The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: All Apologies

Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Episode Title
All Tea All Shade
Editor’s Rating

Cynthia dressed like Brother Mouzone for their meeting and Porsha still had the nerve to show up an hour late? Doesn’t she know that is an outfit made for murder?

New housewife Claudia was finally added to the roster last night, and I love her! She’s funny and doesn’t mind ripping her own weave out to prove a point. The only things you need to know about Claudia are that she calls herself a “lovable asshole,” prefers alpha males, and once had a tooth come out during sex. She’s a breath of fresh air, and the fact that she’s friends with Kenya sort of balances out the sourness the show has had lately. Welcome, Claudia!

Listen: Everyone should apologize to Kenya, and I’m glad that most of them are fully onboard with the fact that they treated her unfairly. Once they get to know her for who she really is, they’ll find new, factual reasons to dislike her, but for now, they need to clear the slate. Of course the only holdout is NeNe, who, during an epic bitch session with Porsha upon her return to Atlanta, decides that she can continue believing Apollo’s lie because the statute of limitations hasn’t run out on the blood oath she made to hate Kenya no matter what, and since Kenya jumped in a pool with Apollo, she’s clearly the man-stealing liar NeNe wants her to be. Self-righteousness is an ugly look on NeNe, isn’t it? She’s more afraid of looking foolish than admitting she was wrong, so she’s going to hold onto her Kenya hatred until it festers like gangrenous limb, choosing to amputate only when it somehow makes her look good. Ironically, it only makes her look more like a spit-puking toddler to refuse to apologize, but she’ll find a way to pretend that doesn’t bother her, either. I did laugh when Porsha tried to feed her chicken and called herself “hood rich,” though.

Kenya wants her spirit to swing from a tree — not at all problematic imagery for a person of color to conjure up in the South! — so she’s shopping for plants with her aunt Lori. After she correctly identifies a cactus and collects her gold star from the Mayor of Obvious Town, Kenya basically tells her aunt that she refuses to take the high road with the rest of the women and will never make peace unless they make the first move. Aunt Lori tells her she “can’t put conditions on forgiveness,” but Kenya was too busy reciting Shakespeare and putting her spirit on a boogie board to notice. I can understand why she wants everyone to come to her; the only cast member to regularly extend her any kindness is Kandi, and everyone else talks about her like she’s a baby-eating dingo. But she’s also done some incredibly messed-up things that have nothing to do with Apollo’s lie and shouldn’t be surprised that few people can stand her theatrics.

Across town, Phaedra, Kandi, and Porsha were meeting up to discuss why those hummus commercials always show someone dipping raw broccoli in it like that’s normal, and Kandi couldn’t wait to drop the bomb that Apollo confessed to lying at Cynthia’s party. Phaedra’s facial expression in that moment should go on a stamp; it was three parts disbelief mixed with two parts “I’ll take everything in the divorce.” She compared it to a shift from “fuckery” to a “fuck-cation,” but Phaedra clearly knew she was married to a liar, so she didn’t seem that surprised. Her biggest concern was that he could have put her under an unnecessary amount of stress while she was eight months pregnant, and she thinks she should apologize to Kenya, maybe, possibly, she guesses, one day. This forthcoming apology plays into her Southern Belle facade, but Phaedra has had some of the nastiest running commentary about Kenya for years. Do you think we don’t watch the reunions, MFer? I also can’t stand it when she and NeNe try to slut-shame Kenya, as if having sex is enough of a reason to write someone off for life. You can’t make fun of her for being single and then shame her for dating, y’all!

Also, damn, Phaedra, keep your eyes on your own plate! While you’re complaining about Kenya and wearing a full-length, black-lace mourning dress as a pool cover-up, Apollo is across town meeting with the only attorney in Atlanta, Robert Kessler, about how much he’ll get when he gets out. Please note that this is all he cares about! He had no plan and nothing to say when Kessler brought up whether or not he’ll see his sons while he’s away, only that he wants to be taken care of when he gets out so he can avoid working in McDonald’s and being forced into a life of crime. Do you think it’s hard for Apollo to buy pants that fit his enormous, disgusting balls? Was there anything more depressing and confusing than hearing him say, “I despise everything about her, but I still love her”? I know he had a hard childhood, but he’s still a manipulative garbage-monster and I refuse to shed a tear for him. Refuse, I said! 

Cynthia is having a prolonged conniption fit thinking about NeNe and Porsha, but she and Peter agree that Kenya deserves an apology. She can’t miss an opportunity to bring up the party line, so she tells Peter how her life is going to be all about positivity from now on, but the way she was furiously stirring those vegetables told another story. I cracked up when Peter asked her why she was amped up; you can’t hide your true feelings from the camera, Cynthia! When they brought the meal to the table, Peter said grace Marky Mark–style (“Food’s CRAZY!”), and then they talked about Porsha and NeNe some more to prove how boring their lives are without her.

Kandi and Todd talked about whether or not they wanted to try for a baby while their bed was littered with sex toys, and Kandi waved around a riding crop, so that’s how some people live, I guess. They’re putting it off until Todd is home more often, but the kids they already have will give them plenty of work. Todd’s daughter Kaela finally arrived, and we got to see Riley for the first time all season. When dealing with her new stepsister, Riley is basically Mama Joyce Junior — I couldn’t believe they didn’t say anything when she tried to reprimand Kaela for having a 1 a.m. curfew and the snotty way she said that she’d be in college when she’s 18! I don’t want to hate on children, particularly ones that sound like a cross between Cecil Turtle and Macho Man Randy Savage, but Riley was never this mean before.

Finally, Porsha decided she needed to meet with Cynthia to discuss their friction, but the fact that she showed up an hour late and positively sauntered in immediately set Cynthia on edge. She flashed on Porsha like the Eye of Sauron looking at the Ring, and Porsha deserved every second of it. Here’s the thing: Porsha did that on purpose. She doesn’t have a job, hobbies, or a library card, so what reason does she have to be late to anything, ever? It was her effort at making a point about her own importance, and it backfired. They mostly yell-talked over each other, but here’s what I was able to pick up with my geriatric ears: Porsha is mad at Cynthia for telling some reporters that she was provoked into fighting with Kenya, and she said the opposite to some other publications. 

Both of them were trying to be the boss and assert their newfound independence, but it wasn’t quite working out for either. I did laugh when Porsha told Cynthia she was “nasty before I even sat down,” but other than that it was a bunch of yelling about flip-flopping and flabbergasting. They both took turns looking at their phones in mock disinterest, Cynthia tried out a clumsy new spin on Kenya’s old line, saying, “If you don’t want me to come for you, don’t come for me,” and Porsha told Cynthia to get her “long E.T. finger” out of her face.

Was it entertaining? Yes! Did I understand for even one second why Cynthia agreed to this meeting? No! Porsha should have apologized for showing up that late or at least called to explain, but we’re talking about a person who called Cynthia a “5-year-old with menopause.” Someone has to have told them by now that they don’t have to be friends.

Next time, NeNe explains that she’ll never, ever be friends with Cynthia again, Peter apologizes to Kenya, and Kandi makes her cry. Until then!