Kenya deals with the death of a loved one, Kandi deals with the continued craziness of a loved one and Cynthia made her bed with a loved one, and now she has to lay in it.

By Jodi Walker
Updated April 07, 2014 at 09:12 AM EDT
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The Real Housewives of Atlanta

S6 E21
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Bravo knew they had big competition on Sunday night with America’s favorite show, Game of Thrones, returning, so they pulled out the big guns and made this episode all about everyone’s favorite RHOA characters: Porsha, Kenya, Nene and Mama Joyce. Oh wait, no I got confused—all of those people are terrible, mean-spirited and potentially sociopathic. While they scoff at $100K paychecks and don’t bother to look at work e-mail attachments, we devote an hour of our lives to them every week. OK, that probably makes us the sociopaths, because I really don’t know whether my devotion to this show — even through dud episodes — is right or wrong. But, I guess, if getting the chance to internally mock Nene for talking about her “raw, natural acting talent” is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

If I wasn’t soulless and incapable of human emotion, I would probably exclude Kenya from that original list because she’s actually going through a pretty tough time. Her beloved dog Velvet just died (no dramatic footage available, but plenty of past footage of Velvet being a cute little Wookiee), and she is not taking it, uh…calmly. So, let’s make plenty of room on our Capacity for Crazy People Sympathy commemorative platesby first watching Porsha and Nene try to use their own special “skills” to move forward in their “careers.”

Porsha opens the episode recording backing tracks for her debut acting role in Kandi’s play. Well, that’s what she would be doing if this was any other show about unmarried, working housewives. No, Porsha is actually recording a song she wrote with her producer called, I kid you not, “Perfectly Worthless,” presumably for her self-titled album (ba dum tsss). She says getting the role in Kandi’s play has “inspired [her] to take advantage of the skills that [she] has.” This whole segment reads like a compilation of scathingly sarcastic joke tweets, but it’s 100% genuine Por-yonce. If you’re wondering, she sings exactly like she talks: loudly and with 3-syllable-Ts.

Kandi swings by for a friendly Ay girl, you got to come to rehearsal because that’s how plays and being an adult works chat, and Porsha looks at her like she has two heads coming out of her quilted hoodie. The stage manager of her show has let Kandi know that Porsha is missing practice and doesn’t seem dedicated. Porsha rings up her asSIST(ER)ant (yeah, it’s a pun, but more importantly, it sounds like you have a very specific speech impediment when you say it out loud) to tell Kandi that the only reason Porsha missed rehearsal is because they didn’t see the attachment her team sent over with the schedule. Oh, in that case…Kandi tells her to get her sh-t together and get to rehearsal because Kandi is a hustler who will not be hustled.

Nene stomps into a restaurant and tells the hostess, “I’m meeting this little short man,” and I just know she’s meeting Peter for more Bitch Talk Radio, but am pleasantly surprised to find that it’s her poor, patient manager, Steve. He is small, and he doesn’t deserve this. He’s brought sketches for Nene’s approval because like She by Sheree (ha!) and Sonja’s toaster oven (ha HA! before her, Nene is striking out into the lucrative Home Shopping Network biz with her own fashion line. Soon enough (or maybe even currently…I’m not willing to have “Nene Leakes fashion line” in my Google history), Nene will complete the Holy Housewives Trifecta: Bravo, DWTS, HSN.

It seems that Steve is concerned with all the scripts that Nene has been rejecting, including a John Stamos show on USA and a Jon Lovitz and Bill Bellamy vehicle on Fox, which if nothing else, are great alt-punk band names. Nene hasn’t even been reading the scripts, because she didn’t think they were a good fit for her — she wants to elevate here career, not keep it in the same place. Girl. You have one speed, and it is being tall and yelling. Stay in your lane! She also tells Steve she can’t commit to going to acting class every week because she doesn’t have time and, “Some acting classes can take away your natural ability to act…I feel like directors are looking for that natural rawness.” I still enjoy Nene as a TV character and Martha Washington impersonator, but I’m learning more and more every week that she deserves to fail. Hard.

NEXT: Is this one of The Blogs the housewives are always reading? (Hi Kandi! Hi Cynthia!)

RHOA Editors Went to Film School Too, Imagery Edition: The camera pans a large empty space with a bald man at the bar, hunched over a pile of blank papers; Cynthia is meeting Peter in a deserted Bar One and has to lift her own stool off of the bar to sit down while he flops his hand against a laptop and stares at her. She very naturally says to her husband, “What’s all this I’m hearing on the blogs about foreclosure and Bar One.”

WHAT ARE THESE BLOGS THEY’RE ALWAYS READING? Are they just calling all websites blogs? Is it a Tumblr dash? Why are these women always finding out important information about their husbands on social media??? Some info The Blogs weren’t able to supply: apparently, the space Bar One is in might go into foreclosure because the landlord hasn’t been paying his mortgage payments. Peter says they should be fine because he’s renting-to-own and has been making his payments, but Cynthia is mostly upset that he’s known for a month and hasn’t brought her in the loop. It’s as though she has a very specific kind of amnesia that makes her wake up every morning thinking her husband has a different personality than when they went to bed the night before.

Tonight, On a Very Special Episode of RHOA: Aunt Lori arrives at Kenya’s house, beelines up to her dark room, and you know something is really up because she’s wearing a gray crew neck t-shirt – not a sparkle, low neck or statement sleeve in sight. Also, because she is weeping in the way that babies do when you start to wonder if they’re going to stop breathing. The dog she’s had for seven years,Velvet, has been killed by another dog in the neighborhood. That’s awful. It’s hard to feel bad for Kenya, as she is the worst, and I certainly wouldn’t know how to deal with her very external grieving process, but it’s horrible to lose a pet. Especially when it seems like she hardly has anyone else. The rather saintly Aunt Lori tells her they should have an outdoor memorial service for Velvet because she was always happiest when she was running outside. Kenya finally smiles and dazedly says, “She would chase the squirrels,” and sympathy and all, it’s impossible not to think of Office Space.

On the other side of maternal instincts, we have Mama Joyce going over to Kandi’s for some counseling. Dr. Sutherland, family counselor, wearer of promotional windbreakers, talks to Kandi alone first, where there is a flashback to when they first tried counseling in season 2. Judging by Mama Joyce’s hair alone, it looks like it could have taken place in 1978 and maybe on another planet. It’s so amazing to see how much more glamourized they’ve become with fame. She straight up has 1982 Little Orphan Annie hair — I could have watched it for hours. Dr. Sutherland asks Kandi what she thinks it means that she’s not able to stand up to her mom…TBD.

Mama Joyce sits down in her finest Tommy Bahama tunic for her solo time and she seems like she’s on a sedative of some sort, calmly telling the counselor that somewhere along the way they “just lost communication,” meaning, of course, that she tried to pay someone to take pictures of her daughter’s fiance with other women. She says that it’s not just a problem that he’s an opportunist, but also, since they started dating, Kandi has gained “about 30 pounds.” On a show that barely even stops to acknowledge marriages falling apart before our very eyes, there is a pregnant pause. A man who is trained enough in his field to have embroidered button ups for his counseling center, is stumped. Go home Mama Joyce, you’re drunk (or finally not drunk).

NEXT: Break a leg, and make it Porsha’s to put everyone out of their misery…

Nene goes to New York to meet with the team designing her HSN line—oh, did you think she would do that? How sweet. Listen, I can tell you exactly how to dress like Nene, and you won’t have to order the clothing over the phone and pay for it in $6 increments for the next 100 months: Go to H&M, get pleather pants; find the clearance rack at your local TJ Maxx Ross, grab two of the same slinky, jewel tone shirt, sew them together to make one giant shirt; apply daddy long legs spiders to your eyeballs until desired plate-glass-eyelash look has been achieved. Alternating between occasionally amusing and insufferable would also be helpful in achieving the full look.

Kenya has asked Cynthia and Kandi to lunch to tell them about Velvet and arrives in full mourning attire: black suit, minimal makeup. After a Ross from FriendsHiii,” she breaks the news and Cynthia gasps and throws her hands in the air like Kenya just told her she some salacious bit of gossip. She immediately apologizes for her super weird response but it doesn’t make it any less super weird. They don’t dwell on it though; they just console her and tell her they’ll be at the dog memorial. (Heads up: next week’s episode will be almost entirely about a dog memorial.)

Phaedra and Apollo get the in-between-commercial segment where it’s important to note two things: 1. Apollo gets to second base with some pottery clay; 2. These people are just not on this show anymore.

A Mothers Love is one week from show time and, though she’s at rehearsal today, Porsha has missed even more rehearsals since her talk with Kandi. I seem to remember they were only going to have three weeks to rehearse and she missed the first week, so she must have been to about two rehearsals. The stage manager, whose name looks like Lark with a lower case “l,” but I think is actually “Iark” with a capital “I,” calls her over to tell her what’s up. She questions if Porsha is totally dedicated to this play, to which Porsha responds, “Oh, really? I think I’m fully dedicated.” She’s not even being defiant, she’s just dumb. She assures her that she’s all in, and I would have loved Iark to follow up with a one-question quiz: What is your character’s name?

Mama Joyce is at rehearsal to see the play and the venue for the first time. Kandi hopes her mom won’t be offended by the play because it’s so clearly a passive aggressive Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood situation. Mama Joyce scowls in the general direction of her daughter’s passion project until Don Juan (real name!) takes her to the lobby for a tour. There they find Todd talking to his sweet mom, who is supportive of him in the MJ situation, she’s “just concerned, you know…about the threats.” You know.

Mama Joyce greets Todd in her standard format of whispering and removing all linking verbs from her sentences (“If she happy, I happy”). Todd asks Mama Joyce to talk for a minute to help him understand where they are right now. He says if it’s just her not liking him, he can live with that, but he wants to hear it from her. She says she never stopped liking him, she just stopped respecting him, because Mama Joyce does not understand words—their function, their meaning, their general pronunciation. She brings up him quitting his job soon after meeting Kandi and he very rationally explains that he had to do that because his job was on the show that Kandi was a star of. He’s not interested in Kandi for her money, he’s just interested in her. And for her, he wants them all to be able to be a family. When he says, “I would love for you to love me one day,” it breaks my heart a little and makes me want to marry Todd. My mom is delightful.

Mama Joyce acknowledges that she’s too protective and concedes to try, which feels like a lot further than they’ve ever gotten before (ahem, “Ain’t no mountain high enough to keep me off yo’ ass, baby!”). Bravo puts precious Ayden in the promo to ensure my viewership next week, but if I’ve got Kenya losing her mind at a dog memorial and Mama Joyce drama to look forward to, consider my commitment to being excited for the next episode to be Level: Porsha, at best. What did you think of Kenya’s unfortunate circumstances this week? Mama Joyce’s calmer persona? Most importantly, have you seen the A Mother’s Love trailer??

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The Real Housewives of Atlanta

NeNe, Kandi, Cynthia, Phaedra, Kenya, and Claudia keep the ATL just peachy.
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