As we asserted last week on the first installment of the Season 8 RHOA reunion, quite simply, everyone is wrong all the time. My very favorite part of the reunion has become listening to Andy Cohen read the incredibly negative viewer questions. No one is ever like, “Love the way you’re doing you, Cynthia, how do you keep your skin so tight?” And that’s because there is almost nothing positive to say after the season we’ve made it through. Maybe, like, “Hey, Phaedra, congrats on only acting like you were going to hit Kenya with your pocketbook and not actually following through with it,” or, “Seems like you didn’t totally biff it on BROT-way, good on ya, Nene.” But those are still a stretch.
Within the confines of the reunion, Nene is openly admitting that she’s wrong and everyone else is right, but what she doesn’t realize is that in her childish retort, she’s discrediting herself even further because she’s wrong about everyone else being right. Because everyone is wrong, not just Nene. All the time. You follow?
Normally, I would say, “everyone is wrong, especially Nene,” but tonight, the poorest “rich bitch” in ATL gives everyone else the floor for a few minutes before she stars screaming, “IT AIN’T [BLEEP]ING INNOCENT BISH!”—she really has evolved—and in those minutes everyone manages to say Just. The. Most. Ridiculous. Stuff. Cynthia continues to assert that she never cared if Phaedra cheated on Apollo, she was just being a pal and giving her the opportunity to shut down the rumor—the rumor she was spreading while elatedly discovering that there are cheeses with fruit on the inside (no one tell her about fruit-on-the bottom yogurt, OK, that’ll save some excitement for next season)—in front of all of their most hated co-workers. Kenya and Phaedra both once again manage to defend Apollo in order to continue their own feud. And Porsha is just there, loudly… and that is wrong.
So, it seems only fitting for this middling episode, which ends in a double whammy of—hold onto your extensions—flirting allegations, that we incorporate some kind of ranking system to take us through the evening. In honor of Apollo’s ever-looming presence, I’m thinking, Arguments: Least Likely to Most Likely to Hold Up in Court…
(Not) Doing It for the Children
I think we can go ahead and agree that even in an hour filled with cheating allegations, Cynthia’s weave, and listening to Peter say, “I seed it,” hearing that Nene didn’t pay the $20,000 she promised to Detroit Public Schools and then trying to blame it on Kenya for making it into a joke by actually paying the $20,000 is hands-down the most terrible thing that happened, and any judge would lock her in some Game of Thrones dungeons for not just admitting that she did a bad thing, but that she can make it better at any given time by paying the children their damn money.
A brief recap: At Nene’s urging, she and Kenya both bet each other that they would donate $20,000 to Detroit Public Schools at last year’s reunion. Kenya donated the money and posted it on social media. Nene did not donate the money, tells Andy she’ll do it when she’s ready, says Kenya is making a mockery of the gesture by publicly following through on a charitable bet that was made in public, and then goes on to mockingly say that she’s poor and “has no jobs.” Get it to-damn-gether, Nene.
Last week, Andy asked the women who was using their platform from this show to do the most good and, my goodness, if it’s Kenya, everyone needs to lady up.
NEXT: The husbands come out, adjust your Peter filters accordingly…[pagebreak]
“It’s Important to Be a Bitch” (NO IT’S NOT)
As much as all six other women are wrong in louder, bolder, more aggressive ways, tit for tat, I think Cynthia might just be the most wrong. Because somehow, somewhere deep down, I believe that she knows better. Cynthia knows that airing out someone else’s marriage, whether those two people are sketchy as hell or not, is not OK. And yet, she’s sticking by her actions, which means we have to sit through yet another clip package of listening to her say, “Phaedra… is having an affair… with some African guy… named Chock-let?!” The text messages that Apollo showed Peter (and Todd off-camera) are discussed at various points throughout the hour, but the bottom line is that Cynthia is standing by her decision to tell Phaedra that her husband was going around saying she was having an affair in front of six other women, less than 24 hours after that husband had gone to prison. She says that in this group, sometimes it’s necessary to be a bitch.
The other bottom line is that Peter is physically incapable of saying “text message” in the plural form. I have never heard the man end a word in “s.” Once the husbands come out, Peter goes into a big speech about how much he doesn’t care about what the people who think he wants a peach and call him “LuPeter” think about him… in fact, it’s so long, thought out, and full of f-bombs, one might almost begin to thinks he does care.
Friendships Are the Best Ships
Probably the only moment in the episode that garnered any real emotional response was Kandi and Phaedra talking about what’s come with their friendship… well, it was mostly Kandi, and I found Phaedra’s ability to listen (or just sit there blankly, either way) particularly interesting. That, coupled with Kandi’s tears, made it clear that this was a relationship they valued far beyond their Bravo contracts. And it fell apart beyond their Bravo confines, with most of the anger and hurt coming from neither one checking in on the other enough because they were both going through very difficult times. That’s a real problem and here it was, being portrayed on a reality show. Who knew? Both parties were wrong in not really being there for each other, but that stuff happens, and maybe now that Apollo’s gone and Kandi isn’t ruining 20 people’s lives by firing them, they can move forward.
EVERYONE FLIRTS! But Not Everyone Text Messages Other People’s Husbands
The thing about this ongoing feud with Kenya and Phaedra is that everyone is so wrong they’re almost right. Phaedra is right that Kenya flirted way too much with Apollo when she first entered the cast, and that some of her behavior was inappropriate. And Kenya is right that Apollo has proven himself to be untrustworthy, so what was already an aggressive response from Phaedra about Kenya allegedly offering him “a fellatio” had become even worse in retrospect. But that neither one of them can just admit they’ve wronged each other in those ways is what will continue to make this the storyline that just won’t go to wherever it is that Sheree now lives.
And now, in addition to the fellatio texts that may or may not have been fabricated by Apollo, we will also have to continue to hear about the “Chock-let” texts that were almost definitely fabricated by Apollo. Everyone who ran their mouth about the texts during the season does a lot of wishy-washy backtracking now about whether they actually believed Apollo’s story at the time; because surely even Peter can now see that those Microsoft Paint printouts Apollo was waving around three days before he reported for eight years in prison read a little desperate. Peter says the he didn’t really care if the story was true, he just wanted to make sure that Apollo was remembering that he “has two beautiful son” who need their dad. Those “son” are beautiful and need to be protected, but my immediate thoughts on Apollo’s stupid texts aligned more with Kandi’s: “As much dirt and drama as he caused… if she wanted to meet someone else, then fine. He deserved it.”
The Worst Admission of My Life: I’m Team Nene
For the first time in years, Nene is justified in her actions, justified in her rage, justified in screaming, “HE HAS THE PRIZE, BISH!” Because no one—no one—deserves to be accused of flirting with Peter. The humanity! Kenya clearly didn’t realize what she was doing when she tried to use Nene flirting with Peter as an example of how “everyone flirts,” but once you’ve dropped the P-bomb, there’s no putting it back in its casing. There will be hell to pay in the final reunion installment next Sunday because… “THIS AIN’T PHAEDRA! THIS AIN’T PHAEDRA!” This is Nene “I SCHAID WHAT I SCHAID” Leakes being accused of flirting with Peter “Woman Business” “Test Message” “I Seed It” Thomas… beautifully contoured heads will roll next week.
What did you think of Part II of the Reunion? Is it offering you any resolution from this morally questionable season, or are things just getting worse? Is Apollo’s sketchy aura somehow even more present when he’s missing? Is this show destined to flounder in text message drama forever or can these women finally move on to Instagram drama like the rest of the world?