RHOA Recap: Phaedra puts boom in the tomb, ex-con Marlo mingles with the Buckhead elite

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The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Episode 409: “Unlikely Duos” recap:

 It’s the first all-new RHOA of 2012 and, perhaps not coincidentally, Georgians can now purchase alcohol on Sundays. As our weekly incentive to consume copious levels of grain alcohol opens, Phaedra Parks is explaining her funeral home business strategy to her pastor mama, Regina. “I want to have funerals worth dying for!” she explains. “I don’t want to just throw ‘em in the ground, I want to throw ‘em in the ground with a bang.” At deadline, the jury remained out on how that prospective slogan might play on a church fan.

 Over at Kim Zolciak and Kroy Biermann’s expansive new digs, Kim’s 14-year-old Brielle is texting friends and refusing to help with the unpacking. Kim thinks Brielle has a problem. Considering that the $500 Versace place settings  being unpacking look like someone regurgitated a 99-cent QuikTrip bean burrito and glazed it onto a dinner plate, perhaps Kim’s kid has something else. Taste.

 Over in Nashville, Kandi Burruss and producer Lil Ronnie have arrived at country singer Jo Dee Messina’s house to unveil Kandi’s latest country composition for her. The working title? “I Won’t Give Up On You.” We know this because the song’s title is referenced 47 times in the ditty’s chorus.

 NeNe Leakes, meanwhile, has agreed to meet RHOA wannabe/ex-con Marlo Hampton at Goldfish for a glass of moscato. The two ladies have hooked up to discuss Marlo’s current beau and NeNe’s former beau, ex-NFL/alleged fraudulent check distributor Charles Grant. NeNe quickly clears the air about the extent of her brief dating history with Grant: “Charles has never seen my Hello Kitty.” The only thing sweeter than the wine is NeNe’s double-take when Marlo finally informs her of her seven arrests, “five of which were for parole violations.” In voiceover, NeNe asks: “Now say what now?!”

 After being given an exclusive tour of the embalming room of Willie Watkin’s Funeral House, Phaedra’s hubby Apollo turns up at her law office with a vase of flowers and some misgivings about becoming an undertaker. “I know you’re very passionate about this,” Apollo says. “But I don’t want to be tainted. When you’re working with a dead body, you’ve got souls and spirits, all kinds of stuff going on. I feel funny about it.”

“Can’t you see it?” Phaedra asks her still-skeptical husband. “We’re gonna put the boom in the tomb. And you are going to make a top hat rock.” Finally, Apollo tentatively agrees to Phaedra’s brainstorm to console grieving little old ladies via his pronounced biceps.

 At Captain Planet Foundation gala co-chair and jewelry designer Elizabeth Dupree Lynch’s tony Buckhead estate, Marlo is serving as co-hostess for a private jewelry party benefit with Lynch, CPF co-chair Laura Turner Seydel, and Atlanta author and Ted Turner’s gal pal Elizabeth Dewberry. As guests enter the white and black tiled foyer, they’re handed flutes of champagne. AND SWEET MOTHER OF GOD, I just ended up in a camera panning shot of the foyer, along with Atlanta magazine celeb shutterbug Caroline Kilgore. After pausing the TiVo briefly to reflect on our new-found television fame (and to relieve Green’s of another Everclear 12-pack), we are now able to properly analyze the “reality” of this sequence. The real beauty of this scene? We left last summer’s benefit well in advance of Marlo and NeNe’s arrival and yet through the magic of editing, it appears we’re hobnobbing with the statuesque Ms. Leakes and protecting our billfold from Marlo.

 In voiceover, NeNe explains the potential for awkwardness at a society soiree co-starring an ex-con: “It’s really weird to see Marlo with this group of women and then think about her past. People just can’t put together socialite and criminal.” And God bless her, ever the eco-activist, Turner Seydel attempts to educate NeNe about going green. “We’re looking at banning plastic in Georgia,” she informs NeNe. “They’ve done it in China and they’ve done it in Canada.” Replies NeNe: “Going green? I don’t know how to go green unless it’s green money going to the bank.”

 As Dupree Lynch shows off a set of her $25,000 designer earrings inspired by an ancient Tibetan symbol, she asks NeNe, “Do you know the Dalai Lama?” NeNe’s reply: “The Italian?” After proper blood flow is restored to her face, Dupree Lynch politely replies, “The spiritual leader of Tibet.” Elizabeth Dewberry quickly excuses herself from the conversation by physically squeezing past the cameraman  in order to get out of the scene. We raise our birdbath of Everclear in a silent toast to the only evidence of intellect in this week’s episode.

 Coming Next Week: Kroy takes Kim to the firing range where Kim swiftly pumps half a dozen deadly body shots into a paper target. Kandi’s well-meaning mom Joyce invites mortal enemies NeNe and Kim to the same dinner party and forces them to converse with each other. Let’s all pray Kim has secured a concealed carry permit for that Glock.

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