'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' Recap: Momma Joyce Surrenders
'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' Recap: Momma Joyce Surrenders
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
On this week's episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kandi turns to Cynthia for advice regarding Momma Joyce's behavior. Phaedra catches some heat from Kandi's mom. And the ladies' relaxing getaway gets off to a tense start.

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Been There, Done That

After the trashy scene that Kandi's mom, and to a lesser degree her aunts, made during Kandi's first and only ever search for a wedding dress, Kandi turns to Cynthia for support. She managed to stay calm and collected in the midst of the chaos, but time has festered this wound as opposed to healing it. The full force of how her mother behaved and the things she said have finally hit, like a tidal wave after an earthquake.

Since Cynthia's mother and sister were clearly not on board regarding her wedding to Peter, going as far as actual sabotage, Kandi feels Cynthia will understand her dilemma. Cynthia is still taken aback because, at the height of her family drama, the fights and accusations didn't get so down and dirty. Kandi breaks down, causing Cynthia to get weepy as well.

Kandi is bothered that her mother doesn't see how hurtful her behavior is. She understands that her mother is trying to look out for her, but finds it upsetting how often Momma Joyce will hit below the belt. The harsh reality that this wedding may not happen is settling in, at least if she continues to stand by and let her mom scare away everyone she perceives as a threat.

It's not just the fact that her family could choose to not even attend the event but behave horribly if they do. Kandi's rethinking having a big, traditional, lavish affair. Cynthia points out that the size of the wedding party is irrelevant. These issues are going to follow her and Todd into the marriage. Kandi's dream of a Norman Rockwell blended family are quickly slipping away.

Cynthia lets Kandi know that after her and Peter's wedding, Peter felt hurt and distrustful of Cynthia, convinced she played some role in the family drama. She warns Kandi that if she doesn't check Momma Joyce, she will lose Todd.

Seeking Counsel

In an interesting turn of events, Momma Joyce pays a visit to Phaedra for legal advice. She tells Phaedra that Todd is being cagey when it comes to the pre-nup. I think this has more to do with him feeling that it isn't her business than the fact that he's some gold digger.

Momma Joyce is also gravely concerned about possible scenarios if her daughter were to pass away. In other words, she wants to make sure she gets her fair share. Phaedra tries to reassure Joyce that Kandi is savvy when it comes to her money, and that she's sure the mogul has a will that prevents Todd from walking away with it all. She also tells Joyce that she knows for a fact Kandi has made sure that her mother will always be cared for financially.

Once the free legal advice is out of the way, Joyce questions why Phaedra introduced Kandi and Todd in the first place. Momma Joyce is becoming Baby Jane because she is acting completely off her rocker. She tells Phaedra you don't ever introduce two short people with big heads. Uh, okay. She's really scraping the bottom of the barrel for reasons why the couple is not a match made in heaven.

Phaedra tries to tell Momma that Todd makes a good living, but the woman refuses to believe it. Phaedra just has to throw her hands up and listen to Joyce's never ending litany of complaints against him. Momma says that she's been getting a whole lot of smoke (gossip and rumors), and where there's smoke there's fire. She acts as if she's got a secret army providing her with top secret intel on Todd. She has yet to provide one concrete piece of evidence of his supposed shady dealings.

Phaedra finds herself in a difficult position. She doesn't want to say anything to further aggravate the situation. Phaedra questions whether Joyce has ever liked any of Kandi's boyfriends, and she says she has. Phaedra asks what happened to these men, and Joyce says Kandi didn't like them. So, what's more important here? Is Kandi supposed to marry a wealthy man who doesn't make her happy, stay alone or break ties with her Machiavellian-like mother?

Phaedra tells Momma she doesn't think Todd is going anywhere soon because she believes he's the one and Kandi does, too. Momma Joyce's response is that she feels like choking Phaedra. No wonder Kandi doesn't stand her ground with her mother. I think it's more out of fear of her wrath than respect.

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Waving the White Flag

Kandi has a talk with her mother. She's frustrated that they continue to go in circles about the same subject and feels like her mother just mutes her out. She tells Joyce that she can't help but notice how negative the woman has been about her relationship with Todd over the past year. Kandi admits she's at a loss after the dress shopping debaucle. Momma Joyce thinks Kandi made her position quite clear, and it doesn't coincide with her own. Momma Joyce claims that the comments she made to Carmon were jokes. Funny, I don't know many jokes that require the removal of shoes for the punchline.

Her mother's refusal to own up to her bad behavior further frustrates Kandi. Joyce then plays the loyalty card, accusing Kandi of choosing Carmon over her. Joyce feels that Kandi should stay true to her mama even if she's in the wrong. Kandi points out that Carmon has been her friend for 25 years, but all Joyce wants to know is how Kandi has benefited from the relationship. Anything that's not derived from material goods and services just doesn't matter in Joyce's eyes.

Momma has no problem with twisting the truth, so she says that Carmon was going to jump her. Does she not remember that her daughter will see the events play out as the show airs? It doesn't matter because Kandi doesn't believe it anyway. She's just trying to figure out when and why Momma's feelings toward Carmon became so vindictive. Unable to provide an answer, Joyce turns to threats and intimidation -- her old, reliable standbys.

In a move that reeks of insincerity, Momma metaphorically throws up her hands in surrender and says she's staying out of Kandi and Todd's relationship from now on. Even Kandi looks dubious, but who's going to look that kind of gift horse in the mouth? Momma Joyce needs some time to regroup, plot and plan, but I have no doubt she'll be back and nastier than ever.

Tempest in the Teapot

The ladies are finally ready to hit the road and fight in a picturesque location. NeNe has included her good friend Mynique. Looks like the last remaining original cast member might be trying to infuse some new blood. I wonder who she's trying to get out. If Mynique can tolerate this group for three days, she deserves to be a cast member.

NeNe tells all the girls to meet at the clubhouse in her neighborhood. She's provided libations, treats and first class treatment all the way. Kenya, the first to arrive, is immediately irritated that the other girls are running late. It's a vacation, and they don't have a flight to catch, so what's the problem? She says she wanted to relax and put her ashy feet up, why not start now?

Kenya says if it were her as opposed to NeNe, she'd go ahead and leave, making it a three-person trip. You've got to give props to NeNe for keeping her cool and making the best of the situation. Especially with Kenya buzzing in her ear.

Even though this trip was supposed to be a** in seats by 11am, the ladies are moving slow. At 12:30pm, Phaedra, Porsha and Kandi are still MIA. Ladies start trickling in, and with each arrival, NeNe's temper comes that much closer to boiling over. She even throws some shade at the oh-so-fragile Porsha.

Kandi shows up almost two hours late, and NeNe is finally on a full-blown tear. She feels her efforts are being disrespected, and she is ready to go. This is definitely not the way to start a relaxing girls weekend.

Kenya is only too eager to chastise Kandi, who is not one to be trifled with under the best of circumstances, much less in the midst of a personal crisis.

NeNe finally takes off. Kenya calls to find out what happened to their hostile hostess, and it's uncertain if the organizer of this pleasure cruise is going to abandon ship. Kenya, only too eager to be teacher's pet, doesn't think it's fair she's being grouped with the other ladies since she showed up on time.

After some prayer,  NeNe returns to the scene of the crime and readies to embark on what might be the longest bus ride ever. Kenya decides to lecture the group like a school teacher explaining the rules before a field trip. She informs everyone that when they reach their destination, she will have her choice of rooms second only to NeNe.

Mynique points out that she actually was the second to arrive, setting the stage for a possible blow-up between the two later. Porsha, confused on a good day, doesn't understand why Kenya's going "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" when she didn't even orchestrate the event.

The girls have lost their patience and urge Kenya to sit down and shut her pie hole, but this former beauty queen refuses to go gently into that good night.

At least the preview for next week's episode confirms the women finally make it out of the driveway. Lookout, Savannah, here they come.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8pm on Bravo.

(Image courtesy of Bravo)



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