Say what you will about how bad this season of “Total Bellas” was.
What, you were expecting a second part to that sentence? Nope. We really mean it. Say what you will about how bad it was. We’ll wait.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s get into the recap of Thursday night’s season finale.
Tonight, the girls make their big move to Napa, where Nikki hopes to pull herself out of her post-partum depression. And if she can’t do it by herself, then Brie will help… like it or not.
The episode starts with the twins – with Birdie and the newborns in tow – on the way to Napa, where they’ve both bought new houses. Bryan is there already, acclimating the dogs to the new place, and Brie is going to join him. Nikki, though, is going to do a layover in Los Angeles where she needs to talk to Artem, because she’s still suffering post-partum depression and with the tension between the two of them, she’s in a downward spiral.
Brie is happy with her house – she bought it online, so this is the first time she’s ever actually seen it in person.
She calls Nikki who tells her that her attempt to reconnect with Artem didn’t go well, and that she never got around to talking with him about her problems. Nikki wonders if she should wait to talk to him about the serious stuff she’s going through, because that may make him lose focus from his job on Dancing With the Stars, which really doesn’t count as a real job, but it’s the closest thing to work he’s had in a year.
After a day in Napa, Brie is thinking about moving the whole family – Kathy, Johnny Ace, JJ and his family – there as well, and Bryan is pretty annoyed at the idea of having to deal with all of that idiocy 24/7 when he finally got some distance from them.
Back in LA, Nikki suggests that she and Artem head to Napa even before his DWtS season is finished, but he doesn’t want to leave LA right away, presumably because he likes hanging out with all those other hot male dancers on the show. Nikki is bored in LA and says she needs a support system and with him dancing and cavorting with all those other hot male dancers all the time, she’s lonely. She says she’s going to go to Napa on her own and help set it up.
So, she heads to Napa, but she doesn’t want to visit her as-of-yet-unseen house just yet, because she’s tired and depressed. Brie tries to pep her up, but Nikki is still down in the dumps.
JJ comes to Napa to visit them, and over a wine brunch, Brie floats the ideal of moving the entire clan there. He’s not wild about the idea, and says that he doubts Kathy will be either. He’s pretty surprised that Nikki still hasn’t seen her house yet, but she’s still avoiding it, because she doesn’t want to feel buyer’s remorse if she doesn’t like it. JJ and Brie finally convince her to finally go see the house.
They drive over, and Nikki isn’t entirely wild about the place, because it’s ugly and poorly-designed. Basically, it’s the residential equivalent of one of her matches. Brie and JJ are amused, but Nikki now feels even worse than before, having sold her palatial house in Phoenix for this hovel.
They go to a winery so Nikki can drown her sorrows. They try to get JJ to drink Nikki’s breast milk, but when he doesn’t fall for it, Brie takes a swig. And Daniel Bryan wanting nothing to do with this family makes more and more sense. Artem calls, but his phone connection is as lousy as his new house, so he can’t hear about how lousy his new house is.
They pass by an open house, and Brie (in full BRIE MODE!!!) makes them pull over to check it out, thinking that it might be a good place for Kathy and Johnny. They get her on the phone, and try to give her a cell-phone tour of the place, but she hangs up on the drunken fools.
A few days later, the twins go visit the vineyard where they make their Bonita Bonita brand wine. Nikki still hasn’t talked to Artem about her problems, and she admits to Brie that it’s because she feels guilty about the tension between her and Artem, and wants to avoid a confrontation, but because of that, she’s now resentful towards him. Nikki is at the point where she’s questioning the whole relationship. Brie is sad because she sees her sister so upset, and in a talking head segment says that she’s decided to talk to Artem if Nikki won’t.
She calls him, and tells him that Nikki is depressed and is sinking without him. Artem is understandably upset by the news, and dear God, Brie’s phone screen is filthy. Doesn’t she ever wipe that thing down? Gross.
Anyway, Artem says that if he’d known about this, he would have never taken the DWtS job, and thanks Brie for letting him know, because now he has a valid reason to quit and go back to being a freeloader.
The next day, the twins and JJ are hanging out in Napa, and Nikki gets a text from Artem who’s offered to quit DWtS. Brie confesses about having called him and letting him know about Nikki’s plight. Nikki gets really upset, saying that Brie way over-stepped. Nikki tells her that she’s never going to confide in her again, and storms off.
JJ tells Brie that she was out of line, and says that Brie should have let Nikki talk to Artem only when she was ready to do so. And by interfering, she’s actually made the situation worse, despite her best intentions.
JJ heads over to Nikki’s hotel room to see how she’s doing. He tells her to talk it out with Brie, and suggests that while Brie may have done the wrong thing, it was for the best reasons. And that now that the cat is out of the bag, Nikki really should consider talking to Artem and letting him know what she’s going through, because men don’t understand women’s hormones. #Truth
The next day, the girls visit a commercial space that they are considering as a Bonita Bonita tasting room – hey, what a concept… looking at a property in person before buying it. Nikki apologizes for lashing out at Brie the day before, and Brie apologizes for blabbing Nikki’s feelings to Artem. All is forgiven.
Later, Nikki’s at her house, and Artem walks in. He assures her that he didn’t quit DWtS, but rather is just there for a visit because he has the day off. Repeat. He has the day off. From dance practice. #SMH as the kids say. She shows him the renovations she’s already had started on the place to make it somewhat livable.
She comes clean about her post-partum depression, and how she feels ugly and insecure and lonely without him around. She says she didn’t tell him earlier because she didn’t want to harsh his happy feet. He tells her that he wished he’d known, but sometimes gets the feeling that she doesn’t want to come across as less than Fearless, and so puts on a false front. He says that he will always prioritize her and Matteo over his joke of a job. That makes her feel better.
Elsewhere, Brie and Bryan are preparing for him to get back on the road. Brie tells him that she’s going to be fine – even without the rest of the family around, as she’s abandoned the idea of moving everyone else to Napa. Brie says she’s finally found a place where she feels truly at home.
Cut to a few weeks later, and Bryan is back at home from tour. Artem shows up and he brings home the DWtS Mirror Ball trophy, which is an accomplishment, I guess? But if that wasn’t enough good news, he and Nikki announce that they’re going to get married on Thanksgiving weekend in 2021.
The girls recap their journey over the past few years, from being terrible wrestlers to stars of this lousy reality show.
Viva la Bella-lution.
See you next season!