The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Make Up or Break Up

Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Episode Title
Atlanta Twirls On
Editor’s Rating

Can we all just take a moment and appreciate what it must be like to be Brentt, NeNe’s 15-year-old son? He grew up on a reality show, watched it rip his parents apart, only to get back together and form a Voltron of bad wigs and worse jokes, and now he’s living in the greatest city on the planet with a curfew and a walking radius of one block. Watching him walk around with NeNe and Gregg last night just made me really sad … until the end of the show, when we learn that they just bought a new house in Atlanta for $2.1 million. I’m snatching back all of my sorrow, Brentt!

We made it! This is it! It’s the season finale of what felt like the longest season in reality-show history. I think the nonstop fighting has finally taken a toll on me; whenever the cast argues, it makes me think I’m stuck in some sort of Groundhog Day misery loop. And we ended the season just as we began it: with most of the cast trying to figure out how to be friends, and with NeNe on the outs.

Her Broadway moment was special, right? Walking on the stage for the first time and realizing the magnitude of what you’re about to do has to feel utterly amazing. And it did, until NeNe realized there was no way Gregg was going to shut up. When someone says, “I’m having a moment,” that is not an invitation for you to slither up next to them and whisper utter nonsense in their ear. SIR. QUIET DOWN IN FRONT, SIR. Gregg, I know you’re trying to stay relevant so NeNe doesn’t divorce your ass again, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a barnacle. It was sweet, I guess, but I have a hard time mustering up much emotion for Lenethia these days. She spent the whole episode preparing for her big debut by getting notes from the director, quietly keeping a list of who sent her flowers, and cursing the rest of the cast to absolute death. She said her invite in Puerto Rico was real, but the problem is that none of the girls reached out to her. Um, the last time everyone saw you, they were looking at the back of your finger-waves as you ran out the door of the therapy group you convened, so did you really expect a call?  She managed to get on the stage despite her nerves, and one of the cast members kissed her ass and made a really big show out of her being there, so she’s fine. It was cute that she signed autographs and flattered all of the kids at the stage door at the end, but I still think the group that was at the door two days prior was set up. Do you know how cold it was here in January? No one was voluntarily standing outside a theater in the off chance they’d see a mean ol’ reality-show cast member arrive, but good try.

Kenya had some leather pants that were working overtime to keep her contained, and did her voice-over session for her show. She’s showing her creation to the networks but also planning a party for the rest of the girls to see the finished product, so it’s a good thing it took her 20 takes to properly pronounce Slim Shady. It’s not like you have a time crunch or anything, Kenya! Then she does that weird thing where she called this project her baby, and her namesake. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a cut-rate web series, I’m just saying. We have a lot more to talk about here, but I’ll save it for the party that happens later.

In the meantime, Cynthia barely finishes a sentence about how great her marriage to Peter is, and how much she trusts him before he springs a new, undiscussed business on her. That man is downright compelled to make Cynthia look like a damn fool — it’s like he can’t help it. His new venture, a coffee shop, makes Cynthia properly nervous considering the ashes of Bar One aren’t even cool yet, so the fact that Peter is already renting the space for another new business doesn’t go over too well. Peter is going to basically do whatever he wants until Cynthia’s bank account resembles a squeezed-up pouch of Capri Sun.

Apollo called Peter in the middle of his trying to convince Cynthia that Peter’s Brew sounds more like a coffee shop than it does ejaculate, and all he really had to say was that he hadn’t seen his sons for the entire six weeks he was there. We all knew this was going to happen, though, right? Phaedra has no plans to figure out how to drag her kids to Kentucky and put them through several metal detectors. She can barely figure out how to make cookies — did you see the size of the ones she put in the oven? It’s no wonder it came out looking like a tray of hot brownies! Apollo knows about Phaedra filing for divorce, so at least that’s not a spoiler. Cynthia wants to stay out of it, knowing that Phaedra will ice you out for a century if you dare talk about her family.

Kandi and Todd decided to visit Mama Joyce at the housewarming party she was throwing in the mansion Kandi got for her. I appreciate that Todd both pregamed by putting some booze in his juice cup AND told Kandi, “I can’t see your mama sober.” No one in America can, Todd, so you’re in good company! You could feel the daggers flying out of Mama Joyce’s eyes when Kandi told her family that she might be moving out to Los Angles for a few months, but it must have done something to jar her out of being such a sour old bitch, because she apologized to Todd for calling his mother a prostitute. She said, and I quote:

“I hope the next year will be better for everyone, and if I did something, Todd, to offend you or your mother, I am sorry …”


“… and anything I’ve said against your mother was something that someone told me.”

DAMMIT, JOYCE. You should have stopped with the first part! It was an actual apology until you started placing blame on stuff you heard in the street. Kandi breezes right past it, asks everyone for a group hug, and acts like the last part of that apology didn’t even happen while Todd sits in his chair with his eyes bugging out. She said it was a great apology, but the next second, they cut to Todd saying it “wasn’t genuine” and they have a lot of work to do.

In the end, Kenya throws a party at a mansion for her finished webisode, and surely spent more on the party than she did on the taping. It was staged to look like a reception, replete with people assaulting everyone with rice as soon as they walked in, an opera singer belting out “life twirls oooooon” to the beat a live harp player was creating, and ribbon dancers. It was the hottest of messes. Like, whatever you are imagining, subtract 100 more cool points, and add ribbon dancers. All of the attendees had a special drink named after them: Claudia was the Hammertime, Cynthia was the Rum on the Rock, Kandi was Kandi-Koated Drop, Porsha was the Flatline, Phaedra was the Southern Belle, and Demetria didn’t have a drink because she’s not a cast member, so stop trying to make it happen.

Kenya finally arrived after she was announced (seriously, did she employ a small army for this), and she was in a full-size wedding gown. She keeps saying it’s her character’s wedding day, but everyone pointed out how happy she was in that dress. It was like watching a minor psychotic break; we could all see how weirdly painful this behavior was in someone who has always wanted nothing more than to be married, but she just keeps pretending it’s a joke while she sings “Here Comes the Bride” down a corridor, skipping the entire way. It was uncomfortable.

There was a lot of laughter during the viewing, and a hair commercial starring Kenya that Kenya produced to go in the middle of her pilot about herself. Someone please call this in to the paramedics, I beg you. Cynthia got her moment in the sun, and everyone really did seem to like it. Kenya was happy to get everyone together, and it really is a miracle that they could all sit in the same room after a this season. It’s a testament to that mountain in the Philippines. 

Aside from NeNe’s new house, everyone seems to be doing well. Cynthia and Peter are moving into the new Bar One spot; Kandi and Todd quit therapy for fertility treatments, which I think is an awful idea; Kenya “found new love” on Millionaire Matchmaker; Phaedra is happy being a single, soon-to-be-divorced mom, and has no plans to visit Apollo any time soon; and Claudia is considering a tour of open-mic nights, even though that’s not a thing. They all partied in the photo booth Kenya set up, and it felt like a good ending to a tough season.

Next week, we start the reunions, where all of that goodwill is sure to be dismantled. See you then!