Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' - 'Happiness & Joy'
It's finale time in Atlanta, and first we get a quick recap of the season's highlights.
Nene freaked out on Sheree. Phaedra got cozy with dead people. Kandi developed a sex toy line. Cynthia and Peter hit some rough patches in their first year of marriage. Kim and Kroy had a baby. Sheree fought for child support. We met crazy Marlo. The ladies went to Africa.
And it's pretty much been downhill since then. The last few episodes were marked by very little drama outside of the ludicrously inflated tension between Kim, Kandi and Cynthia over those jokes made in Africa.
Will the finale turn it up a notch? Or will the ladies end their fourth season in an unusually quiet fashion?
NENE AND CYNTHIA
As they shop for furniture, Cynthia says Nene's taste runs toward browns and tans but needs a splash of color every now and then. More importantly, she wants to know what's going on with Nene. Nene says her L.A. trip went really well, but she's struggling about her future with Greg. She's decided to move forward with the divorce, describing it as "like a death." She's sick of living in limbo, "We've gotta make a decision before we both go crazy."
Cynthia understands, "A lot of things have changed since you and Greg got married. This is good for everybody in your life." Nene says Greg will still be in her life but they're gonna have to cut everything off -- no sex or anything.
She's unwrapping a package -- "It's Happiness and Joy!" She's very excited to have the samples of her long awaited sex toy in her hand. "It's just how I hoped it would be," Kandi says. The whole line has been developed in five months, so Kandi feels a sense of accomplishment. She wants to hook the sample up to music so she can try it out.
She also sees her lipstick vibrator via Skype. "Can you imagine taking that on a plane? And all the fun things you can do!"
She's planning a party to stir up buzz for the line: "If all goes well, this party should help me build an empire."
It's finally the big day of her modeling agency's open call. She has a panel of judges and plans to only accept students who could actually get work as a model. "When you say model search you're gonna get everybody who thinks, or their friend thinks, or their cousin thinks, they should be a model."
She wants to keep it positive and give them options: acting, hair and makeup. Hmm, maybe starring on a reality show?
She's at her clothing store again when Phaedra drops by to announce, "I heard there's gonna be some men!" Phaedra asks for clarification, "They're gonna be in clothes?" Kandi answers, "No strippers!" Phaedra suggests shirtless men in Speedos, but Kandi wants the guys shirtless in pants.
Sheree joins the party and encourages Phaedra's Speedo idea. Just like Cynthia, they're holding auditions, except here the guys are required to take off their shirts. Kandi says she's looking for men who can "be seductive."
Phaedra is not pleased with the first few contenders: "What is with all these guys not working out? You know you're in Atlanta." But they finally find some guys who meet their approval, including a whole troop of body building masseuses willing to demonstrate their talents for the ladies. According to Sheree, "A sister loves a foot massage."
KIM AND KROY
They're on their second date without the baby, but feel a little lost without the kids. She wishes him a happy 26th birthday (Kroy says he's "catching up" to her before Kim helpfully explains that's not quite how it works).
Kim has a question: "Is it selfish that I'm having your birthday dinner early so I can give you your present because I can't keep a secret?" Not if it's timed to the season finale, Kim.
She explains that Big Papa bought her nice things but never filled the void she felt. Everything with Kroy is great and easy. She's so eager to give him his birthday gift that they get their food to go. A car pulls up with a big bow on it -- an "extra turbo" Porsche with a "celebrity tint and everything." Happy birthday Kroy!
She's meeting her incredibly creepy "business partner" John. Now that she's moving forward with the divorce, Nene just wants to "do me." But it seems like John has other ideas. They've been trying to find a perfect location for a lounge in Atlanta. He suggests New York -- where he lives. She's worried about driving in the city, but he says he'll "take care of you being driven properly." All this awkward flirting needs to stop, please.
Poor John says he felt "broken into a million pieces" and declares Nene "the glue that can fix me." Nene says she still needs time to heal from the pain of her last relationship. But John has a surprise gift: a $30,000 Rolex watch. "It's getting weird," Nene says. "But I still need to get this watch! It's great for me to meet someone who is very wealthy, who has a very giving heart, who is willing to shower me with gifts and give me the world."
Nene is flattered by his compliments but "it's too much, too soon." She'd rather date "a few people at the same time, what's wrong with being a player?" Sorry John, maybe next season. (But we hope not.)
It's her first class at The Bailey Agency: Modeling 101. "I'm gonna tell you guys what to do in any model situation!" But this brief interstitial isn't "Atlanta's Next Top Model," it's just killing time before the show's final segment.
ALL TOGETHER NOW
Even though it feels like barely anything has happened so far, we're already at the week's big event: the Bedroom Kandi launch party.
Kandi admits she tweeted the invite to her followers, so anyone could come. "They're the ones that'll buy it, they're the ones who'll talk about it," she says in savvy businesswoman mode.
The beefcake masseuses are doing their thing as Kandi explains she wants to be "known as the boss of pleasure." And she's clearly having fun doing it: "I've never had this many men rubbing on me at the same time."
Nene is on her way, playing designated driver for Marlo and Cynthia. Marlo mocks Kandi for promoting the party on Twitter. Nene wonders for all Kandi talks about sex, "Why doesn't she have a man?"
Phaedra is much more supportive, arriving at the party and immediately demanding Kandi show her some booty. And Phaedra tosses off the week's best line: "I love to see everybody's booty. I'm a donkologist, Ph.D." (And, yes, it's a word! The urban dictionary helpfully defines it thusly: "one who studies donk (badonkadonk, booty, etc) and determines whether a girl has a certified donk." So there.)
Nene and crew arrive, and Cynthia tells us she knows a Twitter party when she sees one. This is a Twitter party. But that doesn't stop her from eyeing some of the masseuses as potential models.
Nene isn't surprised by the half naked men. According to her, Kandi is synonymous with "strippers, dingalings, vajayjays, get it from the back, get it from the side." (I guess that's different from getting it from your soon-to-be ex-husband?)
Negative Nene isn't going to get Kandi down. She proudly tells the camera that even though she and Phaedra are starting very different businesses, both are very needed. They're proving they both know how to make money. She also clarifies that just because her mother wasn't supportive of the infamous riDICKulous doesn't mean she's not supportive of Bedroom Kandi. Mama Joyce understands the need.
Nene just isn't feeling the party. She's "not used to being around a whole bunch of Twitter people" trying to take her photo. She acts like she's in a celebrity petting zoo. Kandi doesn't care what Nene and her crew think because they're not going to buy the products anyway.
Sheree and Kim arrive, and Kim observes: "Dildos, half naked men everywhere, this is definitely a Kandi party."
Marlo and Cynthia decide to try out the massages but Nene refuses. She's not in a spa, so no way.
Nene can't take it anymore. She's "ready to leave dingaling land." Cynthia is upset. Marlo reminds Nene that they all came together, in one car. Nene says they can catch a ride.
Marlo tries to force her into a massage and Nene throws a mini-tantrum. She's not even saying goodnight to Kandi or the others. Cynthia and Marlo say their goodbyes as Nene heads for the exit. Kandi helpfully sums up the message of the last few episodes: "Since we've been back from Africa, the camaraderie has totally disappeared."
With Nene on her way out, the producers let Kim get the last word with a tortured joke that amounts to "Nene doesn't need a dildo because she already has a dick in her pants."
And that's a wrap on season four!
The on screen epilogues reveal...
- Kim and Kroy were married on 11/11/11.
- Kandi's next field to conquer is rock music.
- Phaedra is designing a makeup line for morticians and shooting a workout video with Apollo.
- Sheree is still fighting for child support while Chateau Sheree remains "on hold."
- Cynthia's agency classes are full.
- Nene has her recurring role on "Glee" and is officially divorced (but remains "friends with benefits" with Greg).
Our pick for Housewife of the Week: Phaedra Parks, Donkologist, Ph.D. The season's M.V.P., she's kept the show fun even when things turn ugly, or -- even worse -- boring.
NEXT WEEK: If you're disappointed that this wasn't one of the show's more explosive finales -- unless Nene walking out of the party solo signifies her exit from the show, there was actually no legitimate drama the entire hour -- the reunion preview promises plenty of smack talking, back stabbing and general insanity. The most worrisome thing of all: Marlo was invited!
What did you think of Kandi's party and Nene's negative attitude? What do you hope happens in the reunion? And why do they keep threatening us with the painful possibility Marlo might join the cast?