In this episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, “Housewife Interrupted,” NeNe storms out of therapy. The women try to deal with their issues in a more constructive way. Kandi wonders where she stands with Phaedra. Claudia plans a group getaway. And Phaedra struggles with the decision to end her marriage.
When we last saw the ladies, therapy wasn’t going well — for NeNe. It seems the epicenter of most of the conflict is the original diva herself. Feeling under attack, NeNe lashed out, but when that didn’t work, she bailed. Trailing behind her? Poor Dr. Jeff trying to convince her to come back.
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Girls Gone Wild
All of a sudden, NeNe has a psychology degree because she believes a good counselor wouldn’t allow everyone to “drop their garbage in one person’s lap.” NeNe even tells the man he should be worried about keeping his license. I’m guessing every single therapist working in Atlanta, and the surrounding suburbs, is thanking some higher power for not being called upon to try and straighten this bunch out. To his credit, Dr. Jeff tries to talk NeNe off the ledge, but stick a fork in her, she’s done.
The session continues and the ladies verbally vomit up all their issues: bullying, abandonment, crappy parents, crappy spouses, loneliness, fear of rejection, blah de blah, blah blah. These women have covered more territory in one session than most patients do in a year.
Dr. Jeff does determine that Kenya and Porsha’s relationship is crazy toxic and urges them to do better. Funny, I would have urged them to enter Thunderdome and duke it out — two women enter, one woman leaves. These women can be in touch with their feelings all over the place, but the bottom line is they have been picking at the same scabs over and over, and one therapy session is not going to result in them applying Neosporin (metaphorically, of course) and moving on.
Just because Phaedra’s a no-show doesn’t mean she gets off the hook. Dr. Jeff wants to know what the group is going to do about Miss Phaedra. Porsha speaks up and says that Phaedra’s been discouraged about the distance between her and Kandi. And here Kandi thought Phaedra was only talking about her behind her back to NeNe.
Kandi says that she apologized to Phaedra for being an absentee friend, but she’s still not cool with Phaedra not coming to her directly if she had a problem. Kandi always knows how to sum up a situation succinctly, saying, “If you have an issue and I don’t know, then we don’t have an issue. You have an issue.”
Dr. Jeff points out that the important thing about conflict is that the ladies learn how to address it without losing themselves or their dignity. Apparently, Dr. Jeff isn’t an avid fan of the show. The session ends with a group hug, but you just know these warm, fuzzy feelings aren’t going to last long.
Dr. Jeff suggests the ladies still try to reach out to NeNe, so Claudia, Cynthia, Porsha and Kenya make a little video urging NeNe to come back to the fold. Kandi thinks that it’s an ass-kissing move as well as an utter waste of time. I couldn’t agree more.
So what did therapy really accomplish? According to Kandi, not much. Claudia and Porsha may have squashed their beef, but that’s about it. Without Phaedra and NeNe present, it was kind of like bailing water out of a sinking lifeboat without bothering to plug up the hole.
NeNe has made it clear time and time and time again that she is done with these ladies. She’s got to hurry up and learn her lines for her Broadway debut in a show that figured they had nothing to lose by casting her since it was shutting down anyway. Yeah, I said it.
Lemonade and Sympathy
Phaedra has lemonade with a close friend, Sarah Jakes, and opens up about Apollo. According to Phaedra, these two were having issues for a long time, but she stuck around because she didn’t want people to think she was bailing because of the legal troubles. After getting just a glimpse of Apollo’s behavior, it’s hard to imagine that Phaedra isn’t being truthful. That doesn’t mean she isn’t playing it up on camera to garner sympathy. Anything is possible, and there are three sides to this story: Phaedra’s, Apollo’s and the truth. But her heartache and tears look genuine enough to me.
Trip or Trippin’?
Claudia decides that she might be able to benefit from some one-on-one therapy with Dr. Jeff. In addition to working on her personal growth, she’d still like the ladies — all the ladies — to find a way to co-exist. She thinks if they could ban together and use their powers for good instead of evil, they’d be a force to be reckoned with.
Conveniently, Dr. Jeff suggests a group trip. Claudia explains that they’ve tried that before and it didn’t go well. The good doctor points out that it won’t be easy, but it will be an opportunity for them to connect in some way.
Shockingly, Claudia and Porsha actually continue to build on the progress they made during that marathon therapy session. They actually decide to join forces to organize the group getaway.
The Death of a Marriage
Phaedra goes to see an attorney to start the ball rolling on the divorce. Phaedra’s no dummy, so her pre-nuptial agreement is air tight. The biggest issue will be the kids. Phaedra claims to want her sons to see their dad, but she also isn’t gung-ho on having her babies around a bunch of murderers and other assorted lowlifes. I was pretty sure Apollo’s crimes were of the white-collar variety, which would put him in the country club of jails, but given his history, it’s possible he wound up in a real-life version of Oz.
Again, Phaedra says that the last few years of their marriage weren’t so hot. Apollo was all about partying (strippers) and had gotten mean-spirited. Then the attorney asks the burning question that has probably run through all of our minds: of all the eligible, successful, available men in Hotlanta, why did she choose a convict?
Phaedra says she married for love. She believed he’d turned over a new leaf. You really can’t help but feel for Phaedra, Mr. Chocolate or no Mr. Chocolate. Yes, she wanted to be a cast member on a very popular reality TV show, which meant her life, good and bad, came under public scrutiny. But public persona aside, she was also living in fear for the safety of not only her children but herself.
Next time, the ladies head halfway around the world so they can either make up or break up in paradise.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8pm on Bravo.
(Image courtesy of Bravo)