“I’m a great judge of character,” proclaims Kenya. “And I really feel LaToya and I could be friends because she’s refreshing.”
Cynthia Bailey, on the other hand, finds LaToya a bit rude and over the top. At a party later in the episode, LaToya mocks Cynthia’s fake plants, then made a shady comment about her “cold meatballs.”
Ultimately, “Real Housewives” producers rewarded LaToya “friend” status, joining Marlo Hampton and Tanya Sam, who has yet to appear and is rumored to have stopped toward the end of production, according to TMZ.
The show then introduces the “Housewives” world to Drew Sidora, an actress of modest renown with a few notable credits such as “The Game,” which is referenced during the show. She is a 35-year-old mom of three with an IT consultant husband Ralph Pittman Jr., who she met while shooting a TLC biopic seven years ago. In 2019, she came to Atlanta from Los Angeles in time to try out for this reality show.
Her initial energy is a blend of vivacity, sweetness and sass. While discussing her acting prospects in Atlanta since arriving in town, Drew looks in the camera and says, “Hi Tyler Perry! Hoping to work with you!”
But Kenya initially is underwhelmed by Drew: “Where do you get these strays from?” she asks the producers sardonically on camera. “The local pound?”
Marlo, not a fan of Kenya, takes Drew to the kitchen and informs her that Kenya not only can’t find work in Hollywood as an actress but “she can’t keep a man if Jesus paid her to.”
Indeed, Kenya is planning to file a custody and post-nuptial agreement in court with her estranged husband and New York restaurateur Marc Daly.
“That is the past of least resistance,” Kenya says. “I don’t think he wants to have any type of action in court. He wants to be able to live like we are with no progress in either direction. No. I have to take my life back.”
Both Porsha Williams and Kandi Burruss get a few brief scenes, separate from the other ladies. Porsha, back from being arrested in Lexington at a Breonna Taylor protest, talks to her family about her stumbling relationship with fiancé, Dennis McKinley, saying the dynamics have become “toxic.” She has a lot on her plate, juggling family, job (including her “Dish Nation” show hosting) and social justice work. Kandi celebrates the high school graduation of her daughter Riley, which she terms bittersweet now that her baby is all grown up and moving to New York City for college.
The final 15 minutes of the extended 75-minute show is focused on a discussion between Drew and her husband Ralph, the type of tension the Bravo producers slobber over and that many past castmates have resisted showing on camera.
Drew earlier in the episode had already told Cynthia (and thus, the Bravo viewers) that her marriage has had its rocky moments. When they argue, the word “divorce” gets bandied about rather loosely. Plus, Ralph has a tendency to disappear when arguments get too hot. “He’s a runner,” Drew says, and not in the “I’m going to win a marathon” kind of way.
“Our relationship can be quite acrobatic, unbalanced,” Drew explains. “We’re best friends. We get along. But when it’s low, it’s super low. We’re arguing about things in year six we were arguing about year one.”
In the scene, Ralph hired a personal chef to cook them a romantic meal at home to celebrate six years of marriage. There are rose petals, wine and candles. Then he inexplicably sullies the waters by asking her if there are any issues they should discuss. She cautions him that this is dangerous territory. But he is willing.
So she says: “We went to marriage counseling. There’s a recipe of marriage. One thing that was important in our recipe was transparency. You don’t even put that ingredient into the marriage.”
She then adds; “You feel comfortable leaving and not telling me that you’re leaving. That’s a major issue. I’d like to see that change.”
His justification: “You don’t understand men and how we work, especially Black men. If I leave, it’s really truly in the spur of the moment. I need to get away. I’m making the best decision I can make. Staying is worse than leaving. I have pressures on my shoulders. I’m the first generation where I’m trying to create what a true legacy looks like.” He also notes that he is always available via text and answers all pertinent family and business-related questions while gone.
But she says she just wants to know where he was, nothing more.
He first says he was at the beach but only after much prodding does he reveal it was Tampa, Florida. He wonders how this is useful information.
She tells the Bravo cameras that they have never been to Tampa together. “A beach is a beach. My eyes are wide open.”
Then Drew mentions that she discovered a spy camera in the living room. So was he watching them remotely without her knowledge while he was out of town? He says no. She thinks he’s lying and leaves the room in a huff and starts crying to her mom.
NEXT WEEK: Porsha talks more about her tenuous situation with Dennis. Cynthia’s wedding plans continue to butt up against COVID restrictions. Kenya puts her toes into online dating. Drew and Ralph talk with Drew’s mom about communication.