‘Counting On’ Season 9 Episode 1 Recap: Pounding Hot Sauce & Proposing in a Hangar

“The baby is going to come out of WHERE?!?! Oh hellll no!”

Throw on a hand-me-down modest skirt and rid your vocabulary of all four-letter words (aside from “baby,” of course! ), it’s time for another season of Counting On!

After a brief trip down Duggar Memory Lane, we check in with Jinger and Jeremy who are counting down the days until Jinger hurls her first blessing from her pickle-gobbler. Eager to get Jinger’s feet up in the stirrups, Jeremy decides to whip up some spicy foods for Jinger to jumpstart her labor.

(They figure the faster that big ol’ “Duggar Head” exits Jinger’s loins, the sooner they can get started making Blessing No. 2!)

Jinger tells us that her sisters have “all had some complications” while they were shooting out spawn, and most have had to be transported to the hospital. (They show a montage of various Duggar girls being stretchered out of their houses following disastrous home births to prove this point.) 

“That kid’s gonna pay for splitting open my hoo-ha! I’m gonna name him Spurgeon!”

Um.. your sisters have been transported because they have labored for numerous days on dirty mattresses on their floor and/or their couch and/or their toilets, bucking all medical advice unless it came in the form of Mama Michelle‘s whispers. Who could forget poor Joy spending hours in agony while Jill played doctor, only to end up having to get hacked open in an emergency C-section?!

Jinger isn’t having any of that floor-mattress-birthin’ and has decided to have her kid in a hospital.

“If you people want to give birth on your living room floor, that’s your business but I ain’t doin’ that crap!”

Anyway, unfortunately for Jinger (and anyone else within a two-mile radius), Jeremy’s “medical meal” soon takes a turn for the worse as the odor from the potent peppers begins to choke Jinger and the film crew. 

(Watery eyes and singed lungs aside, this dish still manages to be more appealing than anything Jill has ever created.)

Soon, the camera crew and producers are running from the room, crying and trying not to puke. (I’ll bet this is what it looked like behind-the-scenes the day Jim Bob dry-humped Michelle on the mini golf course!) 

There’s no way these people are being paid enough…

Next we are treated to one of the show’s famous cutaways where we get to see assorted Duggar kids and spouses attempt to answer questions, try foods or explain random things to remind us all why attending Michelle Duggar’s Little Red Home Schoolhouse isn’t always a good idea.

This round, the kids are testing hot sauces and rating the level of spiciness… because if anyone knows “hot and spicy,” it’s the Duggars. (So, like, a Spiciness Level of 1 would be equivalent to Austin making Joy carry a canoe while eight months pregnant during their “sexy” babymoon trip to the frozen lake, while a Spiciness Level of 5 would be Jeremy basically trying to take Jinger right there on the kitchen counter during their honeymoon cooking class…)

“Jessa says we have to keep our voices at Level 1 when we’re in the house, so no way Jose!”

We are then treated to various Duggars sticking out their tongues for us (and Josiah‘s new wife Lauren smelling his hot sauce breath for some reason. Hey…whatever turns you on, girl…)

Joy is clearly trying to make Austin feel “the sexys” during this scene. She keeps licking the wooden spoon seductively with each taste. (That’s probably what her mom Michelle did every time she got turned on because Jimmy B got a new pair of Dockers!) 

“Hey tiger…this salsa isn’t the only thing that has me hot and bothered…just sayin’…”

After suffering through this completely unnecessary “filler” scene, we learn that Jeremy’s dinner from the literal pits of hell failed to bring on the labor pains, and that Jinger is still with child.

Much like every Duggar woman…”It didn’t work,” Jeremy tells us. 

Kudos to Jeremy for at least trying to cook a meal for his wife. Jim Bob, Josh and some of the other Duggar boys probably even refused to watch this scene of the episode, fearing that watching a man cook for a woman would, in fact, turn them into women.

Next, we head over to the Duggar compound to check up on the unmarried kids and see how well Jana has been maintaining the household.

John David tells us things are going well with he and Abbie’s courtship. He explains that they met at a church (shocker) and that, after only a week, they felt like they had known each other “forever.” (I mean…in Duggar Time, a week is basically forever…)

When you’ve been married less than a year but your relationship is already old news…

Abbie says she likes John David because he’s “steady and nothing much riles him.”

Well, isn’t that every man’s dream, to be described as “un-rile-able” and “steady” by the lady they love? That’s almost as depressing as when Austin described Joy as “sturdy.”  

Listening to John and Abbie talk is a true treat. Each is more monotone than the other. Listening to them chat gives me the same feeling I’d get while watching a PowerPoint presentation on various water pH levels.

In typical if not mandatory Duggar fashion, after two whole months of side-hugging with Abbie, John is ready to pop that cherry  question.

To put his plan in motion, John calls up a photographer for some help in organizing an airplane-themed proposal because he figures his best chance at getting someone to agree to marry him is by reminding them that he can fly a plane. Traveling isn’t cheap, ya know?

“You know who you’re talking to, right? Did you not hear that my last name is DUGGAR!?”

John talks to the “engagement photographer/coordinator,” who asks him what Abbie likes. John seems put off by the question (probably because he had planned to make the proposal all about what he likes: flying). He tells Lori that he’s sticking with the airplane theme for the proposal.

We then head back to Laredo, Texas, where Jeremy and Jinger have recruited some of the Dugs to help them set up their kid’s nursery. Naturally, Jana has arrived, hammer in hand, to do the work. (She has to work quickly, knowing she still has to get back home to Arkansas in time to make dinner for all the kids, paint the walls, weed the garden and iron Jim Bob’s undershirts!) 

“I wonder if Jana can just go ahead and have this baby for Jinger too?!”

Jinger also talks about having some of her and Jeremy’s family in town when she gives birth, adding that Michelle’s presence is especially important as she has given birth “countless times.”

In other news: water (and amniotic fluid is wet.)

Also invited to the spawn-spewing are Jeremy’s parents, Jana and…Jana’s random friend Laura.

As the nesting continues, Jana starts moving Jeremy’s old soccer jerseys from the walls of the soon-to-be nursery to the garage. Jeremy isn’t thrilled to see the remnants of his former life relocated next to old junk and boxes of obsolete things (such as Jinger’s purity ring) in the garage, but he doesn’t protest.

Plus…he pretty much knows Jessa would get him in a choke hold until he agreed so…

The southwestern theme that Jinger’s sisters pick out for the nursery is a hit. Jeremy and Jinger are also thrilled that they were able to renovate part of their house without having to spend money on manual labor.

“If it’s for free, it’s for me!”

Jinger talks about being worried about labor, and Jessa makes a snide remark about how Jinger’s labor will be a lot easier than hers were. (Was that a jab at Jing for birthing in a hospital instead of on a tarp in the living room?!) 

Jessa, always the martyr, reminds us how awful, long and painful her labors were with The Spurge and Henry. 

In Arkansas, proposal day has finally arrived for John and he has his “wing woman” Jana by his side to take care of everything outside of piloting the plane and proposing to Abbie herself.

“This here is my excited face.”

While John and Jana (aka just Jana) work out the logistics for the proposal, Abbie and her sisters crank out some peach salsa. Abbie tells her sisters she hit the jackpot as far as Duggars go because John likes to paint her nails.

I don’t even wanna know…

Shortly after Abbie brags about John’s cosmetology skills, John walks in to surprise Abbie, proudly (and awkwardly) announcing, “I’m here to rescue you.” (Um…?)

“Well there go my Duggar frequent flyer miles…”

After a short flight with their trusty chaperones (no mile-high club for these two just yet!) John and Abbie land at the Hangar Hotel. The couple share with the camera crew that unlike other Duggar kids, they have allowed some physical contact during their courtship—aka some more intense side-hugging.

John says their guidelines were a little more relaxed since he and Abbie are “about 10 years older” than other Duggars have been during their courtships and also because they’re more mature. (For the record, they are not mature enough to kiss or front hug, though.)

Pretty sure Michelle has this bumper sticker on her van…

Inside the Hangar Hotel, the couple and their chaperones enjoy some food at the Airport Diner while John musters up the confidence to propose.

They walk into the hangar and Abbie stands there, pretending like she has no clue what is about to happen, despite the ‘Abbie Will You Marry Me?’ sign staring back at her. Seriously, Stevie Wonder could see what’s going to happen next! 

Leading up to the spot where he’s decided to pop the question, he struggles to make small talk (per usual) with his future wife, then asks Abbie if she’ll “keep flying” with him. She looks confused, like she’s trying to figure out if that’s his proposal, or if there’s still an actual “Will you marry me?” coming her way. 

Oh boy…

John reads her a letter (that may or may not have been written by Jana), that includes the line, “Do you have anything goin’ for the next rest of your life?”


He finally actually asks her to marry him, then finishes his proposal with an awkward open-mouth moment of silence, which quickly ends when Abbie sees the impressive rock he’s presented her with. She jams that thing on her finger and says yes!

On the sidelines, Jana pretends to be happy about seeing yet another sibling take the marriage plunge before whipping out her phone to place an order for some fabric swatches for the frocks she’ll inevitably be forced to sew for the wedding.

Another one bites the dust… and catches some flies while he’s at it.

The producers ask John and Abbie what their plans are now that they’re engaged, as if these fools haven’t seen the very show they produce before. John says the plan is to get married and Abbie excitedly adds, “soon!”

As if we’d expect anything else…

Back in Texas, Jinger and Jeremy go to see their midwife. After Jeremy sticks his big giant mitt up Jinger’s baby-spitter and feels the baby’s head, Jinger’s midwife tells her to load up her birthing chair and head to the hospital to be induced. 

We’ll have to wait until next time to see the latest blessing make its debut. 

Until next time!

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

(Photos: TLC) 

3 Responses

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I will say, and I’m only going off recaps, that Jinger and Jeremy seem a little more normal- comparatively speaking. Like, Jessa, you choosing to home birth in the 21st century doesn’t make you a martyr, it makes you a moron. Thank god Jinger gets it

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