After the crazy ass catfights that probably put South Africa on NATO's watch list, the ladies of Atlanta seem mostly content to quietly gossip, complain and then gossip some more in this episode. Well, except for two of the players who didn't go to South Africa, who don't have jet lag but do have plenty of venom toward one another, the toxic jet fuel necessary to keep a battle that simply refuses to be resolved ticking -- Peter vs. Mal. If this were a romantic comedy, we'd learn that Peter and Mal actually really love one another, and Peter would ultimately dump Cynthia for her less attractive, pear-shaped sister. But, this not being a rom com, I think it's safe to say these two really hate one another, and poor Cynthia is just going to have to deal with it.
Kim and Sweetie
Sweetie continues to suck as a personal assistant. Now, she's ducking out to smoke cigarettes, telling the kids to go eff themselves (but not saying eff, mind you) and generally acting like Kim's other bratty teenager. But the good thing? She can FIRE this bratty teenager. But Kim doesn't want to do that. She's known Sweetie for 12 years! And she's loyal! You can't buy loyalty! Yes, you can, Kim. It's called a confidentiality agreement and a sweet sign-up bonus. Anyway, I think we're going to have to wait for Sweetie to actually kill Kim's dog or spray paint the living room to get fired.
Phaedra is still hung up on dead people. I suspect Phaedra realized her home life wasn't (or at least she didn't want it to be) the battleground Bravo expects from its wives, plus Phaedra seems pretty conflict averse to boot, so she had to find something marginally gross to hold our interest and stay on the show. Thus, funeral director Jessica McClain shows her how to embalm a dummy. Phaedra dives into this task with great relish and names her dummy Anna Belle before applying its make-up like an overeager extra on "CSI." I admire Phaedra's commitment, and kudos to her for finding an angle that essentially pulls her out of all the show's bickering, but I am not eager to see any actual dead people.
Nene and Bryson
Bryson comes home from jail, and NeNe decides to let her soon-to-be ex-husband Gregg deal with it. I was hoping for a dramatic laying down of the law, but basically all Gregg does is toss a bunch of platitudes at Gregg and stare at the kid, who seems only marginally smarter than a bag of hair. Finally, NeNe has to jump in and inform him he needs to get a new job and move out. No deadline is set, however, and this sounds like a threat she's made before, so the long and short of it? Lots of talking, but nothing is said. And honestly, short of packing Bryson's bags and putting them in the yard while a locksmith changes the locks, I don't think he'd get it anyway.
Cynthia and Peter
Oh, yay. Peter is happily planning his big one year anniversary party. And Cynthia can come, too! Just kidding. She has to come, so that everyone can see the hot chick he bagged. Yay, Peter! Anyway, Peter wants to make sure no one comes to his anniversary party in jeans. Oh, and the party's 20 percent over budget, so he needs to borrow money from Cynthia. For once, Cynthia does not seem like a total weenie and suggests that Peter just cut the damn budget, as she didn't want a big party anyway. But Peter wanted to make sure their friends were impressed. Um, wasn't this supposed to be a wonderful gift to your blushing bride, Peter? Peter seems to think this is his party, as he also doesn't want Cynthia to allow Mal in the limo they're taking to the party they can't afford.
Now, it's Mal's turn, as she comes over to visit Cynthia and say almost all the things the rest of us are yelling at the television about Peter. Mal is not convinced that the party idea was both Cynthia and Peter's. Mal also points out that Peter gets a 24/7 pass on being an ass from Cynthia -- he's tired, he's cranky, he ate some bad fish! Cynthia doesn't care that Mal is making ALL kinds of sense, so she decides it's time to inform Mal that she's not allowed in the limo. Mal is not amused, but Cynthia seems to think Mal is the problem, so Mal is out.
Ironically, it doesn't matter anyway -- the limo doesn't turn up. Who does turn up? Kithe Brewster, Cynthia's long-suffering best friend. He left a photo shoot in the Middle East to come to this dumb party. Kithe's job, it seems, is to be the quiet voice of logic as he watches his friend defend a pitiful excuse for a marriage, alienate her sister and probably spend all her money on 20 percent overages until the whole thing goes down in flames. Poor Kithe.
Finally, everyone starts showing up, including Marlo. Marlo has kicked Charles to the curb and found herself a pocket sized old white guy. I bet she likes him because she can cram him in one of her Birkins. NeNe thinks white is right, as she has a white boyfriend, too.
Cynthia gets ready for the party, and while she looks great, she seems to have a toaster strudel on her head. Her mom and Mal drop in for moral support, which includes telling her what a shock it is that she's still married. He mom also thinks Peter is bipolar. I think Cynthia's mom and Mal may want to shut up at this point, because Cynthia is clearly on Team Peter for the long haul. Seriously, they should just shut it and know that they can say "I told you so" when she declares bankruptcy after the divorce.
While it seems like all the drama of South Africa has been put aside, as long as Sheree is on the show, she will keep finding new veins to mine until someone ruins a manicure clawing out the eyes of another housewife. In this case, Sheree shows up to the party with her hair stylist Lawrence, but not before she informs him that Marlo used the F word (the one that rhymes with maggots) during her fight with Sheree. Lawrence is not amused. But when he confronts Marlo she denies it. Of COURSE she never said such a thing! Even if it was caught by TV cameras and will air on screens across the country very, very soon!
Amazingly, Sheree finds Kandi to get confirmation on the F word issue. Wow, they're actually speaking to one another? Kandi does confirm it happened and doesn't even kick Sheree in the shins for fun.
Peter calls for a toast. But he doesn't want Mal included. And informs EVERYONE AT THE PARTY he doesn't want Mal there. Peter definitely looks like a class act, doesn't he? Marlo cries. Kithe tries to calm down Mal. But then, Cynthia decides it's her turn to offer some moral support. Stop being disrespectful, Mal! Cynthia declares. This is my life! Yes, Cynthia, this is your life. And we all feel kind of sorry for you because of it.
Who do you side with in the battle between Peter and Mal? Do you think Kim should fire Sweetie? And what do you think of NeNe and Gregg's attempt to give Bryson tough love?