In the season 8 premiere of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, “The Shades of It All,” Cynthia’s marriage is put on blast when an incriminating video surfaces, Porsha has a new man in her life, Phaedra continues to adjust to life without Apollo, and Sheree and Kenya nearly come to blows.
The big news is that Kandi and Todd are expecting. This comes as no surprise to fans of RHOA, who watched the two struggle to conceive last season and finally learned that the two hit the payload.
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Another new development is that Porsha and Phaedra are now besties. Bygones appear to be bygones since Porsha has been very supportive as Phaedra has dealt with her marital issues. The two sit down to dish, and Phaedra swears that the relationship between herself and Apollo is cordial. That’s not to say she has forgiven or forgotten his behavior, but she’s making an effort for the sake of their kids.
The two aren’t divorced, but Phaedra has decided she’s ready to pull the trigger. Apollo is the one who put the bullet in the chamber when he told his wife last season he was ready to call it quits.
Porsha has a new man in her life, a much younger man, and she is hopeful that the relationship has a future. Porsha is also enjoying a huge amount of career success with her radio show.
If the Video Fits, You Can’t Acquit
Things aren’t going so well for Cynthia and Peter. He’s spending a lot of time in Charlotte running his sports bar, and some pretty damning video has come to light showing Peter nuzzling and getting very cozy with some woman who is most definitely not his wife.
This whole thing blew up months ago, but the video just saw the light of day during filming. Peter returns home from Charlotte to one very-pissed-off Cynthia. She confronts him about the mystery woman, and Peter blows it off as no big deal. I can say that watching the video, it’s a pretty damn big deal.
Cynthia has always dismissed rumors of Peter’s wandering eyes (and, in this case, hands and lips), but she thinks it’s about time he take some responsibility for his actions. Cynthia finds his behavior in the video inappropriate and embarrassing. In fact, Cynthia seems far more concerned about how this is going to give some of the ladies ammunition to use against her than her husband’s really suspect behavior. Phaedra and Porsha are already all over it, especially Phaedra, who had to endure Cynthia’s accusations that she had cheated on Apollo.
Cynthia admits that she and Peter are dealing with some real issues, especially since they only see each other about three times a week. She warns him that he needs to be more careful and use better judgement because his actions affect not just him, but also those around him.
Peter’s first line of defense is denial, but when Cynthia doesn’t back down, he tries to bail on the conversation.
Porsha’s New Man
Unlike Porsha’s mystery sugar daddy from season 7, we actually get to meet the new man in her life right away. His name is Duke and he plays football for the Buffalo Bills. The two are very lovey-dovey, but what couple isn’t after only dating a month? What attracts Porsha most to her new guy is the fact that he is so into her. Narcissist, party of one.
While I’m not one to deny any woman a fling with a younger guy, Porsha’s family apparently has some reservations about Porsha’s new squeeze. Could we have another Mama Joyce situation brewing?
Sticks and Stones
Still thick as theives are Cynthia and Kenya. Kenya takes Cynthia to see her new house, and it turns out Kenya will be living just minutes away from Sheree. Porsha and Sheree have met on a couple of occasions, and Cynthia encourages Kenya to make an effort to get to know Sheree better.
Kenya asks how things are going with Cynthia, and the video comes up. Cynthia knows Kenya has seen it, and she admits she’s disappointed and pissed off that her husband has put himself in this position. The two aren’t really communicating, but Cynthia has other things going on. She’s launching a line of eyewear and planning a big launch party.
The two drive by Sheree’s house, “Chateau Sheree,” which looks to be just about done, and then arrive at Kenya’s new pad. To say the place needs work would be an understatement. Kenya’s got big plans and views the dismal-looking abode as a great investment.
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Never Do Business with Friends
So where do Kandi and Phaedra stand? Well, even Kandi seems unsure. The two haven’t spoken in months, but the last time they did see each other, Phaedra acted like everything was cool. There’s two sides to every story, and Phaedra is struggling to understand how Kandi can be so sympathetic towards Apollo given the position he’s left Phaedra in.
Todd and Apollo are still chummy, and while Phaedra may claim their relationship is cordial, Apollo tells a different story. Apollo has been in jail for a year and has told Todd that he has yet to see his kids. Apollo also asserts that he’s lucky to speak to his kids once a month.
Todd has another ax to grind with Phaedra. He produced her and Apollo’s workout DVD and gave them the friends and family discount. With everything that has gone down, the video was never released, but Todd still upheld his end of the business arrangement and has yet to receive payment in full.
Todd wants the money. And he’s decided to send Kandi to try and get Phaedra to fork over the cash. Kandi isn’t eager to try and collect since she and Phaedra aren’t really talking, and truthfully, it’s Todd and Phaedra’s issue, not Kandi’s.
A Marriage in Crisis
Cynthia is trying to throw herself into work, but that video is all anyone wants to talk about. Cynthia’s sister, Malorie, who has never been a fan of Peter, can’t wait to throw in her two cents. Cynthia doesn’t think Peter has ever cheated on her, but like most men, she’s confident he’s capable of doing some dumb shit. Cynthia questions if Malorie thinks Peter is cheating, and she does. Maybe not in the sense that he’s sticking his dick in some stranger, but being openly affectionate with a strange woman is still a form of cheating.
Cynthia believes Malorie’s take on the situation is tainted by the fact that she’s just a more jealous person. Had Malorie’s husband behaved in the same way, Cynthia is confident Malorie would become completely unhinged. Like, kick the bastard out after burning all his shit unhinged.
Malorie thinks Peter needs to spend less time in Charlotte, but Cynthia reveals that Peter is actually entertaining the idea of getting a place there. Yeah, Cynthia, time to drop the microphone and say, “I’m out.” If I were her, I would nanny cam the crap out of any little love nest Peter might be feathering.
It doesn’t look like there’s a happily ever after in the cards for Peter and Cynthia. She finally breaks down and admits that she’s struggling more with the situation than she’s been letting on. But she took those vows and she’s determined to see them through. Cynthia knows that she and Peter have had their share of ups and down, but while she used to believe the challenges made them stronger, now she’s just not sure.
A Shade-y Launch Party
The night of the big launch arrives, and all the ladies come out to support Cynthia, and even though there are tensions in the group, everybody is playing nice. Also on hand is Marlo.
Marlo wants to know what her girl Kenya has been up to, and the conversation turns to her new home. The fact that Sheree lives on the corner is also of considerable interest to Marlo. Kenya slams Sheree’s house mercilessly. The place has been under construction for years, and Kenya has nicknamed the place “Chateau can’t pay.” Kenya should watch it because her place is a dump and she’s looking pretty jealous right about now.
Kenya also dishes that the neighbors have filed complaints, and the consensus in the exclusive enclave of Buckhead is that Sheree’s home is driving the value of the neighborhood down. Kenya brags that her home will be ready in three months, which is how it should be if you have “the coin.” We shall see.
Cynthia has yet to make her grand entrance, but Peter rolls up like there is no shame in his game. He gets a frosty reception from Kenya, but things heat up real quick. Kenya wonders why Peter is late, and he jokes that he was with the girl in the video. Not cool, Peter. Kenya goes off, and it’s hard to hate on Kenya for having Cynthia’s back. In an unexpected turn of events, Marlo tries to play peacemaker.
The ladies convene in a corner, and Malorie has lots to say about the situation. She even spills the beans that Cynthia isn’t feeling sexually attracted to Peter right now. No surprise. Malorie says the only reason she’s spreading her sister’s personal business all over the party like cheese on a cracker is because she really believes the ladies have a genuine concern for Cynthia and her marital woes. Some, maybe, but not all.
Cynthia finally shows up and she looks gorgeous, sporting a white bikini, a cover-up and very high heels. The general consensus among the women is how stupid Peter would have to be to cheat on one Miss Cynthia Bailey.
The only person who could upstage Cynthia on her big night is Sheree, who is back in the fold after several years of complete obscurity. Sheree has her detractors, but it’s Kenya who fires the first shot when she brings up all the controversy surrounding “Chateau Charade.” Sheree says that the only people allowed to have an opinion are those who have actually built a house, otherwise “keep renting.”
Sheree comes out swinging, pointing out that Kenya’s new money pit is infested with mold. Those in houses with no windows should not cast the first stone, Kenya. Yes, Sheree has been building her dream house for years, and no, she hasn’t moved in, but Housewives with no money isn’t big news.
It doesn’t look like Sheree will be dropping by Kenya’s borrow a cup of sugar any time soon. This battle is so nasty that we’ll have to wait until the next episode to see how it ends.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8pm on Bravo.
(Image courtesy of Bravo)