Kevin James got back together with someone from his past on the Kevin Can Wait finale—but it wasn’t Leah Remini. Instead of the Kevin-Vanessa romance that many Kevin Can Wait (and King of Queens) fans assumed would come to fruition by the end of the show’s second season, James’ Kevin Gable reunited with old pals from his band Smokefish, played by Chris Rock and Adam Sandler.
The Kevin Can Wait episode, “A Band Done,” featured funny scenes between James and his real-life pal Sandler as well as a dose of hair metal karaoke, but there was no “Kanessa” cliffhanger. The closest to a romantic relationship story came via a flashback to 1989 in which it as revealed that, back in the day, Kevin talked Vanessa’s (Leah Remini) boyfriend out of proposing to her. The episode ended not with the cliffhanger kiss that many fans expected but instead with a punch in the gut as Vanessa walloped Kevin in the stomach for messing up her life.
Kevin Can Wait fans may have been surprised by the show’s Season 2 finale. James and Remini played married couple Doug and Carrie Heffernan for nine seasons on The King Of Queens, so all signs pointed to a hookup between Kevin Gable and his pretty business partner Vanessa Cellucci after his wife (played by Erinn Hayes) was killed off after the first season of the show.
Remini herself even admitted that producers would have to address a romantic storyline between her character and Kevin, telling the New York Daily News,“You have to at some point. It’s not a ‘no,’ it’s just there’s so many episodes to do before that.”
Instead, Kevin and Vanessa remained platonic throughout the second Kevin Can Wait season, with a working relationship, not a romantic one.
Of course, Kevin Can Wait executive producer Rob Long was vocal about the fact that there was no master plan for James and Remini’s characters to get romantic when the two stars reunited for their second CBS sitcom.
“Honestly, we’re trying not to [put them in a romantic relationship],” The Kevin Can Wait producer told TV Line last fall. “These two actors have incredibly fun chemistry together, but they’re also great antagonists. So as much as there’s a lot of snap and crackle on screen, there’s also a lot of fun in watching two people not get along.”
And Kevin James himself warned Kevin Can Wait shippers that there probably would not be a romance between his character and Remini’s.
“We did romantic already,” James told Yahoo Entertainment. “I like that I can be, like, a wingman for her. We can go out as buddies.”
You can see a scene from the Kevin Can Wait season finale “A Band Done” below.
Kevin Can Wait airs on CBS.