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Total Bellas Total Recap: Twinterest Moms

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 true recap of the season 5 finale begins, I just want to say thanks to everybody for reading these because your reading of these blogs enabled them to continue for the whole season. I pitched recapping this season because started when just about all wrestling news (and regular news) was depressing and I didn’t know when I would get my regular review column back and it seemed like a good way to write some more fun stuff for With Spandex without being irresponsible about the serious and real issues of the world. I enjoyed writing these so I hope you enjoyed reading them, even though they’re on a wrestling website and they 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 double pregnancy shenanigans and uses the pregnancy and engagement storylines to revisit the other kinds of drama from earlier this season. It presents an aspirational version of real life not just because of the protagonists being rich, good looking, and in love, but because as they deal with a new challenge in life, we see them get closure on the other issues we know they’ve been going through. After a season of conflict 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 resurface 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 childhood define her helps a lot.

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 she knew about the condition beforehand and the show realized they had to mention it because it’s visible in the scene, 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 scene 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, he’s 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 Bella dad Jon Garcia. The twins kind of just didn’t talk to him about their autobiography earlier in the season when they really needed to do that, and they finally have that discussion with him at a dinner this episode. They’ve accepted that they can’t include their mom or brother in the re-connection with their dad, and their dad accepts this. 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 really 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 better than this show has.

Twinterest Moms

The A story of this episode also works as a preview for season 6. Once the Bellas are both pregnant, their twin connection goes into overdrive. Nikki wants to have a very Pinterest/momstagram gender reveal party and Brie is immediately sold on it for like half the episode 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.) They get excited because if Brie is late and Nikki’s early, their kids could be born on the same day. The Bellas 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 reveals are stupid on a few levels, but it looks like these people had fun at this expensive-looking event and the Mexican theme to honor that part of their heritage despite not being able to include their dad 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 part right now because it makes you wonder, “Wait, can they do that?”

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 doing makes 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,” which Bryan thinks is hilarious.

MVP Of The Season

After careful analysis of all eleven hours of Total Bellas season 5, I had to conclude that the MVP of the season was Birdie Danielson for her performance as a cherubic toddler who doesn’t really know she’s on a reality show. The runner up was Artem’s dad Vladimir for being an old man who also doesn’t really get reality shows.