Let’s Try and Figure Out The Ending Of ‘Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black’

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 11, 2024
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Tyler Perry's Divorce in the Black Ending Explained
Tyler Perry's Divorce in the Black | Image via Prime Video

Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black is ridiculous and terrible nonsense, and the ending is one of the silliest aspects of it. Naturally, I’d like to make fun of it, but I also want to try and figure out why this movie exists at all, and in unpacking all the ways it makes no sense, there might be some clues to what Perry was trying to achieve with it.

So, let’s do that, shall we?

Why did Ava stay with Dallas for so long?

Divorce in the Black hinges, unsurprisingly, on a divorce. But that means there had to be a marriage beforehand, and it’s almost impossible to fathom why Ava would have ever been interested in Dallas, let alone why she stayed with him for so long.

The answer to this is probably sympathy. Dallas comes from an obviously broken home and is surrounded by his nutcase relatives, so Ava clearly thought she could “fix” him by showing him what real love and stability was. She obviously failed, but this is the only justifiable reason for her to make such an effort at her own expense.

Ordinarily in movies about domestic abuse, scripts are careful to highlight different sides of the abuser, those moments where they lower their guard and offer some snippet of their interiority, or when they overcompensate for the abuse by being overly nice and loving. Dallas never does any of this, though. Rona has a comprehensive list of awful things he has done to Ava. There is zero indication that he has ever been any other way.

Did Dallas kill his father?

When Dallas gets plastered after his brother’s funeral, he implies to Ava that his mother convinced him to kill his father. This kind of childhood trauma might go some way towards explaining why he is the way he is.

However, this is clearly news to Ava. You can tell through dialogue that it’s the first time she’s heard it. So, this doesn’t suffice as an excuse for why Ava put up with him for so long. I do suspect it’s true since it seems like exactly the kind of thing Dallas’s mother would do, and a history of abuse in the family would explain why he perpetuates that same abuse in the present day.

But I’m being overly kind here. Divorce in the Black doesn’t really treat this idea with any seriousness. It’s a nothing scene that is never brought up again.

Why did Dallas want a divorce?

Look, I have absolutely no idea. It’s never explained.

The best thing I can come up with is that a combination of grief over his brother’s death and jealousy over Benji compelled Dallas to try and exert control over Ava by divorcing her as the kind of ultimate “in your face” move. But he clearly didn’t think it through since he was utterly unable to deal with her being on her own or having any of her own agency.

You know, any of the things that women get when their husbands divorce them. Nobody said this guy was a brain surgeon.

Clarence Will Be Okay

In a weird scene late on, Ava’s father Clarence arms himself and threatens to shoot Dallas, getting himself shot and beaten in the process.

This is a weird scene for a couple of reasons. One is that this is supposedly a man of God, and yet he turns into Rambo at a moment’s notice. Another is that this is because Dallas put his hands on his wife at the supermarket, which is a severe infraction, but was he not concerned about all the stuff he did to Ava over the years? I know there’s an implication that Ava was keeping the severity quiet, but it was obvious enough that Rona managed to compile a detailed list. We also never, ever see Dallas being subtle at all.

My point is, wouldn’t he have kicked off years ago? Try not to think about it.

“This Isn’t Over”

At the end of Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black, Ava lures Dallas into her home, antagonizes him into assaulting her, and then shoots him with a shotgun.

In case you were wondering, this is clearly an intentional ploy. Ava meant to kill Dallas and was able to manipulate him into creating a scenario where she was simply defending herself. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

However, in the hospital after this, when Clarence is being discharged, Dallas’s mother and the rest of the family promise Ava that this isn’t over. And she’s all like, “Just forget it, guys,” like she hasn’t just murdered one of the clan.

Personally, I can’t imagine the whole matter being left alone, but I sincerely hope it is since the alternative is a sequel to Divorce in the Black… and I’m really not sure I could sit through another.

What did you think of the ending of Divorce in the Black? Would you like a sequel? Let us know in the comments below.

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