'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: 'Fix It Therapy'
Nene takes the women to to the doctor, but it doesn't fix a thing.
The one who smelt it, dealt it, y’all. Always. Nene smelled the sweet scent of a redemption storyline for herself and drama for others, and ended up in a bit of a pickle—a pickle where she hired a psychologist to tell eight of her closest enemies that they’re wrong for thinking she’s ever mistreated them, but ended up telling that psychologist that she didn’t hire him to be a psychologist, so why doesn’t everyone just stop trying to attack her and move on without ever discussing anything. Did she think they were all just going to eat M&Ms in that room and compliment her on her jumpsuit?
The most interesting thing about tonight was seeing what these women deemed appropriate to wear (and eat) at a group therapy session. The entire clearance rack of Bebe’s loungewear collection was on display while Dr. Jeff and his college education officially experienced the chapter of his future memoir that will be titled “I’ve Made a Huge Mistake.” If Bravo wanted to be honest with you, the description on your episode guide would have read thusly: “The ladies try to make up with each other and realize their relationships are all broken up beyond repair… show’s over, I guess!” But they don’t want to be honest with you, dear viewer. They want you to believe that we can fix this mess.
And maybe we can. Maybe Phaedra and Kandi can get past the time they spent not supporting one another when one of them was having a kind of hard time with her husband and the other was having a really hard time with her husband. Maybe Cynthia can forgive Nene for calling her husband a bitch; maybe Nene can forgive Cynthia for…something I can’t totally remember. And maybe all of these women can learn to get along with more than just the one person whose husband they’ve yet to call a bitch, offered fellatio to, etc. Or… maybe they’ll just all start pulling Phaedras and deliberately not putting themselves in situations that could make them look bad. Other Phaedra starter pack recommendations: Wearing v-neck cotton t-shirts that are two sizes too small as though they function as a regular blouse; having a husband whose ignorance overshadows your own; and when the only storyline options that you have left involve sitting across from Cynthia in a golf cap or visiting your husband-enemy in jail, just go over to Porsha’s Thoreau-like McMansion in the woods and watch her cook a Lean Cuisine in a skillet for you.
That’s where we start the episode tonight. I think I could watch Porsha cook for hours. I could barely even listen to anything Phaedra was saying because I was so busy trying to figure out how one pasta—was it pasta?—dish could involve so many contents in bags. There were bags of frozen chunks of something, bags of items that went into a skillet with about an inch of oil, bags of some powder-like substance usually reserved for EasyMac. But Porsha was cooking all right, because you need sustenance to get through Recappin’ in Kitchens: Mostly, Phaedra just tells Porsha how Cynthia started yapping at her last week and trying to wave her hands around, so Phaedra got up and left. They agree that Cynthia is a mean girl and then ask the Lord to make their food calorie-free and low fat. I’m pretty sure they’re eating cardboard tossed in Coke Zero, so that just might work out.
NEXT: Fix it…all of it. Everything.
You know what’s not working out? Kandi and Todd’s marriage. I don’t really want to dwell on it because I can’t watch this franchise destroy two more people who were seemingly happy before Andy Cohen dropped by their house with a contract and a copy of Storylines for Dummies, but things aren’t going well. They try to take their therapist’s advice to come up with pros and cons about each other but mostly just end up saying that Todd can’t let anything go and Kandi won’t ever deal with issues. Somewhere, in a house Kandi bought, Mama Joyce is tapping her fingers together like Mr. Burns.
Things aren’t going well for Kandi and Phaedra either, apparently. Nene goes over to Phaedra’s house to let Phaedra tell her what a wonderful friend she’s been during her tough time and remind her how unsupportive her supposed BFF Kandi has been. In the end, Kandi and Phaedra have a little chat where Kandi equates the cancellation of the play she never should have taken on a tour to Phaedra’s husband going to jail. Phaedra rolls her eyes, and they decide to get over it because they’re actually friends. But you won’t pay attention to any of that, because Nene’s new wig is straight up trolling us with her full evolution into Ursula from The Little Mermaid. The color, the curls—it was like the Bride of Frankenstein showed up in an Olivia Newton John music video.
But often more ridiculous that Nene’s wigs, are Nene’s actions. Last week, Nene selflessly enlisted Dr. Jeff—the psychologist who helped Gregg solve some issues with his kids a few years ago—to come in and facilitate a discussion between herself and the rest of the women (excluding Phaedra) since they have to be together are in the midst of a “friendship” civil war. I didn’t pay too much attention to the flashback of Nene’s last televised session with Dr. Jeff last week, but when it was the same clip this week, things started to make a little more sense. Why would Nene be willing to open up the doors for her co-workers to come at her in a public forum? Well, her last session with Dr. Jeff resolved with him saying this while Nene smiled smugly: “If there were issues, Nene, those had nothing to do with you.”
Nene is clearly expecting a repeat performance of that which she resolutely does not get. Because if there are issues here—there are only issues here!—they very much have plenty to do with Nene…Nene and every other woman, but tonight the focus is on Nene. So, when she’s is given the opportunity to speak first and decides to go with telling the women in the room how negative being in their presence is, and then the floor is opened up to everyone else, I’m not surprised they come up when something to air out.
NEXT: The expectd but unaggressive take-down of Nene Leakes…
Kenya: Kenya wants to understand what happened to Nene between their make-up dinner at The Tavern and her treating her like she had the plague just a little later at Kandi’s dildo party. Nene informs Kenya that this session is to help them, not to go back and forth with her. Because Nene apparently has no idea what counseling is, has never been around this Kenya in her life, and rolled around in the same special personality sauce tonight that she came into contact with before her Pajama Party from Hell last season.
Dr. Jeff: When Dr. Jeff sees that Nene is on the defensive about being criticized, he lets her know that he’s there to represent everybody equally. Nene lets him know that she’s there to be irrational: “Let me say this to you… I didn’t invite you here to represent me. I don’t know you like that.” Nene throws the most interesting parties, no?!
Claudia: Dr. Jeff says she knows Nene and Claudia have had some tension, and Claudia says it started when Nene blew her off and acted like she didn’t know her or need to meet her at Kandi’s party. That is very much a thing that happened and Nene says it’s because she’s been in this [Bravo Entertainment] group the longest, so everyone always tries to come for her. Claudia says Nene exhibits bipolar behavior, which she knows she probably shouldn’t have said, and backs off in favor of sipping champagne, which is apparently a thing that’s available in Dr. Jeff’s very professional counseling parties.
Cynthia: Cynthia, the person with the realest reason to have beef with Nene, because they actually have the carcass of a reality television friendship in their shared wake, says that she takes responsibility for the role she’s played in their issues, and knows that the problem started when Nene felt like she didn’t support her after the eruption and Kenya’s charity event. But that’s also the night that prompted Nene to call her husband a bitch (because, y’know, Peter.) And this brings about the best moment of the night when Dr. Jeff asks—just knowing that the answer will surely be, “It was a misunderstanding”—if Nene called Peter a bitch and she responds, “Yes, I did.” And why is that? “Because I felt like he was acting like a bitch.” Fair enough!
Cynthia says she feels like she made an effort to move beyond the rift while Nene just did whatever she could to destroy their relationship, to which Nene responds with calling Cynthia a big, fat liar, and they both proceed right along with the destruction of their friendship. It’s kind of sweet that Dr. Jeff ever thought he stood a chance.
Kandi: By the time Kandi gets the floor there is steam coming out of Nene’s ears that these women have the gall to bring up their grievances with her with in this therapy session. Kandi basically gets out that she thinks Nene throws away even her best friends before…
Nene leaves—just picks up her 18 bags and walks out of the group therapy session that she planned and apparently thought would be a really fun time. Now, she can’t be totally blamed for the outcome. It was a terrible idea in the first place. Therapy is not a one-time thing where you pop in, fix your problems, and then enjoy a bowl of Skittles together. It takes effort that absolutely not one of these women is willing to put in, but that are always willing to go in on someone. And yet, next week, we’ll be back with Dr. Jeff and the leftover women after he’s completely worn down from trying to pry Nene out of that escape elevator.
I’ll leave discussion of Claudia’s comedy career ambitions to the comment boards since it was wedged into this episode like a chicken finger in Kandi’s mouth as she tries and fails to avoid conflict. What did you think of the first half of RHOA Goes to the Doctor? Do you think Nene was being ganged up on or did she get what she was asking for?
The Real Housewives of Atlanta