The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: 'Barcelona Breakdown'
Try as she might, it's hard for Porsha to move on from...that time she falsely accused her friend of trying to drug and sexually assault her
“We are a family here,” NeNe tells Porsha at the end of Sunday’s episode: “We’re just dysfunctional, honey.” It’s the most lovable and human either of them has been in…seasons? Years? Because for a moment, they’re truly vulnerable with each other: Porsha by telling NeNe that it feels like she’s never going to be able to claw her way back from her mistake in this group, and NeNe because she already took off her lashes and contouring (okay, and because she was really honest and kind with someone who came to her for help).
Porsha has apologized, but it’s seeming like some things — for example, lying about someone trying to drug you — can’t be moved on from in between reality TV seasons. Porsha is always going to be wrong for what she did to Kandi. No amount of three-quarters-of-the-way-there apologies are going to un-make that wrong. But you know who Kandi doesn’t need on her side in that situation? Thirsty-ass Auntie Marlo, who was just coming for Kandi not one night ago, and now she’s invoking her name to come for Porsha. Marlo is like a spider falling off a cliff, trying to cast her web onto any rock she can reach
But then again, if what NeNe says is right, nothing will bring together a family like outside forces coming for ya clan — and this week, the Peachless Coterie are trying it. If Marlo is your desperate auntie sneaking cooking sherry in the kitchen, Eva is your mom’s youngest sister who doesn’t come around much, but when she does, she smells incredible and brings you pashminas from her last trip to India. This week Aunt Eva says of Third Cousin Shamea when she continues to try to bring up Eva’s sexuality without her consent: “Someone should pass messy ‘Mea some orange juice to get her parched throat wet — she is very thirsty.” Go ahead and pass Shamea, Marlo, and Kim the pitcher because babygirls are climbing to the tippy-top of these ladders looking for some spare peaches today.
At breakfast the morning after Kim sent a group text across the Atlantic Ocean to show that her daughter had Snapchatted roaches in NeNe’s bathroom, everyone is checking in. RHOA does my very least favorite thing a Housewives show can do when they play some quick iPhone footage of all the women partying and twerking at 3 a.m. the night before. Why do we not get real footage of this? Why can I not see these women getting crunk? Why do I only get the drama and the shade in full HD, why not the twerk and the tipsy? For now, everyone seems at peace with each other, and up in arms against Kim, agreeing that the video Brielle recorded was crass, and Kim sending it out like that was low.
Everyone is asking Sheree if she’s going to check her friend, and Sheree tries to say that Kim told her Brielle was just trying to take a selfie video, and then people started commenting that there were bugs. A review of the tape shows that Brielle was already shading NeNe for not having the mirrors in her bathroom hung, and then she did a nice exaggerated zoom on the bugs. I don’t think so, Sheree; you brought this mess to Barcelona, now you’re gonna have to figure it out. Speaking of bringing messes to Barcelona, Eva says she understands why everyone would be trying to get to know the new girl, but she doesn’t understand why Shamea would ask her about her sexuality the way she did last week. Shamea — who I think is naturally a sweet person who’s having to try real hard to do…whatever this is — is all, It’s public knowledge, and in this group, everything is on the table.
Eva tries to say that her boyfriend is running for public office, so she can’t be acting a mess, but babygirl: Roach videos are not the exception, they’re the rule. It’s only going to get worse from here. Also the rule is that these women expecting full pampering no matter where they are, so NeNe shows up to breakfast like their grande dame saying Cynthia tried with her online villa shopping, but she’s gotten them hotel reservations for the rest of the trip. But they’ll stick with the rest of Cynthia’s quaint little ideas, like go-karting through Barcelona and making out with each other.
On the car ride to their sightseeing activity, Cynthia asks how everyone’s #50CyntBucketList challenge is going. Apparently, Marlo Sharpie’d in bare-butt twerking to the list, because we get an iPhone clip of her doing that the night before, and Cynthia says it meets all of Marlo’s required credits. As for the rest of them, they can add new things to the list, such as making out with Cynthia. Cynthia is really trying to make out with a woman; she chooses Kandi, but Kandi gives her the full Heisman; she asks Sheree but Sheree says she won’t be sloppy seconds; Porsha takes one for the team and says she’ll be dirty thirds. But then Cynthia tries to use tongues and Porsha freaks out. Oh, what fun we have!
During go-karting, Porsha rams the hood of her go-kart underneath the back of a go-kart while she’s waving her hands around in the air and speeding. It’s really quite the day for her. The women head to Boqueria Market for what I thought was lunch, but given their attempts to order liquor in Spanish, I hope it was dinner. The food looks amazing and everyone is having a grand ole time. When the serious discussion portion of the meal comes, they’re all united over the fact that Kim was undoubtedly wrong for spreading around the nasty video her daughter made. They all want to know if Sheree is going to say something to her friend, and Sheree tries to weasel around it by saying, “I will let her know everything we’ve discussed,” but they basically force her commit to it. So it’s settled. Sheree will talk to Kim… (Recap continues on page 2)
Oh, wait, no it’s not! Marlo is sitting beside Porsha, and she starts asking Porsha if she’s going to say something to Kim to since they’re friends. Now, Sheree is already saying something, and Kim and Porsha aren’t that tight, so it’s really not her responsibility, but I also like Porsha’s explanation that she knows Kim and NeNe’s relationship: “They’ll cut each other down to the white meat, then two seconds later, they’re best friends. I’m not about to get in the middle of that.” That’s right, girl.
But Marlo is putting her in the middle of it. Marlo keeps yelling, “I ASKED A QUESTION, I ASKED A QUESTION,” even while NeNe is telling her to stop. So NeNe doesn’t even want Marlo to be sticking up for her in this way — that seems to be a recurring theme. Marlo ends up saying that there are certain things she didn’t like about Porsha’s home: “I felt your doormat should have been larger. I would never be a messy bitch and take a picture of it.” Porsha explains that Marlo is being a messy bitch by saying it right now, and that sometimes all of Marlo’s shade-throwing can be hurtful. NeNe speaks some truth, saying it’s unfortunate that people will talk trash about someone else’s hard-earned home: “Do you know what it takes to buy a $2 million house?” I truly do not!
Having a RHOA peach, I guess. So that might explain what Marlo is up to…
Suddenly, Porsha is getting emotional because her mom got her that itty-bitty doormat when she moved into her house and it’s sentimental to her. Now, obviously, this is not something she needs to cry about, but it’s sentimental to her, and they started drinking “cognac con Coca-Colas” about two hours ago. Eva speaks for all of us when she says, “I’m sorry…what is happening?” in her testimonial. Marlo speaks for absolutely none of us when she says, “You weren’t crying about that lie you told on Kandi. Kandi, I know what you went through.”
It’s not that Porsha should have been absolved of her sins against Kandi, necessarily — it’s that this literally makes no sense. Marlo just wants to be in a fight with Porsha, so she brings up the thing that’s easy to be in a fight with Porsha about even though it has nothing to do with her, and she was just jumping all over Kandi for being dry the night before. Porsha is trying to turn away from Marlo, but Marlo keeps coming for her, and finally Porsha whips around and says, “Bitch, let me tell you something,” and you can feel the energy shift through the screen. You can feel the Ghosts of Reunions Past coming out of Porsha’s ears.
“When you work for something really hard,” she says, “and you get something, and your family is proud of you,” but Marlo is just talking over her. This whole time, Porsha has been whipping around a folding fan, not so much at Marlo but definitely for dramatic effect. Suddenly, Marlo grabs at the fan, and it is an almost identical recreation of Porsha grabbing Kenya’s scepter however many season ago. Except this time, while Porsha hops up, she does not lunge at Marlo. The two are quickly separated and brought to different areas and informed by their friends that if they don’t simmer down, they will get their asses carted to Spanish prison. NeNe makes sure to grab their bottle of vodka on the way out though, don’t worry.
Everyone is steamed; Marlo and Porsha are each talking trash about the other to their respective parties. Porsha doesn’t understand why she can’t be forgiven when she knows all the “somewhat unforgivable” things Marlo did to NeNe, and they’re back to being friends again. But she doesn’t have to say those things out loud because NeNe told them to her in confidence…I wonder how long that will last?
Perhaps a while, because Porsha puts her confidence in NeNe as well. When everyone is back at Villa Victoria packing to go to the hotel, Porsha goes to NeNe’s room and breaks down, telling her thank you for inviting her on the trip, but she feels like she needs to leave. Porsha thinks NeNe will understand because she’s also been an angry person in her past, and she knows what it’s like to feel trapped and lash out, and Porsha doesn’t want to put herself in that situation. That’s very commendable. I can simultaneously think Porsha has a long way to go before she fully owns up to her own past actions, and also believe that she’s truly trying to grow.
That’s more or less what NeNe tells Porsha when Porsha starts crying, talking about how every time she thinks she’s made progress with one of these friendships, she gets slapped in the face by them reminding her of what she did to Kandi last year. “I feel like all of us are just waiting for you to say something like, ‘I f—ed up,'” and then everyone will move on, NeNe says. “I think everybody feels like she’s never going to say she f—ed up one time, and that makes all of them, when they get into a little battle with you, want to shoot you one more time.” It’s a solid insight from NeNe, one that’s hard for Porsha to accept, given that she feels like she’s apologized individually quite a bit.
Porsha still thinks the best thing for her to do is go home, and I’m left at the end of a RHOA episode feeling…thoughtful? It’s very confusing. Perhaps I should also take off all my makeup, put on a set of silk pajamas, and check myself into a luxurious hotel for some introspection. Or I could get ahold of 50Cynt’s bucket list and knock a few of those suckers out…
The Real Housewives of Atlanta