John Black’s Arrest for Embezzlement Has Far Reaching Effects

Last week the rebooted Days of our Lives hit our screens with fan favorites like John and Marlena and Austin and Carrie returned to our TV screens after a many year absence. As the family reunions took place however, the foursome was propelled immediately into a family based conflict driven storyline centering on John Black’s arrest for embezzlement and securities fraud.

Carrie and Austin have been absent from Salem since 2006, when they left for Switzerland, so Austin and Carrie’s career changes could easily have been achieved in the intervening 5 years. 

Of course why a Switzerland based lawyer would look to pass the US bar exam is a little unclear, as is Austin’s status as a remotely located consultant to the SEC as a forensic accountant.  But with many international organizations headquartered in Switzerland these discrepancies could yet be erased by a line or two of dialogue.

In true soap opera style, John Black’s arrest for misappropriating pension funds from Basic Black’s financial division was only half the story.  It was also the catalyst for providing conflict between two other couples in the Black extended family.
Carrie and Austin’s new careers put them on opposite sides of the case.  Austin had been contacted by the SEC to do a consult on the case prior to John’s arrest.  Carrie was furious with Austin when she learned he knew of John’s impending arrest.  She immediately supported step-mom Marlena and made contact with John’s legal team, placing Austin and Carrie on opposite sides of the case.  Instant conflict.

Another marriage in the Black family suffered some conflict over John’s arrest too.  Rafe, despite his best efforts, had been unable to raise Sami on her cell phone when he got the call to perform the arrest on behalf of the FBI.  Sami was furious, but backed down when Rafe learned that he hadn’t been able to contact Sami because she had attended a second interview with the mystery company Rafe wanted to investigate.

Add to that Brady Black’s absence while he monitored the situation from afar, and the Black family is now suddenly brimming with family conflict from one simple inciting incident; John Black’s arrest for embezzlement, securities fraud and misappropriation of pension funds.

As Ken Corday promised when he spoke of umbrella storylines the reach of the embezzlement storyline does not end with the Black family.  

The misappropriation of pension funds will also affect the Mayoral election storyline, which again pits family members against each other with EJ DiMera running for Mayor against his sister, Lexie’s, husband Abe Carver. 

Lexie Carver while espousing all the good her husband had done as the current Mayor of Salem mentioned the health of the city’s pension fund as one of Abe’s achievements; a pension fund invested with Basic Black’s financial division.

John Black’s arrest for embezzlement from that same pension fund now makes for a scandal for the incumbent Mayor, evidenced by EJ’s delight in the entire arrest proceedings. EJ’s gloating and almost delirious happiness, and Stefano’s absence at an emergency meeting, also raises the suspicion that the DiMera’s are behind John Black’s current legal woes.

So one storyline, John’s arrest has tentacles that impact the Black’s, Brady’s, DiMera’s and even the House of Kiriakis by virtue of Brady being Victor’s grandson.  Of course any storyline involving John Black was going to be far reaching given that at one time or another he was thought to be part of almost all of the prominent families of Salem.  The exception?  John has never been thought of as a Horton…

If the deft tying up of Dena Higley’s storylines and considered departure stories for each of the “retired” Days of our Lives characters didn’t give fans faith in the new head writing team of Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, perhaps last week’s storytelling did.

Time and, more importantly for the longevity of Days of our Lives, ratings will tell.

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