Death of the Phoenix

Yowza! Now that, dear readers, is a Friday cliffhanger!


They gave Stefano all the best lines today, when he called Bo “the ape you married” and told Hope the only time she was interesting is when she was brainwashed Princess Gina. He missed an opportunity to taunt her about Aiden, though. I wonder if she’ll ever find out that Aiden was working for Stefano?

It slowly dawned on me that Stefano was goading her deliberately — he wanted her to shoot him. We’ll probably find out that he was dying, and he wanted to go out with a (literal) bang. If so, I think that’s fantastic.

It’s also very, very smart on the part of the show. As far as I can tell, Joe Mascolo’s exit was kept under wraps. In these days of spoilers (and shooting five months in advance), that’s quite an achievement. And it’s been obvious for awhile now that Joe’s health prevents him from playing anything but a limited role.

But boy, he still looks amazing, doesn’t he?


I have a lot of affection for Stefano and Joe Mascolo, even though I prefer supervillains who have at least some relationship to reality — Victor in the 80’s is the gold standard. But I loved Joe’s booming voice, and the gravitas he brought to the part even when the character was at his silliest. (If you’re feeling nostalgic about Dimera craziness, here’s a post I did reviewing Stefano’s greatest hits. Good times!)

Thaao was obviously brought back to take on the mantle of Dimera patriarch, and I hope he gets more opportunities to flex his supervillain muscles than we’ve seen so far. This has strong story potential for him and for Chad.

And I’m very curious about where they can take Hope after all this. In retrospect I kind of appreciate this dark road they’ve taken for her. Instead of her showing up and shooting him out of the blue, we’ve seen her slowly driven to further and further extremes, so I believe she would do this. The important thing going forward, though, is that she brings herself out of this dark place and recognizes it was the wrong thing to do. I don’t want the show to justify or excuse her actions. I can see Rafe covering for her, and I think that could be a good story, but only if that too is presented as the wrong choice.

Of course, if this all turns out to be a Hope dream sequence, I take it all back. 🙂

The fallout from the accident has gotten better and better as the week has gone on. Ari looked quite beautiful, with no makeup and wearing Daniel’s coat:


And I thought the scenes with new Parker (yay!) and Chloe were a nice beat. I think what might actually work for me in all this is not Nicole losing the “love of her life” (pffft), but missing the chance to be stepmother to Parker. Another child lost.

The best part of the episode, in my opinion, was Eric finding out he killed Daniel.


This was heartbreaking. I thought the intercutting with Brady, hearing the news about Daniel’s heart, was effective (though I’m not sure Eric Martsolf does angst as well as Greg Vaughan). I’m obviously not Daniel’s biggest fan, but I love when the show pays attention to male friendships. And Greg was fantastic showing Eric’s dawning horror of the truth. I loved the little moment when Marlena put her hand on his chest, and he put his hand on hers.

The other moment I appreciated was when John pulled Roman aside and asked if Eric was going to be arrested once he recovers. It wasn’t very tactful, maybe, but it made sense because it was framed by John’s concern for Marlena — how much she’s had to deal with, and how much more can she take. It’s been driving my crazy all week that I couldn’t tell if anyone knew, or cared, that Eric had caused the accident. This was a good way to put that thread out there, to be picked up once the medical stuff is over. I foresee some heavy angst about this, and bring it on! I’m going to try to my hardest not to let my disappointment about Ericole color my enjoyment of this story. It looks like Greg is finally going to get some major material to play, after being in the background for months, and I’m going to enjoy watching him as long as he’s on my screen.



14 thoughts on “Death of the Phoenix

  1. Great blog again! Totally agree with your perspective. I do wonder how they will get Hope out of this predicament? I also thought ‘Brady’ did a great job showing his pain at the end!

      • Hi! Do you know where I can find this episode online? It’s not on the NBC site anymore and I cannot find it anywhere else. I just learned about this storyline and I really want to see it. Thank you!

      • Hi Abby! There is a person on Twitter, DaysFan28, who posts clips in a private Facebook group. You have to request to join, but I think that is your best bet. NBC takes down clips on YouTube as fast as they go up. Episode is January 9, 2016. Good luck!

  2. I thought Stefano looked good today. Looks good in gray and trimmed beard. He does not look unwell at all. Probably getting tired and wants a release from the rat race although he has health issues. We have already lost the evil Harper D?. Hate to loose Stefano D. and / or Victor K. This soap thrives on these characters. But, I know that is inevitable. Andre will be good at continuing Stefano’s legacy although he almost seems to evil.

    • That is definitely my theory, too, that he knew he was dying and provoked Hope to kill him because of it. It’s win-win for him – he spares himself a lingering death, and he wreaks havoc on the Bradys from the grave.

      I agree he looked great in this episode!

  3. your blog💛 I think Stefano was pushing Hope with all the triggers..He wanted her to do him in…go out in a blaze like a warrior in battle against what was left of his great enemy..surrounded by his music .,chess his study..👍 You are so right about the sensitive portrayal by Greg Vaughan..he will be so moving with this storyline…just seeing the pain & tears in his eyes..what an actor!!

    • I loved the chess pieces falling over. Cheesy but awesome, just like Stefano. 🙂

      I think Greg is going to be awesome in this story, and I’m determined to enjoy every minute. I know it will be painful, but I’m excited for him.

  4. Maybe it’s just me…. but on paper this storyline with Hope’s descent into darkness over everything that has happened culminating in her murdering Stefano SHOULD have been riveting. It should have been a roller coaster ride but the execution of it hasn’t worked and I found most of excruciating to watch. Again, I am going to blame the pacing because I think if we had seen a slow spiral for Hope with her slowly losing grip on reality and becoming increasingly reckless it could have worked. The way it played out things were just way too intense, way too quickly and the only part that was even halfway enjoyable to me were the scenes with Stefano on Friday.

    The fallout of the accident played out nicely and I enjoyed watching Chloe and Nicole with the new Parker…and thank goodness they recast that role because I am not sure I could have watched that if the other kid had been there. Rafe commented that Eric’s blood alcohol level was through the roof so I was surprised that Eric even remembered that he had been drinking.

    I did find it odd that Caroline and Julie are comforting Maggie and never once mentioned Eric. It’s like they have forgotten Caroline is Eric’s grandmother.

    • I wish they could have shown Hope finding out about Aidan and his involvement with the Dimeras or followed up at all on that plot thread. I realize it was from the previous writing regime, but since it was our there, why not pick it up? As it stands, Hope just jumped to the conclusion that it was Stefano and shot him in cold blood.

      Agreed on Caroline and Maggie. I kept waiting for Caroline to bring up that her son also just died and explore some shared grief.

    • Caroline, Julie, and Maggie were really sweet. I loved seeing the three matriarchs together. But Caroline’s grandson is in the hospital and it doesn’t even get mentioned. All they have to do is add a line or two. Maggie talked about Caroline when she was trying to make her decision, so it seems natural to bring it up again.

      As for Hope, I actually felt her shooting Stefano retroactively redeemed some of the Revenge Hope stuff. I would agree, though, that it didn’t work for me as well as it could have. Pacing and overexposure are what I would point to. Also Hope has been so isolated, only interacting with Rafe. Now I understand why they had that weird scene where Steve went to Hope’s house at dawn, so someone could say “We knew she wasn’t well” and “I should have stopped her.” I assume that’s what will happen. But more scenes where people worried about her and she rejected their help – something like that.

      And Andrea, I believe Aiden working for Stefano was a product of the new writers. One of the first things they did was make Aiden dark. Doubly strange that they didn’t use it here!

      • Of course, you’re right about the writing change. My head is spinning from all the different plot developments in the past 9 months.

        On the good news front, I read the other day that last week’s run of episodes coincide with when Dena took her leave of absence, so maybe we will see some return to stability soon.

  5. Nicole looked so beautiful without makeup (and the usual ginormous earrings). She is gorgeous.
    I also thought to myself that Stefano looked much younger and better than he had in quite a while. He looked really good. I saw in his Wikepedia that his parents lived VERY long lives…so he’s just a pup!
    Maybe it’s me, but I don’t buy Hope’s performance as avenger lady.
    Maggie was wonderful this week. Moved me to tears a few times. Nicole, too.

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