This week’s episode of “Total Divas” drags up a lot of issues from Season One, introduces some awkward homoerotic tension, and drives home one very clear point: Men are the worst. Except for Jon Uso. Although if you don’t want to know more than you already know about Jon Uso’s sex drive, maybe stop reading now.
But first! Paige! Good thing she threw all her “Total Divas” shade a few weeks ago, because it turns out she had, by then, already filmed an extended walk-and-talk cameo for the show during which she at one point is encouraged to rest her head on Rosa Mendes’ bosom. By Rosa.
“I have the feeling that you’re kinda coming on to me, Rosa,” Paige says.
In case you couldn’t tell, THIS IS FORESHADOWING.
Paige and Rosa have an exchange about stripper boots for some reason (oh, yes — see above).
“This is quite awkward,” Paige says. Indeed, Paige. For all of us.
Filming for this episode fell sometime between the Slap Heard Round The Universe and the Great Stephanie McMahon Handcuffing Incident Of 2014, so Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella-Bryan-Danielson are both still out of work, a fact that comes up as soon as Brie attempts to have a peaceful lunch with her sister, who is still working (and whose Range Rover was a gift from John Cena, although she pays for it in hours spent being lectured).
Nikki hogs the wine list.
“Champagne and a bottle of wine?” Brie asks.
“Well, Bryan’s nowhere in sight.” I’m not sure how CM Punk got the reputation for being the WWE’s poster child for straight edge, since if “Total Divas” is any indication, it seems Bryan Daniel Bryan is equally eligible.
Brie and Nikki argue about how much to spend on wine. Later, Brie and Bryan go appliance shopping, during which she unloads on him because she doesn’t want to buy a used washer and dryer, and also he is selfish because men are the worst.
Later, Nikki tells John Cena that Bryan has called her and suggested they get together and talk with Brie about her current state of mind. Or at least about not yelling at them all the time.
“That kind of sounds like an intervention to me,” Nikki whines.
“Sometimes that’s not bad,” John Cena gently admonishes her. Or maybe it was a supportive tone of voice? He might also have been being sarcastic. Basically everything John Cena says on “Total Divas” sounds like a gentle admonishment because men are the worst.
“So,” he says, “you call Brie — what do you say?”
“Stop being a bitch.” John Cena chuckles and shakes his head, which is his other emotion.
So Nikki flies out to Phoenix, where she and B.D. Bryan prepare to confront Brie about her general unpleasantness.
“Ew,” Brie says when she sees her sister. “Why do you have a weird smile on your face?”
Duh, because she flew across the country to tell you you’re being mean to everyone. Brie is suuuuuper receptive to the intervention:
“So you came to my house right now to sit here and tell me that I have an attitude problem?”
“That’s f–king childish.”
After a few minutes, though (and after she shouts at Nikki that they just have to be sisters, not friends), she comes around and realizes it’s OK to vent about the uncertainty in her life to the two people who love her most.
“Yeah,” Daniel Bryan Danielson says, “that’s better than being mean to us.” (Seriously. A softer, slightly hairier CM Punk.)
Later, Mr. and Mrs. Braniel go out for brunch at a restaurant she describes as “nice.”
“You know what would be really nice?” Bryan asks. “If you wore some pants.” Then there’s an argument about whether or not her shorts are full-coverage because men are the worst.
They’re interrupted by a phone call from Magic Mark the WWE Corporate Suit: Brie is back on TV that weekend.
Meanwhile, Trinity/Naomi and Jon/Jimmy Fatu/Uso go bowling. Trinity knocks out a Fred Flintstone impression, bowls a strike, celebrates like a madwoman, and then gets lightheaded because, as it turns out, she is the 1 percent — not the good kind with all the money, but the kind who gets severe side effects from her birth control implant.
Later, in a hotel room, Jon is clearly watching the network on his phone, and there is no NINE NINETY-NINE reference, which is such a wasted opportunity it seriously makes my head spin.
Trinity goes to the doctor, where she learns that she has a uterine polyp. Time for another Very Special “Top Divas” Surgery Decision! Trin confides in Summer Rae and Rosa that given her current delicate state — ahem — down there — Jon has certain… appetites… that are not being satiated.
Except she uses the word “cookie,” which just makes it creepier.
Summer, Rosa and Trinity decide a pole dancing class is the perfect solution to the Fatu-Usos’ marital struggles. Surprise! They are all really good at it. Especially Trinity.
“I need to make it rain up in here,” Summer Rae says, flicking imaginary bills out of her hand. “She is killing it.”
Later, Trinity takes a break from making a lanyard (yes. In her living room. Under the watchful eyes of Usos action figures) to present Jon with the stripper pole she’s bought for them.
Uh-oh — turns out Jon doesn’t want a pole dance. Jon wants a wife who isn’t slowly bleeding to death. Is this too much to ask? Since it apparently is, he gets angry and throws the pole across the room, which marks the second time in “Total Divas” history that Jimmy Uso has thrown something other than a human being. He calms right down, though, because he isn’t really angry, after all; he’s just scared. And then, probably for the first time in reality TV history, we witness a man talk about the importance of good reproductive health as his own action figure looks on. Because men are the worst, except for Jon Fatu.
Back to men who are the worst: Tyson “TJ” Kidd has not done anything at all for Nattie’s birthday, a fact that makes Rosa’s entire face open up and swallow itself into a shocked expression as she shouts, “Are you f–king kidding me?”
“You can’t forget someone’s birthday if there’s Twitter,” Summer wisely weighs in.
It’s an extra emotional time for Nattie because it’s the week of NXT Takeover and her epic match with Charlotte Flair, which provides an opportunity for some Bret Hart and Ric Flair cameos. Nattie’s parents are in town, and after the match she sadly throws her own birthday dinner.
“So Flair’s daughter can wrestle,” Jim Neidhart says. “But can she drink tequila?” (Honestly, having watched her wrestle, I’m guessing the answer is probably yes, but let Ric Flair stick up for his own daughter.)
TJ reveals that he has bought Nattie a birthday present after all: some kind of bizarre Russian cosmonaut exercise/torture machine, when all she really wants is bubble bath and a cake for crying out loud, which leads to a fight because men are the worst.
Nattie ditches TJ with the Neidharts and checks into a hotel. Great news: Rosa wants to come over and hang out! They have a special moment over hummus and Haagen-Dazs.
Rosa rounds up the Divas for a belated birthday party. Ariane/Cameron shows up and gushes about how much she loves being back in NXT while Trin tries not very hard to look less uncomfortable.
Everyone has gifts for Nattie (the Fatu-Usos have brought that bubble bath she wanted), including some sexy lingerie from Rosa (MORE FORESHADOWING).
“How did you know my bra size?” Nattie asks.
“I see you naked all the time,” Rosa says. (Note to men: This is not how bra size works, and estimating a size is only ever going to get you into trouble. Do not attempt; instead, check labels when she’s not around.)
Later, during a night out, attention is once again drawn back to Rosa’s chest.
“Rosa, are those real?” Fandango asks, because men are the worst.
“They’re real nice,” she says.
Nattie is still feeling down, and Rosa is dying to be there for the friend who was on her team when she hit rock bottom.
“I want her to feel wanted,” Rosa says. “I want her to know how hot she is.”
So, naturally, during a photo op, she goes in for a sexy open-mouth kiss. Because what straight married woman won’t perk right up after an awkward physical interaction with her fresh-out-of-rehab friend?
Things get weird right away, and the next week at work Nattie takes Rosa aside to address “the elephant in the room.” Which somehow also feels like a reference to Rosa’s bosoms. After talking it through, Nattie realizes the incident was not an actual come-on but rather a well-intentioned but poorly executed attempt to cheer her up. In some kind of weird way.
As they make up, Rosa decides the thing that will make it less weird will be if she slaps Nattie’s butt.
“Wait, they do that in football!” she says. Honey, football has problems you can’t begin to handle.
The episode wraps up with Nattie, who still hasn’t come home, meeting up with TJ to talk about the elephant in their marriage: There’s no romance.
“I don’t know if we can do this anymore,” she says, because tension brings out the cliches in even the best of us.
TJ then drops the bomb that it seems like what went wrong is they got married, because MEN ARE THE WORST, at which point Nattie takes a call from Corporate Mark at WWE and walks out.
What’s next for the Total Divas? Will Brie’s attitude improve when she gets to go back to work and keep taking on the boss? Will Trinity bleed all over the ring and need Ariane to tag in and save her at the last minute? Will Nattie kick TJ to the curb? Will John Cena and Nikki Bella ever have a conversation that doesn’t sound like a patient youth minister counseling a wayward lamb? And whatever happened to Eva Marie’s pretend wedding? Only next week’s episode will tell.
Or, you know, probably Google, since this all actually happened months ago. But that way we’d miss out on precious moments like Daniel Bryan letting his dog lick his nostrils. Isn’t this better?