The Real Housewives of Atlanta
With all of the excitement surrounding Bolo and the bachelorette party, I completely forgot that all of the drama was in service of Cynthia Bailey’s 10/10/20 Dream Pandemmy Weddy. The date is fast approaching, just three days away, and everything that can go wrong seems to be going wrong. She’s down two bridesmaids, one groomsmen, Mike’s wedding band doesn’t fit, Noelle’s dress doesn’t fit, her mother’s dress isn’t arriving until six days after the wedding, and on top of it all a hurricane is on the way. Oh, and did we mention she’s holding it in the middle of a Patrick Dempsey (okay this one’s a stretch, but just go with it)? Perhaps all these things are conspiring against Cynthia are signs from the heavens above that maybe she should consider postponing her wedding. But Cynthia made a deal with the devil to get her dream wedding date, so no little sign from God is gonna stop her now.
But before we get to Cynthia’s Pandemming Wedding (that’s the formal version of a Pandemmy Weddy), we’ve got to check in with all the ladies as they readjust to life back in the ATL. Kandi is teaching young Ace how to write, so he can get ready to properly sign checks. Miss Diane regales Porsha and Lauren with a sordid tale from a bachelorette party she once attended, proving that women have been getting their freak on at bachelorette parties for decades and decades. Drew has a voice lesson with husband Ralph at the piano. They sing a note together and he calls her flat, but I think it was actually Ralph who was flat. Anyway, I would absolutely watch a series that was just footage of various Housewives at their voice lessons.
What I don’t need footage of is Kenya alone sweeping up the leaves on her sad porch. Kenya Moore’s life is a more compelling study on the concept of loneliness than Nomadland, and you can quote me on that. So, imagine my surprise when she FaceTimes her father and asks for his advice on what to do about the Marc Daly of it all. I fully forgot that Kenya’s father exists, as she often says that she has no one in her life, and yet here she is FaceTiming with her dad who looks like Santa Claus (take that Megyn Kelly!) who seems perfectly nice. “Do I want to be around a group of people I don’t know? Hell no,” he says as I nod in agreement. Is her dad perfect? No, as the clip package shows he’s a little, well, old-fashioned when it comes to societal roles for men and women and he’s not afraid to make a joke at Kenya’s expense. “Did y’all make three [years]? Are y’all still married?,” Kenya’s dad asks. Okay, her dad’s a savage, and I see where she gets it from.
Kenya tells her father that Marc withdrew his divorce petition within 24 hours of filing. Apparently, he only filed for divorce because he was embarrassed that Kenya tried to serve him the custody action, which is a **** *** ***** move to me [redacted rhymes with “dunk sass witch”]. Kenya’s dad very fairly says he can’t really comment on what Marc is thinking because he doesn’t know the man from Adam, as he was not invited to their wedding. “I don’t know Marc well enough to say anything at all about what’s going on in his mind,” he says. Kenya not inviting her dad to her wedding is, unsurprisingly, sus to me. Elopement aside, Kenya constantly complains about being alone and having no family, but it seems she’s not making much of an effort with the family that she does have. Also, if you are about to marry someone who is so hard to get along with that you’re afraid to invite your father to the wedding maybe the guy you’re marrying… sucks? Idk just spitballing here.However, one good thing to come out of all of this: Kenya is in therapy! While her reasoning for getting into therapy is… questionable (i.e. why she chose Marc over the rest of her many suitors), but the fact that she’s in therapy is an undeniably good thing.
What’s undeniably a bad thing is the “dinner” that goes down between “friends” Kenya and Drew. This pairing is so incredible forced by the producers that it circles around from being an eyeroll to low-key kind of fascinating. It’s clear from the second she sits down that Kenya doesn’t want to be there, and I very much understand why. Apparently, Drew called Kenya to dinner to rehash arguments from South Carolina that no one cares about anymore that I barely remember. Everything seems small in comparison to Bolo, pun intended. Drew’s vocalizing and singing interruptions did kill me and read me for filth, simultaneously. Anyone who has lost their voice before a big performance (see: my entire, storied college a cappella career) knows exactly why Drew was doing lip trills before Kenya even got there and chose to interrupt Kenya, not by yelling, but with a healthy mix. Kenya unwisely tries to mimic Drew singing, showing that she can’t hold a tune, and refuses to split the check because only broke bitches split checks. If that’s true, then my first name is Broke and my last name is Bitches. Anyway, they end up getting the food to go and Kenya races on out of there in her convertible as quickly as possible.
We then finally get to the crux of the drama of the episode: someone spilled about Bolo Court to Page Six. “Two ‘RHOA’ Stars Allegedly Have Sex With Stripper At Cynthia Bailey’s Bachelorette Party” reads Mal, relaying the Page Six headline to Cynthia. You’ve gotta love the word “allegedly” — it gives us so much and asks for so little in return. Also, why wasn’t Mal invited to Cynthia’s bachelorette party? I would have love to see Mistress Mal get turnt with the girlies. In confessional, a producer point-blank asks Cynthia who she thinks leaked the story to the press and Cynthia plays dumb and pretends like the answer isn’t obviously Kenya. Cynthia can’t really deal with the drama because it’s three days until the big event, and she also can’t go to Marlo’s pumpkin patch “shin ding” as she calls it (wow, she’s really had some excellent pronunciations this season). No worries, as Kandi, back in her role as Best Supporting Actress, is the first to arrive at Marlo’s pumpkin patch party and is armed with the Page Six headline. Kenya pulls up as the ladies are reading the article she almost definitely leaked to the press. Sigh, I love when all the ladies huddle around their phone and read about themselves.
“Y’all in here getting buck bookie ass wild and you thought it was just gonna stay there?” says Marlo making points like a woman who took herself to bed before things got really crazy. But she’s right. Telling the camera crew to pack it up and putting tape over the security cameras does not a locked-down dungeon create. Marlo keeps going, hurting my feelings when she says “I don’t trust a blogger and I don’t even see how y’all hang with them.” Ummmm, ouch? Guess I’m not inviting Marlo to my birthday party this year. Kenya, who looks great and is still on good terms with Marlo, absolutely lights up at the words Page Six when she hears the news. Shamea and LaToya arrive, and LaToya directly asks Kenya if she leaked the news to Page Six. Kenya says no, her preferred leaking outlets are B Scott and TMZ. Glad we cleared that up. LaToya seems to have gotten wise to Kenya’s game and understands that while Kenya has a crush on her, if you’re on her bad side she can be “Devil, Lucifer, Satan Kenya” and thinks she leaked it. We find out that Canadian Tanya fully lived up to her name and absconded to Canada. I always knew Canadian Tanya was a flight risk.
Marlo does a better detective job than Kenya ever did during Bolo Court and reminds the group that Tanya said that she went to Porsha’s room at 6 a.m. “for snacks,” which sounds ridiculous but is immediately corroborated by footage of Tanya saying just that. When the heat comes her way, Shamea uses the classic “whoever smelt it dealt it” strategy to ward off Marlo’s questions. While I believe Shamea is innocent, that strategy didn’t work in middle school, and it’s not really working now. The ladies FaceTime Cynthia, who is at a strip mall bridal shop buying her mom a dress for the wedding. Bleak. Cynthia reveals her and Mike are getting a postnup and aren’t doing a prenup because there simply isn’t enough time. Kandi has some concerns given what’s happening with Kenya’s marriage, and Kenya also has some concerns even though she got married without a prenup and is currently paying the price for it. Somehow, she manages to come across as patronizing in confessional re: Cynthia skipping the prenup when it’s like, girl… you didn’t even take your own advice! I know I can be pretty critical of Kenya (I apologize for nothing, btw), but it’s moments like these where I am truly at a loss for how to justify her actions. If there’s another way to interpret this please DM me (on second thought, don’t), but I really can’t understand how and why Kenya is on a high horse re: Cynthia’s prenup.
The ladies play pumpkin patch games in the pumpkin patch. Honestly, no franchise has better activities than Atlanta. Watching these women rocket launch baby pumpkins into the sky? A joy. Latoya, straight shooter that she is, calls Drew out of the blue for being rude about her laissez fare approach to separation. Drew mentions Fallyn, who has been suspiciously absent since she brought her husband to night one of South Carolina. Maybe Simon saw Bolo in the glass box from the house next door and decided Fallyn was no longer permitted to have playdates with these girls anymore. Drew makes a shady comment about never seeing Latoya sober, while Latoya responds by saying she’s never seen Drew with a cute wig. We’re having fun!
We have not seen hide nor hair of Porsha at the pumpkin patch because it turns out that she drove an hour in the wrong direction to get to there. Bravo, release the car footage of Porsha trying to find the pumpkin patch. By the time Porsha arrives, it is pitch black and everyone has left except Drew, Marlo, and Shamea. An unbothered Porsha seems pretty confident that the Page Six leak was Kenya, and asks Marlo how her new BFF is doing. Marlo quickly (and wisely) plays down their reconciliation, saying her and Kenya have never actually been friends and that they “don’t have nothing.” But what about that nice montage of Marlo and Kenya vaguely saying hi to each other at various events over the years? Again, Porsha is right that the timing of the Marlo-Kenya reconciliation is both suspicious and calculated, but that their friendship has nothing to do with her. She may not know how to read a map, but that Porsha’s no dummy.
After a quick montage where we learn that Shamea has a lovely singing voice, we end the episode with a Kenya Summer Moore therapy session. While I wish she would go on this journey off-camera, this is probably better than nothing. During her session with Dr. Kristy, Kenya reveals that she always goes for emotionally unavailable men, and Marc Daly is one of them. She says that she was an open book with Marc, that she “showed him her list,” and that he never reciprocated. It might be a problem that she has a list to show to begin with, but I digress. Kenya, somewhat therapizing herself, makes a connection between her love of unemotional men with her mother abandoning her, which will always be the great trauma and tragedy of her life. No shade to Dr. Kristy, but these TV therapists… might not be the best at their jobs. Dr. Kristy never pushes back or challenges Kenya at any point, allowing Kenya to relish in the victim narrative that she’s laid out for herself. Yes it’s awful that her mother gave her to her grandmother when she was three days old, but maybe that was her mother making the best choice she could have possibly made at that time given the circumstances? Also, ostensibly Kenya wasn’t raised by wolves, other people in her life stepped up and helped her get to where she is today, which is pretty damn successful by any metric.
That being said, that trauma has clearly negatively effected Kenya. She shares heading down a somewhat destructive path where she ended up dating a man 11 years her senior when she was 15 who was physically abusive towards her, and also technically a pedophile. Rather than exploring that bombshell, we go back to Kenya’s relationship with Marc and its parallels to her relationship with her mom, and how they both make her feel like she’s the bad guy. But Kenya wants to make something clear: she’s no Billie Eilish and actually isn’t the bad guy. Clearly, Kenya’s got a lot of trauma from the past that she’s constantly dealing with, and on top of that, Marc Daly seems like his only purpose in life is to make her life a living hell. It can’t be easy going through life feeling so alone, and hopefully therapy is helping her put the pieces back together. We want her to be fully present and feeling good for Cynthia’s Pandemmy Weddy, which is coming up faster than you can say “shin ding.”