Kim and her wigs moved into their new mansion, while the women gathered to celebrate the opening of the Bailey Agency.

By Karen Valby
Updated December 19, 2011 at 02:26 PM EST
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Real Housewives Of Atlanta
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Well done, Phaedra. The Attorney at Law acquitted herself with marvelous aplomb when Sheree stopped by to wonder over her handling of the hearing with Bob. “You and I, we need to talk,” said Sheree, with a glint of aggression in her eye. “This is my life.” Phaedra went into a most calming professional purr, reminding her friend that she wasn’t actually retained until 3:30 the day before court and that it took Sheree an eventually amount of time to pay her. Sheree stomped her hoof; Phaedra gracefully held her ground. “We probably should not work together,” said Phaedra. “Because I love you as a friend and I don’t want this case to hinder our friendship.” Well played, woman! Sheree looked terrifically relieved and gave her a warm hug, though the fuzziness of the scene was somewhat diminished by an unnecessary dig in her private interview. “I am so relieved that Phaedra decided not to represent me anymore, otherwise I was going to fire her ass.” Lock it away for the Reunion!

Inevitably, Kim moved into her new 17,000-square-foot home. That meant saying goodbye to her smoke-infused townhouse and their beloved kitchen wall of memories. Look, there’s a little throw-up stain from that time Mom and NeNe had a Chablis party. Aw, someone glued one of Sweetie’s extensions down here at the bottom. Even Brielle signed her name with a big pink X. Designer to the Stars Kendra had one week to get the new digs in perfect Zolciak style (read: framed photos of a pouting Kim everywhere). Kim was most excited to reveal little KJ’s nursery to her worried husband, who didn’t want bows or tiaras to spill into the chosen one’s lair. The family drove through the dark to get to their new mansion, Kim’s various wigs belted safely into the backseat, each of their faces frozen in Lindsay-Lohan-after-a-long-night expressions. Kroy looked suitably terrified before they entered KJ’s room. Would his firstborn’s foreskin be bedazzled above the leopard-spotted crib? Would there be scantily clad girl babies strewn across a velvet chaise for KJ’s amusement? It was hard to tell just what Kroy thought of the Rock Star motif—all Ed Hardy crosses and throne chandeliers—but Kim gave herself a pat on the back for following her man’s “no bows, bitch” mandate.

Back from a brief reprieve in New York, Cynthia has doubled down on her mission to bring some culture to Atlanta. Didn’t you know she was part of the art scene? So she invited the Housewives to a friend’s zoo-animals exhibit at a gallery. It was a real coup that Marlo graced the event with her presence, what with her being a member of “Atlanta’s high society” and all. The only problem with the art world is that people get so pretentious and conversations are so stuffy and affected. Yo Marlo, how’d you get your money? Well, she always waits for sales and she pays her balances off every month.”She doesn’t blow money,” translated Kandi. “The question is, does she blow to get money?”

NEXT: Peter is determined to make you hate him.

Meanwhile, Peter and Cynthia pretended to be a power couple in a photo shoot. From the makeup chair Cynthia blanched when Peter somewhat gleefully told his wife that the invitations to the opening of her modeling agency most likely wouldn’t land in time. Before our very eyes the bags under hers bloated with anxious fluid. She begged Peter to call her sister with news of this worrisome wrinkle but he was too busy wiping down the white sofas to help. “We are a team,” Cynthia reminded him. “Whatever,” he shot back. Gosh, he seemed like a real a$#hole but surely this could be blamed on editing, right? So Bravo gave Peter a chance to explain his boorishness in a private interview. “I have failed 99 times so I can tell you 99 ways not to do it,” he confusingly bragged, as if these were stats to make a Mama proud. “I need her to fall on her ass.” The needs of this man confound.

We interrupt this dismal portrait of a marriage for a quick message from Kandi Koated Nights! Kandi is sick of protein shakes, but is still trying to shed some of her backside. Her adorable manager Don Juan wants her to back off the charity work for her friends Kim (agreed) and Lawrence (hey!) and refocus on her own career. Kandi revealed a desire to go country which led to an awkward Skype session with Jo Dee Messina. Snooze.

Back to the main event! Two people have RSVP’d to the Bailey Agency party, which meant Cynthia’s bags took on a new life of their own. Mal came by to calm her down before the party but couldn’t resist digging around for some dirt on Peter. Was Cynthia really sure this was just about the party?, she hectored. “And nothing else is going on? Because you seem very emotional,” said Mal. “I’m just making sure everything’s fine.” When the Bailey women showed up to the party there was already a nice little crowd there which seemed to temporarily lift Cynthia’s spirits. The sisters split off into their separate corners. Mal complained to some friends about how she’d been up until Midnight mopping the agency floors while that fink Peter had been cannon-balling into a pool. Cut to Cynthia thanking her husband for all of his support. “Everything in here is 100 percent you,” Peter growled back. “I didn’t do nothing. I don’t have nothing to do with it. And I been saying that all night.” We get it, we get it, you suck.

Next: Who you calling a Big Mama?

The party marked the first time that Kim and NeNe are in same room since Cynthia’s wedding. The evening got off to an uneventful star. Sheree was dabbing at her upper lip sweat. NeNe was acting the ham, chewing up scenery. Phaedra was drawling in the corner about her lack of undergarments. Kim was squeezed admirably into a black pantsuit, her breasts painfully Barbie.

Oddly, out of all these women it was Marlo who brought the hate. She was bristling still from Kandi’s probing into the source of her riches. (“Sleeps with wealthy men and they give her money,” Kim sniffed. “Who does that?” Tell me Kim was kidding. “God gave you a hole for you to make your money from.” Oh good lord.) So Marlo went on a stealth panther attack, her voice never rising as she took it to Kandi. Everybody saying she has a Big Poppa. Big Poppa this, Big Poppa that. Kim’s lip curled. NeNe’s eyebrow arched in delight. Apollo looked like he might actually be enjoying himself for the first time on this show. Then Marlo went in for the kill. “I’ve heard you a Big Mama because you take care of guys,” she told a clearly shocked Kandi. “But I wouldn’t dare say that around the girls. I would’ve pulled you to the side and said ‘Hey Kandi, I heard you a Big Mama.'” At that, Kim rolled her eyes in disgust. “This is why we stay home,” she told Kroy, as she led his tight ass out the door.

Gather ’round everybody. Our hostess has a few words. Cynthia called up her faithful sister, then her darling mother, and finally her supportive husband. Come give your wife a hug, Peter! Peter? The room went an awkward quiet as Cynthia called for her absent man. Apollo reached his arm around Phaedra in solidarity, but then seemed confused when she told him she loved him. Peter? Peter! Cut to a shot of Atlanta at night. Is that buffoon out there somewhere?

Next week: It’s cool. Peter just doesn’t like to say goodbye.

Talk to me, Housewivers: Why is Peter the absolute worst? Is this all building up to Mal lacing his Rum De Cacao with strychnine in the season finale? Does Marlo intrigue or repel, or a wearisome combination of the two?

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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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