Screens: Bravo

One Last Emotional Rollercoaster Ride

NeNe lashes out, then breaks down, and it's Dr. Jeff to the rescue.

Flirtgate

Despite NeNe warning, "Don't go there!", Andy presses Peter about last week's flirting allegations prompted by Kenya. Peter insists, "Nothing inappropriate ever happened," and goes one further to assert his belief that nothing happened between Kenya and Apollo. He chalks it all up to misunderstandings and the pair's personalities rubbing people the wrong way, or some similar rationalizations. Either way, it's downright decent of him to be the only one to stick his neck out for Kenya and argue that they all owe her an apology. Whether they do or don't, it's definitely a sportsmanlike tack. I'd give him high marks, if it wasn't for his next comment. When Andy asks Peter about rumors that he's hooking up with his waitress, he defends himself by saying that if he were to cheat, it'd be with someone like J-Lo, or Beyoncé, not a lowly waitron. Cynthia gets a high-cacklin' kick out of that one, but her face should've looked more like Kandi's…perturbed, approaching disgusted and with a soupçon of "I wish Todd would say somethin' like that!"

Kandi Factory Recall

It's "pick on Kandi" time again. Didn't we already go through this earlier? Her marriage is less than perfect and her mother is manipulative. Nothing new here. We get some intrusive "When was the last time you guys got busy?" and some uterus-snooping. Things take a turn for the classy, though, when the topic turns to Todd's recently-deceased mother. Turns out Gregg spoke at the funeral, Phaedra put her differences with Kandi aside to pitch in with funeral help, and everybody showed their support in one way or another…even, reportedly, Kandi's mom. It's a brief display of grace from everyone for a change, offering up a rare sign that they're not all heinous monsters.

Not surprisingly, we don't get to bask in the glow of their humanity for too long before Andy rehashes all that tired prenup talk, then brazenly asks Kandi if she got a boob job. For the curious, she claims to have had no work done; she says she's just taking baby-making hormones, which explains why her "boobs are super-on fleek." Ah, there's yet another precious moment her future (and current) child can hearken back to on Mother's Days to come.

There's a little more mammary talk before Andy bids the husbands farewell. Before they shuffle off, though, we get one last look at the two faces of Mr. Leakes. There's the "Got milk?"-joking doofus, and the dime-store philosopher who doles out "deep" bits of wisdom like: "Faults are like headlights on a car; you can only see the other persons'." Golf claps for Gregg, everybody.

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Up In Flames

Andy puts on his "sad face" to trot out the "end of the road" footage charting the demise of Cynthia and NeNe's friendship (something I feel positive was already discussed last week and/or the week before). Once we see video footage of the caustic comments, betrayals and faux truces, he opens the floodgates by admitting, "I don't totally get why it all ended." And then comes all of the accusations of off-camera apologies sullied by on-camera deception, pissy blog posts, and even pissier digs aired on Watch What Happens Live. The two ladies wade knee-deep into it, with NeNe trotting out her new favorite defense, "You are so right! I am so wrong!" Andy tries to move on, but there's so much cacophonous back-and-forth that he can barely be heard. By the time the shouting dies down, it comes to this: Cynthia still has love for NeNe, but NeNe can do nothing more than wish her well. And you better not ask her anything else about it, Andy. Moving on.

Body-Ody-Ody

Why would you want to be dubbed the "princess of THOT-land"?!? Whatever her reasoning, Porsha is representing for all "those hos over there" with one barely-there outfit after another. In fact, her entire season recap is nothing more than just a reel showcasing all her "video chick chic" ensembles. She explains how she's no longer the demure, obsequious Housewife she once was; she's single now and she's "twerked her way into happiness!" Cut to the very next breath, where she's reverently discussing the depiction of her civil rights activist grandfather in the Selma biopic. What would Grandpa have thought of his little THOT?

Tarnishing The Shining Star

The Puerto Rico clashes come up, and the key issue surrounding the run-in between NeNe and Claudia is not the gross anatomical slurs NeNe lobbed, but the racial one. A viewer wrote in to express deep shock over NeNe calling Claudia a "half-breed." Ever insensitive to anyone's hurt besides her own, NeNe snaps back with a quick, apathetic "Claudia didn't care." Only when pressed by Andy does she issue an apology…to the viewers, not to Claudia. NeNe wholeheartedly apologizes to anyone she may have offended (but: not Claudia). After all, she has bi-racial friends, guys, and may even be bi-racial herself! Who knows?! Is she in the clear now? She sure must think so, because she's all too quick to change the subject to laugh and joke about her persistent blood clot problem (as one does).

Remember The Philippines?

Apparently, few recall how swimmingly everything went during that season-closing island vacation. Kenya and Phaedra prayed together, but that didn't stick. Claudia and Phaedra bonded over failed marriages, but that was weak sauce, too. Kandi said Kenya has a "lopsided booty" and the ladies all had a blast pounding shots in the club on their last night. When asked if she regrets not going, NeNe bluntly says no. And though it initially seemed like she was missing out on all the healing good times, it's now clear that all the kumbaya moments were just throwaway flashes in the pan after all.

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Friend-tervention

"Not 'do the work' again!" Kandi mutters. I'm with you, girl. We're talking about the (partially) disastrous therapy session some more. Andy's staged a do-over and invited the group counselor Dr. Jeff to the stage. NeNe immediately enters attack mode and calls BS on everyone piling up on her, but never listening to her own problems (not necessarily true, but let's just ride this out). Fearing another walkout, the doc is now working overtime to get back in NeNe's good graces. He goes so far as to become her own personal pit bull, putting ladies in check if they even come close to upsetting NeNe. Too late, though, because she starts shaking like a leaf and sobbing about how she can't talk about her mom (though no one asked her to), then breaks the hell outta there…again!

See, as Gregg explains backstage, NeNe's got major abandonment issues stemming from her mother giving her up, but then raising her other siblings. This is the excuse we're given for why she stomps around like a tyrant all the time. It works for Porsha, Phaedra, and even Cynthia, who all run to NeNe's aid. Kandi, on the other hand, seems less than fazed. She's likely wondering why NeNe hasn't learned to have Teflon nerves when it pertains to anything maternal, the way she does.

After some seemingly never-ending pep talks and a makeup touch-up, NeNe returns to the set. Once back, she rather lamely states, "Maybe I have been misunderstood" -- it's not clear whether or not that's meant as an apology. Everybody starts talking about her, or around her, and Andy talks to Dr. Jeff as though he's mute NeNe's translator. Cynthia extends some respectful, heartfelt words, as do Claudia and Kenya. They put on their big-girl pants and it doesn't even seem particularly forced or fake. Does NeNe deserve it? Perhaps not. Does she accept it with any sort of gratitude? Well, from Claudia and Kenya, she does. Guess you gotta try harder, Cynthia.

Verdict

For better or worse, Cynthia deems this one of the best reunions so far. People showed their vulnerable sides and issued mea culpas for being major assholes. There were touches of grace and humility throughout. At least, as much as these women can muster. There was no physical violence, and the one obligatory reunion walk-off eventually blew over and resulted in an inkling of positivity. Could this be the last time all of these ladies are on the stage together? If my prayers are answered, then yes. If that's the case -- and a significant cast overhaul takes place before next season -- then this wasn't at all a bad way to go out. Hug for sisterhood!

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