Photos: Bravo

Telltale Texts

Apollo spends his 'last' days of freedom slinging mud at Phaedra.

De-Luxe Apartment In The Sky

Claudia finally has furniture in her high-rise digs. She cleared out an entire showroom of some "modern," "designer" warehouse, and now she's inviting Cynthia and Kenya over to have a look-see. But before they can really dive into all the velvet banquettes and bedazzled picture frames (sans pictures), Claudia launches into last week's Porsha-related drama. Their discord is causing her so much stress, see? It's all she can do to get up in the morning and go to their quasi-shared workspace when she knows Porsha's "nice-nasty" attitude will be there, reminding her of her tormented high school days. (ICYMI: Claudia's biracial. Her background made mean girls hate her; now she's allergic to mean girls hating her and spends an inordinate amount of time fixating on the concept of being hated…by girls who are mean.) There are approximately three tears shed, one of which may have stained her velvet settee.

Going Back To Cali

I begrudge Kandi the fact that I had to Google Second Chance Christmas. She's got a role in this film and she and Todd are jetting off to Los Angeles so she can shoot her part. The verbatim IMDb synopsis: "A young man and his relationship with his step-father." It sounds like something contrived specifically for this scene. While packing, Kandi deduces from the number of pristine, out-the-box sneakers Todd's packing that he's staying in L.A. longer than she'd imagined. This tips off a tiff in which he comes off looking super-aloof and inconsiderate. How does a day away become a week? And what wife in her right mind wouldn't object to such a sudden plan change? As she does whenever her loved ones are behaving like asses, Kandi shrugs it off and just walks away.

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Love Crimes

Here, Apollo begins prepping Phaedra's big red "A." The night before he's set to start serving his sentence, he goes for a ride with Peter. Despite the fact that he's driving a car in the middle of the night, Peter puts on his reading glasses…all the better to read damning texts with. Apollo's shopping around the story that he stumbled upon texts between Phaedra and her alleged lover. He's got the texts on his phone to back up his argument and they say things of the "you're my happy ever after" variety. To hear Apollo tell it, Phaedra's doing a countdown until he's locked away (aren't we all at this point?) with an unnamed man known only as "Chocolate." Oh, by the way, he's African. A) Why would that bit of info have come up in the natural flow of any texts Apollo would have read? B) What is with the recurring "mystery African man" theme this show's got going? Are there just lots of them buzzing around Atlanta with their noses and wallets wide open? Also, it's a really big continent. Have none of these dudes -- should they actually exist -- ever bothered to tell their paramours which exact country they're from, such that they could instead by identified as the "mystery Kenyan man," or the "mystery Senegalese man"? Or perhaps the RH franchise doesn't think its fan-base is geographically savvy enough to really grasp all that.

Getting back on track…Apollo tells Peter about the "people kill people over this" comment he made when confronting Phaedra. Peter's best advice is for the two guys to go have a drink, because alcohol has always solved problems like these. He later goes home and dishes all the dirt to a slack-jawed Cynthia, thus applying another coat of red lacquer to that "A."

Why Pretend This Will Happen?

Kenya needs to get a script ready for pilot season, so she FaceTimes Brandon so they can brainstorm. Or at least that's what we're supposed to think this set-up is about. In actuality, it's just a blatant ad for one of Kandi's dildos. Unfortunately for Kandi, Kenya is not the best spokesmodel; she ends the scene by sticking it in her ear.

The Daily Grind

Claudia wakes up at the crack of dawn and starts her workday ritual. There's the requisite showering, moisturizing, boot-strapping…all the same tedious stuff most of us do each morning and don't need to see mirrored on screen. Via voice-over, she continues to pretend that her lack of a working relationship with Porsha is worthy of conversation. It is not.

Not Irie

We jump from Kenya barely having a script to setting up a real-live casting call. We see a few unknown faces file in, but they're all quickly forgotten once Cynthia comes in to read for the role of "offensive Jamaican caricature." She arrives looking like a Rasta clown (with a dash of Jar Jar Binks for good measure), hams it up, then leaves. Not surprisingly, Kenya gives the buffoonery a green light. She'd better sign Cynthia quick, before Tyler Perry gets wind of her newfound minstrel skills.

Porsha's Right This Time

Claudia goes in for a meeting with her boss Ricky Smiley. She says she's there to get pointers on being a better radio personality, but it doesn't take long before she launches into her Porsha beef. The tension between them is truly keeping Claudia from being the best horoscope-reader (or whatever) she can be. As Smiley's getting good press off the strength of said beef, he's quick to drag Porsha into the room for a face-to-face. Claudia stiffens her back and puts on her "bigger person" act, then Porsha deflates the entire confrontation by spouting the one true fact in all of this: "We don't work together. We work in passing!" Yes, Claudia, stop trying to make this relationship happen. Get your paycheck and move on. (Random observation: Why is Claudia trying to shame Porsha for carrying a jar of gummi bears in her purse? Surely that's just jealousy talking. After watching this, who doesn't want to carry a jar of gummi bears in their purse?)

Under-Sexed And Overwhelmed

L.A. didn't go how Kandi had planned. She's back home and filling her BFF Carmon in on the trip. Her original plans to produce her own film with Todd have now dried up (and not because she's already proven that she has no idea how to oversee a successful production). Todd is frustrated with Kandi professionally and she's had it with him domestically. They "only" have sex once a week. Only. To her mind, that's either a sure sign he's cheating, or it's grounds for divorce. Carmon recommends they get counseling. Meanwhile, I recommend the newlyweds try living together off-camera, like normal people whose marriages last longer than six months. But nobody asked me.

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Do Not Pass Go

With Apollo headed off to the pen, Phaedra returns home from her resort hideaway to change the locks and ready things for her post-Apollo life. Psych! A very non-incarcerated Apollo rolls up and starts stomping around through every room of the house like Wreck-It Ralph. There are bleeps a-plenty and all the while, Phaedra's standing stock-still in the garage, arms folded and head shaking. Her assistant is just itching to call 9-1-1 and the poor garage door repairman's face registers the same level of confusion we all feel. Apollo's buddy magically appears from behind the bushes -- poof! and Phaedra urges him to get his boy before she calls the cops.

Apparently, Jesus has better things to do than fixing it, as Phaedra entreated. Apollo drives away, only to throw it in reverse and come right back. It's a whole lot of bark and no bite…though things do get a little dodgy when he grabs a power tool and speeds Phaedra's way. In the end, he speeds off again, incident-free. But his car's probably not headed to jail, though. No, it's pretty clear that's never, ever going to happen.

Verdict

Yes, this verdict doesn't seem to add up, what with this long list of "skip"s. However, since the previews imply that we're about to go off the deep end with Phaedra's affair allegations, you may as well get in on the ground floor of what's sure to be a towering inferno.

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