A Tenuous Truce
Old frenemies make up as a battle brews in the Bronx.
Last Week's Leftovers
NeNe and Cynthia didn't finish hashing it all out last week, so they're back to pick up where they left off. NeNe breaks down in tears and leaves the room for a melodramatic moment. It apparently all traces back to NeNe calling Cynthia's man a bitch. Cynthia expressed her beef to the public, rather than confronting NeNe privately: thus the gap was wedged. Cynthia, for her part, is at a loss for words in the face of this confrontation, despite all of last week's bravado. The other ladies -- still assembled from the grand airing of the grievances -- decide to give these two the room. There's a lot of tissue-dabbing and past-bemoaning. Eventually, the former friends, who previously vowed to never reunite, end up hugging it out. Nothing is truly resolved (nor was it for Kenya and Phaedra, or for Kenya and Porsha last week). But the script said it's time for them to move on, so move on they do. This temporary truce is significant because it rearranges the board a bit in ways that we'll surely see later.
Kandi folds linens, and then FaceTimes with a traveling Todd. They agree to meet up in his hometown, New York City. Kandi wears a Beadazzled "Mrs. Tucker" baby-T throughout. Nothin' else to see here, folks. This scene did not need to exist. (Nice lippy, though, Kandi.)
Phaedra Gets Her Esquire On
Perhaps former viral star Antoine Dodson is a client of Phaedra's? That would explain her near-constant usage of his catchphrases during this vignette. She wants everyone to know that she's not letting all of her home-life craziness affect her business acumen, so run tell dat! She takes a meeting with hair stylist Derek J., who's been accused of stealing a salon customer's weave and swapping it with inferior strands of even faker fake hair. (Sidebar: I don't pretend to understand the world o' weaves. Like, what could possibly be the advantage of doing something like that? Is there a lucrative weave black market that I don't know about?) Phaedra bursts out with "Hide your daughters, hide your weaves, hide your wigs!," and then agrees to take the case to clear Derek's name. We close this scene with her advising him on appropriate courtroom attire: the stylist and Fashion Queens co-host will have to keep his women's jeans, lip gloss, and stilettos in the closet. "We will be giving them all testosterone that day," Phaedra instructs.
The wives fill their spouses in on the results of their big pow-wow. NeNe frets that she's still plagued by trust issues, as a nodding Gregg sips tea from a toilet-shaped mug while wearing a silk shirt that resembles a Cheesecake Factory mural. Meanwhile, Peter is far more vocal when he hears Cynthia recount her story. "I think we made up!" she enthuses. He shoots down her emerging glee with (accurate) insults about her behaving like a twelve-year-old, adding, "Your process is so crazy." He worries that his wife will end up looking like a punk for so quickly back-peddling then jumping back on the NeNe bandwagon when nothing has been well and truly sorted out. Agreeing with Peter on anything is not a good look. And yet, here I am.
Around the Way Girl
Kandi's touched down in New York, and Todd's escorting her on a Bronx-bound subway ride. When they arrive at his old stomping grounds, they trade barbs about being (gasp!) bougie, then attempt to up their "hood" status by eating pizza slices and shopping for Timberlands and fitteds. All of this is actually pretty cute and endearing. In fact, Todd should produce a show where the pair travel from city to city having locally-specific shopping sprees. If only their relationship always came across this way, they'd be the lone likable couple on this show (and reality shows, in general). Alas...
Cynthia's buddy Kithe Brewster invites her to walk in his New York Fashion Week runway show. I mean...his first Google Image shows him posing with Beyonc, so I guess he's legit (provided that's not just Photoshop). Still, the dress he intends for Cynthia to wear looks pretty pedestrian, and he's quite a bit too low-profile to be throwing the kind of full-throttle shade he's throwing at her curvy figure. Now, she's all insecure about her butt, waist and walk, too. Come on, Cynthia; let's be real. He's no Karl and you knew what you were working with before you got there.
"This Case Ain't Nothin' But a Thang"
Phaedra hits up Derek's shop to assess the scene of the alleged crime. Oh, she's apparently also there to set up a softball pitch, allowing Derek to score a home-run burn about Cynthia's cheap store-bought wigs. Poor girl can't catch a break. The two tour the wash sinks, fumble around with Phaedra's cell phone in an effort to videotape some evidence and, just generally clown around. This could be a show in and of itself. Like a cross between Law & Order, Scooby-Doo Mysteries and some ratchet homemade YouTube series that's legitimately terrible, yet wildly popular.
Husbands With Hatchets
Peter and Cynthia, Kandi and Todd all meet up in a New York restaurant for dinner, only to have both men bring up their major issues with their conniving mothers-in-law. Both women side-eye these complaints, as they're nothing new. The biggest Easter egg here is the none-too-sly camera pan-down revealing that Todd -- married now for five months, as is explicitly pointed out -- is not wearing a wedding ring. Maybe he's waiting to see how all this mama drama shakes out.
Hey, The Other Ones Still Exist!
It's Claudia and Kenya! Don't forget about them! They still have cleavage and make loud, inappropriate sexual double entendres in social settings. This time, they're enrolled in a cooking class where they're serving up juicy peaches. As NeNe correctly called it in a previous episode, "The thirst is real, honey."
After saying her prayers, Cynthia hits the runway looking as "meh" as the clothes she's modeling. Seriously, these dresses aren't even as elevated as some of the looks produced by the Project Runway: Threads kids. It's so preposterous how, every season, they trot Cynthia out for one "major" event wherein it's implied that the outcome of this one thing could make or break her already-dormant career. In the end, she deems it a success and is beside herself with pride. But if her husband, her ex, and two other housewives are the only front row VIPs, how important could this fashion show have been?
Threats Fly Over Fried Fish
Kandi and Todd take his mom out for a fish dinner and an ill-advised number of margaritas. Mom's turned all the way up because Kandi's mother Joyce has widely labeled her a prostitute and won't retract her statement. Todd reasonably argues that Kandi has to confront the issue so that it doesn't build up. This is his tack with all things Joyce and, as usual, Kandi shakes it off. But Todd's mom cares not for shoulder shrugs. She's a woman of action. To hear her tell it, those actions will surely include punching Kandi's mom in the mouth and filing suit, in no determined order. This septuagenerian is not the one to be played with. Though I am not a proponent of old ladies brawling, I would like to see Joyce get her comeuppance. Maybe a nice rap battle, or something? That's good and Bronx-y, right? Old ladies rapping is always a crowd-pleaser.
NeNe and Cynthia are the new NeNe and Kim, which should keep folks on their toes. Phaedra's found some entertaining busywork. And there's a new feisty AARP member on the scene to lend some balance to Joyce's reign of terror. Things are shaping up a bit more.