Sainted Paul takes a walk on the dark side on Days of Our Lives (DOOL) when he sees Will in the flesh but decides to keep mum about his discovery.
It’s a move totally out of the character for the Salem hero. After all, he’s always been blatantly honest and aboveboard.
A New Paul
Some might even call the lie by omission a tad dastardly, even if Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) kept advising him to stop playing nice.
“This definitely opens up a new layer for Paul,” says Christopher Sean (Paul). “And it’s a fun layer to play.”
What exactly goes down the moment of the Will (Chandler Massey) sighting?
A Bad Dream
“The first thing Paul thinks is, this is a dream. It can’t be real,” recounts Sean. “None of this makes any sense to him. He’s thinking, maybe this is a lookalike.”
So Paul decides to call out to Will to see if he reacts.
“He wants to say Will’s name,” continues Sean. “With all of the fear and the shock and the adrenaline that’s running through his body, he thinks he’s saying it loudly, but he just kind of whispers it to himself. It’s like when you see a ghost and think you’re yelling, ‘help,’ but you’re really not. Paul’s frozen in fear.”
That fear leads to a very uncharacteristic move, when Paul get a call from John (Drake Hogestyn) and leaves the bar to meet with his father and Marlena (Deidre Hall). The pair tell him about discovering Susan (Eileen Davidson), which leaves Paul with the perfect opening to mention Will.
“But Paul makes the decision not to tell anyone,” says Sean. “If everyone has looked for Will and no one can find him — not even Paul, wink wink — then he must not be real. Paul can continue living his life and nothing is wrong.
“In this situation, because Paul loves Sonny [Freddie Smith] so much, he’s doing anything and everything he can to keep him,” continues Sean. “He’s torn between that and being a good person and saying, ‘Will’s alive.’ He’s afraid that if he does that, he’s going to lose Sonny to Will.”
Grappling with Guilt
However, pretending that he never saw Will weighs heavily on Paul. And by the week’s end, he ‘fesses up to Sonny.
“It’s one of those things where the guilt just kind of catches up to him,” explains Sean. “Paul can’t live with it. It’s eating him up inside. It’s not who he is. He has to be honest with Sonny. He can’t lie anymore.”
Paul finally admits that he saw Will – or someone who looked exactly like him — at the local bar.
“Sonny’s not happy that Paul kept it from him. He’s not one bit happy,” says Sean. “He feels betrayed.”
Does it become a point of contention between the couple moving forward.
“Absolutely,” notes Sean. “But Paul and Sonny are definitely not done. This is just the beginning of opening Pandora’s box. This love triangle and all the issues from the past… the door has been unlocked to all of it.
“But Paul’s willing to wait for Sonny. He’s hoping that whatever may happen with Will, he might still turn out to be Sonny’s first choice in the end.”
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for air times.