Last week, Kevin Can Wait revealed how it would handle the death of Erinn Hayes’ character, Donna: not by showing tears or tragedy, but by the arrival of a random letter from Donna’s former gym that led eldest daughter Kendra to simply state the new status quo: “It’s been over a year since she died.” And that was, quite literally, all we got. Donna non grata.
Thus, Kevin Gable (played by Kevin James, which, man, I hope you knew by now) is now free to experience life in season 2 as a single dad – which could possibly mean falling for his new business partner, Vanessa, played by convenient new series regular Leah Remini. Of course, the show is not a reboot of King of Queens, so don’t get any crazy ideas!
In week two of season 2, Kevin has launched into full dad mode. He’s making lunches, over-attending lacrosse practices, and even doing laundry (but using salad tongs to fold his daughters’ undergarments, because duh, he’s a boy!). “Ever since mom passed away, you have been incredible — really involved!” says Kendra, honoring Donna’s memory with another brief mention. Still, Kevin’s overinvolvement is getting to be too suffocating for Kendra and her two other siblings who definitely have names, so she hatches a plan with older lady-friend Vanessa to get Kevin back to work — and out of their hair!
Vanessa enters, and she’s already the type of character who can walk into the family’s kitchen with a “hey hey!” and plop her stuff down on the table while revealing her story line this week: recruiting Kevin for a job to help serve someone divorce papers. Vanessa runs a private security firm, and she wants Kevin to play process server for a quick assignment. Kevin reluctantly gives up his full-time dad work and helps out, much to the delight of Kendra and the children!
Kevin and Vanessa banter their way through their first stakeout (where Kevin forces Vanessa to trade cheeseburgers with him, only to reverse the swap because hers has lipstick on it, gross!) but are unsuccessful. At Vanessa’s office, Kevin mistakenly tells one of Vanessa’s employees that he’s better at the job than Vanessa is — oops! Foot, meet mouth! Later, the duo wind up at a carnival, where they finally serve papers and complete their assignment. During one single moment of quiet vulnerability, Kevin reveals to Vanessa that he’s been “living in a cocoon since Donna” and isn’t fully ready to go back into the workforce, betraying the suffering of a shell of a man whose harrowing psychological journey as a widower has begun to take its emotional toll. And then, Vanessa says Kevin is a ‘fraidy cat, so they go on a carnival slingshot ride! And let me tell you, reader, it seems like Kevin can barely wait to get off that thing! His facial expressions suggest he would rather be anywhere else!
Did Kevin and Vanessa hook up in week 2? No. No, they didn’t.