Guest Author - Kriss Johnson
How many of us have been blackmailed by someone in the past? The typical image of a blackmailer is a cold and calculating person, usually male. Although Phyllis has done a number of questionable things in the past, this storyline has to be the pinnacle of Michelle Stafford's career.
This storyline started as a secret. Sharon and Brad were having an affair, and Phyllis overheard them discussing it. From that point, Phyllis did everything in her power to blackmail Brad. First, Phyllis told Brad to vote for Neil, instead of Nikki, for the Board of Directors position. Second, she had Brad vote her way in the Clearsprings deal. Phyllis assured Brad that with his vote, his secret would be safe. Phyllis kept her promise by not telling Brad's wife, Victoria, about the affair.
Phyllis's schemes ended up backfiring, however. After everything was eventually revealed, Brad lost his marriage and the respect he earned at Newman Enterprises. Brad, who had nothing else to lose, reported Phyllis to the Police. That phone call was the beginning of the end for Phyllis. Michael Baldwin represented Phyllis in a summer long trial. Even the savvy Michael Baldwin couldn’t save her. Michael tried every tactic to help Phyllis, even encouraging Phyllis early in the trial to take a deal offered by the prosecution. Phyllis had great confidence in her case, and rejected the deal. Phyllis received the maximum sentence of six years in prison.
Phyllis's intention was to never get caught, but to have Brad's Clearsprings vote benefit her, and have Neil sitting on the Board of Directors, instead of Nikki. After the verdict, Phyllis expressed her love to her family and friends. Noah, her stepson, really took the news hard because he had grown close to Phyllis during the past year. Noah feels abandoned once again: his mother left for a short while, his sister passed away, and his father was missing for six months.
But I have to ask myself, is this storyline parallel to reality? Someone you know may have done something similar on a smaller scale perhaps. Phyllis manipulated a situation for her own self-interest. After her trial, Phyllis became very maternal. Realizing she faces jail time, Phyllis was filled with regret and motherly love.
This storyline leads to so many possibilities. Is Michelle Stafford leaving the show? Will Nick pursue Sharon? Will Sharon leave Jack? It will be exciting to see the story unfold.