Yes, we’re gluttons for punishment, as our coverage of this season of Total Divas continues with episodes four through six. Whether you’re catching up like we are for a holiday hate-watch session, or (if you’re smart) you don’t watch the show at all, well, this is the place for you. If you’re an actual fan of the show, then God help you. Regardless, check out the full recaps below.
Episode 4: Eva Marie gets back in the groove; Byran teaches Nikki a cool new move; Paige dates ADR, Renee doesn’t approve
Renee and Dean Ambrose go out for some paddleboarding yoga classes, and Renee is smoking in her Baywatch-inspired bathing suit that she’s almost wearing. This opening segment was basically to show how sexy she is and basically that she’s slumming it with Ambrose.
It’s Smackdown, and Nattie is glad to be getting some TV time as of late, as she’s in a championship feud with Charlotte. Paige, on the other hand, is backstage looking for a purpose, and six months of not being on TV has her pretty frustrated.
At home, Brie tells Bryan that she’s invited Nikki to spend the weekend, which surprises him because he doesn’t think she likes Brie and Bryan’s rustic lifestyle – if you watched, or read our recaps of Total Bellas, you will recall how Bryan and Nikki got into a pretty heated argument about her materialism.
Backstage, Eva is worried because she’s not being booked on any live events while all the other girls have their schedule for the next couple of months. She seeks out WWE suit Mark Carrano to find out what’s going on, and he no-sells her. He tells her that Creative has nothing for her, and to just be patient.
Nikki’s cleavage goes out to lunch with Kathy (the Bellas’ mom) to whine about still not being cleared to wrestle. She says she’s going to visit Brie and Bryan so she can ask Bryan to give her some wrestling pointers – ironic, since the rest of her pointers are fully displayed in that dress.
Nattie is throwing a party for Trinity before she heads off to film the new Marine movie and a bunch of the girls are there. They’re all surprised to see Paige walk in with Alberto Del Rio, and the two of them getting all kissy. They pry her for information on her new man, and she’s all gushy about him, thinking he may “the one”. Which is surprising, given that a few of them didn’t even know she had broken up with her fiancee.
Eva visits Maryse’s house, and the two of them strip down into bikinis and hit the whirlpool, and that’s stellar. Eva is sad about not being on TV, so Maryse tells her to keep going to the TV tapings even though she’s not being featured because out of sight, out of mind. At some point, it’s also revealed that Maryse will be in the Marine movie along with Miz and Trinity.
Driving around with Nikki, Brie tells her that she needs to get along with Bryan during her visit, and she asks that there be no talk about wrestling, since Bryan’s still depressed about his forced retirement. This, of course, scuppers Nikki’s plans, so she’ll probably do the exact opposite and make Brie angry in the next segment. They stop at a plant store so Nikki can buy him a literal olive branch, but end up with a broken apple tree instead.
Renee, Nattie, Maryse, and Lana all go for breakfast, and start gossiping about Paige’s relationship with Alberto. They’re all worried that Paige is investing too much of her life in her new relationship and is losing herself.
At the house, Bryan likes the apple tree, but not necessarily the conversation with Nikki, especially when she tells them she’s signed them up for a winery tour – he doesn’t drink, you see, so she basically signed him up to be a forced chauffer.
Backstage, Lilian Garcia tells Renee that Paige missed some live events over the weekend and that she’s planning on moving into Alberto’s house. This really upsets Renee, who has been trying to reach out to Paige but has been getting nothing but radio silence back. She finds Paige and sets up a coffee talk session with her for the next day.
At the winery, Nikki – again, thanks to whoever makes those frontless shirts for her – uses Bryan’s good mood to ask him to help her with her comeback, and this angers Brie. Brie pulls her aside and reminds her of her request to not bring up wrestling in front of him. They fight, because that’s what they do on this show.
Eva shows up at TV, which is a bit of a surprise for everyone, since she’s not booked and actually had to pay her own way to get there. She finds WWE agent Brian “Road Dogg” James, and asks him about why she’s not on TV lately. He tells her that she’s taking a risk, because people don’t like it when you go into business for yourself. But he does agree to look over an idea that she’s come up with and take it to the decision-makers.
Paige and Renee go to a park outside the arena to find out what’s going on with her. She questions why Paige missed the recent live events to spend the day with Alberto. Paige says that she had a mini mental breakdown, and that she’s upset that she’s not being used and this is her way of coping. Renee tells her that her friends are worried about her, and Paige gets upset that everyone’s in her business. Paige lashes out, saying that they’re phony friends and her relationship is none of their business, and then storms off. Renee is mad that Paige blew up at her, when all she’s trying to do is help her as a friend.
Backstage, WWE producer Steve Conoscenti finds Eva and tells her that they loved her idea for a new entrance, and tells her that they’re going to give her a match tonight.
Brie, Bryan, and Nikki go on a nature walk. Bryan’s annoyed because Nikki keeps stopping to take selfies, and Nikki’s annoyed because she wants nothing to do with nature walks and is only visiting them to pump Bryan for advice.
Backstage, Carrano is ticked because it’s call-time and nobody can find Paige.
At lunch, things get awkward when Bryan starts asking Nikki about her comeback, and Nikki throws Brie under the bus, telling Bryan that Nikki has prohibited her from talking about wrestling with him. Bryan asks Brie why she said that to Nikki, and she explains that she did it to protect his feelings.
Bryan says that Brie is legitimately interested in Nikki’s comeback and that Brie shouldn’t have told Nikki to not bring it up. Bryan seeks out Nikki and tells her it’s okay to talk wrestling, and their mutual love of it is something that they should be able to comfortably share. They hug it out and are friends again.
Eva Marie makes her return, complete with her great new entrance, and has a good match with Nattie. She’s thrilled with the results of her work to get back on TV.
Paige comes into the building during the show, and goes into Carrano’s office where he blows up, reminding her that she has a job and needs to be there on time. He reads her the riot act both as an employer and a friend. She’s all sad about her life, and he tries to remind her that he’s on her side, and that he’s trying to be her friend. He reminds her that she’s not alone and that if she needs help, she should ask.
Bryan and the twins head to a gym where Bryan gives Nikki some ideas for new moves, including a neat clothesline and a painful-looking submission lock. Brie realizes that this is a good opportunity for her sister and husband to bond, and also may help Nkki suck less in the ring. By the end, they’re all BFFs again.
Backstage, Renee is trying to avoid Paige after their argument in the park. Renee realizes that she can’t force Paige to do anything and that all she can do is support her. She finds Paige and tells her that she’s here for her. Paige realizes that Renee just came to her out of concern, and apologizes for blowing up. They mutually agree that if Paige needs any help, she will reach out to Renee, who she knows will always be there for her.
Episode 5: Maryse is scared so buys a rod; dual wedding plans gets parents’ nod; Renee’s party planning skills are flawed, but, wow, she’s got a killer bod
Backstage, Paige tells Renee that she and Alberto are now officially living together, but Paige hasn’t yet pooped at his house. Yeah, this is going to be a long show.
At the restaurant where she’s having lunch with Bryan, Brie sees a number of paintings on the wall and wonders whether she should buy one for Renee and Dean Ambrose, who they’re going to visit later on in Las Vegas. Then Brie and Bryan talk about her womb.
Lana’s parents are visiting her and Rusev In Nashville as they do wedding planning chores. Lana’s folks are ultra-religious, which leads to a funny moment where Rusev is driving really fast and Lana’s mom is in the back seat praying for safety. As Lana and her mom look at dresses, Rusev is sitting there grumpily complaining about the lack of tradition in America since Lana is insisting on a beach wedding as opposed to a traditional Bulgarian wedding – something that he’s afraid to personally tell his mom.
Backstage, Maryse and Miz get a call from Maryse’s mom, who’s house-sitting for them, and she says that a man is trying to break in. Maryse checks her security cameras on her phone, and they can see the burglar at the door. Maryse tells her mom to call 911 immediately. As they watch the live stream, they see the guy skedaddle when he sees the mom through the window on the phone to the police.
Backstage, Rusev asks Lana to have a wedding in Bulgaria because his mom wants a very traditional celebration. Lana says she’s not going to let his mom dictate her special day.
That night, Maryse and Miz are out for dinner and are joined by Paige who asks about the attempted break-in. Maryse is panicked about what might happen, and suggests she get a gun for home protection, but Miz and Paige try to talk her out of it.
At Lana and Rusev’s place, Lana’s parents try out her stripper pole, which Rusev is trying to take down before his mom arrives. In a funny moment, she pulls up to the house and they play Rusev’s ring entrance music. Lana grew up in the former Soviet Union so can actually speak Bulgarian, which is kind of neat. Things start off rocky when Lana tells Rusev’s mom that she had to get a chef to cook dinner tonight because she is too busy to cook, and then Rusev has to tell a clumsy lie when his mom finds the stripper pole.
In Vegas, Renee is excited when Brie and Bryan arrive at her and Dean’s place, because she hasn’t seen her friend Brie in some time. She’s less excited, though, when Brie drops the bomb on her that she’s invited Nikki to come too. Renee is worried because while she’s bought a lot of stuff for Bryan and Brie’s guest room, the other guest room for Nikki is completely bare, and she knows Nikki is demanding and picky.
As a completely unrelated aside – this hasn’t been mentioned before in these recaps because they haven’t made a bigger plot point out of this, but every scene that Dean Ambrose has been in so far suggest he’s an alcoholic. There’s been a comment about him being hung over, and in this episode, he seems obsessed about his bar and lovingly strokes a bottle of whiskey. So if this show gets renewed, watch for a very special episode next season where he has to go to AA or rehab or something. Back to the recap.
Renee heads to the car to drive to a place to get some stuff for Nikki, when who should pull up to the house but the devil herself.
At their poolside BBQ dinner, Rusev’s mom explains the Bulgarian wedding traditions, and put the hard-sell on Lana for that kind of wedding. She insists on her dream beach wedding in Maibu, which Rusev’s mom flatly rejects.
With Miz away filming his movie, Maryse has invited Eva for a sleepover, so she doesn’t have to be alone in the house that night. Inspired by the movie Home Alone, Eva tries to help her set up some booby traps, but they do such a poor job of it that Eva concludes that Maryse’s idea to get a gun was probably the right call. Maryse won’t do it, because as much as she thinks it will make her feel safe, she knows Miz doesn’t want one in the house. Besides, she’s never even seen a gun, so doesn’t know how she feels about actually owning one. Eva agrees to take her to the gun range the next day to get some practice.
Back in Nashville, on a shopping trip at a Bulgarian market, Rusev tells his mom that he’ll keep trying to get Lana to agree to have the wedding in Bulgaria. Lana knows what’s going on, but he denies plotting anything.
Meanwhile, Renee tries to out-Bella the Bellas in the stupidity department, thinking that the movie The Martian was based on a true story. I guess she’ll fit right in with this cast. But Nikki keeps her crown when she says she thinks the Harry Potter films were documentaries. Yet they’re still considered smart enough to go ATV racing, which is the day trip event Renee has planned for them. Possibly they’ve done this without helmets? That would explain a lot. Renee’s sad that she planned this, forgetting that Nikki’s neck injury won’t let her ride on an ATV or a monster truck. The rest of them enjoy it while she finds solace at the bar.
At home, Rusev suggests to Lana’s dad that he support a Bulgarian wedding in hopes that he’ll convince Lana. She busts him, though, and calls him out for trying to go behind her back. Particularly when he hasn’t even respected her cultural tradition of asking her dad for her hand in marriage. As she drones on, he’s busy admiring his own muscles and flexing away, until she leaves in a huff. In a funny cliche sit-com moment, as she slams the door in anger he asks why she’s walking away when “we were communicating… I love you. And with that, Rusev takes over from Eva Marie’s body as my favourite cast member on this show.
Eva and Maryse hit the gun range, and Maryse is a natural, scoring a kill-shot on her first attempt. But as good as she is, she knows that Miz doesn’t want a gun in the house.
Renee doesn’t know how to BBQ, which doesn’t bode well for everyone else, since she’s offered to make dinner for everyone. Everyone thinks she’s trying way too hard to please everyone and just want her to relax. As Dean Ambrose drunkenly slurs something, Renee’s nervous energy catches up to her when she drops a platter of food, and she’s afraid everyone will think she’s failed as a hostess. Which, I guess is true, unless you consider floor food to be a successful dinner party.
The next morning, Brie tries to help Renee put up a giant wall tapestry, but it’s too big. Renee confides in Brie that she’s worried that she’s too bad of a host to have people over – indeed, Nikki even left to go stay at a hotel – and that if she can’t, she’ll have no social life since she doesn’t know anyone in Vegas and has no capacity for making non-wrestling friends. Brie tells her to calm down and she should just chill out, especially when her friends are there.
Backstage, Maryse admits that she’s bought a gun, unbeknownst to Miz. Eva thinks it’s a good idea, but Paige isn’t as supportive.
At lunch, Rusev formally requests Lana’s father for her hand in marriage. He gladly agrees, believing that Rusev will be a great husband to his daughter.
In Vegas, Renee and Brie go to Nikki’s hotel to get her and spend a day of relaxing as friends, instead of having Renee go manic in planning ways to entertain them. They head down to the pool, where Renee may be wearing the skimpiest bikini ever worn on this show – yay! – and prepare to get into Brie Mode.
Maryse calls Miz and tells him that she’s bought a gun, and he’s not thrilled. He tells her that he’d been thinking about it, and was actually going to buy her one, but is okay that she jumped the gun (see what I did there?).
Lana and Rusev let their parents know that they’re going to have two wedding ceremonies – one in Malibu and one in Bulgaria, and this makes everyone happy. Well, until they ask Renee to cater.
Episode 6: Nattie tries to give her sister’s business a fix; Lana and Rusev dress like a couple of hicks; Trinity starts her career in the flicks; the Bellas are found to be dumber than bricks
Trinity is in Vancouver for the Marine movie shoot along with Heath Slater and Curtis Axel, and one of them cuts the cheese in her trailer. She’s nervous about doing a good job, so they talk her off the ledge.
Brie and Bryan rent a house for their vacation and it’s huge. Normally they would stay at Nikki’s condo, but since they want to do some baby-making, they thought it was best to find a place where they can be alone. Unfortunately for them, Nikki accompanied them to the vacation house and won’t leave. They start debating over whose dog is smarter, and both of them are smarter than Nikki. They go on to talk about how competitive the twins have always been against one another. Sadly, this didn’t extend to trying to become the better wrestler.
Rusev and Lana join Renee at a honky tonk saloon, and he’s predictably terrible at it. It turns out that Rusev is a big country music fan, which is why he loves living in Nashville. Lana suggests they try to incorporate his love for country music into their wedding invitations. He agrees, but only if he does all the organizing of it, but she laughs at the thought.
Nattie is happy about her career trajectory since it’s currently on the upswing. She notes that she’s part of a wrestling dynasty, so (to steal a phrase), her time is now.
On set, Maryse drops by Trinity’s trailer. There, she sees Trinity’s wall of post-it notes where she’s written herself notes of encouragement and tips for not screwing up during the shoot. Maryse invites her to hang out the next day since Trinity isn’t shooting scenes, but Trinity thinks she may be better off staying in and doing more preparation and is non-committal to a plan.
Brie, Bryan, and Nikki are out for lunch, and Bryan goads them into taking IQ tests to see which one of the twins is smarter.
Nattie’s mom calls her and tells her that Jenny – Nattie’s sister – has run away from home. Jenni suffers from hyper-sensitivity and has other emotional problems, and saw some text messages between Nattie and their mom where Nattie said she was worried about Jenni, and this set her off. A distraught Nattie gets comforted by Cesaro who tells her that she can’t kill herself worrying about something she can’t fix.
Later, Nattie picks up Jenni and they catch up. Jenni says she’s looking for a job, and Nattie suggests they start a business together.
Lana is still thinking about how to incorporate a Nashville theme into her wedding invitations – and thinks that Rusev’s recent winning of the United States Championship will tie into this plan. Renee and WWE suit Mark Carrano suggest she keep the job stuff out of their personal stuff. And remind her that a Malibu Beach wedding with a Nashville theme makes about as much sense as Nikki Bella being allowed to wrestle.
Nattie’s business idea is to host cooking classes in her house. While her mom is supportive, Jenni seems less than thrilled. Nattie’s worried that Jenni isn’t otherwise motivated to do anything else, and if she doesn’t embrace this business, she’ll have nothing else to live for.
On the way to the testing centre, Bryan helps the twins prepare for their IQ test – not surprisingly, they both fail miserably. Brie really is feeling competitive and wants to beat Nikki.
Backstage, Nattie approaches Titus O’Neil and asks him to show up to Jenni’s cooking class so it will be a success. He sees how desperate Nattie is to make her sister happy, so agrees to be there – if she pays him a hundred bucks… she does. The twins finish the test and afterwards are comparing notes, and it seems neither of them know much about anything.
Maryse takes Trinity out for the day so they can unwind and relax. Their first stop is a circus school, where they can do some trapeze flying. Trinity’s afraid of heights, but overcomes her fears and has some fun. Maryse thinks this experience will help Trinity learn to get over the insecurities she’s feeling about the movie.
It’s time for Jenni’s class, and along with Titus, Fandango and Big E show up as well, along with a few non-wrestlers. The class goes fine, and everyone seems to have fun.
Lana and Rusev are out doing a country-themed photo shoot, which leads to a pretty funny visual of Rusev in a pair of overalls. It’s clear that he’s not that into it, though, and at one point suggests she do their wedding photos solo so he can go grab lunch.
One of the non-wrestlers taking the cooking class has no idea of kayfabe and lets it slip that Nattie has paid all of the students to be there. Jenni understandably gets upset by this turn of events and confronts Nattie about it. Nattie tries to explain that she did it to protect Jenni from being hurt if nobody showed up, which only causes Jenni more embarrassment.
At home, Rusev gives Lana a present: a mock-up photo of their Nashville-themed Malibu and Bulgarian wedding invitation, which probably will end up being as disastrous as it sounds on paper. She loves it.
At the vacation home, the results of the IQ tests are in, but Brie insists they throw them out without checking them, since if either twin scored higher than the other, it would lead to bruised egos and hurt feelings. Later, she tries to sneak a peek at the scores but Nikki catches her in the act. They finally agree to read the results together, and unbelievably, Nikki beat Brie by a wide margin. Which isn’t to say that she’s smart by any measure… just smarter than Brie, who, based on her score, is only marginally smarter than either of their dogs.
Nattie apologizes to Jenni for embarrassing her, but Jenni is really upset. Not with the fact that Nattie paid the students, but it’s more that Jenni feels that without Nattie, she doesn’t have an identity of her own, that she’s nothing. Nattie notices alcohol on Jenni’s breath and sees an empty bottle of wine, and at this point requests them to stop filming, and the scene comes to an end.
Later, Jenni calls Nattie and explains that she’s been plagued with fears of somehow being a disappointment to Nattie, which is why she broke down after the cooking class debacle. Nattie reassures her that she only has Jenni’s best interests at heart, and they make up. Nattie realizes that Jenni has to succeed or fail based on her own merits, and Nattie needs to take a step back and not try to control what Jenni does in her life, but rather just support her.
On set, Trinity is happy because she overcame her fear and rode a motorcycle. The rest of the shoot goes well, and the episode ends with her filming a scene with a new sense of confidence.
Bob Kapur has a high IQ, but feels himself getting stupider every time he watches this show. E-mail him some trivia questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.