The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: Trip Down Memory Lane
Cynthia and Peter continue to compete for World's Most Uncomfortable Marriage and Chuck auditions for a spot on season 7
Tonight’s episode of RHOA was like a weird midseason feature on small businesses and small towns. Really, for a quarter of the show, Cynthia is just roaming around a bead store. And that’s about as consequential as it gets in this filler hour. Oh, and that Chuck guy proves himself to be a complete toolbox, but seeing as he’s not actually married to any of the housewives, does it really matter?
Apparently so, because “Retired NFL Player” Chuck is all anyone can talk about for most of the episode. Kenya starts us off by sweetly inquiring to Miss Lawrence: “Have you f—ed Chuck?” He has not, but might I humbly suggest Charles Schwab grab that as their new slogan before Kenya copyrights it for twerking-on-piano purposes?
Speaking of Atlanta’s most eligible married man, Chuck has invited his old Clarke Central High School buddies, Phaedra and Nene, to have drinks. He wore his creepy, barely tinted Puffy-era-JLo glasses for the occasion. Phaedra is concerned he wants to talk about the Mynique blow up from Savannah, but he’s just asking the two successful women if they’ll road trip to Athens with him to talk to the Boys and Girls Club. At the time I thought it was really sweet; now I think maybe this guy shouldn’t be influencing children quite so much, but more on that later.
My Co-founder of the She-Woman Peter Haters Club, Cynthia’s sister Malorie is back in town. Cynthia has brought her to a bead store *Small Business Count: 1* “because her business is making beaded jewelry” (note: I hope when called upon, my family tells people my business is Bravo reality shows). Cynthia still hasn’t really gotten over Malorie’s comments about Peter last year at their anniversary party, but they both want to get the relationship back to where it once was. So, naturally, Malorie informs Cynthia she’ll be staying with her for two months. I don’t know how much of that was editing, but from my vantage point (being judgmental on my couch), there were no question marks used in her approach. Bold move, Mal.
Porsha goes to a dog accessory store *Small Business Count: 2* to pick out Sunday dresses for her dogs, but mostly to inform her mom that she’s finally moving out of her house. Her mom might feel better about that decision if Porsha didn’t later invite her whole family over to the new house — which is the size of a New York City block and has a kitchen island that, I kid you not, is as big as my apartment — to basically tell them that she doesn’t know if she’ll keep getting her spousal support and she can’t really afford the house, but “the way you make a person believe in you is to just step out there and do it.” Sure, if by “believe in,” she means “question your ability to conduct your life as an autonomous adult” and by “do it,” she means “make a completely financially unsound decision.” Then, yes girl, you get out there and make those people believe in you.
On the other side of delusion town, Kandi has put on her thickest Rosie the Riveter headband to go see Mama Joyce while she gets her hair done at Derek J.’s salon *Small Business Count: 3* Apparently they haven’t spoken since Mama Joyce said she was wiping her hands of her daughter and wanted nothing to do with her relationship with Todd. Mama Joyce is colder than ice upon Kandi’s arrival, Kandi nervous laughs like a maniac per usual, and Derek J. does what any of us would do in that situation: pretends to hear his phone ringing and gets the hell out of there. Once alone, Mama Joyce proceeds to lead Kandi to believe that she’s having health problems to make her feel guilty about choosing Todd over her, which is difficult to do when Kandi didn’t choose Todd over her and she’s not having health problems (except for the mental variety…that woman is going to hurt somebody).
NEXT: What does it take to be The Big Homie? Just a little jack-assery…
Cynthia and Malorie swing by the Bailey Agency School of Fashion (and Maybe Money Laundering) *Small “Business” Count: 4* so that Cynthia can show her sister, who already hates her husband, the Mercedes that he bought without consulting her. When Peter shows up, giving his sister-in-law a low five in greeting, Cynthia tells him that Mal will be staying with them for two months without consulting him in private first. Because strong marriages are built on communication and a mutual misunderstanding of common courtesy.
In a Range Rover barreling down I-20, Nene, Phaedra and That Dude Chuck are all headed to the Boys and Girls Club of Athens. I kind of wish the whole episode had just been Phaedra listing her high school jobs (Kroger, Taco Viva, Crazy House…?), but alas, after a quick Blizzard stop at Dairy Queen, it’s time for them to shape the lives of Georgia’s youth. Despite their insane footwear choices, Nene and Phaedra up their “Cool Aunt” status by playing games with the kids and giving cute inspirational speeches about reaching for the stars, never giving up, following your dreams, etc. Chuck gives some strong foreshadowing that he is a big fat liar, pants on fire, by introducing Phaedra and Nene as “one of the top lawyers in America” and “right now, one of the top actresses in America,” respectively. Gloria Allred and Jennifer Lawrence be damned!
Chuck decides to take advantage of their hour and a half trapped in the car back to Atlanta by cornering Phaedra about telling his wife they “were boyfriend and girlfriend.” Phaedra confirms that, when asked, she told Mynique they had “dated,” but she never made it seem like it was anything serious. And she didn’t. Which makes it all the worse when Chuck goes off on a tangent about being the “big homie” and that they were just the first version of “friends with benefits.” Yes, I’m sure Mynique would feel so much more comforted by that version of events.
When Phaedra says he could at least admit they went on dates and he took her to his football games, he proudly responds: “I had six different chicks stashed in the corner! You were part of the team, you and Kandi.” He then, unprovoked, says he lied to Kandi by making her feel like she was special and “took advantage of a young girl who was hungry in the game.” All of this is said as though it is better than having just dated the two women. It’s gross. It’s so gross.
Finally, it’s time for the blowup between Cynthia and Peter and his Crest White Strip beard that we all know is coming. Peter is understandably angry that Cynthia told him Malorie would be staying with them, in front of her, without talking to him about it first. I get that; he actually had a leg to stand on there. Instead of explaining that frustration, he starts going off about needing a man house in the city to decompress and when confronted with the fact that Cynthia is more “depressed” now than she was when they got married, screams, “YOU’RE OUT OF YOUR MIND!” He says if she can’t stop bringing up the fact that his “plans” are going to make them bankrupt (I’m summarizing), then their marriage will just become like a job he doesn’t want to do. It’s ugly. It’s so ugly.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta