What You Need to Know About Alan Spaulding Before Next Storyline

The Trial of Danny Santos story arc has reached its conclusion. While you think there’d be a little break, they dive right into another front burner storyline. In this storyline they connect with Alan Spaulding once again. We’ve seen him before a little bit as Claire’s significant other and in connection with his relationship with Michelle through Phillip, Alan-Michael, and Hope, but his relationship with Danny is about to take a major focus of the storyline. I’ve mostly described Alan in terms of the epic romance between Alan and Hope Bauer, but sadly that fell apart in the 1980s.

Since then Alan has survived a recast and years spent both assumed dead and in prison. Afterward Alan’s storyline mainly focused on business and his relationships with his sister and his children which thanks to his father Brandon are both close and dysfunctional. However, in 1996 when Alan was forced to leave Springfield he discovered Reva had amnesia and was living with the Amish. He’d had a previous relationship with her and a short – before it was annulled – marriage.

I’ve been watching a YouTube Channel that has daily episodes from 1996 for New Year’s Week this year and it pulled me up a bit and made me think about Alan from 1996 through the end of the show which ended with Alan’s death. It made me reflect on his relationships since then and tied it back to this storyline. So here is background about Alan that I think will help you understand Alan and more importantly Alan and Danny.

 alan-spaulding

Alan’s Sisters

Alan’s sibling relationship was with with Alexandra Spaulding. They had grown up together and had a strong bond despite the many times they were at odds to the point where there were years where they barely talked or didn’t talk at all. Their father, Brandon Spaulding, had pitted them against each other having them compete for his time, love, and positions within the company. He had strong ideas about what he expected from his children which started with complete obedience.

Alan’s role was to be the head of the company which meant to be the head of the family and the company (Alexandra was used as a threat to take over if Alan failed). He was supposed to be solely focused on the company. Heavy drinking and affairs were encouraged and expected, as long as they were beneficial to or at least connected to the business.

He had two additional sisters. Victoria was his half-sister that Brandon fathered after faking his own death and starting a new life in Bermuda. Alan and Victoria did not have a good relationship. They met as adults and she grew up hearing horror stories about how Alan was at fault for everything bad that ever befell Brandon and served as a fall guy for anything bad Brandon had done. Victoria was no lone anti-Alanite, she raised her daughter Vicki on that same garbage which caused lots of trouble. Vicky was David Grant’s love interest all the while he was flip flopping about how he felt about Manny up until Dicky broke up about the time Michelle was cleared. She left town very soon after that.

Amanda Wexler Spaulding grew up not knowing her true parentage. Her adoptive mother (Amanda didn’t discover that until she had been an adult for years) was truly evil, but after her adoption was revealed Amanda spent many years happily thinking she was Alan’s daughter. When the show needed a major Spaulding secret they set up that actually Amanda’s birth mother had been having an affair with Brandon at the same time as Alan. Brandon knew she was involved with Alan and he was actually Amanda’s father. Personally I never saw how Amanda Wexler Spaulding actually was…a Spaulding was that much of a secret, but it messed up the sibling relationships even more.

Alan’s Children

Although Alan passed on the messed up-ness he inherited from his father, it should be noted 100% in his favor that his favorite child was adopted son Phillip.  The fact that he was adopted never made Alan see Phillip as anything less than his real son.

Alan-Michael was Alan’s son with Hope. When they broke up and Hope self-destructed she took Alan-Michael with her and he was raised mostly by Hope and her father Michael (who is awesome sauce). Alan-Michael arrived in Springfield as a soon to be college student eager to establish a relationship with his father who remained focused on Philip as long as Philip was in town. A-M struggled to get his father’s and his Aunt Alex’s attention and approval.

Learning from his father, Alan felt competition was good for his children as an incentive and continued to put his expectations, judgemental attitudes, and set them up to compete with each other. Alan-Michael left town to basically get away from all that family drama and focus on his relationship with his wife Lucy and a fresh start running Spaulding International headquarters in Europe.

After Amanda, Alan-Michael, and later Philip left town Alan will learn that Brandon had not only taken Amanda from him, but he also found that one of his early affairs had produced a child and it had been put up for adoption without Alan even knowing it existed. That son was revealed to be Gus Aitoro…. but that hasn’t happened yet.

Danny’s Relationship With Alan

All of which brings us to Danny’s relationship with Alan. So far Danny has interacted with Phillip more than Alan and that has been a significant if rarely played relationship. Early on during the Ben Warren feud Danny went to Philip, scion to scion, but Phillip underestimated Danny and wouldn’t meet him on equal ground.

When Alan gave him a chance and appreciation Danny took Alan on as a sort of substitute father figure. Alan was also an alpha male who ran an empire, but it was a legal — well mostly — one and fit into Danny’s possible future that would mix his and Michelle’s worlds into one they could both live in. In short Danny wanted Alan’s approval and he got it. Part of that was that Danny was really good at his job. Part of it was that Danny was a very effective goad to Phillip. Alan constantly rubbed it in to Philip’s face the fact that Danny was a man of action who protected his family and Phillip wasn’t. Part of it was that I think Alan saw in Danny and Michelle what his life might have been had he been able to break free of his own family’s dark past and step and be the man Hope deserved the way Danny was able to for Michelle.

Romance

Starting in 1996, Alan suddenly had a romantic storyline that was repeated in a pattern endlessly to the end of the show even though the details varied a lot. Alan would fall for a woman with serious issues and moved heaven and earth to get that woman to fall in love with him – to choose him – and it never happened. They all wanted someone or something else. The only exception is his relationship with Claire which was more of an even partnership, more friends with benefits than an actual romance. Alan throws Claire away for another dysfunctional relationship — that time with Olivia Spencer. That situation takes his focus and impacts his relationships with other people detrimentally which will effect his actions towards Manny.

So Goes Spaulding Enterprises

Focusing on Alan from that 1996 period on has made me realize something. I was wondering why he changed behavior. Why did he stop having affairs and otherwise getting involved with women in positions of power? Part of that is he was involved with a stream of women who didn’t truly want him so he had to work on just keeping the one he had, but mostly it was because Spaulding Enterprise was no longer an active force on the show. There just weren’t those types of women secretaries, interior decorators, business executives, women who headed up businesses Spaulding was involved with, they no longer existed. In fact the business that Spaulding did mostly disappeared.

It used to be that Spaulding Enterprises did things. Whether they were infecting people so they could sell a cure for the Dreaming Death, building a chemical plant near Springfield, creating and developing the area around Towers, destroying whole neighborhoods for development, etc. they may not have been good, but they were always doing something big. There was an entire workplace crew during the 1995-1996 period when Alan-Michael and Lucy were running Spaulding where we saw goings on at Spaulding on a very regular basis. However, after 1996 this period in 2001 when Danny was working there was the last big play by Spaulding. Oh sure, it will exist to the very end of the show, but mainly as an excuse for battles over who was going to be President. Nobody stayed in power very long and they ALL do absolutely the best job ever as president. Otherwise there is a story about Alex for some reason supporting a start up fashion house and later using Spaulding to manufacture and smuggle in illegal drugs which is truly sad, but that’s about it. Being president of Spaulding because an excuse for the company to exist instead of having the business serving as a story generator. After 2001 a lot of the business seemed to be done out of the study of the Spaulding Mansion rather than the actual office. This was best symbolized by when Alan actually brought his grandson James into the business. He brings him to see Alan’s office and it is literally a broom closet. Oh how far Spaulding has fallen.

Profile of Alan Spaulding

Alan Spaulding ~ Alan Spaulding has always been a powerful industrialist of his generation around Springfield. His father Brandon was a terrible parent who set his children in competition against each other to see who would be the best and who would control his company, Spaulding Enterprises. Long after his second death, Brandon is still coloring and causing trouble in his family’s lives. Alan has committed more than his fair share of crimes, and even caused more than his fair share of deaths over the years, but somehow the family never has gotten the association with crime that the Santos family has. While Alan has known Michelle basically her whole life (he was married to and had Alan-Michael with her cousin Hope and his son Phillip is Rick’s best friend), he only really became aware of Danny and his activities on a regular basis when he began dating Michelle’s birth mother, Dr. Claire Ramsey.

After Danny was cleared of murdering his mother Carmen, he broke into Alan’s office to convince him to hire him as a security consultant. Alan took an instant liking to Danny and never looked back. Danny was also useful to him as a spur to Phillip and Alan frequently pointed out to Phillip how Danny was a man of action who protected his family, which Phillip had singularly failed to do. None of his other children were in town at the time (that he knew of) and he started treating Danny almost like a surrogate son. However, he knew that the FBI was setting up Danny to use him in a sting and even though Danny hadn’t gone to Alan with what he knew, Danny saw this as a betrayal and quit. (I think Danny was wrong on this one, Alan was actually always fairer to Danny than  he was to his own children and I wish he had forgiven Alan and worked within the company.) Alan tried to get him to come back to Spaulding on several occasions, but Danny refused to trust him again, even though Michelle really wanted him back in what she saw as the relative safety of the corporate world. Although the Alan-Manny relationship dropped away as Alan developed a drastic set of his own problems, I think he still kept a kindly eye on Danny and Michelle. I truly believe that part of him saw Danny and Michelle as living out the life he wished he’d managed to live with true love Hope Bauer (Michelle’s cousin who was very much like her without the steel inside that Danny finds so attractive), who was destroyed by Alan’s failure to protect her and turn his back on his own family’s legacy. I feel this failure has been behind his driving need to control and protect the rest of his family ever since and feels that in Danny’s successful marriage to Michelle part of the old wrongs have been righted. (Alan finally died for real the last week of Guiding Light.)
http://www.soapcentral.com/gl/whoswho/alan.php

To learn more about the backstory of Phillip’s parents, read this post:
https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/phillip-spauldings-parents

To learn about Alan’s relationship with Hope Bauer and how Hope-Alan was similar to Manny:
https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/alan-spauldinghope-bauer
https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/hope-and-alan-island

See my WSPR report on Alan Spaulding’s death:

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/alan-spaulding-found-dead

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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