Total Bellas Total Recaps: It’s My Birthday And I’ll Scheme If I Want To

Previously on Total Bellas: The twins took a trip to Mexico and their dad took a turn for the sleazy when he referred to them and their stepmom as triplets.

Was There Anything About Wrestling On This Week’s Episode Of Total Bellas?

Yes! Daniel Bryan returned and his WWE schedule is a part of the subplot about Brie’s car getting stolen from their driveway while he isn’t there.

It looks like Brie and Bryan will address their marriage issues more seriously again next week, but here they just buy a huge amount of security equipment because Brie’s freaked out about being home alone with a small child. She also says that Bryan being on the road so much makes her feel like a single parent sometimes, which could seem like an exaggeration for the cameras, but is how the kids of multiple wrestlers have described how they grew up, even if they have a good relationship with their wrestler parent now. That note might make it seem like this was another episode that tried to address some serious problems, but don’t worry, this one just focuses on very dumb and fake problems!

Non-Essential Drama

After a weirdly heavy start to the season, this week’s episode of Total Bellas ditches the somewhat concerning family drama for the tried and true reality show staple of manufactured-feeling family drama that makes almost everyone involved look like a maniac.

The first storyline to which we’re introduced is the conflict around the family photo Kathy wants taken for her birthday, which she does not want to include Artem. She wants “something timeless” and for some reason, Nikki and Artem’s relationship doesn’t seem timeless to her! She must not have been convinced by them publicly announcing their couple-hood with a dance video set to this song.

As if this wasn’t enough, Nikki faces further persecution from her family when her brother JJ accuses her of the crime of Aunt Favoritism because she spends more time with Birdie than she does with JJ’s kids. There’s some armchair psychology justification in there that it’s not really about Aunt Favoritism, but about his issues from being the third wheel to a set of twins all his life. This is understandable but doesn’t make this man’s sniping at Nikki seem any less ridiculous. Both JJ and Kathy act like the antagonists of r/relationships posts this week.

The storylines converge at a family photo photoshoot from one of the windier regions of hell. The Garcia-Bella-Laurinaitis-Danielson clan attempts to enact Kathy’s genius plan to take the real photo secretly before Artem gets there, then a fake one with him after he gets there, and then Kathy will just put up the fake one when Artem’s over, I guess. Artem, a man in his late thirties who is by far the most chill person on this show, could not possibly understand she only wants well-established family members in the photo! (He ends up understanding very easily.)

The Bellas are late, it’s too windy to take a good photo, Nikki and JJ yell over each other about her aunt misdemeanors, and when Artem gets there JJ just immediately reveals the scheme to him in an act of revenge. It’s all very stupid, but it’s the type of fun stupid this franchise is built on.

Non-Essential Business Of The Week

This week’s scene settings included a smorgasbord of non-essential businesses and the most exciting one to learn about was MALIBU WINE SAFARIS. Artem, Kathy, and Nikki spend a morning here for their resolution scene, which includes the mother and not-yet-son-in-law bonding over Artem faking out Nikki with a non-proposal. More importantly, this is a place where you get to drink wine and be driven around in an open-air vehicle to look at giraffes and stuff. This is a genius business idea. In an alternate universe, a stupider version of me just might be protesting coronavirus safety restrictions with a sign that says “I need to go on a wine safari!”

Bella Lines Of The Week

This was not a great week for one-liners aside from Brie still calling barbed wire “bob wire,” but there was a very cute scene of Nikki letting Birdie do her makeup and get her like halfway to sad French clown. Say what you will about Nikki, but she does seem like a top-notch Fun Aunt.

John Laurinaitis Compliment Of The Week

This time around, the compliment is from me. Props to Johnny Ace for just showing up for the family photo disaster scene in a magenta shirt that matched his wife’s pants and not participating in any drama! Although John Laurinaitis’s voice (he is truly America’s Honma in that regard) would have elevated that scene even further, so I hope he gets more involved in dumb stuff on this show in the future.