The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: Hotel of Lies
Phaedra threatens spousal murder and Kenya continues to plague the Atlanta real estate scene
Here’s the thing about The Real Housewives of Atlanta: you can’t have the good without the bad. I can’t get Phaedra slurring out honey-coated insults without Apollo lying through his teeth. And I can’t get Nene stomping around Atlanta trying to get her real estate license without Kenya talking about her sex acrobatics. But, as another wise show once told me, “you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have [RHOA Textgate 2013].”
Kenya has arrived at one of those specialized studios where you learn how to do things like aerial ribbon twirling that will last about one year before it forces someone into bankruptcy. Apparently looking for a place to live after her police escort from her last home has been rather stressful, so Kenya needs to get some exercise. I also had to look for a new place to live about a month ago, but I felt no such inclination to twirl around in the air, spread-eagle in my Lululemons. In her confessional Kenya says, “I’m no stranger to having my legs up in the air upside down, but I digress,” because in addition to being a wonderful storyteller, Kenya is also a master class in subtlety.
But Kenya isn’t just at Acrobatix “R” Us to take twirling to new heights. No, she’s there because the producers told her another cast member was finally willing to speak to her. Kandi arrives to say she can’t ribbon twirl because she “twisted her ankle the other day,” which is exactly what I say when my friends ask me to do ridiculous things like “skydive” or “go for a jog.” Kandi is just there to chat and Kenya looks terrified of the prospect of talking to a completely reasonable and level-headed human being. When Kandi asks about the Text Plague of Apollo, Kenya’s eyes immediately disengage themselves from their sockets and her voice rises to mid-Porsha-levels, so you know this should be a calm and rational endeavor.
Kenya says she has nothing to hide, so she gets out her phone to show Kandi the messages she exchanged with Apollo. It’s a good thing technology is still in the phase where it can’t be tampered with or easily edited. Kenya goes on to read the entire exchange, altering her voice for her messages and Apollo’s and it’s like the worst reader’s theater performance you’ve ever seen got hit with a horse tranquilizer and then sucked in eight balloon’s worth of helium. But it’s still more enjoyable than Kenya going off the cuff. Because when you ask Kenya a simple question like, “Had you seen Apollo at any point between last season and when he sent you these messages?” she will respond by saying, “No, not that I recall” and blinking 18 times in rapid succession.
NEXT: Checking in on Porsha Stewart’s maybe honest but definitely sad trip to self-discovery
Porsha has decided it’s time to go visit her therapist again, whom she last visited with That Jerk Kordell. We get a flashback of that visit and realize that both Porsha and Dr. Blake are wearing almost the exact same thing this time, which is fine for Dr. Blake because she looks good in green, but bad for Porsha because it means she’s worn that unfortunate fedora more than once.
As always, it’s hard to trust a doctor who chooses to let her sessions be televised on the Bravo network, but Dr. Blake seems to have some solid insight. She says it sounds like Porsha was playing a role when she was last there, as well as in her marriage, and an inexplicable Gong of Truth clangs in the background to alert us that Porsha is having an important realization.
After Porsha tells her about the finances in her marriage, Dr. Blake asks what she probably thinks is a rhetorical question: “Did you really have a husband? Or did you have a father?” Apparently Kordell’s fatherly tendencies – you know, how your father’s always withholding money from you and not letting you have a family? – are what attracted her to him in the first place. Ick. Dr. Blake, purveyor of truth, says, “You don’t sleep with your father.” This is going well.
Porsha wonders why Kordell ever even married her; Dr. Blake asks why she married him. GONG! She wanted a husband and a family. But apparently, Kordell wasn’t giving her the stuff to make a family. Remarkably, this is the only time in the episode that Porsha hints Kordell doesn’t like having sex with ladies, so that’s a marked improvement. Dr. Blake wraps of her Lesson in Realness by suggesting that if Porsha wants to “get Kordell out of [her] system,” maybe she should, uh, take off her wedding ring. Doctors: They don’t go to those 18 extra years of school for nothin’!
Nene, whose preferred form of medicine is high end department store shopping, has come outfitted in a Canadian tuxedo to rescue Cynthia from bed rest. Apparently, pre-fibroid surgery, they were having trouble shopping together: “Cynthia was bleeding everywhere! Saks, Neimans…” Goodness gracious, Nene. While she tries to convince Cynthia to do some retail therapy, Kandi calls to let them know that Porsha is having a tough time with her divorce and could do with a good old fashioned producer-mandated-dinner with the girls. Cynthia says she’s never been through a divorce, but she imagines it’s terrible. Cynthia, just imagine being married to Peter and then…no, that’s it, that’s all you have to do.
Cynthia tells Nene no shopping for her, she just took a pill and she needs to go to sleep. Nene responds the same way any of us would: “You ain’t got to tell me twice, I hope your pill kicks right the hell in!” Nene does not say a single thing tonight that doesn’t end in an exclamation point, and that is the very best kind of Nene.
NEXT: Stay tuned for the blow-by-blow
Kandi, who earlier said she was on a diet, is now muttering to herself about brownie bites at a frozen yogurt shop. Phaedra comes to meet her in her finest lawyer suit, but she makes it clear that she is also still a mortician by dressing like a cracked-out Elvira (yes, more cracked-out) in her confessional. The two tiniest voices of reason have come together to discuss the latest developments in Textgate 2013. Phaedra’s way of speaking is just the best. She nods her head like a dashboard dog, but speaks so slowly and deliberately, it sounds almost sweet when she says things like, “she has whorish tendencies or, “offering my husband fellatio,” as though it’s an after dinner mint.
But, no, she’s not feeling sweet, saying she’s not going to give, what after three rewinds still sounds like, “that sagging dopper booty” any more energy. She’s “quite busy and quite overwhelmed.” When I’m overwhelmed, I’m dropping f-bombs and setting my alarm clock for 4:30 a.m. and not waking up until 7:00. I’m definitely not going to mortician’s school, being a lawyer and raising two precious children. Now, if only she could get her husband to stop seeming so shady. Phaedra assures us that her husband is “not looking for a washed up beauty queen with scrambled eggs. When he wants that, he goes to the Waffle House.” Don’t mix metaphors, Phaedra, that’s disgusting.
Cynthia is out of her bed and chatting in the kitchen with her daughter, Noelle, who is a cute little 13 year-old with a sock bun now. Cynthia says she’s so glad to have a good mother-daughter relationship with Noelle and then asks her, “So what’s going on with your social life?” as all mothers who have normal, unplanned chats with their daughters do. Cynthia wants to know who “Arthur” is. Well, Cynthia, Arthur is an anthropomorphic aardvark who wears glasses and teaches children valuable lessons. He’s also your daughter’s boyfriend.
Cynthia wants to make sure Noelle is keeping her informed on her blossoming womanhood, so she forces her to say if she and Arthur have kissed yet on national television. Affirmative. Cynthia concedes that’s OK, but none of the other stuff for many more years. She wraps up this healthy little convo by telling her 13-year-old daughter to keep her up to date: “I need the blow by blow…maybe that wasn’t the right word [laughs].” CYNTHIA, WHAT THE HELL?!
All of the ladies have gathered for the Porsha blow-by-blow at a Mexican restaurant, wearing the oddest assortment of sundresses, tuxedo jackets and board shorts I have ever seen. Nene pronounces “taquitos” “ten-quitas” while ordering, which is yet another thing Nene and my father have in common. The girls want to make this dinner about being there for Porsha, and I get that, but putting her at the head of the table was a mistake; her voice is at **threat level: dog whistle** the whole dinner.
Porsha reiterates that she had been putting on a mask all last season. Now is the time where you start deciding if you believe everything Porsha says or if she’s exploiting this situation for attention because she unleashes a lot of “truth” nuggets on the ladies of Atlanta tonight, and they all seem to side with her. She says she had to ask Kordell for the smallest things like grocery money — and while all of the other ladies look appalled, Phaedra looks like she’s trying to puzzle out what a “groceries” is.
NEXT: Kenya keeps her enemies close, but her high school bowling trophies closer
Nene says she had previously been in favor of them getting back together, but now she’s changed her mind. Nene, I know marriage is kind of a fluid state of being for you and Mr. Gregg, but how many times do I have to say it? #TWITTERDIVORCE
Nene redeems herself by telling Porsha, after she complains about being promised lavish things like private jet shopping trips by Kordell: “This is when it’s really great: when you can put your own self in the jet and throw them the peace sign.” And then all of those self-made divas high five across the table, wrists and rings dripping in diamonds. This is why Atlanta is the best.
Porsha tries to apologize for blocking them all out last year and everyone says it’s not necessary. I mean, I might be down for a little bit of the apology considering the level of screaming directed at them in the three-part reunion last year, but don’t kick the pixie-wig when it’s down, I guess. Porsha lifts her glass and says, “Let’s cheers to you all loving me,” and then as a much delayed afterthought, “and me loving you.” Cynthia adds, “Cheers to the new Porsha!” Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
They do one of those mini-scenes in the middle of a commercial break that is literally just 15 seconds of Kenya being amazed at items in a specialty grocery store, included but not limited to: truffle oil, basil, grilling sauce, waffle mix, candles and home fragrance, and mint oil.
Perhaps Kenya was just trying to feel a little lux, because when we return to our regular Bravo viewing, we find Nene wandering down a street to visit Kenya in her new abode, yelling about being in the ghetto as she walks past two Mercedes and BMW on the cleanest Georgia street I’ve ever seen. Nene somehow makes it to the apartment/hotel without being inducted into a gang and Kenya opens the door to reveal a perfectly livable place, if not particularly glamorous. There is an unexplained high-school-bowling-esque trophy on the living room table that’s all I can think about for the whole clip.
Luckily, Nene has come there specifically to rescue Kenya from the land of white refrigerators like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. While they drive to meet her realtors, Nene does some casual oil blotting in the car and asks Kenya about the man she apparently met in Nigeria. Kenya says, “My African king spoils me like a queen. Of course, because I am a queen.” Kenya is rarely charming, but she is her least charming self when she’s making puns. Nene starts imitating Kenya’s boyfriend and Kenya gets offended, asking if she’s thinking of Coming to America. Kenya’s main mission this season seems to be cluing us in on her working knowledge of IMDb.
Deborah and Bonneau (real names) show Kenya around a perfectly beautiful and outlandish condo, but Kenya insists she couldn’t live in anything less than 5,000 sq. feet. Girl, in three episodes, we’ve seen you go to court for eviction, have to move out of your rental house and you’re now living in a hotel with a white refrigerator. It might be time to escort yourself down from that high horse. Nene doesn’t think she’s sold enough booty DVDs for the penthouse anyway, so better luck next time, perhaps.
NEXT: Will Phaedra kill Apollo with that damn steak knife?
And finally, the event we’ve all been waiting for. Phaedra is going to a. Kill Apollo, b. Finally just straight up fall asleep during a scene, c. Learn the truth behind what happened at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (hint: all of these things would have been a win; none of them happen). [Note: Can’t you just imagine the Beverly Wilshire being like, “We’re actually good on publicity right now. If you could stop associating us with Apollo-Kenya sex, that would be great. xoxox – The Beverly Wilshire”]
Apollo starts off dinner by complaining about his wife spending more time on their children and her education than him for a while and then, *mail as transition alert* brings out a subpoena that came for Phaedra that day. It’s for the trial between Kenya and Conya the Landlord, which we saw resolved three episodes ago, so I guess Bravo just doesn’t give a sh– about continuity at this point. Good on ‘em.
Phaedra brings up Textgate 2013 and Apollo reiterates that he didn’t do anything wrong because he didn’t initiate the texts with Kenya. Putting aside that “who started it” kind of isn’t the point, Kenya and Apollo are telling two different stories. When pushed on the specifics of the texting, Apollo utters the most telling line yet: “I don’t recall.” At least those two stories line up.
Phaedra tells Apollo to not text her friends and not to associate with Kenya anymore. Apollo whines that he is “a grown man” and for some reason tries to reason that he should be able to talk to Kenya in public. WHY? Why would you want to? They blew up at each other in last year’s reunion and she accused you of giving your wife STDs that you contracted in prison. Why, Apollo???
Phaedra is on the same page, telling him, “It’s about her offering to suck your ding-a-ling.” How can anyone even argue with Phaedra? She constantly speaks in the way that people do when they’re talking about taking their dogs on a W-A-L-K, so they don’t start freaking out. Apollo responds, “If I wanted to sleep with Kenya, I could have slept with Kenya. But I didn’t.” So reassuring.
Phaedra drawls, “I might have to kill him with this damn steak knife,” and I wish I could somehow make it a video ringtone. Phaedra finally stops listening to Apollo and just starts creepy-closed-mouth smiling at him until the check comes, which is how I will be ending all arguments for the rest of my life.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta