‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap: season 12, episode 8: the wedding proposal and a pending ending


Originally posted Sunday, December 22, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Cynthia Bailey's romance with Mike Hill, based on how it's been portrayed on "Real Housewives of Atlanta," has been super smooth.

In fact, the entire courtship has been a love affair from start to finish. The only “tension” the show could conjure up is where they plan to live once they are hitched since his sports broadcasting gig is out of Los Angeles and Cynthia is firmly based on Atlanta.

Cynthia is much more secure, much more in control than she was a decade ago getting married to Peter Thomas. (She divorced him three years ago.)

It’s clear she loves Mike and he comes across on the show as a mature, normal, loyal dude.

So the fact he was game to have the proposal filmed for this pre-Christmas 75-minute episode show (unlike, say, Marc Daly with Kenya Moore) says a lot.

It’s not as if Mike is hungering for the spotlight. He knows this is Cynthia’s show and he is merely supporting it.

At the surprise proposal, Mike charmingly opens his speech by saying, “I propose,” then paused... “a toast.”

But it’s a set up. He is handed a champagne bottle with a question mark on it. Then he drops to his knee and opens the box to show an engagement ring.

“You’re my life. You’re my heartbeat. You’re my emotions.. You’re everything I live for. I love you. I just want to spend the rest of my life with you. Baby, you have accepted me for my past. You’re here for my present. Now I want you to be my forever.”

Of course, Cynthia says yes.

“Who’s thirsty now?” Cynthia later says. “I got my man. I got my rock. It’s time to chill!”


Other notes from the episode:

Sharp eye? It appears Kenya got a sense a proposal was coming so she dopily says it out loud to Cynthia, pointing out how all the family members from both sides of the family happened to be at the launch party.

But then we find out Kenya isn't all that sharp. Kandi Burruss had given Kenya a head's up what was about to happen.

“Why would you do that?” Kandi says. “What is wrong with you?”

Who's the snake? Cynthia decides to meet with Marlo Hampton to see if she was responsible for what she dubbed "Snakegate" regarding the alleged taping of her badmouthing NeNe Leakes.

Naturally, Cynthia asked about how she felt regarding Kenya’s “look at me” stunt at Marlo’s wig launch.

“It was disrespectful,” Marlo says to Cynthia, who had that look of distrust on her face. “I was launching my business. Who would do that?”

Cynthia then asked Marlo upfront if she was responsible for taping her. Marlo says no, that she would never do that and couldn’t even recall Cynthia saying anything negative about NeNe to her face anyway. Cynthia believes her.

Yovanna is looking quite guilty, isn’t she?


Love from afar: NeNe doesn't come to Cynthia's wine launch party given their estrangement.

But she does pen a nice note wishing Cynthia well, causing Cynthia and some of the other ladies to well up. “The fact NeNe put pen to paper was beyond anything I would have expected honestly,” Cynthia says.

Naturally, when Kenya shows up later and reads the note, she sees no apology there. NeNe clearly sees no reason to apologize but wants to send out positive vibes in hopes they can reconcile again. Cynthia may eventually be willing to go with at some point given that the break-off seemed to be caused by so little.


Marc Daly is back and he's his usual jerk-ish self: Kenya and Marc officially broke it off in September. The Mike proposal to Cynthia happened in late July. So this episode was taped several weeks before the end of Kenya and Marc. The fact Marc even acceded to having a meal with Cynthia and MIke is shocking given his overall distaste for doing this show period.

As a sign of their issues, the energy between Kenya and Marc during the car ride over is super negative. He is  dismissive of whatever Kenya says or does. And she is trying her darndest to not get into an argument with him. 
The post-engagement meal also features Todd Tucker and Kandi Burruss, who seem to have a very healthy relationship.

Marc relates a story about how much more spontaneous engagement his engagement was. But it comes off as decidedly not romantic.

He does remind Kenya how romantic he was on their wedding day. She then says that was the happiest day of her life, maybe second only to winning Miss USA. (Kandi notes that Brooklyn arriving isn’t in the top two. Huh?)

Then Marc and Kenya argue about a prenup. Kenya says they discussed it and Marc didn’t want one. Marc says they never talked about it, calling what she says “revisionist history.”

“You bring up prenup to me, it’s over,” Marc says.

He says if Kenya wants his business, he is fine with it. He can built it again. (Arrogance is this man’s middle name!)

Kandi asks him about their relationship after two years of marriage.

"We're different in a lot of ways," Marc says. "Ken likes a little flash."
Kenya instantly bristles and says: "When you say flash, though..."

“Let me finish,” he says. “You’re jumping in. Respect the conversation. Poppin’ it is a trap. But you have to respect people for their differences. That’s fine. But I don’t want to be Mr. Flashy. Flash is not real.”

One thing’s for sure: Marc is authentically... mean.

“I don’t necessarily like flash,” Kenya says. “I’m a self-made  person.”

They then argue over the fact she drives a Bentley - too flashy, he thinks.

Then he throws things really off kilter by saying how much he likes how Kenya’s enemy NeNe introduced herself to him by introducing him to her husband first. “She’s nice to me,” he says. “I’m not going to dog her.” (Rule of marriage: your spouse’s enemy is your enemy. Case closed.)

Kenya notes how NeNe once said Kenya was carrying a “buffalo” when she was pregnant. Marc recalls that NeNe apologized for that remark. Kenya says, um, no.

“My wife and NeNe have friction but that’s not me so I don’t have a problem with the woman.”

Sheesh. The man just double downs on spousal idiocy!

As Kandi says: “You’re supposed to have your wife’s back, not NeNe’s back!”

Marc says at the table that he will defend his now fiance to the ends of the earth: “We’re not married yet but we’re a team!”

Cynthia later says: “I knew Kenya and Marc were having issues but I had no idea how bad things were!”

TRAILER FOR DECEMBER 30 EPISODE: The Toronto Carnivale trip takes a turn for the worse when NeNe shows up and gets into it with Kenya.