Real Housewives Of Atlanta Recap: Family Values

On last night’s Real Housewives Of Atlanta complicated relationships were confronted with some surprising results. Most upsetting was watching Kenya Moore be rejected by her mother Patricia. It was as unnerving as watching Carrie, you just knew was was gonna happen, you felt it – the impending cruelty and betrayal, but you kept hoping you were wrong. 

Kandi Burruss is baby shopping with Mama Joyce who suddenly loves everyone – even Todd! Even Phaedra Parks! Now Mama Joyce wants to be a “granny with a nanny” and put a nursery for Ace at her house, so she can be very involved. Mama Joyce is always up to something… I don’t trust that lady as far as I could throw her. Kandi seems dubious as well, but she knows better than to poke a tiger! 

Mama Joyce has decided Kandi and Phaedra need to fix their friendship, so she volunteers to pay Phaedra a little a visit. Kandi doesn’t think it’s a good idea and nervously laughs off the suggestion. 


Kenya has made the painful decision to confront her past by hosting a family reunion in Detroit complete with ambushing her estranged mother – on camera – while a party bus full of people idle near by. It was like one of those StarTracks tours in LA, except instead of stars they were stalking, it was the cruel light of dysfunctional family values. 

Kenya arrives in Detroit with her Aunt Lori, and bizarrely, Brandon. her assistant. Who flew separately? Um… OK. Is he her estranged child – why is he there? Aunt Lori looks fabulous and needs to dole out tips to other Housewives about dressing elegantly and age-appropriate. 

Kenya’s father Ronald also arrives with his wife, Kathy, Kenya’s step-mom. After Kenya fled Houston (and Ronald), she had a strained relationship with Kathy, but after last week’s episode when a few tears with Ronald were shed in a public park, it’s all good. Trees are beautiful, healing creatures – just look at those leaves! That should be EVERYONE’s strategy when Kenya tries to get messy or confrontational, just twirl to the nearest potted plant or shrubbery and say, “Look at those leaves!”

Back in Atlanta, Porsha Williams has drama with her sister/assistant Lauren. Poor Porsha – Lauren is pregnant, which means PORSHA isn’t getting all the attention she demands. While Lauren is barely keeping her lunch down, Porsha is eating for two, then sexercising with her personal trainer DP.  

Lauren and Porsha had an issue because Lauren decided to work from home and missed a crucial delivery at the office, which cost Porsha money. 

Porsha and Lauren

Lauren meets Porsha at the gym to discuss their business matter. Cause that’s a professional locale. Porsha takes a break from her THOT-SQUATS to shriek at Lauren about how she doesn’t deserve to ride first class on the Underground Railroad because Porsha is a businesswoman who RUNS things. Sisters are sisters – they fight, get nasty, get mean – they’ll work it out, but I hope Lauren steals Porsha’s ‘I’m VERY RICH AND ENERPRENURIAL-Y’ credit card to charge a spa vacation and a designer maternity wardrobe first. 

A few days later Porsha ambles over to Lauren’s apartment carrying the Peachter Thomas Sowry Gift of half-assed supermarket flowers. Porsha realizes she’s not mad Lauren is slacking a little at work, she’s upset because Lauren has gone and got her own life – a life that Porsha feels should belong to her. Instead of being married and pregnant, Porsha is divorced and shilling lingerie. 

Literally shoveling food into her mouth like a contestant in an extreme emotional eating contest, Porsha promises Lauren she’s totally FIINNNE with her little sister being pregnant – even though Porsha is being stood-up for Skype dates by no-status NFL players. Yep, totally fine! FINE! FINE! FINE! Lauren shadily wonders why Porsha is gaining weight if she’s so fine. Porsha steals the pregnant girl’s caramel dip and apples and stomps out. 

Cynthia Bailey is rifling through her dull, dark, lifeless closet to pack for a spontaneous romantic getaway with Peachter. Apparently we’re pretending Cynthia is in love with Peter now. She has no idea where they’re going. My guess: the bank to withdraw her money, but she’s supposed to pack sexy clothes. Cynthia’s closet depresses me as much as her marriage does. 

 Noelle wanders in to help Cynthia pack and questions why Cynthia is giving Peter another chance. Cynthia woefully informs Noelle that someday she too may find herself opting to stay in a drab, lifeless marriage, with a drab, lifeless closet, in a drab, lifeless reality show, because of love. Real inspiring advice! Then Cynthia leaves her teenaged daughter home alone and rushes off to the airport, because when Peachter beckons the Real CynthiaDumb Doll puts on her pseudo-happy face. They share some vacation photos of them standing in front of a green-screen of a beach. 

In Detroit, Kenya’s party bus without the party drives her family (plus Brandon) around for a Memories Tour. The last stop is Kenya’s mother Patricia’s house. “Surprise MOM – HERE’S KEEEENYA!”.

I don’t know what’s up with Kenya’s mom. She was a teen mom who abandoned Kenya as an infant and never bothered to form a relationship with her; behaving as if Kenya didn’t exist. Ronald feels Kenya has no choice but to let her mother go, but Kenya wants to give her mother one last chance. Now Patricia apparently lives a normal middle-class life … while still ignoring Kenya. Beyond bizarre. 

Kenya Moore Family Reunion

Despite her father’s warning, Kenya knocks on Patricia’s door announcing, “It’s me Kenya!” Kenya actually hears her mother instructing someone inside not to open the door, then Kenya heard the door being locked! Kenya continues calling until Ronald retrieves her to lead her gently back to the bus as Kenya tears up. Fortunately what’s on the bus is a loving future, but she is forced to accept Patricia will never accept her. 

I feel so sad for Kenya! However, I do not think that was a moment for TV. Maybe Kenya’s mom didn’t open the door because she knew cameras were out there? Or maybe Patricia is just a horrible person who turned her back on her own daughter? Whatever the case, it’s incredibly heartbreaking for Kenya and her family. 

After Patricia’s rejection, the bus drives to Kenya’s Aunt Lisa’s house for the family reunion, where Kenya is surrounded by love from her father’s family. No one from her mother’s family attended, except Aunt Lori, who bizarrely left after learning Kenya paid a visit to Patricia. An upset Kenya is encouraged by a family friend that she must embrace the future with the family that loves her, not continue to dwell in the past. So Kenya puts on a hot pink “KENYA’S FAMILY REUNION” t-shirt and does just that. And Brandon stands awkwardly in the corner singing kumbaya with a bunch of people initially hired to be extras on Life Twirls On pretending to feel the love. OK, I kid – they were Kenya’s real family, but Brandon was still awkward as hell. 

Speaking of awkward, back in ATL Mama Joyce unexpectedly arrives at Phaedra’s law office to issue her a few threats about not letting Kandi get stressed during her high-risk pregnancy. Is Don Juan working under MJ’s command, or are these Warriors For Kandi merely sharing a brain? Phaedra is on edge, or afraid, or gently testing the trigger on her taser under the desk. 

Mama Joyce confronts Phaedra

It’s all tense until Mama Joyce proposes that Phaedra help plan Kandi’s baby shower. Phaedra immediately starts imagining ridiculous themes and promises not to let Joyce down. As soon as MJ departs, I imagine Phaedra texted Dwight ‘911 – put your nose back on cause we’re about to throw a baby shower with live animals and no taste. It will be dreadfully fabulous, as everybody knows.’ At least I hope Dwight will be resurrected…

Since Mama Joyce is the Godmother of RHOA, when she makes a threat one anticipates getting whacked upside the head with a clog in a bridal salon. And such is the power of her hit squad: you never saw the smack coming. So Phaedra decides to make things right with Todd. Phaedra is now, miraculously, emotionally ready to address such trifling issues from her past. 

And far from being ‘completed’ as Todd previously stated, and despite Phaedra not enjoying the view of herself Prancersizing in Polka Dots hours before birthing a baby, she assures Todd he’ll get his $8,000. Phaedra knows he needs the job, and she doesn’t need the loose change one might find under the couch. Dang – Mama Joyce is working some voodoo mind tricks on RHOA, because suddenly even Todd is singing her praises (as remixed by Kandi, who has her royalty checks deposited into MJ’s account).

Kandi Burruss

Look, Phaedra, if it’s no big deal, write the man a check and focus on moving forward – without the rude and shady comments. Let’s hope that Phaedra gives Todd and Kandi the check for a baby present and plans a shower that does not feature live tigers in cages named Joyce

Uh… where was Kim Fields


[Photo Credits: Bravo]

For anyone interested: Here’s an old People magazine article from 1993 about Kenya’s relationship with her mom.