Recap: ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ – ‘No Bones About It’

Remember last week, when our refined, cultured ladies took a trip to an orphanage and felt humbled and grateful to have such bounty in their lives? And how they then vowed to behave themselves after they left Africa, as they had now seen the big picture and realized their quibbles were nothing more than petty and ridiculous? Remember that? Yeah, don’t bother, because that vow lasted a shorter length of time than most New Year’s resolutions or Kardashian marriages. Heck, Marlo couldn’t even dwell on her blessings long enough to get past dinner, because she was simply too incensed that her shrimp was RAW. “Waiter! Get me properly cooked shrimp so that I might be able to feel gratitude for my privileged life! Pronto!”

Luckily, there are no battles to be had for a little while, as the next day the girls head to a museum in Port Elizabeth. There they meet with a sangoma, otherwise known as a medicine man. He sniffs that he doesn’t let women touch his medicine, which might be at least part of the reason why NeNe announces to the group that his medicine smells like pee. 

Stinky or not, he is going to read bones, which are for some reason shells and not bones (though this is a great relief to Phaedra, who wants her bones to be properly processed at a mortuary, it seems), to tell the ladies’ fortunes. He informs Kandi she’s going to marry the man she’s living with, even though she isn’t living with anyone and the last guy she lived with is dead. This does not phase the medicine man, as this simply means his ghost is hanging out with her. Uh-huh. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in anything Mr. Bone Throwing, Pee Smelling Guy says. But he continues. Marlo must find love and get married, as she hasn’t found a real man yet. But Sheree will never get married again because she’s old. NeNe LOVES this. Her turn! She thinks the sangoma is THE BOMB. He declares that her husband is a good man, but she’s not supposed to stay with him if she’s not happy. NeNe agrees with this genius medicine man. He understands her AND he thinks Sheree is an old bag! He’s brilliant! Oh, and Cynthia is not happy in her marriage, which we already knew. Personally, I think the sangoma is just hoping to make some time with Cynthia, and honestly, he’s probably a better match for her than Peter in any case. 

After this semi-educational outing, Marlo and NeNe invite the other girls to their room. In theory, it’s a chance for everyone to have fun and cut loose, but really Marlo wants everyone to see her designer crap, which is arranged around the room like it’s a boutique. If we had any doubts that Marlo is batcrap crazy, this should place her firmly in wacka-wacka territory. Sane people do not artistically display their designer shoes on every flat surface in their hotel room so that their friends can ooh and aah over their collection of Birkin bags and Louboutins. That’s just plain weird. 

More significantly, Marlo has brought 29 pairs of shoes on a 10 day vacation. Sheree thinks this is downright tacky, as Marlo is surrounded by people who don’t make enough money to eat every day, much less buy designer clothes. Maybe if she was giving shoes away, then it might make sense. But don’t come between Marlo and her designer crap! Those starving kids can go teethe on sticks and drink sand before she’ll let them touch her stuff!

Anyway, once everyone has awkwardly complimented Marlo on her tacky collection of crap, it’s time to have fun. And fun is reviewing favorite sex positions. Marlo happily demonstrates her favorites. So this is how you please a 60-year-old man! 

Cynthia has to point out that they’re all getting along fabulously, which is pretty much asking for trouble. Kandi tries to compliment Marlo, I think, by saying she used to think Marlo was just a label whore. Kandi never gets to the “but now I see you’re so much better than that” part, as NeNe sees nothing wrong with being a label whore! Marlo is just a great admirer of fashion! 

Kandi, of course, thinks it’s ironic that NeNe always criticized Kim for being a label whore. But that’s different! Kim is superficial! Marlo isn’t! Marlo loves FASHION! Marlo agrees heartily with this. She bleeds Louis Vuitton! She was a STYLIST. For someone just as tacky and clueless about fashion as she is, I guess. Somehow this doesn’t become a weave-pulling blow out and the Smalls and Cynthia happily head back to their own rooms. But wait! Marlo wants the girls to clean up after themselves! They’re such horrible guests! I’m wishing someone would have winged one of those very expensive shoes at Marlo’s head on the way out, but no such luck. 

But something even better happens the next morning! NeNe discovers that Marlo is sick. She’s been throwing up and has had diarrhea and she is sick with a capital S. Not that she’s going to see any African doctor about her bug. Only American doctors for Marlo! NeNe decides to stay by Marlo’s side and let Cynthia and the Smalls head out on the safari for the morning, then reconnect with them at lunchtime. Everyone seems more than happy with this option, except maybe Marlo, who quickly discovers that NeNe is so germ averse she won’t touch Marlo without wearing latex gloves. 

And so, the Smalls and one Tall go on safari. In a sense, everything seems to go swimmingly. Cynthia and Kandi bond over the fact Marlo is, yes, a label whore and thinks she’s rich when she’s really not. Then, everyone bonds over the fact Kim would never have come on a trip to Africa, baby or no baby. It’s all fun and games, at least until NeNe shows up for lunch, teetering like a spastic ostrich on her high heels as she approaches the table, bitching all the while about bugs and birds and, like, nature. 

I’m not sure if Kandi is a little stupid or just too willing to follow instructions from the show producers, but she has to start talking about Marlo. NeNe is not okay with this. She’s a good judge of character! Marlo is GREAT. And who agrees with everything NeNe says? Cynthia! She thinks Marlo’s obsession with labels is WONDERFUL. Phaedra is realizing Cynthia is two-faced. I’m wondering what took her so long. 

NeNe then declares that she thinks she’s the boss of the group. Kandi suggests she’s the boss of the Talls, maybe. That’s fine with NeNe — but she thinks Kim is the boss of the Smalls. Sheree, Phaedra and Kandi certainly do NOT think Kim is their boss! Harrumph!

So, after the safari, what do the Smalls do? Call their boss, I mean Kim, of course! Shortly after “how are things” and “glad the baby slept through the night,” Sheree throws Kandi under the bus and tattles to Kim that Kandi doesn’t think she’d ever go to an orphanage in Africa. Kim is offended, and Kandi is hurt that Sheree is tattling to Kim right in front of her. Phaedra just wishes everyone would get alone. Oh, Phaedra. She had such high hopes for this trip, and I think she might have been better off taking a vacation in Palm Springs by herself. 

Bickering is on hold for a little while, because that night it’s time for the barbecue bon! The women are invited to put on traditional garb and have their faces painted, so in theory they should all be basking in the magic that is Africa. But no! Kandi has to deal with the elephant in the middle of the room. She wants to find out if Cynthia thought Sheree threw her under the bus. Cynthia takes Kandi’s side, probably because Kandi is sitting next to her. But this isn’t what’s interesting to NeNe. NeNe notes that the women called Kim. They had to report back to their boss! Sheree can’t believe Kandi is so dim as to have brought up this issue in front of the Talls, but there you have it.  

Then, the conversation goes back to, yes, Marlo and her stupid designer labels. Kandi wants to bicker about this, too. Remember when Kandi seemed like the lone voice of reason on this show? Ah, those were the days! Now Marlo wants to know verbatim what she’s said to indicate she’s a label whore to Kandi! Kandi notes everyone has seen it. The problem is, no one is interested in backing up Kandi on this point, because no one want the convicted felon to start jabbing fingers, even if she’s been puking into a wastebasket all day. Kandi points out that Cynthia has mentioned Marlo’s label whorin, too. Kandi insists she isn’t hating on Marlo, but thinks she’s obnoxious in bragging about her labels. Marlo doesn’t care! She’s going to talk about her labels as much as she wants to! 

Eventually, the fight peters out, possibly because Marlo doesn’t have the energy to keep screaming what with all the diarrhea and puking, so the girls have no other choice but to eat in silence. Actually, I would think this would be one of their most pleasant meals together, but no one seems happy. Maybe Marlo can go find some designer shoes to plop in the center of the table to brighten everyone’s mood. Or not.

Next week, the girls fly back to the States and Kim joins in with the screaming! I’m starting to feel a bit like Phaedra about this non-stop bickerfest — Marlo is insane, NeNe is delusional, Cynthia is two-faced, Sheree is a tattle tale and Kandi is stirring things up for no good reason. Well, at least they all deserve one another.

Do you think Sheree threw Kandi under the bus? Do you think Marlo is misunderstood? And is Cynthia two-faced?