The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: Turn Up Time
Kenya confronts Apollo about lying to Phaedra about their relationship; and she brings a few ladies along for some unorthodox fertility treatments. It's an eventful episode for Kenya.
You know what’s really fun? Early on in season 5 of Real Housewives of Atlanta, a whole storyline focused on Phaedra being upset with Apollo and Kenya for being too flirtatious on an international trip — and here we are now, more than a full year later in season 6, still talking about the same damn thing. Phaedra is still married to the same damn idiot. Kenya is still playing her damn mind games. And everybody is still pretending like they go on these damn “vacations” by choice. And dammit, I’m still riveted, because you just can’t look away from this kind of crazy.
I was, however, hoping for some fresh storylines last night, or at least a little advancement in the ones we’ve all devoted a year of our lives to (don’t think about that too long!). What I got instead was a very emotionally confusing time with some fertility-inducing shamans and another stretched-out filler chapter in Apollo’s Demise, A Novel by Apollo. And a whole lot of Kenya…way too much Kenya.
Confession: It’s always just a little too much Kenya.
The episode opens on Kenya meeting Miss Lawrence for breakfast, and she begins this day like she does every other: a quick workout, a healthy breakfast, and fat-shaming Phaedra. I mean, really, she doesn’t even get her napkin in her lap first. Whoever was feeding the cast lines this episode must have been hungover, because the dialogue is particularly lazy this hour. Miss Lawrence: “So, what did you think about dinner last night” Kenya: “I thought dinner had several revelations.” Oh, do tell. At first I have no idea why Kenya would even care about Porsha’s marriage to Kordell, considering that she barely knows him and she hates Porsha, but then I realize it’s all just so she can say the line she’s been crafting for days in the “Snappy Punz” notebook she keeps by her bed: “He thought he was getting a trophy wife, but she wasn’t much of a trophy.” I have a theory that Kenya is secretly a writer for Fashion Police.
Kenya says that she brought everyone here so they could open up to each other because she’s tired of the lying, especially with Apollo. She thinks it’s time for a one-on-one chat with him to clear the air. I can think of about 1,000 things it would be more appropriate for Kenya to do — perform a striptease in a church, rob a bank, start a cult of women who make up pretend boyfriends and believe that she is the Second Coming — than have one-on-one time with Apollo. But she says he can’t just “bust [her] upside the head like he did, Brandon.” Oh yeah, I forgot about Brandon, your best friend who was recently beaten up by the man you invited on an all-expenses paid vacation to Mexico with you. Hope your ribs are healing, dude!
Everyone meets up later to participate in the next adventure on Kenya Moore’s Detailed Trip Itinerary that Includes More than Just Fancy Dinners Because This is RHOA, Not RHO(any other city). I feel like she really missed her calling as a Carnival Cruise director. Today, the group is headed to do some cave exploration, and if you’re thinking that it sounds dirty every single time they say it, then you would be correct. The crew rides in two vans, and the RHOA editors continue to be some of the best in the biz, when they flash between one van where everyone is lightheartedly joking around as Gregg encourages Porsha to show a little shoulder in her outside shower, and then, over to the other van where Kenya is ruling with the iron fist of producer-enforced-dirty-laundry-airing. Eventually Mama Joyce is brought up and Todd kind of snaps at Kandi that it’s time to tell her mom that counseling isn’t just an option anymore. Most importantly, Cynthia is wearing overalls.
NEXT: Penis jokes…
Some poor sap named Rodrigo has been assigned as their cave guide and he can’t even get them down the steps before Porsha is shrieking and Nene is high-kneeing it away from truly one of the biggest snakes I’ve ever seen. I don’t know a lot about reptiles, but was that one morbidly obese or something? It was seriously girthy. I want to judge Porsha for her freakout, but I kind of get it, and mostly, I was distracted by Gregg shaking a palm branch in front of him like some sort of witch doctor. What a delightful little weirdo, that man (my fingers are crossed that he won’t totally ruin my idealistic perception of him next week, but 12 weeks ago I though Juan Pablo was a good guy, so what the hell do I know?).
Kenya makes a penis joke about the snake, because if she didn’t, her whole body would have shut down like when a robot’s system crashes. I was…just learning…to…loooooove.
Once they make it past the snake and into the caves, it seems like a pretty cool adventure. They arrive at a beautiful natural spring where everyone spends an inordinate amount of time deciding if they want to swim in it. Mostly it’s to make the tension between Kenya — who describes the spring as “sexy” and immediately screams “Who wants to take their clothes off?” — and Phaedra and Apollo as palpable as possible. But you would have to be blind, deaf and actually have your TV on a different channel to miss all the subtle clues the RHOA team is throwing out. Including probably the best 10 seconds of my weekend, when Kenya walks past Apollo in her bikini to go up the stairs and he waits to look up at her butt the exact amount of time that makes it the absolute most noticeable.
Later that day…or maybe it’s the next day — I don’t know, time stands still on this vacation — Kenya gathers a few women to go on a surprise day trip with her. She is wearing a side-less dress (not a typo), so I assume they’re going to a fabric store so she can fix it, but they’re actually going to see a few shamans about some unorthodox fertility treatments…obviously. She says she only wants to take the women who have been supportive of her efforts to get pregnant, so she takes Cynthia, Kandi and Nene, who speaks for all of us when she says, “I don’t really do Kenya.” But it’s an emotional time for Kenya, and the other women support her by encouraging her to open up and only mocking the shaman practices minimally (and when Kenya’s eyes are closed).
Then A Very Important Thing Happens: Generally, the only time I care about those little in-between-commercial segments is when they’re about Ayden and Mr. President doing their daily chores, because when they’re not, it’s just, like, Kenya shopping for olive oil. But you give me a party bus scene, Bravo, and you are giving me life. Especially when that party bus includes a shot of Kandi dancing on her fiancé, Phaedra grinding on her husband and then then camera pans over to Cynthia, who just kind of does the robot in Peter’s general vicinity. Samesies, girl.
But why would we expand on that scene, or show these people actually going out and having a good time, when we could watch Peter, Apollo and Todd (I’m sorry I had to drag you into this, Todd) roll cigars in a bar that has the look of an airplane hangar and the clientele of Bar One (i.e. no one)? Peter gives Todd some relationship advice and I say a quick prayer that Todd has some sort of superhuman biology where he can turn his ears off.
No matter, this scene was never going to be about anything but Kenya, who shows up with Miss Lawrence and lasts about 12 seconds before she’s saying “suck” and “blow” every other word and asking Peter if he didn’t get in the water earlier because he was afraid of shrinkage. He responds, “Even on my worst day, baby, I’m good,” and I just really feel like they should give some sort of special This Program Could Induce Nausea and in Extreme Cases Death viewer warning at the beginning of the hour if there’s going to be a scene like that.
NEXT: Apollo doesn’t talk so good…
Quick Life Lesson: if someone is aggressively trying to get you to take shots, they’re up to something. It’s not necessarily shady, but just be on high alert. Or at least keep some friends around you, like Todd and Peter who can yell “This sh—is a setup!” when Kenya coos “Apollo, come help me pick out the tequila.” Kenya screams back a lot of WHO?! WHAT?! ME?! at Todd and Peter, but everyone knows she’s up to something. Todd offers to serve as chaperone on their little trip to the bar, but Kenya is able to shake him and get Apollo to a couch for their predetermined one-on-one time.
Kenya wants to talk to Apollo because she felt like after she and Phaedra had their falling out, the two of them were still cool, but then he started spreading lies about them meeting up in L.A., aka, Sextgate 2014. In her confessional she says she thinks he was creating drama about her in order to cover up “what he’s really been doing.” In light of learning what Apollo was actually up to over the last year, that dude would have needed to light himself on fire, release a sex tape with a Georgia senator and finish third on Dancing With The Stars to cover up all the nonsense he’s been up to.
Apollo brings out the trusty “I could have slept with you if I wanted to,” which Kenya refutes with “But I never offered you sex, Apollo.” I’ll give Kenya this: She’s a lot better at making a clear point when she wants to than anyone else on this show. Apollo proved that he couldn’t defend his point even if he had a voice recording of Kenya saying, Excuse me Apollo, husband of Phaedra, I, Kenya Moore, inventor of African boyfriends, would like to do the sex with you, right here, right now. No, I can’t even sum up what Apollo’s defense was. I’m just going to print it in full here, with some thoughts in brackets:
“At the end of the day [WHAT DAY? WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY THIS??], I can say how I feel. If those were my intentions, and there’s a lot of people who would…risk everything just because you’re a nice looking woman, they would take the opportunity [so, people like Apollo]. I was saying, if that was the case [let’s be clear, that is the case], then I would have jumped in, because you are an attractive woman, and guess what — any man could fall victim to that [he’s right, sleeping with her would have been her fault on account of her attractiveness making her absolutely irresistible to any human man]. But at the end of the day [SERIOUSLY. Today? Tomorrow? How does time work for you, Apollo?], I was just stating the fact: and the fact was, me as a man and who I am as a man, my physicality and your physicality, if that’s what I wanted to do, I felt like I could have done that. [He means because he is a man with man parts and she is a lady with lady parts, as a penis-toting man, he feels like he could have slept with Kenya, even though he’s basically admitted that she never said anything to indicate that.]
Phaedra, a woman who willingly married this man, shows up about the time Kenya has gone back from “you’re an idiot” mode to, “eh, I’ll flirt with you because it’s a thing I do” mode. Kandi announces it’s Turn Up Time, but Phaedra just casually walks over and inserts herself in the conversation. We’ll have to wait until next week to see what happens, but my money is on them handling it like rational adults with healthy views on monogamy and friendship.
Or maybe Phaedra will rip Kenya’s weave out and shove a cigar down Apollo’s throat. At the end of the day, you can really never tell.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta