'Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap ('Fix It Therapy'): season 7, episode 17

Dr. Jeff with NeNe Leakes at the group therapy session. CREDIT: Bravo

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Monday, March 16, 2015

NeNe Leakes thinks, as Queen Bee, she can fix all the dysfunctions ailing "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" cast. Her solution: bringing in the therapist who helped her family out: Dr. Jeff Gedere .

This ends up backfiring on her big time.

While Kenya Moore, Cynthia Bailey, Claudia Jordan and even Kandi Burruss critique NeNe, she gets increasingly defensive until she just walks out of the therapy session she had set up.

Dr. Jeff even forewarned her that he was not going to treat her special. He was going to hold her feet up to the fire as well. "You're talking at Kenya, You're not talking to her," Dr. Jeff says to NeNe at one point.

"I'm representing the whole group," Dr. Jeff says at one point.

"I didn't invite you to represent me," NeNe growls.

Kenya says she though she and NeNe were friendly at one point (and they show video as such). The next time they met, Kenya says NeNe was chilly. NeNe is a bit contradictory. She says at one point she needs time to move forward. Then she says they could never be friends.

Claudia calls NeNe "bipolar" and Dr. Jeff says she should not be medical diagnosing people.

Things get really dicey when she deals with Cynthia, her former bestie. Cynthia says she's open to fixing things. NeNe? Not so much.

When Kandi says NeNe is "marking her territory," that she always feels like newcomers are coming after her. She doesn't believe that's true.

Ultimately, she couldn't take the heat. As Dr. Jeff talks about the Nene's broken friendshipo with Cynthia, NeNe gets up and leaves.

At this point, nothing is really resolved but it shows NeNe's ego and inability to truly forgive have  clouded her ability took critically at herself and show even an iota of vulnerability. The other women are simply not going to take this kind of hypocrisy in silence.

Phaedra Parks doesn't bother to show up. She does not want to get drawn into more near-purse hitting or words about some mysterious "Chocolate" person. "I can't be around these dark hearts," she said.

Phaedra and Kandi do get into an emotional argument, where Kandi can't believe her friendship with Phaedra is being questioned.

Phaedra says NeNe of all people had been most supportive of her in her time of need with Apollo Nida going to prison. Kandi? MIA.

Kandi says she has had to deal with her own problems, though she doesn't cite her marriage problems. She just brings up her tour shutting down, which doesn't impress Phaedra. Kandi is clearly trying to keep her marital distress with Todd Tucker under wraps and that's understandable. During an earlier scene, he appears unhappy with her meddling family and unresolved issues with her mom. He is also too wrapped up in business and not enough into Kandi so their sex life is suffering. He also isn't big on all the therapist and her "homework" where they list pros and cons of their marriage. (He rather meanly refuses to come up with any real "pros.")

The only other notable storyline is Claudia Jordan testing the waters in stand-up comedy. She hosted a Sirius/XM comedy show for Jamie Foxx. She says comedy has been an outlet for her after a divorce and a bout with clinical depression.

She bristles that on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, she has to play the "voice of reason." Why does the woman always have to play that role. Why can't she be outrageous? Gay confidante and co-worker Gary With Da Tea warns her that she can be all "outrageous" off air but not on.

She brings in a friend and stand-up Luenell , who warns her how difficult it is. We later see Claudia bombing big time at Uptown Comedy Corner to an audience of one: Demetria McKinney. She tries a really bad cat-and-mouse tattoo joke not worth repeating here.

"I like to try anything uncomfortable," she says. "Whether I bomb or excel, it's another story, that part of my life."

NEXT WEEK: We see the aftermath of NeNe walking out of Dr. Jeff's session and their tense confrontation.

QUOTES

"She's messy, she's low down and she's bored." - Porsha about Cynthia.

"She's doing all these hand gestures. She's like she's from the south side, like she's about that life." - Phaedra, about Cynthia.

"She is Satan's child." -Phaedra, about Cynthia

"If money can make me sleep at night, I can sleep like a baby." - Phaedra

"NeNe will throw a rock and pretend she didn't throw it with her hands behind her back." - Kenya, of NeNe

RATINGS: Last Sunday's 16th episode drew 3.6 million viewers, the third best showing of the year. The 18-49 rating held at 1.7 from a week earlier. The show is now averaging about 3.2 million viewers, down from 3.7 million a year ago. But it's still very solid and those numbers do not include DVR usage, which would certainly lift viewing over 4 million. (Last  season's overnight viewership for the 16th episode was 4.04 million with a 1.9 18-49 rating.)

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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