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  1. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    Erin has always had that drink the kool aid mindset. She's the one who was afraid of going to a legit college (public or private) because it might place her next to someone with green hair. One would have hoped that college (even as strict as Crown) would have opened her mind a bit more. She does have her moments of that open-mindedness. The trip to New York comes to mind and her willingness to participate and try new things. But overall she seems to want to be the poster woman for fundie living. I think she is really relishing her role as the one married daughter who lives close to her family. It gives her a certain higher standing than her siblings and a relationship with Kelly that the others don't really have. Earlier this season she said something that was very revealing. She referred to getting to her third trimester as what made her feel accomplished or as having achieved something. And while I love my children and celebrate their inclusion in my life and family, I don't know that I ever viewed pregnancy that way. Perhaps it is a result of her earlier struggles or perhaps just her overall view of what women should be doing in life. Either way it was a reveal into her psyche that shows her exalted view of motherhood. I wonder how she would have reacted if her fertility and ability to carry a baby had not been solved. The first season of the show focused a lot on her miscarriages and her sadness over that. Then we got lots of talking heads about her fears and worries about Carson and Brooklyn's births. That gratefulness and appreciation seems to be gone from her and its all about how they have that perfect life that she clearly wanted or thought was supposed to happen. Her wedding was shown on the later seasons of 19 Kids. You can see a bit of it there, as she practically lords it over the single girls that she is getting married. There was little talk from her about what she loved about Chad other than male and willing to marry her. She was showing off the wedding dress, taking Jessa and Ben to see the house she and Chad live in now, and bragging about the pink bedroom. I say this to explain that I think Erin is a woman who is both flighty and overly concerned with appearances. I don't just mean her makeup and hair either. However, I still find her labor scene where she would peek out from the covers over her head to see if the camera was still there one of the most awkward moments on the show. I mean that she wants people to view her as having the perfect, fairytale marriage and family. While they are supposedly saving for a house to buy and fix up, she spends money on dogs, goats, etc. She is constantly redecorating. Even if Chad is the handiest guy in the world, things like paint, accessories, bedding, etc. can really add up in the long run. Chad is apparently an accomplished enough photographer to do the big family photos, but they spend a good amount on professional shots of the whole family and each child individually. I haven't seen this recently but they take little trips to bed and breakfast places, fishing cottages, etc. for babymoons, birthdays, and anniversaries. Unless these are all completely comped by UP (which I highly doubt given the finances of UP), they aren't really being very responsible with money - especially after Chad quit his job to be Bob the Builder with a Bible.
  2. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    Missing family after a move is pretty natural. Tori just doesn't seem all that independent to me. When she went to Crown, she begged her sisters to go with her. She seems to thrive more on that interaction than some of the others do. However, if Carlin does move to the Nashville area, it will probably help both of them adjust. Alyssa and Josie both seem more tuned into wanting to live a life away from the whole group. Alyssa, while I question her sanity at having three children so close together in age, seems to enjoy her life away from the family home and her role as a wife and mother. The jury is still out on Josie, but she seems to crave some of the same normalcy, quiet, and separation as Alyssa. I had thought Erin might be like that too, but she actually seems to have taken a step back and interacts more with her siblings now than before she was married. If you watch the TLC season of the United Bates of America, Erin was rarely seen interacting with the younger one, cooking or performing any of the other chores that the girls seem saddled with each day.
  3. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    Give her time. I'm sure it will come.
  4. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    Zach appears to have a great work ethic. Even before he had a family, he seemed to want to work.
  5. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    Michael seems so sad but has a much better attitude about issues with fertility than I ever did. Her ability to celebrate her sisters' pregnancies and nieces/nephews is admirable. I dislike the breeding for Jesus thing these people do, but I do hope she's able to have a child/children at some point. It's clearly something she wants badly. Even with all the opportunities in the world outside of this cult, I think she would still long to be a mother. I wish that her family would recognize her as more than a chore workhorse. Nathan just continues to exhibit that behavior I wish I could write off as something else. Dude needs to chill and admit that he's hardly living the life himself. I realize the truth is that most fundie girls are simply looking for a guy. Their standards are pretty low. But I would run from a grown man living with his parents, sharing a room with some of his brothers. That would be a red flag to me.
  6. All Episodes Talk: Crime And Punishment

    The house that was featured on the Tex Mciver episode is now up for auction. https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/could-tex-mciver-get-proceeds-from-auction-putnam-county-ranch/0m8yhhQ8xqHGt0aPoxQ8cI/
  7. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    Private pilots can do quite well, especially if they own their own plane and can contract out services like that. Nathan's goal is to fly supplies and whatnot to remote sites of mission trips. He would not want to do work for fun or pleasure such as a resort, as he might have to fly a same-sex couple, an unmarried couple, etc. Many people have the goal of flying fighter jets and similar missions for the Air Force or becoming an airline pilot. The majority never reach that goal. Nathan's experience wouldn't necessarily preclude him, but his lack of education would hurt him severely in terms of officer program. Additionally, he is not quite as open-minded as some of his siblings, making charter flying difficult too. A local politician in Georgia is very much on the fundie bandwagon. While he had a good education and served in the Air Force, his sons were rejected flat out. They are now part of the Civil Air Patrol, not actually flying but handing out brochures, packing boxes, handing out water in emergencies, and things like that.
  8. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    IBLP has this whole lesson series on standing alone and financial freedom. Some people take that quite seriously and focus on it to mean that one has to work for himself only. You can see some of it on their website. They truly take this idea of God will provide as the truth. My ex, who joined a fundamentalist cult, was a stickler for this too. The idea is that you can't work for someone and be submissive/subservient to him or her if you are not of a similar mind. What if Lawson signed with a label that wanted him to do shirtless videos with half-dressed models? What if Josie worked for someone who required all stylists to wear pants? Or work on Sundays? In the early 19 Kids and Counting episodes and Nightline interviews, Gil talks about leaving his job at Nabisco to start a tree service so that he could both spend more time with his family and serve God. Later the story changed to him being laid off and finding a new way to make money. However, the timing doesn't add up. Nabisco did have a major layoff, but it was 18 months to 2 years after Gil left. For one thing, they are drilled with the idea that no man can serve two masters is equivalent to someone wanting to get rich and be righteous at the same time. They are told to find a way to "serve the Lord" through their careers and God will provide what they need. This is why so many of them want to do something with music. That's an easy link. Others go into construction fields with the idea of being able to do such things on mission trips. Secondly, they are taught that financial benefit or downfall is directly connected to the type of life you are leading. If you work for someone else, you are relying on him or her rather than your faith in God to make money for survival. Kelly has beat around this idea with some of the kids, including Trace and Josie. With Trace there was the conversation about his future plans where she kept saying that working for someone else meant they kept the profits and his job would be dependent on them doing a good job. With Josie her comments were more about how she could encourage others and be a "blessing to others." It seems very counterintuitive, as most people in business for themselves struggle at first to make a living. That means less money for the church. IBLP uses a story about a man who owned a motel. A company used the motel for events and gave him a lot of business. One day the company wanted to have an event and serve alcohol. He said no, as he did not believe in drinking. The company execs got mad and threatened to take their business elsewhere. He still refused. He claimed that God sent him someone to buy the motel and allow him to start a new business. The new owners only had it a short time when the government changed the route of a road and the motel was no longer a viable business. IBLP says on its site that this was a sign that God was honoring him for his convictions. If he had given in and allowed the alcohol, he would have made money that night but lost it when the road changed.
  9. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    I am hoping the Lawson/Nathan stunt was more about producer interference. The producers of the show surely know that the rinse and repeat stories get old after a while. How many I love you day parties and couples dinners have we seen? Appropriate or not, these people see relationships and marriage as practically the only avenue to being viewed as an adult by their family. Other than their birthdays, relationship status (marriage, courting) and pregnancy are the only real attention they get. They pay some lip service to education, but that is clearly seen as a placeholder for the girls until they get a ring. While they aren't as strict on the gender roles as some other fundie families, I find it annoying that Lawson and Nathan (and essentially Trace too) live at home and do their jobs (working for the tree service or singing or playing basketball) and that seems to be about it. However, Carlin, Josie, Katie are expected to go to school (online or in person), study, and work in Josie's case and help raise the younger children. Yes, we do see that the older boys do jump in and help with some of the children and have good relationships with them, but they don't seem to have that added responsibility of having to cook for the family or teach, etc. Lawson used to be the one who did all the grocery shopping (sometimes with his own money). Does he still do that? It would be interesting for a future show to see how they have managed those things now with so many of the older ones off and married. I'm sad that Josie is engaged, though Josie seems more mature than say Carlin who giggles and covers her face at the mere mention of engagement to her boyfriend. She also seems more practical than many of her siblings who spend time and effort on degrees that won't add up to anything because they know they will be married and popping out babies instead. But I do wish she had waited. I still have hope for her and Kelton that they won't be quite as deep into the kool-aid as her siblings. I'll probably be disappointed. I'm hoping she is a little more like Jinger Duggar and waits at least a while before getting pregnant. I think that it would do a world of good for Josie and all her siblings to live a little outside of the family home before saddling themselves with children and more responsibility.
  10. All Episodes Talk: Crime And Punishment

    I appreciated what she had to say about sometimes money not being the deciding factor for safety. I'm sure she did have to sacrifice in order to pay and then he was willing to continue to help after she could no longer pay. She's a good example of where there is a will there is a way. While I know she probably looks back and wonders what she could have done differently and what she could have done better, she seems like a very strong woman who was trying her best to make a good life for her and her son. That said, the judge in her case was a piece of crap. Judgments like that are an example of why some domestic abuse victims don't seek divorce or separation - they are scared what it will cost them and still not find the security they need.
  11. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    I don't think it is fully the failed relationship that caused everything. He's always been an opinionated guy, even on the guest spots the family used to do on the Duggars. I'm the one who brought up that some of his comments tend to border on that misogynistic tendency. He is clearly repeating some of the same stuff that he heard at ATI and other IBLP program camps. Most of the boys do that, as they are taught those things over and over. He's just always been a little smug about it. When he really gets started, he ends up sounding like that backwoods country preacher about to ask for money from everyone and pass the collection plate. The most recent episode of them going to Papa Bill and Janie's farm comes to mind. He was talking about the competition of climbing the tree and was practically shouting amen. His behavior does indicate a deep insecurity. He was a jerk before the Ashley break up and doesn't seem to have changed that afterward. I just get the impression that he is a bit more outward with that behavior. So I would say it was a catalyst toward him becoming more of that arrogant person. While it has been a while since the break-up, I sort of wonder if there is more to it. Is she seeing someone new? Has he been made aware that she's doing something with her life? As for this most recent episode, he was not that bad but still nobody I would want to hang with for very long. There are better ways to encourage someone to try something new. For example, he might have asked Trace had he considered going for pilot training and offered to answer any questions he might have had. If I understand it correctly, he only recently got his private license and has yet to get the commercial one. So it's not like he's actually doing these medical missions in the jungles with a plane yet. It might have been more effective for him to suggest going to hear a speaker with experience on the subject or a lunch with someone who has done such work. Filming them flying was good visually, but it came off as though they had to shout to each other. I am working on an independent study project this summer for my graduate degree in communications and public relations. My research topic concerns the role of religion and how it is communicated in reality television. In my research, I have watched a few early episodes of the Duggars that have featured the Bates family. In one where the Bateses were in Arkansas to visit after Josie's birth, I noticed an interesting interview with Kelly. She commented that (paraphrasing) it was scary to see Josie in that condition, but that part of trusting God was to completely trust him when it came to protecting mother and child. I suppose she has passed that philosophy on to Erin and the others since Erin seems nonplussed about the toll it is taking on her body and the likelihood of complications. I also noticed that prior to the renovations of the house where they live, the house was quite small and only included two bathrooms and twoish bedrooms with the boys sleeping in the attic. In addition to Gill and Kelly not allowing certain things, it appears that they truly seemed to live at the poverty line simply to follow the IBLP ideas that you don't work for others who might believe differently than you. We have seen them since they started bringing in money and whatnot, but their living conditions were not good at all. I don't doubt that has affected some of the older kids' have some resentment toward all that and what could have been if their parents had worked harder or smarter and had fewer mouths to feed. Erin and others seem to want to follow it. Zach seems to want to do better.
  12. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    I hate that practice myself. She took a huge crowd of her sisters to the first fitting and the second one included the most opinionated ones in the group (Carlin, Tori, Nathan, and Lawson). Tori had a busload of people too, which turned into a rude critique of the dresses in front of the woman who was doing the sewing of these dresses and the alterations. I get that you might not like one look, but it is just plain rude to say it is ugly or awful in front of someone who is trying it on and someone who is the person who either made it or works for the company selling it. How would Carlin or Nathan feel if someone walked into their lives and started criticizing everything they did professionally? I had a talk with my daughter the other day about the fact that she calls things she doesn't like stupid. I asked her how she felt when I called something she really liked stupid. It doesn't feel good. You feel like you need to either defend it or be ashamed that you like it. Just because something is not your taste doesn't make it stupid or ugly. Someone worked hard to make, design, or present something. They shared it with you so that you could enjoy it too. If you don't like it, thank them for sharing and move on. Unless someone specifically asks you for a detailed critique, there is no reason to offer it. Michael seems to get a lot of this, even though she had her own ideas and opinions. Whether it was the dress shopping or the church picking, she had people shouting opinions at her nonstop. Even after she got married, she had Carlin criticizing the chair and ottoman and then Erin saying she had to choose farm style or modern but not both. Actually, Joanna Gaines wannabe/Erin might freak out if she saw my living room that is a combo of farm and industrial. I have leather couches and metal accessories mixed in with distressed wood and lanterns. I think most of the adults could use some lessons on how to offer an opinion without sounding like a jerk. I've never warmed up to Brandon, but I realize that since they got married, he has been protective of Michael about these things. His comments about Kelly and the girls coming to decorate were actually well-grounded and kind toward Michael. He said that he had no problem with it so long as his wife liked what they did. I certainly hope that he is taking on that role of intermediary between Michael and her family. She needs someone to do that with how she tends to be treated. He might not be the warmest thing ever, but at least he does seem to care about what she thinks and wants. I had laughed at him during that episode where Michael was assaulted with alteration projects as she walked in the door. He told Callie that perhaps she would want to learn how to sew so she could do it when Michael wasn't there. Callie responded that she'd just visit Michael and get her to do it. Now I realize that Brandon might be more aware of the situation than I gave him credit for noticing the dynamic that many of us have commented on in that family.
  13. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    I don't know that it is an either or thing to him at this point or even a conscious decision. These are 19 people who have grown up as a unit. Everywhere they have gone and everything they have done it was a group and they are truly only identified as part of that group. While if he was aware of his own need to be an individual, he might choose to do something and then hope that nobody else did the same, I think that there is a comfort in having someone else follow along. I think that by getting Trace to do something similar helps because: 1. It validates his choice of studying to be a pilot and not going full force toward the Air Force or becoming a commercial pilot. If Trace or eventually Warden, Jackson, Isaiah, etc., were to follow his lead, it would validate his decision to do it by saying that they wanted to be like him. In my family, few people went to college and none graduated. I tried very hard to recruit others to go to college not so much for their benefit but so I didn't feel so left out that I wasn't getting married and having babies right away. I realize now that I should have been confident in myself and chosen to do my own thing without worry about what everyone else thought. But at the time I just wanted to be normal and wanted my choices to not be that strange to everyone. 2. If Trace were to do similar stuff, Nathan will be the first and not only. First is a big deal in their family like most groups. Gil mentioned to Jackson that he was the first to get his license close to his birthday. Kelly mentioned to Michael that Erin had a bigger wedding because she was the first child to get married. Zach's son is the first grandchild. Therefore, maybe in Nathan's mind, it is all about being that expert/know it all. If he was better at it than Trace, all the better for him. Nathan seems to thrive on people coming to him for advice or guidance. Again, I'm not saying these are conscious choices. It's probably not even something he realizes he is doing. But it is also possible that they all do this to varying degrees. Why does Trace want to play basketball in college? Does he truly love the game or did he want to do something that would draw attention to him as something other than one of 19 children in the family? All of them have grown up playing instruments and singing, there is one of the old Duggar episodes where Tori was playing violin/fiddle with Jinger and she talks about music being a big part of her life. Erin clearly had interest and aspirations in that direction too. So why does Lawson seem to be the only one to want to strike out on his own with it (other than Carlin and Erin offering lessons)? It's probably the most normal thing about them that they want to do things that aren't just a continuation of being a Bates kid.
  14. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    My annoyance of Nathan is a culmination of things. Even before the failed courtship he has been annoying and bordering on misogynistic. He seems to want to be the know it all about everything. I have a few theories about it. I don't see confidence from him though. I see someone looking for approval. I don't know if it is his idea at humor, but when he went with the others to see Michael to try on dresses, he seemed to try to match Lawson quip for quip about how long it was taking for a decision about a dress she would not wear that long. He made a horrible comment about one of the dresses, calling it his "grandma's wedding dress" that clearly upset several in the room. Even Kelly, who normally is oblivious to such things told him that it was awkward. Lawson told him that the guys should tell the girl she is beautiful and maybe the dress doesn't accentuate that as much. But Nathan continued to chime in that he wasn't going to tell a girl she looked good if she didn't. Since the break up with Ashley he has gotten worse. He skips that playful banter that some of the siblings have with each other and is critical to the point of being hurtful. Maybe it is the break up that acted as the catalyst or maybe it is the cameras. He, Carlin, and Tori seem more aware of the cameras than the others and seem to want to perform rather than be natural. Carlin does this with loud comments, mugging for the camera with expressions, and inserting herself into others' business/stories. You can see that from the very first episode where she stops Erin from shopping for Zach and Whitney's baby shower to tell Erin how proud she is of her for how she is handling things. She did the same with Zach's graduation from the law enforcement academy. Every wedding she is the one bawling ahead of time and talking about how she was closest to that sister. She doesn't seem especially sensitive like that normally so it feels like an attempt to be relevant to what is going on with things. Tori doesn't do that as much, but she does insert herself in the background a lot. For all the grief that Erin got in the early days about her hair and how long it took to do it, Tori is always flipping her hair and seems to be trying to appear that way on camera. She always seems to want to present herself in that know it all light too. Her comments about others usually aren't quite as hurtful as Nathan's, but she is clearly opinionated. That's why it was funny to me that she was so anti-decision about her own wedding. I know she isn't into planning, but she came off as passive and wishy-washy about so many decisions. Previously, Tori would have rushed through such decisions without worrying about it. Even with the school stuff, she was telling Carlin and Josie they had to go to Crown and they needed to go to class on campus. It made no sense that Tori would be the pusher of that, given Carlin's professed interest in music and Erin being a graduate of the music program. Nathan came off that same way in this episode. While Zach was supportive and encouraging of Jackson, Nathan was bossy and annoying. Maybe he was trying to get another brother to follow him so he didn't feel so separate from his siblings? Nathan has gone his own way, which is different from all the sisters getting married, Zach's career path and family, and Lawson's music attempts. Maybe that cockiness isn't truly overconfidence as much as it is insecurity over his choice. If another brother chooses the pilot for Jesus route, then he would feel like his decision is more palatable and less like a fall back because of the failed courtship? But overall, I see a young man who mostly got his attention from his parents when he was courting. That's the only time he got a private meal with them. This seems to be a running theme with all the kids. They are vying for attention from parents who seem (Kelly mostly) to want to plan weddings and prepare for babies. Maybe he is compensating for it by essentially saying he's still valuable even if he does live at home and not have five kids already. Lawson doesn't have to do that as much because his chosen path gets him accolades and even applause from others. For all the talk of the parents and kids about individual attention and being a part of a big family, maybe they are normal in that they want validation for their choices and not necessarily to be seen through the same lens as their siblings. They try to earn that in different ways.
  15. Season 7 All Episodes Talk

    Nathan seems to have taken it as an insult that Ashley (wasn't that her name?) was not ready to commit to living in a rural area, pumping out babies, pretending to like his family, etc. Yes, break ups suck. I had a guy leave me for his religion (he joined a cult). It hurt like heck. I doubted myself and everyone else. But I moved on and went on to bigger and better things. Nathan seems to have picked up all the misogynistic messages of his training in the IBLP training camps. Zach not so much. It's like Nathan wants to prove to Ashley and the world that he is a good catch that she missed out on by rejecting him. But instead of going out and doing something big to bring honor on himself, he seems to insult everyone else to push himself up. Zach seems the most normal of the siblings at times. He honestly loves his wife. He works a real job. He is often seen being a real father to their children (holding them, feeding/preparing plates for them). He's supportive of Whitney's hobby career and didn't seem to freak out at the idea of her working outside the home. He admitted (though not freely) to crying and wanting to come home while in the law enforcement academy. I'm hoping that Nathan is the exception to the rule and not Zach, as the world could use a few more guys like Zach around these days. Trace does seem to be floundering a bit with his purpose as they are fond of saying. He's a bright and good looking young man. Perhaps he should be "encouraged" to try some things away from the Bateses and comfort zone. Like getting rejected in a relationship, getting rejected from sports or other activities hurts. Nobody likes to learn that you aren't good enough. I'm sure it is hard when you are there in that group with Lawson who is trying to make a career out of a hobby/talent and Nathan who is pontificating on having figured it all out, as well as married sisters who seem to be fulfilling their roles. I hope he finds something he likes soon and follows through with that.