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The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season Finale Recap: A New Light

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Caught in the Middle
Season 11 Episode 20
Editor’s Rating *****

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Caught in the Middle
Season 11 Episode 20
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Bravo

In a season full of fights, pregnancies, weddings, and a never-ending trip to Tokyo, this franchise still has the nerve to give us a last-minute appearance from Kenya Moore Daly herself? The unmitigated gall of Andy Cohen and his minions to unleash the emotional terrorism of an unprompted Kenya Moore Daly sighting. Not only was there a sighting, she did the limbo at Cynthia Bailey’s launch party for her Seagram’s Escapes flavor. Has there ever been a more Housewives event to ever Housewives? But it wasn’t enough that Kenya showed up. No. She had to cause a rift between NeNe and Cynthia at the 11th hour. The reunion is about to be bonkers and all we have to do to get there is get through this episode. Let’s get to it.

The episode starts with Marlo stopping by to visit NeNe at Swagg Boutique. Swagg is becoming a national sensation, and I, too, would like that Anthropologie by way of Atlanta velvet and faux-fur duster that NeNe shows off and then wears later in the episode. Can I get that piece online? Marlo wants to know how Gregg is doing and NeNe says he’s doing better; he started chemo. She also says that the doctor said if Gregg doesn’t like it, he can stop. Again, none of this sounds like valid medical advice.

Meanwhile, Kandi and Cynthia are meeting for lunch when Cynthia reveals that she’s developing a beverage flavor with Seagram’s. I am OBSESSED with this fucking beverage and I must get my hands on some. We find out later in the episode that it’s only 2 percent ABV, so it might legally be considered Communion wine. The topic of conversation between the two sit-downs is of course Eva and her financial situation. Marlo and NeNe think Eva’s reason for moving is bullshit. Kandi and Cynthia are just stunned.

NeNe lets Marlo know about her rekindled feud with Kenya. OKAY. I understand that NeNe is going through it right now but wow does she need to let this whole thing go. Basically, someone asked Kenya on Instagram to fuck/marry/kill three people and one of them was NeNe. She didn’t want to fuck or marry her, that’s for sure. So that’s it. That’s like … the basis of the drama. I know it’s literally my job to care about this type of drama, but MY GOD. This is petty beyond petty. Apparently, Kenya also unfollowed NeNe and that caused the bloggers to go nuts. NeNe, you might be on your own with this one. Plus, the drama is originating on Kenya’s side because she thinks NeNe isn’t supportive of her pregnancy. See?! That seems like a reason for some petty nonsense. Then NeNe was trolling Kenya’s Instagram mentions of her baby shower, which is definitely a way to show you’re supportive of someone’s pregnancy. Cynthia basically doesn’t want to be bothered and wants her friends to just be quiet.

Up next, Eva is hanging out with Mike and they’re talking about how everyone thinks they’re broke and/or living a double life. Mike says he’s going to build her a house. That’s it. That’s all from Eva this episode.

It’s time for Porsha’s gender reveal, and all I typed in my notes was, “OH NO, EVERYTHING IS FUCKED UP.” This was genuinely heartbreaking. The way the party planner was so casual about not doing anything he was supposed to do. The way Dennis was immediately ready to fight someone because the tent wasn’t set up. The way Porsha just said, “What is up.” When someone looks at something they’ve paid for and says “What is up,” you’re not about to get a five-star Yelp review. Y’all, when the party planner pointed to the sad girl on stilts texting while sitting on a trampoline, I died. I never thought I would be prepared to commit murder defending Porsha, but I was ready to set that party planner on fire.

Porsha starts crying to Cynthia, Tanya, and Shamari. Tanya just says, “IT IS A CARNIVAL.” Not. Now. Tanya. All the other ladies show up and Dennis and Porsha agree to do the gender reveal a little earlier just to get the show on the road. They both say a little something and make a few incredibly dirty jokes in front of their families. When they pop the confetti poppers, everyone’s popper shoots out pink confetti, but Porsha’s shoots out blue. Could this party planner get nothing right? But they’re having a girl!

Now, it’s time for Cynthia’s Seagram’s Escapes Peach Bellini Launch Party. Shamari immediately finds her way to the alcohol. The theme is tropical, and everyone arrives in some sort of floral print, and Shamaea shows up fully dressed like a hula girl with her baby bump out. Where has Shamea been this season? We’ve had like 14 other friends of the series getting interviews, but no Shamea? Unfair.

Cynthia’s boyfriend invites his entire family because he drunkenly “proposed” at Porsha’s gender reveal. This guy is … odd.

Kandi arrives at the party with Kenya, and thus begins NeNe shooting daggers at Kenya and Cynthia with her eyes. Kandi is rolling her eyes at the whole thing and Cynthia is oblivious. Except for when she says to Mike, “I’m supposed to act like I didn’t know Kenya was going to be here.” What. Is. That.

At the end of the night, Cynthia makes a speech, and Kenya gets on the mic to thank everyone for supporting Cynthia. Then Cynthia asks Gregg to come onstage, and NeNe refuses to let him go. NeNe says this is all about how Cynthia acts with Kenya.

We start to get a couple of end-of-season updates. Shamari did some sort of walk called “Married for Life.” Am I supposed to know what this is? Porsha and Dennis had their baby, and they’re planning on a New Year’s Eve wedding. I have a family friend who got married on New Year’s Eve and everything was just automatically twice as expensive. So have fun with that. Kandi is taking the dungeon on the road, and Eva has been filling in for Porsha while she’s been on maternity leave at Dish Nation.

The next day, Tanya, NeNe, Cynthia, and Kandi head out to lunch. But before that happens, we get a recorded phone call between Kandi and Cynthia. Kandi warns that she’s mic’d up, but Cynthia presses on. They’ve got to come up with a plan about how Kenya ended up at the party. Y’know, there’s a viewing of all this that Cynthia was trying to spare NeNe’s feelings by acting like she didn’t know Kenya was coming.

NeNe is not even entertaining that possibility. This was an act of hostility by Cynthia. Cynthia never confronted Kenya about how she treated NeNe online, and therefore, Cynthia cannot be trusted. NeNe has gone full-on weepy Cersei Lannister right now. You’re either with her or against her. Or … you’re neutral. NeNe would also be satisfied with a neutral Cynthia.

Guys, I hate to say it, but I’m with Cynthia on this one. She’s not responsible for Kenya’s social media, and when she sees NeNe giving it right back in the most passive-aggressive way, she probably thinks NeNe can handle it. Then all this stuff gets stirred up from the past, and it’s just … a lot. NeNe helped Cynthia get a FLYER. Kandi says it when she says that Cynthia is just going to have to bend over backward in this moment. Cynthia follows NeNe outside and apologizes. NeNe says that she sees Cynthia in a new light and the light is dim.

See you next week for the reunion that looks like it will be A LOT.

Real Housewives of Atlanta Season Finale Recap: A New Light