In this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe embarks on a new project. Kenya deals with a huge loss. Kandi questions Porsha’s commitment to her musical. And Todd confronts Momma Joyce.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Porsha’s hard at work. Unfortunately, it’s not perfecting her role in Kandi’s upcoming musical. Instead, she’s becoming yet another housewife trying to launch a music career. Vocally, she runs circles around all the others — Danielle, Gretchen, Kim, LuAnn and Melissa — but that’s not saying much. 

Porsha’s contract may be finalized, but her commitment is wavering. She’s been missing rehearsals, and for a woman who doesn’t hold a full-time job, her excuse of a dress fitting doesn’t exactly fly. Kandi decides it’s time to set her friend straight. She reads Porsha a text from the stage manager that calls into question Porsha’s work ethic.

Porsha passes the buck to the members of Kandi’s team, blaming them for poor communication. How hard is it to remember that rehearsal is six days a week? This is a grown woman who should be able to input her schedule into her phone and ask questions when in doubt. Watch out, she might expect people to start wiping her butt after she goes to the bathroom. Kandi ain’t your mama, Porsha.

Porsha’s team, consisting of her sister/assistant Lauren, shares her sister’s sensibility, or rather total lack thereof. The woman can’t even figure out how to open an e-mail attachment. Kandi tells Porsha she needs to get her girl in check before calling out Kandi’s staff.

The Natural

With NeNe’s acting career on hiatus, she’s decided, like many housewives before her, to start her own clothing line. She’s working with HSN on the project. Does she sew? No. Does she sketch? No. Is she basically letting other people do the work and slapping her name on it? Yes. When will these housewives be content with their 15 minutes of fame and stop these pathetic attempts to drag it out any longer?

NeNe meets her manager in Los Angeles, and he’s got some scripts he wants her to read. NeNe’s been passing on projects left and right. NeNe, as a discerning actress, realizes that not all offers are right for her. She’s left millions of dollars on the table in the name of art. OMG, she plays herself on Glee, which nobody is watching anymore anyway, and again on The New Normal, which limped along for one season. She’ll look back when RHOA ends and kick herself for not paying her dues and collecting that bank.

Her manager suggests that she attend an acting class on a regular basis, but NeNe’s convinced that some acting classes actually take away from your natural abilities. Well, NeNe doesn’t have any natural abilities, so she shouldn’t worry. And that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Taking an English class doesn’t diminish your ability to read and write, it reinforces strengths and corrects weaknesses.

NeNe also doesn’t have to watch top-rated shows or movies because she simply doesn’t have the time. This poor manager will probably beat his head against the wall of his house once he leaves this meeting.

Learning from Past Mistakes

Cynthia finds out on the Internet that Peter’s bar is going into foreclosure. He doesn’t own it, so he tells his wife that as long as he can prove he’s been making his payments, they should be fine. Cynthia’s just a bit chafed that she had to hear this news via social media as opposed to directly from her husband.

To make things worse, the same people own the building where The Bailey Agency is located. Cynthia questions how this mess could affect the future of her business. Peter’s efforts to reassure her fall flat.

Basically, Peter owns nothing and the future of both their businesses hangs in the balance. Once again, Cynthia put her trust in Peter and now could lose her livelihood. Hasn’t she heard the saying “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”?

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All Dogs Go to Heaven

In a really heartbreaking turn of events, Kenya’s dog Velvet dies. For any dog owner/dog lover, you can’t help but feel for Kenya. For seven years, that dog was her closest companion. The circumstances of Velvet’s untimely demise are horrifying, and Kenya’s aunt tries to provide comfort by spewing a bunch of platitudes, but her best idea is to hold a memorial for the beloved pooch.

Analyze This

Kandi decides to try and tackle her issues with Momma Joyce head-on. She schedules a  session at her house with a family counselor. Mother and daughter have been estranged since Kandi found out about Joyce’s plan to frame Todd, but Kandi misses her mom. Their relationship screams co-dependent.

The doctor asks Kandi to step out so he can talk to Momma Joyce. Momma says that even though she thinks Todd has an agenda, that’s not the primary reason for her relationship with Kandi taking a nose dive. She says that since being with Todd, Kandi’s gained a lot of weight, and he should remind her to work out every day. But Momma’s concerns extend beyond running on the treadmill or doing lunges. She believes that being with Todd should make Kandi a better woman, and she doesn’t see that.

Now this is the first we’ve heard of this. Previously, it all seemed to be about the Benjamins — although that is still a factor. Momma Joyce also thinks that Kandi picks the wrong men because she didn’t grow up with a father figure, and her brother, who she was extremely close to, died. Wow, this episode is a huge bummer. Can’t be snarky about dead dogs and messed-up family dynamics. Usually, Momma Joyce acts like a maniac, so either she’s faking it to look good for the counselor or she just couldn’t vocalize her deeper concerns for Kandi until now.

But the doc isn’t letting her off the hook altogether. Momma Joyce admits that she doesn’t really know how Todd treats Kandi, nor has she made much effort to sit down with him and voice her concerns. He gives her a little slap on the wrist for not taking the time to get to know the man her daughter plans to marry.

The counselor can tell this isn’t going to be a quick fix, so the big question is, will mother and daughter follow through?

Drama On Stage and Off

It’s obvious that the season finale is going to coincide with the opening of Kandi’s musical. With just a week left, rehearsals have begun at the venue. Porsha’s finally taking it seriously, but Kandi worries that it might be too late. Kandi’s wisest decision was to hire an understudy for Porsha, who remarks how “We supposed to be singing and acting and, you know, staying in character the whole time.”

Momma Joyce stops by to watch rehearsal and runs into Todd in the lobby. He tries to engage Momma, but she’s not one for fakin’ it until you make it. Probably figuring he’s got nothing left to lose, Todd decides to confront Momma Joyce. He just wants to lay it all out face-to-face, even if the result is an understanding that he’ll never be good enough for Kandi in her eyes.

Joyce says she never stopped liking Todd, she just lost respect for him. In her opinion, he lost his worth when he quit working. What she fails to understand is that Todd’s work isn’t your garden variety 9 to 5 office drone.And when he made the conscious decision, for the sake of his relationship, to take a break, he didn’t sponge off of Kandi. He had a hefty nest egg of his own. He explains that his work takes him out of town for months at a time, something Kandi couldn’t get down with.

Todd really humbles himself. He makes it clear that he wants Momma Joyce to get to know him and for all of them to be a big, happy family. How can Momma resist a man voicing his hope that someday she’ll love him, after she starts out by liking him?

Momma admits that her whole existence is her children, and she has possibly been overprotective of Kandi. I can tell you that the dialogue going on between these two beats the crap out of what the cast is regurgitating on stage.

On a more optimistic note, congrats to newlyweds Kandi and Todd. Let’s hope this means Momma is coming around.

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

(Image courtesy of Bravo)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.