If you’re here to challenge me to a duel, I left my sword in my other lab coat.

— Reid (to Henry)

Why I pray Reid is NOT John Dixon’s son

John Dixon’s first air date is rapidly approaching (hope he’s ditched the ‘stache!), so I feel like I have to get a few ideas out before he makes his appearance.

Yes, I’ve seen all the comparisons of the Reid/Chris and John/Bob dynamics. I’ve also seen widespread gushing about how totally awesome it would be if Reid turned out to be Bob’s son.

Chalk me up in the column (apparently sparsely populated) of those hoping against hope that Reid does NOT turn out to be John Dixon’s son. The reasons are many, but number one on the list is that it would, for me, ruin one of the things that makes Reid so special as a character. That is, the fact that he breaks ALL the soap cliches. I’d still love Reid, but part of the magic would be gone.

[spoiler name=Background]

John Dixon is a doctor and former COS of Memorial hospital. He and Bob Hughes were fierce rivals for many years. John is also Margo Montgomery’s dad (among other kids).

John appeared on ATWT from 1969 to 2004 before disappearing without explanation off the canvas. His many former wives include Kim (yes, that Kim), Lucinda, Barbara (yes, that Barbara), and Carly).

John is snarky and arrogant, but also dastardly, and is known to be returning to Oakdale for most of the last month of the show. We know via spoilers that he has scenes with Reid, and also with Lucinda, though we don’t know why.

Read a comprehensive bio of John Dixon at SoapCentral.com.[/spoiler]

Reason #1: Reid Oliver is “unique”

Reid Oliver as a character has been shattering paradigms from day one. “The long lost son that nobody knew about” is one of the oldest soap cliches in the book (right up there with coming back from the dead, marriages of convenience, amnesia, kidnappings). One thing I’ve loved about the Luke and Reid storyline is that, for the most part, they’ve evaded many of the worst cliches.

Most soap couples do devious VICIOUS things to get together – they spike drinks, fake pregnancies, doctor immigration papers, send their competition out of town on wild goose chases, drug their intended mate and pretend to have sex with them to scare off the competition, etc, etc.

Luke and Reid OTOH have done things for what I see as “all the right reasons” to get together. Reid did Noah’s surgery, testified on Holden’s behalf, Luke funded the hospital, and then went to Dallas. These were all honorable, VIRTUOUS things to do. Even if they didn’t do them “for” each other, by doing the right thing, they endeared themselves to each other in a deep, meaningful way that has contributed to their glacially brewing, but wonderful love story.

Reading the live threads, there have been several times where they could have gone the cliche route – and by not doing so, they’ve made Reid that much more unique and awesome. The two that come to mind most recently are the scene at Yo’s with Bob (June 30th), and the Molden wedding (August 3rd)

In the scene at Yo’s the live threads were filled with people worrying about Reid becoming an alcoholic (talk about cliches – among the five guests at yesterday’s wedding, TWO were alcoholics). But no – there was no alcohol in Reid’s “private recreation,” despite the fact that he took pains to tell Bob that he had no surgery to worry about in the morning. How much of a surprise was that? A lot of people have read into that choice Reid’s abstaining to be more like/with Luke. I’m still undecided on whether I believe it’s that pithy a choice on either Reid’s part or the writers’ but I love the possibilities that have been opened up.

The second, was Reid’s scene with Molly at the non-wedding. All along, Reid could have been written as a one-note character, completely lacking social skills, grouchy and cynical about love. Yes, we get large doses of all of the above, but we have also gotten glimpses of a softer Reid, starting from very early on in scenes with Katie. But even knowing about Reid’s soft underside, who would have thought that Reid would be the one to go out and give a pep talk to Molly? This was so out of the box it was almost OOC, but thanks to the fabulous Eric Sheffer Stevens, Reid pulled it off.

Plus underlying all of this is the fact that Reid is a gay man who doesn’t have a big neon sign flashing on his forehead saying “just realized he’s gay!” And Luke and Reid are not a “gay supercouple,” they’re just an incredible couple, who happen to both be male. Luke and Reid have defied stereotypes and convention and I hope they continue to do so (not just in their relationship with each other) until the end.

I understand why these cliches exist. It is not easy to churn out 60 minutes of quality television, 200 days a year (and let’s face it, ATWT has not succeeded at this in the past!) A good chunk of soap writing is volume – putting enough passable hours of programming on the air to sell the requisite advertising. Cliches are convenient devices that create plots that write themselves.

The hidden blessing for Luke and Reid is that ATWT’s cancellation will hopefully spare them the indignity of the worst of these plotlines. So for that reason alone I hope Reid is not John’s son.

Reason #2: Plot pretzels

The second reason I desperately hope Reid is not John’s son is because for me, it messes up multiple storylines. First, we already have a recently discovered son storyline (see Gabriel/Craig) with a hostile son and not always likeable dad.

To date, Reid has no known connection to Oakdale (or if he does, he’s faking it awfully well….). Unlike Gabriel, who was aware of Craig and their relationship, and arrived in Oakdale on his own volition with a monstrous chip on his shoulder, in Reid’s first appearance, he had to ask “where the hell is Oakdale?” (Jan 19th). Moreover, Luke had to drag him here because of Noah’s blindness.

So, given that John Dixon wasn’t involved in bringing Reid to Oakdale, and that Luke only “kidnapped” Reid because Noah decided he was the only qualified surgeon in the universe, my credulity would be strained FAR beyond breaking to believe that Noah’s only choice would just happen to be John’s son. (see soap cliches above).

And let’s say Reid is John’s son. I’m going to assume he really has no clue, because in interviews, ESS implies Reid’s integrity stays intact. I would call hiding his paternity from Luke a pretty big blackmark on Reid’s integrity, so Reid would have to be in the dark.

If this is the case, then we have only just over a month for him to play out some developing relationship with NuDad John. And to even raise the point, they’d have to do SOMETHING with it. I don’t care whether it’s a Love-Love, Love-Hate, or Hate-Hate relationship: as much as I’d love to see Reid/John scenes, to create any relationship with them would only take Reid time away from Reid and Luke. That would be unacceptable, not to mention ludicrous. How much less airtime can these guys have?

Reason #3: Reid is nothing like John

Yes, he’s as rude and arrogant as John Dixon, but that, for me at least, is where the parallels end.

Going back to the recent ESS interviews, he talked about it being fun to play somebody like Reid who’s rude and snarky (I’m paraphrasing here…badly) who’s not bad. He also talks about the writers maintaining Reid’s integrity “to the end.” I take these to mean we won’t get any character assassination (*fingers and toes crossed*) and Reid won’t turn out to be a lunatic, drug addict, or nefarious schemer.

I’m sure people (especially Nuke fans) will argue that he’s a mean, rude jerk. And yes, he is on occasion. Case in point: Reid making nurse Gretchen cry (Jul 26). To me, this was Reid being arrogant, rude, thoughtless and inconsiderate. Yes, he’s often a verbal oaf, but his bark is worse than his bite. This is not the same premeditated “mean jerk” that is John Dixon.

Contrast Reid’s rudeness to the list of “crimes committed” listed on John’s SoapCentral.com bio, which covers well more than a screen on my laptop. This is on top of his merely unethical or unsavory deeds, including encouraging a fake sexual harassment charge against Bob. I don’t remember many specifics about John from my years watching ATWT in my youth, but I found his character despicable.

One storyline I do remember following was a storyline where John courted Lisa (yes, that Lisa) for MONTHS, purely out of spite with the intent of getting revenge for her malpractice claim against him. I didn’t follow closely at the time, and have never really liked Lisa either, but John was downright cruel, and Lisa was justifiably humiliated.

There is a whole series of videos up on YouTube of the John/Lisa storyline. The climactic scene can be viewed here. After wooing Lisa and playing the reformed romantic, he waited until all of Lisa’s friends and Oakdale society were gathered for their engagement party to drop the bombshell. Not only can I not see Reid being so spiteful (think of how he was with Noah), but to do it in such a self-centered, public “look at me” way is completely NOT Reid. John was brutal.

And literally brutal, at that. Among other crimes, according to SOC (I don’t remember this storyline personally) he raped (then wife) Kim when she refused to sleep with him. Hello? How is it possible that this man shares DNA with Reid, who is remaining more celibate than God when faced with Mr “I need more time” Snyder?

Also, in addition to John’s lengthy list of wives (eight, according to SOC) and lovers (another 13, including both Emma Snyder and Iva Snyder, Lily’s biological mom). Granted, John was on the show for 25 years, but even at that rate, that’s nearly a new squeeze every year, and a new wife for every three.

We know “this is not my first relationship” for Reid (Jun 22nd), but I find it more than hard to believe that Reid would be swapping partners on an annual basis (albeit, not for lack of willing partners!).

John was definitely much more a villain, and a classic soap ubervillain at that – lying, cheating, blackmailing, and more. When I was watching ATWT as a teenager, there was no question in my mind who my preferred character in the John/Bob dynamic was: Dr Bob, hands down. The same is true now with Chris and Reid. Reid FTW, though Chris is much more of a non-entity than a villain. So while superficially I see the parallels, they don’t resonate nearly as clearly as, say, the “gay Bob and Kim” analogy.

Reason #4: The ewwww… factor

Last, I don’t even want to know who would turn out to be Reid’s mom if John is his dad (and yes, let’s just suck up every last second of air time that could be better spent on LuRe solving that little mystery), and frankly, I wouldn’t even want to speculate.

But let me leave you with these thoughts: John slept with Iva Snyder, Lily’s biological mom, as well as Emma Snyder, Luke’s grandmother. He was also married to Lucinda, Luke’s grandmother (albeit via Lily’s adoption) and is rumored to be romantically linked to Lucinda for the ATWT finale.

If those aren’t enough incestuous bonds to make you go “ewww….” then you’ve been watching soaps for too long….WAY too long.

5 Responses to “Why I pray Reid is NOT John Dixon’s son”

  1. janet walters says:

    I agree with you 100% that Reid should not be John’s son. I love him just the way he is.

  2. Carol says:

    I totally agree with your thoughts on John and any possible connection to Reid. In the ESS interview I thought Eric meant that he considered it an honor to play opposite Larry not to play John’s son. Hope I’m right!

    • lovelure says:

      Yes, Eric playing opposite Larry would be awesome. Like many of those hoping for Reid to be John’s son, I’d love to see a scene with the two of them – I just don’t want the underlying reason to be a long lost son storyline. I think my ideal scenario would be Reid defending Bob against John (and Bob overhearing and finally seeing how much Reid reciprocates his affection and thinks of him as a father figure). BReid FTW!

  3. tLuRefan says:

    I loved your thoughts and totally agree with every word!!!

    Well said

  4. mallukumari says:

    I definitely don’t want Reid to have family ties to Oakdale. I like him because he’s an outsider and looks at the soap town with a critical eye and passes judgement like an audience member does. It would diminish his character for him to be linked to John.

Leave a Reply

See also:

%d bloggers like this: