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The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Malcontents in Mexico

On this, the 746th trip of the season, we’re treated to Kordell’s side of the divorce (which no one wants) from an aggressively persistent Peter (whom no one likes).

Marlo is basically Voldemort now — NeNe forbade Cynthia from even raising the topic of the completely insane fight they had last week, instead turning her attention to the maxi dresses and bikinis they were trying to buy for the trip. I can appreciate NeNe wanting to let it go, but that’s not really her call, particularly since the person asking about it is Cynthia, whose event was ruined as a result of said fight. That’s an old adage, right? “The person on the receiving end of your big, steamy dump deserves to know why you are taking a dump on them” — I think Mark Twain said that. It was just another example of NeNe’s ego getting in the way, and it’s sad to see how little kindness she can extend to her friends these days. They drank while they shopped and I had a quick, pleasant flashback to the first season of this show, when Kim used to pull up to a store and pop a bottle open right away. Rest in peace,Wig — those were good times.

Kenya rolled over to Marlo’s place to see who could cry the fakest tears first, and Marlo won! I’m sorry, but Marlo knew exactly what she was doing by going over to NeNe’s team to start shit, she just thought she would get a different response. Apparently NeNe called Marlo prior to the event to curse her out about being friends with Kenya. None of this is passable behavior for people who pay mortgages — NeNe should never make such outrageous demands on her friends, and Marlo should be gracious enough to not flaunt her friendship with Kenya in NeNe’s face. Instead of saying, “Hey, what’s my role in this mess?” Kenya and Marlo diagnosed NeNe with a case of the Fallen Stars, declaring that her recently shitty behavior is owing to her show being canceled. If I thought I was leaving this wack-ass group of women behind for good only to find out I still need that Bravo paycheck, I’d be pretty pissed off, too. There are no winners here, but I’m not a fan of Kenya and Marlo’s scheming.

Next, Phaedra makes a proper appearance, and part of the reason I’m giving this week four stars is because of the zippy comebacks that poured out of her face like syrup on a short stack. For example, she called Kenya’s car a “Rentley,” and said she would rather have Porsha take her black history final exams instead of going to Mexico (calling back to Porsha’s stupidity about the Underground Railroad). The hits kept coming all night, and it made me wonder: With all of the hustling Phaedra does, wouldn’t it be easier to just have Bravo give her a spinoff so she doesn’t have to deal with these ladies anymore? Surely there’s a TV market for a mortician who is also an aerobics instructor who is also a lawyer. Phaedra isn’t sure she wants Apollo on this trip, and even though he’s upset that he’s being banned, he can’t deny that his behavior during last year’s trip to Anguilla set the stage for most of the strife his wife currently has with Kenya. Why does he even want to go?

Ayden was looking for frogs in the pool, asking them to “Respond! Respond!” and it was so cute I almost forgot that Phaedra and Apollo can barely conceal their contempt for each other anymore.

I was royally pissed when Peter went to see Kordell. For better or worse, I always see this show as a vehicle for women in a landscape that mostly doesn’t feature women (and certainly not black women). I am not here for Peter taking up a full quarter of the show talking to a thumb. Why does he even care? Why is he inserting himself in their relationship in any way? The main thrust of this meeting was Peter auctioning off  “an old Jamaican lady” to help Kordell, the newly single parent, adjust to his workload, and Kordell throwing his opinion in the ring about how and why his marriage to Porsha ended. Essentially, he hates Porsha’s family and she was bad with money. I feel for you, bro, but you don’t need a platform for that campaign. He came home one day to find Porsha’s mom, Tina Knowles, eating a pepperoni pizza in his master bedroom and that was it! Marriage over! No one was respecting the house rule about pizza!

Kordell said that Porsha knew the divorce was coming because she asked him for one for months, and the divorce is dragging on because he won’t give her what she wants financially. Apparently they didn’t have a prenup and her name isn’t on any of his property or their house, so you can see why they’ve been getting divorced for as long as they were married. This seems to please Peter, who is happy to finally have the male perspective after months of listening to the ladies talk about it. He’s such a misogynistic prick, and this is literally none of his business! In the end, Kordell called Porsha a knucklehead but said he will always love her, and then he went right back to the hard work of being a thumb, opening cans and holding pens.

Kenya and Miss Lawrence showed up to the El Dorado Royale in Mexico a day early to ogle men, cruise around the grounds in a golf cart, and generally make sure everything was perfect. Kenya made sure to pack ponchos, long mustaches, and sombreros so that she and Miss Lawrence could greet the girls with a heaping helping of latent racism, and then she put photos of herself in every single room to make sure everyone was annoyed right away. I’m annoyed by the way Kenya fetishizes Miss Lawrence’s gayness, like he’s a toy poodle to drag around and be funny on command. Miss Lawrence, who does a flawless impersonation of Gregg, just wants to get drunk and listen to Sade. Girl, I wish that was going to happen on this trip, but you know damn well you’re in for a lot more drama than that.

At the airport, NeNe tries to keep her laughter to a minimum when she sees Cynthia’s travel outfit is Navy captain chic, and then she starts to act like a drill sergeant when people show up a little late. I’ve never understood this — you do know you can get on a plane if the rest of your group isn’t there, right? Phaedra can’t find her passport so she’s taking another flight, but I think she was still deciding if she was going to go at all. When they get to Mexico, Porsha said she had to be part Mexican because her “baby hair is always laid,” and Gregg starts flailing his arms like a toddler, happy to have transgressed the boundaries of the electronic fence NeNe keeps around the house.

A stretch Hummer comes to get them; Peter feels like this is a good time for him to mention to Porsha that he talked to Kordell, and Porsha is put in the very awkward position of having to defend her divorce. She calmly explained that she loved Kordell but didn’t love the way he treated her, and I wanted her to just shut up and slap Peter all the way across the face. You don’t have to explain yourself to him, Porsha!

A mariachi band welcomes them when they get to the hotel, and then Kenya sneaks out like a nightmare wearing a poncho and very little else. Miss Lawrence comes slinking out a few minutes later, and while everyone is happy to see him, Porsha wonders why Kenya didn’t invite her “invisible African prince.” That motherfucker doesn’t exist, that’s why! Kenya makes sure NeNe has the second presidential suite, and NeNe says she deserves it. Always keep that humility intact, NeNe. Gregg crawled onto their bed and slapped his own ass for some reason, even though we all know Grandpa Soft Voice will be asleep by 8 p.m. every night, everyone made fun of Kenya’s pictures in their rooms, and no one commented on the towels shaped like swans on every bed that I found very intriguing.

In true Cynthia style, she went to see Porsha to make sure things weren’t weird instead of speaking up while Peter was being a jerk just hours earlier. Porsha was happy that they were addressing it “grown woman style,” but I feel like a grown woman wouldn’t let her husband act like a ravenous bulldog to her friends in the first place.

The monogrammed napkins are laid out with care as everyone starts to arrive for dinner at the biggest table in the world. How can they even hear each other around this thing? I wouldn’t be surprised if there were an echo. Kandi is technically still working, writing songs for her play, but a free trip is a free trip, I guess, so she straps on some heels and shows up for dinner. When NeNe shows up, Kenya said, “I love to kill a girl with kindness, and right about now that bitch is dead.” She’s trying her best, knowing the quickest way to NeNe’s heart is by genuflecting.

Kenya purposely scrambled the seating so that no one was next to their partners, which seemed weird since it was just dinner and not part two of the Bailey Bowl. Phaedra and Apollo showed up looking like they had been bickering the entire flight over, and were just in time for Gregg to go in on Porsha, asking her if she really did everything possible to get Kordell back. Hello, what is this? Why is everyone so invested in her being with Kordell? Is she the only match for his rare blood type or something? Porsha just wants to be on vacation, but the men at the table have decided it’s time to launch the Kordell Initiative. Even Todd piped up, asking if she knew in her heart that she was done. Do you know how weird it is for someone as perpetually dependent as Porsha to actually agree to go through with a divorce? Porsha is basically a flailing, helpless baby duck of a woman — if she’s ready to move on, you KNOW it was bad.

Peter persisted, saying that in his conversation with Kordell it was clear that he loved Porsha but he didn’t like what came with her. Then Porsha had to explain that she and Kordell made an agreement that he broke, that his “celebrity was tainted,” and her plan was to be the ideal couple to erase his nasty past. It came across like she was a beard, because there have allegedly been rumors that Kordell is gay, and Kenya pounced on the chance to call Porsha a beard. I’m legitimately surprised Porsha didn’t grab her chin and say, “But I don’t have any hair on my face!” In her interstitial, Phaedra stuck up for Porsha, saying Kenya would grow a beard, a goatee, and hair on her legs if she thought it would help her get a man, and I laughed for longer than I should have because it’s true. Porsha insisted that she wasn’t a beard, she was just helping Kordell get over his cursed and wounded past. Oh, he’s cursed! That explains a lot.

Porsha felt attacked, and rightfully so. Cynthia just sat there, pissing me off by not once asking her bulldog of a spouse to back the fuck down. Cynthia is a coward. Instead of wishing you could kick him under the table, how about you pull his ass aside in a quiet moment and remind him that he should basically keep his piehole shut forever when it comes to dressing down their friends? No good has ever come of it!

Kandi, Gregg, and NeNe agree that if Porsha was just bearding for Kordell, she wouldn’t be so hurt by the marriage ending, but as soon as Kenya hears a vote of encouragement for Porsha she cuts everyone off and screams about how happy she is to host everyone. Porsha turned to Kandi and said, “She doesn’t want you to finish your point,” and I almost fell off my couch to see Porsha so self-possessed. If she finally learns how to defend herself, this trip might be worth it after all.

Next time, on the season finale, they run into a huge snake, someone blows a horn out of a shell, and Phaedra gets angry when she sees Apollo talking to Kenya. See you next week!