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Spinoffs & Other Shows

Recaps, opinion pieces and analysis of Bravo TV shows including Don't Be Tardy, Manzo'd With Children, Ladies of London, Tour Group, Shahs of Sunset and Southern Charm.

Don't Be Tardy Ssn 4/Ep 5 - Kim's Roots

Glenn Rowley

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This week on, Kim and Kroy go back to Kim's hometown of Windsor Locks, Connecticut for a poignant and funny trip down memory lane. The real reason for the trip is that Kim will be doing an appearance at a casino as well as a meet and greet with local fans. She hasn't been back in over 16 years, ever since she moved to Atlanta with a two-year-old Brielle. While in town, she'll be meeting with some of her friends from high school, which has her wondering what they'll think of her after all these years. Leaving Tracey and Gloria in charge of the kids, Kim and Kroy say goodbye to their brood, FaceTime Brielle and Slade and are off to northern Connecticut.

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When they arrive, Kim is blown away to see that seemingly nothing has changed since she grew up there in the '80s and '90s. Back then, Kim says she was "hell on wheels," she hated school, loved boys and worked at nearly every single fast food restaurant in town from McDonalds to Burger King to Taco Bell to Subway. She even got fired from the local Burger King for handing free food out the drive-thru window to her friends! The first stop Kim and Kroy makes is at the apartment complex where she lived when Brielle was just a baby. When she found out she was pregnant, Kim's parents kicked her out of the house, telling her she had to figure life out on her own. She had Brielle at 19, going to nursing school and working full-time just to make ends meet. At about the same age now, Kim points out that Brielle couldn't write a check today to save her life.

Cut to Brielle and Slade back home in Atlanta. While they're away, Kim and Kroy have tasked the teenage lovebirds with buying a dresser from IKEA and putting it together. Slade is sure Kroy is testing him, but claims that if you give him instructions he can understand anything. Except for Brielle, that is. On the drive to the store, Brielle explains that if she tells Slade to leave her alone, that means he should stay. Baffled, Slade asks what he's supposed to do when she tells him to stay then. The answer seems obvious to Brielle: stay, of course! Slade's just supposed to know these things. Brielle also informs her boyfriend that she won't be going away to Kennesaw State the next fall for college since she didn't apply on time. Surely, this news will be music to her mom's ears.

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Next on the hometown tour, Kim and Kroy go to Windsor Locks' best restaurant, Maine Fresh Market, to meet her old friends Melissa, Leah, Terri and Lisa for lunch. This is the first time Kim's seen any of them in 16 years, but the women might be more excited to see Kroy than their old friend. Kim's friends immediately comment that she's developed a bit of a Southern accent after living in Georgia for so long and jokingly ask for some of her fertile juju. Over lunch, the women break out old pictures from Kim's adolescent years and revel in all their big-haired glory. Ruminating over where life has led her, Kim says she always knew she would leave Windsor Locks, but never would've guessed she'd end up in Georgia. In fact, the only reason she even moved there in the first place was because her dad got a job down South. Deciding to stay was a random decision - Kim simply hired movers to pack up her stuff in Connecticut and never went back.

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One of the women asks about Kim's family, and it turns out she has a brother! Did we know about this before this episode? Kim's not in contact with him as he's close to her parents, whom she describes as "toxic." The estrangement seems to shock her friends, but after all the things her parents did over the years in Atlanta, Kim had finally had enough. The final nail in the coffin was when she saw Brielle in tears over a particularly nasty interview her parents had given to the press. At that point, she was officially done. One of the friends asks if she thinks the relationship can ever be salvaged, but Kim insists there's no way. Once you mess with her kids, that's it. With lunch over, Kim and Kroy say goodbye to her old friends, promising to keep in touch. As they drive away from the restaurant, Kim says she honestly doesn't know what her life would've been like had she stayed in Windsor Locks. She probably would've stuck around and married someone from high school, simply because she didn't know any different. 

On the drive Kim shows Kroy the place where she and her friends used to throw tomatoes at passing cars. To avoid getting caught, they would chuck the tomatoes and then run under a nearby tunnel to the other side of the road. In her interview, Kim says they really liked it when a driver would have the window down and the delinquents could nail the drivers right in the face. Good times in a small town. Kim suggests they throw a tomato for old times' sake, but then decides it's probably not the best idea considering she could go to jail now.

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Two hours before the appearance, Kim takes Kroy to the house she grew up in. As they drive, she laughingly reminisces about walking the street three times a day, feeling like the hottest girl in the world in her Daisy Dukes and her boobs on display. When they pull up to the peach-colored house, the door opens and Kim gets out to greet the strangers with a "you know this is the house I grew up in, now..." The family clearly knows who she is and are freaking out to find a celebrity on their doorstep. They reveal that they've lived in the house for 17 years - they're the ones who bought it from Kim's parents! In disbelief, Kim asks if she can come inside and steps back into her childhood home. In her confessional, Kim explains that being back in Windsor Locks, she feels like just a normal person. However, she recognizes the reality that if she wasn't in the public eye, these random strangers probably wouldn't be so generous in opening their home to her.

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Once inside, she's amazed to discover that not much has changed, from the old-as-dirt next door neighbor to the pizza parlor down the street. Outside, she shows Kroy where she carved a giant "Kim Z." in the sidewalk, not once but twice. At the time, she told her friend Melissa that it would be worth something some day. Even as a kid, Kim knew she would be big some day - big enough to take up an entire slab of concrete for her Hollywood star. Never in a million years did Kim imagine she'd be where she is today.

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Finally, the time arrives for her appearance at the Mohegan Sun Casino. The fact that she's going back to the casino as a celebrity is hilarious to Kim, considering that she used to sneak in to gamble illegally there when she was 18. It's the first appearance she's done in over a year and he's greeted by dozens of fans anxious to ask questions and get their pictures taken with her. It's clear that Kim Zolciak is a hometown hero to these people, as she fields questions about how she and Kroy keep the romance alive and whether she'll ever record more music. One young woman even claims Kim is her spirit animal, since they both "came out of the womb looking for dick." With the appearance over, Kim is ready to do some gambling. She loves meeting her fans, but let's be honest, the casino was calling her name.