'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap ('Into the Woods'): season 9, episode 12

This was posted on Sunday, January 29, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Friendships are fragile on "Real Housewives of Atlanta." And pliable, too.

Two topics were key this episode: respect and having your back when someone else talks smack.

Let's summarize a few of the conflicts and you'll notice one name popping up a lot:

Cynthia vs. Kenya

Cynthia, worried about Kenya's shaky relationship with Matt, volunteers to play mediator. That's dangerous ground but Cynthia is a naturally helpful person. She tells him that he needs to take responsibility for his violent tendencies, that Kenya could press charges. "It's totally my fault," he said, in terms of the violence. And he says he loves her despite their issues. We don't really know what his real grievances are about Kenya though. It was probably edited out. Cynthia tries to empathize with him by noting what a drama queen Kenya is.

Unfortunately, when she later recounted the story back to Kenya, she was too honest, telling her how she mentioned Kenya's dramatic tendencies. Kenya went instantly into defense mode and stormed out.

Cynthia later told her she had her back, that she defended her and criticized Matt for his actions. That is true. And Kenya, once she calmed down, understood Cynthia was not trying to hurt her although she felt hurt. (Last season, she got upset when Cynthia didn't say they had an ultra-strong friendship, that was was "evolving.") So they were okay in the end. Cynthia is not a deceptive person at all.

Porsha vs. Kenya

Porsha is going to an anger management coach. (She is a client, by the way, not a patient.) She explains to him how she got upset when Kandi questioned her about her anger issues in a way that placed Porsha immediately on the defensive during last week's lunch. She felt ambushed by someone she didn't like and wasn't about to be vulnerable to. What's worse, Kenya did it in front of all the ladies for dramatic effect.

Later, when the women go on a bus to go "glamping,"' which is fancypants camping, Porsha provides a semi tongue-in-cheek doctor's note explaining why she brought her sister Lauren on the trip for back up. The counselor said Porsha needed a "ride or die" supporter with her and Porsha feels she has none in this group. Of course, the doctor's note did not go over well with Kenya, who calls it "bulls****." Porsha tries to explain to Kenya why she reacted the way she did at the lunch the previous episode. She feels Kenya was condescending and "attacked" her. Kenya denies this, of course.

No resolution here.

Porsha vs. Kandi

Kandi and Porsha have been having more and more conflicts lately, culminating in Kandi supporting Kenya regarding Porsha's anger issues. Kenya feels like Porsha's reaction to Kenya's' question indicated that she really wasn't doing much work on her anger. And by agreeing with Kenya, Kandi put herself in Porsha's crosshairs. So when Kandi hosted a party for Porsha's BFF Shamea Morton, Porsha chose not to show up.

This is not even close to being resolved.

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Porsha vs. Shamea

Shamea has suddenly returned into the picture after briefly guesting last season. She is hurt that Porsha didn't show up to her party and told her so the next day. She feels Porsha was being selfish and self absorbed. Porsha feels skippin the party was a preventive measure. Ultimately, the two of them have been friends too long to let this one fester.

Case resolved.

Porsha vs. Sheree

Sheree is an instigator. In her mind, she's a truth teller. When people talk about others behind their back, she is there to air things out. So if Phaedra Parks gossips about Shamea sleeping around with a bunch of married guys and Porsha says nothing, Sheree is there to ensure Shamea knows about her supposed lack of support. And if she is also gossiping about Shamea and Kandi sleeping around, well, that's worth spreading as well.

Porsha knows Sheree is not exactly a woman who keeps confidences and tells her to just please knock it off on this glamping trip. Beyond Sheree's loose mouth, Porsha has no direct beef with Sheree. She just finds it annoying.

Case not exactly resolved but it's not as if Porsha has any reason to trust Sheree either.

Phaedra vs. ????

Phaedra manages to stay out of the muck directly this episode but her name is thrown around as a shade thrower and a gossip monger. Both are true and that has been the case for years. She is rarely directly confrontational like some of the other ladies, but she'll fling dirt behind their backs. e.g. the Kandi/Shamea "lesbian" affair and Shamea sleeping around. The episode also shows Phaedra mocking Kandi's intellect. Phaedra's actions, especially with RHOA cameras around to catch her saucy comments, have gotten her in hot water in the past. Oddly, she's cool with Kenya of all people. And Porsha is trying to stay cool with her.

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Also: Sheree brought back Marlo Hampton of all people on this glamping trip to generate more artificial drama. We'll see more next week.

NOTE: Next week is the Super Bowl so the next new "Real Housewives" episode won't air  until February 12.