With the US election in full swing, TV viewers have seen all kinds of ugliness lately, including people with questionable ethics, dysfunctional family dynamics, and nasty women. Which is to say, here’s the recap of the last two episodes of Total Bellas.
Brie admits that she and Bryan haven’t had spousal relations since moving in with John and Nikki. Over lunch, Nikki brings it up when the three of them are out for lunch, and we find out way too much about Bryan’s sexual techniques.
Later, Brie and Bryan are out chauffering Nikki around, and the twins are annoyingly back-seat driving. He gets irritated and calls out Brie for being annoying. He’s no less annoyed with Nikki later that night as she is counting calories because she’s had to cut back on eating now that she’s not on the road anymore.
Kathy apparently told the kids that she and Johnny were planning on eloping – which kind of defeats the point. The kids aren’t in favour, and Kathy says she and Johnny will talk about it.
John Cena is teaching Brie how to drive stick shift, and she’s horrible at it, but he’s incredibly patient, and she gets it fairly easily. It comes across as Brie is developing a bit of a crush on Cena.
The entire family is hanging around arguing about which Bella female is the most bossy – according to Bryan, it’s a three-way tie. In terms of which is most annoying, that’s true. Cena, for his part, is smart enough to leave the discussion.
Bryan gets jealous when Brie mentions that Cena taught her how to drive earlier on. He said he was going to teach her and that he’s an expert in stick-shifting, though she thinks Cena is better at it. To get even, he asks JJ’s sister-in-law Lexie to teach him to swim because he says she’d be better at it than Brie. Brie’s clearly upset, but says she doesn’t care.
Brie comes out to watch the swimming lesson – which goes really well – and tries to throw shade at Lexie, including making snide comments about Lexie’s boobs. Based on the gratuitous close-up shots, there’s nothing wrong with Lexie’s boobs. Brie tries to make Bryan jealous by bringing up her driving lessons, but he won’t take the bait.
The next day, Cena explains his rehab schedule, which is pretty much an all-day affair. Nikki’s sad about this, because she thought them both being injured at the same time would mean they could spend more time together.
Later, Brie takes Nikki to the hospital and her X-rays look good. Then, Nikki gets all power-trippy and bossy. Later, she tells Brie about John’s sexual techniques, and espouses the virtue of the quickie, while denouncing Brie’s more romantic tendencies. Meanwhile, I hate myself more and more for agreeing to recap this show.
After dinner, the men head into the smoking room for guy talk. Johnny asks for their advice on pre-nuptial agreements. Cena is all for it, while Bryan suggests Johnny talk to his lawyer about it. JJ feels a bit awkward, since it’s his mom they’re talking about.
The next morning, Brie and Bryan are recovering from their (offscreen) quickie, which neither of them particularly liked, since the nature of it took the romance out of the equation. She tells Nikki about it, and of course they argue about stupid things. Later, over morning coffee, Nikki blabs to Cena about it, and rats them out for not showering afterwards.
Over lunch, the girls and JJ talk with Kathy about the wedding plans. JJ tells mom to be cautious, because she’s already been burned with bad marriages twice before. Brie sides with JJ, and this upsets Kathy.
Later, at the house, Nikki asks Brie and Bryan to help her spray-tan. Bryan flat-out refuses because he has some self-respect, but Brie acquiesces. Nikki tells Brie that this was a ploy to get them to hang out with her because she’s lonely, since Cena is rehabbing all the time. Maybe she should spend time with a psychiatrist because that’s the thinking of a sociopath. Brie suggests she talk to John about it instead.
That evening, Nikki was supposed to go to dinner with John, but she bails because she’s already hit her daily calorie limit thanks to a big lunch. She suggests they watch a movie together instead, but Cena is mad that she screwed up their plans and leaves to find something else to do. Nikki goes after him and apologizes. He says his priority is to get healthy, but sees her side of it when she tells him that it’s unfair to not make her a priority as well. He apologizes for not making time for her and commits to do so.
At the Performance Centre, Brie tells Lana that she’s going to retire after WrestleMania, to focus on Bryan and on having a baby. It’s weird to hear Lana without her fake Russian accent.
After her workout, Brie tells Kathy about Johnny’s pre-nup plans, which she found out about from JJ. Kathy is shocked by this development, since Johnny never mentioned it. She’s irritated that Johnny would first talk about it with anyone but her, and second that he’d consider it necessary, given that she owns a company and is actually has more to lose than he does. Wait, didn’t they do that on Seinfeld? What’s next, Cena “stops short” when giving Brie another driving lesson?
That night, unaware she’s on speakerphone, Kathy disses Johnny while talking to Nikki, and he overhears this. But the poor guy has to wait until she gets to the house before he can know what’s going on, because Nikki takes the phone with her on her dinner date with John.
When she finally gets there, the tension is palpable. Kathy calls out Johnny for talking about the pre-nup with the guys. He uses logic, which is a rarity in the Bella household, to argue that she shouldn’t be upset with him talking with his new family about things and getting their advice. He says he doesn’t think they need one, but he wants to make sure they’re both protected. She realizes she had overreacted, and they make up. Fortunately, we don’t learn about his sexual techniques, because that would be the last straw for this reviewer.
The next day at brunch, JJ has turned the corner on Johnny and the wedding, saying that Johnny was great to be thinking so much about her mom that he would research pre-nups to protect her. Then, Kathy drops the news that they are going to have a wedding after all – and that it will take place in three weeks.
John and Bryan are wearing the same T-shirt, which causes Kathy to put her foot in her mouth when she compares the two to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins. You can guess which one is which.
Brie parades around in a bikini, which is good, while teaching her dog to swim, which is stupid. She’s sad that Bryan won’t be on the road with her during her retirement tour, which will conclude with her last match at WrestleMania. They’re not even sure if Bryan will be at Mania, which is frustrating. More frustrating is that while Brie is on the road, poor Daniel has to stay and play solo manservant to the demanding Nikki.
At home, Nikki and Bryan watch Brie’s match against Summer Rae, and it’s bittersweet – they’re happy she’s on TV, but sad that they’re not able to be in the ring themselves.
The next day, JJ is over and in what seems like a blatant plug for Kathy’s business, he starts whining about Kathy treating him like her personal assistant at work. The family starts talking about Brie’s match, and when Bryan offers some insights, Nikki suggests he pursue a job training at the WWE Performance Centre, and she convinces him to make the drive to go over there right away. JJ joins them so he can avoid being his mom’s gofer and to further this week’s plotline.
JJ is duly impressed by the gym, while Bryan gives Sami Zayn some pointers, and they shoehorn in some clips of Brock Lesnar. The lessons he drops on Sami get Nikki thinking even more that he’d be a great coach, but Bryan says that teaching others makes him depressed, since it’s nothing more than a reminder that he can’t wrestle anymore. On the way back home, Nikki apologizes for stirring up those kinds of emotions in Bryan.
Back at the house, JJ talks to John about how cool he found his visit to the Performance Centre, and asks him if he could get him an opportunity with WWE as a developmental talent. Cena basically no-sells the request, telling JJ that if he wants to go for it, he should go back to the centre and work hard – without his help. Cena then tells Bryan that he should get out of his funk and use his training skills for something.
Elsewhere, JJ lashes out at Kathy when she asks him to do something administrivial for her work. He lets her know he’s fed up with being asked to do such menial tasks.
The next day, Nikki takes Bryan out for high tea, but he’s not pleased when she tells him that this is a girls-only event. But he doesn’t object when he starts sucking back the tea, which he loves. He and Nikki talk about his and Brie’s plans to start a family once she retires.
Brie’s off the road for a couple of days, and she can tell that Bryan’s unhappy with his lot in life. The family goes for some golfing practice, and JJ lets them know about John’s refusal to help him land a break at the Performance Centre. He says he wants to explore a wrestling career to get out from under his mother’s thumb. Johnny says he should suck it up and stick with him mother’s company so he can one day take over the family business, instead of pursuing a pipe dream.
Later, Brie tells Nikki talk about JJ’s desire to get out of Kathy’s company. Brie thinks JJ needs to tell Kathy, but Nikki says why shouldn’t he try wrestling if that’s what he’s interested in.
That afternoon, the twins hit the spa and talk about Bryan. Nikki asks Brie about Bryan’s reluctance to go for a teaching opportunity, and Brie reveals that Bryan’s been suffering from depression and anxiety issues for several years.
At lunch, Brie unsubtley blurts out in front of Kathy that JJ is looking for new opportunities outside of her firm. A surprised Kathy asks him what’s going on, and he confronts her about the crappy way she treats him. She tells him to quit if he doesn’t like it. They all talk about JJ like he’s not even at the table and try to plan out his future, which makes him even angrier.
At home, Brie and Kathy continue the conversation, and they call over JJ to hash things out once and for all. JJ says he wants more than being treated like an assistant, and that he wants to be treated and seen as a more important part of the company.
At dinner, everyone makes fun of how stupid Nikki is. Kathy stops the fun by acknowledging JJ’s importance in her company, and offers to make him a minority partner, and they all celebrate.
The next morning, Brie and Bryan take a day trip to go swimming with manatees, but while they both liked the experience, it’s not enough to lift Bryan’s depressed mood. The show ends on a down note, with Bryan feeling sad about his future.
Bob Kapur has awesome sexual techniques. Want to know more, ladies? E-mail him at [email protected]