The series finale of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” may not be the worst series finale ever made.
But it easily stands as one of the most ugliest, violent hours ever aired on TV.
Warning! Major spoilers follow!
By the hour’s end, only one major character was left standing – and she was left a babbling wreck, a woman of God driven to murder.
First to fall was Wyatt (Aaron O’Connell), who perished from a drug overdose.
O’Connell must be relieved the role is over; in eight seasons, writer/director Perry gave him one note to play – that of an addict hyperventilating for his next fix.
If O’Connell’s next role is reading municipal tax codes to the blind on local access TV, he’ll probably be thrilled by the variety.
Katheryn (Renee Lawless) was strangled in jail by a psycho cellmate.
In one of the most baffling sequences of the episode, Perry immediately cut from her death to the murder of the show’s No. 1 villain, Veronica Harrington (Angela Robinson), gunned down by hoods as she approached her car.
Veronica was long past due some karmic justice for her long list of crimes (including murder), but Perry seemed in a rush to move on. The scene lasted but seconds.
Jeffrey (Gavin Houston), his sort-of boyfriend Madison (Brock Yurich), and Jeffrey’s maybe father David (Peter Parros) were blown to bits by a bomb handed off by the brother of Jeffrey’s onetime stalker.
Benny (Tyler Lepley) was another shooting victim, gunned down by the jealous ex of his girlfriend.
With all that over-the-top violence, the worst was yet to come: Candace (Tika Sumpter), the show’s chief protagonist, the reformed thief, ex-hooker, ex-madam, possible first lady of the United States, was beaten and drowned in a tub by Jim (John Schneider).
Candace’s mom Hanna (Crystal Fox) arrived, and Jim taunted her with what he had done. The two brawled inside and out the mansion, and Hanna got in her car and ran down Jim, his blood splattering her windshield, Hanna broken by the length to which she had been driven.
And that’s how Perry ended his series.
To fans who have been watching for eight seasons, since 2013, the hour was beyond cruel.
What of the maid Celine and her sons with Jim? What of the president-elect and his scheming staffers? What about Madison’s fey-but-butch gigolo, last seen being beaten by Veronica’s goons and vowing, like Gloria Gaynor, to survive? What about Veronica’s “All About Eve” assistant and her double-crossing husband? Remember that gang of thieves operating out of Katheryn’s hotel? Why introduce Benny’s possible baby mama in the penultimate episode?
After forcing viewers to sit through years of stories spinning nowhere, Perry couldn’t be bothered to give anyone a proper resolution.
Those who follow Perry’s shows had hoped he might have learned a lesson from the series finale of “If Loving You is Wrong.” There, he disposed of a few characters and left most of the stories unresolved.
With his greatest dramatic success, “The Haves and the Have Nots,” it was as if Perry saw the deadline looming to end the show and just decided on the quickest way to wrap everything up – by murdering his core cast onscreen. Never has any TV creator revealed such utter disdain for his creations. And you, the viewer, are an idiot for investing eight years into this slog of a show expecting any sort of decent payoff.
Oh, OWN must be thrilled: One of the cable network’s biggest hits is damaged by this sleazy, grotesque hour. Who, knowing how this show ends, will possibly want to stream this series in the future? What possible value does the series have in syndication?
Perry prides himself on being a one-man shop, writing, producing, and directing his shows. Time for him to use his fortune to hire some help, to delegate a bit. He could use the help.