Recap: ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ – ‘Make It Rain Down in Africa’

Part of me is thrilled that the ladies are on a trip that will take them on a safari, because I have my fingers crossed that Marlo will be run over by a wild rhino or maybe eaten by a rampaging lion. Really, I don’t care how she expires, as I would just like Marlo to be silenced in a permanent way. Does that seem harsh? You’d only think that before you’ve seen this episode of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Afterwards, you might want to start a Kickstarter drive to hire an assassin. Maybe she’s just playing up her hatefulness in the hopes it will get her a permanent gig on the show, but I think Sheree or maybe Cynthia might kill her before she can sign a contract. 

In case anyone had forgotten the Marlo-Sheree battle royale from last week, it continues into this week. But even though we’re given the impression that there will be new insults tossed around, basically these are just clips of what we’ve seen before (a good way to up the dramatic factor for not one but two episodes). After we get this cheap rehash, we move on to the women finally going out to their respective dinners.

Sheree, Phaedra and Kandi head off to Kevin’s house. Phaedra loves Kevin, because he’s a sassafras. I think this is Phaedra’s way of saying Kevin is gay. In any case, Kevin puts on a pretty good party. A skinny guy dances with fire in the backyard, which seems to spew sparks in a lot of dangerous directions. Still, the house doesn’t seem to catch on fire, so a good time is had by all. Sheree notes that there are a lot of good looking people in South Africa, which seems like a big assumption, as it’s more accurate to say Kevin has lots of good looking friends. One of those good looking friends is Vince from Botswana, who wants to be a music producer. Kevin suggests he hold hands with Kandi, who is an actual musician and an actual songwriter. Vince loved Xscape! Sparks might fly!

Kevin encourages Vince to ask Kandi sex questions, as she has a talk show covering the topic. But then, Kandi has to ruin everything by asking Vince questions. He models… and bartends. But he’s a natural actor! Not for money, but because he loves to act! Kandi stops just short of rolling her eyes. She is so not impressed. There will not be love beneath the stars tonight. 

The other girls settle in for a boring dinner at Nobu. No fire dancing there! When Marlo gets up to go to the restroom, Cynthia and NeNe talk about her crazy fight with Sheree. Cynthia thinks that Marlo may just need to spend time getting to know the other girls so that there won’t be any more lunatic behavior. Yes, that’s it. Marlo just needs to bond with Sheree! That will cure everything! When Marlo sits down at the table, NeNe tells her not to go below the belt in dealing with the other women. Sheree says she won’t — but Sheree better not get in her way. Sigh. This means Marlo will continue being Marlo. 

After everyone has their respective dinners, it’s agreed that the Smalls and the Talls will reconnect at a nightclub. For Marlo, this is an opportunity to toss money in the air, an attempt to make Sheree insane. Of course, this doesn’t make Phaedra or Kandi insane, as they just scoop up the money off the floor and point out that Marlo is acting like a dumb guy at a strip club. 

Finally, it’s time to head back to the apartments. The Smalls talk about what a fun evening they had with Kevin, which inspires Marlo to say SHE would have had fun if SHE’D been able to go. Marlo also needs to bring up the point she didn’t have an affair with an 80-year-old man. He was 60. Well, that is SO much better! Marlo is still a pricey prostitute, but a prostitute with age limits! 

The next morning, the girls pack up and head off to Shamwari Game Reserve, which is pretty luxurious. Yes, the building was built in 1930 but it’s been retrofitted. They have a gym AND a spa, but Marlo wants hair and make-up. For a safari? Phaedra clearly thinks Marlo is insane, but Marlo insists on hair and make-up. Where is that wild rhino to run over Marlo? C’mon, it’s a game reserve! 

The girls take a look at the available rooms. Marlo wants the largest closet space, because as the person who WASN’T INVITED on the trip, it’s her place to make demands. NeNe and Marlo suggest that Phaedra is the Southern belle, so she’d be best off in the old fashioned room which has little closet space and is also upstairs. Phaedra may be a Southern belle, but only in that she isn’t insisting on having the room she wants in an obnoxious way. You know, that whole being polite/not a big baby thing. The girls decide to pick numbers to determine who gets stuck with the old fashioned rooms — and much to everyone else’s delight, Marlo and NeNe get stuck with them. Marlo screams as if she’s been skinned alive. She won’t have enough CLOSET SPACE! For all her DESIGNER SHOES AND BAGS! 

The next morning, Cynthia arrives for breakfast on time — by herself. No one else shows up for twenty minutes, but finally the Smalls make it. Remarkably, Cynthia and the Smalls all seem to get along famously, and Cynthia even makes a point about how she didn’t want to bring a pile of designer clothing with her on the safari — she thinks it’s tacky to be a label slave and shows a lack of creativity. So what happens when Marlo and NeNe waddle downstairs? Marlo has to let everyone know that NeNe is wearing a LOUIS VUITTON cape. In case they don’t know the brand. If Cynthia could lunge across the table and smash Marlo’s face into her breakfast yogurt, she would. Um, Cynthia is a model who’s actually appeared on magazine covers, Marlo. She didn’t have to screw a withered old man for money. Unfortunately, she does that for free, but we’re not talking about Peter right now. 

After breakfast, it’s off to the Jeep for a look at the wild animals. Marlo seriously asks if someone could CARRY her to the Jeep, because her ridiculously high designer heels are sinking into the soil. Luckily, no one is going to carry Marlo’s fat ass anywhere. The women split up into two groups (Smalls and Talls, of course), as there are two Jeeps. Poor Cynthia will be with the Talls. And she will regret is immensely. 

The ladies see giraffes, elephants, rhinos, zebras and various other things. The Smalls are appropriately wowed. Marlo, however, wishes there was cement for the Jeep to drive over, because the ride is too rough. And it’s messing up her hair! Cynthia clearly wants to smear animal poop in Marlo’s hair, but she’s outnumbered. NeNe isn’t much better, eating chips and talking about how she doesn’t like animals. I think their Jeep driver would probably give Cynthia back-up in the poop smearing, honestly. He stops, jumps out, and shoves a big tortoise into the van, which serves the purpose of making NeNe and Marlo scream. Which is still better than listening to them endlessly complain. 

Meanwhile, the Smalls learn things. Elephant poop cures headaches, for example. I’m not sure this is a valuable factoid, but at least the girls are open to ideas. 

Back in the Talls’ Jeep, Marlo looks at a herd of zebras and feels so bad about her zebra rug. But it looks so pretty! Cynthia suggests she needs to get rid of it. Marlo pretends Cynthia hasn’t spoken. Her solution? She wants a photo of the living zebras so she can put it next to her rug. That’s a WONDERFUL idea! 

Finally, it’s time to stop being childish, spoiled divas (okay, that only applies to two of them, really) and let Phaedra arrange a trip to an orphanage. But Marlo wants to go to the shops first. It’s only when she seems to realize that the nearest shop is basically a place that sells bologna and tampons that she explains she doesn’t want to show up at the orphanage empty handed. Riiiiight. I think Marlo assumed there was a Louis Vuitton shop in the middle of the country somewhere.

But before they get to the orphanage, they pass by a school. Adorable children dance for the ladies, and Sheree asks them what they need. Chicken bologna, of course! The women storm the local store like it was an end of season sale at Barneys. Chakala? Kids like it? Put it in the cart! Toilet paper? Put it in the cart!

But wait, Marlo wants to SHOP. She thinks the girls need perm kits. Kandi tries to suggest that this may not be a great idea, as they probably won’t be able to keep up the maintenance. But Marlo thinks they NEED perms. Food, toilet paper, who cares? Not if you haven’t fixed your nappy hair! 

Finally, it’s time to check out. Marlo spends $342. NeNe, who is reliably cheap, spends $306. Kandi? She spends $558. So, I guess if you bang a billionaire for your money, you like to hang on to it. 

Next stop, the orphanage. There are 60 kids there, some of whom have HIV and others who have been rescued from abusive families. All of the girls pick up kids for cuddles, and Marlo seems momentarily human. It’s all very heartwarming, though it seems like Phaedra is the only one who truly understands how dire the situation is for these kids. She and the other girls can drop off supplies, but no matter how much they spend it won’t make a difference for long. 

Phaedra wipes away tears. And I suspect Marlo probably swiped some of the chicken bologna for herself. 

Do you think Marlo is acting up for the cameras? Do you think the Smalls and the Talls will keep the piece? Were you disappointed that Kandi didn’t find a love connection?