days tripp's the daddy collage
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t yet watched Tuesday’s episode, stop reading now! 

If Tuesday’s Days of Our Lives had been an episode of The Maury Povich Show, the crowd would have gone wild when the host ripped open an envelop and declared, “Tripp Dalton… you are the father of Allie Horton’s baby!” Instead, we got something much more dignified — if no less shocking — when Kayla calmly announced the news to an audience of her husband and Henry’s supposed parents.

We say “supposed” because… well, there has to be more to the story, doesn’t there? “I think the audience pretty much guessed what the results of the DNA test would show,” admits headwriter Ron Carlivati. “From the beginning, the audience was saying, ‘A paternity test will prove who is telling the truth, so why not just do that?’ Had the test results come back negative, that would have been the end of the story.”

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Yet for weeks, Tripp has insisted that he and Allie didn’t have sex on the night in question. If he’s being truthful, what the heck is going on? “That,” nods the scribe, “is the big question.”

Unfortunately, while we wait for the answer, friendships, relationships and lives will be pushed to the breaking point. “Already,” says Carlivati, “we’ve seen this situation impact Steve and John, who have been best friends for years. Steve insisted his son was innocent, and John was convinced that Tripp took advantage of his granddaughter. Spiraling out from that, it obviously impacts the friendship of Kayla and Marlena.”

Mary Beth Evans, Deidre Hall"Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 02/26/20 © XJJohnson/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 13936 U.S.Airdate 09/11/20

“I am not looking down my nose at you, Kayla. Well, technically, I am, but it’s only because I’m slightly taller.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

But the relationship most likely to be tested by the situation is that of Steve and Kayla. “Remember, Kayla herself is a past victim of sexual assault,” the scribe offers, “and she only recently was reminded of that trauma while being held captive by Dr. Rolf.”

Then there’s the fact that the origin of her relationship with Tripp showed that he did — and maybe still does — have a dark side. “He held a scalpel to her throat,” reminds Carlivati. “Yes, they have moved past that. While Steve was away, we actually saw Kayla and Tripp bond quite a bit. So she’s very torn.”

Steve, on the other hand, is firmly in his son’s corner. “One of the things I like about this character is that even in the face of what everyone else is saying, Steve stands by his son,” says the writer. “That’s just the kind of guy he is. Even if you look at the fact that he went behind Tripp’s back to have the test run in the first place, that was because he wanted to clear his son’s name. He knew there was a chance Tripp would be mad, but if it proved he wasn’t the father, Steve figured he’d forgive him eventually. Better to have it settled.”

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And if it turns out that Tripp really is guilty? “I have to believe that Steve would still support him,” muses Carlivati. “He would make Tripp own up to it and pay for what he’s done, but I don’t think he would completely turn his back on his child. That’s not who he is.”

Anyone who has ever seen a soap opera (and even many who haven’t) know that when it comes to paternity tests, things aren’t always what they seem. “We have a long way to go,” Carlivati confirms. “This isn’t the end of the story but rather the beginning.”

Do you think the paternity test was right, or is something very, very wrong unfolding? Hit the comments with your thoughts, then read our theories as to how Tripp’s mom — the about-to-return Ava — might rejoin the show!