There's a lot going on in this episode of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," but the truth is, the only really important storyline is the one involving Peter and Cynthia. While everyone else is running around, writing songs, spending money and generally enjoying life, our beleaguered couple seems to be waltzing ever closer to divorce. In most cases I'd say that was a sad state of affairs, but each week I find myself hoping that Cynthia will realize that Peter is an obnoxious, rigid, self-absorbed ass and get the hell out.
But there are other housewives with whom we must deal before we can get to Cynthia and Peter's storyline, so let's get to it. Phaedra's mom Regina is babysitting for little Ayden, who quickly tires of flash cards and wants his mommy, since Grandma seems like a loud, chattering nutball when there are cameras rolling. In any case, Phaedra admits to her mom that her husband Apollo is not on board with the funeral home thing, because when people think dead people, they think vampires. What? Anyway, Phaedra want to throw funerals worth dying for. "Not just throw 'em in the ground, throw 'em in the ground with a bang!" she says, and I'm really wishing she'd choose another catch phrase, because now I keep imagining her tossing coffins in the ground with small explosives and it's just a messy, messy image. Phaedra hopes that a visit to Willie Watkins will impress Apollo so much he'll get into the funeral game. I think Apollo just doesn't relish the idea of being the bag man driving around dead bodies, which seems considerably worse than driving a taxi, but Phaedra has a vision and he'd better damn well get with the program, it seems.
Finally, it's time for Cynthia and Peter. They're going to take a salsa lesson, which seems like the absolute worst idea given that Cynthia still wants to smother him with a designer sweater for ducking out of her party without telling her. Peter thinks the tension in their relationship has to do with a lack of fun, thus, salsa! What? Um, to her credit, Cynthia tells Peter that's crap, as the tension largely stems from his inability to be happy for her and his weird, passive aggressive party ditch. But Peter doesn't LIKE to say goodbye! And by the way, he doesn't love everything about Cynthia, either. Yes, he really knows how to dig a ditch for himself, doesn't he? I'm sure this nasty approach has worked on more insecure girls in the past, but it's not working on Cynthia. She isn't buying "the Peter Thomas package."
Peter, being surprisingly thick, isn't letting go of that package, however. He's ALWAYS been a mule-headed ass, so Cynthia better accept it. In fact, he's so happy with himself he's going to talk like this the rest of his life! He then tells her that if she doesn't like it, she should get off the train. To which I say, jump, Cynthia! Jump! The idea that Peter throws a big baby fit at the prospect of changing ANY of his bad habits should be the checkered flag Cynthia needs to re-enter the singles' scene, honestly. I still can't believe, of all the engagements she broke off, this is the guy she decided to marry.
Elsewhere, Kim is having problems with her bratty older daughter Brielle. Brielle doesn't have to help out, doesn't want to unpack the ugly Versace china, doesn't have to do anything but text on her stupid phone. Kroy suggests that she wouldn't last two days on her own in the real world so she might want to behave herself, but even Kroy can't get through to her. Oddly, nothing really happens and there are no consequences to Brielle being a total brat, so really, I don't think she's going to stop anytime soon. Way to go with the parenting, Kim!
Kandi is off to Jo Dee Messina's house in Nashville with Lil' Ronnie. They work on a song. This is probably interesting if you would like to be a songwriter, or you're a fan of Jo Dee Messina, or you like looking at framed awards on the wall. Otherwise, not so much.
NeNe meets Marlo Hampton for lunch, which is a bit of a surprise given that Marlo is widely viewed as the woman who scooped up NeNe's sloppy seconds in the form of Charles Grant. But NeNe needs a friend more than she cares about some guy who "never saw my Hello Kitty," as she informs Marlo. That's nice. Anyway, it's time to bond. Marlo shares that she'd been arrested seven times, though five of those were for violation of probation. Oh, that makes it so much better! All of this incarceration stems from her getting into a fight with a girl at a club, and her mother was from the projects so no one should judge her. I think NeNe judges her a little bit, but she wants to go shopping with another tall girl with big feet, so she'll just pass that by.
Oh yay, it's time to head back to Kim's house. Sheree stops by so that she can make Kim healthy. This entails making Kim do two minutes of yoga (during which Kim whines like she's been forced to make license plates in prison) and juicing things. Kim is not into vegetables or fruit. Whatever does she put on her fine Versace china, anyway? Sheree would be better off trying to teach a kitten math or do agility training with a turtle.
Phaedra and Apollo go to meet with Willie Watkins, and Phaedra takes the opportunity to gush over dead people, vampires and crazy funerals. She loves vampires. Does Phaedra understand that no one she buries is coming back? And if they do, they will not look like anyone in the cast of "Twilight"? Apollo, who does not seem to share Phaedra's enthusiasm for either vampires or dead people, is somewhat grossed out by the embalming room, which seems like an appropriate reaction.
Marlo invites NeNe to the Captain Planet fundraiser, which seems to be focused on a lot of rich, white, blonde women who have some relationship with Ted Turner. His daughter and his girlfriend are there, and they look pretty much interchangeable. Because it's a jewelry fundraiser, Marlo buys an outrageously expensive ring, but NeNe isn't opening her purse for anything. Her presence is her gift, I suppose. Let the environment be damned!
Uh-oh. Apollo brings Phaedra flowers at her office, which makes me think he's going to tell her her mortuary business is way too gross for him. And yes, he starts out by telling her that he's worried that she'll be tainted by the souls of the recently deceased if she moves forward with the deal. Phaedra tells him how wonderful he'll be with the old ladies and the widows, and how they'll love squeezing his biceps. It's pretty obvious flattery, but soon enough he's on board, floating dead souls be damned. Still, he ain't touching no dead bodies.
Finally, we end with Cynthia and Peter seeking counseling from Pastor Pollard, who married them. Pastor Pollard whips out his tablet computer, and I sort of suspect he's playing solitaire or doing his taxes, because nothing he says seems particularly insightful. Cynthia explains that she needs Peter to break a few bad habits and stop acting like a dinosaur. Peter loves this, because he now has a criticism he can focus on while completely derailing an otherwise sane conversation. The pastor makes a joke and then asks them both to tell one another what they love about each other. Cynthia has a long, long list. She loves that Peter is smart and strong and wonderful in many, many ways. Peter, on the other hand, dodges the question. What is wrong with this jerk? Finally he says he loves so many things about her… but he gives her nothing really concrete. She makes him smile. Um, that's not something about her, really. But Peter thinks the session was HUGELY helpeful. He wants to always have a third party help them!
Cynthia tells Peter she sometimes doesn't like or love him anymore. But they both need a lot of work. And they're going to work on everything together. Funny, I don't think Peter has ever really apologized for ducking out of the party, made a concrete plan to change his behavior or indicated he's going to do anything other than exactly what he wants to do, Cynthia be damned. We haven't even begun to scrape the surface, either, under which we have Peter's jealousy of his wife, his insecurity and his need to control her by making her feel insignificant and stupid. Cynthia, however, seems to have high hopes going forward. Sigh.
Next week, Kim learns how to shoot. And Kim and NeNe are forced to interact! Are these two things connected? It's about time we had a fussy dinner party end in a rain of gunfire -- although that's really more of an HBO thing, I suppose.
Do you think Cynthia and Peter are going to last? What does Kim need to do to get Brielle to stop being a brat? And are you excited about Phaedra's new business plan?