‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap: ‘Press Down and Strip Bare’

12.31.12 5 years ago

Last week, we saw Kenya and Walter end their tortured (and possibly fictitious) relationship in dramatic fashion, a tragic (or, depending on your perspective, richly deserved) car wreck to wrap up the gals’ trip to Anguilla. Or maybe we just thought we saw that, because apparently, it ain’t over ’til it’s over, and the fat lady has yet to sing. Oh, she’s gotten naked and flapped her flabby nether regions at a strip bar with many of her toothless friends, but we’ll get to that later. Anyway, no singing. 

We kick things off with the usual “Real Housewives” structure — many pointless, gossipy lunches. NeNe meets Kenya for drinks and small plates of pretty food to learn about this rare and possibly batcrap crazy creature. “Right now my impression of Kenya is this person is delusional,” NeNe says in the interview room, as calmly as if Kenya spotting dancing babies everywhere she looks simply qualifies her for a stint on “Ally McBeal” and not the nuthouse. 

Of course, the topic of Walter comes up, and Kenya starts prattling on about how his anger caused her to withdraw, which is an interesting way to describe leaping to one’s feet, putting a hand dramatically to one’s forehead, and stomping out of the room a la Scarlett O’Hara. But whatevs. NeNe wonders if Walter ever mentioned marriage, which Kenya insists he has. “Do I look like the boo boo fool?” she asks, and I now want to say this to someone in a casual conversation because I kind of love it. Anyway, Kenya claims Walter has asked for her ring size and pondered where they might send their kids to school. I think Kenya offered the information about her ring size, possibly trying to write it on his hand with a Sharpie while he wasn’t looking, and he might have stopped at a school crossing, which Kenya interpreted as Meaningful.

Anyway, NeNe thinks Walt’s just not that into Kenya, and Crazy Girl is looking at a world of hurt. I’m with NeNe on this one. Kenya can’t be this thick, can she? Unless, of course, it’s all fake and her angle is to sell a self-help book next year. Totally possible.

More silly, staged meetings! Kandi and Cynthia go to Porsha’s house for dessert and to marvel at how much money Porsha has. Oh, and to get concrete proof that the woman’s IQ is stuck in the double digits. Porsha can’t quite remember how many bedrooms are in her house (seven or eight, she thinks), and she’s sure she can produce twins if she eats yams. Some tribe does it all the time in Africa! I think I could probably convince Porsha I have a rich uncle who recently died in Nigeria and I need her to write me a check in exchange for an extra special promise that I would pay her back twofold as soon as she sent me all her banking information, so I’m thinking I need to get this woman’s e-mail, pronto. 

Kandi reveals that, because she’s not entirely stupid, she’s skeptical of the yam theory, but she too would like to have twins. Go, Kandi! 

Cynthia and Peter go shopping for ridiculously healthy food and get a text that a blog is claiming Phaedra and Apollo are getting divorced. Cynthia doesn’t know anything about their relationship, but she does know that Apollo goes to strip clubs all the time, so they probably are in trouble. Peter counters that strip clubs in Atlanta are like offices anywhere else. This, of course, becomes a conversation about how often Peter goes to strip clubs. He walked right into this, so he has no one to blame but himself.

Anyway, Peter says he goes to strip clubs once every six months or so, which probably means ever week. Cynthia doesn’t mind, as long as he doesn’t go frequently, which probably means ever. Peter thinks, because Apollo is a “young man,” he may feel trapped being married for six long years. “Maybe he just wanted to catch up on the ass game.” Cythia flutters her eyelashes and tries to act like she’s much cooler with this than she really is.

Of course, Peter realizes there are cameras running and he can get away with murder, so he suggests the four of them — Cynthia, Apollo, Phaedra and Peter — go to a strip club together. And he wants Cynthia to get a lap dance. Cynthia nods and smiles and pretends that this is just lovely, like having high tea at the Four Seasons and she won’t even worry about catching something from a sticky seat. That’s what Clorox wipes are for!

But listening to Cynthia gossip isn’t enough to make us believe there are cracks in the Phaedra/Apollo union. Thus, get to watch Phaedra bitch about Apollo to Kandi, Todd and her pastor, Pastor Pollard, who has dropped by Kandi’s house to bless it on Phaedra’s request. Apollo doesn’t put down the toilet seat! He doesn’t wash dishes! Marriage is hard! This is apparently a BIG revelation, as these are the same complaints every married woman has ever made, ever. So, clearly they’re getting divorced. Uh-huh. Right.

We also get to watch Phaedra and Apollo bicker during a meeting about their proposed exercise video with Kenya, which allows Kenya to act like the grown-up in the room and Phaedra and Apollo to play the role of the idiot couple in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch who know nothing about business or one another. 

Still, one couple that is far less stable than Apollo and Phaedra is Walter and Kenya, whom I didn’t think were still speaking to one another after Anguilla. But no, Kenya has to have a meeting with Walter to see where they’re at. Um, broken up? Over? Done? 

No, Kenya has to tell Walter she felt blindsided in Anguilla. He did, too! Wow, they have something in common! She felt he doesn’t understand her history of domestic abuse, and he doesn’t say anything to convincingly argue otherwise. But who cares if he understands her if he can give her a RING? Kenya is like Gollum about this, I swear. “I can’t be a girlfriend, I’m a wife,” she says, rubbing her hands together and muttering, “The Precious, the Precious,” under her breath. 

But Walter is not impressed. “Kenya, I love you, but the thing is, I can’t feel pressure to marry you.” So, Kenya continues to pressure Walter, who finally sputters, “Am I in love with you enough to marry you today? No.”

Kenya nods sadly and leaves the room. She feels deceived. Really? Well, at least it’s over, right? Right? Somebody, stick a fork in this relationship, please!

Next, we’re off with Cynthia, Peter, Apollo and Phaedra to the strip club. I have to believe this was the strip equivalent of open mic night, because it looks like every retired DMV employee over sixty has shown up to take off her clothes, spit out her dentures and shake it on the pole. Phaedra thinks it’s wonderful to see women of this age enjoying their nude bodies. Peter thinks he may never go to a strip club again. This is honestly the most disturbing thing I’ve seen on television since “American Horror Story.” 

Apollo, though, is in his element. He wants to talk about how he does’t live with time restraint. He doesn’t live with a sector of the time scale. Or something. Honestly, they’ve been doing shots and I have to believe he doesn’t realize he’s making absolutely no sense at all. “I think we’ve lost a sense of who we really are, deep down inside,” he says of Phaedra and himself. “I want to go back to the funny, jovial person I was.” There’s more talking, but really, the extremely scary women ripping off their clothes and waddling around in the background are too distracting. In any case, it was recently announced that Phaedra is pregnant with another kid, so I’m guessing the marriage is just dandy and this is, yes, another attempt by the show to stir us up.

Finally, the gang connects at Cynthia and Peter’s Bar One, and two notable things happen. One, Walter shows up and ignores Kenya for ten minutes to go say hello to the guys, which so offends Kenya she stomps for the exit. Two, Apollo talks to Peter about doing hard time, then walks over to Phaedra to wrap his tongue around her face and tell everyone they do it like porn stars. Boy, I hope they save this episode for Ayden to watch when he’s older! The fact that even Kandi is grossed out by their display is saying something — it’s really that gross. 

Porsha makes one last attempt to make up/pick a fight with Kenya, who simply tells her she doesn’t want to be friends but she can be polite and PLEASE get out of the way, as she’s ruining her Scarlett O’Hara exit. Kordell is incensed, Cynthia feels terrible for Porsha, and I think Porsha better find another way to make herself relevant on this show, because bickering with Kenya isn’t going to cut it anymore. 

Despite Kenya’s grand exit being ruined, we have to believe Kenya and Walter are over, right? RIGHT? No, there’s more bickering between the two of them next week. This may be the longest goodbye that never was, but I’m thinking if someone has a wrinkled dollar bill there are some fat ladies we could get to sing at a particular Atlanta strip club, and it just may come to that. 

Do you think Phaedra and Apollo were really in trouble? Do you think Walter misled Kenya or was she just clueless? And do you think Porsha will be back next season? 

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