matthew ashford homepage articles

Soap Opera Weekly
The Next BIG Thing
Days of our Lives toys with a brand new, and potentially controversial, triangle this week when Jack finally gets Jennifer's attention by going on a date with ...... Billie. SOW Sept. 3rd, 2002; Matt and Missy & Lisa Rinna (Billie Reed)

'This is not being done with the effect, "Oh! This is going to get Jennifer," insists Matthew Ashford (Jack), noting that Jack learned his lesson after pretending to be involved with Greta. 'That blew up in his face. It was a total disaster. A fiasco! Jack is doing his own thing now. He's happily shuffled off his feelings for Jennifer. His focus is elsewhere, not even necessarily with Billie. Billie is an old friend and they're renewing an acquaintance.'

Jennifer doesn't like the idea of her ex and Billie getting reacquainted, thank you very much. 'Jack and Jennifer still have feelings for each other, but they're both stubborn and strong-willed,' asserts Melissa Reeves (Jennifer). 'They can't seem to work their way back to each other.'

Those feelings make Jennifer behave downright Jack-like. While Jack is on his date with Billie, 'Jennifer is at The Spectator,' sets up Reeves. 'She says to herself, 'Well, I could say that there's an emergency at the newspaper and I need Jack to come back (to work).' But then Jennifer realizes that's ridiculous. Jack has every right to date Billie if he wants to.'

When Harold invites Jennifer to join him for a drink, they head to The Cheatin' Heart. Surprise! That's where Jack has gone with Billie.

During their date, Billie remembers comforting Jack three years ago [sic] when he left Jennifer and Abby.

Meanwhile, Jack helps Billie deal with the fact that she killed a man in the line of duty earlier that day. 'Jack and Billie have always had a friendship. They're reconnecting. They're consoling each other as friends do,' sums up Lisa Rinna (Billie).

Ultimately, Jack and Billie end up on the dance floor just as Jennifer and Harold arrive.

'It's a very uncomfortable situation,' previews Reeves. 'Jennifer and Billie are friends. Jennifer doesn't want to get in the middle of all that.' She flees before being spotted. Later, Jack and Jennifer meet Bo at the police station to discuss Colin and the fact that they've hit a dead end trying to connect him to the Di Mera organization. Jack announces he wants Jennifer to give up her dating ruse with Colin. 'Colin is one shady character and it's a dead end,' declares Ashford. 'Personally, Jack can't put his foot down anymore and tell Jennifer what to do and what not to do. However, as a professional, he can't avoid the fact that it isn't working, ....not producing anything.'

Jennifer refuses, insisting that Colin will open up to her in time, especially since he recently admitted he loves her. 'Jennifer knows that there is going to be a risk,' says Reeves. 'The journalist side of her wants to get that story.'

The journalist, and ex-husband, side of Jack has a different view point regarding Colin's declaration of love. 'It's disturbing,' states Ashford. 'Jennifer is the mother of Jack's child. That stuff runs deep, but Jack has become guarded about allowing his jealousy to fire up again. Jack is not wearing his heart on his sleeve anymore. He was burned by Jennifer. He's learned his lesson.'

Jennifer agrees to steer clear of Colin so 'Jack will stop bugging her,' Reeves says with a laugh. Then, Billie arrives at the station and Jennifer senses the growing closeness between the two.

Jennifer says, 'I'm glad you guys are dating. I think it's great,' reveals Reeves. Billie doesn't buy it. Billie even says, 'No, Jennifer. If you really thought that, we wouldn't be standing here having this conversation about it being OK.' Apparently, the idea of Jack and Billie dating isn't OK with Bo, either -- he blows up at Billie.

Nevertheless, Jennifer sucks it up and encourages Jack to look after Billie. 'I'm trying so hard to make Jennifer take the high road,' remarks Reeves. 'I don't want Jennifer to lose her dignity and her self-control. Jennifer knows she loves Jack. It's her choice not to be with him right now. She's trying to rise above that and be an adult.'

While Jack agrees to take Billie home, he finds Jennifer's new attitude 'weird,' adds Ashford. 'Jennifer has become one very confused young woman. That's how I'm approaching it. He can't un-confuse her, unless she listens to him and does what he tells her to do. Until that time, Jack will keep doing his own thing.'

Will that 'thing' include Billie? Lisa Rinna (Billie) doubts her character will be a serious threat to Jack and Jennifer. 'Jack is Billie's friend. He's funny. Who wouldn't want to be around him? There is a natural chemistry between Jack and Billie. They're very similar in many ways. Are they going to sleep together? I doubt it.'

As for Jennifer and Colin, Jennifer breaks her promise to Jack, phones Colin and heads to the hospital to see him. When she starts quizzing him about Tony, Colin demands to know why. Jennifer covers by coming onto him and then. 'Jennifer gets into a compromising position with Colin, ' says Reeves. How far will she go?

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