brady kristen marlena in hospital dr. rolf john jpi days
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (5)

Are they really about to go there?

We have to hand it to Days of Our Lives. They faked us out pretty good. Initially, the stakes seemed pretty low for Orpheus’ poisoning of Kate, Kayla and Marlena. There’s no way they’d actually kill of any of those three.

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Then, we got that fall teaser that seemed to show Kayla making a trip to heaven. OK, fine, we thought, maybe she’ll flat-line for a minute or two, add some drama, then be pulled back to the world of the living after visiting the Pearly Gates.

But what if that tease of Kayla’s “death” was just a distraction from the real drama: Marlena’s death!

Think about it. When it comes to the pathogen’s progression, Marlena, by far, seems to be in the worst shape. We haven’t gotten to see Kayla that much lately, but Kate certainly seems in far better shape as she re-marries Roman.

Then there’s Kristen’s attempt to use the orchid to get what she wants: namely Brady and Rachel! How wicked would it be if she got her heart’s desire, only for Brady to have taken so long in deciding to go along with her scheme that it ends up being too late for Marlena?

John kisses Marlena's head as she lies in a hospital bed

It’s time to say our goodbyes… of a sort.

Credit: Peacock screenshot

That would tear Brady, Chloe and any chance for Rachel for mommy and daddy to get along apart. It would be devastating — which would mean great television viewing! At this point, it almost feels like the show’s been telegraphing Marlena’s death, but rather than it being a fake-out, what if they went through with it.

But how?

Fans would have a conniption if Deidre Hall was let go, so what could the show do? Pull an Adrienne/Bonnie switch and have Hall exclusively play Hattie from now on? Lord, we hope not. Hattie is no Marlena.

But no, it’s pretty obvious that that wouldn’t be the answer, not with that “stash of clones” Rolf seems to have laying around. Clearly, there’s a reason Kristen’s so blasé about the thought of Marlena dying. Eh, just pop one of the clones out and replace her. Easy peasy.

And that would be a fascinating twist, giving Hall a “new” character to explore while still playing the same one. The true Marlena could be gone, so this clone Marlena could have her memories, but take off in new, different directions. She could be her own person, maybe with her own, almost-Marlena personality.

But even that would likely lead fans to revolt. So, no, what if the Marlena that’s dying is one of the clones, and her death kickstarts a whole new storyline that will end with the real Marlena returning to take her place? It’s not that far-fetched now that we know about the clones, seeing as how Days of Our Lives has pulled something like this before.

At a table at the Bistro, a wide-eyed Marlena looks to a concerned John

“Did you seriously not realize that wasn’t me, John? Again?!”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

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Andre, after all, ran around pretending to be Tony for years. It would, though, be the first time it happened with a heroine of Doc’s caliber.

The question would be, when did Rolf make the switch? And why? Has it been a matter of months… or years? If she was a clone when Satan was running around, shouldn’t the devil have had some idea that he was running around in a Marlena knockoff?

Could it stretch as far back as when Stefano was still alive? Would he have taken his beloved Marlena and put her on ice to keep her “safe” in some way? Or maybe keep her ready for his return? Oops, missed that one, sorry, “Stevano.”

There are so many questions, but when we’re talking about Marlena clones (which is something we never thought we would be, but should have), the sky’s the limit to the answers. So brace yourselves, because pretty soon Days of Our Lives’ new motto may be: Marlena is dead! Long live Marlena!

Check out our photo gallery covering the life and times of Dr. Marlena Evans — or was it one of her clones?