‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ season 14 episode 2 recap

Drew Sidora and her husband Ralph Pittman try to have a nice dinner but it goes off the rails instead during "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" season 14, episode 2. BRAVO

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Drew Sidora and her husband Ralph Pittman try to have a nice dinner but it goes off the rails instead during "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" season 14, episode 2. BRAVO

Drew has spousal issues; Sheree gossips about Marlo’s insults about Kenya to Kenya.

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” runs on multiple levels. There’s the shallow and the deep.

On the shallow side, cast members like Kenya Moore, Marlo Hampton and Shereé Whitfield are adept at throwing shady insults, the pettier the merrier. In this episode, that includes Shereé telling Kenya how Marlo insulted Kenya’s first Atlanta apartment’s déclassé white fridge and borrowing someone’s car after moving here a decade ago. Kenya also dished about Shereé supposedly not paying her assistant, who also works with another cast member. This is the standard stupid gossip these ladies know will get them airtime.

But all three tend to shy away from allowing the cameras to delve into their relationships.

Sheree’s current “friend” is out of prison but also out of town. Marlo is new as a full-time cast member but has never revealed any love interests on camera. She has the rest of the season to do so if they do exist. Kenya’s marriage fell apart, mostly off camera, and what little we saw of her ex was not complimentary at all. It’s unclear if Kenya is dating anyone post marriage.

The other three cast members ― newcomer Sanya Richards-Ross, Kandi Burruss and Drew Sidora ― are married and those relationships are given plenty of focus.

Sanya, the Olympic track star, has been married to former NFL player Aaron Ross for 18 years. They seem happy so far but the sample size after two episodes is small. Kandi met her husband, entrepreneur Todd Tucker, on the set of “Real Housewives” and married in 2014. They have some minor tensions but seem to have a healthy relationship.

Drew Sidora, in her second year on the show, has been open about allowing the Bravo cameras to delve into their marriage in a meaningful way. Her husband Ralph Pittman hasn’t always been forthcoming about what he does. After an argument, he stormed off and disappeared for days without contacting her while in Florida. That became a sticking point all last season. This year, he had a text exchange with a female assistant that could be construed as very minor league flirting but Drew construed as problematic. His defensiveness didn’t help. And even though he fired the assistant, he remains in touch with her.

Drew doesn’t want to force him to cut ties with the woman, hoping he’d do it himself. She also has been told that Ralph gaslights her. She realizes during an interview with the Bravo producers she doesn’t know what that actually means. So she looks it up and realizes, well, maybe he does gaslight her. He often makes her feel like her feelings about what he’s up to are not real or legitimate.

But Ralph likes the grand gesture, hoping that will solve everything. He gets her glammed up, hires a limo and takes her to his tailor’s business for a private dinner with flowers, candles and lobster. At first, she appreciates being treated like a princess. Bu then things go south because Ralph hoped she would just accept the gesture and have a good time.

Ralph: “I love you and I want to be the best husband and best father, the best provider.”

Drew: “You do go out of your way to make me feel like the most important person in the world so I love you. I just want to make sure that we don’t have these really high highs and we go through these lows and deal with our problems on a deeper level so we can be healthier for each other.”

“Bachelor”-like romantic music suddenly dies out dramatically when she mentions the “lows” while Ralph’s face immediately goes from content to “oh no.”

Ralph: “I agree... we can’t have these extreme expectations. My new order is God, then me, my wife, my kids and everyone else. I think for men, at times, we’re trained it’s God, your wife, family and you come last. I was a pleaser. I can’t do that anymore.”

Drew: “I feel like for me I cannot vocalize how I feel for the sake of keeping peace. I stopped saying how I felt because I was afraid of that wrath. That wrath is so serious.”

Ralph: “I apologize if I ever made you feel like you had to suppress your voice.”

So far, so good. They appear to be on track to get this dinner back to what Ralph had hoped it would be.

He says he came into the dinner with no expectations, which isn’t really true. He says he’d rather talk about serious issues with a marriage counselor.

Drew tries to placate him.

“I value” this grand romantic gesture, she says. “You made me feel special. This shows me we can make it.”

This shows you?” he says, his expectations suddenly coming to bear. He feels like he shows her he loves her in many other ways as well. He’s now in his own head.

He suggests she have a session with the therapist to learn how to talk to men. She responds by suggesting he have a session so he can learn how to talk to women and then puts on a fake smile.

Ralph says the therapist notes how she can passive-aggressively throw out zingers. She says the therapist called him a “maniac.” He says no maniac could be as successful as he is. She thinks he has “maniac” tendencies. “You don’t even understand what maniac means!” he says. “That’s unstable.”

She apologizes for the zing. Ralph makes a last-ditch effort to salvage this night by saying, why don’t they just let all this go and have a good night.

Nope. Drew: “If me expressing myself is having a bad night, then what the hell are we doing?”

He just shuts down and she starts to cry and walks away.

At least they’ll have plenty of material for the therapist to chew on.

***

Here is what we learned about a couple of the other housewives:

Sanya Ross-Richards: We find out she now has nine people in her Atlanta home including her husband, her son, her parents, her sister, her sister’s husband and his two sons. “The house is definitely crowded,” she says, but this is temporary. She moved to Atlanta last year from Austin, Texas. She hopes her sister eventually finds her own place to live after a year. Her sister, by the way, is her hairstylist and her mom is her manager.

Shereé Whitfield: Chateau Shereé is long finished. Her home taking forever to build was a long-running storyline back in the day. Kenya comes by. She’s impressed with the final result. It’s clear they were not friends when Shereé was off the show because they live right around the corner from each other.

Marlo Hampton: She is taking care of her two nephews while their mom is in prison. One nephew is going to homecoming and she dresses him up all fancy. She provides some history about her tough life growing up, often landing in foster care. She recalls going to prom herself once and shows a photo of herself circa 1993.

Kandi Burruss: Kandi is a producer on the new Broadway show “Thoughts of a Colored Man.” She and her husband Todd have scheduling issues. Kandi is busy for work and sometimes gone for long periods of time, be it acting in a TV show or producing a Broadway play or touring with Xscape. Todd takes shorter vacations to Miami to “hang out.” Both accuse the other of “disrupting the flow” by not being together. She says Todd is “feeling a way” because the Broadway show has nothing to do with him. He also has an old condo in New Jersey leftover from an ex and she doesn’t want to stay there. He doesn’t want to give it up.