‘Counting On’ Season 11 Episode 9 Recap: Popping Out Pilot John’s Spawn & Playdough-Eating

The official mantra of Counting On viewers.

Throw on your jackass costume and get ready to watch the Duggar Family expand yet again… it’s time for another episode of Counting On!  

This episode takes off with Abbie and John-David (who’s a pilot, in case you haven’t heard), preparing to welcome their first child, without any assistance from Jill‘s Amazon doppler or the Duggar Fam Birthing Tarp!

Abbie is nearly 39 weeks along in her pregnancy and eager to shoot out her very own Duggar spawn – one that will hopefully not inherit the infamous supersized Duggar dome gene. 

“Lord willing!”

To mark the special occasion, John decides to film a video to look back on this special time. Despite being on TV for practically his whole life, John seems about as comfortable in front of the camera as Michelle rocking a pair of stilettos on Duggar Family Fun Night.

“But you can call me Captain. I did mention that I’m a pilot, right?”

While the video is intended to be a gift for the baby and Abbie, John insists on ambushing his pregnant wife and forcing her to appear on camera as well. 

“Free air travel for life is so not worth this nonsense…”

After “interviewing” Abbie on camera, John heads to Joe and Kendra’s house to film their portion of the video, which goes about as well as John’s solo segment. 

Joe, showing off his sick Duggar Family Homeschool knowledge….

Next John heads to The Compound to make Jim Bob and Michelle’s Fundie fantasies come true by giving them twice the camera time.  

“He learned that from his Big Poppa! Right, Mich?”

During the “interview” John asks his parents various questions about himself and Abbie, none of which Michelle can get through without glancing over at Jim Bob to get his nod of approval. John then shuffles himself down the hallway to play a round of 20 questions with Jana in her single lady lair. Jana is excited to meet her new niece and, because John is her twin, she feels they’ll have a special connection. 

“Speaking of connections… tell Jessa that she may not use this footage to create an online dating profile for me.”

Over at Jessa and Ben’s house, it’s arts and crafts time for the boys – all three of them. As Jessa gives instructions on building a bird house, Henry stuns his parents by spelling his name mid-craft – something Jessa admits she never even bothered trying to teach him. 

“In this family, he’s basically just known as Number 2. Once you get a whole bushel of blessings, it’s easier just to refer to them by number!” 

As Henry continues showing off his super spelling skills, Jessa marvels at the progress he’s made over the last year, while throwing some shade at Spurgeon for not being able to spell his name. Meanwhile, we’re just impressed The Spurge (or anyone else for that matter) can even pronounce it, let alone spell it. 

“Hey mom, come see what your prodigy is doing.”

With Abbie’s due date only 10 days away, John decides to pamper her with an at-home pedicure.

SERIOUSLY WHAT IS THIS FAMILY’S OBSESSION WITH JANKY-ASS “SPA” DAYS?! They must pick the Dollar Tree clean of off-brand face masks and nail polish on the regular!

While Abbie initially says John is polishing her talons due to her inability to reach her toes at the moment, John goes on to reveal that he’s been treating Abbie to pedicures for a while now – long before the two of them were even married. 

“When ya can’t defile, pick up a nail file.”

(On that note, someone better do a wellness check on Michelle. Holding feet before marriage is just as wicked as holding hands, ya know!)

Over in Los Angeles, Jinger is not participating in her brother’s cheesy video keeping herself occupied by whipping up some homemade play dough for Felicity. While stirring up the ingredients, Jinger narrates the steps as Felicity hangs out, repeating random words. 

This is what our lives have come to. Watching a chick robotically narrate as she makes playdough. Sigh…

The producers then cut to Michelle who talks about various projects she did with the kids when they were little in order to keep them busy. She also complains about the many messes made along the way… so clearly this was long before Jana was of cleaning age. 

Michelle finally reveals the secret behind that crunchy, church-lady look she’s been rocking for three decades.

As Jinger finishes up the play dough, she notes that it’s non-toxic and safe for kids to put in their mouth, but still not great to eat, (much like her sister Jill’s cooking.) Despite the warning, Felicity gives it a try. 

Back in Arkansas, it’s 2:30 a.m. and Abbie has been in labor for 10 hours. The moms have already arrived at John and Abbie’s tin shack and the group is preparing to head to the hospital instead of sprawling Abbie out on a beat-to-hell birthing tarp on the living room floor. (Michelle is surely clutching her smelling salts knowing that almost all of her daughters-in-law have opted for hospital births!)

“So I guess I should take this as a ‘no’ for me getting a pedicure from you tomorrow, eh?”

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Abbie and John are informed that it’s not time for their blessing to takeoff down the vaginal tarmac just yet and they are sent home. Throughout the next day, Abbie continues to labor at home while her parents and John and Michelle look on, occasionally patting her on the back and sharing some “encouraging” words. 

After birthing 19 kids of her own and being present for at least another 10, how is it humanly possible for Michelle to be so bad at this?

Fed up with Michelle’s soft-spoken drivel, Abbie decides it’s time to head back to the hospital and the doctor allows her to go ahead and check in, despite only being 3 centimeters dilated. After being in labor for 24 hours, Abbie progresses to 5 centimeters; however, Michelle says Abbie has had little rest and it’s likely that “exhaustion is setting in.” 

“Only 5 centimeters? By now, I’d have already pushed out the kid, nursed it and assigned it a sister mom! What an amateur!”

Speaking of exhaustion setting in… Jana is called to do a grocery store run for all of Abbie and John’s hospital needs, being that no one else in this family is capable of running such an errand and (God forbid!) Michelle ask Jim Bob or one of the Duggar boys to lend a hand. 

“Sure, I’ll go. As I’m writing out the grocery list, I’ll bathe the little kids, retile the roof and iron Jim Bob’s tighty whiteys!” 

While Jana and her younger (female, of course) siblings are running around the store, Abbie is still getting her labor on back at the hospital but unfortunately, nowhere close to popping out the Spawn of Pilot John. Abbie’s doctor decides it’s time for Pitocin and an epidural, which helps her get a bit of sleep. 

“Just don’t tell my mom you got the epidural OK? She already thinks your a wuss for not having this baby already…”

Fortunately, Abbie awakes to find out she’s 10 centimeters dilated and it’s time to bring her Duggar-domed blessing into the world. After pushing for about 45 minutes, baby Grace makes her debut. 

“Thank goodness you got your mom’s head.”

A few days later, 798 Duggars cram themselves into Abbie and John’s tin shack to spread their love/germs with the new family of three. (Michelle is probably back at the hospital, still smelling the placenta from the birth.)

Duggar baby reveal or scene from a horror movie? You decide.

As everyone marvels over baby Grace, Jim Bob can’t help but to redirect the attention to himself and remind viewers that he predicted Grace’s birth weight accurately.

Umm, we’re pretty sure he was actually revealing where he planned to take Michelle for date night that week, but whatever.

…and because Michelle is the only one legally bound to this bonehead, she gives him the pat on the back he’s so desperately seeking. As for us, we’re not giving Jim Bob any credit for correctly guessing Grace’s birth weight, but we are saddling him with the title of Duggar Whose Scenes We’re Most Likely to Fast Forward. 


After the Duggar brigade files out of John and Abbie’s house, we see the couple sit down with baby Grace to watch the video John put together, which largely consists of clips previously shown on ‘Counting On.’ 

“Why are there so many clips of my dad and his brothers licking their plates clean? I’m three days old and even I know better!”

That’s all for this week! 

On the next episode of ‘Counting On,’ Jinger and Jeremy take a sun-to-sand vacation and show all the Duggars how much fun it is to not live in Arkansas, while Joy and Austin round up the family for a gender reveal. 

To read The Ashley’s other ‘Counting On’ recaps, click here! 

(Photos: TLC)

9 Responses

  1. Your reviews are so darn funny. This show is so stupid and dull. Sure wish they could include your comments along with the show – it would be epic.

  2. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “Trash”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (expired) *]
    Whoever the writer was for this, I think your being rather harsh. The Duggar’s love all their children and are excellent parents. Why are you throwing stones at their skills. I’ve watched fir many years and I am in awe of all of them. They are good people, we need more like them!

  3. Gotta say it…. not that this show is full of beauty queens (and oddly all of the wives look like they could be Duggar sisters….), but my goodness, Abbie is really NOT attractive.

    1. I dunno. Between the wildfire and the homemade gender-reveal flare that was actually a grandma killing pipe bomb, I feel like gender reveal parties are much edgier than I’ve given them credit for.

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