The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: On the Outs

Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Episode Title
Dress Down and Strip Bare
Editor’s Rating

Happy New Year! I am sure we are all busy doing tech support for our families, so I will not take up too much of your time. This was not a terribly exciting week, but there were definitely some gems, a lot of calling people out, and a glimpse at the titty bar where Georgia’s sex workers end up right before they are old enough to collect Social Security.

At the start of the show, Nene is having lunch with Kenya in an attempt to find out if Kenya is “real” or not. Nene will only hang out with Real Ass People™, and she doesn’t seem to know what to make of Kenya yet. In an effort to prove the seriousness of the occasion, she weighs herself down with her finest Navajo blanket dress and wears a large pair of sunglasses indoors, prompting Kenya to ask if she is “incognegro.” Nene feels Kenya out as they eat a plate of vertical taquitos, and points out that she sort of unnecessarily lost her mind on the trip even though Walter never committed to a proposal. In her confessional, Nene wonders if Kenya just wants to have a baby, saying that she can hook her up with “a homeboy on the corner and a turkey baster and put a baby up IN YA!” instead of going through this charade with Walter. She also throws down the “he’s just not that into you” card. Was this a lunch set up by the producers? I get that this is a friendship forced, but I don’t quite understand their relationship yet.

Cynthia has an afternoon date with Porsha, who appears to live in a gingerbread house. I am still not her biggest fan, but I have to admit that Cynthia was HILARIOUS in this episode. The two drink Champagne and give a weak toast to “peace, love, and trying to keep it together” while they ogle two cheesecakes and sit in relative silence. Kandi shows up, and, as she wearily wobbles towards the duo, I’m struck by how exhausting it must be to constantly have to wear stilettos just to sit around and talk smack with your supposed friends. Cynthia politely asks Porsha how many bedrooms she has in her house, and Porsha has a series of small strokes while trying to think of the answer (seven or eight). The extra bedrooms get her talking about all of the kids she wants to populate them with, and also brings us back to her theory that an African yam diet will produce twins. It happened in a village in Africa — the women all ate yams and then gave birth to twins near the cave where Bat Boy lives! Kandi points out the obvious, which is that it could be hereditary; Porsha rolls this over in her brain for a second before deciding well, she would just “be the test dummy” on that theory. Cynthia and Kandi exchanged telepathic looks imploring her to drop the word “test” from that statement.

Next we see that Phaedra and Apollo actually went through with it — they actually set up a meeting with Kenya at her production company to talk about their “donkey booty” workout video. It feels like they’ve been vetting her for 100 million years, but much to my surprise Kenya was incredibly professional and quite prepared, which is more than can be said for Phaedra and Apollo. While Kenya was throwing down some season one, Lisa Wu Serious-Business-Woman Realness about video-on-demand versus DVDs, profit margins, and budgets, Phaedra and Apollo revealed that they haven’t thought of a name for the series or even developed a workout routine yet. They bickered back and forth about the concept as a whole; Kenya decided they were unprofessional and seemed annoyed that they were wasting her time. She did give them a signed copy of one of her movies, The Confidant, which she not only produced but also acted in by playing a prostitute. She spun that little tidbit into a flirty conversation about role-playing, and I just got up to fix a plate of Nutella crackers rather than watch it.

Cynthia and Peter go shopping at the Boxcar Children’s Grocery Store, where Peter finds out via his phone that Phaedra and Apollo are getting a divorce. Cynthia whips out an industrial ladder to climb onto her high horse, saying that Apollo was acting quite inappropriate with Kenya in Anguilla and he is always in strip clubs, obviously forgetting that Kenya also rubbed her “funky booty” all over Peter’s withered junk while dancing during the very same span of three days. Peter says that going to a strip club in the South is just like going to an office building, Cynthia, freshly airlifted back down to earth, wonders why he would go to a strip club in the first place, and, forgetting that this conversation was originally about someone else, tells Peter that she wants to go to a strip club with him to see what this is all about.

Apparently Kenya has been avoiding Walter since they got back from Anguilla, but they meet for lunch to hash things out. Walter is already mopping his brow when Kenya arrives, and she launches right into the fact that she felt blindsided by his response to Peter about whether or not he was going to propose during their final night of the trip. Walter said that he only said, “anything is possible,” and didn’t expect Kenya to immediately craft a wedding dress out of fishing nets and grind rings out of conch shells. Kenya says that Walter was being mean to her, and that he intimidated her with his yelling since she has a history with domestic abuse. She gets down to brass tacks and tells him that she does not want to be a 50-year old bride with dried up eggs, that she has a 6-month timeline for marriage or a proposal, and that she cannot be a girlfriend since she is “wife material.” Then she awkwardly asks him why he loves her, and wants to know if they’re working towards marriage; he tells her he loves her, but not enough to marry her today. Kenya has heard enough — in her confessional she says she feels deceived about where this relationship was going. Walter is just pretty anxious to get back to work. I felt like this was a finalizing conversation, but the previews for next week show them standing in a bog arguing about their relationship again, so who knows.

Phaedra has brought a pastor to Kandi’s new house for a blessing, and he ends the prayer by saying he wants to “give this house back to the Lord.” I had no idea the modernization of religion means the Lord can just straight up inherit your house now — how fun! Phaedra hints that the next step is a wedding. Todd, whom I absolutely LOVE, says, “I thought the next step was a housewarming party?” Then, while Kandi boots up the “I don’t want to pressure Todd into marrying me” reel, Phaedra starts talking about how difficult it is to be married, and that she routinely wants to kill Apollo for leaving the toilet seat up, not washing the dishes, and daring to talk to her in the morning. Everyone sort of nervously smiles at her, since murder is not a normal reaction to occasionally needing to wash your own spoons, and the pastor turns to Kandi and Todd, telling them to just keep doing what they’re doing before he invites himself back for dinner when they’ve finished moving in.

Cut to Porsha and Kordell lounging in their hot tub. There are only three things you should know about this scene: Kordell said that Peter was so black he was “blurple,” he told Porsha that everyone is guilty until proven innocent in regards to potential friendships, and Porsha isn’t really going to accept Kenya’s apology for calling her a “bitch” in Anguilla. Oh, and the cameraman did a super-classy zoom-in on her butt while she got out of the hot tub. Go ahead and erect some tombstones this week for these two: Porsha and Kordell, For Whom No Fucks Were Given 2012–2012.

When Cynthia said she would go with Peter to a strip club, I didn’t think they meant they would go in this very episode! But there she is, wrapped in silver Saran Wrap, loping towards the Clermont Lounge and shouting “Oh my god she’s showing her stuff!” as soon as they get in the door. I generally hate body snarking, and I’m not going to betray my overall feelings about how we culturally treat women’s bodies like shit just to make you laugh, but I can at the very least say that the strippers at the Clermont Lounge harkened back to a time when rolling around on a car in a Whitesnake video was de rigueur, and that not very much appears to have changed for these ladies since then except the oppressive force of gravity. Peter declared that everyone looked like moms, and that he was going to “need to get fucked up if they were going to stay in that joint” before they were joined by Apollo and Phaedra. Apollo starts talking about how he and Phaedra were their own people when they first met and that he’s lost a sense of who he is; he reconciles this by basically becoming Doctor Who — he doesn’t live on the “specter of the time scale” between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. like everyone else! He needs to get back to the funny person he was before he had responsibilities! Phaedra rolls her eyes and says she can’t go out clubbing because she’s a mom, and that’s just the way it is. Apollo, comically interrupted by strippers every other sentence, starts talking about how he needs an outlet, but Phaedra has already moved on to “giving all of her money” to a stripper with a tattoo of a Georgia bulldog.

In a very short segment, Bob from Twin Peaks is the photographer when Nene does a photo shoot for Ebony magazine in a dress made out of money.

Back at Bar One, Peter’s post-supper-club business experiment, Cynthia is the new spokesmodel for some wine company and they’re having a launch party. Derrick J shows up with Lawrence, who is wearing so many layers he looks like the garbage heap from Fraggle Rock, and Peter is pouring shots. Most of the group is there, and they all stand around talking about Cynthia’s business prowess like she’s a titan of industry. Peter runs to get more shots, this time pulling in all of the guys with him to another corner of the room. He talks to Apollo about what it was like to be confined in prison (miserable), and then we cut to the ladies talking about Anguilla again (more miserable). Walter comes in, walks right past Kenya and over to the shots, only to return to say hello ten minutes later. Now that Kenya is pissed about being dissed, it’s the PERFECT time for Porsha to want to talk about their Anguilla throwdown. Kenya says she can be cordial, but doesn’t think they are going to be friends and walks away, which Porsha, in recounting the story to Kordell, somehow turns into an act of her trying to be the bigger person. Kordell tells her she shouldn’t apologize anymore, but guess what — she never even apologized even once, Kordell! Sit down, Kordell.

Everyone is drinking, and Peter brings up the tabloid divorce item with Apollo, who responds by saying he is “dealing with a goddamn beast, man, my wife is high tempo.” I finally have a phrase to engrave on my wedding ring — so sweet! But Apollo quickly walks over to where Phaedra is sitting and jams his tongue DIRECTLY down her throat to prove that there are no problems here! Cynthia thinks he’s just doing damage control, and predicts that she and Peter will outlast several Atlanta marriages.

Next week promises to be more entertaining; Kenya compares herself to Beyoncé, which is worth the price of admission alone.