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DAYS Preview: Stefan Plays Pivotal Trump Card Against EJ

Dan Feuerriegel, Brandon Barash


It’s Stefan’s day in court regarding his role in the drugs trafficked through The Bistro, and Sloan defends him vigorously. While waiting on the judge’s ruling, EJ and Stefan discuss what’s at stake.

“Stefan and EJ are playing a game of chess, and, in this instance, Stefan is probably a few moves ahead,” acknowledges Dan Feuerriegel (EJ). “Stefan has popped out his trump card, which is a recording of [EJ detailing his plan to whisk Stefan out of the country and arrange a new identity for him]. Because EJ has certain aspirations, Stefan’s like, ‘Look, if people find out what’s going on, you’re screwed just as much as I am.’ EJ’s trying to put the screws on Stefan because obviously, he wants things to go his way. He wants to be able to do both jobs, district attorney [and DiMera CEO]. EJ’s lusting after power. He wants Stefan out of his hair, and he needs someone to take the fall for the drug issue.”

As they await the verdict, EJ gets on with his next order of business: the press conference announcing Tate Black (read an interview with the new actor here) has been cleared of all charges in connection to Holly’s drug overdose. Brady, Tate, Theresa, Holly and Nicole arrive to learn it’s already in progress.

“EJ gives a very straight, down-the-line kind of an apology without really taking any responsibility,” recounts Feuerriegel. “It’s more just, ‘Sometimes [stuff] happens, and we try and be better. But I assure you, I’ll be better.’ It’s one of those situations, other than going, ‘Look, I screwed up. I did this. I was the one that led the charge in this.’ It’s more just like, ‘Sometimes in the pursuit of justice, we go down the wrong avenues.’”

After the press conference wraps, EJ tells Brady to accept the apology or not. Then he tries to dodge reporters, but Chad and Xander stop him from leaving. As they pepper him with questions about Tate’s apology, Xander having been accused of shooting Harris, and Stefan working for Clyde, EJ does all he can to dodge them.

“EJ is the district attorney and it’s more along the lines of, don’t talk. Don’t incriminate yourself,” says Feuerriegel. “It’s, plead the fifth, that kind of thing.”

Soon Stefan arrives a free man. EJ feigns shock as everyone can’t believe Stefan got off the hook. Nicole squares off with Stefan, who apologizes for what happened to Holly. Meanwhile, Harris confronts EJ, who’s left to deal with the fallout.

“EJ was hoping for the best, but there was every possibility that things would not go his way,” rationalizes Feuerriegel, noting that once “Stefan shows up, that creates a circus. That means there’s more attention on EJ, on what did he do? What has he screwed up? So it’s more about how it comes across to him, rather than the decision going the opposite way.”

Soon Stefan and EJ are exchanging threats as they argue over control of DiMera Enterprises. However, Stefan has the last word when he threatens to expose EJ’s lies regarding the drug trafficking cover-up to Nicole, and EJ realizes he has to play along with his brother. “Yes, absolutely 100 percent,” concedes Feuerriegel. “It’s just purely through Stefan deducing this. Then EJ is like, ‘You shut up. I’ll shut up. And let sleeping dogs lie.’”

EJ, of course, is concerned that if Nicole finds out about his machinations, it could be the end of the two of them. “EJ knows that Eric is a fly in the ointment, and he is always around,” points out Feuerriegel. “And he knows that Nicole still has feelings for him. So he feels like Nicole and him are, I wouldn’t say hanging on by a thread but aren’t as strong as he wishes because of everything that has occurred. Any kind of mix-up would sever the connection and make her go the other way.”

Kristen interrupts her brothers, and after EJ leaves, she and Stefan join forces on a new plan. The pair vow to figure out a way to keep EJ from being the next CEO of DiMera.

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