Friday, July 12, 2024

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Total Bellas Redux: “Bella Family Secrets”

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This show is turning out to be way more serious than expected. From the humble start of sex jokes and reminiscing over “Brie Mode”, to depression and breast cancer, we really have come a long way in only five episodes. This penultimate season finale is a really gripping and telling episode, and it all starts from a bachelorette party in Naples, Florida.

After a quick recap of last week’s antics and a short discussion between the twins on how being drunk certainly does not bring out the truth, the festivities in Naples get going.

Brie Bella, who appears to be in “Brie Mode”, snaps some pictures of the sunset and sends them to her husband, Daniel Bryan, as an attempt to cheer him up. Whilst the mood is about to get fairly low, Nikki Bella and Lola Garcia show up. JJ Garcia takes advantage of the small waves to take some cute sunset pictures of his wife, and then the attention is quickly moved to the twins, who are seen discussing the topic of change. Brie tells her sister that she hasn’t actually changed. The years in which she was the party girl that Nikki reminisces on are said to have been part of her “discovery” period, in which she was looking for who she is today. And thanks to Bryan, he brings out the real her. Nikki then brings up the fact that she never gets to see her sister ever since marriage, but Brie says the same statement, except she believes that John Cena has done that to her and Nikki.

Nikki, in a confessional, expresses her shock at hearing this sentimental statement and agrees that both have work to do. The two then share a corny dance and everything feels right in the world – these are the scenes I appreciate the most on this show!

Later in the evening, Brie catches up with her friends and family in the hotel room, and Brie Mode is on even more! Her nipples are showing and JJ and Johnny Ace feel uncomfortable – with a proud Brie not giving a damn what they think!

The gang then go to dinner and toast to Naples – and then nipples. After a few giggles, Brie then drops the bomb that she’ll be leaving the next night. Though she believed she wouldn’t need to be with her husband, she tells us how she knows in her heart that he needs her, so she’ll be by his side. But before she can leave, a “chef” delivers some treats to Kathy Colace, including a lap dance! The entire gang erupt in cheers and laughter as Johnny’s Bachelorette present for his fiancée comes to life!

We then see the group sitting down outside the restaurant as the twins’ friend Shawna discusses tomorrow’s events with Brie. Brie explains that a psychologist will be coming to the house and reminds us of how focused on Bryan she is.

The next scene shows Nicole, Kathy, Lola, JJ and some of Nikki and Brie’s friends eating breakfast outside. The group discuss the loss of Brie and then quickly move on to Lola’s baby. JJ makes a short reference to the baby being a “boy” and once he leaves, the group discuss how damaging the comment is, including Lola. Back in the hotel room Nikki and the two friends catch up with Kathy, who appears to be wearing a more revealing outfit than normal. Kathy quickly speaks about how when she was married to the father of Nikki and Brie she wouldn’t ever be allowed to feel confident in herself. She said, and I quote, “he said to me, “if I could take a knife and cut this part of your thigh off, you’d have a perfect body”‘. Ouch. She explains how she went from a loving and accepting family to the “complete opposite” relationship. Nikki then takes to the confessional to defend her mother and it’s a pretty adorable scene. The group then encourage Kathy to take a picture to show off her body a little more and it appears that she loves how “cute” she looks. She then sees the comments on the Instagram photo and the empowering messages from the Bella army gets her spirits even higher!

Taking the tone down a little, we’re taken to Phoenix with Brie and Bryan. Bryan explains how he has his doctor appointments sorted, as well as his therapy sessions, but still remains quiet. Brie insists that he has to tell her the truth as he is stuck with her “for life”, as stated on their wedding day. Bella then brings up how difficult it is for her as these are her last few weeks in a company that she has spent almost ten years working for. She also emphasises that she’ll be by Byan’s side no matter what.

Back in Florida, Nikki confronts JJ as the two are having some drinks. The topic of fatherhood is brought up and soon, so is the idea of JJ referring to his unborn child as a “boy”. Nikki gets him to admit that he wants a boy so bad as he never really had a father figure or brother to have that manly bond with. She also explains that he needs to stop putting pressure on his wife and love the child no matter the sex – something he quickly agrees with. JJ then speaks up on the dinner table later on and apologises to Lola – cute!

Before the group set off for their return to Tampa, they all have a little too much fun in the pool and get a little too drunk!

Back at home, Nikki watches Winston walk down the stairs for the first time and it’s a pretty monumental moment. We then hear John tell the group about how he isn’t too big a fan of Winston, and thanks to some flashback clips, he’s more than keen to give him up to a willing Daniel and Brie. Yikes.

On the topic of Bryan, Kathy brings up the fact that Brie is at the end of her career and deserves to be happy, but the current issue is holding her back. And whilst they all wish for Bryan’s health to be better, it’s a little bit of a bummer that she can’t truly enjoy her on-screen “Swan song” like she should.

Back in Phoenix, Bryan and Brie are seeing discussing the possibility of Daniel returning to the ring. Bryan feels as though the 1% chance has has of returning could actually turn out to be true. Unfortunately for him, Brie gives him a realistic view of the story of his life, and this soon leads to him crying in her arms.

We’re then taken to a scene of JJ, John and Nicole painting at a workshop. Nikki asks her boyfriend if Winston is ruining their date nights, and John immediately answers with a “yes” as the dog is pretty needy and must require a lot of attention.

JJ then takes his sister aside and explains how Winston may be pushing Cena’s potential want for a child away as it proves his point about him being busy. A short while later, the three explain their paintings. And John, with the mind of his that we love, turns his painting of a penis into a metaphorical art piece. Nice.

The next scene is of Brie and Lola sitting outside discussing Bryan. Brie explains the situation and whilst discussing the hardships of her life, she ends up in tears. All she really wants is for both of them to be happy, but the fact that she can’t be happy at the end of her career is hurting her the most.

In the garden of the Cena Express, Johnny, Kathy, Nicole and JJ are sat by the fire. Whilst the atmosphere is pretty calm, Johnny brings up the fact that Kathy has “something to share”. After she says that she doesn’t want to talk about it, the children leave. However once they do, Johnny and Kathy get into a pretty big fight. What we find out is that Mama Bella had found a lump on her breast weeks ago, and also comes from a line of women that have suffered from breast cancer. She insists that she wants to have it checked after the wedding so that she can have a good time. But Johnny thinks that this isn’t a good idea as anything can happen. The scene then ends in Johnny leaving in a strut whilst Kathy sits alone.

Johnny then takes it upon himself to tell Nicole and JJ about the lump, and this does not sit well with them. Nikki quickly confronts her mother to talk some sense into her. Kathy, annoyed with the fact that Nikki knows, believes that she should wait until after the wedding. Much like her soon-to-be father-in-law, she believes that Kathy needs to go forward with the check-up. Nikki then convinces her to take her with her to the doctor. But then when they get to the Doctor, we find out that Kathy’s sister had breast cancer at 51 – which is Kathy’s current age. She also had an aunty with the issue… And cue the “here’s to come”!

Thoughts: Again, this is a very emotional episode of ‘Total Bellas’. This show continues to be extremely deep and riveting, without coming across as too try hard.

What I appreciate about the show is how genuine a lot of the stories feel. Of course, many things are fabricated for drama, yet on this show everything comes across as authentic. Between Bryan’s depression and the relationship issues between Kathy and Johnny Ace, I feel as though I really do have a good look into the lives of the Bella fam.

Another thing to appreciate about this episode is the fact that the storyline regarding Bryan is finally about Brie! You know, the woman that is one-half of the star of the show? It may have taken us five weeks to get a Brie-centric story, but we did! Brie is an integral part of the show, and seeing her being a supporting act to other people is both incredibly adorable but equally as frustrating. I tune into to see a show about the Bellas and a bit of their Fellas – not Nikki and Bryan! But alas, we’ve gotten to a good point, and I’m pretty excited about it!

With this being the penultimate season finale, things are really looking interesting. Next week we’ll see Kathy’s wedding, and we’ll also witness the twins go at it to defend their men – and not in the catty way they do on ‘Total Divas’.

What do you think will happen on the finale? Do you think Kathy is safe? Will Bryan attend the wedding? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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