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:
Art theft and forgery.
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.