Jill & Jessa Counting On Recap: The Hardest Year Ever

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The 19 Kids & Counting crew - or part of it, anyway - finally returned last night with the first of TLC's Jill & Jessa: Counting On specials.

If you know anything about the Duggar family, no matter what you think of them, you know they sure have been through a lot in the past year.


The Arkansas reality stars saw their popular show axed after Josh's molestation scandal last spring, in which we learned he abused his sisters.

The s--t truly hit the fan a few months later, when he confessed to cheating on his long-suffering wife Anna, all while espousing family values.


On Jill and Jessa: Counting On last night, we saw his siblings - and Anna - react to the scandals for the first time, and it made for intense TV.

Josh Duggar, of course, is toiling away in a Christian sex rehab labor camp, and did not appear on camera. Yet he was a major star of the show.

Jessa told the cameras, "Over the years, Josh worked really hard to repair our trust in him, and he became someone we could really look up to."

"Josh ended up confessing to us that he had gotten addicted to pornography and had been unfaithful to his wife, and we were devastated."

"It felt like it was just a bad dream. How could this happen?"

By "repair our trust," Jessa clearly means after he molested her as a young girl. Jill talked about being one of Josh's abuse victims, saying:

"When the police report was released, that wasn't right ... We really had to work through it. As a victim you've already worked through it."

"You've already dealt with it and moved on."

"You don't want it rubbed in your face."

Jill Duggar slammed Josh, however, when it came to cheating on Anna - leading a secret life and letting Jill and Jessa go on TV to defend him.

The married sisters infamously went on Fox News to run damage control in an interview with Megyn Kelly, unaware of what else he was hiding.

Jinger Duggar, Joy-Anna Duggar, John David Duggar and Jana Duggar also appeared on Counting On, calling these some of the toughest times.

It was jarring - and reassuring, in an odd sense - to see his younger brothers talk about how they always looked up to Josh, but no longer do.

Anna, too, spoke out in disbelief.

Some speculate that she turned to reality TV to bank some quick cash and leave Josh, while others believe it was part of the healing process.

Either way, she was (and is) clearly heartbroken and it was hard not to feel for the poor girl as she recalled how blindsided she was by her man.

The focus of Jill & Jessa: Counting On was, ostensibly, Jill's new baby with Derick Dillard, and Jessa's pregnancy with husband Ben Seewald.

Both are worth focal points, and should be front and center in subsequent episodes. This week, though, was all about Josh, and for good reason.

His problems derailed a reality show empire, and tarnished a family so many looked up to. Kudos to the Duggars for addressing this head on.

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