The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Recap: The Face Crack of Frick and Frack

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Phaedra Parks, Porsha Williams, Shereé Whitfield, and Shamea Morton. Photo: Bravo/Annette Brown/Bravo
The Real Housewives of Atlanta

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Reunion, Part Three Season 9 Episode 23
Editor's Rating 5 stars

I can’t wait. I just can’t wait. I can’t just go event by event to the end of the recap, slowly building to the bombshell that justified all four parts of this reunion. It was Phaedra the Parks who began the rumor that Kandi wanted to do the ol’ drug ‘n’ drag on Porsha to her sex dungeon. Of course. Of course.

I need to go back through the season and look for bread crumbs and Easter eggs like it’s season one of The Good Place and figure this whole thing out. Phaedra. Phaaaaedra. A lot gets said about who is trash and who is secretly trash. I’ve always had a soft spot for Kandi and it wasn’t always shared in my group of friends but, by God, Phaedra is hot trash. Every single reaction that Kandi has will be totally justified. Unfortunately for Phaedra the Parks, she decided to put a potentially libelous accusation in the hands of someone not bright enough to realize what it entails and someone selfish enough to be weirdly flattered and repeat it.

But we can get there. I promise you, we will. Let’s start with all the men of the franchise, sitting dutifully behind their ex-wives and meal tickets. This reunion episode kicks it off with a thoughtful and measured rehashing of Shereé and Bob’s relationship. Bob tries to say it’s all beyond apology because he already apologized and he thinks Shereé is a great mother to his children. But, y’know, he still joked about putting her through a windshield and choking her. Shereé, to her credit, says that she sees everything Bob is doing is just talking and the door is closed to a relationship. She’s heard it all before. Bob says he has to talk to Kairo about the damage he did and what he’s been reading in the comments. Bob, you’re a grown man who should want to talk to his son about the emotional and physical damage he inflicted on his mother so your son doesn’t make the same awful choices you did and so you can begin to atone for what you did. Not because the comment section made you feel bad. Let’s spur that conversation along, shall we, Vulture commenters?

In response, Peter says what we’re all thinking: He was completely sickened by what Bob said. He adds that he would punch Bob over and over, which I cannot condone but I will not condemn.

Oh, speaking of Peter: What was he drinking that had him muttering under his breath and interrupting everyone with accusations? The shade. Someone hand that man a peach and give him a catchphrase. Unfortunately, he still is dealing with his weird victim mentality and the idea that his marriage with Cynthia broke up because she wasn’t working hard enough. Cynthia put it on herself by saying that she didn’t know how to be married. Maybe there were two people in your relationship, folks. Peter also says he went a year without having sex with his wife, so now he’s making up for lost time. No, take that peach away.

While Andy is trying to interview Porsha about the baby-nup (that term is an abomination), Peter just gets sick and tired of Phaedra and Porsha and their poorly constructed web of lies. Phaedra and Porsha’s house of lies would be a “before” on Flip or Flop. All the walls are load-bearing and they all have to come down. Peter just walks off the set in a drunken stupor, ranting about “Where the fuck that drink?” Andy tries to recover by complimenting Bob on his weight loss.

Bob and Todd leave and we are joined by … Shamea. Kenya says the service that Shereé provides is that she keeps everyone honest because she repeats everything that is said to her. Shereé says that Phaedra is the one who talks the most behind-the-back shade. What happens next is a whirling, spiraling, incomprehensible tornado of words and bullshit and lies. The things that rise to the top are “TOODLES, BITCH,” and “YOU DONE PROPPED UP THEM LONG JUGS. BYE, WIG,” and “THE NAVEL TO THE LEFT. USING GROUPON FOR YOUR PLASTIC SURGERY.” Someone put “Toodles, bitch” on my tombstone.

The best that I can tell, the drama is this: Phaedra was running all over town, spreading rumors about Kandi and Shamea, but Porsha was too dim to know not to repeat what Phaedra was saying as if it were fact. Shamea found out and tried to warn Porsha that Phaedra was the moral equivalent of that weird voodoo guy from The Princess and The Frog. Porsha ends up dealing with all the fallout from repeating Phaedra’s lies like she’s Sean Spicer. She ends up making up another lie to cover up the lie she wasn’t supposed to repeat, but it’s clearly not enough to cover up for the fact that she is repeating something that, when proven false, could have her sued for libel. She doesn’t have a strong-enough command of the language and her own intellect to play the “When I said Y, I didn’t mean Y” game. Porsha. Is. Sean. Spicer.

The relationship between Porsha and Phaedra is just so weird. What’s up with the way Porsha allows Phaedra to speak for her, or their continued insistence that their relationship is a real relationship shared by two humans who are normal humans? They enjoy spending time together and they discuss topics. If you’re friends with someone and everyone you know constantly asks if you’re really friends or if your friend is a frog creature sent here from Planet Mendacious, you got a problem.

There’s also an attempt to address the homophobia of the season. Kandi is asked to say just how many women she’s hooked up with. Kandi is pretty awesome when she says that’s not a secret and something she enjoys and Todd does not seem bothered at all. Porsha doesn’t understand that when she says, “Oh, she’s in the closet,” she’s insinuating that someone is gay. Phaedra plays dumb too: “I didn’t say she was a lesbian. I said she was sleeping with women. For her to be a lesbian, she would have to be only sleeping with women. I was never party to that.” C’mon, Phaedra. Phaedra is like a lawyer joke made sentient. Phaedra asks for everyone to back her up and confirm they’d all heard that Kandi was a lesbian … and no one does. It is glorious. If you don’t have the support, don’t call for a vote.

Porsha realizes that something is in the air, so she accuses Kandi of calling her an aggressive lesbian, which to be honest sounds like a compliment. Kandi is right: If they’re going to attack her for hooking up with women, they need to talk about Porsha too — and Porsha shouldn’t weaponize it against other people. Kandi says that if it was going to be like this, Porsha should have just eaten her out to really revel in the hypocrisy. I passed the fuck out.

The episode ends as Porsha insists that she’s a journalist, which everyone appropriately laughs at. (See? Sean Spicer.) Then Porsha says that she was served a cease-and-desist from Kandi and she would like to turn the floor over to the woman who started it all. We’re waiting, Phaedra.

RHOA Reunion Recap: The Face Crack of Frick and Frack