James "Jim" Cryer is the main antagonist who appears in the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) prime-time soap opera, The Haves and the Have Nots.
Jim is a wealthy but irascible, arrogant, and power-hungry criminal court judge with aspirations of becoming Governor of Georgia. He is married to Katheryn Cryer, with whom he has two children, Wyatt and Amanda. He also has two illegitimate children, Carlos and Jimmy, born of an affair with his former maid, Celine Gonzalez.
He was portrayed by John Schneider, who also played Satan in the Touched by an Angel episode "In the Name of God", Chad Symmonz in Snow Day, Charles Brighton in the CSI: Miami episode "Tunnel Vision", and Mitchell Kirkwood in the Leverage episode "The Studio Job".
Seasons 1 & 2
The series begins with Jim, on his 50th birthday, having sex with Candy Cane, a call girl who's much younger than he is. Later, he returns to his family's estate, only to find his son Wyatt, recently returned home from a yet another stint in rehab, walking around the house naked, much to his displeasure. He also meets his daughter Amanda's new friend, Candace Young, whom he's shocked to find is Candy Cane. Candace also happens to be the daughter of Hanna Young, the Cryers' newly-hired maid, a fact Jim initially remains ignorant of.
Candace soon proves to be a persistent thorn in Jim's side as she blackmails Jim into giving her money by falsely claiming she's pregnant with his child and overall threatens to ruin his chances of running for Governor alongside his long-time friend and business partner, David Harrington. He eventually has Candace kidnapped and held captive by the Malones, a gang of thugs at his beck and call. After speaking with a captive Candace, he then orders the Malones to "kill" Candace, though this is possibly an attempt to scare Candace straight as the Malones simply leave Candace out in the middle of nowhere after threatening her with a gun.
Jim's life becomes further complicated when Wyatt, while high on drugs and behind the wheel of a Sedan owned by David's son Jeffrey, hits and kills a young girl named Lizzie, and also hits and leaves Benny Young, Hanna's son and Candace's half-brother, in a coma. Jim then works to cover up Wyatt's actions in order to salvage his campaign. He succeeds, but this only earns him further scorn from Katheryn, who admonishes him for being a terrible person and warns him that his past and present actions will be harmful to both of their children in the long run.
At the end of the second season, Jim meets one of his illegitimate sons, Carlos, but he rejects the young man, drawing Celine's anger. In the season finale "Checkmate," at a party thrown by Katheryn at the Cryer Mansion to celebrate Jim's impending announcement of his run for Governor, Jim meets Quincy Maxwell, Amanda's new "boyfriend" who, moments later, confronts him in his study as to Candace's whereabouts. When Jim lets slip that he slept with Candace, he is violently assaulted by the thug, who is then driven off the Cryers' property by the timely intervention of David and Wyatt.
By the episode's end, Jim is lured outside of his mansion by a text message from Candace on his cell phone. Once he's outside on the front steps, he is ambushed and kidnapped by Warlock and his crew, acting on Candace's orders, and the thugs proceed to throw a screaming Jim into the trunk of a car, which drives off.
For the first few episodes of Season 3, Jim is held captive in a run-down neighborhood inside a dingy basement, where he is tied to a chair. He exchanges tense words with Warlock before being confronted by Candace, who demands that he transfer 7.4 billion dollars to her bank account. When Jim refuses, he is subjected to electric torture and then forced to pose for provocative photos with transvestites in bondage gear so Candace can have something to blackmail him with in the future. Finally, he agrees to give his former lover what she wants.
In "A Tragic Day," Jim is finally freed from the basement. After cleaning up and getting dressed for his press conference, he is dismayed to be given a bus card by Candace so he can take a bus to his campaign headquarters. When he ends up on the wrong side of town, Jim gets into a heated row with the bus driver after being refused to accompany the driver back to the bus lot, and later gets a ride with a kind old woman who informs him of Amanda's death. Jim finally returns home, where he is told that Amanda is indeed dead and Katheryn, in a grief-filled rage, attempts to strangle him for not getting Amanda the help she needed earlier. The police investigating the scene then announce that Amanda was murdered.
In "April 7, 1979," Jim confronts one of the police officers about his claim that Amanda was murdered, and assaults Wyatt when his son makes a rude comment. He then faces Katheryn cursing the day they first met and promising to make his life miserable. Jim is comforted by David, whom he tells of what happened to him the night before. It is decided by the police that Amanda did indeed commit suicide, and a grief-stricken Jim, along with Katheryn, later views his daughter's corpse before it's taken away by the coroner. The episode ends with Jim overhearing Wyatt in the kitchen tell Jeffrey that Amanda committed suicide because of her parents' actions.
Continuing into the next episode "In Crisis," Jim angrily asks Wyatt what he just said about Amanda. He then violently attacks Wyatt, even pouring alcohol on him. In response, Wyatt punches his father, and the two fight until Jeffrey restrains Wyatt while David, Katheryn, and Veronica Harrington hold back Jim. Wyatt then shows everyone else his father's cell phone filled with text messages from his many mistresses over the years before revealing that, while he was away at camp (where he was being molested by a priest) as a child, he tried calling Jim for help, only for Jim to tell him he was busy when, in actuality, he was having an affair with Celine. Jim seems to regret his actions.
In "A Talk with Jim," Jim is sitting alone in the living room, drinking a glass of liquor, when Katheryn returns from visiting Hanna and Benny. The two of them share the glass, and Jim reminisces about the day Amanda was born. Katheryn, however, informs Jim that he wasn't there when she went into labor, proving his recollection as false. Jim then wonders why can't he stop acting the way he does, but Katheryn is unmoved by his grief, saying he does the same thing—do something terrible, regret it, but then go and do it again.
In "Oscar," when Celine returns to the Cryer Mansion after having been fired by Katheryn earlier and has a standoff with Katheryn, Jim comes downstairs, wondering what the commotion is about, and tells Celine that she is indeed fired. Later, he is angered to find a cleaning crew clearing out Amanda's room under Hanna's supervision and orders the men to leave. He then harshly berates Hanna, who initially tries to get him to calm down before finally screaming "SHUT UP, DEMON!" at him and sternly rebuking him for his disrespect towards her, threatening to leave the Cryer Mansion and never return. Jim, seemingly unfazed by Hanna's outburst of righteous anger, orders her to leave the bedroom, which Hanna gladly does.
Jim then turns and sees Amanda's blood smeared on the walls; seeing this, he breaks down weeping, wondering aloud over and over "Why did you do this?" Hanna, overhearing Jim, comes back in and comforts him, explaining that she hired the cleaning crew because she wanted to spare him the sight of his daughter's blood. Jim then tearfully apologizes to Hanna for his earlier words and to Wyatt (who watches his father being comforted by Hanna but coldly walks off).
In "Unglued," Jim enters Amanda's empty, clean bedroom and finds Katheryn sitting in there. The two talk and observe Wyatt meeting with District Attorney Jennifer Sallison (another one of Jim's past flings) and a detective, and Katheryn bitterly reminds Jim of his inaction in getting their daughter help before telling him that staying married to him isn't worth it anymore. Katheryn then asks for a divorce, to which Jim agrees. Later, Jim and Katheryn ask Wyatt about his meeting with Sallison; when Wyatt informs his parents that he told the DA and the detective about how Jim and Veronica covered up his involvement in Lizzie's death, Jim and Katheryn accept their son's words without major incident.
In "Enough is Enough," Jim and Katheryn sit Wyatt down for a round of drinks, and the three of them admit their past wrongdoings; it's during this exchange that Jim finds out that Katheryn had her own extramarital affairs behind his back. Jim tells Wyatt that he (Wyatt) will likely be raped in prison before giving his son a bitter speech about how after he buries Amanda and sends Wyatt off to prison, he's just going to retire from politics and maybe go traveling.
In "Two Funerals," Jim angrily criticizes Maggie Day, his and David's campaign manager, about the presence of the press at Amanda's funeral. After Wyatt comes downstairs and makes lewd advances towards Maggie, Jim tells Katheryn to go confront Wyatt (because he knows he'll hurt Wyatt if he does), only for Katheryn to refuse, much to his annoyance. He and Katheryn then receive news of the Harrington Mansion burning down, and they go to check on David and Veronica. Jim comforts David and learns that Veronica started the fire in an attempt to kill David; he then vows to help his friend after he's finished laying Amanda to rest.
The next morning, Jim sits in the kitchen eating breakfast when Hanna arrives; in a rare show of kindness and respect, he thanks Hanna for handling the arrangements for Amanda's funeral. Moments later, Celine enters the house, demanding to speak to Jim, who refuses. Wyatt then comes into the kitchen, ignores his father's orders to go back upstairs, and makes crude remarks towards Celine, who slaps him across the face. When Wyatt cruelly remarks to Celine that Jim wasn't there for Amanda, Jim flies into a rage and violently attacks his son until Hanna comes in and stops him.
Continuing into the next episode "In Memoriam," Jim sits at the counter while Veronica confronts Wyatt about confessing to Sallison. After Wyatt insults Veronica and leaves the kitchen, Veronica tells Jim he needs to re-assert control over his son and asks him why he doesn't give Wyatt a taste of what prison will be like; Jim responds that he's too tired, to which Veronica questions him "When is the Devil too tired to raise hell?" Jim then insults Veronica.
At Amanda's funeral, Jim, Katheryn, and Wyatt are disgusted to see Candace in attendance; Jim, however, doesn't react, while Katheryn invites Candace over to Amanda's wake at the Cryer Mansion. At Amanda's wake, Jim accompanies Katheryn and Candace to his office, where Jim remains silent while Katheryn questions Candace about why Amanda committed suicide. When Candace refuses to take the blame for Amanda's death and starts to leave the room, Jim gives his wife a look, and Katheryn knocks Candace out with a wine bottle.
In "Nine Lives," Jim and Katheryn send their guests home, and Jim waits patiently while Katheryn persuades Hanna to go home. Once Hanna is gone, Jim and Katheryn head back into his study, where Katheryn splashes ice water on Candace, causing her to regain consciousness. The two then interrogate Candace about what she did to Amanda to cause her to take her own life. Unfortunately for them, Hanna, having realized what's really going on, enters the study, where she insists on taking Candace with her. Jim and his wife, however, persist in getting answers from Candace who, under pressure from her mother, admits that Amanda was raped by her law professor; this revelation stuns Jim and Katheryn. After Candace leaves with Hanna, Jim becomes bent on revenge against Professor Cannon.
Later, Jim is standing in Amanda's empty room, talking on his cell phone and asking for information on Cannon when Katheryn comes in and vehemently insists that he needs to rein in Wyatt, who's out of control. He irritably tells his wife that he has a plan in place for their son and cautions that, once it's set in motion, it can't be stopped. He then enters Wyatt's bedroom and roughly gets Wyatt to leave the house with him when Wyatt refuses to go with him.
In "The Cougar," Jim drives Wyatt to the local prison, where he hands Wyatt over to one of the guards for a mugshot and full-cavity search; after Wyatt is taken by the guard and Wyatt insists he isn't afraid of prison, Jim remarks that he will be. He later visits Wyatt inside his prison cell and brings in Norman Hewens, the man he had take the fall for Wyatt's vehicular manslaughter in Season 2. Jim then demands that both Wyatt and Norman take off their clothes, following with ordering his son to put on Norman's clothes while Norman puts on Wyatt's clothes. When Wyatt protests, Jim mocks him and leaves with Norman, leaving Wyatt in jail and even going so far as to refer to Norman as his son and Wyatt as "Norman."
In "Candace Young Esq," at the Cryer Mansion, Jim talks with Norman and promises to let him see his wife if he keeps low for a while. After Norman leaves with two henchmen, Jim is then confronted by Katheryn, and he tells her that he left Wyatt in prison. Katheryn protests against this, but Jim tells her he's showing Wyatt tough love and states he's confident that Wyatt will fall back into line after spending a week in prison. Jim is then informed that Sallison wants to meet with him, Katheryn, and the Harringtons about Wyatt's confession, and he also announces his intentions to confront Professor Cannon.
Later, Jim sits in his study while David pours them drinks. He again expresses grief over how he was unable to protect his children, and listens to David's comforting words about how even though he couldn't protect Wyatt and Amanda, he does love them regardless and what matters at the moment is what he does for them now.
In "Benny Does Battle," Jim shows up at campaign headquarters, telling David and Maggie that he needs to get out of his house and do work in order to cope with his daughter's death. He then asks Maggie about the damage to his campaign in light of his failure to announce his run for Governor, only to be surprised that he is actually ahead in the polls due to voter sympathy over Amanda's passing. After Maggie leaves, Jim tells David that he put Wyatt in prison to scare his son straight, then informs David that Sallison wants to speak with them about Wyatt's confession.
Later, Jim is sitting in his office when he receives a phone call from Katheryn telling him she found Amanda's diary, which confirms that she was indeed raped by Professor Cannon; this enrages Jim to the point where he snaps the pencil he's playing with in two, and he leaves the office. He arrives home and sends Hanna home for the day, then meets with Katheryn upstairs. Katheryn expresses her anger and sorrow at what Cannon did to their daughter, but Jim tells her she needs to get herself together for their impending meeting with Sallison.
In "Quincy Jr," Jim finds Katheryn sitting outside near the swimming pool, and Katheryn hands him their daughter's diary and tells her husband that not only was Amanda raped by Professor Cannon, but she also stalked and stabbed him with a knife. The next morning, Jim and Katheryn visit Wyatt in prison, and Jim is unsympathetic to Wyatt's pleas to get him out of prison and decides his son isn't ready to return home, so he and Katheryn leave.
As they drive, Jim argues with Katheryn over his plan to scare their son straight by leaving him in prison, and he promises to release Wyatt in time for his announcement of his run for Governor. Next, Jim and Katheryn confront Cannon in the parking lot outside the law school, and question him about Amanda. When Cannon lets slip that he did go to Amanda's apartment after previously claiming that he didn't, Jim proceeds to attack the professor until Katheryn makes him stop, telling him "not like this," suggesting she wants something else done about their late daughter's rapist. Jim and Katheryn then leave a hurt Cannon in the parking lot.
In "A Home for Q," Jim, along with Katheryn, David, and Veronica, meets with Sallison, who plays her recording of Wyatt's confession. He tells Sallison that Wyatt made the confession because he's upset about Amanda's death, but Sallison is unconvinced and vows to bring the Cryers and the Harringtons down. As Sallison leaves, Jim orders her to walk around the mansion rather than through it, suspecting she'll try to find evidence to back up the case she's building against them. A few moments later, Jim is urged by David to get Wyatt out of prison after Veronica implies to him that she had something done to Wyatt in prison, and Jim leaves the mansion in a hurry.
In "Candace's Closing," Jim arrives at the prison and is extremely upset to find out that Wyatt was sexually assaulted by a criminal named "Toxic," who was placed in Wyatt's cell due to a mix-up. He even assaults two of the prison guards and berates one of them, Officer Terrell, going so far to threaten to murder Terrell in front of his family. Jim then goes to see Wyatt, who begs to be let out of prison, and tells Wyatt to hang in there. Afterwards, Jim is distraught by what has happened to his son.
Later, Jim frees Wyatt from prison and drives him home. He tells his son that this is what he (Wyatt) wanted and maintains that Wyatt needed to learn a hard lesson about what to expect in prison. When Wyatt starts to express anger over his father's actions, Jim threatens to take his son back to prison.
The next day, Jim talks briefly with Katheryn and states he isn't sure about running for Governor even though he's going through with it. Later, he is interviewed by Dianna Winchil on live television, and announces that he is running for Governor of Georgia. The interview takes a disastrous turn when Winchil reveals that her research has turned up the fact that Jim fathered two children with Celine who, along with said children, are waiting to be interviewed via satellite on Winchil's show.
In "Dianna Winchil," Jim is silent as Winchil questions him about his illegitimate sons, and as Carlos denounces him on live television, saying that he wants nothing to do with Jim and that his father isn't fit to be Governor because he cares only about himself and not for others, least of all his two sons whom he left in poverty. Jim finally speaks up and apologizes to Carlos. Maggie puts an end to the interview by spilling coffee on the recording equipment, and Jim walks off the interview set.
Followed by Katheryn, Maggie, Landon, and the Harringtons, Jim goes out into the campaign office, where he tells everyone else to take the day off. After the other workers are gone, he is then insulted by Veronica, whom he orders to leave; Veronica, however, persists in mocking Jim for ruining his campaign. After Veronica then insinuates that she was the one who arranged for Wyatt to be raped in prison, Jim strangles her until he's stopped by David.
Later, a gloomy Jim sits alone in his office when Maggie and David come in. Maggie apologizes to him for what happened with Winchil, then tells Jim that he should drop out of the race in light of the revelation of his past affair with Celine. After Maggie leaves, Jim is warned by David that, if anything happens to Veronica, he'll come after Jim. After David leaves, Jim makes a call and orders a "bloodbath," marking Cannon, Terrell, and Veronica as the targets and saying he wants them all dead before echoing David's own words about showing him "an enemy unlike any you've ever seen."
In "Vetted," Jim is in the kitchen drinking coffee when Katheryn comes downstairs and asks where Wyatt is, to which he replies that their son isn't in the house. He is unconcerned about where Wyatt is, and when Katheryn wonders if Wyatt went to go talk to Sallison, Jim brushes off the possibility, saying Wyatt's stay in prison straightened him out and even remarking it may have worked too well. When Katheryn then questions him about why he attacked Veronica, Jim refuses to specify details, only telling his wife that Veronica is crazy and that he's going to handle her.
Later, at campaign headquarters, Jim goes over the concession speech that Maggie wrote for him, and when Maggie tells him she knows how he feels, he remarks she forgot to mention that he's also horny. Jim then makes sexual advances toward Maggie, who figures out he didn't memorize his speech. He persists with his inappropriate advances, prompting Maggie to leave his office in a huff.
Sometime after that, Jim visits Celine at her apartment, and he gives his former lover a cruel speech about how he no longer loves her and how her going on live television and exposing his illegitimate sons to the public has shown her to be a weak woman in the eyes of her children. He then leaves.
In "Sheep's Clothing," Jim finishes a phone conversation with his hitman, telling him he wants Cannon, Terrell, and Veronica dead that day. Maggie comes into his office and hands him a revised version of his concession speech, and they have a very brief conversation until Maggie leaves, after which Jim gets a call from his hitman, to whom he says he wants Veronica killed last.
Later, Jim visits Celine a second time. He seduces her, and they have sex on her couch. Afterward, when Celine asks how they can go about getting her job at the Cryer Mansion back, Jim laughs at her and informs her he only came to her for one reason: To make himself feel better. He then once again tells her he no longer loves her and vows to pay very little child support for Carlos before leaving.
In "When the Chickens Come Home," Jim is visited by David in his office, and David hands him a folder containing the money that Candace extorted from him earlier in the season. Jim doesn't say anything to his friend, so David leaves. Later, Jim gives a speech in which he tells the assembled guests that he isn't a perfect man but that he never quits, making it clear that he's going ahead with running for Governor of Georgia; as he recites his words, Cannon and Terrell are executed by Jim's hitman. After he finishes his speech, Jim is confronted by Sallison, who places him, Katheryn, David, and Veronica under arrest for tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.
In "The Waters Run Deep," Jim and David are taken to jail along with their wives, then separated from Katheryn and Veronica. The police orders them to take off their belts and shoelaces, then subjects the two men to a cavity search, much to Jim's apparent annoyance. Later, Jim and David sit in a jail cell, and they argue about Veronica. Jim tries to tell David that Veronica doesn't love him, and David replies he knows what love is before repeating his earlier warning of retaliation if anything happens to Veronica.
In "Paid in Full," Jim and David are visited by Sallison, who asks to speak with David alone. As David is escorted away, he and Jim share a look. Later, after David returns to their cell, Jim has another talk with his friend, who tells him that Sallison offered him a deal but he turned it down. David insists to Jim that he's still his friend, and Jim apologizes for his recent behavior, but lies when David questions him as to what he has planned for Veronica. Jim then tries to get David to promise that he'll punish Veronica for her actions, and David assures him that he will deal with his wife the way he sees fit.
In "The Right Medicine," after David reads a newspaper article detailing Veronica's affair, Jim tells his friend that's his wife and questions David about Maggie wanting him to run for Governor in his (Jim's) place.
In "An Evil Soul," Jim and David are surprised to see Veronica put in a cell not far from their own, and Jim mocks Veronica's actual hair, disregarding David's stern warnings to stop his taunts. Later, when Jeffrey is placed in a cell between the two men's cell and Veronica's, Jim witnesses a tense exchange between the Harringtons before remarking that Jeffrey is growing up. He then tells Veronica that she needs to accept that Jeffrey is gay and that she can't make him not be gay. Veronica replies that she knows what happens when Jim doesn't control his own children and makes a snide comment about Amanda taking her own life, prompting an angry response from Jim, who has to be restrained by David. Jim then learns that Veronica freed Quincy from prison and repeats his threat to deal with her.
In "Immunity," Jim again insults Veronica, prompting a violent response from David. After David is released and Veronica desperately calls after him, Jim childishly mocks her cries.
In "A Front Row Seat," Jim remains imprisoned after Katheryn is freed, and he and Veronica exchange more insults. Later, when Sallison comes in to inform the two that their sons are ready to testify against them and implies that Wyatt won't be home, Jim demands to know how Wyatt is no longer at home, but Sallison ignores him and leaves after speaking with Veronica.
Jim is stubborn, arrogant, belligerent, and overall unpleasant. He routinely abuses his son Wyatt physically, verbally and psychologically, and is known for his tendency for resorting to dirty tactics to achieve his ends.
However, he has exhibited a few redeeming qualities. He has expressed genuine grief over his daughter's suicide as well as remorse over his abusive behavior toward his son, shown when, while grieving in Hanna's arms, he tearfully apologizes to Wyatt (who's unmoved by his father's sadness). He also thanked Hanna for handling Amanda's funeral arrangements.
Jim has also admitted to having an uncontrollable desire for sex, thus explaining his numerous affairs and flings with other women.
Villainous deeds committed by Jim
- Neglecting Wyatt's call for help against a perverted priest in favor of an affair with Celine.
- Leaving his illegitimate sons, Carlos and Jimmy, in poverty.
- Covering up Wyatt's involvement in Lizzie's death.
- Having Hanna falsely imprisoned.
- Ordering Hanna off his property while she's reuniting with Katheryn.
- Berating Hanna for cleaning out Amanda's room.
- Attacking Wyatt after he insultingly remarks to Celine that he wasn't there for Amanda.
- Arranging for Wyatt to have a stay in prison to bring him back into line.
- Putting a hit on Veronica, Professor Cannon, and Officer Terrell.
- Sexually harassing Maggie.
- Giving Celine a speech about how she's made herself out to be a horrible person in the eyes of her sons by revealing their existence on live television.
- Sleeping with Celine and then cruelly admitting he did so only to fuel his ego, telling her he doesn't love her, and declaring he's not going to pay child support for Carlos (whom he refers to as "that bastard").