The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: License to Ill

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Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Episode Title
Housewife Interrupted
Season
7
Episode
18
Editor’s Rating
2/5

I’m going to commend NeNe for waving and smiling to people in the lobby while hustling out of that counseling session; she might show her ass more than anyone else on TV, but she certainly remembers who butters her bread.

When we left off last week, NeNe was running out of the counseling session that she put together because she was upset that people were calling her out on her years of nonsense and horrible treatment. It turns out she didn’t reconsider her decision to bolt; after blotting her face while waiting for her keys and threatening to have Dr. Jeff’s license for letting people say negative things to her, she takes off in her car and flies into the night on a wave of self-righteousness and an inability to take what she dishes out. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds, but the rest of the ladies actually get something done in her absence. Did you catch Porsha putting her shoes on like she was ready to go? When did she take them off?! Dr. Jeff comes back and reinforces that they did good work despite NeNe’s departure, and I think he’s right — after getting all of them to find some commonality of experience, everyone sort of comes around to realizing that they can sort of work through their issues. Porsha and Kenya have some back and forth, which is bound to happen when one of you physically attacks the other. They eventually have a truce, but only after Kenya calls Porsha a revisionist historian; Porsha’s mouth drops open in shock because you know damn well she totally doesn’t know what that means, but then Kenya just gives in and apologizes.

I love how much Kandi refused to join the video everyone wanted to make for NeNe. She’s totally right — NeNe feels like she can keep treating people poorly because they kiss her ass no matter how much she slaps them down. Everyone else cooed to the camera, but Kandi just took the video and shook her head like a champion. It’s one of the only times I’ve appreciated Kandi’s ability to dig her heels in. And NeNe is fine — she’s at home with Gregg, practicing for her upcoming Broadway role by screaming “Cinderella! Cinderella!” on the couch. She really did have the nerve to say that the wicked stepmother had more of a speaking role than anyone else in the play. Oh, really? More than, say, the titular role? Don’t make up lies just because memorizing lines is hard for you! She gets the video everyone made, but stays pressed, saying, “Everyone else says sorry and gets to move on, but when I do it they still want to talk about it.” The best part is that she quickly follows it up by saying, “I don’t apologize that often so when I do it’s a big deal.” Do you possibly think that your unwillingness to say you’re sorry is a major part of the damn problem, Lennethia? Come on!

Kandi is still bothered that Phaedra told everyone in the world that they had a problem before she even told Kandi, prompting her to say my favorite thing ever — “If you’re having a problem with our relationship and you don’t tell me, WE don’t have a problem, but YOU do.” Insert praise hands emoji, please! Phaedra is too busy having a “god connection” with Sarah Jakes, daughter of famous megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes, to care about Kandi. Sarah got pregnant when she was 13 and recently ended her marriage, so Phaedra is happy to get advice from someone who has been through some shit. Sarah sounded like she was reading from a script, but Phaedra cried anyway and talked about the madness she felt in living with Apollo. I believed her tears, but also feel like she needs to just pull the trigger on this already. At least she feels better with him out of the house.

Kenya did a hilarious table read of her web series Life Twirls On, something I legitimately cannot believe Leon actually showed up to do. It’s about three sisters at various crossroads in their lives, an ill-timed Ray Rice joke, and Cynthia effecting an offensively bad Jamaican accent. I can’t believe we’re wasting internet bandwdith on this. Cynthia makes the understatement of the year when she says acting is more difficult than modeling, so when Claudia pretends to teabag her later in the episode I just consider it instant karma.

I thought it was cool that Claudia reached out to Dr. Jeff on her own via Skype. She clearly wants to be part of this group in a healthy way, and even says that all she wants is to harness the power of the group. Dr. Jeff ignores all of that and encourages her to organize a trip in the name of healing. Has he ever seen this show?! Travel abroad is where all problems begin and end for this crew! Claudia and Porsha decide to act as ambassadors for their respective set of friends, and Porsha promises to try and get Phaedra and NeNe onboard. That seems about as easy as stuffing an alligator into a maxi dress, but good luck. When Claudia and Kenya break the news about the trip to Manila to Kandi at her store, Tags, Kandi is immediately incredulous, saying, “We can’t even have dinner together, how are we going to fly around the world?” Maybe being in the middle of the ocean with nowhere to run will help them keep things chill, but I’m expecting the usual horror show. Bravo did the same thing last season, sending the Atlanta housewives on multiple trips to make up for the fact that none of them could stand to be in a room together, and I resent it.

Phaedra probably won’t go — she’s a single mom now, and she’s too busy setting her divorce in motion. Her friend and mentor Ronne Kaplan pulls no punches when it comes to Phaedra’s split from Apollo; their prenup is airtight, so he’s not going to get any money, but the big issue that remains is what’s going to happen with the children, and whether she’ll be forced to take them to see Apollo in prison. Phaedra might now want to put her kids in a “room full of killers,” but Ronne thinks that it’s important for the kids to know him. The really fun part came later, when Ronne asked Phaedra the question on everyone’s mind: Why the hell did you marry a convicted felon in the first place? Phaedra reminds us that she loved Apollo, but I’m still going to need a rational excuse.

Next week, Porsha is baffled by caffeine enemas, Kandi and Porsha look like they finally make up, and everyone heads to the Philippines. See you then!