The net seems to be tightening around Gina and Stevano. Again.
Every time it seems like this story is over, somehow the writers find a way to prolong it.
Could the events on Days of Our Lives during the week of 1-06-20 finally lead to the reveal that "Hope" and "Steve" aren't who they claim to be?
As annoying as the Stevano story is, at least it generates some great performances.
Matthew Ashford did some of his best work --which is saying a lot because he has brought his A-game to Days of Our Lives over and over for the past 30 years -- when Jack confronted Steve.
I haven't seen you for years and now that I have, I think I'm better off without you. Maybe I always was.Jack
Jack's pain and anger made for strong drama, and the argument was an interesting role reversal.
In the late 1980s, Steve often had to straighten out his wayward little brother, and now thanks to Steve having been turned into Stefano, Jack tried to return the favor.
Jack's anger was justified, and if and when Stevano is restored to his true identity, Steve is going to have a lot of work to do to fix this mess with his brother.
Jack was an interestig choice for the confrontation because he'd gone through something similar recently.
Amnesiac Jack turned into a different man, nothing like the man Jennifer had fallen in love with, and she had refused to give up on him, and now that he's back to normal, Steve has turned into Stefano and is treating Kayla the way Jack treated Jennifer.
Jack being on the other side of this story is interesting, even if it is a rerun of what he and Jennifer just went through.
But in this case, I wish someone would put the pieces together already.
There have been so many doppelgangers in Salem that it's hard to believe that nobody has questioned Stevano and Gina's identities.
The story is always the same: person A is replaced by a doppelganger who kicks the person's lover to the curb and tries to get with someone else, while everyone comments that person A doesn't seem to be acting like themselves.
It happened when Kristen pretended to be Nicole, broke up with Eric, and seduced Brady.
It happened when Hattie pretended to be Marlena, broke up with John, and seduced Roman.
And it happened when Bonnie pretended to be Adrienne, dumped Lucas, and went after Justin.
And now Gina is pretending to be Hope and going after John, while Stefano is pretending to be Steve and has dumped Kayla to go after Marlena.
Wake up, people! This is the fourth time in the last two years -- start figuring things out already.
Jack: I know Steve's my brother, but I have to say... I think you're better off without him.
Jack: She is. He's just not the same man we remember.
Plus, both of these doppelgangers have accents that go in and out while they are talking to people, and no one's noticed that, either.
And at the very least, John and Marlena should think it's weird that both of their best friends have tried moving in with them to break up their marriage.
But Jack DID notice that "Steve" slipped up about how many kids he and Kayla have, so hopefully that'll go somewhere.
I loved Jack in investigative mode, picking up on those tiny inconsistencies and trying to figure out what "Steve" was covering up.
Abigail is supposed to be working with him as an investigative reporter, but she's busy with Chad/Stefano/Gabi drama. So how about this time JJ joins his father on a quest to find out the truth?
JJ really should be in rehab for his opioid addiction, but since Days of Our Lives is determined never to let him get mental health treatment, they might as well give him a decent story.
Jack and JJ have such similar personalities, and it would be fun to watch JJ work with his dad for once. Other than when JJ was mad because amnesiac Jack got Haley deported, the two have barely interacted, and that's a shame.
Instead, JJ has been caught up in the web of Lani's drama, and that's not so good.
First of all, Lani and JJ's relationship began with Lani taking advantage of an extremely drunk JJ. She had no compunction about using him to have sex when he was in a bad way and was angry that he didn't consider himself to be in love with her after that.
Since JJ is now trying to recover from opioid addiction, the last thing he needs is Lani secretly living in his home and putting him in the middle between her and Gabi.
Plus the pressure to keep this from Julie, who now loves Gabi and hates Lani instead of the other way around, can't be good for a newly sober addict.
Besides, this is a rerun of the JJ/Theresa story, except for that JJ was only lying about having relapsed during that story.
Not that the story doesn't have some things going for it. The most interesting aspect of this is the dynamic between JJ and Gabi.
Gabi has a soft spot for JJ and tends to turn back into the woman who saved him from suicide whenever she gets anywhere near him. She is so different around him that this entire mess might have been avoided if he'd been the one to ask her to help Julie in the first place.
And JJ is conflicted about Gabi because she saved his life, yet ruined his sister's.
So it remains to be seen exactly how he's going to handle this whole thing, especially since Lani only gave him half a story to begin with.
Like his father, JJ is at his best when he is in investigative mode, and he's had experience with situations like this.
He got one over on Theresa when she tried to blackmail him, worked undercover to catch a drug dealer, and is generally well suited to detective work or investigative reporting.
In short, this storyline might be fun -- as long as it doesn't end with JJ and Lani reconciling and Eli staying with Gabi.
Speaking of which, what is wrong with Eli?
He used to be a smart, competent detective -- probably the only competent cop in the Salem Police Department.
But ever since Lani dumped him and he got with Gabi, he's become an idiot.
If Lani's half-story didn't make Eli suspicious of Gabi, Gabi's reaction certainly should have.
She accused Lani of being a "lying bitch" before she even knew what Lani had said, contradicted herself by admitting Lani had been telling the truth, and focused incessantly on whether Eli had any feelings left for Lani.
Eli's supposed to be former FBI, so I don't buy that this is all because he is heartbroken. He's being oblivious to clues right in front of his face and it's irritating.
The runner-up for stupidest is Rafe, though. He's also former FBI, but he didn't think to ask Evan for a background check until Rafe decided to formally adopt little David.
Rafe, of all people, should have known to be careful who he lets around his kid. As an FBI agent, he likely saw lots of missing persons cases before he came to Salem, and after all the havoc Jordan wreaked he should be doubly careful about who he lets near the baby.
This Sonny/Evan hook-up can go only one of two ways. Either Evan is Paul 2.0 or Leo 2.0.
If Will gets out of jail sometime soon, Sonny might be faced with the dilemma of whether to stay with nice guy Evan or return to his long-gone husband, and he will ultimately choose Will.
On the other hand, if Evan turns out not to be a nice guy, after all, he can torment Sonny like Leo did, or else become another Henry Shah, who snaps and kidnaps the object of his affection.
Either way, Kate needs to stay out of it. Her interference is accomplishing nothing except annoying Will and making Sonny stick up for Evan.
Also, what was with Kate getting an update on Victor from Philip when Philip is not on the show?
We&# 39;re supposed to assume Philip is at the hospital but not on-screen. That seems like a waste. Philip's relationship with Victor is at least as complicated as Brady's is, and Brady and Philip have a rivalry going.
So Philip would be a welcome addition to the Victor/Xander vs the world drama.
Victor suffered the third stroke he has suffered over the course of Days of Our Lives history during his confrontation with Ciara.
Maggie and Xander both had emotional scenes by Victor's bedside and in the chapel, but Ciara's scenes were annoying.
I know I'm pressing my luck since I only ever come to church when I want something. But please... I need Sarah and Mickey and Victor to be all right. I can't help wondering if this is punishment for what we did.Xander
Ben's situation is also an emergency because of his impending execution, but Ciara's singular focus on that came off as whiny and self-absorbed.
Even though she supposedly feels guilty for "causing" Victor's stroke, it seemed that the only reason she cared if he lived or died is because his alleged role in Jordan's death would die with him.
Xander spent too much time threatening her, blaming her, and generally ignoring Victor's wishes that Xander leave his granddaughter alone, but at least he seemed to genuinely care about Victor's health.
Now Ciara's blackmailed her seriously ill uncle into confessing his secret to her -- which surely won't be what she thinks it is -- and Ben is still on death row. So her self-centered behavior accomplished nothing.
Meanwhile, the Nicole/Brady/Kristen triangle heated up thanks to Nicole and Brady's ruse.
Nicole excels at verbal banter, and her exchange with Kristen was vintage Nicole. But this latest scheme is a bad idea.
Beyond the fact that pushing Kristen's buttons is rarely a good idea, Brady should know where this leads. He pretended to be in love with Eve and fell for her for real. Gabi pretended to be in love with Stefan and fell for him for real.
So what the hell does he think is going to happen if he pretends he's in love with Nicole?
Besides that, Nicole's constant bouncing back and forth between Brady and Eric is annoying. She needs to either be single a while or meet some new guy who doesn't turn out to be a lunatic.
Plus, Kristen acting like a deluded stalker around Brady is getting old. Can't the writers find something else to do with her?
I wish she'd stuck to getting revenge on Gabi for stealing the Dimera business. Kristen made the usually uninteresting business war storyline fun, and her ruthlessness in business and not giving a damn what her father wants reminds me of Beth on Yellowstone.
Stevano's decision to reveal himself to her might be interesting, though. Kristen is very much her father's daughter, but she's also angry, hurt, and feeling rejected -- and she could use the knowledge of his real identity against him.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics.
Do you think Stevano and Gina are coming to the end of the road? Do you want them to?
And who do you hope puts a stop to their nonsense?
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.