19 Kids and Counting - 7x02 (Kids to the Rescue)
This show, you guys. This stupid fucking show.
Anyway. Johanna (wearing groucho marx glasses, natch) and Jackson start things off with an “on this episode of 19 Kids and Counting”. Those kids are too cute. They should just do all of the talking heads from here on out.
After the credits, Jim Bob asks Michelle to give him a hair cut, because he won’t be able to coat his hair in a metric ton of product during a quick visit to El Salvador. They’re going to El Salvador, you see, the lobby the government to ease their international adoption regulations.
This actually surprises me quite a bit, because while certain circles in the Evangelical Christian world love them some international adoption, the leader of the Duggars’ particular strain of fundamentalist Christianity, Bill Gothard, does not believe in adoption. Strange!
We quickly recap the Duggars’ missionary trips to El Salvador over the past couple years. Apparently Jim Bob really wanted to take Michelle this time, as they’ve never been together. Oh, I see. Jim Bob and Michelle just want to fuck without their 19 million kids cockblocking them! I can’t fault them for that. Though they could probably find an excuse that doesn’t involve pressuring a sovereign country to ease their adoption procedures so that more American families can indoctrinate children into being perfect Christian soldiers.
We’re treated to a bit of honest casual affection between the two of them. Apparently Jim Bob only trusts Michelle to cut his precious hair. You know, they are terrible people, but I do believe they genuinely love each other. So I guess there is that.
Of course, Jim Bob immediately micro-manages his wife’s every decision regarding the haircut, and my world is righted.
Michelle says she’ll be leaving “Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger in charge” while they’re are gone. So, absolutely nothing will change from the family’s standard operating procedure.
4:45 am the next day. Jim Bob is blow-drying his hair. He really fucking loves his hair, you guys.
8-year-old Justin is spotted wandering around the house in khakis and a polo shirt, ostensibly to see his parents off, but I wonder. Every once in a while the camera will linger on one of the younger ones sleeping in their day clothes in a random part of the house. I get the feeling the family has lost the ability to structure sleep time for the under 10s.
Most interestingly, Jackson interviews that while his parents where in El Salvador, Jana was “back home” taking care of the kids with help from her sisters and the seemingly inexhaustible Grandma. Has Jana flown the coop? God, I hope so. Run, Jana, run.
Jessa tries to keep the kids in line during school for the day (the family homeschools), but she doesn’t seem to get much farther than establishing the rules before Anna swings by to teach the kids how to make ice cream. At least that kinda involves food chemistry?
Cut to one hour later. “Anna was having….trouble making the homemade ice cream.” Jackson interviews with a dickish smirk. Love that kid.
The next day they take the kids go-karting. Jana stays behind to take care of Josie, who has developed a fever.
That night, Josie’s oxygen monitor starts beeping. The girls ready themselves to take her in to the doctor, but Josie has a seizure and they call 911.
Jana’s twin brother John David, a volunteer firefighter, interviews that his pager went off to respond to the call, and he goes to the house to help. So John David is also possibly living elsewhere. Iiinteresting.
Jim Bob and Michelle say they feel totally helpless from El Salvador. Josh interviews at the hospital that this was “really one of the first major scares we’ve had” as his sisters are shown calming Josie. At one point Jill is filmed with Josie in a rocking chair, in a moment more tender and loving than anything I’ve seen with Michelle and any of her kids.
I briefly entertain a fantasy wherein the parents stay in El Salvador, forever, and the kids do just fine on their own.
But they don’t. And when they get back, Jana is there with Josie. Michelle closes with a ditty about how grateful she is to god to have such wonderful kids and how happy she is to be back at home. And they all lived happily ever after, the end.