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!