It Is What It Is
Thanks to Phaedra and Kandi, there's a soupcon of reality here; go figure.
This Is Working
"I have some ideas, so let's have a meeting." Pop quiz! Is that a quote from producer extraordinaire Roger Bobb fielding a work call? Or is it a first grader play-acting at what a "businessman" sounds like? If you answered the former, that's pitiful…because you're right. Still, Kenya's hard-pressed to work with this guy. She pitches him every sitcom pilot idea under the sun and scrawls her celebrity "get" list on a white board. Eddie Murphy and Meagan Good, start filing those restraining orders sooner than later. The first show idea Kenya, the self-proclaimed "title guru," offers up is "Three Brown Girls," a show about a trio of sisters whose last name is Brown. (Kenya, you're no Liz and this is no "PubLIZity.") Of course, it's only fitting that the pair ends their meeting of the minds with a canned "your lawyer/my lawyer" sign-off.
Phaedra and Apollo have both retreated to their separate corners to figure out their next steps. She's visiting a friend who happens to be a therapist and hoping to get advice on prepping her kids for daddy's "adult time-out." But she's also clearly aiming to drum up pity from which ever corner of Atlanta has any left to spare. The friend recommends she take the boys to visit their dad in prison because they're still too young to have any concept of what the institution is; they only know it's the place where they'll get the chance to see their father. Sounds reasonable enough in the abstract. His advice falls on deaf ears, though, as Phaedra's not down to "meander around prisons when I'm not paid to do so." I'm not mad at that brand of logic either.
Meanwhile, Apollo visits his divorce attorney, who rather greasily advises taking an offensive stance should she file for divorce. His recommended argument? "She knew you were an ex-con when she married you. What did she expect?" Pretty grimy, but again, reasonable enough. Everybody's making points that make some degree of sense. If only they could all get in a room together and make them when it counts (preferably off-camera, but that thinking's way too wishful).
Double Haterade On the Rocks
Big mouths, big boobs, and shrimp & grits. That's what you get when Porsha and NeNe meet up for a restaurant run-down. Once she's done proselytizing about post-dinner salads (it's real 'cuz Oprah does it!), Porsha shares news about the upcoming welcome-aboard party Ricky Smiley's throwing her. NeNe -- looking like Missy Elliott á la "The Rain" -- can't make it because, of course, she'll be getting ready for Broadway. But before she heads out of town, she still has a few moments to rag on Cynthia, Kenya, and Claudia. The latter two have "never been wifed" and NeNe can't think of anything more worthy of her scorn and derision. By the way, it's not her fault she's coming across as such a distasteful garbage-mouth; it's just that she's "so easily brought down" by their negativity. Man, she can't go to New York soon enough. "Vroom."
The Show Won't Go On
"A Mother's Love" hasn't been selling enough tickets, so the tour gets scrapped. When Todd delivers the news, Kandi is bowled over. Despite her "I would cry but my mascara is Chanel" shirt, the tears flow and look pretty authentic. Todd comes with the tough love, asking the hard questions about whether or not they fully vetted the promoter, or made the most responsible scheduling choices. Being told to examine and learn from her mistakes is not what Kandi wants to hear. That's too much like being a responsible adult. And how dare he subject her to that?
You're Gonna Make It After All
Kenya's schedule is filled with so many meetings! This one's with her dauntless "yes" man Brandon. Lacking a proper workspace, they commandeer a loveseat in a cafe. They have clicky pens and legal pads, though, so it's legit. Brandon seems scandalized by the news that Roger Bobb won't be making Kenya his number-one priority. But no matter. "If I can do feature films, I can get a pilot!" Kenya feistily proclaims. "Between you and I, there's nothing we can't do!" Brandon chirps. He has hitched his wagon to her star and is holding on for dear life. As long as that cafe has free wi-fi, validates, and doesn't charge for hot water refills, they're in business.
Get Your Hair Did
Claudia -- who's hair already looks acceptable, if a bit over-processed -- enlists Derek J to fit her for a new wig for Porsha's party. She doesn't seem to realize that being invited doesn't mean she actually has to attend. Before they settle into Porsha-related gossip (a lame rehashing of old disses), they settle on a ridiculous jet-black number that leaves Claudia feeling like a Kardashian. "Maybe now I can get a black man!" Whatever. Just as long as it's not Kordell.
Dissension Among The Ranks
Kandi plops down in front of her assistants and breaks the news about the tour to them. They spend about five seconds being crestfallen. And then come the jokes. Why Todd is so stoic as Don Juan and the rest of the crew take the piss out of him is unclear. Kandi's sullen eye-rolls are par for the course; she hates confrontation. But the comments about Todd scheming to intentionally make the tour fail, on top of off-color digs about his sperm (aka "little people") were surely grounds for some kind of disciplinary action, if not a chin-check.
Can I Talk To You For A Second?
There's a woman in this scene (a Dish Nation warm body) named Beyonce. She is not Beyoncé, though. I stared at the paused TV screen a few minutes too long trying to wrap my mind around her screen ID. I do not understand it, I don't appreciate it, and furthermore, I refuse to even Google this individual. Anyway, this person is who Claudia spends her time with at Porsha's overblown work party. That is, until she gets an audience with the guest of honor herself. This goes as well as anyone would've expected (well, anyone but me because I really hoped to hear some of those signature language-mangling Porsha-isms, but was let down). Claudia makes an appeal for a "cordial work environment" as Porsha dramatically adjusts her strapless top and scoffs at the very notion. She's still mad about their Puerto Rico run-in, though I figured Porsha would be more upset about Claudia cuddling with her ex-husband. Fingers start stabbing the air -- a known Housewives trigger -- and the shrillness hits its peak. "I don't care!" Porsha declares, unconvincingly trying to brush it all off. "That's fake," Claudia counters. "There's nothing fake about Porsha Williams!" Priceless.
Get On Outta Here
Phaedra wants everybody to know just how hard she has it. How hard? Well, to hear her tell it, Apollo's angrily accused her of cheating, punched holes in all the upstairs walls and even threatened to burn down their house. Odd, as that all seems like something the camera crews would've been all too keen to catch on camera. Her mother prompts her to pack her bags and go. "I don't wanna come in here one morning and everybody's dead," she says. At this, Phaedra solemnly nods her head and I wearily shake mine.
Phaedra and Kandi appear to actually be grappling with real-life issues that affect real-life housewives. It's almost hard to compute. Apparently, this show doesn't always have to be about group brawls and petty in-fighting. A little somberness and relatability goes a long way. Pepper that with some choice must-have nastiness (like Porsha laughing at Claudia for "Pebbles and Bam-Bam-ing it" in a less-than-luxe car) and you have a solid episode.