The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: No New Friends

While Kenya and Marlo become BFFs, Nene fight to maintain her HBIC status. Cynthia hosts a surprise party for Peter and Field Day for adults.
Ep. 16 | Aired Feb 23, 2014

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, BOUGHT THE T-SHIRT Nene might be getting a little too big for britches, and a little too honest for her t-shirt.

Bravo

Everyone continues to be wrong about everything on this week’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but at least this episode has an egg race! Just the other day I was watching an episode of True Detective and thinking, you know what…not enough field games incorporated into television these days. But leave it  to Cynthia and the Bailey Institute for Modelz and Also Exercise to always keep it fresh over on the Bravo network.

After last week’s Eyes Wide Shut for Charity speech meltdown, I was hoping for another segment of RECAPPIN' IN KITCHENS, but this week’s recounting of events was a little lackluster in comparison to the editing marvel that followed Pillow Talk. Nonetheless, the episode opens on Cynthia and Mal discussing what happened at Kenya’s masquerade ball while Nene and Gregg do the same at their house. Cynthia says she feels responsible for getting Nene to attend the party, but if she had known Nene “was going to come and give us Silence of the Lambs," she would have just let her be. I firmly believe that the Atlanta Housewives are under the impression they can get an IMDb sponsorship if they just keep mentioning enough random movies in each episode. My main question here: Is this just a joke about Nene not saying much in her speech, or did she actually consume a human at that party? Either seems plausible at this point.

Nene is still angry because she feels that Kenya was using her name to get people to her ball – Gregg briefly tries to note that the party was for charity – but she says she tried to put her game face on because everyone told her it would look bad if she didn’t show up. It’s just that no one could have possibly known her alter ego NayNay was actually going to attend and ultimately make her look worse. Nene’s split-personality confession is immediately followed by the Second Most Important Non-Housewife Action of this episode: Gregg responds, “Oh Lord, not [NayNay] – let me drink some toilet water on that one.” And then takes a sip of something (presumably toilet water) out of a GIANT toilet-shaped mug that he just happens to have handy. It has a little tank on the back and everything. It is grand.

Unfortunately, Nene does not currently share her husband’s love of whimsy and steers the conversation directly back toward hateful territory. I haven't really commented on the casual degradation of women and gay men that Nene has been throwing out all season, but it’s getting very old. There are a million terrible things that you could say about Peter, and half of them revolve around the way he treats women. So why Nene chooses to go with the feminizing-him-as-an-insult approach, I have no idea: “He’s acting like a bitch…women are the ones that gossip and tote messages and are hopping in each other’s face.” As a woman I would like to say: a. No; b. Cut it the hell out, and; c. In addition to longer life spans and the ability to create life within our very organs, one of the best things about being a woman is not having to claim that knucklehead in our gender. Get outta here with that, Nene.

Cynthia and Nene don’t shed much new light on what happened at the masquerade ball, so the producers throw to Kenya and Marlo. They’re going to lunch at what must be nine in the morning, because there is not another soul in the restaurant. The two have become fast friends since Nene brought Marlo on the vineyard trip, so after Kenya tells Marlo about Nene’s sullen behavior at her party, Marlo says she’ll try to talk to Nene and figure out how everybody can make up.

Now, even though Cynthia is mad at Peter, and Peter is mad at Nene, and Nene is mad at Kenya, Cynthia is throwing a surprise birthday party for Peter, at which both Nene and Kenya’s attendance has been specifically requested. The theme is “Jamaican” and two white dudes in polos and khakis show up to play the authentic Jamaican music – it’s delicious. While Cynthia is putting the finishing touches on the very elaborate surprise party she’s throwing for her husband, he calls to say he can’t make it to what he thinks is a birthday dinner with his wife. Why? “Because I’m tired.” But after Cynthia begs, Peter is able to conquer his drowsiness and come to his very fun-seeming surprise birthday party. Well, fun-seeming until everyone who hates each other shows up and decides to hash out their differences while standing around in cocktail attire: the Real Housewife Way.

Kenya gets Nene by herself and tries to discuss what happened at her party. When Nene tells her she felt “bullied” into going to the event, Kenya responds, “That’s a strong word, Nene.” There is no stronger word in the Real Housewives jargon than “bully” (OK, maybe “opportunist,” but that one is at least specific to Atlanta). Kenya won’t take all the blame for what happened, but she does apologize for her part in the miscommunication of what it means to make amends via a masquerade ball. Nene does not return the apology, but I think Kenya might be under the impression that she does.

NEXT: Make new friends, but keep the old; one is Kenya and the other's...probably about to freak the hell out

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