The Real Housewives of Atlanta
NeNe and Gregg got engaged, so the will-they-won’t-they get back together of this season has become a moot point. This will not save us from Gregg’s overwrought expressions of love, but maybe they’ll slow down now that he is presumably getting laid.
At the start of the episode, NeNe is rehearsing a scene from The New Normal, and Gregg goes off script by saying he’s like a boxer who likes to “stick and move.” Gregg. GREGG. Does the extra g in your name stand for “gross”? Bring it down a notch! I cannot believe this sort of wooing actually worked, but laughter is good for a relationship, so who knows. NeNe’s son Bryson comes over with his daughter, Bri’Asia, and NeNe explains that she found out about the pregnancy when she saw Bryson’s girlfriend was about six months along. No one explains the arbitrary apostrophe in that child’s name, but based on the floating apostrophes that have popped up with my own nieces and nephews, I’m going to chalk it up to a generational psychosis. The baby is adorrrrrrable! Bryson appears to have gotten his act together, but Gregg still “challenges him as a man” to be responsible, because milk is expensive. Good advice pops!
Elsewhere in Atlanta, Kandi, fresh from her morning swim in her Scrooge McDuck money chamber, is helping her daughter Riley do homework in the kitchen while Todd dances around and makes sandwiches. Riley explains the concept of idioms while Kandi pours cans of sliced pineapple into plastic jugs, and talks about how much she likes the science teacher at her new school. Kandi reflects on Riley and Todd bonding and that this is her “picture perfect life.” Riley does question why Kandi “started dating him and a month later he was in my house,” but Kandi says she was dating him for much longer but only brought him around when she was sure they would stick. Do not let the soft voice fool you — one day we will all be working for Riley. I love Todd and Kandi as a couple, and it is cute to see them as a family.
Since no one can stand to be in her presence while sober, Kenya meets her Aunt Lori at d’Vine Wine Bar & Shop to talk about Walter. Aunt Lori LOVES Walter, but Kenya says their relationship is “getting weirder by the moment,” using the one time Walter didn’t want to bone her in Anguilla as an example of their demise rather than her outrageously intense twirling mental break with reality. Apparently she was all soaped up, but Walter stepped into the shower, washed only himself, and then got out and went to bed. That he got in with her at all after her antics is an unacknowledged kindness; does he not think she’s capable of carving a shiv out of a loofah brush? Kenya starts crying while Aunt Lori talks about women’s intuition and how when men start to act differently something is up. Kenya says she has to have a conversation with Walter and that she thought better of him since he’s a great dad with lots of life experience.
To lighten the mood, we get to go furniture shopping with Kandi and Porsha, where Porsha reveals that she doesn’t like to look at receipts when she picks stuff out and that she is inexplicably only concerned with money when it comes to lamps. This is the moment I discovered that if you just pretend Porsha is high on mushrooms, it makes her onscreen time much funnier. Her designer advice for Kandi is to “pick what you like and just buy it,” but Kandi likes to “ball on a budget.” They talk about prenuptial agreements while flipping through fabric samples — Kandi insists on having one, but Porsha does not have one because of the Bible or something ( … Lucy in the sky with diamonds … ). With grievous injustice, Porsha compares herself to Tina Turner, saying she would want to keep her name if she ever got divorced ( … Puff the magic dragon, lives by the sea … ) before launching into how evil she thinks Kenya is. You keep Tina T’s name outcha MOUF, Porsha! Kandi tries to teach Porsha about the concept of civility, which she has to boil down to “don’t start none, won’t be none” in order to make it palatable.
NeNe, who has already told us that she is a “glam-ma” and not a grandma, puts on some silver studded Louboutins and gray leather pants to take Bri’Asia shopping with Cynthia. The saleswoman brings out her finest Amish bonnets, and NeNe reveals that she got a DNA test for Bri’Asia while she coos away. When Cynthia tries to coerce NeNe into having a “sip and see” for the kid, NeNe says that is not her responsibility as the glam-ma, but she cannot wait until she and Bri’Asia can ride down the highway playing music together.
Kenya got a job; she’s modeling in a boxing ring for KRAVE Magazine, since “so many men want to look at her hot ass” even though “her own man doesn’t.” Kandi shows up with a gift dildo and asks about the talk Kenya and Walter had last week, to which Kenya says that the way he flip-flops drives her crazy. She says, “I’m not saying we have to get married tomorrow” — excuse me?! THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE BEEN SAYING TO THIS MAN for WEEKS. Kandi rationally asks if Kenya and Walter had a conversation about where their relationship was heading before she moved to Atlanta to be together; Kenya says they were very clear about where their relationship was headed and takes out her Walter-related aggression in the boxing ring during her shoot as she realizes that his leading her on is confusing and sort of assholish behavior.
NeNe and Gregg are packing and getting ready to move to Los Angeles; she’s stressed about finding a car, a house, and a tutor. Everyone is moving, including Gregg, and he is glad that they’re working toward becoming a family again. When he totters in to reveal that he doesn’t know how to pack his own clothes, NeNe says, “Oh, you sound like you’re slow,” then makes him feel better by saying she is going to give him the key he’s been begging for since the beginning of the season. NeNe receives the news that her realtor found her a house in California in the same neighborhood as Tyler Perry on a Swarovski-studded handset plugged into her iPhone, taking her from hands free to hands full, and I officially do not understand how we’re expected to use technology anymore.
We get very little Phaedra action this week, but she and her mother give her son Ayden a bath and sing a song about alligators. Fine with me.
She needs to promote her new wine, so Cynthia agrees to throw a going away cocktail party for NeNe. She says it is informal, but Kandi’s glittery booty shorts are telling another tale. Kenya shows up in a terry-cloth bath towel and, declining a cocktail, makes the understatement of the incredibly new year by admitting that “things happen when she starts drinking.” Porsha shows up and is overly gregarious, and Kenya’s corneas shatter from the resulting force of her side eye. Phaedra and Apollo gift NeNe with a framed photo of everyone on the beach in Anguilla, and, based on how stressful that trip turned out to be for almost everyone involved, it would have been kinder for them to drop a fresh shit into her cupped palms. Peter, who seems to greatly enjoy drinking with other males, corrals Apollo and Gregg into a room and starts pouring shots of tequila while NeNe checks herself out in the mirror in the background. In another room, Kenya is trying to convince everyone that she constantly gets mistaken for Beyoncè; even at the 2008 inauguration, she had a line of ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE wanting her autograph! I feel bad for Kenya; she seems to be threatened by the other women and constantly grasps at straws to prove her worth in their presence. Porsha actually got in a good dig, asking if she looked like Solange before saying she would “emancipate herself from the family” if she did. The guys do more shots, and then Cynthia toasts to NeNe for “doing her thing, girl,” before she and Peter awkwardly re-create Apollo and Phaedra’s tongue-flopping kiss from last week, prompting Kenya to leave.
Finally, Kenya takes Walter on a fishing trip in an attempt to suss out their relationship woes. Her dog, Velvet, gently contemplates drowning itself in the lake while Walter teaches Kenya how to cast her rod. When she gets hooked on something in the water, she is greatly disappointed when Walter won’t climb in and unhook her. They fight about whether he is a city boy or country boy, and she generally challenges his masculinity before getting to her real reason for dragging him out to the woods — she feels disconnected from him and doesn’t know what is happening in their relationship. Are they moving farther away from each other? Is he angry with her? Walter says he felt a lot of pressure in Anguilla to propose; Kenya counters with the story she told her Aunt Lori about soaping up and getting dissed. Walter says, “So I control what you do? I have to tell you when it’s time to kiss or fuck?” Walter is like a human Tesla coil — once you turn him on, he emits a higher and higher voltage! That last night in Anguilla was just the beginning of his screed, apparently. They go back and forth for a while — Kenya feels unloved, Walter is not feeling something in their relationship, Kenya thinks something is broken, Walter agrees that things haven’t been straight since Anguilla. Kenya finally says, “This is not working,” and Walter says, “Okay,” and keeps fishing as she walks away.
What do you think? Did Walter and Kenya really break up? Was he acting like a cock or responding to Kenya in a way that was fair?
In other news, I’m going to be writing about Scandal here on Vulture, so look for my first recap on Friday!