Total Bellas Total Recap: Nikki Mode

Previously on Total Bellas: Nikki made an unhinged vision board for Artem, and Brie and Bryan struggled with not having the same vision for their marriage.

Was There Anything About Wrestling On This Week’s Episode Of Total Bellas?

Nope, wrestling was not even mentioned. The closest this episode got to a wrestling connection was the Bella Twins hosting a Temptation Island premiere party. Remember how WWE also advertised Temptation Island for a while and we got the Naomi/Mandy Rose/Jey Uso angle out of it? Anyway, that really isn’t close to a wrestling connection at all. Daniel Bryan will be back next week though!

Deep Drunkers

This episode, “Salsa Caliente,” proves that the power of Temptation Island extends beyond the island of temptation (?), with an episode-dominating storyline that’s partly about Nikki getting drunk at work, partly about Artem revealing his jealous side, and all about the Nikki-and-Artem honeymoon period coming to an end.

Nikki has seemed like the way more invested half of her relationship in episodes past, but this week’s drama kicked off with Artem taking some romantic initiative and saying they should have a date night. The reason they haven’t had one in a while is that Nikki’s been busy with work, so obviously they plan to go dancing right after Nikki and Brie host the premiere party for Temptation Island. (This whole storyline might just be oddly-timed product placement for

Temptation Island.)

We don’t actually see what happened at the party because the cameras weren’t there, but we here, slightly Rashomon style, from Brie and Artem about how Nikki got completely smashed (accidentally, Nikki says later) and started getting friendly with some guy. Artem shows up to the party to pick up his girlfriend and finds her super drunk and palling around with some random guy and saying they should hang out with him. He decides to deal with this situation by just leaving Nikki at the party venue, and that’s what triggers the real fight.

You can tell ahead of time that no one’s going to come out of this fight looking good. Nikki is too drunk to see how annoying she’s acting. What she sees as jealousy by Artem unleashes a nasty mean streak and everything she says clearly hurts Artem’s feelings. The most uncomfortable thing about the situation might be that Artem keeps trying to talk to Nikki as if they’re both sober when it looks like she might not even remember this in the morning. Eventually he tells the camera crew to stop filming, but it seems like if they creating content for TV and he had half a brain, he would have bowed out of the fight earlier.

After all this, plus some crazy text messages that didn’t make TV, the scene where Nikki and Artem talk about what happened might be the most they’ve ever seemed like a real couple. Artem explains that he was upset because he showed up to hang out with Nikki and she was already in her own drunk person world; Nikki reveals that a partner displaying jealous behavior really sets her off because of some past relationships. They come to the conclusion that they can’t take back what happened, but they can move on.

I don’t come away from this episode completely convinced that these people have a viable future or are really in love or right for each other, but I could be convinced that they want to stick together. As we take a big step forward on The Road To Both Bella Twins Being Pregnant At The Same Time at the end of this episode, it seems like Brie and Kathy both have basically the same position.

Muy Perra

The other, way more boring storyline this week was Brie trying to get JJ to get on board with the twins’ mission to get in touch with their Mexican heritage. Nikki and Brie wanting to reconnect with their dad and their Latin side has been the focal point of previous episodes this season, but here, it feels like Total Bellas is exploring the least compelling part of that story (JJ) in order to fill time. Brie tries to pressure JJ into this very personal thing, but it turns out JJ is comfortable with his current relationship with his roots and just finds this irritating. At least we get a some cute Birdie content out of this, and the Bellas attempting to sass each other in freshman-tier Spanish.

Oh, Baby!

The Nikki-Artem storyline drama resolves weirdly early in the episode, and the reason for that is revealed when Nikki makes a big reveal to Kathy. Nikki has been having cravings, and is two weeks late on her period and seems both sure she’s pregnant and in total denial about it so she doesn’t have to deal with it. Kathy’s “Oh my god, you kids stress the f*ck out of me,” is very much earned here. Kathy later brings Nikki a pregnancy test, spills the beans to Brie, and we’re about to find out what happens when Nikki pees on a stick when Artem enters the room, and the episode is over. It’s a cliffhanger, and I’m not sure if a positive test in this situation counts as falling off the cliff or returning to solid ground.

Bella Line Of The Week

It’s kind of hilarious how much Brie and Kathy immediately do not trust Nikki’s future parenting skills, and Brie delivers the harshest line about it: “I’m not going to adopt your child like I did your dog.” It’s really not unfathomable that the central question of Total Bellas season 6 could end up being “Can Nikki Bella take care of a human baby?”

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