Heading into February sweeps, on Days of Our Lives, Stefano and EJ DiMera replace Sami’s husband and FBI Agent, Rafe Hernandez with a Doppelganger, no doubt in a bid to undermine Sami’s hold on her children, by removing her support structure.
With Rafe seriously injured in a car accident resulting in head injuries, and possible brain damage, and Nicole hearing noises emanating from the DiMera mansion basement, we likely have the set-up for the Rafe Doppelganger switch.
Galen Gering’s Days of Our Lives character, Rafe Hernandez, is not the first Days Of Our Lives character to receive the Doppelganger treatment, just the latest. He is also far from the first to be replaced by a double at the hands of Stefano DiMera. Stefano’s replacement of FBI Agent, Rafe represents a return to Stefano’s ways of old, though this time without Dr. Rolf the brainwashing medico as his lackey.
Below is a look back at other memorable Doppelganger and twin storylines from Days Of Our Lives. See how often Stefano is mentioned!
Hope Williams Brady and Princess Gina (Kristian Alfonso)
After his beloved Fancy face died in a vat of acid at the hands of Ernesto Toscano, Bo moved on with his life – with former drug addict Billie Reed. Just as Bo proposed to Billie, John Black found an unconscious woman in Maison Blanche who bore an uncanny resemblance to Hope. Though she looked like Hope, the woman called herself Gina, and had no memory of being Hope Williams Brady. It turned out the woman was Hope and eventually Bo and Hope reconciled, but the question of who Gina was, and what had Hope been up to during the four years she was “dead” remained a mystery.
Years later Stephano and Rolf flipped the switch to activate the chip in Hope’s brain that transformed her back into Princess Gina Von Amberg (an art forger and thief) whom Stefano had had Hope impersonate during her missing “dead” years. Once transformed into Gina, Hope/Gina, however, pursued her own agenda of reuniting with her lover and partner from her art thieving days – John Black!
Hope/Gina had John kidnapped while on his honeymoon in Hawaii with Marlena, and Hope/Gina flipped the switch in John’s brain chip to return John to the man the real Princess Gina had fallen for in the 80’s (backstory). Hope/Gina and John made love on a submarine. When Stefano discovered the two of them, Hope/Gina seduced Stefano so that he wouldn’t kill John. Stefano turned John back into himself and tossed him overboard.
Meanwhile the real Princess Gina, imprisoned in a locked turret in her own castle on the outskirts of Paris, escaped and imprisoned Hope (who was now free of the Gina persona thanks to Bo) and Stefano in the same castle turret. Gina, impersonating Hope returned to Salem to reunite with her former lover John Black and her daughter Greta.
Realizing that she would never woo John from his beloved Marlena, Gina set her sights on Bo (while impersonating Hope). But at their wedding, Gina/Hope shot Shawn D, who was suspicious of his “mother” and Gina/Hope died. Slowly the Salemites put two and two together, and Lily Faversham’s (Gina’s friend) identified the body as Gina Von Amberg by means of a scar.
In search of Hope, and to bury Princess Gina in France at her castle, Half of Salem travelled to France. On the way the plane crashed and Gina’s body eerily kept popping up, as if there was a message she needed to pass on from the beyond. Even during her burial at the castle, the Gina’s body tumbled from her coffin, her hand pointing to the turret where a pregnant Hope, and Stefano were imprisoned (with little food).
Bo and John rescued Hope and Stefano as the castle burned, and they all returned to Salem, to solve the new mystery – who fathered Hope’s baby?
Count Antony DiMera and Andre DiMera (Thaao Penghlis)
The Tony and Andre DiMera switch, was perhaps one of Days of Our Lives’ most overused plot devices. Stefano brought Andre to Salem when Tony DiMera turned his back on his father’s lifestyle of crime, manipulation and corruption, and chose that of a respectable businessman.
In the early 80’s Andre, Tony’s cousin (and twin) through plastic surgery, chained Tony DiMera in a dungeon in his penthouse, while Andre assumed his identity.
In a plot get Detective Roman Brady out of the DiMera’s way, Andre became Salem’s second serial killer the Salem Slasher. Andre work a high tech latex mask to make it appear as if Roman was committing the murders. Marlena and Sandy Horton even witnessed “Roman” killing one of the victims. The first victim of the Salem Slasher, however, was Tony’s great love, Renee, who was also Stefano’s daughter. Such an act should not go unpunished? But it did.
Andre was believed to be dead many times, but in an unprecedented retelling of soap opera history, it was revealed in 2007 that the real Count Antony DiMera had been castaway on a DiMera island since his disappearance from Salem in the mid 80’s, and that Andre had been impersonating his cousin for over 20 years. This also meant that Thaao Penghlis, who portrayed Tony and Andre was unaware who he was portraying!
During the years Tony was castaway, Andre/Tony formed a love triangle with John Black and Kristen Blake (an adopted child of Stefano’s) which culminated in Andre/Tony committing suicide (he believed he was dying from a rare blood disease), and framing John for his murder. John was acquitted and for seven years Salem was Andre/Tony free, until he returned with a new obsession with Marlena and the Gemini Twins Rex and Cassie that he believed were his children.
Andre/Tony was later a victim of the Salem Stalker, and later on the island of Melaswen revealed to be the orchestrator of the entire Salem Stalker plot when he’d sabotaged every attempt to escape from Melaswen. Melaswen was Adre/Tony’s revenge against those who had wronged him in his pursuit of Kristen, who he’d never gotten over. (Kristen had left him for John years earlier).
DiMera family relations degraded as Lexie, EJ and Tony jostled for position as Stefano’s favored child. Tony imprisoned Lexie in the tunnels below Doug’s Place, and Stefano finally deemed Andre to have gone rogue when he was also responsible for kidnapping and stealing part of his Benjy’s liver for an ailing Stefano. Andre also killed his cousin, Benjy.
Stefano could not forgive Andre/Tony for killing one of his children (Benjy) and injuring another (Lexie) and cut ties with Andre/Tony. This was an inconsistent piece of storytelling as Andre had also killed Stefano’s beloved daughter Renee over two decades earlier. Bo finally shot Andre in a standoff.
It took Anna DiMera’s return to Salem for Andre/Tony to be revealed as an imposter, and the real Tony was rescued from a DiMera island by Anna, John and Marlena. Back in Salem the real Tony tried to bring some respect to the DiMera name by establishing a legitimate Advertising agency and undermining EJ’s reputation with Stefano. Tony found out about Nicole’s faked pregnancy and subsequent baby switch, and tried to steal a business deal from Philip Kiriakis. Tony died, suffering a heart attack, after being accidently injured in a struggle with Philip (witnessed by Nicole).
With both Tony and Andre now dead, we may be spared another Tony/Andre doppelganger storyline. Although, as a son and nephew of the Phoenix, offs are we haven’t seen the last of Tony or Andre.
Shane Donovan and Drew Donovan (Charles Shaughnessy)
When Kimberly ran into Drew (Andrew Donovan II) in London, while on her honeymoon with Shane, she thought Drew was Shane. It turned out that Shane’s twin brother, who had joined the ISA with him, was not dead but had been in deep cover on a secret ISA mission. When Drew returned to Salem with Kim and Shan, Shane became suspicious of his behavior and learned that Drew was working as a double agent – for Stefano DiMera.
Drew’s tenure on Days of Our Lives was short, a total of only 36 episodes. He appeared in late 1988 and disappeared after being shot in January of 1989. In his short time in Salem, he dated Calliope Jones, caused havoc on behalf of Stefano (including kidnapping Carrie Brady in an attempt to extract Benjy, his son, from the Brady’s) and confused the citizens of Salem.
Marlena Evans Black and Hattie Adams and Samantha Evans (Deidre Hall and Andrea Hall)
Stefano discovered Hattie working as a waitress at the Hudson Street Diner where she worked with Faye Walker and Kate Roberts. Half of Salem frequented the diner, including Abe Carver, and Roman Brady.
Hattie, an avid fan of a radio talk show psychiatrist that was suddenly replaced by “stuck up” Dr. Marlena Evans, instantly disliked Marlena. The fact that Hattie also bore more than a passing resemblance to Marlena initially seemed lost on all but Stefano.
Dr. Rolf, the crazy scientist goon, responsible for placing brain chips in Hope and John’s brains as well as many other medical misdeeds at Stefano’s behest, molded Hattie into a Marlena look alike with some serious dental work, nose job, hair dye and an exercise regime that would make The Biggest Loser gang proud. Add to that Rolf’s finishing school in walking and talking like Salem’s favorite shrink and Hattie was ready to be Marlena. All the while Hattie harbored a crush on Mr. Roman, and for a while Rolf too!
This storyline fizzled before Stefano could make a switch, and Hattie subsequently disappeared. Not before Marlena and Hattie came face to face though. Marlena was confused by Hattie’s appearance, believing for a moment that Hattie was her twin, Samantha, and Marlena experienced a series of flashbacks to the 70’s when Samantha, a pill-popping actress, had had Marlena committed to Bayview Sanitarium, and assumed Marlena’s life. A flashback to the 80’s showed the source of Marlena’s confusion. Samantha had been killed in Marlena’s stead at the hands of the Salem Strangler.
Hattie made a brief reappearance in 2004 as part of the storyline that had viewers believing that Marlena was the Salem Stalker. John hauled Hattie out of the woodwork as an explanation for seeing “Marlena” sneaking out of the cemetery, after killing Doug Williams. Unfortunately, Bart, Stefano’s bumbling guy Friday, provided Hattie with alibis for all the killings.
Though the time Bart claimed Hattie was in Europe having her face done was questioned by John. As Stefano’s former mercenary, John knew Stefano had a predilection for paying off medicos, but it was hard to question the time Hattie spent in a local jail especially once Bo verified it. Hattie was ultimately released and she absconded with a plate of Alice’s donuts.
Though Samantha Evans was Marlena’s twin, and Hattie, Marlena’s doppelganger, Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans Black) did not play Hattie, or her twin sister Samantha (70’s and 80’s). The role was played by Deidre Hall’s real-life twin Andrea Hall.
Though confusing at times, Days Of Our Lives has a affinity for weaving twisted tales around their doppelgangers. Rafe’s replacement with a double will surely be no different.
Tune in to see Galen Gering do double duty as Rafe, and evil-Rafe on Days Of Our Lives this February, joining a long list of Stefano created doubles for the residents of Salem. Days of Our Lives screens on NBC at 1pm in most markets.
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