Our long nightmare is nearly over. No, not the ongoing pandemic and social distancing protocols. Rather, this long, painful season of Total Bellas, which concludes next week. The penultimate episode sets the table for next week, by repairing the rift in Bryan and Brie’s relationship, and getting things prepped for Artem’s marriage proposal to Nikki. Check out the full recap for all the details.
The episode starts off with the girls at a singing coach. Apparently, Brie likes to screech out a tune during their podcasts – as if there weren’t enough reasons not to listen to it – so Nikki bought her vocal lessons. The vocal coach’s pained grimace after her bleating says it all.
Later, they interview some meditation expert for their podcast. They introduce him to Artem, and the sparks immediately fly, especially when it comes out that they’re both fluent in Russian.
Later, the girls and Kathy are at brunch, and talk turns to Brie’s crumbling marriage to Bryan. Brie is sure that she and Bryan are meant for each other, but they have grown apart. She thinks Bryan is still in love with the more simple-life-loving Brie from when they first met, and that he can’t accept that she’s changed. She’s hoping their upcoming trip to Sedona will be a good time for them to discuss their future honestly.
Later, the family (except Bryan) are at dinner, and Brie and Nikki tell everyone that they will be going to France for an event to promote their Belle Radici wine. Artem tells Nikki that his parents will be joining them in France. She’s less than thrilled by the news, since she’s planning on getting into Brie Mode while there, and being fall-down drunk when meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time doesn’t make a great first impression.
Brie thinks something else is up, and out of Nikki’s earshot, tells Kathy and Johnny that she helped Artem pick out an engagement ring the other week. Kathy and Brie both question the move, knowing that: 1) Artem is unemployed, and can’t really afford a ring, much less to get married; and 2) Nikki isn’t really keen on getting married, or at least that’s what she’s said. They fear that if Artem is planning a fancy proposal in front of his parents and Nikki says no, he’ll be as disappointed as his parents were when he told them he wanted to be a professional dancer.
The girls go visit Artem’s house, and he tells them about a TV job he’s trying to land, as a choreographer on some new dancing show. He does a little tap dance, and even he says it was bad and he wishes that nobody saw him do it. Hopefully, for his sake, the producers of that dancing show have the good sense to not watch this show.
Back at home, Brie and Kathy gossip some more about Artem’s potential proposal plans. Kathy says she should also go to France as the parental representative on Nikki’s side, in case Artem does actually propose. Personally, I think they should send Johnny, because how hilarious would it be to see Johnny Ace negotiating a dowry with Artem’s Russian immigrant parents?
Bryan and Brie head off to Sedona to try to fix their busted marriage. Notable is that Bryan pronounces “chasm” with a soft “ch” sound, like in “choose”, which by itself should be grounds for Brie to divorce him. They arrive at the “Wellness Resort”, which is where they got married, so they reminisce about the wedding. In the flashback clip, Brie’s dad looks a lot different than he did earlier this season – so either he’s dropped a ton of weight and aged really badly, or Brie and Nikki have different fathers (in which case, Kathy got really freaky one night). The trip down memory lane motivates them to fix their marriage even more.
The next day, Nikki asks Artem to teach her some Russian, so she doesn’t botch things when she meets her parents. He takes her to a Russian deli, so she can practice. Predictably, she doesn’t do well, but Artem appreciates the attempt.
Brie and Bryan go to visit a shaman at a Native American wellness lodge, so they can go on their spiritual retreat. They go into a sweat lodge and start their meditation and prayers. This overwhelms Brian, who is soon uncontrollably sobbing into his hands and hyperventilating. In a talking head segment, Bryan gets all trippy, saying that he felt disembodied and was almost as if he was watching himself from outside his own body. They try to break him out of the trance, as he spirals into a pool of self-resentment and despair. After that uncomfortable ordeal, Bryan snaps out of it and gets back to normal. Brie is shaken up by the darkness that was apparently plaguing Bryan. But they’re both glad he now feels at peace.
Afterwards, they talk about it, and Brie tells him that if he ever feels down or weak, he should reach out to her. That, despite how busy she is, he is always her first priority. He tells her that he wants a much simpler life, and she finally hears him. They recommit themselves to one another.
Back at home, Nikki and Artem are babysitting Birdie together for the first time. Nikki is excited because she thinks this will give her preview of how Artem will deal with a kid, should they ever have any together. Seeing him play with Birdie triggers her biological clock, and she starts contemplating motherhod.
In Sedona, Brie and Bryan meet with some crystal therapist, who runs them through some kind of hippie nonsense. She says the word “love”, and Bryan starts bawling like he’s Ric Flair pretty much any time since he’s retired. He gets all sentimental, thinking about when he left Brie after his mental breakdown and bout with depression. They both talk about how that made her feel like he doesn’t rely on her to help him heal. He apologizes, and they come to peace with that. Then they gush about how much they love each other and how each of them makes the other better. They walk a labyrinth together, and by the time they get to the middle, they’re all good again. Which, I suppose is better than what happened in the hedge maze in The Shining, but that would have made for a more interesting episode. Back at home, they’re both grateful for the trippy trip. They’re recommitted to each other and to their marriage.
Artem meets with Brie, and he shows her a picture of the ring that he bought for Nikki after Brie took him to the store. It’s not a diamond – after all, he isn’t sure he’ll get that TV gig – but he says that the ring symbolizes what could be. She asks him flat-out if he’s bringing his parents to France so that he can propose to Nikki in front of them, but he doesn’t confirm or deny it. She tells him that if he is going to propose, then he should not only ask Nikki’s dad for his blessings, but also Kathy, lest Johnny Ace future-endeavour him. Artem then asks Brie if she can bring the ring with her to France, because the ring is being finished at the store in Phoenix, and he’ll be flying out to France from LA, so won’t be able to pick it up before he leaves. She isn’t convinced that Nikki will accept his proposal, but we’ll all found out next week during the season finale.