Last week we witnessed the love story take flight as Jill was left in numerous random stores in Nepal while Jim Bob was woo'd by Derick. But the real question is can Jill prevent herself from passionate handholding? Are the sidehugs promising to be increasingly passionate? Let's see what happens.
It opens with Jill excitedly being interviewed about the courtship process, which begs the question—did they bring the brown background to Nepal? Is it portable? Is it not a room? Or were they interviewed in Arkansas and pretending because that's a sin? A DIRTY SIN LIKE FORNICATION. But they talk about the love affair and how weird it is and all their fun stuff they've done
So Derick has asked to court Jill. Ben remembers his other daughter being courted by Ben but no matter, back to Kathmandu to the alpha daughter and her international love affair. They go to Thamel for souvenirs and if Jim Bob is lucky, maybe some afternoon proselytizing. They look over some small violin-like instruments, perhaps to carry on their tuneless ways in new and interesting ways.
Bargains. What is the official Duggar saying, "Buy used and save the difference." Now there may not be any used stuff here but damn, Jim Bob smells a bargain and he's got his spending hand out. Jill leans forward to smell a chess set. That's not exactly what smelling a bargain is. They search for some things for the sisters, where there are some bags and such things for her sisters.
And because they are in a store—RIGHT ON CUE—Derick leaves her there because he has to "run some errands." Jill is suspicious. She's acting cool with Jim Bob who is making awkward commentary. Jim Bob looks pale and weird and is trying to look at random stuff for the girls with her. Jim looks nervous like she's going to start talking about buying bags for menstruation or some such horrors that he's never seen before.
Jim Bob talks about how much he likes Derick and Jill says how much he needs his approval because (Gothard alert) of her authority over her. Apparently Jim Bob isn't acting like a Godly man but rather an eighth grader asking her "What do you think?" And she's like "What do you think?" It was like every junior high summer where we sat bored on our front steps saying "What do you think? No, what do you think? No what do you think?" And so on and so forth.
Derick broke away and visited his jewelry guy. He's looking for a courtin' necklace. He wished that he could find a cross but damnit Nepal, why haven't you given into the missionaries? Well, soon Jill will enjoy his missionary work.
So he draws a necklace for the jeweler with a heart and with emeralds around the rim. Are they real? This is SERIOUS BUSINESS. Ben, you've been served. Ben just texts Jessa. Derick is like "This is the emerald necklace that I've designed and had handcrafted."
But they are still indecisive. Blah blah blah. THE SUSPENSE.
So they are totally excited about hanging out and constantly evaluating each other when they decide to flag down a local taxi for some Duggarian hijinks! They enter a Tuk Tuk for a ride to Monkey Temple.
Jim Bob is afraid of the Tuk Tuk and calls it a "rolling coffin" though mind you—he's afraid of dumplings. DUMPLINGS. Derick tells him to try not to think about it but Jim Bob is already praying to Jeebus to save him from having to use his emergency underwear. Jill just laughs as she thinks "Damn, courtship is the only thing that can save me now."
So anyway, Jim Bob says he sat down next to them to "keep an eye on them" so they don't hand hold and knee touch and do all sorts of sinful things that makes young people vote for democrats. Jill giggled and was all happy they could "squish together" and she laughed the most perverted laugh I've ever heard from a Duggar.
Jim Bob is all being encouraging them to "set their own standards."And she leaned in and patted his knee. Allowing them to set their own standards is Gothard-speak for "You will pretend this is what you want but we all know that like God, the father is the greatest authority before marriage." Besides the hedonistic atmosphere in the cab was Jim Bob's fear of the Tuk Tuk. Jill, as per usual, found it to be no problem. No problem at all. Jim Bob is the worst. He shouldn't leave the country.
But he's excited to see the monkeys in the trees and says "If this relationship continues, y'all will have a lot of monkeys." Jim Bob's humor. Vaguely uncomfortable. Maybe y'all will have as many kids as your uterus can carry. Heh heh heh.
They get out at the gate. Jim Bob is still traumatized. Jill smiled said it as bumpy though but she had no issue. She was just trying to not shame her father.
They explain that Monkey Temple has lots of monkeys and while people go to the Temple for the Temple (i.e. people who don't know Jesus), the Duggars are there for the monkeys. They spy a monkey on a tree eating a tomato. Jim Bob tries to waggle a banana at a monkey and it darts over. Jill says that monkey is so smart. It got a banana by itself. I suspect that her schooling has led to low standards.
For Jim, it was the most exciting part of the trip, free from the awkward conversations. Free to watch them frolic and eat. Jim said he missed his family but I suspect that he longed to be a monkey, frolicking in the trees. Eating bananas. No clothes, Jesus, Michelle or cameras. He could finally just be Jim Bob, a purveyor of clean fun.
So Jill can't stop Duggaring and they schedule a visit to the Nepali birthing center. And she decides to volunteer for several hours. Jill smiles in her glasses and they leave her there. She's just glad that it's just not an awkward sojourn into a clothing store where she is left to make awkward conversation with random women that Derick vaguely knows. Jill is very excited about being in a different center. It has a small pharmacy and an ultrasound and a birthing room. She's excited to see a birthing ball, which plays into her intellectually nerdery. Oh Jill, you should always be a midwife. Don't give up those dreams. Jill praised the director of the center.
Jim Bob and Derick decided to chill and go to a Barber Shop to catch up on the local gossip. He gets cleaned up and shaved. Derick's accent becomes stronger in the presence of Jim Bob. He is nervous about Jill seeing him be clean shaven because she fell in love with his beardy rapscallion ways. Jim Bob understands. He understands it all.
Jill meets a young woman who comes in and who is 36 weeks along. She was able to help with a prenatal exam and measures her with the director guiding her and translating her. She uses some implements that are unfamiliar to her, like fetal scopes. She's totally geeking out. She loves to see how it is done over here and impressed with the director and her ability to use the fetal scope which she says is "exciting" because it is "a lost art and takes practice and skill" and doesn't force them to rely on what can be unreliable electricity. They also have a doppler machine to hear the heartbeat for the first time. Jill says, "it never gets old—NEVER."
Derick looks all manly in his barbershop haircut and shave. Jim Bob was hoping to avoid all this stuff. Because Jim Bob is a giant wuss, he's afraid of the shave just like the Tuk Tuk and the dumpling. Jesus, he says he doesn't want to be a sacrifice. He giggles nervously as his life flashes before his eyes. Jim Bob did feel like it was a good bargain though so it was acceptable.
Jill talks about her dreams about being out of the US, doing midwifery. Her eyes gleam and she thinks about her ambitions. She sees clean shaven Derick but admits that she likes him with a beard because she likes him rough and ready. He's her Christian Brad Pitt and she is her Angelina Jolie. She talks excitedly about the birthing center.
So now BACK TO ARKANSAS: Now that Michelle's uterus is retired, she is now continuing to get to know her other children, the old shoes that they are and dragging out the more obscure Duggars, like James.
James is apparently "very creative" with his slingshot. James says that he thinks his mother is probably used a slingshot, "probably used it at cars and stuff."
James is the most likely to commit a misdemeanor in the next five years.
Michelle admitted that she did do it when she was a kid. She stutters a bit and said she got in trouble too. MICHELLE! First mowing the lawn in her bikini and now this? Thank Jeebus that Jim Bob could deliver her from her life of sin. Michelle admits to be an "onery little tomboy" who used to shoot crabapples at cars and at the neighbors. MICHELLE! Now we know where Jessa gets her smirkiness. Michelle really seems flustered at her stupidity but she picks up that slingshot like a CHAMP.
Michelle needs to get back to her roots.
The kids always want to her to tell her stories about her childhood and she's like, "Do you want a good one or a bad one?" And she says there is mostly bad ones with a message at the end. And she sighs because deep down, she doesn't give a fig about those lessons either. Michelle goes and rips up a paper bag and is totally excited about it.
She LOVES spending time with James which may be a cover for her eventual return to petty crime.
Now it is time for the exciting internet chat where Derick meets the family via skype. The internet is down at the house so the girls pile into the car and go to a friend's house. Jim Bob sits between Derick and Jill during the chat—as the chaperone (as Jill wanly notices) and making sure they don't fornicate on camera. We know how the internet is. Rule #38 of the internet: If there is a Duggar on the internet, chances are they will find porn unless Jim Bob is there. It's an onerous rule but the Duggars are an onerous people.
Michelle is alone with Jill and Derick with the girls sitting off to the side. Michelle is all thrilled to see Derick with his face clean, because there is only room for one delinquent in the family. Derick smiles awkwardly. Jim is like "There is not a hair left on my body—i mean my face." He slipped up. Got that brazilian wax he's been dreaming of for years and just was waiting until he was away from Michelle long enough so she wouldn't crush his waxing dreams.
Michelle was all thrilled for the love of Jill and Derick becoming pals and such. Jim Bob thinks there is something "happenin' here" and Derick and Jill giggles. Jim Bob says he's just sitting between them to give them a hard time but then allows them to sit next to each other.
Michelle yells loudly at Derick. "DID YOU HAVE A GOOD TIME? DID YOU HAVE A GOOD VISIT?" She's talking to him like he's Josie.
Now they introduce all the older girls and Johannah. Derick is all like "thanks for letting me borrow Jill for a little bit." And we hear a quiet "Just as long as we get her back" from some unknown girl.
Derick asks them questions about what she should know. Because Jessa can't resist a chance for shade, she leans in and says, "She's one of the more... emotional ones in the family." Jill looks all shocked and appalled. And then Jessa's like "NO, in a good way. If we're having a tough time..." Blah, blah, blah—Jessa knows how to push the envelope just enough to embarrass others but not enough to get into trouble. Then she's all complementary and shit and says that she's excited to see Jill in a courtship.
Sounds like people are trying to manage Jessa. Jessa says that she sees Jill all excited which is "probably what I'm like." Honey, you are nothing like Jill. You are the world smirking champion of indifference. There is no Duggar quite like you.
Jim Bob is all like "love is in the air." And they will return soon.
Now that we've seen these two Duggar girls getting to courting, it's time to train the younger girls to learn to do housework so that Michelle can be freed up to talk about her unrealistic plans to have more babies and practice hucking crabapples at neighbors cars.....for the sake of bonding. Sure. That's it.
Now it is time for Joy Anna to learn baking bread. Jinger begins to help her learn how to cook now that Jessa and Jill are preoccupied because courtship gets you out of doing housework which is why Jessa is excited for courtship but less so for marriage. That means more work (at least until you get a daughter old enough to do some cleaning—what would a quiverfull family do with having only sons?)
Joy Anna is all excited to make bread because once the older girls are all gone? It's Joy Anna time. It's impressive to see them cook something besides tater tot casserole or pickles. Now Jinger doesn't remember who taught her to cook bread—maybe her mom or John David but it's been so long...so long that the memories of her pre-baking existence is just like a glimmer in the distance. A far away star....
Michelle is all excited to see the girls getting along. It is "sweet' and it is a "new season" of life, as per usual. Everything is a new season of life. Damnit, that must be biblical or a Gothardism or she wouldn't constantly reference it.
Now we're back! And Jill is sad because she is packing to go home and leaving Derick in Nepal. And she feels so blessed to go with her dad (LIES) and she thinks that Derick likes her. Derick is all "smitten" with her and helps her and her dad pack their bags. He says good bye to Jim Bob and it's obvious that he is becoming tearful as Jim Bob praises him.
Jim Bob looks tearful. I feel tearful. He all nervously asks Jill to go with him for a second. AWAY. With no Jim Bob between them. THIS IS YOUR TIME TO ASK FOR A HAND JOB.
Sorry, that got away from me. This is sweet and all that. No time for my puerile sex jokes.
Jill is all confused and excited. Derick sits down with her and is like so happy to have her around and stuff. She smiles sweetly. And now he asks to officially court her. OFFICIALLY. And Jill says it would be "AWESOME. TOTALLY." And she is all surprised. SURPRISED. Come on? What do you think he was talking to Jim Bob about all that time? The Bible? And he gives her a heart stone that he "puts on her" so he could like you know, give her an ersatz front hug.
Jill describes this as a Hollywood Moment, which I suspect is true for someone who has only seen Christian movies. When Unstoppable is your biggest cinematic touchstones, you have low standards. Especially since there are only side hugs.
BUT THEY ARE ENGAGED. SQUEEEEEEEEE! Derick gives an awkward smile. Jim Bob is glad that Jill has a Godly man. Jill is all "freaking out." Derick will wait out his time at Nepal, dreaming of side hugs that they will someday have.
NEXT ON THE DUGGARS: Jessa has to learn to cook for Ben. And then the dumb dinner theater. Off to see Josh and Anna. Finally Michelle visiting a doctor to see if she can get pregnant. At 48.