Jimmy B’s barbecue tuna. Jessa tells us that the kids were forced to eat it when Michelle was out and Jim Bob was in charge (which probably means “Whenever Jana was sick and couldn’t cook a decent meal for everyone.”)
Soon, it’s time for Jing to bid her family farewell. She’s sad that she will have to be pregnant without any of her family nearby.
John David has barely touched the plane down on the airport runway before he’s asked to do yet another favor for a family member. Joe and Kendra are preparing for their gender reveal party, so they ask John David to attend Kendra’s doctor’s appointment so he can find out the gender of their blessing and prepare a surprise reveal for them.
John David agrees, but says that he doesn’t want to participate in a “girly” gender reveal. He insists there be guns and explosions and whatnot, and Joe and Kendra agree because, well…who else are they gonna get to do this crap? We all know Jana has got her hands full repaving the driveway, cleaning the gutters and sewing a dozen denim skirts for her siblings!
Elsewhere in Duggarland, Josiah is taking the next step to getting out of the Duggar Boys’ Bunkhouse of Bad Smells. He has decided, after about a month of courting, that Lauren is “the one.”
He says he’s ready to ask for Lauren’s hand in marriage, so he heads to the Swanson house to meet with Lauren’s dad. Josiah arrives, and Lauren’s dad tries his best to pretend he has no idea why Josiah could be at his house. (I mean, he just got his beard trimmed by Lauren, so it can’t be grooming-related!)
Josiah and Mr. Swanson walk awkwardly around the property before sitting on a dead piece of tree, which is definitely not a bad omen or anything. Mr. Swanson gets right down to business and asks Josiah why he (and a whole TLC camera crew) has dropped in “unannounced.”
After Josiah finishes his rehearsed speech, Mr. Swanson tells Josiah he has three questions for him before he gives his blessing for Josiah to marriage his teen daughter…whom Josiah has only been dating for a month.
The first is the most important question of all: How much is Lauren’s TLC contract worth?
(Just kidding…he probably already asked that off-camera, though.)
He asks Josiah if he knows Lauren’s love language.
Wait…what now? Is this a Fundie code phrase or something? Is that him asking if he knows where to put his oo–hoo on the wedding night?
Josiah seems to know what the hell Mr. Swanson is talking about, because he immediately answers that Lauren’s love language is words of affirmation.
So….Josiah basically has to say nice things about Lauren if she becomes his wife. If Josiah can master this, he will have done what his big brother Josh, and brother-in-law Austin have never been able to do!
The second question Mr. Swanson asks is really just a request. He wants Josiah to promise that he will never go to bed when he’s angry at Lauren (even if she accidentally scalps off what’s left of his hair during a future grooming sesh!) Josiah agrees.
Lastly, Mr. Swanson asks Josiah what his future plans are, in terms of his “life’s work.”
Josiah tells his father-in-law-to-be that he’s been busy selling cars and dabbling in real estate and construction…or something…
Over at the Duggar Compound, pink and blue decorations are going up like our country’s population when a Duggar ties the knot. Outside, John David explains that the gender of his niece or nephew will be revealed when he shoots a box of explosions filled with blue- or pink-colored powder. The calmness in John David’s voice during this rundown is part eerie, part hilarious as we start to imagine him as a low-key pyromaniac.
John David explains that he’s been given this task because he’s worked in law enforcement for many years and is super qualified to blow things up.
Once the potential crime scene is set, the whole Duggar clan joins Joe and Kendra outside and John David fires his gun. Blue powder shoots into the sky, revealing that Joe and Kendra will be welcoming a boy blessing.
Jessa, of course, makes sure everyone knows that she guessed correctly. (Um…you had a 50/50 shot of being right, girl. Have a damn seat.)
Meanwhile, somewhere in the Compound, Jana has probably grabbed her blue thread and is frantically sewing an entire wardrobe for her newest nephew. (Hopefully someone had the decency to save her a plate of Tater Tot Casserole and BBQ tuna for whenever her fingers start going numb and she has to quit sewing for the night!)
Kendra and Joe are thrilled to learn they’re having a boy, even though Kendra seemed to really, really want a little girl. Luckily for her, though, she will likely have dozens more chances to birth a baby girl. Hang in there, Kendra!
That’s all for this week’s episode! Next week, Jing and Jerm babysit someone else’s blessings in order to see what it will be like once Jinger births their own. Meanwhile, Josiah asks Lauren to be his wife (and permanent ‘Counting On’ interview partner).
To read our recap of the previous episode of ‘Counting On,’ click here!