Philip makes secret call on Days of Our Lives
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Philip may be in even deeper than he realizes.

When Days of Our Lives’ Philip returned to Salem after almost four years, he declared that he wanted to finally claim his Kiriakis legacy. That seemingly meant taking over the reins at Titan. However, Xander already occupied the CEO spot after proving himself to Victor. It was assumed the story would follow a battle between the cousins over the position, but things took a turn when Philip shockingly revealed that he wanted to use Titan to launder money. Not only that, but he has a secret partner.

This week’s Days of Our Lives preview video seems to indicate Ava is that secret partner in crime… and that with her pulling the strings, this could get downright dangerous for an unwitting Xander!

That leaves us with several very big questions… including how these two crossed paths and why they formed this unholy alliance.

On the surface, Philip’s motivations are pretty clear. As Days of Our Lives’ headwriter Ron Carlivati reminds us, “Victor sort of sided with Deimos over his own son when things were going down at Titan, and so Philip felt very betrayed, as if Victor would never trust him.”

Deimos and Victor on Days of Our Lives

While that makes sense in the grand scheme of things, it does not explain why Philip would be in league with Ava Vitali. One explanation could be good old-fashioned blackmail. Perhaps Philip got himself into some trouble while he was away and she’s offered to bail him out in exchange for help in carrying out her nefarious scheme. There’s also every possibility that she could be threatening someone he loves, say a returning Chloe, to force Philip to do her bidding. Or, he could just be out to stick it to his old man and Ava presented an opportunity to do just that.

Of course, none of that explains Ava’s motivations. Maybe she’s just out for a power and money grab. Maybe she’s working on behalf of someone else who has it out for the Kiriakis clan. Could the aforementioned Deimos still be alive? Her machinations could also tie into the reasons she even has a pulse, considering the last we knew, Joey killed her.

Tamara Braun as Ava Vitali on Days of Our Lives

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While we wait to find out what Ava’s true agenda is and how Philip fits in, the latter has run up against a slight wrinkle in their money laundering plans. “Because of the bond he’s formed with Xander over the past few years,” Carlivati explains, “Victor created this co-CEO situation at Titan, and that’s a problem for Philip. Because we know that he’s doing something nefarious with Titan, and what he didn’t count on was having someone looking over his shoulder. He didn’t count on Xander being there.”

Xander might be a thorn in his side, but Philip does seem to be enjoying sticking it to his cousin every chance he gets. Luckily for viewers, there’s more to come on that front, as Xander and Sarah team up to figure out just what Philip is up to. “This is a fun story for them,” Carlivati previews, “because they get to pretend to be fighting even as they’re secretly working together.”

Philip in the middle of upset Sarah and Xander on Days of Our Lives

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However this plays out, the scribe teased, “Philip is interesting because he’s been on the show for a long time, on and off, so there’s a lot of goodwill toward and sympathy for him on the part of the audience. But at the same time, he’s done some pretty messed up stuff. So it’s tricky, because the audience has a lot of affection for him, but it creates a situation where you have to ask who’s the villain and who’s the hero in the Xander/Philip rivalry.”

What do you think Philip is really up to? Why has he seemingly teamed up with Ava? Sound off below and then take a look through our photo gallery of Philip’s past in Salem.

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