Holy soapballs, kids! As if Friday’s totally BANANAS revelation that “Duke” was actually an imposter in an improbably realistic DUKE MASK wasn’t awesome enough, today we found out who’s behind the mask. That’s right — you called it, I called it, everyone called it: it’s Cesar Faison:
Which is great! Because the reason we all called it is that this actually makes perfect sense! (Or at least perfect soap sense… which is another animal altogether.)
After all, Faison has always been obsessed with Anna. He’s always been willing and able to go to extremes and to cause enormous pain to others in the pursuit of his goals. And he’s always been exactly the special flavor of crazy that would consider having to wear a mask for the rest of his life a small price to pay if his scheme worked. Posing as Duke and then staging Robin’s death so that he could “rescue” her in order to make Anna love him? Totally up his alley.
(Stealing Sonny’s fortune and power with a ludicrously over-complicated plot involving the marriage of his daughter to a reality tv producer who happened to also be the son of an old enemy, then secretly blackmailing his accountant into transferring all of his money to her and having her killed? Okay, no, that one’s still pretty ridiculous. But hey, did I mention Faison is CRAZY? So, whatever. And at least it’s not the stretch it was to believe real!Duke would suddenly want back in the mob or be okay with an innocent girl’s murder?)
Duke not being Duke also means there’s now a reason why his return has been so lackluster and marked by a strangely intense focus on immediately getting back with Anna as if no time had passed — to the exclusion of anything else, like learning about how the world had changed in 20 years and what her life has been like, finding modern technology and culture baffling, or dealing with the simple PTSD of having had your life unjustly stolen and wasted in a brutal prison. All of which had kind of been bugging me.
(See, this is what 10+ years of Guza has done to us all — we’ve been so burned by vets coming back only to be written evilly out of character for no reason that we don’t know how to extend the benefit of the doubt anymore.)
Basically the only part of Duke not being Duke that I didn’t love was that it means Luke, who has been effing insufferable lately, would have his possessive douchbaggery vindicated. Except today we also learned that Faison has been keeping real!Duke captive along with Robin (or possibly for much, much longer). This is awesome news for many reasons, not the least of which is making up these past weeks of torture of all the Anna/Duke fans out there who’ve had to deal with the disappointment of evil pod!Duke.
But it also means that at some point there is bound to be a reunion between Anna and her real true love. And his name sure ain’t Luke. I just hope he’s there to see it.