Not part of the series arc, but is that a crime?
The setups were was amazingly well woven into the series as a whole.
We all remember seeing them, and only now do we realize what they meant.
The spleen vented on this enjoyable diversion is way out of proportion to the magnitude of the
TV series typically have A, B, and sometimes even C stories. Having this Nikki and Paolo C story be part of an arc is hardly the end of the world.