We'll get to the on-screen stuff in a minute. But first, we need to talk about Joe. The news broke on Friday that Joseph Mascolo, who dazzled fans for decades as Stefano DiMera, passed away. The article says he was 87.
That's a little wrong.
I'd argue Mr. Mascolo was timeless.
His character was not unlike the mustache-twirling villains of vaudeville. Yet, to the very end, you took him seriously on stage -- so seriously that the mere sight of him made you slightly nervous. Joe commanded such attention on-screen that it's hard to picture him and not hear that booming voice. His brilliance was in crafting an over-the-top villain that could believably interact equally with the lady who slung chowder down at the bar or the mad doctor who erases memories. DAYS will miss him.
I will miss him too. It's a dying tradition. Younger actors don't want to stay with soaps. Or maybe it's that soaps just aren't built for this kind of actor. Either way, Joe was a gem. He played the first DAYS character I knew and recognized. Stefano was one of my few high school friends who went with me to college. And I'd point him out to my daughter when we'd snuggle up for naptime. But the best testimony comes from the outpouring of love on the part of Joe's costars -- one after another singing the praises of a kind and professional man. And I love that. Because this guy was part of my family too. It's abundantly clear -- he was no average Joe.
Tony and I will be back in a few days with a tribute column to all things Stefano. But for now, I've got some awesome current Stefano stuff to scoop. So, let's get to it!
No shock here. Shawn came back, and actual police work got done! He found an email from Stefano's doctor. With an assist from Kate and Chad (which genuinely is big of both of them), they discovered that Stefano was terminally ill at the time Hope shot him.
The theory is Stefano intended for Hope to shoot him so that he could die on his own terms and give one last middle finger to his enemies. I like it! Sure, Hope still should have kept her cool. But we can't have the show's lead continuing in jail. But we need to protect Stefano's exit, for that scene was still grand and spectacular in all its soapy glory. So this is a good compromise.
It also brilliantly ties into the current Abigail storyline. Chad is burned. He's furious that his father didn't give him the chance to say goodbye. It's hard not to wonder how this situation will affect his future relationship with Abigail, Andre, and Jennifer -- all of whom claim to care about Chad and are lying.
It also means that it will give Hope a few more scenes in jail with her new buddies. I don't know whose idea it was for Hattie to come back, but I'm really starting to love her. I like that Hope has a buddy in jail. I also like that unlike last time, Hope's kind of a badass in jail too! I'd like to see someone try to talk smack about that Popsicle stick ornament! She's proven that she can forcibly take a shiv away.
Of course, she has help in jail, since Deimos paid off Coach Beiste from Glee to keep T-Boz from creeping up on Hope. Aside from all the awesome pop culture puns I could make, ugh, there's still Deimos. Ugh.
I don't know what pull he has over all of Salem, but how is this guy walking around so revered? He basically said, "Yeah, sorry about the whole torture and death of Bo. And sorry that it made Hope so unstable that she shot a man. And, gosh, it sucks that she's in jail. But, Imma make sure Hope doesn't get beat up while she's serving 25 to life! So...we good here?" And then everyone is like, "Sure! That sounds totally even and fair. Can I shine your shoes for you too, Deimos?"
Don't even get me started on this crapbag's stance on how Chloe did Nicole wrong by "dragging" Nicole all the way to Chicago and then not spilling all her secrets. That's some serious cable news spin there, D-money. It's hasn't even crossed his mind to apologize for crashing that meeting and ruining things for Nicole.
And, oh, my poor Nicole. Look, Nicole does deserve a baby. I just hate that this storyline is going to come with a blanket of roses for Deimos in the hero corner. I'd like to say that Victor is going to be furious with Deimos for kidnapping and drugging Philip, but from the shoulder shrug he gave to drugging Maggie, I have little hope of Deimos being held accountable here either.
And I especially hate that Nicole is reduced to a sap to prop Deimos. Since when does Nicole need someone else to do her dirty work for her? I'll help you out. The answer is never. Maybe if this relationship was rooted in something other than lust and control, I could appreciate what Deimos is trying to do. But right now, if just seems like the Teflon Greek don is the one running the show, and Nicole is the little woman at home.
I would 1000% see this couple put on the back burner for more of the other side of the Kiriakis house. I'm starting a slow clap for Judi Evans and company. That scene where Adrienne finally learned of her diagnosis was so very well done. She's got breast cancer. She's also got an army of support around her. I'm glad. Also, someone needs to call the other three boys and get them to Salem right away, if not sooner.
My heart broke a little bit for Sonny. He lost Will. You can see him scared to lose someone else close to him. I totally agreed with Paul. I actually think Sonny helped save Adrienne. If she was skipping screenings and running out on test results, there's a good chance she would have lied if she passed out by herself. He shouldn't be so hard on himself.
For their parts, Justin and Lucas put aside their battle over the final rose (which Lucas confirmed wasn't technically given out yet -- thanks for clarifying that because I really wasn't sure) to be there for Adrienne. It was big of both of them and shows what classy guys they are. Seriously, Eve will be lucky to end up with the runner-up. (I hope!)
Steve and Kayla are always good people to have in your corner. Steve was the one who finally found Adrienne. And somehow, whenever Kayla says things are going to be okay, I nod my head and completely believe her.
Finally, there was Kate's unexpected appearance. It was beautiful to see her reach out. Kate gets it. She's been there. And every cancer battle needs someone who reminds you that you can punch this disease in the throat. If that's not a job for Kate, I don't know what is.
Jade legitimately cracks me up. Maybe because she cares 0% about protocol in a Brady family. Maybe it's because she's possibly leaving the show. Or maybe it's because I don't believe for a second that baby is really Joey's. But I kind of secretly want to be her. I mean, she gets to dictate what fruit men bring to her on a platter. Ha! What's not to love?
I had to laugh at Andre saying Chad shouldn't escort an ex-con to a party. Right. Just being related to them is enough. But really, Andre is the worst Chabby shipper ever. If he wants to keep Gabi away from Chad, he should just produce Abigail. There's got to be more to his plan.
I kind of love the idea of Rory and Ciara together. They crack me up. And while it's funny to reduce Rory to a pothead (the joke about him being a pharmaceutical rep was well done), Rory actually has a lot of character. We forget that he and Bev were the ones who were so worried and went searching for J.J. when he self-destructed. There's a heart under there. Ciara shouldn't be so quick to thumb her nose at this one.
It's not that I don't intellectually know that there should be sympathy for Abigail. It's that DAYS is making her the character that cried wolf here. Even though Abigail has legitimate reasons for acting indecisive now, it's hard to believe her, since she's done this same dance before. She didn't know if she could be with Chad when Cameron was around. She didn't know if she could be with Chad when Ben was around. Now she doesn't know if she can be with Chad since she's "dead." I just want off this Abi-go-round.
A good start would be to have her in more scenes with Dario. Wowza! Marci Miller was great! I loved when Abigail blackmailed him right back. I mean, sure, she blackmailed him so she could keep her life in limbo, but still! She actually made a decision on the spot! She looked pretty darn impressive while doing it too! More of this Abigail, please!
When are the people in my TV going to listen to me? I told Steve and Paul to open those purses! Now, why would Eddie want to start a war with Andre? Could he actually be working with someone else? Hmm...
I loved Theresa. I love Brady. But Thrady never really lit up my Christmas tree. (Obviously, because Theresa should have been with Chad. I know. I know. #deadhorse) Anyway, just a week removed from Theresa's exit, and Brady's suddenly come back to life! I loved the scene where Paul was there for his brother. I felt sorry for Brady for the first time in a long time when he lamented about how his son will have to grow up without a mother -- just like he did. I was downright impressed with the Brady/Justin scene. Wally and Eric should get a minimum of one scene per week together, pleaseandthankyou. Brady took about four seconds to call Jennifer out on rushing around town with pills. And, you guys, Eve is back to help out with Tater-tot! Yes, yes, and yes!
Ugh. No, Abigail. You do not need to check with Grandma Laura to see if you're ready to go back to your husband and child. For the record, if Grandma Laura advises you to cross the street, you should still get a second opinion because that lady is a controlling loony tune!
Much like all of Abigail's storylines, some of the injustices are just going to get swept under the rug in lieu of the bigger fish to fry. In this case, I worry it will be punishment of Laura. Who does she think she is, making unilateral health decisions for Abigail? I've never seen a "next of kin" chart that extends all the way to "grandmother," especially when husband, son, mother, and brother are all still very much in the picture. If my husband found out that my grandmother decided to kidnap me (which is what she did, because Abigail clearly was in no condition to be making her own decisions) and then medicate me without consulting him, he would be furious.
LINE OF THE WEEK
J.J. (to Abigail) : "That is not love. That is what dad did when he walked out on us."
I know it's futile to try logic on a crazy person, but this line had me waving my testify hand left and right! Plus, it does seem like the Johnson/Deveraux have their affinity for taking off. Adrienne bolted rather than deal with her diagnosis. Abigail disappeared rather than "burden" her family. Joey mentioned that Steve fled on him and Kayla. And J.J. and Jen both mentioned Jack ran away from home multiple times. I'm sensing a pattern here.
Um, sorry, Valerie. The prettiest fake tree is absolutely as nice as the ugliest real tree. I'll put any of my 14 fake trees up against an ugly real one.
How did we not know Claire calls Victor Paw-Pop?! That is the cutest thing in the world!
Anyone else get father/daughter chemistry between Ari and Vincent, especially when he has a Danny Tanners conversation with her about her problems? It's weird.
LOL! Coach Beiste's name is Chillie. She's in jail with T-Boz. I get it.
Father Louie actually suggested building a shrine for Abigail. Has he been talking to Twitter?
I love that Salem is all decorated for the holidays! I fully support Hope having all the inmates make ornaments!
I really like the floor in St Luke's. Has it always been that snazzy?
I think Kate should ask Santa for another room this Christmas so people don't have to hang out in her foyer.
I kind of love that Doug still calls Hope "my little princess"
Just how did Jen refill a prescription for a dead person?
Hey, Deimos, pretty sure no one calls them "servants" anymore.
Bill Hayes always looks dashing in red.
Hi there, Harold!! Way to bust the Stefano mystery wide open, ol' chap!
Don't worry, Nicole. @Tony_S_Days breaks out in tears when he thinks about Daniel too.
I adored the Kiriakis girls having breakfast with Victor! And his sweater?! So cute!
I don't know what's funnier. Chillie suggesting Julie could handle herself in prison or Doug agreeing immediately.
Whoops! Chad isn't Stefano's only surviving son. There's Andre and Peter still. (Oh, and E.J., too, because we all know that foolio isn't dead. #whatsinthatsyringe)
Jen and Brady talked about the recent A.A. meeting in the wide-open hospital, which makes me wonder if they know what the second "A" means.
I love that Nancy and Philip had to get refreshments before talking about the urgent secret. Their priorities are not unlike my own.
Speaking of, did Nicole ever get her Chinese food? If not, that's a huge strike against Deimos. Withholding snacks is a cardinal sin!What are your thoughts on Days of our Lives? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.