‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Recap: Kenya Moore’s Family Struggles Continue, NeNe Leakes Returns

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Real Housewives of Atlanta Mark Hill/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Someone once said that it's best to let sleeping dogs lie. That someone was not one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Between tense family situations, clashes over political activism, and the unearthing of a previously buried friendship (via the return of Nene Leakes!), it seemed that every lady had her share of challenges on the Sunday, January 17, episode. As per the usual, some dealt better than others.

It's Hard to Coparent From Jail

While helping her sons pack for their upcoming trip to celebrate the anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., Phaedra Parks received a call from her ex, Apollo Nida. Phaedra clearly didn't have much to say to Apollo but allowed him to get on the phone with their 5-year-old son, Aidyn.

For the most part, Apollo lectured Aidyn about the importance of behaving in school. "We're coparenting," Phaedra said to the camera. "However, there's only so much coparenting you can do when you're incarcerated." Amen, girl. It's also worth noting that Phaedra's upcoming D.C. trip was also partially fueled by her desire to promote her organization, Save Our Sons, which aims to help African American men succeed (i.e. graduate from college and not end up in jail like her baby daddy).

Aunt Lori Confronts Kenya About Ambushing Her Mom

Like Phaedra, Kenya Moore also found herself in a sticky family situation when her aunt Lori and her cousin Che dropped by, unannounced, to clear the air about why Lori left the Detroit family reunion early.

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"I wanted to say some things to you that are difficult for me to say," Lori told Kenya. "As you know, you and I never really talked about your mom. I didn't want to be in the middle. I just want to make it really clear to you first, that I love you very much, but I think you also have to realize that I love my sister too. I don't judge her. She was a young girl when she found herself pregnant and I think, personally, she had every right to give up her child." (ICYMI, Kenya's birth mother gave her to Kenya's paternal grandfather to raise.)

"I'm not judging her for wanting not to keep her child," Kenya replied. "What I've always had a problem with is the way she treated me when I did come back into her life — the things that she has said to my face, to your mother!"

Lori insisted she wasn't "going to get into a pissing match" and told Kenya flatly, "Enough is enough." Kenya continued to focus on the terrible treatment she'd received from her mother over the years while Lori argued that, at the very least, Kenya's mother "hasn't bothered" Kenya, and Kenya should return the favor.

"That's my mother!" Kenya shouted. "I have every right to go to her and knock on her door!" Lori reiterated that she did not agree and urged — practically begged — Kenya to "let it go" and "move on" with her life. Through tears, Kenya insisted that she had done just that and she and Lori hugged it out.

Kandi Wants to Start an Old-Lady Gang

A very pregnant Kandi Burruss and her husband, Todd Tucker, were busy making nice with her extended family — because they wanted to ask for help with their forthcoming restaurant project. (Yes, despite Cynthia Bailey's very severe warnings about the perils of opening a restaurant with your spouse, Kandi and Todd seem to be moving forward.)

Kandi herself seemed to have some reservations about the joint venture, but Todd assured her that all she would have to do is "come shake hands, take pictures, hug babies and chill out." That's because most new restaurants basically run themselves. Not.

In any case, as part of their sales pitch, Kandi revealed their tentative name for the Southern cooking eatery: Old Lady Gangs. It was met with mixed reactions.

It's a Full House in D.C.

Meanwhile, Phaedra and her two sons; Kim Fields and her two sons; Porsha Williams; Sheree Whitfield and her 19-year-old son all headed to our nation's capital to "be a part of history" (according to Phaedra). The stark differences between Phaedra and Kim's parenting styles were apparent from the outset as Phaedra traveled with an entourage including a makeup artist and nanny, while Kim proudly explained she and her husband have no staff. "I wouldn't have it any other way," she beamed at the camera (though she might reconsider after this trip).

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Their first stop was a meeting with congresswoman Frederica Wilson. "People really do not like African American boys," Wilson opined as a look of sheer horror crept across Kim's face. "They are stereotyped and they do not have high expectations for them." At that point, Kim grabbed her two sons and led them into another room.

Sheree and Phaedra considered this to be pretty rude, but Porsha was too busy getting "her Olivia Pope on" to have much of an opinion. It turned out that Kim felt the conversation was inappropriate for her older son because he understood more than the younger children. "I don’t have the luxury of sugarcoating reality with my sons and I don't think that it's the smartest thing to do," Phaedra quipped to the camera.

Sugarcoating didn't seem to be doing Kim much good anyway, as both of her sons had major meltdowns during the next event and Kim ended up hanging out in the car with them instead of enjoying the luncheon. Finally, Kim revealed that she couldn't stay for the entire Million Man March celebration because she had to get back to Atlanta to host a different event. Porsha, who seemed more interested in flirting with Sheree's teenage son, didn't seem to care, but Sheree called Kim's early exit "weird."

All About NeNe

Struck by Kenya's struggles with her mother, Cynthia reflected on her own broken relationship with NeNe — and arranged for a reunion with her ex-bestie. After rolling up in a Maserati and halfheartedly pretending she didn’t know she had blocked Cynthia on Facebook, NeNe jumped right back in.

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"I just wanted to get back to being the fabulous NeNe Leakes, so in order to do that I had to hit the block button," the former castmate said to the camera. Once the requisite banter was out of the way, NeNe admitted she was extremely hurt by their friendship devolving — a sentiment that Cynthia shared.

"Of all the ladies in the group, NeNe was my bestie," she said. "So when we broke up, it took some getting used to." Things were going swimmingly between the two until Cynthia casually mentioned her newfound friendship with Kenya.

"Oh, really?" NeNe snapped before telling the camera, "There will be no one that will ever be able to fill the shoes of NeNe Leakes with Cynthia!" Cynthia then joked she was "still in therapy" because of NeNe. At least, we think she was joking.

Tell Us: Do you think NeNe will come between Cynthia and Kenya?

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs on Bravo Sundays at 8 p.m. EST.

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