The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Watching a reality show requires a certain suspension of disbelief. We have to ignore that everyone always sits on the same side of the table; we have to accept that when people meet for lunch, they will discuss everything that happened the previous day to give enough context. Even so, this episode really tested my suspension of disbelief.
The trouble starts when Phaedra arrives in her office to find a couple “paparazzi” documenting her arrival after the “bomb threat.” Also, that whole bomb-threat business seems a little farfetched. So the man was just a rapper friend of Phaedra’s who wanted to drop off some bomb lyrics? And the whole thing was a misunderstanding because the white people in her office don’t know the difference between some bomb lyrics and an actual bomb? And Phaedra’s new cause is racial profiling that takes place at receptionists’ desks? Okay, Phaedra.
Phaedra has the security force of the Nation of Islam, the 10,000 Fearless Men, come to her office to demonstrate some grappling techniques and check under her desk for bomb lyrics. After Phaedra finishes securing the perimeter, Kenya invites over Cynthia and her new braids (one of about five hairstyles she has this episode) for some birthday cake and gossip. Cynthia asks her what’s been happening with Matt and wants to know why his fondant Gucci belt is untouched. Kenya spills that Matt has a tendency to be immature. No duh, Kenya.
Cynthia reveals that Peter went on Wendy Williams to talk about their divorce because she talked about it first. Nothing is pettier than a man scorned. Cynthia gives some unhelpful advice to Kenya: “Try to figure out what you’re doing in the relationship that you can do better.” Okay, when your boyfriend kicks a door or punches a hole in the wall, there’s not a whole lot you can do better. Other than break up with him more decisively.
Meanwhile, Kandi stops by the restaurant just to see how unfinished it is. Ooh, this week it’s VERY unfinished! Kandi is worried about her liquor license expiring before the restaurant is finished and Todd is worried about … whatever Todd worries about. Kandi decides the best solution is to have all the ladies over for a tasting. Another completely natural decision that is free from all producer manipulation. Porsha has to pack up her house in the next 45 days, which she thinks equals three weeks. Porsha. Porsha.
In the most absurd story line this week, Mama Joyce dresses up like Carmen San Crenshaw and sneaks around to a lawyer’s office to get the real deal scoop on Phaedra’s slow divorce from Apollo. Why a 66-year-old woman would meet with a lawyer just to embarrass a woman 20 years younger is beyond me, but oh boy, do we get some good confessionals from Mama Joyce. She was educated in the streets and she didn’t learn things just by walkin’!
Kenya is driving her dogs around Atlanta, listening to sad songs and trying to call Matt, but his voice-mail box is full. Kenya just misses being with him. She just wants him to come back to Atlanta so they can talk like adults. Yeah, that’s gonna happen.
It’s time for the tasting! Mama Joyce and the rest of the OLG show up with desserts in tow. Shereé and Kenya arrive first and dig into the food. Now, I’m not an expert on the Atlanta restaurant scene, but that food just looked like standard cookout fare. (I’m pretty sure there’s at least one restaurant in Atlanta where you can get soul food.) It does look damn good, but the whipped cream for the desserts is coming out of a can. What kind of chef is that? Either way, Shereé starts some mess by telling Mama Joyce that Kenya made fun of their wigs. Mama Joyce ignores the wig comments and takes Phaedra aside and holds her head in her hands to comfort her. When Shereé asks Kandi about Block, she makes sure to mention that Porsha used to date Block. Shereé just loooooves to stir up some mess, doesn’t she?
After the lunch, Cynthia visits her lawyer to see how quickly her divorce can be resolved. It’s going to happen pretty quickly despite no one being in jail. See, Phaedra? It can be done! Cynthia expresses a real human emotion and feels conflicted about her divorce being finalized. Cynthia might just be a real girl by the end of this whole thing.
Kenya is at home with her dog and gets a phone call from Cynthia, revealing that Matt came by drunk at 2 a.m. wanting to see her. When Kenya wouldn’t let him in, he kicked in the windows of her garage door. Can we just stop with Matt? Cynthia tries to gently let Kenya know that her time with Matt should come to an end. At least take a break. Kenya goes to talk to the producers about it and cries. She says that Matt is a good person who has some demons and he resents her. Yeah, that sounds like a really great foundation for a relationship. There’s also some deft editing work during her conversation with the producers: They cut to her dogs fighting on the ground. Symbolisssssssmmmmmmm.
Kenya gets a phone call from Matt, who says he wants her to take him back one more time. He promises to change. Change from what to what, we’ll never know. That’s how you know you’re dealing with a fuckboy of the highest order. Kenya invites him over, but Matt refuses to get out of the car because the camera crew is there.
An argument in Kenya’s driveway ensues. At first, I thought Kenya was barefoot and the producers would need to wrap her in one of those blankets they give marathon runners, but she was actually wearing some high-end metallic flip-flops. The gist of the conversation is this: Matt believes that when Kenya starts running her mouth, she escalates the situation. Kenya thinks that she could have called the police on Matt, but she didn’t because she loves him and she wants to stay. Yikes. Wow. Holy shit all around. These are two people in an abusive relationship. Full stop. It’s not fun. It’s not funny. Matt isn’t just having a tantrum. Kenya choosing to stay isn’t loyalty or kindness. I hope Kenya figures out how to leave him safely so this show can get back to Mama Joyce stalking around in costumes.