Between last week and this week’s episodes, Total Bellas takes on the matters of life and death. First, Nikki and John Cena talk about what’s going to happen in the event that one of them is on their deathbed. Later, Bryan and Brie try to figure out whether or not alcohol is good for their unborn baby. Certainly it’s helpful when watching this show. Check out the full recap for all the details.
The show kicks off with food being delivered to Nikki and John’s rental villa, where JJ is staying. They get into a discussion of how picky Nikki is about her wine, which makes her whine.
Backstage, Nikki and Bryan are talking about their upcoming in-ring promo where the match between Nikki and John vs. Maryse and the Miz is going to be made. The angle goes down great, though in a talking head segment, Nikki plays it up like there’s real backstage heat between her and Maryse, which you may recall was fabricated drama for the last season of Total Divas. Sadly, the best match that could have come out of this was Miz vs. Bryan, but that can’t happen due to Bryan’s injury. After the promo, John and Nikki heap praise on one another.
At lunch, JJ and Lauren meet up with Kathy and Johnny Ace to discuss the progress of JJ and Lauren’s marriage counselling. The discussion turns to senior citizen sex, which nobody needs to hear, but especially over lunch. Brie calls in to FaceTime and they disgust her with tales of Kathy and Johnny’s bedroom antics as well.
At home, Brie and Bryan are picking peas out of their backyard garden. Brie lets Bryan know that she’s arranged to meet with their lawyer to figure out who’ll take care of their kid in the event that Brie and Bryan die. Brie thinks it should be Nikki, but knows that Cena doesn’t want kids. Bryan is worried about leaving the kid with JJ and Lauren, given their marital discord. Bryan lampshades the discussion, saying that like everything in this relationship, Brie’s going to ask for his advice, but will ultimately do whatever she decides.
Later, Brie visits Nikki and wants her help to buy a maternity-wear bikini and a nursing bra. Kathy disgusts by suggesting she buy a nursing bra as well, so Johnny can have easy access to the Aces. The talk again turns to Kathy’s sex life, and both the twins and the viewers throw up a bit in our mouths.
Nikki mentions she’s been dating Cena for five years now, and Brie and Kathy both bug her about whether Cena will propose or not. Nikki doubts it, which again makes Brie wonder if John’s reluctance to have kids would make him a good guardian for her kid or not.
The next day, the entire family has breakfast together. It comes up that when the girls were younger, Kathy used to joke about removing them from her will if they did something stupid, which you have to assume was a lot. Nikki mentions that she doesn’t have a will, so everyone convinces her to set up a will and a living trust, which basically grants power of attorney to someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Cena’s shocked that she hasn’t done any planning for her future.
Nikki suggests that John would be the one to make the “pull the plug” decision for her, but he refuses, saying that they first need to have a detailed discussion about her wishes in that regard before taking that responsibility. Lauren and JJ say that Brie and Bryan would take their daughter Vivian should anything happen to them. John’s name comes up, but he flatly refuses, because he hates children. Though not enough that he won’t buy a box of Girl Guide cookies when he leaves the restaurant.
Afterwards, on the drive home, John tells Nikki that he and Nikki need to talk before he would take on the power of attorney role. Nikki says she’ll write down what to do in every scenario, but he’s still reluctant. Cena flat out refuses to tell her who his power of attorney is, saying it’s confidential information so she can’t see it, which of course upsets her that he’s keeping secrets. He tells her she’s not even on the list, because he doesn’t want to burden her with that decision, but that only hurts her feelings more. She says that she still feels “only” like a girlfriend to be kept out of the important decisions in his life. She says if he wants to share a life together, he needs to include her in life-and-death calls, but he says he doesn’t want to put her through that stress. They get into a pretty decent fight about it, and the temperature in the car cools down to below frosty.
The entire family and a bunch of friends go out for happy hour because they haven’t had an episode yet this season where someone has drunkenly screamed “Brie Mode.” As the running episode thread continues, the talk yet again turns to Kathy and Johnny’s bedroom antics. Does anybody drink with their parents as much as these people do? Johnny shows them a picture of something he bought them, presumably a sex toy but fortunately the picture was blurred. JJ quickly suggests they all move to the party bus, where all the girls dance on a pole. Which, hopefully, isn’t what Johnny Ace named the sex toy.
Brie goes for a pregnancy shoot in her new maternity bikini among other outfits, and is joined by JJ and Lauren. Brie asks them to be Birdie’s guardian should something happen to her and Bryan. They’re flattered and agree, and once again we’re treated to a talking head segment in which Lauren’s twins are on full display, so clearly the producers have been reading my letters. Now Brie has to tell Nikki, which she knows won’t go over well.
JJ takes Nikki to go to a funeral home to educate her on living trusts and wills and planning for her death. He teases her, suggesting that she choose the option where they freeze your head after you die, which would be interesting since scientists could then determine how someone with so little brain power can be so successful in the wrestling industry despite not having any ounce of wrestling talent.
The funeral director walks them through the options, but Nikki has no idea what she wants, and then gets so upset talking about it, she clams up. JJ tells Nikki that Brie asked him and Lauren to be the power of attorney for Birdie, and that really upsets Nikki. Nikki says that she should have been the choice since she and Brie are twins and that somehow translates into her having a closer connection to Birdie than non-twin JJ.
Later, Nikki asks Kathy and Johnny to be her power of attorney, and explains she’s asking them because John said no. Kathy declines, because of similar reasons, in that it would be too emotionally difficult for her to make such a hard decision. This makes Nikki see how hard the decision must be, and now understands why Cena wouldn’t choose her as his attorney.
Backstage, Nikki makes JJ tell John about their fieldtrip to the funeral home. Cena mentions an option where you’re buried in a biodegradable pod that is used to feed a tree, which sounds like it will only lead to the growing of a haunted forest, and that’s really scary.
Later, Nikki confronts Brie about Brie’s choice of JJ and Lauren as Birdie’s guardian. Brie explains that marriage creates a stronger family foundation, and she doesn’t want Birdie going to her and Cena if Cena’s still reluctant to have a wife and kids. She says she’ll consider changing it to NIkki if Cena gives any indication that he’s open to having kids some day.
Later, JJ and Nikki are in a hot tub together, and again does anyone do this with their siblings as much as they do? JJ tells Nikki about his talk with John from the other week, where Cena told him that he is rethinking his position on never getting married again because of the time he’s been with her. She’s all excited to hear about it, but less so after he splashes her, though sadly, not like King Kong Bundy, who frankly would be a welcome addition to this show… maybe they should add him as Birdie’s guardian. Now that would be entertaining.
The episode starts off at John and Nikki’s villa where Brie tries to join Nikki and her hot friend in a yoga session.
Brie, JJ, and Kathy are all heading to Sonoma, where they’ll be met up with everyone else, who are coming over after a few live shows. Nikki’s excited because this will be her and Brie’s first opportunity to try their wine brand.
In the car, Kathy pesters Brie about whether she’s prepared for the meeting with the winemakers, and then won’t let her use the bathroom. OK, so in this episode, Kathy is going to be the one that’s the most unbearable, and that’s saying a lot.
They get to the vacation house, and it’s great – very scenic. JJ calls Lauren and FaceTimes his baby, who has a cold. He and Lauren seem to be getting along, so either their therapy is working well, or the writers forgot about this plot point for now.
Nikki makes a crack about Bryan not being able to try their wine, maybe because he doesn’t drink or is allergic or something. He counters, saying that she probably won’t support his business idea, which is to join his hippie friend in a monthly seed mail-order idea, which sounds stupid on paper. Meanwhile, Kathy refuses to take off her jacket, even though they’re all sitting in the hot sun. They pick on her until she leaves. #JacketShamingIsBullying
Maybe I spoke too soon about who will be the most unbearable, because it looks like JJ is vying for the title this week. He decides to start playing practical jokes on everyone – including with a fart machine that he hides in Kathy’s chair.
Later that afternoon, Kathy annoys the twins again with her suggestions about how to conduct themselves during their business meeting. They think that she doesn’t trust their ability to act like business-people, which she knows something about, having run a company for the past hundred years. As this goes on, JJ runs into the room for a fright-scare.
The wine guys come by later that night. Brie sees Kathy talking one of the guys’ ear off, and gets irritated. Worse still is Kathy is still wearing that filthy jacket, at least initially. The twins try to corral her into worst spot at the dinner table, away from their money-marks… I mean “investors”.
During the toast, JJ blasts off the fart machine, which he’s put under Kathy’s chair, so not only is the risk that she’s seen as weird and overbearing, but also the fact that #FartShamingIsBullying. The wine guys are going on and on about the brand, showing off the new logo and stuff, while every so often, the silence gets punctuated with a fart noise. How any of these people have jobs is amazing. Later, Bryan gets upset when he learns that Brie will be planning on tasting the wine, because apparently she wants her unborn kid to come out as stupid as she is. Kathy says that Brie should go ahead and chug away. #ParentOfTheYear
The next day, at breakfast, a few of them decide to have a foot race. Kathy wins, though if Johnny Ace had his skateboard, I bet things would have gone down much differently. The twins suggest that everyone retire and move there as a family, and from there, they can run their BirdieBee company and this new wine brand. The talk turns to who they can hire to do their social media, and Kathy volunteers to help them find someone – apparently, her own company is some kind of recruiting firm. But everyone just makes fun of her.
They all decide to go on a bike ride, and JJ keeps bumping into everyone as part of his pranks. On the ride, Bryan asks Kathy for advice on how to hire people for his lame seed company, and she’s more than happy to help out.
Meanwhile, Nikki and Brie – who opted out of the bike ride – survey the vineyard where their wine grapes are grown. Brie is upset that she can’t try the wine, so Nikki suggests she go ahead, or just taste it and spit it out.
Later at dinner, Brie and Nikki float their idea with Bryan, who apparently has spent enough time with this family that he’s become stupid through osmosis. He okays the idea if Brie really wants to poison the fetus, but says that because the twins are celebrities, they may get a lot of flak if people see Brie drinking while pregnant. Somehow this leads to Nikki agreeing to wear a fake pregnancy belly. Meanwhile, JJ recruits some of the other patrons at the restaurant to play a prank on the twins, which was admittedly pretty funny.
That night, JJ pulls another fright scare on Nikki, resulting in a bunch of wine being spilled all over Johnny’s shoes, so in retribution, she throws JJ into the pool. He gets really angry, and Nikki runs away and hides from him lest he seek retribution and do the same to her.
The fake baby belly arrives, and it looks pretty realistic when Nikki puts it on. They head to the bar to try out the Bella wine. Everyone else in the place stares at Nikki who’s chugging away while looking pregnant. She and Brie go to confront one table of women who are giving them the hairy eyeball, and let them in on the joke. Two of the women at the table then admit that they both drank while pregnant as well. Visiting another table, the couple there don’t even bat an eyelash at Nikki’s drinking, even as they’re talking with her about potential baby names. Which suggests that everyone on this show is as idiotic as the stars of this show. I fear for the progeny of either of these two morons. #SomebodyCallChildrensAid
Later, Brie tells Bryan about her experience not drinking at the bar. It comes out that he’s asked Brie not to expose their child to alcohol, since alcoholism runs in his family. Brie is fine with not drinking, but won’t judge others – even pregnant women – who do.
Later that night, Kathy accepts a rap battle challenge from JJ and is horrible at it. Over dinner, she gives Bryan a business book to help him plan his what-will-ultimately-be-a-failure business. He’s grateful for her thoughtfulness, and says he can’t understand why the twins won’t ask her for advice. They say they have other mentors, including John Cena, but Kathy points out that Cena has asked her for help numerous times. They continue to pooh-pooh her, and she gets angry and storms off.
Bryan and Johnny tell the twins and JJ to cut Kathy some slack, and remind them that she was able to run a successful business while raising those three idiots by herself, so kind of knows what she’s talking about. Kathy comes back to the table and starts an emotional rant about how they don’t respect her, and always make fun of her, including her bad cooking. Bryan lectures them all about taking things too far, and says that they have a tendency to pile on each other to the point where it stops being good-natured fun, and ventures into hurtful.
They tell her how much that they love her and how much she means to her, and that they appreciate how much she cares about them. She says she’s only trying to help them and wants them to learn from her mistakes. But recognizes that they need to try things out and be free to succeed or fail, so she says she’ll scale back on forcing her help on them.
Later, everyone is getting ready to leave for another meeting with the wine guys, but nobody can find JJ. As Nikki goes out to look for him, he pulls another fright-prank, leaping out at her from the dark. A scared Nikki jumps and falls down the stairs, taking the ugliest landing she’s ever made – and after all of her botched matches, that’s saying a lot. She gets up and her hand is sliced open, and the way she landed, she’s actually pretty lucky she didn’t break it or her wrist. As she gets the wound cleaned up, he apologizes, but she’s too angry to accept. They all get into the car, and he agrees to stop pranking people.
At the bar, they unveil the twins’ wine, and everyone seems to enjoy it. The show ends with them all toasting to their successful venture.
Bob Kapur has had a long couple of weeks. E-mail him an FTD pick-me-up bouquet – or better yet, a bottle of Bella wine – at [email protected].