Duggar Recap: A Toast to Love

Tonight: Derick returns from Nepal. Ben tries to bond with Jessa. The kids stage an ill-advised dinner theater. And well, Jim Bob and Michelle attempt to convince America that they could possibly give birth to more kids.

Michelle and Jim Bob returns to their high risk pregnancy doctor to find out if Michelle is menopausal or ready to go. They start, like any good Duggar, by reading the Bible. Michelle's uterus is praying, "Please Jesus, SPARE ME FROM MORE DUGGARS." Will God hear its cries. Well, Michelle says that the blood work says that conception is not totally impossible—just not likely. Like a snowball's chance in heck. They put their trust in God, which is like saying, "I can't deal with bullshit. I'm going to pretend God will deal with it to stifle my rage and prevent us from having a conversation as a couple about how we feel about any of it." It's a good way of not looking at any unexamined rage.

Then the whole Duggar clan is going to the airport to meet with Derick at the airport. Derick is with his pants wearing Mom, flying back from Israel—he may be talking to his mother about the dangers of pants wearing and such. The siblings are all making posters and balloons to welcome him into the cult family. Jackson is ambivalent about this relationship—I mean, he's fine with Jessa getting married. She can feel free to leave but Jill. Sweet, sweet pickle making Jill flying the coop.

Jessa talks about being "superexcited" to meet him which is much more superexcited than she is to see Ben. Because Ben is bullshit and we all know it. Jill has an adorable outfit. and it working hard towards maximum Duggar beauty. Jessa is realizing that she is no longer going to be around her sisters in the same room, picturing herself spending the next 60 years talking to Ben. Terrible Ben.

Jim talks about how difficult it is to see his daughter's leave to the preselected beaus that will now be controlling their lives. Jill is taking charge, demanding no Duggar time, which means they show up 2 hours late for EVERYTHING. Good thing they have no normal jobs because they'd be fired in a second.

I wonder if Ben is dying inside. No one would blow up a balloon for him, especially Jessa.

And they are off to the airport and Jill is imagining wedding bells according to Jim Bob. But well, my girl Jennifer, who thinks marriage is bullshit, is imaging that Jill and Derick are going to call this farce off. Because she's right. Duggar marriages are bullshit. They should run off to a commune together and churn butter and live off the land and do all the shit that I imagine that Jill and Jennifer could do. They'd tie her up and bring her home. Jordyn says that she'll do the same thing to Jessa. I like it. The violence nourishes me.

Then... then... then they have a poster. Jill is SO EXCITED. She wants to be impregnated right away. Jana is totally happy for them. And dying inside. Always dying inside.

And here comes Derick and his mom. She's dressed like muggle. They need to do something about her.

Duggar Recap: A Toast to Love

Then Derick emerges, like Aphrodite emerging from the foam. Jill is so excited to see him that she DOES A FRONT HUG.

WE HAVE A FRONT HUG.

Is Jill pregnant? Has Jim Bob died? Is Michelle wearing a bikini? WHERE IS JOSIE? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHERE IS JOSIE?

Michelle was like "Bless their hearts" and well, she was like "they won't let that happen again." Jim Bob was shocked but Jinger wasn't. Jessa was thinking, "I don't even want Ben to side hug me." Jill minimized it and Derick was probably thinking, "Fuck, at Oklahoma State, I was just worried if girls wanted to go further than bjs. I had my purity to think of." Derick was like, "It was good."

It was good. But damn, HE NEEDED TO MAKE HER AN HONEST WOMAN. Because after front hugging, what else are you going to do.

His family was also there to greet the family as he made his way to awkwardly hugging various Duggars. He admitted to being overwhelmed by the Duggars. Who wouldn't? Even their pets run away because they are so overwhelming.

Duggar Recap: A Toast to Love

Now for the terrible dinner party plot line that no one has ever asked for and to make it even better—well, here comes Cousin Amy.

Jessa and Jinger are apparently cooking, despite the fact that Jessa is reportedly no great chef, even by Duggar standards. They will have skits and even a movie. Joy Anna "got herself into a big mess" and is trying to get the little girls on board.

Now if you know anything about the little girls, well, let's just say if the Duggars were the Muppet Show, the little girls would be the grumpy old man critics, mocking everyone's stupidity. They don't want to participate in any dinner theater. And harumph, they will use silliness to thwart their foes. They are supposed to sing "Jesus Loves Me." Amy is really a good singer. Plus she has a spin off. I'm not recapping that shit.

The kids start singing but other than Jackson, everyone feels pretty half-hearted. Well until they start a gutteral yell like a group of tiny crocodiles. They will continue to resist. No one puts Jennifer in a corner. Joy Anna seems to be happy with Amy's training even though their spirit remains unbroken. Amy doesn't give a shit. She's not some weirdo fundy. She's a weirdo fundy-light.

Duggar Recap: A Toast to Love

And now back to the Duggar household, everyone acts like they care about Ben. He comes over for a "triple date" for all of the Duggar couples. He's very excited for the "triple date" because he just wants to be included. Jessa smirks. And Jilla and Derick sit around and fantasize about stolen moments and front hugs.

TRIPLE DATE!

Michelle has a "special treat" for everyone. Apparently, they are going to learn "dinner etiquette." How exciting. Derick was pretty pleased because he had been eating with his hands for two years in Nepal (according to him) so some uncomfortable times with random ladies talking about what forks to use seemed THRILLING. They go to some ladies' house with all sorts of gilt and crimson wall paper and their dog, George W. Blah. I wonder if they get that dog to sit by saying "Dick Cheney."

Derick did not like sitting across from Jill and made allusions about how he'd like to sit next to her as she laughed and laughed and laughed. Jim Bob talked about how it's good to have "good manners"—like speaking fake Spanish to Nepalese people and using the right spoon. Ben tries to make a toast and fails. He's like, "a toast to love" and Michelle thought it was "adorable" and "precious." Jessa just smirked and said, "Oh so, so sweet." And it still sounded like a dig. It DID. Ben is the slowest eater too. He's the slowest at everything. Ben was on edge, trying to use his utensils correctly, while Jessa schooled him. They used the two handed version, like they do in Germany, where I embarrassed people with my awkward American manners. Jessa was trying to be subtle, saying that what he was doing was "annoying" her, in an indirect manner. Jill was not annoyed at all by Derick. They were trying to be fancy. But despite the fanciness, Ben declared himself a barbarian. He realizes that he has one lot in life and that is to hate himself enough for both Jessa and him. I mean, she needs to think about doing her hair and such.

Duggar Recap: A Toast to Love

Now we're back, the parents are out and now it's time for the Dinner Theater and Jana is finally in the driver's seat, which means that it'll be soul crushing because that's her lot in life. Jana is the "stage manager" because you know, she has nothing else going on right now. And now all the Duggaring around the house. The family is deep cleaning which hasn't happened for... a couple years? WHAT?

Jinger and Jessa begin to cook pie. They make soup, salad, steak, sweet potato fries, apple pie and ice cream. Let's see how much Jessa contributes. While they are cooking, Derick and Ben begin to bond. Derick talks about how they skyped and Ben is all surprised about the whole meeting on the internet—as if he hasn't been paying attention for MONTHS. How did he not notice Jessa mention that Jill was in Nepal?

Jana seems all excited to have this dinner theater before "everyone goes off in different directions" and she will be left behind to eat her soup for one. Jessa is making unsuccessful pie crusts. Now for commercial break and then they will return to more Jessa dinner failures.

Duggar Recap: A Toast to Love

So while Jessa fails at pie making and is "an emotional wreck," he comes into help her fix the crust. She is trying to make him seem like such a rescuer, which is good for the storyline. Apparently, according to one of the boys, Joseph, Ben seems cool until he's around Jessa's smirk and then he's all distracted. He feels needy. He looks for her everywhere and then is tongue-tied in her presence, feeling sad. It is a rollercoaster of Weltschmerz. Poor Ben, he is like Dante searching for Beatrice but instead of an inferno, he is stuck in the Duggar's tater tot, smirky, aquanet hell. But she finally masters pie making when Josiah demands him to come out and do man things with him. Cockblocking. Always cockblocking.

So they rush around and such things—building a stage and setting up a table. And Jessa helps by overcooking the steak because why not give her the task that she is least suited for! Oh Jessa, you are so hard headed. This whole cooking task is nothing if not a representation of the subtle hatred that they have for you.

And now here comes the parents! GET IN YOUR POSITIONS!

So now they sit down the parents for their night in Duggar paradise. And it opens to Jill and Jana (?) playing the harp. Then you get the middle Duggar boys, the ones that no one ever remembers, to do a skit, which was some Bible Story probably about generosity. Snooze. The boys were kids who pretended to see a hungry guy and give up their money they wanted for a new bike to charity. Then they told the poor dude about the dangers of welfare dependency. Well they didn't but that's what they are thinking. Jim Bob will let them know to add that after he's done lecturing Jill about the dangers of the side hug.

Michelle and Jim Bob are overcome with love. Jim Bob cries. HE CRIES.

Duggar Recap: A Toast to Love

Then there is a song from the little girls and Jackson. They do sing reasonably. I mean, it's a bit of a shout but still, Jim Bob is full of waterworks and Joy Anna isn't totally humiliated. Then when they serve Jim Bob and Michelle, Jessa takes some time to make fun of Jim's enthusiasm. She laughs at his mortal tears. I suspect the bad cooking is to amuse her, as he desperately tries to chew it and fails. Always fails. Oh Jessa, the vacillation between shame and derision is something that most of us understand. It is what creates snark.

Once they are done with inedible steak, they face Josh. How suitable. He is beaten by their other sons on-screen in a religious parable. It is glorious for all. Jeremiah writes a poem and then they are all crying. ALL CRYING. Damn, if I did some shit like that as a kid, my mom would nervously be wondering what I was buttering her up for—either I needed something BIG or I did something TERRIBLE. Maybe there are more front hugs soon.

Then there is all this reflections about the courtship and impending marriage. Ben sings the wedding march and Jessa is like "you need to get engaged first." Ben, you jerk. Jessa just smirks and wants to change the subject. Then the final song. It's all about Jesus and "grandbabies". And Josie closes the show, "That's all folks."

But it's not, is it?

Next Week: Derick and Jill are taking it to the next level. More front hugging and asking for Jill's hand in marriage. It's big news.

Winners: Jill and Derick. Maybe John David. He didn't participate much at all. And Jessa's hair.

Losers: Jana. And yes, Ben. Sad old Ben.