By Brigette Flood and Sandy M. Tyler

This week’s episode opens with an apology from Phaedra to Kim for the commotion caused by Apollo and Peter at Kim’s baby shower. Phaedra and a peter are going to cause a whole other commotion at the next party … but more on that later. At least for now, Phaedra is happy to bring Kim some G-rated baby gifts and talk about Kim’s impending delivery. Kim is a much more laid-back expectant mother in her final months than Phaedra was, and we’re impressed with her chill attitude.

The chill attitude and apologies don’t extend to Cynthia’s family. Unfortunately, Cynthia’s family business from last season is back, icy and flat, like bad champagne. Cynthia is trying to patch things up between Peter and her sister Malorie. Things have been strained since it was revealed that Mal and Mom considered derailing the wedding ceremony by not providing the marriage certificate. In the end, reason prevailed and nuptials commenced. But as viewers, we were left to wonder if the right decision was made. Cynthia and Peter seem happy now, but he hasn’t been winning us over so far this season either.

Here’s one major problem: Peter saw footage of the conspiracy when it aired, along with 2+ million viewers. That had to sting. But he doesn’t say, “Hey Mal, that really hurt my feelings. You were my friend. I saw you on TV thinking of stopping my marriage, and it’s going to forever spoil what was supposed to be one of the best days of my life.” Instead, Peter starts, stops and stubborns up the conversation with Mel from the get go. “Am I being forced to talk about it now?“ (Well, yes.) Acts like he didn’t fade Mal’s phone calls. (He did.) Keeps saying one-liners, like, “I didn’t marry you, I married your sister.” (That’s true.) and “You jacked up our day for the rest of our lives.” (True, but for the right reasons.)

In the end, nothing gets resolved, but at least they tried. Later, Peter says exactly what he feels to NeNe,“I just wanted that day to be perfect, and it wasn’t.” (Finally!) But not before the whole mess gets brought up again at The Cynthia Bailey Agency, when Mal and her hubby Chris, who plays basketball in Italy (Hellllooo, young tender!), drop by to say hi and help put a chair together. (Huh?)

The subject of the reconciliation quickly gets brought up again. (Oh, no.) Mal’s gist is that she wants Cynthia to be happy and is worried Cynthia will end up investing in BarOne like she did in the now-failed Uptown (foreshadowing). Seems like Mal is more concerned about the strain put on Cynthia and Peter’s relationship than the money lost (more foreshadowing). Cynthia gets defensive about it and says all couples have ups and downs, then switches the focus back to Mel and Chris by stating they’ve had ups and downs too. (Uh oh.) This makes Mal defensive and the chair the safest thing to talk about. (Bad sign.)

In the end, there was lots of talk about putting the chair together, but that poor thing was left in pieces on the floor, becoming a spot-on metaphor for what’s happening in their relationships: lots of conversation, but nothing’s getting resolved enough for anyone to sit down, be comfortable and stay awhile. (Aha!)

Back at Kim and Kroy’s place, Kim (already a mother of two girls) brings in a baby consultant to train her in all things baby boy. This includes a discussion of circumcision and techniques for changing the diaper of a baby with bits and pieces she’s never had to take care of before, at least not in a motherly way.

Over at the Chateau Shereé construction site, Shereé stops by to assess the lack of progress on her new house and brings Phaedra along to meet her builder Andrew. This is when it’s nice to have a lawyer for a friend because Phaedra makes it clear that if Andrew doesn’t deliver, she’ll deliver an invitation to court. At least she softens her threat to “get up his butt” with a close-up view of her fabulous “donkey bootie.”

Kandi meets up with Derek J and NeNe for some retail therapy, which includes shopping for hooker heels and discussing the breakdown of Kandi’s friendship with Kim. NeNe’s not surprised, thinking that Kim only used Kandi for a hit song, but Kandi is happy to see Kim with a “young tender” like Kroy even if Kim’s pregnancy means she won’t be at Kandi’s birthday celebration. As usual, NeNe is only looking for a fight and may use Kandi’s party as a chance to cross swords with whoever gets in her way.

It’s finally the night for Kandi’s Dirty 30 birthday party, and all of the ladies are in attendance dressed to the nines and tens. Not to be outdone, Lawrence arrives dressed, according to Phaedra, as Mr. T dipped in Wonder Woman. Everyone likes Kandi, even if they don’t get along with anybody else. Normally, the rifts between the housewives would provide enough drama for any large gathering, but Phaedra has an ace in the hole plan to take the evening in a more … festive direction. She’s surprising Kandi with her own version of Dick in a Box, Atlanta’s own Redickulous, a stripper with epic assets. He’s also a veteran, a twin and a fan of That’s so Raven. Hey, who didn’t Google him afterward? Feel free to Like him on Facebook, btw.

The reaction of the crowd is a mixture shock and awe. Kandi finds the humor in the situation, even when Redickulous freshens her drink with his own swizzle stick and then pleasures himself in ways the Bravo censors will only let us imagine, and then try to erase from our brains. NeNe, thinking the stripper’s talents don’t mix with her couture, makes a hasty exit, and Kandi’s mother is mortified and not-at-all amused by the whole situation. It may not seem the correct time nor place to pull out such a novelty act, but when you consider that the birthday girl is designing her own line of sex toys, you can’t fault Phaedra for this one. However, Kandi’s Mom may have felt more comfortable if Phaedra had brought along a prayer cloth for her special guest, sized extra-EXTRA-large.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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