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DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Aiden Works For Stefano! Paige Is Murdered! Who's Got Bo?

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

Tuesday’s episode of NBC’s Days of our Lives was packed with plenty of storylines all with intrigue, as the series begins to kick into high gear under the new head writing regime of Josh Griffith and Dena Higley.

Of note, was a major reveal that looks to be a major setback to Haiden fans, as viewers learned that Aiden Jennings (Daniel Cosgrove) has been working for Stefano DiMera (Joe Mascolo) ever since coming to Salem!  From the conversation the two men had, it looks like Stefano is holding a major secret over Aiden, while Aiden needs money from the Phoenix, and Stefano’s goal was to have Aiden marry Hope (Kristian Alfonso).

But, what does this all mean? That even though Aiden entered into this situation in cahoots with Stefano, that he doesn’t truly and deeply love Hope?  We may soon find out.

Elsewhere, the Necktie Killer struck again! And as expected, poor Paige (True O’Brien) was the next victim! The set-up of this murder does not bode well for already leading suspect Chad DiMera (Billy Flynn), who was seen at Horton Town Square grabbing Paige in an effort to keep her mouth shut about the night she saw him with the first murder victim, Serena Mason (Melissa Archer).  However, Rafe (Galen Gering) saw the whole confrontation, and now Paige is dead.  Sadly, it was JJ (Casey Moss) who found Paige’s lifeless body in the shower in her dorm room.

And where’s Bo (Peter Reckell)?  Now thanks to Patch (Stephen Nichols), everyone is beginning to question the generic notes and content within them that Bo sent to his family members of his whereabouts.  After discussions with Patch, both Victor (John Aniston) and John (Drake Hogestyn) are also alerted that something is amiss.  Something must have happened to Bo.

Meanwhile, after a conversation with her daughter Ciara (Lauren Boles) in which she gave her mother her blessing to marry Aiden, Hope begins to think about her passionate memories with Bo, and then her passionate moments with Aiden.  Is Hope truly ready to let go of Bo?  If she chooses Aiden, and then realizes Bo has been help captive, what will she do?  The final moments of the episode revealed the face of Peter Reckell, who after more than a three year absence returned to the soap as Bo is in serious and dire straits.   Will Patch find him before it’s too late and bring him back to Salem?

So, what did you think of yesterday’s episode of DAYS?  Who do you think murdered Paige and Serena?  Many are now speculating it’s Ben (Rob Scott Wilson), who has a major axe to grind with Chad.   What did you think of the twist with the Aiden and Stefano connection?  What is going on between these two?  And, who do you think has captured and Bo and is keeping him prisoner?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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kathyCeeCeeKMBKathyBNancy Recent comment authors
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Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Paige wasnt murdered…it was her identical twin Saige who was killed…this is a nod to the original Salem Strangler storyline when Marlena’s identical twin Samantha was murdered and Roman thought it was Marlena…ok, maybe but it is possible…lol

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Stephano keeping Bo for his beloved daughter Megan who is also alive and survived being electricuted all those years ago…Aiden is being blackmailed by Steph’ because Aidens wife is alive and locked up in a mental hospital…ok, these are just guesses too…happy 50th Days…i was watching when it all began…lol

AVR44
Guest
AVR44

I like your idea of Aidens wife in a mental hospital I would like to add that she is in this hospital with Jennifer’s mom Laura OR Jennifer will be sent to it after Eve drives her crazy.

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

I like your storylines. Happy Days!

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Does Aiden have a gambling debt?

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

I like the idea of Aiden’s wife locked up as well but then who was it that was shot in Aiden’s house many years ago? The police did find the body of a woman.

janet
Guest
janet

getting really good what about the Donovan family what will happen to them will they get to come back it was shane donovan granddaughter paige was part of that family its making more sense this story hope kim & shane will return .

Tom Jenkins
Guest
Tom Jenkins

I wasn’t expecting Paige to be the next victim – she was so good in the role, really honestly I thought she was. I’m sure her contract was up and maybe she’s just moving on. Poor JJ —I felt badly that he was the one who discovered her. I thought maybe they would find their way back to each other….uh…guess I was wrong on that one. I still watch the show, it kind of annoys me that in recent episodes they completely took Will, Sonny, Paul and the elusive Derrick off the canvas. It felt to me like they switched… Read more »

damien
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damien

i share both your sentiments! dont care much for sonny and nuwill but do hope paul and especially derrick stick around! derricks too cute not to stick around salem! as well i also enjoyed the sweet young romance between rough around the edges jj and pretty paige! disappointed that the paige murder wasnt kept secret as it would ve been more suspenseful and also even though it was sad that paige was warming up again to jj before her murder it could ve been amplified a bit more as to devestate jj further! can t wait to see jj fly… Read more »

Marlene
Guest
Marlene

Why do the Directors always pick the wrong one to be murdered off. It should’ve been Kate who actually brought Clyde into this town to cause all this trouble. She indirectly also killed EJ. It is to sad to see a young girl being murdered like that with a tie around her neck. I did not like it one bit. Don’t really know if I will continue to watch now because things like that upset me. Let the creeps suffer, now the innocent. And why is there no episode tonight on youtube. It is becoming too much trouble to watch… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

It bothers me too that the characters involved in the storyline that has earned the show awards, publicity and was easily the most consistently entertaining during these last couple of lean years, are the characters that were pretty instantly put on the back burner (yes, I know Sonny is off the show because his portrayer left). While the new writers have seen fit to try and find other things to do with most of the other characters who have spent the last few months boring us, they can’t even seem to find ANYTHING for Will or Paul to do. I’m… Read more »

Jim Anderson
Guest
Jim Anderson

Yes I agree, they really left things “up in the air” for the viewers by not resolving the issues between Sonny, Will, Paul or Derrick. Obviously, Derrick is out of the picture, that wasn’t terribly bright, who the heck would let go of HIM – (lol) – and Will has been reduced to listening to Abigail’s problems. So, I am taking this to mean that the current Writing team just doesn’t care about the gay characters. It really seems that’s how it is – and for right now, they are concentrating on the older characters to honor the 50th Anniversary.… Read more »

kathy
Guest
kathy

I’m tired and disappointed in DOOL with all the murders in the last 2 weeks! It’s too much. There has to be another way to have people leave the show. And why are so many leaving at the same time? Is there contract up? I’m not happy seeing these brutal murders on a soap. It’s not fun to watch. I hope this will all stop with Will.

elm51
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elm51

i am waiting to see jj & also eve’s reaction to paige’s death – i think we may see some emmy worthy scenes from both of them………………….

Mo
Guest
Mo

I really don’t like that they killed Paige. Why? Granted, her storyline lately hadn’t been that good, but the writers are to blame. Sad that Eve’s daughter is dead. They could have sent her Stanford rather than killed her.

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

Sad about Paige’s demise, but I love a good murder mystery. I think it’s Ben trying to frame Chad, but maybe that’s too obvious. I wish they hadn’t made Aiden a bad guy, but it is a good twist. Loving Days.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I am so sorry that Paige got it so soon. I enjoyed True O’Brien. I think she did a fine job with what she was given. She was wonderful when she let Eve have it. I wish her much success in her future career.

Ben as the murderer? That thought crossed my mind. I hope not because I like him too. I wonder if Clyde isn’t behind the murders to frame Chad and get him out of Ben and Abigail’s world.

Ray
Guest
Ray

It was amazing. I hope to see Kristian Alfonso’s name in the Best Actress category this year at the Emmy’s. Kate Mansi is doing an incredible job. I think the fans are too hard on Ben. If someone’s fiance is sneaking around sneaking someone else, wouldn’t you be angry too? I was surprised Aiden works for Stefano.

DOOL is back to being “must watch” TV. If it has been a few years since you have watched, now is the time. Patch, Kayla, Hope, Bo, Marlena and John are back in the forefront.

Dottie
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Dottie

All I know is that it was NOT Chad. Days is amazing again!

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I felt Eve’s pain….literally. No one could have carried the scene in the morgue better. My heart broke into a million pieces.
If what Kassie did is not Emmy-worthy, I don’t know what is!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

this is going to crush ….. spiral Eve and even JJ mindset if Paige is the next victim even I don’t want this… and truthfully it’s because I love Kassie DePaiva’ acting… and there were some scenes in which she and True O’Brien riveted me… and I so wanted the Donovan Women to flesh out… and bring their game on… in Salem Eve’, very core and or epicenter is going to shake and rock all that Eve thinks Her whole life is going to be in tatters i’m about 4-5 days behind… ps: if this is not made public yet…… Read more »

mrsnoahdrake
Guest
mrsnoahdrake

A. Martinzez is Rafe’s father. From the spoilers I have read, Camila Banus (Gabi) is back only for a short run and she may also be a murder victim. But I guess it’s possible that Eduardo is Paige’s dad. I had hoped that they would have Billy Warlock back as Frankie and make him Paige’s dad. That would really fuel the Eve/ Jennifer rivalry, especially if he got back together with Jennifer.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

You inspire me, my dear, dear Patrick. I don’t know what else to add to your heartfelt, almost eulogy-like comment. You said it all. You are the best, my friend!

blake
Guest
blake

I agree. Kassie is so good in scenes like that. I want to see her play Eve with more heart and not with the writers trying to make her the next Kristen.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Absolutely, blake. I have been saying the same thing forever. It is a shame what they did to this actress. I wish Eve and Paige would have reconciled before the writers decided to kill her. It was a terrible way to end the most beautiful love one could ever experience…….that is, the love between a mother and child. I was among many to repudiate what Eve did and I called the writers on it. This storyline of deceipt and betrayal should have never been visited….not like that. I lost a child just a few years ago….just before his second birthday….so,… Read more »

blake
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blake

CeeCee I just watched today’s show 9/10 and I was disappointed to say the least. Especially what Eve did at the end of the episode.

blake
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blake

I’m sorry about your loss! And I thought that scene was hard to watch also.

CeeCee
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CeeCee

@blake.
Thank you, Blake.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

She was great…almost too hard to watch!!!

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

You are so right. Kassie DePaiva is amazing. I imagine we will see several episodes highlighting her as the totally devastated, broken, grieving mother. At least, I hope that is what was written. Kassie can definitely knock those types of scenes out of the park.

Jim Anderson
Guest
Jim Anderson

Yes, boy my heart broke for her in those scenes, she did them extremely well, Kassie DePaiva really shown in that morgue scene, crying and telling Paige over and over that she was sorry. It was the most empathy I’ve had for the character of Eve since Kassie brought her version of the character to the canvas.

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

I agree. I cried my eyes our Friday watching Eve.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Oh, Kathy….right? We can’t help but cry , as humans with a heart……especially those of us who are parents. It gives the emotion of sorrow so much more meaning.

Brian
Guest
Brian

I think that we will have a lot of surprise exits with these murders from the serial killer. This will give Days actors a chance to really showcase their talents. Kassie DPV is going to rock her scenes with Paige’s murder. I can’t wait until Bo is rescued by Steve and John and brought back home. Hopefully before she marries Aiden.

Chrystie Delancey
Guest
Chrystie Delancey

While I do not believe that Chad is the murder, I am just going to say that they better not waste the talents of Billy Flynn by doing this to his character.

blake
Guest
blake

I noticed that Chad told Brady today that he got drunk quicker than he thought. I’m thinking someone has been putting something in Chad’s drinks, at the club and his home. Clyde was by the bar when Chad and Serena were drinking.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

That is exactly my thought, as well, blake. I don’t get it. It has to be more than just for Clyde getting Chad out of Abby’s life. So many conflicting scenarios. Hard to follow sometimes.
What if Paige isn’t really dead? If you recall, Clyde killed EJ too. What if Clyde has them all in one place, alive? Morbid thought, but, far-fetched ‘drama’ has been a staple of Days. ….such as, a demonized Marlena? LOL. Later.

Chrystie Delancey
Guest
Chrystie Delancey

What a wonderful surprise if TPTB were able to get James Scott to reprise his role as EJ just for this anniversary and be involved in this story somehow.

I guess it will depend on whether TPTB want to keep Clyde on the show. Up until now they have steered clear of making him completely reprehensible.

I still say they better NOT waste Billy Flynn. He is good to look at AND can act. They just need to pair him with a firecracker instead of boring Abby.

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

I noticed the evil stare from Clyde in the back ground. Clyde wants Chad out of the picture. I liked Clyde but he has turned so evil as of late. He has turned mean like Luke on GH did. He has an agenda.I think he killed Paige to scare JJ. Evil Eve caused Paige’s death because she rare out JJ and then Clyde got involved. So the dope dealer, whats his name, was killed by Clyde …Clyde is too mean to be murdered.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I love Chad, Chrystie….brooding and gorgeous. Nice derrière, too…LOL….He will emerge the hero, but please not wit Abby. Jezebel is now reprising the role of the good, little, virginal girl? How soon we forget, right?
I hope Billy Flynn is here to stay. I find him to be one of the most enigmatic actors on soaps. Imagine him with Theresa. I know, I know, I’m pushing Theresa on every potentially good-for-her guy….LOL. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to stomach Brady. He should get a role befitting his age, for once!! Later.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

@Kathy.
Hi, Kathy.
I agree. Except that I’ve never liked Clyde. There was always a sinister air about him.

KMB
Guest
KMB

CeeCee I started watching Days for the first time ever because I love Stephen Nichols. I must say after watching for a few days another guy has also caught my eye. Billy Fynn as Chad. Talented and very sexy! 🙂

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

@KMB.
Hi.
You got good taste in men, there, KMB….lol

Rob
Guest
Rob

After watching a handful of episodes Im hooked.

Now I have to decide what comes off the DVR: YR, BB or GH

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

Pick YR or BB.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

DAYS and Pepsi & popcorn!

The only bad thing about DAYS being so good is I don’t like Diet Pepsi and I love lots of butter on my popcorn!!!

DAYS is thrilling!!!!!

blake
Guest
blake

I figured out that it was either Paige’s last day or coming close because of how emotional she was when she and Casey (JJ) had their last scene. you could see it in her eyes that whole episode. And after she kissed Casey he had a hard time looking at her. I know they are acting but that’s the feeling I was getting.

Also I just found out that True (Paige) is dating Casey in real life. I think that is great. I wish them all the best.

Chrystie Delancey
Guest
Chrystie Delancey

That’s sweet. They did make a cute couple, although they bored me because of Eve’s meddling. I would have liked to have seen them move to California together.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

It is very hard, even when acting, for actors to hide their feelings, blake. I actually noticed the emotional struggle in her eyes, as well. I really don’t like what the writers did. I still have that nagging suspicion Paige will be back, somehow.

mike
Guest
mike

I hope this does not mean Kassie DePaiva will be exiting soon. Without her daughter her story possibilities are very limited. She has been great in the role, would hate to see her go.

Chrystie Delancey
Guest
Chrystie Delancey

I don’t see it. I see her rising from the ashes like a Phoenix. Haven’t they been testing her with different men, moving her away from Eric? Sorry I haven’t watched in a few weeks.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I agree. I bet Kassie will go through the change of her life. A rebirth, if you will. I can’t wait!…. The mere mention of Eric sends me into a tizzy. I have read enough of the tortured, Heathcliff-type self-piteous, cry me a river countenance of his to last me a lifetime. He is not a young boy coming into manhood, for Petey’s sake. One would think that having finished his seminary education…one of the highest degrees a body can achieve….., he would have a hold of his inner self and be a man. Get a grip. I know for… Read more »

Rj
Guest
Rj

Like the Aiden/Stefano twist, but not thrilled about the murders. I realize they had to do this to clear house, make way for the vets coming back, and keep everyone guessing about who the murderer is, but I will be glad when these murders are past, and they start the new storylines with the vets. Glad to see Patch on, and look forward to seeing him with Bo. Will be glad to see Kayla/Patch, Hope/Bo – when I see them on the screen, I feel the familiarity and comfort of the past and think this is the Days I remember… Read more »

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

I think one of the reasons they came up with the serial killer story was to provide an end to Bo Brady. Since DOOL films 6 months in advance Peter Reckell has now left the building. Peter only agreed to come back short term because he doesn’t like the way Bo was written off last time he left. That’s why I think the writers are starting up with Hope and Rafe.

Mo
Guest
Mo

JJ totally compromised the crime scene. Then allowing Eve to see Paige and hold her, presumably before an autopsy had been done was another procedural mistake. Granted Days is real-life, but at least TRY to follow protocol. Paige was lucky she had her own private bathroom at college.

Peggy
Guest
Peggy

Like the way it’s going. Sorry to see Paige go, did she really go or was it a look alike?

Linda Thomas
Guest
Linda Thomas

OMG eve I felt her pain jj thinks Clyde kill Paige I think adien is the killer Ben was at home with abby if Xander wasn’t locked up that would be great exit for him

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

Clyde killing Paige would be too predictable.

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

Yea maybe clyde too predictable.

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

I didn’t enjoy Peter Reckell’s scenes in prison as Bo. However the rest of the episode was A+ Excellent! Poor Paige got the axe (or rather the necktie)! Good performance by True in the park scene with JJ. Nice goodbye kiss and I don’t hate you scene. So at least she and JJ made peace. Expected an excellent performance from Kassie DePavia when Eve got the news of Paige’s death. Kassie did NOT disappoint! During the morgue scene involving Eve with Paige’s body it brought back memories of Sami with EJ’s body after his death. You know you are about… Read more »

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

Before the Eve-JJ hook up, Paige and JJ were a nice couple. The writers and/or producers messed it up by having JJ sleep with Paige’s mother. This is probably why Paige was killed off. There was NO GOING BACK on Paige-JJ as a couple. Hope Days learns a lesson from this fiasco and not mess up a good thing again!

They had already messed up Will and Gabi by making Will Horton gay. That was strike one. Ruining Paige and JJ was strike two. Don’t go there again and get strike three. Learn!!!!!

Chrystie Delancey
Guest
Chrystie Delancey

I think they could have gotten past the affair and had JJ and Paige a couple if JJ rescued Paige from Kyle’s nonsense. Even so, they were nice, but extremely boring. Maybe if they were allowed to have a relationship without Eve’s interference I could have gotten behind it.

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

I’ve read other reports that JJ and Paige were boring. I never understood why persons thought so. What was so boring? What did you expect from the relationship that you didn’t see from them?

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

When I said no going back I wasn’t talking about for the characters’ sake, I meant for the viewers. That was awful! I know it has happened on that show before but back then there was no social media! Viewers talked about the “scandal” of Addie Horton marrying her daughter’s (Julie’s) boyfriend (Doug). Had there been social media back in the day Hope may never have been born!

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

Saw Thursday’s episode. Still not enjoying Bo in captivity. At this point they could kill him in prison and let Patch find and retrieve Bo’s body. That would be good enough for me. Get it over with. Sometimes when you know the behind-the-scenes information about actors who play characters it kills story because it makes the fiction harder to believe. It becomes like what happened when Toto pulled back the curtain on the wizard in The Wizard of Oz! You know when that curtain is opened the “show” is over! Right now I feel like the curtain has been pulled… Read more »

Ethel
Guest
Ethel

I think the killer is Clyde.he don’t like Chad so he’s going to blackmail him.to protect his poor lol boy Ben.

mark
Guest
mark

thank god paige is gone!

Jim Anderson
Guest
Jim Anderson

Mark honestly that’s just awful to say, they could have just gone off to
College.

sheryl
Guest
sheryl

Kassie did an excellent performance as eve she deserve an emmy True will be missed she is a fantastic actress too. Clyde killed her so Ben can be with Abagail .

Ghlover
Guest
Ghlover

I think in the end, Jen wil’ be the killer!!

lynn
Guest
lynn

Hell Stefano might be the killer just to hurt chad

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

HaHa. That’s so funny, Ghlover. I wish I could see Jen’s pretty smile once in a while instead of that startled look all the time.

lynn
Guest
lynn

It’s a soap opera Clyde couldn’t killed Paige to set up Chad not to scare jj but to help his son in his sick twisted way

lynn
Guest
lynn

Oh yes I believe Chad is being drugged Clyde got that doctor to falsify the pregnancy results for Abby he could get his hands on some powerful drugs no problem

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

It is possible. Clyde is very evil.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

He’s a drug dealer, so yes, that is exactly what happened. Clyde seems to be everywhere and in everyone’s business. He’s magical.

lynn
Guest
lynn

And I really would be glad when the men stop being such push overs and wimps I hate Daniel with Nicole I hope him and Jennifer get back together Nicole has been with every man oh the show my goodness except Xander I hate how Victor treats him

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

I hate how Victor treats Xander too. I think Xander should stay.

Jim Anderson
Guest
Jim Anderson

Maybe Hope’s bratty daughter is the killer, she’s been getting into Aiden’s ties lately.

We really don’t know who the killer could be, my guess is it’s Aiden and then he will be off to prison and I guess Hope will be back with her Bo.

Evidently, most of us think it’s too obvious that it is Clyde, we know it’s not Chad, and somehow, I don’t think it’s Ben although they could use that old line “the apple didn’t fall far from the tree” since he is Clyde’s son.

christine
Guest
christine

I think it was clyde he already threated jj if he told anybody what he was doing being involved with drugs and selling them

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I think the writers are throwing suspicion on Aidan, Clyde and Stefano. So amateurish….so classic soap. Aidan seems to be under both Clyde’s and Stefano’s thumb. Doesn’t make any sense, but Days is keeping me entertained so far, more so than the others. It is moving at a faster clip.

Annie
Guest
Annie

I have benn watching days of our lives for years and I find it hard to take that they keep changing everything And everybody! Ii dint think that they should have killed off Paige and I think this will effect the ratings alot! Are they the same producers and writers as Grey’s Anatomy? Killing off everyone at one time……verry disapointed fan!

KathyB
Guest
KathyB

I find it strange that, other than Eve and JJ, no one was shown to be upset about Paige’s death. Jennifer, Abigail, Kayla, Daniel? They didn’t even mention it.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I noticed that too, Kathy. I guess the writers regarded the character inconsequential….like a prop. Sad!

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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