Philip glares at the Kiriakis mansion on Days of Our Lives

NBC screenshot

Dare we hope that there’s still a chance for redemption?

Let’s face it. It’s been a long time since Days of Our Lives‘ Philip has been anyone we’ve wanted to route for. Instead of a sweet love story about reconnecting with Chloe, we’ve been watching the man go down an increasingly creepy path that culminated in him faking his own death. And you know it’s bad when we’re actually disappointed that he turned up alive.

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At this point, he seems like a lost cause that we’re just about ready to write off. But what if he wasn’t? What if Philip could still be redeemed and turned back into the morally questionable, but overall decent guy we used to love?

On yesterday’s show, Philip mourned the loss of kids that he thought were his but turned out not to be. Kids like Claire, Parker and the child Melanie lost in a miscarriage. And then there was Tyler, the one child that was his, but who Philip gave away. He just wants someone to love him, and surely that’s something his own child could offer unconditionally. Or at least, would, if he were around.

The Lost Son

If you don’t quite remember the details about this particular branch of the Kiriakis family tree, don’t worry, you aren’t alone! Tyler’s story is more than a little convoluted. Settle in, because it all started back when Belle and Philip (then played by Kyle Brandt, below) and Mimi and Shawn were together.

Kyle Brandt, Farah Fath, philip, mimi, days, jpi

Above: Nothing good could have come from these two… but what if it did?

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Sometime after Claire was born, Belle and Philip tried to conceive again (or rather, for the first time, since Shawn was really Claire’s dad). Things didn’t go well, so they decided to try in vitro fertilization.

At the same time, Mimi and Shawn were running into similar difficulties, but they opted to use a surrogate. It was a cute “Oh, let’s all have a kid at the same time because we’re besties” moment, and it all went well until the eggs were switched by the “Black Glove.” (No, we never found out who that was, but it seemed to be EJ. Chalk that up to storylines that were dropped without explanation — something we wish they’d done with Philip’s downward spiral.)

Philip’s sperm ended up fertilizing Mimi’s egg, which was then implanted in Lauren. Still with us? When the truth came out, everyone decided this was a bad idea, so Philip and Mimi signed papers agreeing to let Lauren terminate the pregnancy. But Mimi’s gold-digging mom, Bonnie, figured it would be handy to bank a Kiriakis heir, so she bribed Lauren to keep the investment. Er, kid.

It worked, but the surrogate vetting process in Salem must leave a lot to be desired, because eventually Lauren got greedy and bored. When she couldn’t get more money, she dropped Tyler off at the hospital and high-tailed it to Oklahoma. Kayla then found Tyler and decided to foster him with Steve — after they named him “Pocket.” Which, just… no.

Stephen Nichols, Mary Beth Evans"Days Of Our Lives" Set NBC StudiosBurbank7/24/07©Paul Skipper/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 10633

Above: Instead of playing “Hot Potato,” Steve and Kayla played “Hot Pocket.” The heat was probably a fever from being poisoned.

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But after letting their little Pocket get poisoned multiple times, the state stepped in to take the infant away and give him to responsible foster parents, the Wilkens. (And if there weren’t any additional charges of abuse in there for naming him Pocket, there should have been.) Eventually Philip tracked Tyler down but decided he would make a miserable dad, so he signed the kid over to the Wilkens permanently. And that’s the last anyone saw of the tot.

An Overdue Reconnection

Judging by Philip’s long track record of questionable behavior, giving Tyler up was one hundred percent the best thing he could have done for his son. But with Philip’s life going so far off the rails that he’s faking his own death and framing Brady, maybe it’s time for a little father/son reconnection.

All you need is love, after all. And while Philip has squandered love over and over again, he’s also caught more than a few bad breaks — especially when it comes to his kids. Sorry, when it comes to other men’s kids.

If Tyler grew up in a stable home (and even though he was born in 2007, in soap years, he could easily be college age right now), his steady presence could be just what his dad needs to bring him back down to earth and finally redeem himself.

This could be the arc we’ve all been waiting for. One that allows us to finally see the softer, more gentle side of Philip that’s been sorely lacking in his increasingly erratic, creepy behavior.

What do you think? Is there still a chance that Philip can come back from this, or is it time to bury him for good? And could Tyler be the one to bring his dad back from the brink, or is there someone else you think could make him a character we all care about once more?

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While you ponder those questions and all of Philip’s poor life choices that have gone into them, why not take a moment to close out the year by cracking open a gallery of the most questionable choices our beloved soaps have made in 2021? We have it on good authority you’ll find Philip’s story smack in the middle of them.