Kenya and Marlo have been at odds for so long that it’s difficult to pinpoint precisely when and how things went left. In season six, Marlo and Kenya were budding besties, unnerving Nene and culminating with the notorious Bailey Bowl altercation. Nene throwing a water bottle at Marlo, and Marlo claiming she upgraded Nene marked a temporary end for the years-long friendship, though they would eventually reconcile.
By season nine, Kenya and Marlo’s relationship hit an all-time low. During the season’s glamping trip, Marlo said they fell out because of her lack of an invitation to both Kenya’s birthday party and housewarming party. To add insult to injury, Kenya invited Nene to her birthday and posted a picture of them together. Blasphemy. After revealing why her feelings were slighted, Marlo hurls insults: Kenya is miserable, her lashes are a disaster, she needs a dermatologist, she can’t keep a man, etc. But the true nail in the coffin was Marlo remarking that “if a person’s mother don’t want to be bothered by them, you know something ain’t right … that’s how I know she’s evil.” The time of death for Kenya and Marlo’s relationship immortally lies within episode thirteen of season nine, RIP.
With Marlo now being a full-time peach holder instead of just a “friend of,” her relationship with Kenya continues to mutate into something bigger than invitations to birthday parties and marching bands ruining wig launches. This season, Marlo hit the ground running talking shit about Kenya, and nearly every time they have been at the same event voices were raised and shots were fired. Kenya can literally do nothing right in Marlo’s eyes, even suffering from a cold has turned into ammunition to call Kenya a liar. Kenya isn’t completely innocent in the back and forth, but Marlo is typically the one to take things to a below-the-belt place. Tonight, during Marlo’s girl’s trip to Blue Ridge, it dawned on me: what we have here is the battle of the Aquarians, and from what I know about Aquarians, usually, only one is left standing.
Before I dive into my analysis, here’s a disclaimer. I am not a professional astrologist, nor am I an expert on the topic; I’m merely an enthusiast and passive student. I also want to remind everyone that all birth charts are more complex than just the sun sign, and combined with lived experience, there are infinite ways the planets and stars can manifest in one’s personality. But, for the sake of having fun with this recap, I’ll be purely focusing on the influence of Aquarius on Marlo and Kenya through my observations/opinions, and I’ll link some resources where you can learn more if interested.
Aquarius is the eleventh sign in the zodiac and, contrary to popular belief, is an air sign, not a water sign, so don’t let the aqua prefix fool you. Astrologist Aliza Kelly describes Aquarians as “Free-spirited and eccentric, you can often spot this air sign through their offbeat fashion sensibilities, unusual hobbies, and nonconformist attitude.” Some keywords used to characterize Aquarian energy are “innovative,” “sincere,” “rebellious,” “independent,” and “original.” Known as the “loners” of the zodiac, Aquarians are confident in dancing to the beat of their own drums and tend to have ahead-of-the-curve personalities. They’re revered as trendsetters and creative visionaries with quirky idiosyncrasies, basically the cool kids of the zodiac.
The creative and quirky nature of Aquarians is one of the most obvious traits I’ve noticed in both Kenya and Marlo’s personalities. Kenya, especially after her drunk night last week, is very silly with an eccentric personality and sense of humor. She’s “weird” in all the best ways and never boring. Marlo is a self-appointed fashion queen known for her looks and labels, and whether her outfits are a hit or miss, she’s always on top, if not ahead, of what’s trending.
Digging a little bit deeper, the loner archetype that is often bestowed upon Aquarians is reflected in Kenya and Marlo’s positions on the show. Aquarius and Leo are sister signs, living opposite each other in the zodiac with their polarity known as the axis of ego. Leo stereotypically likes to be the center of attention (rightfully so, as they’re ruled by the sun), while Aquarians don’t feel the need to be universally liked. This doesn’t mean they don’t get their share of the spotlight; actually, it’s the opposite: Aquarians tend to attract attention due to their strong and unique personalities. Kenya is the perfect example of this — from her first season, she’s been the main character in her own right without relying on popularity with the cast or fans. Marlo is often on an island by herself with usually one ally, if any, but her presence takes up a lot of space on the show.
In traditional astrology, Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, a planet known for structure, stability, boundaries, and discipline. Marlo’s situation with her nephews and her “tough love” approach is greatly impacted by Saturn. She desperately wants to provide them with a life she never had, but in an attempt to discipline them, as Kenya and Kandi mentioned, she’s adding to their trauma. Also, unsolicited advice for Marlo: Just because you experienced a harsh reality yourself doesn’t mean you have to force suffering on others; there are so many ways to build character without contributing to generational trauma.
A visit from Marlo’s sister Crystal (who she left the boys with) provides details about Marlo’s past, including that Marlo was Crystal’s guardian at one point. Crystal is nothing but gracious and wise, even though her rich older sister dropped off two teenage boys to the three-bedroom home she already shares with her own four children — but it’s Marlo who needs a break, apparently. They talk a little bit about being raised by their mother, Marlo admitting that’s where she gets her mouth. Crystal warns Marlo against speaking to the boys in the same way their mother spoke to them, especially knowing the trauma they’ve been through. Marlo agrees, saying she’ll save it for Kenya. Sigh.
Initially, Kenya decides not to go on the trip to Blue Ridge, citing her lack of trust and camaraderie with Marlo. Sanya is busy in Florida working on a business collaboration so she ends up meeting the ladies later. This leaves Kandi, Drew, and Monyetta in one luxury car and Shereé and Marlo in another, ready to embark on a road trip to the mountains. Since she organized the trip, Marlo is wearing her “I’m such a sweet and fun girlfriend” host hat for most of the episode. They arrive at a beautiful cabin and play a convoluted game involving candles to pick bedrooms as poor Shereé hobbles around with a broken toe (her description of breaking it makes me never want to try on rain boots again).
Next, the women arrive at a local restaurant. While at dinner, Kenya The Moment Moore starts texting Kandi, inquiring if anyone was asking about her as she approaches to make her surprise appearance. Remember when I said Aquarius is a part of the axis of ego? Anyway, Marlo is less than impressed with Kenya’s arrival, especially after Kenya says she most likely won’t be staying at the same house … because of Brooklyn … who isn’t yet in Blue Ridge? Marlo isn’t having it; she insists Kenya cannot hang out at the house if she doesn’t sleep over, instigating the situation. Let the battle of the Aquarians commence.
I truly believe Kenya and Marlo’s rivalry has boiled down to egos more than anything; their arguments turn into pissing matches accelerated by Marlo’s intense insecurity and tendency to take things too far. Marlo constantly talks over Kenya and is so defensive and insecure that Shereé compares her to Drew. Kenya finally calls out Marlo for her idea of “friendship,” which includes a cycle of toxicity, catfights, and below-the-belt jabs. Basically, if that’s Marlo’s definition of love and sisterhood then Kenya wants zero parts. Marlo retaliates, both rooting for their relationship by bringing up their similar childhood trauma and holding on to her pettiness by informing Kenya that if she chooses to stay elsewhere, she will not be invited to further activities on the trip. Their back and forth isn’t as explosive as it has been in previous episodes, but lines have definitely been drawn in the sand, setting the tone for the rest of the trip.
Outside of beginning the trip to Blue Ridge, not much happened in this episode, but I loved seeing Blaze and Brooklyn have a play date. The craziest part of the episode is that they couldn’t eat in the car! I know Aston Martins are expensive and wings are messy, but damn, what’s a road trip without food?