‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ season 12 finale recap

The battle between Kenya Moore and NeNe Leakes for "Real Housewives of Atlanta" Queen Bee supremacy is never-ending, like the beef between Kanye West and Taylor Swift or the debate whether Brad Pitt should reunite with Jennifer Aniston.

So it’s not surprising that the Bravo producers have played up the conflict yet again season 12. The ladies, who know their paychecks depend on it, don’t back away from their mutual distaste for each other.

Kenya set off NeNe after she told TMZ on a red carpet event that NeNe has few friends and she doesn’t take advice from NeNe. She also called her a bully.

With the cameras rolling, NeNe's friend Wendy Williams, informs NeNe about this juicy tidbit by phone.

NeNe tells Wendy that Kenya should be focused on talking about her own crumbling marriage. “She’s a bully her own self!” NeNe says.

Question: should NeNe respond in kind? Wendy uses the analogy about a dog howling at the moon. That's expected. But things get strange when the moon hollers back. "You're the moon," Wendy says. "You've grown leaps and bounds. You are not going to fall in that rabbit hole with Kenya!" (Of course, Wendy hadn't yet seen NeNe with her popcorn throwing/spitting routine in Greece.)
NeNe then spreads some gossip knowing the "RHOA" cameras are up by saying there is no actual evidence Kenya and Marc Daly are even married at all! And that it was a handshake agreement for her to have a baby, and she paid for it.

"You don't have me on a red carpet saying where her eggs are found?" NeNe says, saying Kenya's daughter Brooklyn didn't even come from Kenya's eggs.

Wendy, aware that all this blockbuster gossip would cause Kenya to go ballistic come reunion time, pleaded with NeNe: “Don’t shoot that shot!” (Yet, Williams must have known Bravo was taping all this.)

Later talking to Porsha Williams, NeNe threw out some "greatest shady moves" by Kenya over the years e.g. flirting with Phaedra Parks'  now-ex husband Apollo Nida, using a bullhorn in Porsha's face at a reunion show, bullying former castmate Kim Fields and throwing a hand in NeNe's face in Toronto.

Porsha says when she told Kenya in Greece that NeNe was open to reconciliation, Kenya was not open to it. “I see you now!” Porsha said, believing Kenya, in her mind, would rather stew in resentment than let the past go with NeNe.

And Porsha also has another issue with Kenya. During Porsha's March of Dimes dinner event, she claimed that Porsha's bestie Shamea Morton called Kenya after her water broke before Porsha. Porsha looked shocked, and Shamea later told Shamea that Kenya was lying.

Neither Shamea nor Porsha felt that was the right moment to address it, but Porsha says Kenya was 50 shades of shady.

Porsha and NeNe agree that Kandi Burruss and Cynthia Bailey give Kenya far more leeway than she deserves.

At the baby shower, for a time, Kenya and Nene keep their distance. But Marlo Hampton, playing her old role of provocateur, hands her phone to Kenya to read a gossip story.

Marlo: “So you think NeNe is a bully?”

Kenya: “Always been. Always will be... NeNe tried to spit on me.”

NeNe: “I did not.” (Past video Bravo has shown many times reveals NeNe at least made an attempt from a rather far distance.)

Kandi, normally fine watching these shenanigans, interrupts and is super annoyed because this is her party.

But NeNe continues to argue, saying if she really wanted to spit on Kenya, she would have done it.

As Kandi goes on stage to introduce her surrogate mom, the women keep going at it. Kenya walks over to NeNe, claiming she is talking to Shamea. NeNe stands up. They keep arguing, but eventually separate without fisticuffs.

The confrontation ends quietly.

Mama Joyce/Todd tension resurfaces: When Todd was courting Kandi, Mama Joyce spread all sorts of rumors that Todd was a gold digger. It stung. He worked hard to prove her wrong, making quite a bit of money. 

But after all these years, Todd’s ability to gain her trust has only gone so far. Mama Joyce admits to Kandi about issues in her youth that made it hard for her to trust other peoples’ intentions.

So when Todd, before the baby shower at Areu Bros. studios (formerly Tyler Perry’s original studios), visits one of the OLG restaurants and fails to stop by to say hello, Mama Joyce is so offended, she skips the shower.

“Todd is being a butt-hole, holding grudges,” Kandi says. “So my mother is furious. She felt like he was being disrespectful.”

Kandi to Todd: “A ‘hello’ costs you nothing.”

Counterweight: he was probably just super distracted getting stuff ready for the shower. Then again, his response to Kandi is not good over the phone: “I didn’t feel like being bothered. I have a lot going on. Tell her I didn’t mean it. And stop it please.”

Kandi: “It’s done now.”

At the actual party, Shadina — the surrogate mom — is there. But Kandi expresses her annoyance her mom decided to skip out and places the blame squarely on Todd. To Todd's credit, he tried to call Mama Joyce six hours earlier. She didn't answer.

Todd brings up a good point, that what’s done is done: “Do you want to argue or have a good time? It’s on you. Tell me what you want to do.”

She is annoyed he isn’t apologizing. He says she’s aggravating him. And she responds in kind. “I’ll say sorry when I feel like it,” he says. She walks away.

Later, on stage, Todd makes a sincere public apology to both his wife and his mother in law. And they hug.


Cynthia sets a marriage date: She decides to get married to Mike Hill on 10/10/20. She likes the symmetry. It also happens to fall in during typical "Real Housewives of Atlanta" shooting schedule. And as "RHOA" ends season 12,  Cynthia plans to spend two consecutive months in Los Angeles. Where will they ultimately live? As long as Cynthia has her "RHOA" obligations and Hill has his sports broadcasting gig in Los Angeles, they may just have to be bi-coastal.


The final screen notes for each woman:

Kandi: she figured out her work/life balance by spending more time with her family, but it's forced, courtesy of the shelter-at-home policies.

Kenya: she and Marc are still separated but seeking marriage counseling. Brooklyn has not seen her grandparents on Marc's side.

Eva: she and her craziness with her ex Kevin McCall are over regarding custody, the show says. She said no more babies until at least Cynthia's wedding October 10, 2020.

Porsha: she and Dennis remain engaged, but there is still no wedding date yet.

NeNe: the show promotes a new single of hers called "HUNNI." (Odd.)

Cynthia: she is spending more time in Los Angeles with her fiance — for now.