After a season of waiting, Kenya's mystery husband finally arrives on our screens
Credit: Bravo

Last week’s episode of RHOA might have contained Every Single Horrible Thing, and next week’s episode might be the Halloween episode, but it was this Sunday’s episode that stared with the mounting tension of a horror film. Between Kenya continuing to talk about how hard it is to please her question mark of a husband…Sheree casually spending a fortune to make her basement inhabitable for a man who has conned her into thinking he’s going to buy her an $8,000 stair-stepper from prison…and Nene’s, uh, soft-spoken son Brentt saying that he wants to get into stand-up comedy, I was at max reality TV stress levels by the time we finally got a reprieve via Kenya’s PSA about domestic violence. (Some phrases you never think you’ll say until The Real Housewives of Atlanta pushes you there.)

But before I spend an entire week’s worth of creative energy dwelling on the surprise appearance of Kenya’s husband and the much more surprising appearance of Kenya’s husband’s itty bitty nose ring, we must talk about what is happening in Sheree’s basement:

Sheree is stressed that the basement’s renovations are not yet finished, but as of this episode’s filming, it already looks like an upscale sports bar with no real character to speak of. But the happy hour goes ’til 9 and there’s plenty of space, so it’s a good place to go for, like, your university’s young alumni meet-up. I mean, Sheree could start a commune in this 5,000 square foot basement; add that on to the fact that she’s designing it entirely around a man who has convinced her that he’ll make all of her wildest dreams come true just as soon he wraps up this prison sting for fraud, and I’m pretty confident that Sheree is angling for her very own season 2 of Wild Wild Country.

Even more so than usual, it seemed like everyone was in desperate need of a reality check in Sunday’s episode. Brentt seems like a lovable teddy bear, and his relationship with is mom is very sweet and supportive, but hands down the most entertaining thing about NeNe’s son is the excessive amount of T’s in his name. I understand that he might want to get into the entertainment industry, but might I suggest cinematography…or sound editing…or being one of those rich kids who start a production company? Does it have to be the most difficult, performance-heavy entertainment career path? Really, the only person I would want to see perform stand-up in that family is Gregg, and that’s because he already kind of seems like Tyler Perry impersonating a bumbling old man in unconvincing prosthetics.

Thank goodness for Noelle, who’s just out here trying to become a dentist. That’s right girl — you get those degrees, you get that money! (And maybe next time, tell your mom not to roll into your dentistry internship waving a bunch of sugary drinks in front of your boss.) Additionally, thank goodness for Sheree’s daughter Kaleigh for this line: “Something’s not right…there’s a lot of fish in the sea, and you go for the jailbait?” Long live the daughters of RHOA and their shockingly pragmatic points of view.

Ultimately, I don’t know why the front half of this episode was so laden with stressfully unrealistic expectations, plus Porsha on some weird sweaty friend-date with Ricky Smiley, and Kandi and Todd trying to act like it was okay for NeNe to say the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Thing she said…Because the back half was actually quite sweet! (Recap continues on page 2)

Kenya pops back into the action after being MIA for three episodes, acting like the sudden appearance of her formerly camera-shy husband once she finally returns isn’t completely suspect. But, whatever, I’ll take it — I love sensationalized intrigue. (Seriously, watch Wild Wild Country!) Kenya is hosting a screening party at the remarkably barren Bailey Institute for Faces ‘n Thingz for the domestic violence PSA she filmed earlier this season, and she’s invited 10 survivors of domestic abuse from the community as honored guests. She’s gathered gowns for them to wear, and brought in hair and makeup for them, and they all look fabulous at the screening and really seem to be moved by the experience. This is a perfectly lovely thing that Kenya is doing with her platform…

That is absolutely impossible to focus on given that we know from the previews that her heretofore-unseen husband is going to show up at some point. All of the Housewives come to the screening and play nice even though there are such complicated dynamics as “was weirdly mean to me during hurricane relief in Houston” and “was fired from my girl group’s reunion tour because she made an awful comment about rape and a popular ride-sharing app” at play. Sheree asks Kenya if her husband Marc is there since this is such an important event for her. Kenya adds to the mounting list of her new marriage’s red flags by saying that he can’t book a plane ticket by himself — well, he can, because he didn’t meet her until six months ago, he just prefers that she do everything for him.

But then! Wouldn’t ya know it: While Kenya is introducing the PSA she’s so proud of, and thanking the people who support her, who should walk through the double doors but Mr. Kenya Moore himself, Marc Daly. Marc has notoriously wanted nothing to do with Kenya’s role on RHOA, which is to say, her job and the lynchpin of her life. But now, he’s apparently happy to come and surprise her while the cameras are running with no explanation about a change of heart. Kenya seems thrilled (if not entirely surprised), saying, “I think he wanted to make a grand entrance, and that he did.” A premiere for a project your wife is super proud of seems like an odd time for a husband to make a grand entrance, but that is certainly not the most important thing we need to talk about…

Now, I spent so long trying to figure out if Marc’s nose ring was just a fleck of perfectly placed glitter that I thought surely I would have to turn to The Blogs for answers. But no! I merely needed to wait for Sheree to meet the man, wherein she immediately asked him about his nose ring because she’s thinking of getting one herself giggle, giggle. This is the kind of shade I want Sheree throwing — that subtle shade that helps us find out that Marc has only had this nose ring two short years. Not that “hey, let me casually tell you this rumor I heard because the producers told me to” kind of shade. And certainly not the “I don’t know if he’s [Kenya’s] husband, but he’s real” kind of shade, because the validity-of-significant-others pool is not exactly one Sheree needs to be splashing around in right now.

Marc make his rounds with his wife, and lets Cynthia hug him a bunch of times, and talks about how proud he is of Kenya’s PSA. But he’s certainly uncomfortable; his arms are crossed, his sentences are short, and his smile never really meets his eyes. We get breaks in the fourth wall so rarely on this show that it’s always worth noting when we do. NeNe is saying something nice about Kenya and Marc in her testimonial when we hear a producer cut in: Do they appear to be truly in love? “Kenya appears to be truly in love,” NeNe replies. And with that, please drop your questions about Kenya’s mystery husband in the comments, ranked 1 – 1,000, with piercing-related inquiries in bold.

Episode Recaps

The Real Housewives of Atlanta
NeNe, Kandi, Cynthia, Phaedra, Kenya, and Claudia keep the ATL just peachy.
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