Over and over again, scheme queen Phyllis Summers was recruited by the Newmans to cozy up to corporate rival Jack Abbott and act as a double agent. And they certainly had the right woman for the job — Phyllis could seduce the paint off of a wall. But the joke turned out to be on Victor and his conniving kinfolk when the flirtatious duo went and actually fell in love.
So Close and Yet So Far
Having lost son Daniel during a bitter custody battle with Danny Romalotti, Phyllis was reluctant to marry Jack and start a family with him. What if her ex was right, she wondered, and she was an unfit mother? No sooner had Jack convinced her otherwise than she lost an ectopic pregnancy and learned that more children were an impossibility.
Nice ‘Ring’ to It
On Christmas Eve in 2001, despite Phyllis’ reservations about not being able to give Jack an heir, the couple tied the knot. He wanted her more than he wanted a sprawling family, anyway. A holiday miracle even occurred: The couple was so happy and in love that the Abbotts welcomed Jack’s latest bride with open arms.
The Honeymoon’s Over
Jack was thrilled when he discovered that ex-lover Diane Jenkins’ son Kyle was really his, not Victor’s; Phyllis, less so. Though she was glad that her husband would have a child to call his own, she wasn’t crazy about the fact that that child had a manipulative mother who’d go so far as to jump behind her SUV to frame her for running her over!
As the cosmetics wars between Jabot and Brash & Sassy intensified, Phyllis proved her loyalty — to boss Victor rather than husband Jack. By the time all was said and done, there was no amount of sexytime between the sheets that was going to save their marriage. “These two people wanted this to work in the worst possible way,” Peter Bergman told Michael Fairman TV, “but just couldn’t make it work.” Then, anyway.
The Second Time Around
When Phyllis’ son Daniel returned to Genoa City, he could see as clearly as viewers did that Mom and Jack were on the road to remarriage. His would-be stepfather was even there for them when Daniel was accused of vehicular manslaughter in the death of Cassie Newman. (Hence, the stylish orange jumpsuit and chains.) But yet again, the Abbott/Newman feud did in the couple.
The $64,000 Question
Phyllis’ miraculous pregnancy with daughter Summer should have been a cause for rejoicing. And, sure, it was. But it was also a cause for concern, because she wasn’t certain whether the father was Jack or his former stepson, Nick Newman, whom she’d sorta seduced away from wife Sharon while they were grieving daughter Cassie’s untimely demise.
What Could *Possibly* Go Wrong?
During a period during which Jack was married to Nick’s ex, Sharon, and Phyllis was married to Sharon’s ex, Nick, the foursome somehow got it in their heads that they should start a magazine called We’ve All SchtuppedRestless Style. In retrospect, they’re probably lucky that they made it out of the endeavor without anyone being throttled.
Turnabout Is Fair Play
Maybe it was karma at work. Or maybe it was just that Sharon really wanted Nick back that week. Whatever the reason, the blonde endeavored to keep Phyllis away from her ex by tampering with a new paternity test that named Jack, not Nick, as Summer’s father. After Phyllis overheard Sharon confessing her misdeed at Cassie’s grave, she conveniently “fell” down a flight of stairs, landing in a coma just as Jack was looking to retie the knot.
While You Were Sleeping…
By the time Phyllis (then Gina Tognoni) emerged from her coma, Jack had moved on. But he threw over Kelly Andrews so quickly to reunite with his Red that her mind snapped. Making matters worse — so… much… worse — Victor replaced Jack with a lookalike drug lord, meaning that for months, Phyllis was sleeping with a stranger. The couple tried to stick it out, but sadly, in this instance…
Only one person despised Victor quite as much as Phyllis, and that was Jack’s half brother, Billy. Conspiring to take down the Black Knight by a peg or 200, their shared passion for his destruction flared into passion, period, and before Jack knew it, he was the odd man out in a love triangle he hadn’t even been aware that he was a part of!
‘Is This Drink Strong, or Are You Fascinating?’
Even when Jack and Phyllis (now Michelle Stafford again) were apart, they were never apart-apart. They remained in one another’s lives and, when their tempers were cool enough, in one another’s corner. It seemed only a matter of time before they gave in to their obvious lingering feelings and reunited once more, this time for good. But having had his heart shattered by Red before, Jack was reluctant to risk getting it broken anew.
‘Honest, This Is as Low as I’ll Stoop’
Ironically, it was the return from the dead of troublemaking Diane that finally pushed Jack and Phyllis back out of the friend zone. She supported him as he reeled from first the passing of estranged son Keemo, then the un-passing of Diane, and eventually, Jack could deny it no more. Whether he got hurt or not, he wanted the same thing that Phyllis did: the two of them, together again.
‘For Keeps’ or ‘For Now’?
As the former marrieds contemplated their next steps in 2022, they knew that they’d have to tread very carefully. As Bergman told Soaps.com, “These two people never fell out of love with each other, it just got too painful. So as they got closer, both of them were rattled, because neither wants to relive the mistakes of the past. They are afraid of the pain they caused one another.”
‘Oops… I Did It Again’
As if to prove that two wrongs definitely don’t make a right, Phyllis rubbed Diane’s nose in the fact that she and Jack were together again in every way, and he, in turn, bailed. Just up and bailed. He couldn’t, or wouldn’t, handle the drama, so he turned tail and ran, leaving us wearing the same expression of incredulity that he is here.