Previously on Total Bellas: Brie got pregnant straight out of a spiritual marriage-healing vacation and Nikki got a wedding proposal straight out of a Hallmark movie.
Before the recap of the season 5 finale begins, I just want to thank everybody for reading these Total Bellas blogs! Your reading of these blogs enabled them to continue for the whole season. I pitched recapping this show because it started when almost all wrestling news (and regular news) was depressing and I didn’t know when I would get my regular review column back, so it seemed like a good way to write some more fun stuff for With Spandex without being irresponsible about the serious issues of the world. I enjoyed writing them so I hope you enjoyed reading them, even though they’re on a wrestling website and contain almost nothing about wrestling.
Was There Anything About Wrestling In This Week’s Episode Of Total Bellas?
The Finale Countdown
The Total Bellas season finale finally gets to the promised double pregnancy shenanigans, while using the pregnancy and engagement storylines to revisit the other drama from earlier this season. It presents an aspirational version of life not just because the protagonists are rich, good looking, and in love, but because as they deal with new challenges in life, we see them get closure on the other issues we know they’ve been going through. After a season of conflict that was sometimes too cartoony or weirdly edited to pass as “real,” the Bella-Garcia-Danielson-Chigvintsev family sends the audience off with assurances that while they aren’t on the same page about everything, they love and support each other more than they disagree with or annoy each other.
Cold Feet Strike Again
One of the biggest recurring problems that resurfaces this week is Nikki Bella’s fear of commitment. She’s always wanted to be a wife and mother, but her parents’ relationship and her own history with men cause her to freak out when it seems like these things could actually happen – and now they’re actually happening! She delays picking up her ring out of commitment-phobia, but a conversation with her mom about how she can’t let her parents’ story define her eventually helps.
There’s some iffy acting in this storyline, and the best is Nikki’s Valley Girl-esque reaction to her mom revealing that she has Bell’s Palsy with, “That’s so scary.” It’s so clear that she knew about the condition beforehand, but the show realized they had to mention it in the scene because it’s visible, and the way the reveal, which has nothing to do anything else in the scene or episode, plays out is reminiscent of the breast cancer moment in The Room.
The best scene in this subplot is when Bryan and Artem go to Whole Foods and Bryan 1) shares that during Brie’s first pregnancy she had cravings for bagels, which meant that he also ate bagels, and over nine months he went from 185 to 213 pounds, and 2) gives sage advice about being a Bella husband. It seems like good advice in general; he reminds Artem of where Nikki’s fears are coming from and tells him to “reinforce the positive.” In his own marriage to someone who grew up in the same household, Bryan has accepted that “I can’t control what Brie does,” but he can be there for her.
Those childhood issues also manifest in the return of estranged Bella dad Jon Garcia. The twins kind of just didn’t talk to him about their autobiography earlier in the season even though that was the main reason they reached out to him, but they finally have that discussion at a dinner this episode. Nikki and Brie have accepted that they can’t include their mom or brother in the re-connection with their dad, and their dad gets it. Jon reveals more about his own abuse and addiction-filled childhood and says he’s an open book as far as material for their book because “You know what healed me? Being honest with myself.”
The scene deals with these relationships better than past dad-centric episodes have, but it’s still clear that Total Bellas and maybe the reality TV format aren’t equipped to deal with or portray complicated family issues. In the real world, though, the Bellas’ book is out and from the excerpts I’ve read online, it looks like they got a quality ghostwriter who handled the family stuff and other more serious parts of their lives better than this show has.
“Let’s Taco Bout A Baby”
The A story of this episode, the twins being pregnant at the same time, also works as a preview for season 6. Once the Bellas are both knocked up, their twin connection goes into overdrive. Nikki wants to have a very Pinterest/momstagram gender reveal party and Brie is immediately sold on it even though she and Bryan had agreed they wanted to be surprised. (“One of my big problems in life is that Nicole has more influence on Brie than I do,” Bryan tells the camera.) The twins get excited because if Brie is late and Nikki’s early, their kids could be born on the same day. They also start having the same cravings, which is evidence of the type of psychic coordination that allowed Twin Magic to be so devastating, and that twins are creepy as hell.
Eventually, Brie agrees with the person she’s actually having a baby with not to do a gender reveal and just helps plan the party. I think big gender reveal shindigs are stupid on a few levels, but it seems like these people had fun at this expensive-looking event. The Mexican theme to honor that part of their heritage (and make up for their dad not being able to be there) also resolves a conflict from earlier in the season. Nikki and Artem are having a boy and Total Bellas will be back in the fall, E! claims, a reminder that the real world is less than an IG-friendly right now because it makes you wonder, “Wait, can they do that? When did they film this?”
Bella Line Of The Week
- Nikki is guessing the sex of her baby from the ultrasound and thinks it’s a boy for reasons that Bryan points out make no sense. Then she says, “But that way it looks like a boner,” and Bryan replies, “That’s for sure a boner.”
- Brie calls Nikki from the OBGYN and Nikki tells her “I wanna be a MILF.” Brie responds, “You’ll be a MILF,” but after she hangs up says, “You won’t be a MILF. You’ll be tired as f*ck.” Bryan thinks this is hilarious.
MVP Of The Season
After careful analysis of all eleven hours of Total Bellas season 5, I have to conclude that the MVP of the season is Birdie Danielson for her performance as a cherubic toddler who doesn’t really know she’s on a reality show. The runner up is Artem’s dad Vladimir for being an old man who also doesn’t really get reality shows.