Brie and Daniel Bryan’s baby shower is coming up, and they’re registered at Babies ‘R’ Us … only Bryan (who’s resolved to miss WrestleMania if it looks like the baby will come early) is putting his foot down when it comes to some of the more extravagant gifts, like a $400 baby monitor. His point is that they shouldn’t ask their friends to drop hundreds of dollars on their behalf, and plus, he’s worried his daughter will take luxury for granted.
Brie counters that they might end up needing the monitor and that the baby shower is supposed to be fun, adding that Bryan’s anxiety tends to suck the joy out of these experiences. She floats the idea that maybe he shouldn’t come to the baby shower if he’s going to be in a bad mood, but he rallies by showing up with Josie, Winston and the baby monitor, which he purchased himself after a talk with Mama Bella. And, as a bonus, they’ve finally landed on a name: Birdie.
As you may have heard, Nikki Bella is not expecting to get married or have children anytime soon on E!’s Total Bellas. Brie Bella, as you also may know, isn’t the biggest fan of her sister’s compromise. That’s doubly true this week, since she realizes she’ll never get to repay Nikki for the incredible bachelorette and baby showers she’s put together. So, Brie decides to throw a “Women’s Empowerment Party” to celebrate Nikki’s status as a career working woman, and it goes … terribly.
For one, the idea is barely out of her mouth before JJ spills the beans, and the general consensus among the family, John Cena included, is that it sounds like a pity party. So, Nikki kiboshes it, but we do get a glimpse into how she has compartmentalized her feelings about family when she reunites with Winston, the dog from Season 1 whom she had to give to Brie and Daniel Bryan once she got back on the road.
Nikki, who splits time with Brie caring for the pup, sees Winston as the only child she’ll ever have, but Brie and Bryan call her out on her parenting skills when she leaves the dog with her mom while accompanying Cena to the Kids’ Choice Awards without telling them. Nikki admits that she feels lonely without Winston and Cena around, and the dog helps alleviate that, so the sisters decide their joint custody arrangement can proceed, as long as everyone communicates a little better. Things perk up, however, when Nikki gets involved with Cena’s SmackDown LIVE rivalry with The Miz, leading to an exciting new chapter in her career.
JJ and Lauren still haven’t quite resolved their issues on the latest Total Bellas, so a compromise is reached wherein he will crash at Nikki Bella and John Cena’s villa in Phoenix until things blow over. Unfortunately, a towel-clad JJ wanders by while Nikki is on FaceTime with her mother, leading Kathy to believe Nikki has a secret boyfriend she’s hiding from Cena. This idea, of course, is insane, and Nikki (who had, to her credit, kept JJ’s secret as promised) must come clean to her folks about her brother’s situation to clear her name. This prompts an awkward intervention-style meeting where the Bella family takes him to task for snowboarding in Tahoe on a family trip while Lauren tended to their baby alone.
It’s worth noting, however, that JJ has no idea what to do and is just trying his best, including seeking some advice from the one man he knows who’s been through a similar rough patch: John Cena. He does so against Nikki’s wishes, as she’s worried that JJ will vent so much that Cena decides that marriage simply isn’t worth it. But the big guy is all too happy to lend an ear to someone who needs it, reassuring Nikki that he sees a long, happy future for them down the line and even letting on to JJ that the marriage thing isn’t as much of a deal-breaker as it used to be. Really, the only thing he does take issue with is the way JJ wears his ball caps, which, in the grand scheme of things, is small potatoes.
Brie Bella is having a baby, and Daniel Bryan has questions. Many, many questions involving vitamins and nutrients and so many other subjects, causing Brie to suspect Bryan might be trying to hog the spotlight of her pregnancy, or at least make it more about his concerns than hers. It doesn’t help matters when he insists on buying reusable cloth diapers for the baby, as disposable diapers are an environment-ravaging waste (he even takes Brie to a landfill to prove his point).
Given that Bryan is so adamant about sharing the load of the pregnancy, Brie decides to give the man what he wants and hook him up to a machine that simulates labor pains. With the family watching, Bryan takes the zapping like a Zen master (JJ is a little less stoic when he tries it), and Brie concludes that, when it comes to being pregnant, having a husband who’s super into the experience and wants to share in it isn’t the worst lot in the world to have.
Total Bellas airs Wednesdays at 9/8 C on E!.
(I’ll have screencaps for the shows this weekend)