This week on an extended episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, we open at Kenya Moore’s house, where she’s using a leaf blower on her small patio. She’s doing this in a tight dress that’s on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction. Cynthia Bailey stops by with a bottle of champagne.
Kenya’s invited new friend, LaToya Ali. When Kenya walks down the long drive to meet her, Cynthia’s claws come out. Why did Cynthia have to brave the weeds and snakes to get to the patio, when LaToya is getting the red carpet treatment?
LaToya is Trinidadian, and Kenya’s “husband” Marc is, too. LaToya says men from her country are cheaters, which she calls Horners.
LaToya has spent quarantine with three kids and a husband she’s legally separated from. In fact, he served her at home. The one they’re still sharing. But that’s okay because LaToya is ready for a divorce.
Kenya hasn’t filed legal papers against Marc yet. She’s cautious because Marc is angry right now. LaToya calls this ‘tabanca’, meaning unreciprocated love.
Kenya thinks Marc is a “high conflict” individual who only wants to fight. Kenya, look in the mirror! You are also a high conflict person. You’d think the two of them would spend the rest of their lives battling it out in bliss, but I guess they’re too much alike.
Porsha Williams has been released from jail, and while she’s been away, her mom and sister, Lauren, have been taking care of baby PJ. Even though she was only in jail a few hours, Porsha says the experience was terrible. Still, she would do it all over again.
Cynthia and her friend, Drew Sidora, meet for dinner. Drew was onstage with Cynthia’s ex, Leon, when her Achilles ruptured. Now, she’s in a cast.
Drew has been in Atlanta for a year, a transplant from LA. Cynthia wonders if Drew knows Kenya since they’re both actresses. Maybe they tried out for the same roles? Drew says she and Kenya are in a slightly different age bracket and don’t run in the same circles. (Ouch!)
Drew has been acting since she was eight years old. She also writes and performs music. Once she recovers, she’ll be ready to get back to work.
Drew’s husband, Ralph, has been taking care of her since she’s been in a cast. But she tells Cynthia that marriage is work. Uh oh. I sniff trouble brewing in that relationship.
The show now rewinds eight hours. We see Drew playing with her adorable daughter, Aniya, age two. While she quizzes Aniya on her ABCs, Ralph and her mother, Pastor Jeanette, come into the bedroom with roses and glasses of mimosa. It’s Drew’s anniversary. She and Ralph have been married for six years, and they share two kids and her son, Josiah, from a previous relationship.
She met Ralph while promoting her biopic of TLC. Six months later, they married.
Jeanette came to help the kids while Drew recovered from her first surgery. Then Covid happened, and Jeanette stayed.
Living with her mom hasn’t been easy. She likes to barge in on Drew and Ralph—even in their bedroom. During sexy time. On top of that, Ralph and his mother-in-law don’t always see eye-to-eye, and Drew feels stuck in the middle.
It’s now Riley’s graduation day. Kandi Burruss’s driver heads over to Mama Joyce’s house. Kandi reminds her mother to bring a mask. Joyce calls it “Covert-19.” Close enough, right? Todd and Kandi’s other children are excluded from graduation because only two people can attend for each student. Stupid Covert!
Kandi talks about her own graduation. Though on tour with her girl group, Xscape, she flew home for the graduation, then flew back out once she moved the tassel on her mortarboard. Mama Joyce takes the credit for Kandi’s success, saying she had the hard work of getting Kandi a tutor and taking her assignments to the school.
Kandi’s not ready to let Riley go. While she wants Riley to be independent, she’ll miss her. Awww!
Over at Porsha’s, she’s finally home. A tired PJ sits in her highchair and cries. Porsha missed time with her baby, who’s in the middle of a meltdown. At least Dennis supports Porsha in her newfound role as an activist. But she feels like she now needs to make up for time spent away from her baby and her job.
Though she and Dennis are engaged, Porsha can’t think about the wedding right now. Not only is she too busy, but she and Dennis have been fighting. Something as small as Dennis not bringing a bottle immediately will turn “toxic.” She doesn’t feel like they’re connecting.
At Lake Bailey, Cynthia and her assistant, Chandler, put out nibbles for her wine tasting party. Mike Hill is on hand as Kenya and LaToya arrive. He makes himself scarce as the ladies indulge in meatballs.
LaToya has a few shady moments as she asks if Cynthia’s plants are fake. (They are.) She complains the meatballs are cold and makes fun of the faux grapes decorating the platter of appetizers. Cynthia is not amused.
Marlo arrives in a plastic visor. She waves at Kenya and hugs LaToya. Cynthia, in a shady move of her own, tells Marlo to go sit by her bestie, Kenya.
Kenya thinks Marlo has fallen off during Covid. Her outfits are questionable, as Kenya is quick to point out. What happened to Marlo’s designer duds? That fishnet pantsuit is not cute.
At Kandi’s, they’re back from graduation. When Riley steps into the room, Kandi presents her with a bouquet of flowers. Riley would have preferred cash, but whatevs. When Kandi sees Riley’s diploma, she squeals and tears up. As far as cash goes, Todd hands Riley a stack of it. Mama Joyce tries to snatch it out of her hands, but Riley has a firm hold on her money.
Back at the Bailey home, LaToya tells the girls her sugar daddy bought her first car. Marlo says LaToya needs to teach her how to get a sugar daddy. Kenya points out that Marlo always talks about old men who can help her out financially.
LaToya met her SD in a strip club, where she worked the pole. Marlo keeps insisting that her older, white boyfriend wasn’t an SD, while Kenya laughs at her. Then LaToya and Kenya get a little freaky. Kenya runs her hands down LaToya’s braids. LaToya says “pull that shit” so Kenya pulls her hair. They laugh hysterically as Mike steps back into the kitchen and looks on.
When Drew arrives, Mike’s glad to see Ralph. They’ve become friends, and since Mike is new to Atlanta, he doesn’t know many people. Kenya puts out that Drew brought her husband along. She calls Drew a stray from the pound. Nevertheless, they trade air kisses
When the women ask about Drew’s foot, she explains that her Achilles heel popped, and LaToya waves her off. She doesn’t want to hear about Drew’s bum leg, she’s here for the wine, bitches. Get to pouring, Cynthia.
Kenya wonders if she and Drew ever met. No, but maybe they have friends in common? They are both actresses after all.
LaToya grabs more wine, then tells Drew she doesn’t like her. Drew looks confused. But LaToya is only kidding. She didn’t like Drew’s character ‘The Game.’ Whew! Crisis averted. For now!
In the kitchen, Marlo whispers with LaToya. She advises that LaToya not tell her business to Kenya. And don’t take advice from her, either. As Marlo says, “She can’t keep a man if Jesus paid her to.” And there’s the Marlo we all know!
Cynthia takes everyone outside to the deck. The women ask if she’s having the wedding at Lake Bailey? Cynthia says that’s a convo for another day.
Ralph and Mike take a stroll by the lake and talk about Ralph’s marriage. At first, it was bliss. But now? It’s just hard work. Ralph wants to be happy. And it’s really hard being stuck in the house, playing nursemaid, and having to be sequestered with the kids and his mother-in-law. He’s left for days, just to avoid Pastor Jeanette. Mike counsels that Ralph talk to Drew, tell her what he needs.
On the deck, Cynthia is featuring bottles from wineries that are black-owned. The wine is well-received, and the ladies loosen up as they sip.
LaToya says she needs to hook Kenya up with a man. According to LaToya, you can do whatever you want if you’re separated. Drew thinks vows still mean something, even if you are separated. If LaToya wants to date other people, why doesn’t she just get a divorce?
Drew admits her own marriage isn’t a fairytale. Ralph threatens to divorce her every other day. He left the week before for three days and never bothered to tell her where he was. The other women are horrified.
Marlo points out that Drew and Ralph seem happy right now. Drew agrees and says they’re not faking it. Some days are great. Some days, they’re ready to split.
Kenya asks Cynthia to take her to the ladies’ room. In the kitchen, they stop to gossip about the new girls. Kenya doesn’t think LaToya and Drew are going to vibe for long. For one thing, LaToya referred to Drew’s hair as a cat. But Kenya sees similarities between her own marriage and Drew’s.
Kenya says she’s now ready to file for custody and sign a postnup. She has no doubt Marc will fight her because that’s who he is. She’s taking the path of least resistance. She knows he doesn’t want any kind of legal action. He’d be content to keep things the way they are now.
The next day, we get a montage of the women at home. Kandi plans on cooking chicken—after she ate the rest of Riley’s graduation cake. Porsha tells Lauren she’s been doing big girl yoga, which consists of Porsha doing a few poses, then sitting out the rest of the video. Kenya is weighing herself. (She’s at 188.4, in case you were wondering.)
At Drew’s house, she and Ralph are getting ready for an anniversary dinner at home. He brings her a cocktail and says he has a surprise. He’s made a banner from balloons and hired a chef.
He feeds her chocolate-covered strawberries. They pray before they eat, then Ralph asks her what’s not working in their relationship. She says they went to counseling, but while they discussed transparency, he’s unwilling to give it to her. Especially when he leaves for three days and doesn’t call or text his whereabouts.
He says he’s outspoken. She knows what he’s feeling. When she makes a noise of disagreement, she quickly apologizes, saying she won’t talk over him. He complains that she always talks over him.
He tells Drew she doesn’t understand black men. He’s under too much pressure and wants to create a legacy for himself and his family.
She agrees, saying she married him because he’s the kind of man who thinks about his legacy. He’s annoyed. Why does she keep talking when he’s trying to explain?
Drew feels the question about their relationship was a setup. And he still won’t address the issue of his leaving without telling her. Sure, he texted her back, but only if it pertained to the house or the kids. Where were you, Ralph?!
He was at the beach. That should be enough to satisfy her. She asks if he left Georgia because she doesn’t even know that much. He finally admits he left the state.
She says if he won’t tell her where he went, they can dead-end the conversation. He still acts cagey. If Drew knows where he went, what will it solve?
The mystery deepens. He was downstairs to his office after a fight. When she tried to bring him dinner, he was gone. He condescendingly “appeases” her by telling her he went to Tampa. (Was that so fucking hard, Ralph? Jeez!)
He insists his leaving had nothing to do with her. And it isn’t her business to know where he went. How does knowing change the situation?
She talks about the cameras which are placed all over the house. She believes he was watching her while he was gone, which is an invasion of her privacy. He silently applauds her sleuthing skills. But she found a pic on his phone. She was sleeping, her mom sat on the couch, and the kids were in the background. She knows he was remotely watching his family.
Ralph warns that if she wants another six years with him, she needs to stop bringing up petty issues. (Petty? Really?) Then he whips out his phone and tells her to find the picture which he’s obviously deleted.
She drains her champagne, pushes back from the table, and calls him a liar as she hobbles out of the room. In the bedroom, we hear her complaining to Pastor Jeanette that he’s making her look foolish.
That’s our episode. So, what are your thoughts on Drew and LaToya? What kind of husband takes off without telling his family where he is? The cheating kind?
I’m a fiction writer by day and a reality TV addict by night.