We’re hitting the homestretch of the longest season yet of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” And fatigue is clearly finally settling in – for viewers and at least two of the original participants.
And this, the 17th episode of season four, is clearly a transitional one. There is only one notable confrontation and no gatherings involving more than two “Housewives” at any one time.
So this will be a short but sweet recap, which is good for me because I’m also writing a recap of the second season finale of “The Walking Dead,” which aired at the same time.
- Cynthia Bailey is fed up with her sister Malorie’s disapproval of her year-old marriage with Peter Thomas. The anniversary party airing last week was the last straw. Bailey showed some surprising backbone awaiting an apology from her sister and standing her ground. “I was completely embarrassed for myself and you and for our whole family,” Cynthia said. Mal, chagrined, apologized for her behavior but not her feelings toward Peter. But Mal was going back to France anyway and said she’s going to focus on her own life. “She’s not acting like a sister,” Cynthia later said. “She’s acting like a hater.”
- NeNe Leakes meets with Randy Kessler, her divorce attorney. She and Gregg had now been separated for more than a year and all she has to do is say yes and the judge will give her the divorce. Gregg doesn’t want a divorce but he is accepting it. Now NeNe is having second thoughts. She goes to a therapist in a building two floors below my wife’s office. (Yes, she got excited when she saw the building.) This was the first time NeNe had ever talked with a therapist. They discuss what NeNe wants and why she’s resisting making the move. She said she still wants to be friends with Gregg but clearly, he still wants a marriage. “You want your cake and eat it, too,” the therapist said. SPOILER: This was taped six months ago. Word is she did reconcile with Gregg.
- Sheree Whitfield meets with her 26-year-old daughter Tierra, who is doing well and is thinking her boyfriend of seven years Damon is about to ask her for her hand in marriage. Sheree is annoyed that Damon hasn’t come to her about this so she meets him. He said he has already talked to Sheree’s ex-husband Bob Whitfield. Sheree is again annoyed but convinces Damon to go ring shopping with her.
- Phaedra Parks attends a talk that her husband Apollo does about his life before the Mason Lodge. He is nervous but does well. Phaedra thinks he’ll make a great funeral director – and is sexy, too, uttering her signature “mm…mmm!” Later, she holds a one-year party for her son Ayden at a water park in Gainesville, busing friends up two hours. The only “housewife” who bothers to show up is Sheree and Sheree is annoyed. And past recurring character Dwight Eubanks shows up for a cameo for the first time this season as a party planner for Phaedra’s party.
- Kim Zolciak and Kandi Burruss kiss and make up after the “black baby”/”orphanage” argument that dominated the past two episodes. Kandi denied ever saying that and Kim accepted her defense. Kim still isn’t happy with Cynthia for saying it. She apparently is over the fact Kandi didn’t think Kim would even go to South Africa (though Kandi’s reasons were not racial but more her perception of Kim’s attitude about comfort and wanting to avoid NeNe.)
- Kandi travels to Nashville to record her song “Money Don’t Grow on Trees” with Jo Dee Messina. They showcase the song at the legendary Bluebird Cafe. It sounds like a decent tune. Kandi is uncomfortable but thrilled to get the opportunity to enter the Nashville songwriting scene.
-Marlo Hampton, the woman who is not a “Housewife” but sure wanted to be, pops up for a moment to apologize to Miss Lawrence for using the ant-gay f-word slur in South Africa and lying about not saying it in front of him and Sheree last week. She then said she’ll only say it to people she hates. He suggested she just not use the word period. Duh. Then she had to leave because Neiman’s was keeping the store open for her to shop late. Yup. That’s Miss Materialistic for ya!
“I think my sister lives in the past. I don’t know what her issue is at this point with my marriage.” – Cynthia Bailey, fed up with her sister Malorie’s negative attitude toward Peter.
“It’s bad enough having to worry about what a true friend is saying. Then a crazy b**** like Cynthia is saying racist s*** about me.” – Kim, referring to Cynthia saying she couldn’t see Kim holding an African baby in an orphanage.
“I don’t know what’s holding me back. I haven’t healed enough yet. They can put the pen in my hand but I don’ t know if I can sign on the line.” - NeNe, sincerely pondering why she can’t divorce Gregg.
“My son is a prince. He’s Atlanta royalty. Money is no object when it comes to Ayden.” – Phaedra, on her son, who got not just one, but 12 birthday cakes for his first birthday.
“It’s hot as hell. Dwight’s in full makeup and a suit. Phaedra brought him up from the dead.” – Sheree, when she saw Dwight at Phaedra’s party for the first time in ages.
Phaedra baptizes Ayden. Sheree shops with her daughter’s boyfriend for an engagement ring that is probably well outside his price range since Sheree has standards. Kim welcomes Kroy home from training camp. Cynthia gets into it with Kim about the “African baby” comment.
Last week, for episode 16, “Real Housewives of Atlanta’ ratings dropped to a season low 2.3 million viewers. Ratings have been generally downhill in recent weeks. A year ago, the 16th episode was the season finale so the show drew a whopping 4.38 million. That’s a whopping 48 percent drop over year. I ran into Phaedra recently and she said the show just taped the reunion at the Biltmore on March 16.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk