The Real Housewives of Atlanta
This is a very difficult time for everyone involved, and I think it’s best if we take a respectful and moderate tone in order to give this emotional turmoil the dignity it deserves. This episode opens with and contains more than one sentimental montage of Cynthia and NeNe’s friendship. I cannot even imagine any of my relationships being in such disarray that someone would edit together a montage of our highs and lows. There are people I’ve had multiple-day-long internet fights with and you couldn’t cut together a montage of our relationship. There are men out there that I’ve gotten into screaming matches with at a Mexican restaurant under the Sheridan Red Line stop at a party for his friend Ted that you couldn’t cut a highlight reel for. But NeNe and Cynthia? They’ve got footage for days, and not just any footage, fucking explosive footage. I literally wrote in my notes “Wow, what an emotional montage.”
But where do we end up at the end of all these emotional montages? With NeNe deflecting any responsibility and making her friends hang out with her other friends (which is a true villain move and you know it), and Cynthia over-apologizing for NeNe’s bad behavior. These are two people who should not be friends and are holding onto some strange definition of sisterhood just… because?
Let’s get to it.
After our very emotional opening, we meet NeNe at Swagg, and my god, how long has it been since we opened up an episode with NeNe? Marlo picks her up and sees that there’s a delicious bottle of wine sitting on the counter. There’s a card from Cynthia that says Cynthia never got the chance to thank NeNe for the cheese trays. I don’t really think the cheese trays are part of it, but sure. Cynthia just wants a chance to talk one-on-one and NeNe is ready to get some “closure.” NeNe tells Marlo on the way to the steakhouse that she’s been working on extending olive branches and she’d just like to get some back. So she’s going to throw her Leopard Lunch. NeNe will just introduce party themes that are impenetrable and expect us all to know what that means. The invite is full of antagonistic puns and I guess that’s a party theme?
Kenya is at home with baby Brooklyn making miso sea bass when Cynthia comes over to talk about every open dispute. Kenya brought the cookie lady around Tanya and tried to implicate Cynthia in the nonsense. Also, it is CONFIRMED that Kenya called Tanya a see-you-next-Tuesday. Kenya is able to admit that she threw Cynthia under the bus when it came to Cookie Lady-gate. Cynthia also brings up that she finally read Mike’s book and uh oh, all of his relationships have ended because of his infidelity. She wants to know if she should have anything to worry about.
UM. WHAT. First of all, how is this new information? Secondly, how is that even a question, and finally, why are you asking Kenya about relationship advice? Kenya says that she wishes she could say “once a cheater always a cheater,” but has the person gotten down to the reason why they cheat? Have they learned from their mistakes? In my experience, that would require a man to do an ounce of self-reflection, so I’m not optimistic.
Cynthia calls Eva while she waits for NeNe to arrive at the Bailey Wine Cellar, and she’s prepared NeNe’s favorite snack: chips and SALSA IN A WINE GLASS. I cannot think of a more inappropriate vessel for salsa. Once they dig into their chips and salsa, Cynthia tries to walk gently into this conversation and right away, NeNe wants to know what the fuck Cynthia meant by calling her a toxic friend. Cynthia says she maybe didn’t mean to call NeNe a “toxic friend” but that when someone falls out of NeNe’s favor, NeNe’s behavior then can be toxic. NeNe does NOT want to hear it. NeNe insists that Cynthia “said more than she said” and that Cynthia can’t expect her not to respond. This is exactly NeNe’s problem: she views whatever she does as justified and a measured response to an attack, but everyone who does anything in reaction to her is a monster. NeNe will never ever take responsibility for herself so there’s only so far anyone is ever going to get with her. Cynthia says that NeNe tears her friends down and NeNe says that Cynthia has a side that no one else gets to see and that Cynthia has blamed her bad behavior on NeNe. Cynthia just says “I’m happy. I’m at peace.” It makes sense that NeNe and Kenya repel each other, they’re so alike in that neither of them can stand for anyone else to be happy when they’re not.
NeNe turns on the tears and walks out. Cynthia rolls her eyes but still goes after NeNe. Instead of holding her ground, Cynthia starts wiping away NeNe’s tears and apologizes for hurting her. Cynthia says that NeNe won’t be able to take the high road so she’ll have to do it for her. My therapist has pointed out when I do this exact thing and it’s always in the context of letting me know I’m letting the other person off the hook. Cynthia tries to end the conversation on a positive note and NeNe has to remind her one more time that Cynthia blocked her so that’s why they weren’t able to come together. Then, another montage of their friendship.
It’s time for NeNe’s Leopard Lunch and who cares? Eva goes into labor. Like, squatting on the stairs and stripping her clothes off labor. Eva wanted to avoid going to the hospital because she wanted to witness the mess at the Leopard Lunch. Eva is all of us. The best part of Eva’s contractions is Dr. Jackie calmly explaining to Kandi that if Eva didn’t want to come to the hospital, she’d talk Kandi through delivering the baby. Also, Kandi going “NO. WE’LL SEE YOU AT THE HOSPITAL.” Cynthia drives Eva to the hospital while Kandi and Tanya wait for the Leopard Lunch to start.
And they wait. And they wait. Kenya finally arrives an hour late. I know they all got the call sheet and had to film that day but my ass would have LEFT. I’m not waiting an hour for a lunch I know I’m not going to enjoy. Once Kenya gives Tanya enough of the cold shoulder and waits five minutes for NeNe to show up, she leaves. So Kandi and Tanya are alone again until NeNe shows up two and a half hours late. For her own event. With a bunch of random ladies none of them know. Kandi going, “Who are these random ladies” will sustain me through these cold winter nights.
Apparently, NeNe has a circle of entrepreneur women that want to rub elbows with other entrepreneurs in the city of Atlanta and this lunch is for them. Mm… okay. Marlo shows up and she’s very excited to inform NeNe that Porsha will not be coming, which inspires NeNe to go on a rant about not kissing Porsha’s ass. And of course, Porsha shows up. NeNe says that Porsha is very late to the event. NO ACCOUNTABILITY FROM NENE.
Porsha is mainly upset at the hostile puns on the invitation. Every day, one new phrase is typed or uttered for the first time and today’s new phrase is “hostile puns.” NeNe insists that the puns are inert and today is all about sisterhood and friendship! Kandi has no idea what the point of this stupid brunch was, and we are all Kandi.