Photo: NeNe not loving the words coming out of Kenya's mouth.
Photo: NeNe not loving the words coming out of Kenya's mouth.

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap: season 12, episode 18 Kenya vs. NeNe redux, this time in Greece

Originally posted Monday, March 16, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Porsha Williams, thrilled she was able to privately reconcile with NeNe Leakes (see details below), decided to hold a more public effort to get NeNe and Kenya Moore to meet eye to eye.

Or as any veteran “Real Housewives of Atlanta” viewer would say, “What was Porsha drinking?”

Maybe the Greek wine and amulets warding off bad spirits made Porsha feel suddenly almighty but the results didn’t quite go off as planned. This is NeNe and Kenya, not Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. And Porsha is no Jimmy Carter. (My apologies that I just made a 42-year-old historical reference comparing this to the Mideast peace accord. I’m writing this at 1:48 a.m. That’s my excuse!)

The whole point of this party in Greece was to clear the air and get rid of negativity. It featured crowns to be placed on the two women’s heads who have an issue. 

But instead, the proceedings went sideways quickly.

From a storytelling standpoint, this latest battle needs context. So let’s first get to how the ladies got to this point. 

Photo: Reconciliation of the real sort.

Therapy pays off: NeNe and Porsha once had a big sister/little sister vibe. Porsha appreciated her advice. But the “closet” blow up last season that broke into social media sniping damaged their friendship.

Porsha said she was pregnant and later suffered post-partum depression so she was fragile emotionally. “I felt like you didn’t care,” Porsha told NeNe. “That hurt me the most. I genuinely love you. I genuinely look up to you. But the s*** we were arguing over has pulled us so far apart.”

They both started crying. “I’m sorry,” NeNe said sincerely. ‘At the end of the day, I love you like a big sister. That’s real.” I want to be there for you and P.J. I do! “(Yes, no sarcasm! This was geunine!). NeNe told the producers that she too had been through post-partum and felt bad she said anything to hurt Porsha. 

Then NeNe explained, again sincerely, that she was in a bad point in her life as well. Tensions with her husband and his cancer had caused her to feel cut from everyone and shut down emotionally. “I didn’t have you ladies to come to,” she said. “I was crushed. I felt like if he left, I wouldn’t have anybody.”

Porsha appreciated her honesty and said as a friend, she will respect how she wants to be treated in the future. And NeNe agreed the feeling is mutual. 

Both women have done heavy duty therapy and it showed. 

This was a real conversation with real feelings and Brené Brown-level vulnerability. 

“It feels like a weight was lifted,” Porsha said to Tanya later. 

This led to the “clearing the air” party mentioned above. 

***

Bottle of red, bottle of huh?: Why was Kenya being needlessly jerk-ish toward Cynthia over her red wine selection? Was she projecting her husband’s general jerk-ish behavior toward her on others? She basically mocked Cynthia for her relative lack of wine knowledge despite opening her own wine cellar. 

Cynthia just laughed it off. 

“I don’t mess with anything I don’t know anything about!” Kenya explained to the cameras. 

“Cynthia is a such a punk,” NeNe said, because Cynthia didn’t react the way NeNe would have under the same conditions. 

When a producer compared Kenya grilling Cynthia over her wine with Kenya getting cross when Tanya revealed Kenya had worn a wig in Toronto when she sold natural hair product, Kenya got super peeved and didn’t answer the question. 

Cynthia’s initial non reaction flummoxed Porsha and Tanya Sams, who told her that Kenya’s shade could hurt Cynthia’s business. Porsha said if anyone even slightly joked about Kenya’s hair-care products, they’d get a tongue lashing. 

At the “clearing the air” party, Cynthia expressed that she felt like she was the butt of Kenya’s jokes in regards to her wine knowledge - or lack thereof. Kenya gave a semi-sincere apology that Cynthia accepted.

Cynthia’s quick acquiescence incensed NeNe. NeNe felt Cynthia placed NeNe on a higher standard than Kenya, who she saw as always getting a pass for her bad behavior toward Cynthia.

“You are a big-a** bully b****,” NeNe said to Kenya.

“Did you just call me a b****?” Kenya said, semi surprised (but not really). “What is this? Do you want me to fight you?”

“All you are going to do is run your mouth!” NeNe said. 

Porsha, Tanya and Kandi Burruss tried to call time out to no avail.

NeNe: “You’re a negative Betty anyway girl!” 

When Porsha placed the crowns on Cynthia and NeNe, NeNe shut down and said she had nothing to say. Kenya then wondered if this is “bi-polar NeNe” on display.

NeNe: “You are b-ipolar! That’s why your husband left because you’re bi-polar!” 

Hostile NeNe came back with a vengeance. “I know who NeNe is,” Kenya told the producers. “She’s fake and she’s phony. Her sympathy [regarding her pending divorce with Marc Daly] when we were there was all bulls***. This is another example of why I think NeNe is a disgusting person.”

Kenya: “You are as ugly on the inside as you are on the outside.”

NeNe: “He never liked you.”

Kenya: “You’re tired and you’re dry.”

NeNe: “You’re tired and your cat is dry while your husband is gone, b****.”

Marlo Hampton, who is for once not in the mix, took a big gulp of something very alcoholic. Tanya screamed to try to stop the nonsense but nobody was listening. 

Kenya then apologized for antagonizing Tanya over her husband hitting on that cookie lady but demanded that Tanya return the favor in terms of exposing her wig to the world. 

While Tanya was explaining why she had a hard time apologizing, NeNe inserted herself in by saying “A married woman wouldn’t do that to another woman. Low. So low.” 

Kenya, back to NeNe: “You have done so many things.”

NeNe showed her nasty side by saying: “I can f*** you up.”

Then she stood up and kept calling Kenya a “dumb-a** b***.” 

The scene blacked out and we get the dramatic “to be continued.” 

This is the type of confrontation that “Real Housewives” producers live for. Sadly, there may be no reunion show to rehash it again thanks to the coronavirus causing all such gatherings to be nixed. Boo!

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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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