Why Ari left First Wives Club

The decision the kill Ari in First Wives Club was made to show viewers that the show was not afraid to take risks.

Ari’s death was certainly one of the most shocking moments so far in First Wives Club. But the decision to kill this character off so suddenly is likely only one of many unexpected twists that lie ahead in the show.

Why did Ari leave First Wives Club?

Bree Washington (played by Michelle Buteau), Hazel Rachelle (played by Jill Scott) and Ariel “Ari” Montgomery (played by Ryan Michelle Bathe) have always been at the heart of First Wives Club.

Unfortunately, all of this changed in the second episode of season three, when Ari died suddenly after suffering a brain aneurysm. Fortunately, Ari’s shocking death was not all for naught.

Darren Star and Tracy Oliver, the co-creators of the series, revealed that  they ultimately decided to kill off such an integral character because they wanted to show fans that First Wives Club was willing to take risks within its narrative.

However, unnerving as this revelation seems, it likely also means that Ari’s death will not be the last unexpected twist that the creators of the series have planned.

Why we should have seen Ari’s death coming

Avid fans of First Wives Club may already know that Bathe’s character, Ari, had actually been making a gradual exit from the show for quite some time.

Ari had moved away from her friends and to the West Coast in the show’s second season. Moreover, before David promised to have Ari on the island in time for Hazel’s wedding, she was not seen or mentioned much in the third season.

Ari’s death was not the only twist in this episode

Scott admitted that she did not like the turn that Ari’s story took, stating “I hated it” but her own character, Hazel, actually also had a surprising revelation in this episode.

Just after Ari collapsed, Hazel got cold feet and ultimately decided that she could not go through with the wedding.

This was one decision made by the show’s creators that Scott was not surprised by. She admitted that she would have been “more surprised” if Hazel actually ended up marrying Nigel at the ceremony.

What has Ryan Michelle Bathe been up to since she left the show?

Just because Bathe’s character was killed off in First Wives Club, this does not mean that she has disappeared off the small screen. Bathe was cast as the co-lead in the NBC crime drama thriller The Endgame, which started airing in 2022.

This series is certainly a departure from her role as Ari, but Bathe has explained that she has enjoyed the challenge of playing Val Turner immensely.