Previously on Total Bellas: Daniel Bryan accepted that he will never be as close to his wife as her twin. At least the Bellas don’t have a secret twin language, though? Twin languages actually were not mentioned in that episode; I just think that might be helpful for him to think about if he starts having angst about this again.
Was There Anything About Wrestling In This Week’s Episode Of Total Bellas?
No, just the presence of Daniel Bryan and someone saying “WWE” one time when introducing the Bellas.
Good Fences Make Bad Neighbors
This week’s episode is a return to form for Total Bellas in that it introduces a living arrangement that seems like it was put it place almost entirely for reality show storylines. Nikki’s house is done, so now Nikki and Artem (Artem officially lives there full-time by the end of the episode) are next-door neighbors with Brie and Bryan.
Brie instigates the first sister-neighbor drama shortly after touring Nikki’s house and she noticed it is not “toddler friendly,” especially the totally open, uncovered pool in the backyard. So of course, she and Bryan go shopping for pool accessories without running it by Nikki, then call her about going halfsies on a $30,000 PERMANENT POOL FENCE. (This is not this episode’s most dramatic instance of huge sums of money being talked about very casually!)
For Nikki, the cost isn’t the problem – it’s that Brie and Bryan are acting like she has the same responsibility to look out for Birdie as they do. She looks like an airhead for falling for their Louis Vuitton logo pool cover suggestion for a second, but her point that “My gates aren’t going to be open, like, to my house,” had already won her the argument at that point. Someone who doesn’t have a toddler clearly doesn’t have the same obligation to toddler-proof their house as the parents of a toddler.
The additional issue here that Nikki’s house isn’t just a building to her; she feels like it’s a physical representation of her accomplishments. She talks about how being a homeowner makes her feel strong and independent, so other people acting like they’re also in charge of what happens there is understandably extra unappreciated.
Despite JJ playing the voice of reason and pointing out that you can’t make your neighbor get a permanent fixture on their house for YOUR kid, Brie makes another, very sitcom-y attempt at pool control by telling Nikki she legally has to put up some Pool Rules signs that Nikki immediately clocks are meant for public pools. After a face-to-face conversation with Nikki, wall shenanigans, walkie talkies, and this week’s more serious storyline, Brie eventually realizes she is being “a little controlling” rather than helpful – and Nikki agrees to get a pool cover, the thing they could have more reasonably encouraged her to get in the first place. This week’s more easily-solved problem is neatly wrapped up by the end of the hour.
It’s A Diamond, Michael, What Could It Cost?
Entertainment news and trailers for this season of Total Bellas have told the audience that there are two major events to expect this season: both twins getting pregnant and Artem and Nikki getting married. It’s a little bit of a Kurt Vonnegut situation where we know the major events that are going to happen, but we don’t know exactly when or how (Total Bellas season 5: basically Galápagos) but at this point we know they have to happen within the next two hours of this TV show. Nikki’s pregnancy scare already pushed her and Artem to the point where they’ve realized they needed to make some big decisions about their future together, and this week they got a lot closer to the decisions we know from real life that they’re going to make.
Nikki is still figuring out the kid thing, but at thirty-five, she knows she biologically (statistically) doesn’t have that much more time to mull it over. This is hammered home by her OBGYN, who tells Nikki to definitely freeze her eggs now, then freeze embryos, which kind of freaks Nikki out because to her, “That’s like having frozen children out there.”
When she brings it up to Artem, she’s already made the decision just to freeze her eggs and wait on the embryos, and Artem is upset she made up her mind about this without him. I was not convinced that Artem (the reality TV character) wanted to spend his whole future with Nikki until last week, so I get Nikki’s decision here – but if Artem does really want to get married and have kids with her, it more than makes sense that this hurts his feelings, even as he respects her right to make decisions about her body.
Artem, with the help of Brie, realizes he needs to make a more concrete commitment in order to convince Nikki he’s worth freezing DNA with – basically that he’s not her dad or past boyfriends. This leads us to the other part of the episode that makes it clear what level of rich Brie, Bryan, and Nikki are on, when Brie tells Artem she knows ” a really good diamond guy,” who’s good at protecting clients’ privacy. The line of the week goes to Artem for his response to Brie mentioning she’s heard Nikki wants a five karat diamond ring: “Cool, I’ll go sell my liver.”
After a scene in the kitchen when Nikki and Artem finally, officially move in together and Nikki mentions marriage in a very leading way, Artem and Brie go see the really good diamond guy, who is apparently not so secretive that he won’t allow the “Goldstein Diamonds” sign to be shown on a reality show. The cheapest stone the jeweler shows them costs $60,000 and the most expensive costs a cool million. By the end of this scene, Artem looks like he’s trying to get through a dish he ordered at spice level two that was made at spice level five.
Will Artem end up selling his liver for love? How much do livers go for these days? We should find out the answer to at least one of those questions next week, which looks like it will also include the Daniel Bryan emotional turmoil that’s been under the surface for most of this season coming to the surface.