The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: Big Stuff Poppin', Little Stuff Droppin'

Peter and Mal hate each other, and it's mostly Cynthia's fault; Marlo flat-out lies about dropping an F-bomb in Africa
Ep. 16 | Aired Mar 11, 2012

MAL-IFICENT Everyone around Cynthia is at each other's throats. Who's the real cause of all the friction? (See above).

Quantrell Colbert/Bravo

First of all, I'd like to apologize for not being Karen Valby — both in terms of Housewives recapping and in life. She's busy covering the SXSW Festival and will return shortly. In the meantime I'll try my best to document the goings on of the Atlanta ladies with all the care and attention they deserve.

Kim opened tonight's episode with an especially guttural "SWEEEEEETIEEEEE!" Kim and her evil mouse king of a father were busy pushing boxes around the house so Kroy can put them back when he returns. She expended way more energy fuming about lazy Sweetie than actually hauling her own delicates. Sweetie, meanwhile, was sneaking to the back yard to smoke cigarettes, which she probably learned from Kim in the first place.

One of last season's big conflicts was Nene's accusation that Kim treated Sweetie like a slave — and some of the things Kim was shouting at Sweetie could sound really bad if taken out of context. For instance: "Sweetie! It does not take 45 minutes to get to the Master to drop off the jewelry box." Or something Papa Zolciak said: "That's your girl, not mine." Yeesh. Sweetie threatened to call Clark Howard, whom she believed to be some sort of investigative journalist who exposes bad working conditions. (Being from Atlanta myself, I know he's actually a super-nerdy radio personality my dad used to call for advice on cheap airline tickets... until he discovered Orbitz). Later, Kim confessed her doubts about Sweetie to Niki, yet another one of her employees. I'm floored that Kim's hair/wig stylist doesn't appear to be a borderline drag queen, although who knows, she could be. Even with Sweetie's many, many transgressions as an employee — including telling Brielle to "f--- off" — Kim lamented that "you can't buy loyalty." Actually you can, and it's called a confidentiality agreement.

Next we moved on, blessedly, to Phaedra on her first day of embalming class. Apparently you're required to embalm at least 10 bodies before you can call yourself a mortician. Seriously, Bravo hit the jackpot with this woman. I would watch her pumice her heels; that we get to watch her play with a fake dead body is just gravy. Her kindly embalming tutor started her off with a rubber dummy. Phaedra seemed the slightest bit skeeved out about sawing into her dummy (named Annabel) to drain the blood out of her arteries, but she got elbows deep into applying makeup on the dummy's face. “The face is a little different because of the stiffness," said Phaedra, "but at the end of the day, it’s still a canvas, and I will paint it.” She should try practicing on Kim — something tells me her face is a little stiff, too. Afterwards Phaedra had to stitch Annabel back up with a surprisingly sturdy cord that could have come from Marlo's weave, and all done! As batshit as Phaedra's interest in death might seem, I do believe it's genuine. "Dying is as much a part of life as being born," she wisely noted. The paradox just blew my mind.

NEXT: Greg lays down the law


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