Just when this Stevano/Gina doppelganger story couldn’t get any sillier, it did.
On Days of Our Lives during the week of 12-30-19, Stevano and Gina flipped a coin before heading to the New Years’ Eve party.
Imagine the great Stefano Dimera relying on an unweighted coin to make a major decision for him! What kind of crazy start is this to 2020?
At least Salem acknowledged New Years’ Eve better than it did Christmas.
It was fun to see various Salemites getting ready to attend Julie’s party, though it was irritating that that was the only on-screen celebration.
Supposedly, Jack, Jennifer, and JJ were having a quiet celebration at home, and it would have been nice to have some Deveraux family scenes juxtaposed with the craziness at the big celebration.
Plus, there were a lot of people at Julie’s New Years’ bash who missed the point of the whole thing and were starting fights instead of making New Years’ resolutions to behave better.
Marlena was the worst offender.
There was no need for her to be so rude to Nicole.
Nicole: I’m so sorry about Mickey. I want you to know I’ve been praying for her.
Marlena: Thank you. Have you heard from Eric?
Nicole: No. He texted Brady and Brady passed the news along to me.
Marlena: Good. That means you know how much you’ve hurt Eric. I hope you don’t hurt Brady too.
Marlena has never made a secret of her disdain for Nicole, but this was so inappropriate and shortsighted that it’s hard to believe that she is a psychiatrist.
Nicole was not the only player in this fiasco.
Sarah chose to keep her baby’s paternity secret and to go along with Xander’s claim that he was the father.
She told Nicole on multiple occasions to keep her knowledge to herself and most likely knew that Xander had faked the paternity test results to throw Eric off the scent.
Yes, Nicole could have stood up to all of them and told Eric the second she found out the truth, but why does Sarah get a pass for her much bigger part in this mess?
Oh yeah. Because Marlena likes Eric with Sarah and hates Eric with Nicole. Plus blaming and shaming Nicole is a favorite Salem pastime.
If the writers think that having Marlena pick on Nicole and push Eric toward Sarah is going to make viewers root for Eric/Sarah, they’re wrong.
Eric’s abysmal treatment of Nicole makes it difficult to root for Ericole, but Eric and Sarah have zero chemistry and are only “together” for the sake of their conveniently ill child.
Marlena’s insistence that Nicole should be persona non grata and Sarah should be absolved of all sin doesn’t change any of that.
It only makes Ericole slightly more sympathetic — except for Eric treating Nicole the same way.
Meanwhile, Nicole got to be subjected to the receiving end of Kristen’s wrath.
Kristen seemed purely delusional throughout the confrontation, but it was hilarious when she pointed out the problem with Nicole constantly jumping back and forth between Eric and Brady.
Nicole can’t keep a man, but she can’t live without one. She screwed things up with Eric again so she’s bouncing back to you. Don’t you ever get tired of this?
Yes, Kristen, we are ALL tired of that. Maybe some dialogue writer is tired of it too since that was some scathing meta-commentary there.
Anyway, it was predictable that Kristen got distracted by Brady and threw away her entire plan to stay under the radar to trick Gabi, and it is equally predictable that Brady’s resolution to stay away from Kristen forever will last all of a week.
Oddly enough, this is a Dimera family trait all of a sudden. Stefano’s plan to lie low while he put everything in place to take back Dimera Enterprises also went by the wayside as soon as he saw Marlena.
The most infuriating part of this Stevano storyline is that Stefano appears to have received a personality transplant along with his new body.
Stephen Nichols is putting his own spin on this Stefano-in-Steve’s-body story, but the changes are more than a matter of interpretation.
Stefano was always a classy, intelligent villain whose evilness was offset by his love for his family, but now he seems to have lost quite a bit of his intelligence and charm.
Nowadays, he is merely a snob who thinks the Bradys are ridiculous and their Pub is a place he would never be caught dead in, is focused on Marlena to the point that he takes stupid risks, and is so indecisive about his own plan that he has to flip a coin to decide whether or not to continue with his subterfuge.
None of that was ever part of Stefano’s character before. He seems quite cartoonish now as if the writers want us to laugh at him rather than fear the suave, powerful head of the Dimera family.
That’s an insult to Stefano’s legacy as well as to the scores of Steve and Kayla fans who were heartbroken when Steve was written out and couldn’t wait for Stephen Nichols’ return.
It also shows that the current writing team’s obsession with doppelgangers is out of control.
Stefano is pretending to be Steve, Gina is pretending to be Hope, and Hattie is running around town getting mistaken for Marlena all the time.
This “Doppelgangers of Our Lives” routine is ridiculous and needs to end.
It’s stupid that nobody notices that “Steve” and “Hope” both have developed foreign accents in addition to their odd behavior.
And now that Marlena has gotten rid of faux-Hope and her attempts to woo John away for herself, faux-Steve has moved in and is attempting to woo Marlena.
Can someone put these two facts together and realize that neither of these people is who they claim to be, please?
The net seems to be closing in on Gina/Hope, at least. Both Roman and Rafe are worried about her weird behavior and attitudes, and she’s got a big family that should all be concerned that she isn’t acting like herself.
Hopefully, firing Rafe because he told Roman about his concerns will blow up in Gina’s face, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Days of Our Lives loves to make it look like a story is at its end, only to throw some random twist in that prolongs things for another half a year.
But with February sweeps coming up, hopefully, some of this nonsense is going to go away for once and for all.
It would be great if Hattie somehow got involved in Stevano and Gina’s downfall.
Unlike those two, Hattie has learned her lesson and is trying to live life as herself instead of pretending to be Marlena, and her redemption would be complete if she undid this whole mess.
She and Marlena could even switch places for some undercover work.
Maybe that would satisfy the writers’ need to have a doppelganger story on canvas at all times.
Meanwhile, this Gabi/Lani story has also gotten beyond annoying.
All of this could have been avoided by Lani using her powers as a cop to stop Gabi before she started, but instead, Lani gave in for an entire year and now thinks that she can somehow use her own destructive behavior to get the upper hand over Gabi.
I mean, points for standing up to Gabi at long last, I guess, but doing it in a way that might work would have been nice.
Besides, Lani’s behavior should land her in jail. Gabi’s blackmail of her a year ago is no defense for hurling a plant through a window, and if Gabi pressed charges against her before Lani could tell anyone the whole story, that would be that.
Eli’s attitude towards Lani leaves something to be desired too, and it’s ridiculous that neither he nor Julie can see through Gabi’s manipulations.
Gabi shouldn’t even have been at the door when Eli went to question Kristen about the broken window, and Eli should have realized what was up when she asked to go back to Lani’s alone to retrieve her allegedly lost earring.
The Ciara/Ben story should finally be moving along soon.
It’s silly and unrealistic that Ciara could go to visit Will and then visit another prisoner while she’s at it. None of that is how jailhouse visits work.
But at least Victor caught her, so that ridiculous scheme is over.
Hopefully, Ciara will continue to visit Will even though he’s no longer a decoy for her visits with Ben. After all, Ciara said Will was suffering.
Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this storyline was Victor and Xander’s dynamic.
This wasn’t the first time we’ve seen Victor and Xander confiding in each other since the time jump, but it’s always weird considering how much Victor used to hate Xander.
I am going to put this in small words so that even you can understand. Stay away from Ciara.
Victor’s refusal to listen to Xander and both men threatening each other was more like it.
Also, it seems likely that their secret is something other than Jordan’s murder, since Xander said that Ciara THOUGHT they were responsible rather than saying that Ciara is onto them.
Anyway, Victor’s passioned defense of Ciara, only to turn around and confront her privately with his knowledge that she’d been lying to him, was interesting.
He has admired Ciara’s scheming ways since she was a child and has some affection for her, but now that he knows she hasn’t fallen in line, she’d better watch out.
That confrontation was probably the most exciting cliffhanger of all during the week of 12-30-19, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
What did you think, Days of Our Lives fanatics?
Are you doppelgangered out or are you enjoying the Stevano/Gina/Hattie mess?
Do you think Ciara will get out of this one, and if so, how?
And how are you enjoying the first week of the new year on Days of Our Lives?
Hit SHOW COMMENTS and share your thoughts, and don’t forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.