After last week’s terrifying trip to Mbele the Energy Reader’s Elephant Café From Hell, Sunday’s episode of RHOA was a much calmer affair. That’s exactly what I had written down in my notes, not two seconds before Kenya came on the screen and ruined everything.
Well, I guess I shouldn’t say she ruined the episode, as she was the only one doing anything particularly interesting in it (and by interesting, I of course mean having an absolute breakdown for mysterious reasons that I will get to the bottom of). I’m not here to see my Housewives be kind, generous actual humans! But perhaps broadcasting their philanthropic work isn’t the worst thing. This hour was almost entirely about Porsha, Cynthia, and Kenya’s efforts to help with the devastation left behind in Houston by Hurricane Harvey.
Some of them went about helping by hosting events to raise money. Some of them went about helping by providing food and supplies to families in need. Some of them worked with Habitat for Humanity. All of them went about it by throwing just a liiiittle bit of shade at the ways of helping that were not their own. And, for some reason, Kenya though the best way to inspire others was to be, like, a really mean foreman? All in all, there was a lot of black lycra, a lot of money raised, and a lot help given — with just a little bit of drama in a barbecue joint’s bathroom added to keep it truly Texan.
Back in Atlanta, we get quick check-ins with the women unable to make it to Houston — one kind of sad, and one mighty shady. We hear the now signature tone of Sheree getting a call from a federal prison, and on the other line is her jailbird boyfriend Tyrone, sitting on a mighty high horse about NeNe (and calling Sheree’s butt “Chunky,” which I don’t want to talk about). After asking him what he’s doing, which always seems rude, Sheree tells Tyrone about the disastrous elephant party NeNe threw. “Well let me ask you this: How long has NeNe been married?” Tyrone asks…weirdly. He goes on to insinuate that should NeNe continue to speak negatively about him, he has some negative things he could offer back about her. Sheree says that she doesn’t know if NeNe and Gregg were separated at the time or not, but apparently when NeNe first met Tyrone, she was trying to holler in a big way, but Tyrone wasn’t interested. Hmm…
As for Kandi, she takes Riley for a spin around the block in her $100,000 car. It’s easy to forget that Riley is just a kid — and a teen, at that — because she had the demure demeanor of a grandma asking you to hold her pocketbook before she even knew her multiplication tables. So it was heartbreaking to hear her break down in sobs the moment she was able to get away from the cameras after her father Block surprised her with a phone call. And then to hear little Ace call out, “RILEEEEY!” — I tell you, I was undone. Kandi very maturely goes to meet with Block to tell him that Riley needs to be prepared for his contact with her and that she thinks they should all go to counseling. Block looks and sounds exactly like his daughter, so it’s very heartening to hear him say he’s willing to put in the work with both Riley and her mom.
And if you thought the heartwarming moments were over, you would be wrong! This is a Very Special Episode of RHOA. It’s good to see Porsha be so passionate about something that does not directly benefit her or harm others, and in fact does the opposite. Hopefully her grandfather, civil rights activist Hosea Williams, can turn ever so slightly back over his grave after surely doing a full rotation when Porsha asked who drove the Underground Railroad trains a few years ago. Porsha and her sister Lauren have helped organize their family’s charity, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, to send tons of supplies to Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, as well as made plans to go to Houston themselves to hand out supplies and donations. (Recap continues on page 2)
Porsha floated the idea that the other women should go with her to Houston at the elephant party, but as we see in the flashback, she was only met with a few loud blinks in return. Cynthia and Kandi go to dinner, and Kandi suggests that no one wanted to go with Porsha because no one likes Porsha, but it was really hard for me to focus on anything beyond Cynthia’s outfit, which consisted of a flannel shirt, Unabomber glasses, bootcut jeans, and flip-flops. Going back and forth between that number and her flawless new confessional look with golden curls and a shiny champagne sweater was startling.
Luckily, Cynthia can be forgiven, because she decides to travel to Houston with Porsha and is hosting her own event to raise money for the victims of Harvey, along with their respective sisters. Cynthia’s event is Friday, and Porsha’s event is Saturday, so they agree they’ll support each other at each one. Porsha goes to Cynthia’s fundraiser; then Kenya shows up as a surprise, and Porsha gets ditched hard by Cynthia. Listen, I think all this talk of “support” is pretty dumb — they’re there to support the people of Houston, and they’re not going to really benefit from the extra emotional support of one person they’re barely friends with. But it is more proof that Kenya has some inexplicable hold over Cynthia, which has reached an all-time high by the end of this episode.
See, Shamea also came to Houston to “support” Porsha, and they were able to make up over their former argument and become best friends again. So, since Kenya is going to help Habitat for Humanity rebuild homes at the same time as Porsha’s event, Porsha sends Shamea in her stead to help Kenya. But Kenya, who has to Do the Most at all times, is telling everyone who’s volunteering their time to help Houston that there’s no time to do anything like take water breaks, or smile, or be kind to one another. She’s barking out orders and talking about how much faster she’s working than Cynthia and Mal. When Shamea arrives, she calls Kenya to see where they are, and Kenya rudely tells her that she doesn’t have time to give her directions, even though it seems like it would be ideal to get another helper in there as soon as possible.
Anyway, Kenya is rude and dismissive to Shamea for no reason, so at a casual barbecue dinner later, Shamea confronts her about it. And Kenya apologizes for being unnecessarily short with her, and everyone enjoys some fried okra…
Just kidding! Kenya is even more dismissive, tells Shamea to just let it go, calls out for like a hundred glasses of water at what is clearly a serve-yourself-type place, tells Shamea to tell her what she’s so upset about, and then as soon as Shamea starts talking, storms off from the table. Now we get out second producer-intervention sob session behind a closed door with Kenya, which tells me that something is truly up with this woman post marriage. Kenya is livid, tossing f-bombs left and right, screaming, “I don’t give a f— about these bitches!” Presumably that includes Cynthia, who has spent the entire night defending Kenya. “F— these motherf—ing hoes,” Kenya screams. “That whole table is f—ing stupid as s—!” So yeah, that would mean Cynthia too.
The conversation had at the table in no way warrants this big of an outburst, but Kenya seems to think that they turn every positive thing she does into a negative, saying it’s no wonder Marc doesn’t want to be a part of the show. Kenya finally stops screaming, but when Porsha goes in to check on her and Kenya sees the camera outside the bathroom door, she sasses, “Nope, this is not a moment, see ya later,” and flips off the camera. Kenya…this is literally your job.
But it might not be for long. Girl has lost it. She marches out to her car, and when Cynthia tries to talk to her, she says, “Goodbye Cynthia, this is not a moment,” and rolls the window up on Cynthia. Nuh uh, no way, not from any of my friends. But we’ll see how much more foolishness Cynthia is willing to suffer, especially with the new addition of Eva Pigford to the cast next week. Wanna be on top, Cynth?