Death and Destruction

Not long ago, I complained about the endless cycle of go-nowhere violence that is now the DiMera storyline. Other than the death of Benjy, which I cynically expected would go nowhere, nothing changed, nothing had any emotional weight.

But Andre … dead? Andre, who was that lazy writer’s prop, the go-to bad guy, who would do anything to anyone, for any reason? (Or rather, no apparent reason?) Exactly, in fact, what EJ was last spring. And please, Days, please, Hogan, Ed Scott, Noel Maxam, whoever is in charge over there, please don’t give us yet another cartoonish villain to replace Andre. Instead, think about what you did today (10/15). Exchanges like this make watching this show worth the price of admission:

Stefano: You know something? I raised you. I taught you everything that you know. I gave you every advantage.

Tony: Except a moral compass. I had to find that on my own.

Stefano: Colleen Brady destroyed my father, and I will despise the memory of her until my last breath.

Tony: So, this vendetta is as much your cause as it was our dear departed Santo.

Stefano: It was my father’s dying wish. Little did I know that fulfilling that wish would also help me destroy my own family and raise a son who wishes me dead.

Tony: Well, look on the bright side, Stefano — who knows? Maybe something good will come from this vendetta — a book deal, perhaps. Maybe even a movie of the week.

This is an example of finding the seed of genuine emotion amidst the wreckage of the over-the-top plots. This is what made the DiMera storyline so promising last June. The aging, ailing patriarch who is starting to be concerned about his legacy, and wondering who is willing or capable of carrying on the family traditions. Stefano calling EJ on being obsessed with “a Voman!” (God, I love how Joe Mascolo says that word!) when Andre, Stefano’s best and brightest, and Benjy, the forgotten DiMera, are now dead. And then trying to rope Tony back into the family—perhaps confused that since he replaced Tony with Andre so many years ago, he can now turn around and replace Andre with Tony. Why not?

When Stefano said he was going to Tuscany and he wanted Tony to look after the DiMera interests while he was gone, Tony’s response was my favorite line of the day: “Let me guess—you’d like me to kidnap Marlena, and perhaps even reprogram Steve Johnson.” Thaao certainly has a way with the cool, scornful one-liner. The other howler of the day was from Stefano, who is obviously of the “do as I say, not as I do” school of parenting. He said, “You cannot let the sins of the past dictate the future.” Hmm.

All in all, the use of history was spot-on today. In addition to the above, we had references to Stefano’s love of Marlena, and John’s history as a pawn.

Speaking of John, do I want to delve into that can of worms? I’ll just say I’m more upbeat than I was on Friday about how well they are going to milk the drama out of this situation, and not just use it as a shortcut to get Sami to marry EJ.

Today was a new scriptwriter, Renee Gordelia. Good job, Renee!


4 thoughts on “Death and Destruction

  1. “Exchanges like this make watching this show worth the price of admission”

    Umm . . . seeing how Days is on network TV and therefore free, I’m not sure if this is a compliment or not. Just kidding. I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

    Actually, as usual, I totally agree with you. The Tony/Stefano exchange was wonderful and I love how well both characters have been written. I just hope we see Tony around a lot more now that Andre is “dead.”

  2. Heh, you’re right, esp!

    Though there is the investment of time, emotion, and frustration …

    I love Tony. If I could see more of him, and Anna too, I would think Andre had not died in vain.

    I don’t often stop to consider how well Stefano has been written since he’s been back. I might have frustrations with the storyline and the way other characters are written, but Stefano/Joe Mascolo has been a joy.

  3. I think Stefano is one of the things that Hogan has done very, very well. I missed 98% of the Stefano that was around during the JERk years, so maybe I don’t have room to talk, but everything I read was that he was very much a cartoon villian. Obsessed with Marlena and into doing evil deeds for the sake of doing evil deeds.

    But, since his return, he’s been written with definite layers. The “old” Stefano is still there — the one that insists that he has the right to do pretty much whatever he wants, that looks for revenge for any perceived slight, that values his family above all. But, he’s been weighted with the acknowledgment that he might not live forever, been given tinges of regret and moments of introspection. It might not change his ultimate behavior, but it colors everything he does. And, it’s been very good.

    Added to that is that JM has been a superstar in his scenes with everybody. If I were to pick my favorite episodes over the last month or so, I’d guarantee that Stefano was in a large portion of them. He’s been awesome with Stephen, Mary Beth, James Scott, Thaao, Frank Parker, and Peter Reckell. He’s had powerhouse scenes with each of them and, in turn, they’ve had powerhouse performances as well (except maybe Frank, but I think he tried his best).

    I really, really hope that they keep JM around and allow him to interact with Steve and Kayla more. There is great chemistry between all three of them and it would be a perfect time to explore Steve’s past as a DiMera soldier.

  4. I agree, esp. Stefano/JM has been almost invariably excellent since he’s been back, writing wise and acting wise. I didn’t want him to come back because I’d heard so much about his cartoonish over-the-topness. I’m glad to say I was proven wrong.

    His line today: “I hear your daughter Chelsea is hell on wheels.” HA!

    I second your request for more Steve and Kayla with Stefano. As soon as the DiMera connection was revealed, I hoped Steve’s recovered memories would give the Brady’s clues in their fight against the D’s.

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