SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TOTAL DIVAS, EPISODE 4
DECEMBER 7 , 2016
AIRED ON E!
We open with a recap: Eva’s back, Paige has personal issues, and Nikki and Bryan argued on Total Bellas over house square footage.
We open with some “deanee.” Regrettably, it’s not an ongoing segment on the show. Yeah, if this show had 15 Renee and Dean segments, I’d take that in a heartbeat over stupid twin arguments between the Bellas. Alas that is not the case. Renee and Dean get two minutes of TV time doing yoga on paddle boards… until Renee falls in the water. Think back to this moment later when the Bellas are having another stupid argument.
We cut to backstage at Smackdown. Nattie’s having a match with Charlotte, and Paige introduces us to the concept of a career crisis because she’s not involved in a storyline. You know, because every Raw opens with a meaningless 17 minute long segment involving Stephanie McMahon who bigfoots all the wrestlers. Oh, that’s me editorializing.
We cut to Brie & Bryan’s place. Bryan’s gardening and Brie informs him that she’s invited Nikki for the weekend. Bryan seems affable and yet less than thrilled. Back at Raw, all the girls – I mean Superstars – have gotten their live event schedules except Eva Marie. Eva talks to Mark Carrano. He says they have nothing for her.
Meanwhile in Phoenix, Nikki meets her mom at a restaurant. The conversation revolves around her upcoming weekend at Brie & Bryan’s. The visual gag is that she’s wearing a dress that pops open at the boobs. Mom says she needs a safety pin. Anyway, we cut to a restaurant where Nattie’s throwing a little going away party for Naomi (spoiler alert, there’s not much about Naomi as Naomi’s going away party is concerned). This is a vehicle to introduce that Paige is with Alberto Del Rio. Nattie describes him in a cut-away as dark and mysterious or handsome or one of those stereotypes, which makes it seem like they’ve been working for the same company for years but somehow have never met. Paige & ADR make out in front of Nattie, Naomi, Jo Jo, and Summer Rae. Merciful Jesus, we finally cut to the first commercial of this show!
At ChateauMarMiz Maryse and Eva are hanging out in the jacuzzi. It’s a sizeable jacuzzi, but I digress. Eva bemoans her lack of schedule. Maryse encourages her. Maryse suggests that she show up at TV despite not being booked. Meanwhile, Brie & Nikki are in Aberdeen. Here we establish that Brie doesn’t want Nikki to talk to Bryan about wrestling since it might depress him. Of course, Nikki wants to talk to Bryan about her comeback. Anyway, they’re at a nursery, so Nikki suggests literally getting Bryan an olive branch. Brie has no idea that it’s a symbol of peace. I pretend to be surprised, but I think at this point I’ve established that I don’t think the Bellas are rocket scientist candidates. They buy an apple tree instead. It barely fits in Brie & Bryans fuel efficient, compact, environmentally-friendly, hipster Honda Fit. I need a new segue!
The next shot is Nattie, Maryse, Renee, and Lana dining. Renee is surprised to learn that Paige is with ADR. She comes across as genuinely concerned (in a way that’s only been demonstrated by Nattie and Naomi so far in this series as a whole) – meaning that she seems likable, and not contrived or meddling. Anyway, back in Aberdeen, the twins give Bryan the tree and Nikki announces she’s made a date for them at a local winery. Bryan doesn’t drink, so he gets to be the designated driver. He sarcastically says that sounds like loads of fun for him. He’s affably annoyed that Nikki has planned this date. Meanwhile, I Google a thesaurus for another word for meanwhile (slim pickens) in order to describe that we’re backstage at TV and Renee talks to Lillian Garcia about Paige. And then we have our second commercial break!
Paige is backstage at catering getting a heaping plate of food. Renee approaches her to arrange a little coffee date. Paige gets some more food. If this was a Bellas segment, then we would have had to talk about carbs – so, there’s our silver lining – when Paige eats, there’s no fat shaming.
Back in Aberdeen, apparently they didn’t say anything meaningful or stupid during the wine tasting, so we get a shot of the twins and Bryan at the “fence of hope.” It’s literally a wire fence on which people tie blue and green ribbons with prayers written on them. Pretty sure this is a pale imitation of the Wishing Wall of Jerusalem – turned into a gimmick at a winery. No teenage girl who watches this show knows that; I doubt the Bellas do either. Anyhoo, Nikki’s prayer ribbon is about her comeback. You go girl, I mean: f— world peace! Anyway, when tying a ribbon on a fence, Nikki tries to broach the subject of her comeback to Bryan, and Brie swoops in to stop her. Brie and Nikki have a “stupid Bella twin argument.” Brie uses the bankrupt argument that Nikki talking to Bryan about her comeback is like if Brie comes back to WWE and uses the rack attack as her finish, I guess because she doesn’t understand the concept of spite? SMH.
So, Eva shows up at TV despite not being booked. She chats with Road Dogg. She’s written up a concept for her ring entrance and gives it to him. Doesn’t WWE have writers? Oh, wait. They’re busy working on 17 minute long opening promos for Stephanie, who bigfoots all the wrestlers, right? Of course. Anyway, Paige and Renee finally have that coffee. Renee asks her what’s up since she missed a bunch of live events. Paige says she’s having a mental breakdown and is trying to deal with the career rut of being a bit player on TV Then it turns into an argument because Paige feels that all the girls are gossiping about her, and that’s high school BS. Paige gets up and throws her coffee cup. Yes, we’ve finally tackled the reality TV trope of a drink being thrown (into some bushes… and not at a person) as someone stalks off! Hey, third commercial break of the show.
Renee and Lana arrive at an arena and chat about Paige as they wander across the parking lot. This is apparently the TV that Eva showed up at unscheduled. Hey, she’s got a match.
We cut to Aberdeen. Brie, Bryan, and Nikki go for a hike. We’re introduced to the comedy spot where Nikki incessantly takes selfies – except is it really a selfie if someone else has to take the picture for you? Someone should find Tyler Breeze and ask to borrow is selfie stick… Anyway, Nikki asks “if a tree falls in the forest…” You know the Bella twins don’t know the end of that. I would face palm, but I don’t want to induce a concussion. Backstage: no one can find Paige. The reason: she’s late. Meanwhile back in Aberdeen, Brie, Bryan, and Nikki are at a restaurant. It’s one of those deals where they have hummingbird feeders at the windows. Nikki asks if hummingbirds ever sleep. I’m mildly deaf (pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before), so I honestly hope that Brie said “of course!” and not “of course not!” For the record: hummingbirds sleep; in fact, all birds sleep. Brie and Nikki finally have an argument about Nikki not being allowed to talk to Bryan about wrestling. Nikki stalks off, and Bryan is left dumbfounded at this stipulation.
Back from commercial, Bryan establishes that he will not fall into a sudden depressive episode if he and Nikki discuss her comeback. He goes outside to wherever she stalked off. The two of them make up. Of course, before they go back into the restaurant, Nikki wants a photo. Bryan makes a selfie joke. They take pics of each other at a photo stand in of a Sasquatch. Nikki cannot pronounce Sasquatch. Did I mention how fun it would be to have an episode where all the Bella twins segments were replaced with Dean and Renee? I’m just saying… well, I’d take Naomi and Jon, and maybe even Jim Neidhart teaching people how to shot-put. But I digress, literally, because we move on to the next shot. Eva Marie has her match at TV against Natalya. It’s all about her entrance – although this is a rough precursor of the one she would eventually have for those four weeks she was on Smackdown Live before being suspended. Eva loses to Nattie. Anyway, Paige finally shows up – late.
Back from commercial, Paige and Mark Carrano argue somewhere that is not filmed. We get audio of their argument. I assume it was edited audio. Paige needs to get her shit together. We cut away to Aberdeen, because if I’d said “meanwhile” again this would become a drinking game. Bryan and the twins are at a karate studio. He teaches Nikki some moves. They make up – happy endings for everyone! Then we’re backstage with Renee & Lana. Renee feels she and Paige need to make up.
After the commercial break, Renee summarizes the events: “Everyone needs their space, until they’ve had too much space, and then they’ve alienated everyone.” Inevitably Paige and Renee make up.
Next week on the show: Lana and Rusev will argue over the details for the Bulgarian incarnation of their wedding, the Bellas & Bryan will visit Renee & Dean at their home, and Maryse is worried about a stranger wandering through her backyard – so she’ll visit a gun range, because ‘Merica (okay, that last part was me editorializing).