'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: Is Porsha controlled by Kordell?
The ladies' trip to Los Angeles is about a minute long, as the real focus is not to promote NeNe's TV show (which, by the way, is pretty awful) but to get the women to Sin City, pronto. Everyone seems eager to get to Vegas, but not everyone seems excited about the sin part. Or, more specifically, Porsha isn't excited about the sin part, because Kordell doesn't approve. Or maybe he would and Porsha's blaming him, or maybe he just doesn't know. Things get a little confusing on this episode, but then, you can't really expect Porsha to put together a coherent argument about anything.
Things get off to a rough start when Kenya asks Cynthia for lotion (FYI, she will not look ashy for the rest of the season, dammit!) and reprimands her for jumping on the Walter theme that ruined the previous night's dinner. Kenya says she really wants to follow her doctor's orders not to get too wrapped up in interpersonal drama, but that would require her not to create drama at every opportunity. I'm not sure Kenya understands this, really.
So, it comes as no surprise when Kenya suggests all the girls join her in healing yoga poses on the bus to Vegas. Kidding! No, she suggests a game in which the women have to draw names, then have to imitate one another. Yes, this is drama avoidance at it's best! Not at all! Funny, when I was a kid I thought of this as making fun of a kid until they started to cry. Shockingly, even after Cynthia imitates Kandi (mostly by saying she's hungry), Porsha imitates NeNe (by waggling her finger, which doesn't sound like much, but it's a shockingly good NeNe) and Phaedra imitates Kenya (with a twirl, nothing too caustic), everyone just laughs. Could a good time be being had by all? Naaah, this couldn't be a FUN episode!
Somehow Kenya broaches the topic of wanting to ride a mechanical bull when she gets to Vegas, because that is a VERY Kenya thing to do. Cynthia suggests that might be possible at a "place" called The Crazy Horse, which might or might not be a strip club, which means it is a strip club. Phaedra is happy to enjoy the bounty of women of all colors and textures, which makes them sound like a selection of woolen fabrics or Italian meats. And really, everyone's just fine with looking at naked women… except Porsha. Porsha does not want to go to a strip club, because Kordell would not approve. So, Cynthia suggests they're all going to a "burlesque show" together.
I guess the plan is to trick Porsha into going to a strip club, which seems like a bad idea. Porsha really, really doesn't want to go to a strip club. Maybe Kordell said he didn't want her to go to one, but there's also a pretty good chance that she just isn't comfortable with the idea. Where Porsha screws up is by laying the blame at Kordell's feet, unfortunately. Given that the other women already think that Porsha is one step removed from being Kordell's house slave, she's pretty much invited them to judge he marriage and deem it a big, bad, stinky mess.
But before that can happen, Kenya encourages the girls to try stand-up on the bus. Because that's what people do on long bus rides? Whatever happened to 100 bottles of beer on the wall and listening to whatever music's on your phone? Anyway, Kandi talks about farting in a guy's face pre-orgasm. Because that's... funny? Horrifying? Gross? Yeah, waaay TMI. As Cynthia explains, the Vegas bus is turning into the Crazy Bus.
A lot of that might have to do with the fact it takes twice as long for the bus to get to Vegas as it really should, as they clearly leave during peak traffic hours. I suspect the show producers thought this would lead to frustration (thus, fighting), but really, everyone just seems tired after a while. Hope Bravo has to double their undereye concealer budget as punishment for this one.
Meanwhile, NeNe jets into Vegas. She didn't have to take the sucker bus, as she was WORKING on her fabulous SITCOM. I suspect the reality is she now has a better agent who negotiated for her to never be stuck in a vehicle with these women for more than an hour.
Before the Bus of Exhaustion limps into Vegas, Kandi notes that Porsha is eating pickles and thus must be pregnant. Phaedra brings up the rabbit test, which everyone seems utterly horrified by. Phaedra is clearly too tired to explain the test, and no one else seems to believe that this was an actual thing, and Kenya acts repulsed by Phaedra's desire to kill bunnies. I think Porsha is just happy that the conversation somehow veered off her potential bun in the oven and onto killing rabbits, and I can't blame her.
The girls all change into their evening clothes (and Cynthia dons her evening afro) and head toward the strip club. Porsha is NOT happy about this. She feels tricked! She has a ministry inside of her to help other women her age, and strip clubs make her sad. Now, if she have just said this in the first place, the women might have rolled their eyes, but they may have let it drop. No way is that happening now.
NeNe, who used to be a stripper, thinks Porsha is being controlled by Kordell. Because really, what kind of messed-up woman DOESN'T like to look at naked women and get lap dances? Phaedra is NOT going to let Porsha toss around the Christianity excuse, because Jesus had no problem with prostitutes. Why, it's proper form to praise the Lord while examining a woman's bikini wax, dammit! Porsha is no match for Phaedra on any topic, really, and it's a little sad to see her burble like a broken water fountain, searching desperately for something smart to say other than, "Kordell doesn't tell me what to do! Wait, is that Kordell calling? Maybe I need to call Kordell!"
Somehow Porsha manages to stay out of the strip club, which gives everyone else ample opportunity to talk about her while stuffing twenty dollar bills into G-strings. It's decided that 1) Porsha is stupid 2) Porsha isn't "living her dreams," whatever those are 3) Porsha will be sorry when she's old 4) Porsha's a prude and 5) Porsha is going to "die a little by little every day," which sounds depressing. So, with all of that judgment taken care of, there's plenty of time to talk about stripping!
NeNe reveals that Gregg didn't know she was a stripper when they started dating, so she revealed this by inviting him to the "gentleman's club" where she worked, then dancing for him at the bar. She didn't stop stripping until they got married, as she had private school and rent to bankroll. She even had strippers as her bridesmaids. NeNe is not ashamed of who she is, but she's not about to let Porsha look down her nose at the jiggly arts, especially when she's never had to work to pay utilities.
The next morning, we see Porsha get her make-up done and call Kordell. Kordell, honestly, doesn't seem to say anything more than "don't do anything you don't want to do," although that may just be code for "don't do anything I don't want you to do" when the cameras are rolling.
The gals all pile in the limo, and NeNe leads the charge to inform Porsha that she's one step below a Barbie doll stuck in a five-year-old's toy chest in her marriage to Kordell. Porsha insists Kordell doesn't tell her what to do, that she just wants to be a better woman and help him be a better man, and a bunch of other stuff that sounds like it might have made sense when she first heard it but has now been sitting in her brain pan getting jumbled up with fake words and nail polish colors and doesn't quite connect anymore. Finally, NeNe manages to massage the conversation toward Porsha basically claiming to be an independent woman so that she can insist on taking her to another strip club. Joking! Mostly!
This time, the gals get to go backstage at an actual burlesque show, where two showgirls let them try on costumes and Kenya decides to twirl around as her top comes down. So, fun is had by some.
Next, it's time for shopping, which really means Kandi gets to look at engagement rings, and that evening ends with a big Bedroom Kandi party, which is essentially a Tupperware party for sex toys. The girls get into flimsy robes and underwear, discuss Kegel balls, and Kandi slips a pregnancy test into Porsha's bag. To Porsha's credit, she refuses to take it, and amazingly, the girls drop it after some initial teasing. Even they know that this is a private moment that Porsha should probably share with her husband, whether he's a controlling idiot or not.
Finally, after a few uncomfortable moments (a game of seeing who has the sexiest approach to biting a chocolate-covered strawberry somehow becomes a chance for Phaedra to rub Kenya's face in her break-up with Walter), it's time for everyone to write down a sex question, put it in a dish, then whoever picks the question has to answer it. What fun!
Yeah, not really, because one of the questions is how to deal with a friend who hurts your feelings and doesn't apologize and is short and looks LIKE PHAEDRA. Well, it almost says that, because Kenya confesses to writing the question and wanting Phaedra to answer it. She tells Phaedra that she cut her to the white meat, which is disturbing simply because I really don't want to think about any human as something I might order at a restaurant.
Kenya insists that Phaedra hurt her, while Phaedra points out that Kenya dressing up like her and making fun of her butt wasn't exactly nice, either. Kenya says that's just her being her! You can't ask her not to be her! Which means she can dress up and make fun of whoever she likes, because that isn't bitchy? Phaedra thinks Kenya owes her an apology, and Kenya says she doesn't need an apology because she knows Phaedra will lie anyway, and now I'm wondering what the point of this whole fight is anyway? Oh, right! To reduce the drama in Kenya's life! She must be feeling so healthy!
As NeNe says, these bitches will never be friends. Really, I think that's fine, but I wish someone would tell Kenya to stop bringing it up. She's never got a shot at being Zenya at this rate.
But let's get back to Porsha's refusal to go to the strip club. Not wanting to go to a strip club shouldn't be a big deal either way. A lot of grown-ass women (and grown-ass men) don't like them. Porsha isn't wrong that they can be kinda sad. The women bullying her into going are really no better than, say, Kordell possibly (and we don't even know this for a fact) bullying her into not going. Yeah, she did kind of suck the fun out of the girls' trip, but really, I think most girls would be happier going to Thunder from Down Under.
Porsha may be an idiot, but I think her only mistake here was just an inability to articulate her actual opinion (to the extent she's able to form one). There may be a case to be made that she's too obedient to Kordell's whims, but I don't think forcing the girl into going to a strip club is the way to make the point.
Do you think Porsha should have gone to the strip club? Do you think Phaedra should apologize to Kenya? Do you think NeNe should mind her own business?