The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Return From Bitch Mountain

Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Episode Title
With Friends Like These
Editor’s Rating

Are you a bitch, or are you acting like a bitch? Did you feel like you were a bitch in that moment? Do friends call friends bitches? Is there a difference between being a bitch and acting like a bitch? The Atlanta Housewives are answering all the tough questions this week.

NeNe and Gregg are quickly becoming my least favorite people on television. After stomping in and calling Peter a bitch, NeNe sat down, rolled her eyes, and weakly apologized for what she said to Peter while Gregg continued his threats while shaking Peter’s hand. NeNe is clearly feeling the need to throw her weight around in the wake of her disappointing career decline, and Gregg just needs a retirement hobby. Someone, teach him how to play Parcheesi! Starting fights with people is not a productive way to pass your time. Phaedra accurately pointed out that Cynthia is contracted to be NeNe’s best friend, but is that a reason for her to not defend her husband? What would it take for Cynthia to step up and say something, to confront anyone about anything? Her husband was being double-teamed by NeNe and Gregg, and she looked positively bored. When she did speak up, all she said was, “You guys should have talked privately and squashed it.” Oh, do go on, Captain Obvious. Let’s talk about all of the things that should have happened instead of addressing what is actually happening — then, if you wish hard enough, the earth will spin off its axis and into a time tunnel, where you can hire Doctor Who to make sure Kenya was never born so the masquerade ball never happened.

Back in Atlanta at last, Kandi and Don Juan are getting ready for the upcoming production of A Mother’s Love, which mostly means deflating Porsha’s ego and letting her know that she’s not going to get top billing, her own dressing room, or better treatment than people who have gone platinum. Porsha seemed content to let her lawyer handle all of the negotiations, but Kandi, having been burned by “Tardy for the Party” in the past, was quick to let her know exactly how and why she wasn’t going to get what she wanted. Porsha still doesn’t know the name of her character at this point, so I’m not sure why her understudy isn’t tap-dancing on her bones to snatch the part away at this point. Has no one seen Showgirls? Push that emm-effer down a flight of stairs already!

Cynthia and Peter are sitting in a room full of IKEA Billy bookcases filled with shoes, talking about The Bitch Incident. Cynthia finally pipes up that eh, she could have said something about “the B-word,” but “friends don’t call friends bitches.” Um, your friend just did! And you sat there like a bump on a log, doing jack shit. I can’t stand this about Cynthia, and she does it all the time — she tries to save face by not acting in the moment, and then waiting to see how things shake out before she gives her opinion. At this point, she feels like “right is right and wrong is wrong,” and up is up and down is down. Her entire life philosophy is based on a kindergarten-level understanding of emotions, so I was surprised to hear her say that she might not want to be friends with NeNe and Gregg anymore. Meanwhile, NeNe and Gregg parked their bitch bones on a couch and decided that Cynthia couldn’t be mad about this because it wasn’t that big a deal. You can’t call someone a bitch and then dictate the terms of how they feel about it! NeNe doesn’t feel at all bad for calling Peter a bitch because he butts in all the time and causes problems for Cynthia. Sounds familiar, Lynethia! Gregg is going to call and set up dinner anyway, because The Price Is Right is only an hour long and there’s a lot of time to fill in during the day.

Then, Kandi decides to roll on over to her former high school to surprise some students with jobs. That’s right — two lucky recipients get to go to school all day and then work on her play all night! The principle surprised her by bringing her old drama teacher in to say hello and it got very emotional, and then Kandi gave a convoluted speech about trying to be better than your best, even thought the best talents don’t always become the most successful, because the hardest worker does. I need to lie down.

Kenya has successfully caused the group to implode once more, so she’s back to her own insular craziness. Marlo came over wearing half a dinner plate around her neck, and then Kenya surprised her by bringing over a woman who loans out anatomically correct babies to people who aren’t sure if they want to be parents. The basic idea is that Kenya has to feed, burp, and diaper her, but her main goal is to keep her dog, Velvet, from ripping the baby apart. Velvet HATES this baby, and Marlo is speechless at the very idea of it. As soon as the baby lady leaves, Kenya ally-oops it into a chair. Are you allowed to call CPS on people in advance?

Phaedra still wants to go into business with Willie Watkins and have people “come die with her,” so she strolls over to his porch to let him molest her with his eyes for a while. She’s about to take her test to become an official mortician, and is doing her best to stay sane under the pressure of “looking and smelling good.” I don’t have children (praise!) but I spent the last six years in college, so I, too, now know that the struggle to smell good is real.

Everyone is nervous that Porsha missed the rehearsal for the play, but she’s the only person with an understudy for a reason. She missed it for a good reason, though — she had to celebrate a role she hasn’t even secured to go to the club and figure out how to be a divorcée, which mostly means lying to a professional golfer about being “in between phone numbers” and pawning him off on your sister. Did you hear her attempt at flirting when he offered to show her how to swing a golf club? “If you teach me, I’ll learn.” So Porsha is also a liar, because as we’ve learned over the past two seasons, you can’t teach Porsha the difference between her ass and her elbow. 

Finally, Cynthia and Peter meet NeNe and Gregg for dinner, and no one is sure what to expect. NeNe showed up looking like Steven Van Zandt, and it was tense from the get-go. Gregg apologized for being out of character, but Peter turned all of his attention to NeNe because she called him a bitch. NeNe, ever the compassionate soul, said she just called it like she sees it, and that she can’t control what happens when Nay Nay, her alter ego, comes around. I’m sorry, but “I go into a fugue state and let the absolute worst part of me shine through” is not an excuse that adults use and expect to get away with. She has no remorse! None. According to her, she wasn’t calling Peter a bitch, just saying he was acting like one. Is there a difference? Was there a bitch summit and I missed out on the final ruling between being or acting like a bitch? Is one less offensive somehow? I didn’t expect her to, but Cynthia piped up that no matter how you slice it, NeNe was still calling Peter a bitch, so why not just chill out. Then NeNe apologized for real, and they all reached across the table in a Celtic knot of hand-grasping, laughing, and solidifying their friendship anew.

Next time, we’re still not sure if Porsha will step up and do the play, NeNe is passing on work like she can, Cynthia and Peter fight about money, Mama Joyce tells Todd she doesn’t respect him, and Kenya will probably watch Velvet murder that baby but be too ashamed to admit her failure. See you then!