Finally (FINALLY!) Counting On is giving us the honeymoon content we need, deserve and have waited so long for. Despite the fact that season 9 was almost entirely content from John David Duggar and Abbie Grace Burnett‘s wedding, the first episode of season 10 skipped over their first few weeks of their marriage entirely. In episode 2, “The Vuolos Take L.A.,” the TLC show has mercy on our poor, patient souls and delivers us those silly, sexy, strange AF moments we crave. Before we can travel vicariously to Finland with the latest Duggar duo, though, we have to sit through more of Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo‘s move to L.A.
While hanging out with ~new friends~ and American Idol stars Cade Foehner and Gabby Barrett, J&J decide to go for a casual stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Apparently, no one told them that that street is L.A.’s version Times Square, but with less to look at. As someone who previously worked on Hollywood Boulevard and had to weave my way through all of the tourists at the Walk of Stars just to buy a poké bowl for lunch, I want to save them from this tourist trap, but Cade and Gabby decided not to give their ~new friends~ a heads up, instead laughing at them when Jeremy asked if they’ve been here before.
They are true friends, though, and it’s all because Jeremy slid into Cade’s Instagram DMs. Apparently, they hit it off and talked for like an hour, and now they’re bonding over what boy bands they like. When the foursome finds the Backstreet Boys’ star, Jeremy has a mini-freak out and makes Cade take his photo with the landmark. He also gives In Touch a little shout out while rehashing a playful Twitter feud he got into about which of the band’s songs was the best (we still maintain it’s “The Call,” and we are prepared to fight for it). “I didn’t think I’d feel so emotional,” he says.
While Jinger tries to claim that she’s definitely, 100-percent heard of the boy band before, everyone else in her family pretty much proves that she’s a liar by going, “Who?” when the producers ask them which member was their favorite. Even Abbie has never heard of the BSB. Luckily, Austin Forsyth is the savior of the group (or at least the best at faking it until he makes it) by being familiar with their tunes. “Oh, I know who they are,” he tells a producer. A+ for Austin.
Next up on the L.A. must-see sights is the Venice Beach boardwalk, and the Vuolos and their pals all presumably pile into a car to sit in some more of that traffic they kept raving about last episode. Once they get there, Jinger cautiously admits that the “culture” on the boardwalk is different than it is in Arkansas and in Laredo, Texas. But it’s still exciting, and Jeremy’s on a mission to find a caricature artist to sketch Cade’s hair. They also walk down the beach and trick their new friends into performing a private concert just for Felicity. So sweet!
As it turns out, though, the Vuolos aren’t the only Duggars exploring a new city. Five of the younger boys are exploring Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Jedidiah Duggar is aiming to buy three limos for the family’s used car lot. “Mr. Duggar,” a salesperson greets him. “Mr. Duggar. Mr. Duggar. Mr. Duggar. Mr. Duggar,” he says to the rest of the boys. Jed, Jeremiah, Jason, James and Justin have branched off from the rest of the family after some conveniently located conference, and they’re ready to buckle in and drive their fleet of limos home. “It just seems like something a Duggar would do,” Jason explains, which is fine, because we didn’t really plan to ask any follow up questions TBH.
Don’t worry, though, the producers do. “Why is this happening????” they pretty much ask Jim Bob Duggar, and he explains that Jed can sell the cars to a funeral home, a limo service or even (gasp!) someone with a large family. Jer also takes a moment to explain that yes, OK, there is some risk with buying new cars, presumably setting us up for some drama later in the episode when one of the limos breaks down on a back road in Kentucky. Oh, no! Looks like the boys should’ve checked the tires/oil/something/whatever after all!
It turns out that the heart of this errand, though, is basically to have a boys trip. The Duggars run down their family tree real quick so that we know who is who and what age they all are (a necessary explanation considering how big this family is), then explain the path they’re taking. Luckily, they’re skipping Kentucky entirely. Phew!!! They’ve also got radios so that they can talk to each other while out on the road, NOT because they have conveniently forgotten what cell phones are, as Jed clarifies, but because it’s cool. “Jed’s president, Jer’s vice, and I’m speaker of the house,” Jason breaks down over the walkies just in case you hadn’t picked up yet on that dynamic.
On on the road, Jed says that the drive was(!!!!) going amazing, hinting that things are about to get not amazing and fast. Soon enough, the boys start to report that something feels “weird” in the cars and check engine lights blink on. The fleet of limos pulls over, and all of a sudden one of the cars won’t start back up again. Thank god the boys all learned how to fix cars as part of their normal chores. They just connect a fuel injector tube to a new wire or something something something and they’re on their way (apologies for the somethings; I am not, myself, a Duggar boy).
Later on in the trip, the boys discover their second obstacle: the drive-thru. While stopping to get breakfast, they attempt to take all three cars through what is clearly a Dunkin’ Donuts line, and the cashier says what we’ve been thinking this whole time. “They made you ride by yourself. That was so rude,” she tells Jason, and now we’re ready to rally for her to get her own reality show. The Duggars know just how to distract us from that line of thought, though, and soon they pull over to spend the night talking about girls and courtships.
“Think about it. This may be the last time we’re all together,” Jed tells his brothers. “Ooh, Jed, do you have a big announcement here?” Jason shoots back. In the interviews, he adds, “You never know when Jed’s gonna go off and just marry somebody, you know?” Considering just how short Duggar courtships can be, we do. “Or you,” a producer suggests, and Jason deflects with, “Or Jed. Or Jer! Or James!” “Or you!!” she insists again, before finally letting it go. The boys are still on the subject as they sit around the campfire, though. “What type of character do you look for in a girl?” Jed asks his younger brothers.
Jason is looking for somebody that’s going to be “a friend, a companion, … somebody that is humble [and] has a learning spirit.” Jed’s dream girl is somebody that “loves the lord and is very respectful to her parents.” James wants a “modest, righteous babe.” Hell yeah. For the most part, though, Jed reminds everyone of the words of a marriage counselor that he swears he doesn’t regularly listen to: “It’s better to be happy and single than miserable and married.” Cue the segue to Jana Duggar.
“Everyone’s always giving their suggestions [of guys to date],” the oldest Duggar daughter admits. “I’m like, ‘Y’all, when the time comes, I’ll, you know, kind of figure this out.’ But if I was just sitting there like, ‘Oh, man, I’m just waiting to get married,’ I think that would be more depressing. But instead I really look at this as, ‘OK, what are other things, maybe, that I could be doing right now that maybe I can’t do later?’ And so I’ve really enjoyed the different opportunities that I’ve had to, I don’t know, travel.”
Thankfully for Jana’s sake, her little brothers are the last people who would want to pressure her into settling down. Instead, Jed seems to be set on scaring boys away. “Give ’em the ol’ stiff arm,” Jason agrees. They’ve got her back as she admits she’s actually dated a lot of guys and swerved them all. Instead, Jer is pressuring Jed to share any potential pre-courting announcements, hinting that the boys might know something that we don’t.
More than halfway into the episode, we finally got to move past the filler stuff and into that good s–t, a.k.a. that honeymoon life. For their first adventure, John and Abbie are going on a “reindeer safari” in Finland. Despite the fact that the Duggars don’t do that whole Santa thing, JD almost immediately asks if any of the reindeer can fly, and it leads into a whole segment of the kids trying to name all of Old Saint Nick’s furry friends. They get most of the obvious ones — Rudolph, Dasher, Prancer, etc. — but they also come up with names like Glitzen, Rufus and Dixon. C-.
JD and Abbie aren’t naming reindeer, though, they’re taking them for a ride. Each half of the couple climbs into their own sled and learns how to encourage their reindeer to run by alternately shushing them or blowing kisses, something the Duggars will also be doing later on in their honeymoon if you know what we mean. For now, they stick to swapping out the sleds for skis so they can race. JD speeds across the finish line, and then it’s Abbie’s turn. The only problem? She’s never been on skis before. Despite her competitive side, she loses the race — but she doesn’t hold it against her husband. They also go to a big church to take selfies on the steps and plan to stay in a snow hotel, which means that this honeymoon is going go stretch into two episodes. Phew!
Next up on Counting On? Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald find out the gender of their baby, JD and Abbie have a snowmobile emergency and Lauren Swanson opens up about her miscarriage.
Check out the gallery below to see some of our favorite moments from the episode presented with almost no context.
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