Photos: Bravo

Why Be So Nasty And So Rude?

In Puerto Rico, all the fangs, talons, and even bunions are out for blood.

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Get On the Good Foot

Demetria -- purportedly a singer -- is flying all of the ladies to Puerto Rico to watch her perform in some unknown venue, for some unspecified occasion. As such, Claudia needs to have her feet tended to. She's mentioned their heinousness in the past and is in search of a quick fix before she heads off to a tropical island. She brings Kenya along to the podiatrist for moral support (and also wears stilettos for her visit, as probably zero other right-thinking podiatry patients would do). What she unveils once unshod is every bit as frightful as she's prepped us for. Kenya emits gibbon calls at the very sight of Claudia's corns 'n such, exclaiming that the beastly bunions are "not just mischievous; they're completely disrespectful!" "Problematic" is the more diplomatic word the doctor chooses. It's a very weird way to start what turns out to be a very low-down, dirty episode. I'll admit I did instinctively throw a forearm over my fearful eyes when the camera panned in on those tortured 10. You can just feel them throbbing like it's an I'm Gonna Git You Sucka outtake.

Sorry, Or Whatever

Kandi takes responsibility for Demetria's public embarrassment at last week's sex party. After all, it happened on Kandi's turf and it was her rando friend who blabbed to everyone present that she'd hooked up with Demetria's man. So, Kandi arranges to meet up for an apology drink. That mea culpa lasts about as long as it takes to mutter a half-hearted "gurl, I'm sorry," then talk turns to music biz. When Demetria proposes a future collaboration, Kandi's wise enough to recognize that making music with a fellow housewife is "fool me once" territory, and swiftly changes the subject. They ride out this forgettable scene talking about sex toys and tips Demetria can use in the bedroom (ostensibly, with her alleged cheater of a boyfriend, which is truly puzzling).

Good Help Is Hard To Find

Kenya's on the hunt for an assistant who's fit to twirl beside her (her words, not mine). Naturally, she turns to the Bailey Agency for help. Wait, why? Oh! Maybe they both read my post last week mentioning how Cynthia needs to dump the other pie-in-the-sky businesses she and her man keep pouring money into and just start a nice, solid temp agency. They briefly talk about the qualifications she demands. "They should just know that you're thirsty," one of Cynthia's employees throws out there. On one side of the coin, it seemed like an innocuous response to Kenya's comments about an assistant getting her drinks. On the other, it is a masterfully subtle burn, one which gets the ball rolling on an episode filled with despicable shade.

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Phaedra's Rudeness Is Awakening

NeNe and Phaedra visit Demetria in her recording studio, where she's eager to prove that she can actually "sang" (albeit for only about five seconds). The reason for the gathering is not clear, but the two elder housewives waste no time getting shady. They cluck disapprovingly at the notion of Demetria rationalizing that her man wasn't cheating because they were actually on "a break." NeNe point-blank tells her, "Don't marry him," as though they were dear friends and not near-strangers. Phaedra, for her part, is clearly questioning Demetria's ultimate relevance, as are we all. But that doesn't give her the green light to just jump out the bag and verbalize what's on everyone else's mind. Prompted by seemingly nothing at all, Phaedra quickfire reads that poor girl like it's a Drag Race challenge and she's gunning for the big prize. Apparently, Demetria's too old to be a pop star and eight years is too long to date a man without marrying him. Also, Phaedra feels that it's perfectly logical to question Demetria's experience with crack since she played a crackhead on TV. "I mean, in Hollywood, they put gerbils up their asses! So, what's crack?!?" Out of nowhere, Phaedra out-NeNes NeNe.

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A Blitzkrieg Of Bitchiness

It's hard to even suss out what happens that first night in Puerto Rico. The shade is thrown like shot-put and at such a breakneck speed that it's hard even to hear it all. In fact, the use of the word "shade" is so bountiful on this trip that it transcends even drinking-game status. If you were to take a shot every time it's uttered -- from scenes to confessionals -- you'd no longer be with us. Sure, things start off calmly, as the housewives' trips often do. Some are late for the flight, most are inappropriately dressed for travel, all have obscene amounts of luggage, and none are terribly thrilled with the accommodations. (For real, though...did those dinky rooms even have windows?) Shortly after arrival, there are a few giggles here and there. Then Demetria gets down to business. She feels "some kinda way" about what the other ladies are dubbing Phaedra's "light shade." Kandi and Porsha tell her to blow it off. Of course, Kenya later digs in and tells her to air her grievances. After Phaedra is unnecessarily rude to Demetria's stylist -- who hilariously claps back, calling her "so late and old and dry" -- then, the line is crossed.

As soon as all of the ladies are together around a patio table, Demetria calls out her new frenemy about her tactless comments. From that point on, the "conversation" at the table just sounds like overhearing a game of Cards Against Humanity. The battle lines are clearly defined. NeNe, Phaedra, and Porsha are the evening's bad guys. The other ladies are the relative saints and Kandi is stuck straddling that fence of hers. There are some doozies thrown from nearly all sides, with top marks going to Claudia. She's a scrappy one, that newbie. As Kandi puts it, she "was reading NeNe like Hooked On Phonics." Claudia's got a particular knack for calling out NeNe's follicular shortcomings. She rules the night with comments like "When you were my age, you had edges!" and comparisons between NeNe's wig and uncooked Top Ramen. But then, when you're honorably defending a person with legitimately hurt feelings and someone else is incongruously hurling words like "half-breed" and "whore" (oh, and that bizarre thing about her clitoris) in your direction, it's hard not to come out on top. Props to the editors for Claudia's slow roll-out. I went from not rating her at all, to (and I'll probably regret saying this later...) being kinda glad she's "here to stay."

Verdict

This is like that foul-mouthed cafeteria throwdown you reveled in as a teen but retrospectively look back on with disgust, because you're now an adult who reportedly knows right from wrong. But the thing is, you're watching it in the privacy and comfort of your own home, so nobody else has to know you're gleefully high-fiving your couchmate with every dig and diss. If Part 2 is filled with the "anonymous internet comments"-type barrage we heard tonight, it should be quite a sight to behold.

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