Last night’s 19 Kids and Counting combined everything I love about this show: Jinger Duggar being badass with a gun, Jim Bob acting awkward and ineffectual, and the sex talk. See, Jim Bob took his twelve oldest children out to go turkey hunting with his buddies Smitty and Spook, while Michelle stayed home with the younger kids and we (and the cameras) all ignored them.
At this point, it’s basically fanon that Jinger wants to get the hell out of the Duggar compound, so it’s always fun to watch episodes where she features prominently for signs that she’s burrowing her way out at night. A few weeks ago she basically laid out her plan for running away to the big city and finding a guy who will give her coffee — is that a euphemism? — but as we learned on “Hunting and House Guests,” actions speak louder than words. None of the other girls seemed that interested in hunting, but Jinger took to it immediately.
As Jill pointed out, Jinger was the only one who put on all the camo, in the amazing shot at top; and looking above, you can see how naturally she cocks the rifle while Spook is still lecturing the others on making sure the safety’s on. From the moment the gun safety class starts, you can tell Jinger’s itching to get out in the field and shooting some gobblers. Or maybe it’s because she gets to wear pants.
This was literally Jinger’s face when she was waxing poetic in the confessional about what it feels like to have a rifle. “I guess you feel like you have a lot of control and power when you’re behind this huge gun,” she said, with this near-ecstatic smile. “It was just loads of fun, attempting to shoot the target.”
My favorite moment, which I rewound three times, was when everyone’s doing target practice on pieces of paper nailed to trees. Most of the kids got their shots, which made it even funnier when Jim Bob still had the safety on his gun. (“I was just practicing,” he tried to laugh it off, even though everyone was giggling at how dumb their dad is.) Jinger was last up, and not only did she not flinch at the recoil, but she was smacking gum like a seasoned shooter. I wish there were a .gif to do this moment justice.
The hunters split into two teams, with Jinger and Jim Bob hanging out with Spook and the boys with Smitty. At 18, Jinger seems pretty at ease with the two older men, which is why it’s such a shame that Jim Bob had to go and make things all awkward. You almost hear the soundtrack change when Spook starts talking about how this is the best time to kill male turkeys because they’re in heat and strutting around to attract the females. Jinger’s face below basically sums up the moment where she realized what she later relayed in the confessional: ”We’re hunting because it was… mating season.”
But it’s not enough to let Jinger process that fact on her own. Oh, no—Jim Bob decides this is the ideal moment to compare turkeys to boys. It’s bizarre how much time the Duggars pour into courtship talks, making sure their kids act all properly and don’t hold a boy’s hand til they’re engaged. Mostly, though, I think he likes to watch Jinger squirm.
Seriously, you’d think he orchestrated the whole turkey hunt around this!
Jinger isn’t even the oldest female Duggar, but I think that Jim Bob knew her forbidden thoughts about not wanting to be a Quiverfull mother, and that’s why he arranged this very special “birds and the bees” talk. I can just imagine him and Michelle talking about the kids: “Well, we know that Jana’s drinking the Kool Aid and Jill’s on her way there, too, but we have to be very careful around Jinger.” And of course Spook just stands there laughing. Is it me, or is it really creepy that Jim Bob gave his daughter the sex talk in front of another man? I know I wouldn’t want to hear all those clinical terms and cloying advice around one of my parents’ friends.
Finally, Jim Bob talks about something other than sex: He advises Jinger that the key to hunting is patience. Except he doesn’t realize that Jinger’s been patient for the past 18 years, biding her time until she can put on pants that aren’t covered in camouflage and run far, far away.
In the end, it was the boys who killed enough turkeys to feed the Duggar clan for, you know, a day or two. By contrast, Jinger and Jim Bob kept talking about “the big one that got away.” Personally, I think that Jinger totally nailed a turkey but the editors wanted to make it look like she was a weak girl. At any rate, Jinger tells the cameras, ”I thought it was great father-daughter time. Even though we didn’t get a turkey, it was totally worth it.” And you know what? I believed her. Unlike last week where I thought Jana Duggar was being all disingenuous, I think that these little outings are what keeps Jinger sane, so she actually can value the rare one-on-one time with her dad.
Watch for yourself!