The time has come, the E network said-
To talk of many things
Of intros and comebacks and Paige/del Rio
Of wineries and hummingbirds that sing......
Wait what? Go back a step. Paige and del Rio? Oh yes it all began tonight. Let's just dive right into THAT.
The first we see of Paige this episode she is wandering around looking for catering. Paige notes for the cameras "At this point, it's been 6 months of me not doing any storylines." She says it's taking a toll and she's worrying that she's not good enough, going on to say "I'm having all these thoughts right now and they're not positive."
Nattie is throwing a going away party for Naomi as she departs to film The Marine 5. There is a Summer Rae sighting!
Paige walks in with Alberto del Rio trailing behind her. Didn't he say they weren't allowed to use his image? Hm.
Nattie introduces us viewers to Alberto del Rio in a talking head interview. "He is a very handsome and fiery Latino male. He's got this mystique about him. He's kind of, like, a bad boy in the WWE." Sold.
Paige spots some off-camera citizens and tells del Rio "Oh! Baby they're playing pool" and off he trots. The girls take advantage of his absence with Naomi asking "how did this come about?"
In her own words: "He came back and I thought he looked incredible. And he like got a haircut and I was like oh I like your haircut, Papi. And one night, we just hung out and it happened, and I was just like oh my God."
Paige gushes "This is the first time I've been completely smitten with someone. I think he's the special one." The girls are stunned as she continues, "I'm in love, I'm in love. It's the first time I'm saying that, it's crazy." In the talking heads, Nattie is befuddled as hell, commenting "She's in love? I didn't even know they were together!"
This Is My Papi!
Lana, Nattie, Renee and Maryse are eating in this beautiful Oklahoma restauraunt where they come to share all the intel that they have gathered. Renee, my spirit animal, bemoans "You guys are dressed up but I didn't even brush my hair dammit." Yas girl same.
Nattie spills the beans about Paige and her Papi. Lana notes that Paige missed a live event a few days ago randomly skipping out on a connecting flight leaving all the girls confused because they had seen her on the first leg of the flight. She wasn't answering texts, begging that she needed personal time. Renee declares that she thinks Paige needs a good girlfriend to step in and talk to her.
At a SmackDown taping, Lillian Garcia (who is wearing such a good outfit that when Renee asks her where she got it, Lillian won't say because she basically doesn't want the masses to scope her style) comes to Renee with some more tea to spill. Apparently, Paige is moving in with del Rio.
Renee scoffs "They've been together a second. This is crazy." Renee tells the cameras that she's been sending texts to Paige and not getting any responses, so it's weird to get this information from Lillian as she thought she and Paige had a better relationship than this.
Renee finds Paige in catering again where Paige is filling her plate. When Renee says her food looks good, Paige replies casually "especially if you haven't eaten all day!" Renee jumps on that, asking "why haven't you eaten all day?" They make a date to get coffee the next day. The scene ends with Paige refilling her plate proclaiming "I'm going to get some more of this [food] because I'm a goddamn mess."
On to the next day, Renee and Paige are entering a gorgeous park for their Real Talk.
Paige: Are we on a date right now?
Renee: I think so, you better put out!
Our blonde haired bae jumps right in (well, she is an interviewer), asking what's been going down. Paige basically says she had a rough few days and needed to take a break for a second. Renee pushes her about how she's being withdrawn and not talking to everyone as much.
Paige: I seriously had a mental breakdown. I cried, I've never cried before. I was going to pack up and go home to England and I told my family, I'm coming home now, I give up everything. I feel like I'm not doing anything anymore, I don't want to be this age and doing nothing with my life after I've worked so hard to be where I am right now, that's the issue I have. I've been trying to do this since I was 13. I've always been busy so when I'm not busy, I'm like what am I doing with my life?
Renee notes the other girls are talking about it and Paige cuts her off, "I have one weekend where I mess up and everyone's going to judge me for it?" Paige goes on to say that it's no one's business, they just want to know her business because they're gossips, the only person who texted her last weekend was Renee because no one cares.
Renee tries to say there are a lot of people who are worried but Paige storms off.
Renee is getting her make-up done at SmackDown as Mark Carrano searches for Paige, claiming they need to have a "serious business discussion." According to Renee, it's call time and Paige is nowhere to be found.
Eventually, Paige shows up at 6:00 (saying she needed personal time) and she has her Serious Business Discussion with Carrano. This is not filmed, by the way, we just get the audio from outside the conference room.
-Carrano scolds her for being late, telling her "you're paid to be here."
-At some point, Paige remarks "I'm not even on the show, I'm literally useless."
-Carrano tells her "we're worried about you as a person" and "if we work this properly, you should be retired at 31."
-Paige says tearily "I feel like no one gives a shit about me here."
-Carrano replies "Bullshit. I'm the one standing up for you and you're not even talking to me. Just work with me because I love you. You're a special talent and a special person, and a lot of people love you. That's what you're not seeing. Find the people around here who love you. It's over, we're going to move forward, just be honest if you need anything."
-Paige emerges and asks them "stop filming for a second." And they, seemingly, do!
INTENSE AF. Let's take a break from that.
Code Red, Code Red:
From Concord, California.....comes the secondary storyline of the night. Eva Marie has recruited Maryse to take a picture of her. Lucky Maryse! Nattie comes up to them, chatting and Eva deals with her accordingly:
Eva: "Can you not interrupt her when she's taking a photo of me, please?
Duh, Nattie. This is serious business.
Eva forgives her for her transgression and asks her if she's received her schedule. Nattie has received her schedule for live events for the next two months, and Eva hasn't received anything. Eva goes to find Carrano and asks where her schedule is. He tells her they haven't received direction saying "today Eva Marie will be part of the roster." Eva is frustrated (and the most stylish, elegant, bewitching, etc).
She goes to unwind from this disheartening conversation with Maryse at The A-List Abode in the hot tub. Eva tells her "I'm ready to get into a storyline!" Maryse acknowledges, "I know you have balls, just use those balls and go to TV."
This lights a fire in Eva and she shows up at TV taping she is not scheduled for.
Maryse: What are you doing here?
Eva: I took your advice and decided to go big or go home.
Our heroine flew herself out with her own money! She runs into Road Dogg, a producer, and tells him she flew herself out and wanted them to see All Red Everything so they didn't forget about her. He cheekily notes "I was kind of wondering what you were doing here" and goes on to say, "On one hand, I commend you for flying yourself out here and taking a stand. On the other hand, sometimes it's frowned upon, if you go into business for yourself." Eva tells him she has written a pitch for her entrance and hands it off to him. I'll leave you in suspense.
An Apple Tree Of Peace
Nikki is plotting her comeback and descends upon Aberdeen, WA to visit Brie and Bryan for two reasons 1) to ease the awkwardness from her argument with her bro-in-law that aired on Total Bellas 2) ask him to be her coach as she gears up for her comeback.
Brie Mode throws a wrench into her plan when she asks her to not talk to Bryan about wrestling because Brie is worried about his depression. Nikki tells Brie she wants to give Bryan an olive branch since things haven't been the same since their squabble. They go into a store, which does not sell olive branches, so they settle on an apple tree which they then have to finagle into Brie's car.
Nikki: Now I'm going to bring him a broken tree!
Brie: Just like your relationship!
Nikki has made plans for the Three Musketeers to go to a local winery where they write prayers on ribbons and tie the ribbons to the fence. Nikki's prayer is to have an "amazing comeback", and Nikki seizes her opening to ask Bryan to help her with her amazing comeback. Brie summons Nikki over frantically, reminding her that Bryan had been in a good place and she feared wrestling talk would pull him down again. During this side chat, Bryan is playing with animals.
They then go for a hike, where three things happen
1) Bryan wears a fanny pack
2) Brie ponders "I wonder what elk think when they see people on horses"
3) Nikki takes a ton of selfies, holding the group up on their tour, and a frustrated Bryan mumbles under his breath to Brie "I'm trying!"
At lunch, after Nikki asks about hummingbirds sleeping habits, Bryan asks Nikki how her comeback is going. Nikki tells him she can't talk about it, and a puzzled Bryan is puzzled. She says Brie told her she can't talk about wrestling, then heads outside to enjoy her wine, leaving the Bella-Danielsons at the table to discuss. Bryan admonishes Brie, and Brie defends herself that she was trying to protect him.
Bryan: That shouldn't have been an issue. I'm legitimately interested in how her comeback is going.
Nikki, Bryan and Brie visit a karate studio where Bryan is helping Nikki come up with some new moves in her arsenal for her comeback and Brie is just there to take the bumps. There's a vicious looking forearm and a Rack Attack variation where Bryan sends Brie flying across the room. Brie happily notes in the on-camera interview that she sees how happy Bryan is to be involved in wrestling again.
Speaking of comebacks...a producer finds Eva backstage at Smackdown (the same Smackdown where Paige and Carrano have their talk, it appears) saying "They love your entrance. Do you have your gear tonight by any chance?" Eva is going to have a match with Nattie, and they debut her new intro!
Eva: I have a match tonight
Dana Brooke: You're lying!
We've all been waiting! This episode opened in a fun scene with birthday boy Dean Ambrose and Renee. They do STAND-UP PADDLEBOARD YOGA. I have done this before and it was like the worst thing. Dean is in his sunglasses and repping his Tapout gear.
Renee tells the instructor that Dean is very hungover (yassssssss king) and wonders how does that bode out there? The instructor says there is some twisting involved, so if you have to throw up, do so in the lake.
(Don't show Daniel Bryan that scene)
Renee and Dean strip down to their bathing suits, and Dean shows off his "bend and snap" position for paddleboard yoga. Renee tells Dean "my bathing suit's going to turn into a thong oh and you're welcome." Our darling duo perform pretty well out on the water until....Renee loses her balance and tumbles in.
A resolved Dean tells her "I'm not letting you break my chi" as he steadily holds his pose while she hauls herself back onto the board.
That's my people.
Speaking of my people, the episode ends with Renee and Paige making up.
Renee: I hate fighting with you, I'm trying to be a good friend and to be here for you, I know you've been through some stuff, and I was trying to make sure you're good but also I'm here for you.
Paige replies that she's so insecure about what she's doing and why she's "here" and she knows Renee was concerned. She apologizes for storming off in their earlier conversation and assures Renee "Just believe that I'm fine. I swear if something was badly wrong, I would tell you."
WHEW! that was, um, a lot. But!!! NEXT WEEK: PARTY AT DEAN AND RENEE'S OMG YES YES YES ILY SHOW
Did Dean Ambrose Appear: Yes, yes, yes he did!
Did I Follow 2Pawz on Instagram Yet: No.
Is Renee Young My BFF yet: No wtf!!