Real Housewives Of Atlanta Reunion Part 3 Recap: A New NeNe Leakes?

NeNe Leakes breakdown at RHOA reunion

So – part 3 of the Real Housewives Of Atlanta reunion, did anyone ask themselves: What the hell did I just watch? I hope it wasn’t just me. 

Honestly I have no idea what was even going on except NeNe Leakes was reenacting Sybil with multiple personalities – she was ragey, and laughing, and cagey, yelling, crying, being open, being sympathetic – Lord I need Dr. Jeff to sit next to me on a sofa and stroke my hand. Help me, Dr. Jeff, help me! #ThisAintPhaedra

But first Peter Thomas gets his moment in the sun. He’s been waiting; a peach sitting ripening in the sun until it turned rotten and fell to the earth, but finally someone noticed it – its pit poking through the wrinkled, moldy skin. Kenya Moore and NeNe are yelling about whether or not NeNe flirted with Peter, so finally someone decided to ask Peter, who was inevitably siting right there. Peter denied it, but managed to turned it into a diatribe about how Kenya deserves a million apologies for being wrongly judged by these women because they believed she was flirting with Apollo.


Here’s where it got mega-amusing, because I assume this was supposed to be a compliment but Peter said, to explain Kenya‘s flirtatious behavior, “Kenya and Apollo are the same type of people.” Kenya and Apollo are both sociopathic liars who don’t care who they hurt so long as they get their way and won’t hesitate to manipulate, threaten, or go way, way too far, but aren’t they both such charming, attractive, and fun individuals?! 

Then Peter denied having affairs with Bar One waitresses because he’s saving himself for J.Lo. I would love to see how that turns out, but in truth Peter is quickly becoming my favorite person on this show. His delusion is ripe for the picking and, unlike the other broads on this stage, never grows stale.   

Next there is a long-winded story from Cynthia Bailey, who rambles, and rambles and rambles (and I swear her wig grew like Pinocchio’s nose) as she described how her friendship with NeNe fell apart. Cynthia shouts that NeNe tried to take food off her table by wanting her fired… I am confused: I thought Bar One put food on Cynthia’s table? But who knows maybe the table with the food on it was repossessed. Whatever – I just hope Cynthia’s hair, like Cousin Its, grows until she disappears into a mass of hairy-weave. She can take Porsha Williams with her.!

Cynthia on friendship with NeNe

NeNe sniffles about how Cynthia was a real friend and they were like sisters; closer than any other friend she’s lost on RHOA. NeNe needs to ask herself why she cannot keep a friend. c

Andy ponders the evolution of Porsha from Little Miss Prim & Proper to Princess Of THOTland. We need Kordell back to keep her on a short leash, otherwise her shorts may burst open again leaving her to wear nothing but a thong. I have no patience for this personality and morals flip-flopper, nor her inability to wear pants. 

Then Andy asks Kandi Burruss and Todd about their marriage. Todd is still unsettled about their prenup and the way Kandi handled it. He’s also annoyed that she’s an over-discloser. Oh – and Mama Joyce is still a giant thorn in their sides. The other castmates make stank face when Kandi and Todd talk bout their lives because they all know it spirals into the most stupidly named spinoff of all time: Kandi’s Ski Trip. What genius at Bravo came up with that one? There was no kitschy play on words they could work with, like Kandi Koated Kross-Kountry? I suppose the Kardashians have the monopoly on K-abuse. 

Sadly, Todd then shares about Miss Sharon‘s passing.  The day it happened he had been calling his mom all day, with no answer, until he finally asked a neighbor to go check on her, but it was too late. Todd reveals that both Peter and Gregg were very supportive and Gregg spoke at Miss Sharon’s funeral. Kandi admits that Phaedra was also extremely supportive. Interesting – so Kandi and NeNe hate each other, but Todd and Gregg are friends. Kandi and Todd believe the tragedy has made their marriage stronger and they are undergoing IVF, which explains Kandi’s bountiful bosom: hormones. 

Gregg pontificates about headlights, which I imagine was referencing the fact that every single woman on the stage had hers prominently on display. Other than that I have no idea what he was talking about, but then the husbands all turned into taillights and left the stage. 

Claudia Jordan finally rumbles to life when the fight in Puerto Rico is brought up. Claudia wants more apologies for the clit comment, but NeNe demurs because in an argument one isn’t conscious of what they’re saying. I don’t hear Claudia issuing apologies, yet she is constantly whining about how she’s been wronged and offended by horrible hypocritical women and expecting everyone to grovel at her snaggletoes. That’s literally been her entire storyline. And honestly I had forgotten Claudia was even there until that moment, like perhaps Kenya had turned off her voice box? 

Claudia Jordan on NeNe

The one instance where Claudia is seriously owed an apology is for NeNe calling her a “half breed.” NeNe does not apologize. Oh no, instead she makes countless excuses and claims Claudia never even heard her say it and only got upset after the show aired. Uhhhhh… That is irrelevant – NeNe still made a racist comment and needs to not only own it but APOLOGIZE. So she does – to the viewers, but not to Claudia, who apparently doesn’t deserve one because she made her storyline about being bi-racial. I am stabbing the TV at this point – aiming for NeNe’s hot glue-gunned together wig. 

Finally when I can take no more Dr. Jeff materializes and is squashed between NeNe, her ego, and Phaedra Parks on a sofa with NeNe keeping her back to Dr. Jeff. NeNe is still furious that he turned therapy 1.0 into bash NeNe, but as Dr. Jeff so eloquently twists NeNe’s words to explain he knew all the women respected and admired NeNe so much he wanted them to examine how they could get back into her good graces. He also wanted the strong and powerful NeNe to be open and let down those walls! It works, because stroking NeNe’s ego always works. 

NeNe loses it at RHOA reunion

NeNe tersely whimpers that she has serious fears of rejection due to her parents abandoning her. Kenya tries to empathize because her mom never acknowledged her either but then NeNe bursts into to tears. “I can’t talk about my mom,” she husks into her kleenex. While the Tissue Rescue Squad is gathering around her she flees the stage, dramatically escorted by Porsha, Phaedra, and of all people, Cynthia. I personally was more focused on my worry that someone would trip on Porsha’s 10-foot train (did she confuse this reunion with her wedding day?). 

Backstage, NeNe is all tears and sobbing and dramatic sniffling. Is this BRAAAAA-WAY caliber acting or a real breakthrough? I am confused, but also conflicted. Should I be buying this new NeNe Leakes or accepting that it’s another stepping stone in her torturous path to avoid all responsibility for her own misbehavior? I mean NeNe is the queen of fleeing situations she doesn’t want to address, but this is like the ultimate about-face walkaway. Masterful, really. 

Andy, looking shell-shocked, questions Gregg about what is going on and in the single most riveting moment of the reunion Gregg reveals that NeNe’s mother had 5 children very young and abandoned NeNe and another brother to be raised by an aunt then disappeared. NeNe has never come to terms with this … it seems like there was MUCH MUCH MUCH more to be said when NeNe reemerged, holding Dr. Jeff’s hand.

NeNe escorted off RHOA reunion stage

Then Cynthia popped up, kissing Dr. Jeff succinctly on the top of his head like he was a a wayward toddler. With her massive flowbee weave, Cynthia is full 2 feet taller than Gregg, Andy, and Dr. Jeff. 

Back on stage the other women were unsure of how to react. Kenya admonishes Kandi for having no compassion – their reactions were really fascinating to me. It was a total dropping of personas. 

When NeNe returns, Andy asks Cynthia about consoling her “ex-friend” and Cynthia admits she knows a lot about NeNe’s past, how much she has overcome and how strong she is. It made me sad a bit: if these two could drop the drama and the egos they could be friends again. 

NeNe waxes poetic about having a breakthrough and being changed – she even praises Kenya and Claudia for their support. The reunion ended on a positive note with each lady reflecting that, although this was an incredibly difficult season – particularly for Phaedra, there was light at the end of the tunnel. But alas, the reunion was Philippines 2.0: it seemed like it was all good and progress has been made, but as soon as it ended it was as if none of the “work” had ever happened.

In the immortal words of Paul Abdul, a leopard-print jumpsuit (with hood!) and an animated dancing Cheetah, “I take… 2 steps forward. I take… 2 steps back. We come together cuz opposites attract. You know it ain’t friction, just a natural fact, that opposites attract.” 


[Photo Credits: Bravo]