Imagine, if you will, a magical world in which WWE Diva Eva Marie has to take an extended period of time off work — say, nine months or so. Maybe a year or more, depending on how she decides to play things.
No half hearted “wrestling” “matches.” No unnecessary valet appearances. No gratuitous Manic Panic hair flipping. All Red Nothing — for a year, leaving an opening in the Divas roster for someone who actually takes seriously the “sports” component of “sports entertainment.”
Then imagine that dreamy vision ripped cruelly away, replaced with the possibility that Eva Marie will never, ever take any time off, ever.
Such is the emotional yo-yo of this week’s episode of “Total Divas,” which deals with Eva Marie’s questionable fertility and her sudden realization that she doesn’t want to have kids despite the fact that she told her double-weddinged husband Jonathan that she totally shares his desire for a big family. Because she is scared of pregnancy. Because fatness.
As Ariane/Cameron sums it up:
“So you’ve been lying to him the whole time. Eva, that’s horrible.”
But friends are friends, so Ariane goes to the fertility doctor with Eva (the same fertility doc Nikki Bella saw about egg harvesting), and we get to see inside Eva Marie’s uterus, giving a whole new meaning to “All Red Everything.”
Turns out Eva is not, as she had been warned she could be, infertile, so she has to nut up (so to speak) and admit to Jonathan that she lied about wanting kids. Guess what? He’s super mad.
Jonathan takes refuge at the gym, where Eva Marie tracks him down for a tearful reconciliation. Surprise: It’s not that she never wants kids, it’s that she’s young and scared and what if she’s a bad mom?
Obviously they make up. But they also agree not to talk about having kids for a while, dashing the hopes of anyone who was crossing their fingers for an extended Eva Marie absence.
Meanwhile, Rosa Mendes is back and better than ever.
“Everything’s coming up for Rosa, and I’m really happy,” Rosa says.
Until Layla pulls Rosa’s trunks down on TV, revealing her posterior to the entire WWE Universe. Rosa is mortified and afraid of losing her job until the next day, when her Twitter and Instagram follower counts blow up (there’s at least one A+ “$9.99” meme in there), and then it occurs to her that perhaps wardrobe malfunctions could become her thing.
She and Alicia Fox get together to run through some possible deliberate flashing scenarios in a scene that implies it’s not unusual for pro wrestlers to block out match choreography on a hotel suite mattress.
It’s all fun and games until the boss pulls Rosa aside one night at work. Here’s something any “Total Divas” viewer can tell you: No one wants to be in a conversation with Mark Carrano that starts “Do you think I’m stupid?”
Carrano has been tipped to Rosa’s wardrobe malfunction gimmick idea, and he threatens to fire her, and then she cries, and then he relents, and then she takes off to find Alicia. As it turns out, Alicia has casually mentioned their practice sesh in the locker room, so it was one of the other Divas who threw her under the bus.
“Those girls wanna bury me,” Rosa tells Alicia.
“If you go into battle, we go into battle. Period,” Alicia promises.
In short, drama magnet now has borderline lunatic for volatile second. Buckle up for continuing dramz.
Other than that, there’s some continuing Bella drama, including an argument that spills over into a merch meeting. That Bellas logo necklace where the Bs come apart? It’s a symbol, y’all.
There’s a lot of blah blah blah trust and healing and time and some quality shade thrown backstage by Nikki, and another heart-to-heart at work between Brie and John Cena.
“I feel really bad because I feel like every time I come to you, it’s either I’m apologizing or asking a huge favor,” Brie says.
“Or trying to coerce me to do something that’ll ruin my personal life,” John Cena says. “But that’s OK. What’s up?”
Brie begs John to make Nikki forgive her, and John gives her a textbook John Cena Knows Best motivational speech. It’s pretty easy for him because of all the time he spends lecturing a nearly identical Bella face. Later he gives a similar lecture to Nikki, and then there’s an awkward Brie/Nikki step-toward-reconciliation conversation at a Bella family gathering.
Oh, and a cameo from Jesse Jackson. Yes, “Total Divas” observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day a week early with an appearance by the most famous living witness to Dr. King’s assassination.
“I really wish that Rev. Jesse Jackson would preach something to my sister like ‘love your sibling,’” Brie says in a talking head. (Thankfully, either the producers had enough shame to refrain from trying to stage such an intervention or Jackson’s people wouldn’t go for it.)
Better than a Jesse Jackson non-intervention is a scene in which Trinity/Naomi does her Vince McMahon impersonation (it comes up organically in the course of her telling a story about running into Mr. McMahon at the hotel while she was wearing a onesie and no makeup).
The highlights of this week’s episode of “Total Divas,” however, all belong to our newly arrived Cousin Rose, Paige, who has limited screen time (no tricking coworkers into thinking they’ve drugged themselves, sadly) but makes the most of it in a handful of scenes that make Backstage Paige seem even more fun than In-Ring Paige. Backstage Paige has secret handshakes, fakes pushing a rolling cart into a passing JoJo (Hey JoJo!), chases Alicia while swinging a large plastic tray, and asks to see a pre-New Day Big E’s breasts.
“I’m just comparing,” she says, opening her jacket. “I’m really jealous.”
“We had a meeting about stuff like this,” Big E says. “You’re gonna get in trouble.”
Then he lets Paige jiggle his breasts with her palms for a while.
Next week: John Cena plays beer pong and, presumably, Paige spends some quality time with HR.