'Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: episode 18

By TracyJane,
Flirting with Disaster

This week’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta brought us some honest feelings and true bonding - only to unravel it all by the end of the episode.

The show started with Kenya and Miss Lawrence enjoying a healthy breakfast in the serene setting of their beachfront patio in Mexico. Immediately, they begin to rehash the conversation from the previous night’s dinner. Kenya believes 100 percent that Porsha was admitting to being her ex-husband’s “beard.” Miss Lawrence doesn’t care either way, but says beard or not, when someone believes something about you nothing can change their mind. Of course, the topic isn’t complete until Kenya throws a nasty comment out about Porsha not being a trophy wife, but a dumbed down certificate.

Now that the recap is over, the conversation turns to set up of the rest of the episode. Kenya talks about how she wants all of the girls to be authentic and have real conversations. This includes Phaedra’s husband Apollo. Kenya wants to set the record straight with him about their supposed text flirtation.

For the day’s activity, Kenya has arranged for the entire group to tour the ancient caves outside of the city. They split into two vans for the drive out. Kenya, Miss Lawrence, Peter, Cynthia, Kandi and Todd are in one van, and NeNe, Gregg, Apollo and Phaedra are in the other. At first the discussion in each van is about the mixed up seating arrangements at last night’s dinner. The consensus was that it was scary at first, but then turned out to be interesting to have conversations with people that you normally don’t talk to.

In Kenya’s van, the topic flowed to Kandi and Todd’s wedding plans. They professed that they weren’t solid on any plans yet because of the strife between Todd and Kandi’s mom. Kenya continued to hammer them into making some decisions. She feels like it’s her job to push them into some sort of resolution. Finally, Todd confesses that he’s frustrated with the stagnancy of the plans. He wants Kandi to either work it out between them and her mom or he’s ready to go his own separate way. Kandi doesn’t know where this conversation is going, but at least Kenya tortured some realness out of her people.

The gang arrives at the caves and is greeted by an enormous anaconda snake at the entrance. NeNe runs, Kenya screams and Porsha bursts into tears. Showing their true colors, Apollo has to be scolded into helping his wife walk past the snake and Todd takes both Kandi and Porsha’s arms and helps them pass.

While some enjoy the cave, others are freaked out by the herd of bats hanging from the ceiling. Next, they arrive at a natural spring underneath the caves. Immediately, Kenya is ready to strip down to her bathing suit and jump right in. Of course, she needs to make it sexy and flirty by continuously mentioning “stripping” and “taking clothes off.”

A little foreshadow is that, initially, Phaedra didn’t want to hop in the cold water. But as soon as her husband decides he’s going in, she instantly follows him. There’s no way she’s going to let Apollo swim around with a half-naked Kenya.

The next day, Kenya has gathered a few of the girls for a special side trip. She explains that it’s a personal event and that’s why she isn’t inviting the entire group. Turns out she’s only left out the husbands and Porsha and Phaedra. However, it doesn’t seem like either of those two ladies mind one bit. They treat themselves to a cocktail and relax in the private pool.

Kenya reveals her surprise as being a holy shaman that she’s called on to help her get pregnant. She becomes emotional as she speaks about her own fertility and it seems a little over exaggerated, but we’ll follow along anyway.

The shaman burns incense and waves smoke in the direction of the ladies that want to have a child, and then they head into a holy cave structure for more of the fertility ceremony. After the ceremony, the ladies sit around the fertility statue and reveal their feelings about having children.

NeNe confesses that she had her first son at 22 and never had a chance to think about wanting to be a mom or what it was like to have children. Kenya explains that she didn’t want to be a mom until she was 35 and dated a man that had a son. At that time, she finally realized that she’s capable of loving a child. She goes on to say that she used to want the man and then the baby, but now she sees that she could do it on her own. Kandi and Cynthia speak about split parenting with their children’s fathers.

Kandi admits that she likes the calm, open Kenya rather than the over-the-top drama queen Kenya. I have to agree. I think Kenya could have great storylines without trying to create them by causing drama and fights among the ladies.

Meanwhile, Phaedra and Porsha are gossiping about what happened at the Bailey Bowl upset. Phaedra jokes that she’s surprised that Marlo didn’t show up in someone’s luggage. Both ladies are confused as to what really happened between NeNe and Marlo and they consider it the pink elephant in the room on this vacation. They agree that a lot of it is Kenya’s fault for trying to get in the middle of the fight and trying to play peacemaker.

At night we are brought right to the husbands’ idea of bonding time. Peter, Todd and Apollo are learning to roll cigars and then smoking them. Todd says he’s tried to work things out with Kandi’s mom, but she’s rebuffed his every move. Peter suggests that Todd has to try harder and go over the top with his kindness to her. Apollo assures Todd that he brings a lot to the table and has to stay confident in that with Kandi’s mom.

The bonding session is suddenly broken up by the arrival of Kenya and Miss Lawrence. She starts off with a bang by ordering a round of tequila shots for herself and the guys. Idle chit chat about the cave tour and swim continues. It may just be me, but I notice that Apollo’s face lights up when he’s talking to Kenya.

Kenya orders another round of tequila shots as Miss Lawrence tries to defuse that idea but is overruled. They take the second round and immediately Kenya bounces up and decides she’s going to the bar to order a third round. She tells Apollo to come with her to help her pick out the tequila. Apollo resists, but with a smile on his face. Peter speaks up, telling him it’s a trap and he better keep his butt in the chair. Kenya insists it’s friendly and she knows nothing about tequila so she needs help. However, she too has a smile on her face, and given her and Apollo’s history, she could have picked any other man at that table to ask for help. Trouble.

Finally, Apollo gives in. Todd jumps up and says he will accompany them to the bar. In a talking head, Peter calls Apollo crazy for even associating with a woman his wife hates.

Once at the bar, Kenya tries to kick Todd out of the circle, but Todd won’t go. Kenya drags Apollo across the room to a lounge area with couches. Again, Todd follows the two of them. Once they are seated, Kenya browbeats Apollo into making Todd leave by saying ‘do you need a chaperone?’ Finally, Apollo tells Todd to walk away.

Both Apollo and Kenya grin at each other as they chat about how the vacation is going. Quickly the conversation turns to Kenya asking him about the texts and the excuses he gave for texting her. Apollo denies any wrongdoing. He says that he said what he felt, that he could have slept with Kenya if he wanted to. She argues back that she’s not that easy and never offered him sex. He says that she can believe whatever she wants to, but they both took a jab at each other, and she’s mad that his hit harder.

Meanwhile, Peter, Todd and Miss Lawrence move to the bar to get closer to the action. Out of nowhere, we hear Peter announce, “Trouble” and we see that Phaedra has made her way into the room. She beelines it over to the two of them and asks what’s going on between the two of them. The conversation stops and the episode is over, but the unraveling has just begun.

image: NBC Universal

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