We know there are things we do not know

Let’s get ready for a family feud!

The DiMeras are out to get the Bradys, and we don’t even know why. Such was the news flash we got last week on Days.

Our good friend Tony was the first DiMera to show up in town, back in 1981 or so. Stefano dropped in to visit him a year or so later. He liked what he saw so much he decided to stick around and run his international crime ring from Salem. And, like any self-respecting soap parent, he also liked to meddle in his children’s love lives.

Roman Brady was a cop. He and Stefano were adversaries, the smooth European and the straight-talking American. Tony married Roman’s ex-wife Anna, but they later divorced when Emma Marshall ran Tony out of town. Eventually, Stefano succeeded in killing Roman by tossing him over a cliff. Stefano tangled with Bo over dating his (Stefano’s) daughter Megan, and with Kayla and Steve over his son Benjy. This is the extent of Stefano’s involvement with the Bradys in the 80’s. It’s when he returned in 1993 that the so-called vendetta started.

In preparing to write this, I checked out Stefano’s character profile on Soap Central and saw this little gem:

Crimes Committed:

Drug dealing.
Art theft and forgery.
Numerous others.

Let’s take a look at these “numerous others,” shall we? (And please keep in mind that I saw exactly NONE of these stories, so have patience with the many errors I’m sure I will make. This stuff is harder than parsing Derrida.)

In no particular order:

1. Stefano kidnapped Marlena multiple times. One of these times he kept her and John captive at Maison Blanche. John was in chains in the basement, Marlena upstairs in the parlor. Another time he had a secret tunnel into Marlena’s wardrobe and took her out through it at night (drugged?) and gave her many dream-like experiences. He was blackmailing Mike Horton at this same time about smuggling weapons to Israel. Yes, if you can believe it, somehow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was related to this.

2. He faked Hope’s death by drowning her in a vat of acid and brainwashed her into believing she was an art thief/forger named Princess Gina. John was involved with the real Gina at some point in his past, and by activating a chip in John’s brain he turned him back into the mercenary he was then. He had infamous Sub!Sex with Hope-who-thought-she-was-Gina while under this mind control.

3. Speaking of mind-control chips, that’s how he was controlling Hope. And he also controlled Vivian Alamain with a chip in her tooth. He also was controlling Bo and had him acting as a mime in Paris.

4. He brainwashed John into believing he was Roman Brady, somehow implanting him with Roman’s memories. He kept the real Roman captive for many years. Before that, John was programmed to be an assassin but it didn’t take.

5. He dug a miscarried fetus (Bo and Billie’s child) up out of the swamp and made her live again, and gave her to another Salem family to raise.

6. He hired an exact doppelganger of Jennifer to take the place of the real Jennifer, so that when Jack (held captive by the DiMeras) escaped and dragged himself home and had sex with her, it wasn’t really her after all.

7. He dressed up as Elvis and inseminated a woman who looked just like a woman his son Tony was in love with, Kristen. Kristen, who was in love with John, miscarried John’s child, and this doppelganger (Susan) took her place and gave birth to (everyone thought) John’s child. But it was really Stefano and Susan’s baby. This is our own EJ Wells.

8. Er, Marlena, serial killer, fake bodies, island replica of Salem, all because of he was an enemy of love. (That was Tony, though.)

Do you wonder why on the TWoP boards, we say “DiMera plot!” for anything unexplained on the show, or really, in the universe?

So, you might whisper hesitantly, was there maybe a … reason given, maybe a motive, for all of this? Other than esp13‘s excellent suggestion that “every man should have a hobby,” not so much. But let’s take a look at some of the threads they might pull in for the upcoming storyline.

In the immortal words of Donald Rumsfeld regarding Iraq (a DiMera plot for sure), “there are known knowns; there are things we know we know …. there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Let’s start with the things we know we know: Stefano is in love with Marlena. He seems to love his children, but he likes to keep them close and under his thumb. He likes to get other people to do his dirty work for him. And he hates the Bradys and, it appears, anyone who lives in Salem. We know (I think) that John Black is the son of Daphne DiMera. The DiMeras are big believers in the occult and tarot cards. Celeste, who is a tarot card reader, is back among the DiMeras, helping them in hopes that they will tell her what happened to her (and Stefano’s) daughter Lexie.

Based on more recent episodes, we know that Tony and EJ are jockeying for power within the family. We know that Stefano is in dire need of stem cells, and Sami is willing to bargain her baby’s stem cells in return for an end to the feud. We know that Stefano’s father, Santo, was in love with a presumably Irish lass named Colleen, and the Brady’s “stole” her from him. There was a secret tunnel from the DiMera mansion to Doug’s Place. I remember this tunnel and its secret room from the early 80’s, and I think it’s fantastic they’re bringing it up again. Exploring through secret tunnels looking for ancient clues is soap gold, as far as I’m concerned.

Next we have our “known unknowns,” which are legion. How did the DiMeras got ahold of Steve and what has he been doing for the past 16 years? How did he get EJ and Benjy away from Susan and Orion Hawk? Why are the three people who have suffered the most at the DiMeras hands—John, Hope, and Steve—not Bradys at all? Why are the DiMeras so obsessed with the Bradys love and sex lives, and their miscarried swamp fetuses, er, children? Will we finally get the final, definitive retcon of John’s past? Where is Lexie? Do Tony and Anna have a love child somewhere? Is there really anything in the secret room? Are we going to see flashbacks of Santo and Colleen? Is Sami pregnant with a DiBrady baby?

Then of course there are the unknown unknowns, which might also be called “the future retcons that are coming our way.” But regardless, I’m looking forward to the attempt to give a motive to all this motiveless evil. Whatever it is will undoubtedly be insufficient. Anything would be. But I’m hoping that the ride to get there will be fun along the way, involving clues and misdirection and good guys being smart, incorporating most of the cast, and drawing on bits of history.


25 thoughts on “We know there are things we do not know

  1. This is great maryp.

    I had wanted to go back through all of this myself, but just couldn’t quite face it.

    But you’re right, for a Brady hatred, it’s really people who are or were married to Bradys and their subsequent spouses that he really goes for. If I were Lucas I’d be rather concerned…

  2. Thank you Mary! I especially needed the recap for the 90s. Didn’t Stefano also kidnap Marlena and John when Marlena was still with Roman and John had was in love with (still good character) Kristian? She wound up marrying Tony and John was chained and forced to watch his love make love to another man? That’s the time of my downhill with Days.

    I do think the writers could have easily added a vendetta w/o retconning the past by not letting Stefano know it was the Brady’s in Salem. Alas, that letter pretty much zeroed in on them (well assuming it wasn’t Salem, Mass, or Salem, Indiana or Salem…)

  3. That sounds about right, Tripp. Forcing people watch the ones they love have sex with other people seems to be a DiMera MO. Kristen was forced in her turn to watch John get it on with Susan-who-he-thought-was-Kristen. And that was a big issue on Melaswen, apparently. The reason Marlena and Roman hooked up there (soooo glad I didn’t see that) was seeing John and Kate turn to each other “in their grief.” Tony had cameras back to the real Salem all over the place on Melaswen.

    Zara, you’re right, Lucas has quite a bit to be worried about these days, I think.

  4. Good recap. Though you forgot to add that Kristen is Stefano’s adopted daughter/ward. Yes, Stefano wanted his daughter to marry his son. And he impregnated a woman who looks like his daughter, but I do have to respect the man for going the artificial insemination route rather than doing things traditionally. It lessens the squick factor a bit.

    I’m looking forward to finding out the motive for the years of torment. You’re right, no matter what it is it’s not going to be a good enough explanation, but it doesn’t really matter at this point. And it should make for a great umbrella story.

  5. Ewww, lascuba. I didn’t make the connection re: Tony/Kristen. I guess Stefano figured that since Tony had already fallen in love with and had sex with his ACTUAL sister, Renee (unknowingly), his adopted sister was fair game.

    The whole Elvis conception is wrong on so many levels, but not that one, thank God. I hope they continue with this “conceived to be a pawn” thing for EJ.

  6. It suddenly occurred to me–what if Stefano didn’t find his father’s letter until after he met the Bradys in the 80s? And when it turned out to be the same Bradys he already had a feud with, it made his vendetta against them seem like destiny?

    Wait, that’s entirely too logical, isn’t it?


  7. Paula, that would have been perfect. Who knows, maybe they’ll even do something like that? But I imagine with all the lines we’ve had lately about the 25-year vendetta, they won’t be quite smart enough to work it in.

  8. Another question – why are the DiMera’s so selectively obsessed with torturing Brady’s? Why not go after Eric? Or Kim? Or Carrie since she left for Switzerland or wherever? As long as they’re out of town, they seem to be safe.

  9. A DiBrady child?! That is just priceless mp. As for the Dimera’s going after spouses of the Brady’s that kind of makes sense. If you really want to hurt someone go after the person they love the most.

    I wasn’t watching during the 90s too much, once S&K were gone and the Marlena possession s/l, I just didn’t care for DAYS too much then. From the sounds of things, I’m glad I did.

    Here’s to hoping they can come back around to some really good stuff. I too love the secret room.

  10. I figure Stefano never bothered much with Kim because she had so many issues already. Plus, her “twu wuv” might have been Shane but the two of them did a pretty good job of tearing themselves apart and didn’t really need any help from him. I mean Stefano may be evil and all, but even he could look at Kim and Shane and see that he couldn’t do much worse to them than they tended to do to each other.

  11. LOL, so Stefano saw Kim and Shane and thought, hmmm, that’s enough of a train wreck all by itself. Too funny. I’m having fun picturing Stefano doing just that.

  12. Well, that’s my theory. Where’s the challenge when you couldn’t possibly do anything worse to them than had already been done at least once or twice? Besides, Steve’s “death” led directly to That Which Shall Not Be Named, and really, didn’t we all suffer enough for that? 😉

  13. Yes, we did suffer enough, which is why I think it is really That Which Shall Not Be Remembered. And I frequently do really forget that even happened.

  14. Did they ever find a way to blame Marlena being possessed by the devil on Stefano? I’m only being half facetious here. And does Jack still qualify as a Brady spouse?

    That numbered list is so telling. 1-4 and 7 are cracked-out, but sort of make sense within the strange confines of the Days universe. 5-6 and 8 really show Days going completely off the rails under JER’s second reign. I hope TPTB are reading your blog, or someone with similar thoughts has their ear, because I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph.

    And now I’m seeing Don Rumsfeld at the podium, free-associating about the efforts to take down Stefano DiMera. Oh, lord.

  15. lska, iirc they kind of did blame the possession on Stefano. The whole Queen of the Night sl, where Stefano would drug Marlena and take her to some masquerade ball every night in some kind of underground Salem, supposedly weakened her soul enough that the devil was able to take over.

    And now my soul is weak after typing that.

  16. One might have thought her soul would have been weak from all that adultery ::cough::two men in one night::cough::

  17. And now my soul is weak after typing that.


    lska, you have to wonder about the inclusion of Jack (a Deveraux/Johnson) and Jen (a Horton) in the supposed Brady/DiMera feud. And you might also have to wonder what the point was of replacing Jen with an exact replica, and where he found this exact replica. At least they explained Hattie’s resemblance to Marlena. (Stefano was so obsessed with Marlena that he decided to “make his own” Marlena through plastic surgery.)

    Two men in one night? I never heard that before. Whoa.

    I think we’ve finally found the explanation for S*****. (If it happened. Which it didn’t.) DiMera plot!

  18. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, because I’ve only seen it on Youtube, but didn’t Marlena sleep with John on his parked plane, then go back to her house only to find that Roman was throwing them a surprise wedding anniversary party, and then sleep with him after?

  19. lascuba, thanks for endangering your mortal soul! I feel like I should offer you some restorative glitter.

    maryp — iirc, the Jennifer double was only wearing a mask, to distract Jack so Stefano could recapture him. (I think this was between the island and the castle storylines? I did like that Jack insisted on being tested for STDs when he and Jennifer were finally reunited.) I wonder about them being targeted, too. With all of the family ties in Salem, I could buy that Stefano just hates them by association. They’re both related to Brady spouses who were taken.

    This brings up the question of why Mickey and Maggie were involved, too.

  20. Oh, a mask. I’m assuming Melissa Reeves played impostor Jen?

    Maybe Stefano figures that the whole town is so incestuous that if they’re not Bradys currently, they either were in the past or will be in the future.

  21. Or maybe Stefano just got bored and needed some new folks to mess with for awhile. I mean when you win every single time, it must get a little boring after awhile.

  22. It just shows how convoluted family ties are on this show that it took me a week to remember this — Jennifer was married to Peter, Stefano’s adopted son, who ended up in jail because of Jack and Jen. The full explanation involves phrases like “jungle madness” and “traveling circus,” but those are the basics. ; )

  23. Well, I’m glad to hear there was some reason for Stefano to be angry with Jen. And replacing her with an imposter is, naturally, the perfect revenge. In the twisted mind of a DiMera.

    Densie from Daysmania has geneology software for the Salemites. I just love that.

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