Reality shows are a strange thing. In order to be interesting to the average viewer, the things that people do and say, and the decisions they make necessarily have to be dramatic and somewhat unrealistic. But doesn’t that invalidate the whole point of a “reality” show? In this week’s episode, Nikki tests that theory by making a life-altering decision that nobody in their right mind would ever make in real life. Confused yet? Hopefully this recap will help clear things up.
At Nikki’s. Baby Matteo is crying up a storm, but Nikki still likes him nonetheless. She and Artem are learning how to parent, and are constantly gushing over the kid and each other.
In “hell freezes over” news, Artem finally landed a job… assuming you consider being a dancer a job. Either way, he’s been asked to re-join Dancing With the Stars (to clarify, he is most definitely not one of the stars).
It’s bittersweet for Nikki, because while that means he’ll stop sponging off of her temporarily, it also means that she’ll be alone for a while to take care of Matteo by herself while he’s in LA doing the filming.
Two weeks later, and she’s feeling the toll of single-motherhood, noting how busy she is. But not so busy that she can’t join Brie and take the new babies for a professional photo shoot. While there, both Brie and the photographer speculate on whether Artem is going to be tempted by his hot dancing partner, even though she’s a woman. Of course, Nikki isn’t worried because she knows better.
Nikki’s realtor calls her, and lets her know that the house she was looking to buy in Napa – which was very close to the one that Brie and Bryan are buying – is no longer up for sale. That upsets her, since her plan was to hang out with her twin sister forever and ever and ever, like those creepy girls from The Shining. It bums her out even more when she finds out that Brie and Bryan’s deal has closed and they will be moving in a couple of weeks.
A few days later, and everyone is at Nikki’s for a DWtS watch party, and Brie and Kathy note how tired Nikki looks from having to be a full-time mom. Bryan sees her stressing out, so he offers to take care of Matteo while Nikki hangs with her mom and sister, and he was probably looking for some way to get out of watching the show, but then Matteo falls asleep and thwarts his plan.
Everyone starts teasing Nikki about Artem bumping and grinding with his dance partner, and she starts getting jealous, but pretends it doesn’t bother her. They watch the show, and it’s incredibly meta to watch the idiotic cast of a terrible reality show watch the idiotic cast of another terrible reality show.
Nikki says she’s happy that Artem has a job, but she can’t help but notice how much he’s smiling on the show, when he never does at home. Um, maybe because Matteo is crying all the time? The jealousy gets to her, and she leaves the room. Brie checks in on her, and Nikki admits she’s feeling a bit jealous.
The next day, Bryan is over, teaching Nikki how to parent. Apparently, he’s not needed at home, since Buddy is a dream baby, and Brie can easily handle him on her own. In a talking head segment, Brie notes that Birdie was a demon child, so she knows how difficult Nikki has it – and to be on her own, it’s extra-difficult.
A few days later, Brie is hanging out with JJ who wants to buy her a scooter so she can take it to Napa. Brie lets him know not to let Kathy know about Brie’s move, because Brie hasn’t told her yet. So, there’s the fake drama that’s going to fill out the remaining 40 minutes of this episode. God, 40 minutes to go? I’m going to need some more Bonita Bonita wine to get through this one. JJ can’t believe Brie hadn’t told Kathy yet, but Brie wanted to spare Kathy any stress, given that Kathy was going through emergency brain surgery and everything. JJ tells Brie that she has to let Kathy know ASAP.
Brie says that she’ll throw a birthday party for Kathy and tell her then. But that means JJ has to attend and finally settle his differences with Nikki in person, and there’s nowhere better to do that than in Hell in a Cell! Okay, she didn’t say that last part. JJ won’t agree, as the bad blood still lingers.
The next day, Brie and Bryan take Birdie to the park, and Nikki shows up – both of them have left the babies with sitters. Nikki tells them that she’s put an offer in for another house in Napa that’s walking distance to theirs. Of course, she hasn’t told Artem, because stupid plot device.
It’s the day of Kathy’s birthday party, and everyone shows up. JJ and Nikki are playing nice. They mention that Kathy had laid down the law and told them that they couldn’t have any political discussions, which was the cause for their fight in the first place. They agree that they shouldn’t let things like that tear their family apart, and simply agree to disagree. They make up and all is well.
A few days later, Artem calls Nikki from LA, and she lets him know about the offer she’s put in for the house. He’s understandably irritated that she would make such a big decision without having any consideration for his thoughts, or any thought to his (chuckle) career. Nikki is understandably shocked by his reaction, and that’s to say, if you understand that she’s a narcissist, you’ll get it. She then criticizes him for being away so much, so really her lack of any sense or decency is his fault.
Cut to Brie and Bryan’s moving day, and there’s tons of boxes to pack. Bryan’s frustration of the constant relocating – this is the 8th move since they’ve been together – is getting to him, and he’s a bit snappy at Brie. Especially when she starts changing her mind as to what is going or not, forcing him to do a bunch of extra work because she can’t make up her mind.
Some time later, Nikki’s deal has closed, so now it’s official that both twins will be moving. They call Kathy over to let her know. They break it to her, and while she’s happy for them, she’s saddened by the fact that they’ll be so far away. They suggest she move too, but Kathy knows that Johnny Ace won’t agree.
Later that day, Nikki invites JJ over and tells him about the move. He correctly assumes that Nikki hadn’t told Artem, because he knows what a selfish person she is. He lectures her about it, but knows that there’s really no point, because she’ll never change, as long as the writers of this show need to squeeze out some manufactured drama to fill a full season.
Brie and Bryan have moved to a hotel before their moving day, and Nikki is crashing with them because she’s incapable of taking care of Matteo by herself. Artem calls, and she tells him that the offer on the house was accepted. He’s still justifiably angry with her. She tries to deflect, saying that if he got offered a DWtS tour, he’d probably take it without consulting her, but he said he would absolutely discuss any major life decisions with her because he’s the more considerate wife of the two of them.
They hang up angry with each other, with Nikki insisting, in a talking head segment, that she’s in the right, because he doesn’t know how hard it is to be alone at home with the baby, and if she needs to move to be with her crutch Brie, he should support her. And that was a long sentence, but not as long as this episode feels like.
After the call, Nikki breaks down with the stress, and admits to Brie that she’s not coping well with the stress, and is emotionally spiraling downwards. She’s upset with being alone, with watching Artem having fun with another woman on TV, and just feeling like the weight of the world is on her.
Brie and Bryan try to console her, and let her know that they will always be there to support her if and when she needs help. They tell her that she can’t be afraid to let Artem know how much she needs him, and that needing help is normal. Nikki says that after pushing Artem so hard to find a job and earn his keep, it’s difficult to tell him to come back home and help her. She says she’ll get through it with their help.