Total Bellas Total Recap: Maybe Talk About Podcasts?

Previously on Total Bellas: Nikki and Artem had their first fight and looked like they might be on the path to having their first baby.

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

There’s a lot of Daniel Bryan in this episode, but the closest thing to a direct reference to his wrestling career is talk about how often he’s away from home.


Much more than it was about wrestling, this week’s show was about babies. But it was not about babies in the way last week’s cliffhanger ending led viewers to think! It turns out Nikki isn’t actually pregnant, and Artem, the Total Bellas production crew, and the E! audience see and hear her pee on a stick (in a PG but gross way) in order to find this out. This is not a Best and Worst column, but I’m still going to give the pregnancy test scene a hard Worst.

Nikki not being pregnant raises the question for Nikki-and-Artem of if they both want a kid. Artem does, which the audience learns in this week, but Nikki has apparently known all along. Nikki doesn’t have a straight answer and spends the episode in conflict about her “ticking clock,” which she calls a “clicking tock” after an unknown quantity of wine. I think most women who are in their thirties and either want to have kids or think they might want to have kids experience this panic of like, “Do I need to think about my eggs now? Are they doing okay in there? Also, what about literally all of my other priorities???” and that’s what Nikki goes through here.

She also has a waiter knock about half a glass of red wine all over her at a restaurant and is very chill and nice about it, I will point out! It’s a very non-Diva moment for the former Divas Champion. Nikki goes into the Nice To Service People category now until proven otherwise.

Together Apart

Last week, both of this show’s central couples were ON THE ROCKS, and this week Bryan and Brie are on the rocks again, but actually start to make their way out of the quarry by the end. Brie is still trying to get them to spend more time together as a couple and Bryan thinks the obstacle to that is Brie prioritizing hanging out with Nikki over him (career stuff is in the background for Brie this week.) Since Artem and Nikki are staying at their house, one of Bryan’s examples of this is that he’ll walk into the living room at night and the other three adults in the house will be watching TV and staring at their phones at the same time, “averaging seven-hours-plus of screen time a day.”

Every other time Bryan and Brie have had one of these fights on this season of Total Bellas it has escalated to the point of “Oh, yikes, this marriage is actually not going well at all,” but they make some real progress this week! Brie can’t figure out a date night that works with both of their schedules and generally seems really overwhelmed, so Bryan eventually ditches the argument and makes the save, figuring out a time they could go on a mini-trip and leave Birdie with Kathy.

Previously, these two have hashed out specific problem-causing situations in their marriage, but that never seemed to help their emotional problems. Here, it seems like Bryan finally figures out a way they could actually connect more as romantic partners rather than just pointing out the problems with Brie’s attempting solutions. Sometimes I feel like Bryan gets a less sympathetic edit because his name isn’t in the title of the show, so it was cool to see him work outside the box to make the save this week.

Total Bros

This episode also includes the historic, first-ever Bryan-and-Artem subplot, which is basically the Total Bellas version of that episode of Girls that was called “Boys” and was mainly about Adam and Ray. (I was going to call Alex Karpovsky the Marty Jannetty to Adam Driver’s HBK, but then I googled him, and it seems like he’s doing pretty well these days, actually.)

The Bellas’ fellas’ storyline is that Brie and Nikki want them to bond, but it seems like they have nothing in common. Bryan likes yoga; Artem does not like yoga. When Artem suggests fishing, Bryan explains he isn’t interested because “I just always picture myself as a fish” and then gives a detailed description of what he thinks the experience of a being “fished” as a human would be like. But by the end of the episode, they appear to have formed a sustainable future-brothers-in-law-and-next-door-neighbors relationship through D.I.Y. I feel like we would need significant reality TV machinations to get some drama between these two, which is probably a positive thing for the real-life Danielson-Garcia-Chigvintsev clan.

Celebrity Nail Artist Instagram Of The Week

While the Bellas are getting their hair, makeup, etc., done for a photoshoot, Nikki outlines her pregnancy woes to mother-daughter celebrity nail artists Lisa and Alex Jachno. It turns out Alex’s Instagram is a pretty good source of pictures of nail art and pictures of celebrities in which you wouldn’t really notice their nails unless you saw it posted by a nail artist. That’s a recommendation for something to kill a few minutes of quarantine for you.