Photos: Bravo

Let's Talk About Sex

Kandi's got the ladies all riled up over sex toys, tawdry talk, and an overblown scandal.

Bar None

Peter and Cynthia view some under-the-bridge hovel in hopes of transforming it into their next nightclub venture, now that Bar One's folding. She's all hyped up after hearing that the neighboring building housed Martin Luther King Jr.'s body before his funeral. In true-to-form delusion, she takes that as a sign. "He had a dream! We have dreams!" The couple's averaging about one failed business per season. My dream for them is that they take on something a bit less ambitious. Something more in the range of, say, a small temp agency (for all those non-working Bailey Agency models), or a nice fast-food franchise.

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Let's Get Together, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Claudia pops in to the Kandi Factory for the first time because she has a hunch that Kandi's the most supportive and smartest of the ladies with whom to cast her lot. The pair seem to hit it off and not just because they're both open, frank, and overly verbose about sex. Talk turns to Kandi's dormant sex-talk show and Claudia's invited to sit in on a future episode. As the kiki-ing goes smoothly, Claudia petitions Kandi to spread word to the rest of girls that she's "not an asshole." Seeing as all the other ladies are, it's not clear why she wants to highlight that distinction, or gel with them at all, for that matter.

At any rate, this easy, breezy meet-up offers a spark of hope that maybe, just maybe their budding friendship can bring Kandi back into the light, making her a likable entity once again. More fun, less mama drama, please!

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Fort Phaedra

In the run-up to Apollo's "mandatory vacation," Phaedra wants to heighten security around her home. She has some confused construction-types stop by the house to talk electrical fences and whatnot, much to the chagrin of a late-arriving Apollo. He wasn't informed of any renovation talk and takes this as a slight. Yet another reason for him to start huffing, puffing, and pouting. She'll be alone with the boys, after all, and wants to make sure they keep the good people in and the bad people out. That's just Parenting 101 right there. How could he fault her for that? (By the by, remember how I referenced tacky slogan shirts last week? Apparently, Phaedra got the memo.)

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Relaxation And Recapping

You have to admire the hustle of whichever entrepreneur came up with the idea of a spa in which customers are forced to mash and make their own "natural" facial goop, and then get charged for the privilege of sipping the leftover ingredients in the form of a smoothie. Kenya takes her aunt for a visit to one such shake-down artist. As they get green stuff smeared on their faces, she catches her maternal figure up on what went down with NeNe and Porsha last week. In a self-congratulatory tone, she blabs about taking the high road, thereby negating the whole spirit of high-road-taking. Still, it's big for a person like her, so her gracious aunt declares, "It sounds like you've really grown as a person…actually, I never thought I'd see it." I don't know about personal growth, but her style definitely gets a boost this week; that jacket-capelet concoction she's rocking is truly covetous.

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Showbiz Is Calling

Did you know? NeNe's important. She's so important that she gets more mail than she can be bothered to open. Ah, the life! Gregg forces her to slow down and rip open a few boxes, but the task is waylaid by a call from NeNe's manager. The star's just been offered roles in Chicago, Rock of Ages, and Cinderella. As though she can afford to turn anything down, she turns her nose up at the latter. The role she's offered is "Wicked Step-Mother" and she doesn't feel that jibes with her brand. "I'm not mean, by any stretch of the meaning," she huffs, and just hearing her tone triggers me to go sweep, mop, or darn something somewhere. She's a perfect fit and she'd better cash that check the moment it's inked.

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Kandi's Randy, Once Again

It's been too long since we've heard Kandi and her minions braying "Kaaandi Koated Niiights!" so they're back to remedy that. Her raunchy sex show's been revamped with a new set and crew. Once cameras start rolling, they discuss "business vs. pleasure," with Kandi's and Todd's relationship taking the spotlight. (In a nutshell, there's more of the former than the latter lately.) Claudia sits in for a spell, and remains unfazed by tasteless questions about rumored Jamie Foxx-fellating and proposed Kandi-kissing. As long as the wine's free-flowing, Claudia's down to play along with whatever they throw at her.

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"At The End Of The Day..."

Phaedra's receiving some recognition from the National Bar Association in honor of her legal legacy. She's all decked out in white and heads out for her fancy-shmancy event. At first, I cynically figured the chauffeured SUV would drive around Atlanta while she just talked about the fabled award. But no, it's all very legit. There she is, actually sitting front-row in a room full of her peers (many of whom are likely bubbling over with Chappelle's Show "Playa Hater's Ball"-levels of invective). Phaedra wants to distance herself from Apollo and his deeds and reassert herself as the powerful lawyer she's always claimed to be. She sparkles and shines on stage as she accepts her award and gives every inkling that she's going to survive this storm.

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Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe

Kandi has the whole cast over to her house for a sex-toy party. It's good to see her glossing over that weak-ass gospel play of hers and honing in on the projects that actually generate interest. But it ends up being less of a product showcase than a display of NeNe's stank behavior. She takes turns rebuffing Kenya's glad tidings and Cynthia's attempts at a warm greeting, and even gives Claudia the cold shoulder. Is this all just Method acting? She's prepping for the Wicked Step-Mother role after all?

Meanwhile, Kandi's invited a "sexologist" to go around the room and stoke up drama, in a professional manner, of course. Paydirt's struck when Demetria's man comes into question. It seems one of the girlfriends Kandi invited (completely coincidentally, of course) has also spent time with him, in an overlapping fashion. Who are all these new people again? And why do we care what they do behind closed doors? All the while, hostess Kandi's just over in the corner side-eyeing and shrugging. "The bomb got dropped. People got mad. The food was good, though!"

Verdict

NeNe's becoming more and more of a chore to watch, so the newly introduced notion of her being shipped off to Broadway is a promising one. We should all refuse to give any brain space to this whole "Roger Bobb" thing the show's inexplicably forcing on us. Let's focus instead on Claudia. She gets more shine this week and proves that she might not be the try-hard social climber she previously seemed. Well, I mean, she is, because they all are. But she still seems palatable in spite of that. A new gal pal for Kandi would be a welcome change for her tired storyline. And with any luck, their relationship wouldn't rub Kenya the wrong way. All three of them could come together, help Claudia swap her cat for a man, then share a hearty laugh about harnesses and dildos, or whatever.

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