Another week, another Sunday night I’m spending discussing two grown women who apparently made a pact with the devil himself not to be the bigger person. My keyboard is begging and pleading to stop typing the names Marlo and Kenya, but here we are, day two of the Blue Ridge trip, still dealing with a rivalry years in the making.
Kenya’s appearance at dinner the night before wholly derailed Marlo’s attitude as host of the trip. That evening, Marlo declares that if Kenya doesn’t come to the cabin by breakfast, she will not be welcome to any activities during the day. Kenya arrives, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, after sleeping in her own cabin. Marlo is beyond petty for policing Kenya’s actions — my thing is, if Kenya bothers Marlo so much, why does she care where she sleeps? If my mortal enemy decided to spend less time with me, I would be elated. And Kenya staying elsewhere may have been the best for the group because her energy when she arrived at the lady’s cabin was much better than it would’ve been after hours under Marlo’s roof.
Sanya and Kenya sit down while waiting for everyone to get ready for gem mining, and Kenya opens up about her past issues with abandonment. Hearing that Marlo kicked the boys out hit her nerve since she experienced something similar as a child when her maternal grandmother shipped her back to her father’s house, claiming that raising her was too much. In her confessional, Kenya expands on those feelings, explaining how relinquishing responsibility of a child can cause the child to feel that they aren’t wanted, especially if that child already feels abandoned by their biological parent.
What’s interesting about Marlo and Kenya having similar childhoods regarding their estranged relationships with their mothers is that it adds a particularly raw dynamic to the show that I sometimes find uncomfortable. We’re watching two sad little girls in adult women’s bodies lash out at each other, still hurting from how badly they want their moms. It’s really sad. And you can feel the pain behind the words they choose to use with one another. When they get into it in the driveway and Marlo says that nothing will separate her from her nephews, Kenya’s jab is, “Yeah, cause you gave them away,” which sounds like “You’re just as bad as the adults who failed us.” Marlo yells at Kenya, saying she’s not wanted on the trip — which sounds like “There’s a reason you’ve been rejected throughout your life.” This scene will be played as a training video for psychologists.
The entire second day is an RHOA Rugrats crossover episode, and poor Monyetta had no idea she was signing up to go to daycare. After hearing Kenya’s feelings, Sanya takes her gold medals and sprints to Marlo to relay the information, winning the bone-collecting relay race Shereé started for her. Here we go. Marlo decides right then that they will not get their day started until she and Kenya have a conversation, but when she asks Kenya to step aside with her, Kenya declines, disliking Marlo’s tone. The Rugrat iteration of Marlo puts on a mocking voice repeating the request, leading Kenya to flee as Marlo chases her throughout the house, the camera operators trailing behind while Kenya’s laugh reverberates through the cabin.
Now, returning to their natural state of bickering, the argument spills out into the driveway and stays there … for over an hour and a half?! Marlo stubbornly keeps the entire cast from moving on to the next activity because she refuses to go anywhere with Kenya. It is beyond me why this situation dragged to the point of everyone sitting in the driveway trying to mediate between two adult women. But, inner youth prevails over the number of years on earth, as they take a break to jump on trampolines and take selfies.
Amid Kenya and Marlo’s ongoing battle, Drew’s sleep paralysis demon, Fatum, emerges from wherever Shereé keeps her when she’s not filming. I have a feeling that there are a lot of scenes on the cutting-room floor with Fatum and Drew because the whole barking scene that was teased so much in the trailer came out of nowhere and felt anticlimactic. Drew starts referring to Fatum as Shereé’s lap dog and barks at her, telling her to “go pee in the bushes.” It goes from mild friction to production holding them back from each other because Drew doesn’t want to ride in the same car with Fatum. Drew does call Fatum a bitch and claims she is drunk (she low key does look lit, but she always does, and so what, it’s a trip!), but Fatum’s reaction is hysterical, her voice reaching pitches I don’t want to hear again but probably will in my dreams.
Years later, they finally make it to go gem mining, which I also find to be anticlimactic. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like they are sifting through some dirt that a racist white man threw some crystals in. It is fitting for an activity at a daycare. Kenya presenting him with his own Trump sign filled me with so much joy. As a Black woman born and raised in Ohio, I could feel (and smell) Charlie’s racist energy from a mile away, and his shop was giving Cracker Barrel. They make it through the mining — though not without another fight between Drew and Fatum — and venture back to the cabin to conclude the day.
Shereé finds Marlo crying in her closet, ready to end the trip. The women gather as Marlo lets them know she’s ordered cars and they’re being sent back home. I know that in the Housewives universe hosting a trip is a rite of passage to be taken very seriously, but let’s be real, this isn’t Marlo’s trip; this is Bravo’s. As a Housewife, it’s your job to go on a minimum of two trips a season, suck it up, and interact with the whole cast. That is what you’re getting paid to do. This being her first time hosting a trip as a cast member is disappointing; yes, things started off rocky, but she throws in the towel way too early. I’m sure the world’s smallest violin plays in Kenya’s head as Marlo explains her decision. Fatum apologizes for her contribution to the mess and throws some shade at Drew, triggering Drew to throw a dog bone at Fatum. Drew, please. How long do y’all think she was walking around with a dog bone on her waiting for this moment? Anyway, that’s a wrap on the trip to Blue Ridge.
Peach Tea To-Go
• Monyetta’s interview look is so good! She and Kandi’s friendship is refreshing; we need more of that and less of Kenya and Marlo.
• Sanya, my Caribbean cousin, why are you inserting yourself in Kenya and Marlo’s mess! Telling Marlo what Kenya said was not peace-making at all; Sanya was definitely stirring the pot because, at that point, what would relaying that information do other than fuel the fire?
• Kandi and Kenya offering Sheree support, advice, and resources for She By Sheree is great to see. Kandi is right; Sheree is quite literally sitting on a million-dollar joke. She By Sheree lives in both infamy and genuine fame — even if she makes a single T-shirt and people buy it as a joke, she will make a lot of money.