Credit: Smug! (NBC Universal Inc.)

Deconstructing “DOOL” from March 11-15:

This week we saw a balance between romance, deception, and criminal activity. Still, stories are pretty watered-down and predictable but thankfully, Stefano’s back, which should liven things up.

John’s return.
John’s back in town with a plan to get Brady away from Kristen and to treat his non-wife Marlena like dirt. He’s been gone so long it’s almost easy to forget why he is so angry. The longer he holds this grudge, the easier it makes it for Marlena to seek solace not just in Roman’s arms… But his bed.

Daniel’s harem.
Like every week for the past month or so, simpering Jennifer spent time jumping to conclusions where Daniel was concerned. The lack of trust is astounding and it grates on the nerves that Jenn appears so completely helpless that she needs “cuz,” Maxine, and Maggie to tell her what to do. Doesn’t she have a mind of her own? What happened to this investigative reporter who can no longer find a clue if it was shoved down her throat?

Fans are already complaining about Nancy’s nostalgic return. It’s had its moments and Nancy can be loads of fun. Between her, Anne, and Chloe, there has been some comedic relief but Chloe’s return doesn’t seem to have the desired effect which we gather was to prop Jenn and Daniel as a couple. Some fans are actually siding with Chloe to get her man when she’s not even going to be around after April. If the majority doesn’t care for Dannifer, why force things? And why write a storyline when we already know the endgame?

Stefano’s return.
Stefano’s return didn’t get a lot of fanfare from his family. He asked them all to move in with him which could be fun for story fodder. Already, it’s providing a bit of entertainment. Kristen was speaking to Stefano about her plans for Brady, John, and Marlena out in the open – not in the secret room, where they’d at least have some privacy. Brady eavesdropped yet he’s so daft that he seemed to hear nothing. Or maybe he did hear the whole thing and is considering his options?

Nah, he’s clueless.