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The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: A Mother’s Love

We’re one episode away from the season finale, so last night was a good time to rehash old fights and bring on fresh pain.

Porsha is definitely going to mess up this play, right? Her voice isn’t too terrible — she sang that “Perfectly Worthless” song without an iota of irony, even though the title does more to describe her presence on this earth than it does her former marriage — but her ego will bring the entire operation to a crashing halt eventually. She doesn’t come to rehearsals even though five weeks in, she still doesn’t know her character’s name, and seems far more concerned with seeing her name in lights than actually learning her lines. What Porsha lacks in professionalism, she makes up in hubris, so it was nice to watch Kandi hand Porsha her own ass when she insisted she was missing rehearsals because Kandi’s team wasn’t communicating, when in fact her own “team” (her sister Lauren) failed to read the email properly. Oh, Porsha, do go on about how much other people suck — I love watching people prove you wrong with logic and facts!

Meanwhile, NeNe met with her manager to simultaneously emasculate him and drive home how much of a stuck-up asshole she’s become. Oh, you’re too good to even read a script for a Jon Lovitz/Bill Bellamy vehicle? Is the dream of the '90s only alive on Fox? You’ve never seen Scandal, the only network show currently starring an African-American woman? I want to appreciate that she has standards, but then she says things like “I only want to do work that elevates me” and “I can’t promise that I’ll actually work with an acting coach every week, because it will take away my natural ability to act,” and my eyes roll so fast and hard it spins me into a Quantum Leap.

Speaking of time travel, Cynthia and Peter are rehashing their age-old favorite fight, the How Will Peter Lose All of Our Money This Time extravaganza! Apparently the owners of BarOne aren’t paying the rent, so the whole building, including Cynthia’s business, might be shut down. What’s infuriating is not only that Peter is an absolute idiot when it comes to money and running a business, but that he thinks it’s okay to completely obscure this major piece of information from Cynthia. Her business is not at stake, but the building certainly is! I couldn’t believe she stood up for herself and said she wanted to find out about this from him, not from a blog. Peter has no idea what might happen, but his “lawyers are on it” and he wants everyone to “mind their damn business.” Um, everyone should be minding your business, Peter. Literally. He eventually comes around, realizes why she’s frustrated, and promises to talk to her more, but then he immediately makes fun of her for freaking out in the first place and my hatred for him is renewed.

I wasn’t prepared for this bit of sadness, but Kenya’s dog Velvet died last night, and she was rightfully a mess. Apparently Velvet was mauled by another dog when she went out in the yard. Kenya’s Aunt Lori came over to comfort her, and I can’t say anything terrible about Kenya here. She was just a sobbing mess, asking how she can go on, and agreeing with her aunt that a memorial service was a good idea. I feel totally sucker-punched because they spent so much time last week showing Velvet with that weird baby, like they knew what was coming and gave her a last moment in the spotlight. Kenya decided to tell only Cynthia and Kandi about the upcoming memorial, so now you can look forward to NeNe making a scene at a funeral for a dog because she was left out.

Kandi did the impossible and had a family counselor come to her house to talk to her mom about being a craaaazy bitch. Dr. Sutherland met with Kandi first, who insisted that the way she let’s her mother walk all over her is a sign of respect, and then he met with Mama Joyce, who revealed her main source of strife with Todd is that he quit his job and let Kandi gain 30 pounds. Did Todd know that it was his job to keep Kandi in shape? Does Mama Joyce realize that Kandi has been that size since she met him, and no one cares about something so trivial? I’m glad she’s willing to ruin her child’s life over weight gain. Dr. Sutherland put her on notice when he said that it’s her fault that her daughter is engaged to a man she hasn’t even bothered to get to know, which makes her cry. GOOD. This is not about Kandi’s relationship with her dad or how much she’s worried about her daughter — her whole shitty treatment of Todd is about power and control, and if she relents even a little bit, it’s because she wants to make sure she maintains it.

NeNe took a trip to New York to check on the progress of her fashion line with the Home Shopping Network and hated everything. A wide-eyed nervous woman named Anne tried to ply her with positive points about leather dresses and leopard shirts, but NeNe wasn’t fazed — she’s on a major power trip, and thinks it’s “delicious” that all decisions have to go through her. It’s a damn sight better than She by Sheree (R.I.P.), but her power-tripping over this collection of leather pants and giant shirts just drives home what a power-mad hag NeNe has become. In the end, she decided the best look was a huge, purple trapeze-cut top with shoulder holes, so let that tell you what this entire range will look like.

Apollo and Phaedra took a pottery class; he tried to do the Ghost thing and sit behind her, but ultimately ended up sticking his fingers in the wrong place and ruining the entire creation, and neither of them realized this was a metaphor for their entire relationship.

Finally, at the rehearsal for the play, stage manager Lark has a come to Jesus talk with Porsha about whether or not she’ll actually show up for her performances, and Kandi remains thrilled that they hired an understudy after Porsha is concerned that she has to sing, dance, and stay in character all at the same time. She insists she doesn’t want to be anyone’s headache, but that ship has sailed. Mama Joyce watched some of the performance, and then ran into Todd in the lobby. After giving her a tour and asking some awkward questions, he finally said he wanted to just talk to her directly instead of hearing different reports from different people, and asked her where they went wrong. Mama Joyce said she never stopped liking Todd, she just stopped respecting him. Oh! That’s it? You just have zero respect for the man your daughter loves? Well, surely he’s overreacting!

I really felt for Todd in this entire scene, and was legit proud of him for standing up to her, asking her to listen to him, and pleading his case. He explained why he took on fewer jobs (to be closer to Kandi, who needed him) and reminded her that he has his own money. It was heartbreaking when he said, “I would love for you to love me one day.” This is exactly the sort of man you want your daughter to be with, Mama Joyce! How does she not see that? What a stubborn old monster.

This entire exchange was interspersed with scenes from the play, and it was painful to watch Kandi try to act.

In the end, Mama Joyce admitted that she probably doted on Kandi too much after her son died, and that she might have been a little too protective. They hugged, so maybe they’re on the right track. Something must have worked out, because Kandi and Todd are finally married.

Next time, on the season finale, Todd and Kandi discuss their prenup, Phaedra might have passed her exam, Porsha cries, Kenya cries, and NeNe hates the idea of seeing Kandi’s play so much she puts herself in the hospital. See you then!

Photo: Bravo