justin sonny brady xander victor mashup jpi days
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI, Jill Johnson/JPI (4)

Goodbye may just be the start! 

John Aniston’s passing last month left a hole in the heart of Days of Our Lives. But while Aniston may be gone and Victor’s final episode may have sadly aired the day after Christmas, Victor is, technically, still alive in Salem. Maggie just made that clear in her pep talk encouraging Sarah to stick with Xander if she still loves him.

But while the show hasn’t had a chance to catch up to real life yet and send the Kiriakis patriarch out with a funeral fit for his legendary stature, that will change eventually. And once the tears of loss have dried — if not before — we have a feeling the whole Kiriakis family is going to have quite a few other reasons to cry!

Right now, if we’re being honest, the family is fractured. Justin and Bonnie just learned about Xander’s dirty deeds with Ava, Brady’s got his hands full with Kristen, Alex is focused on Stephanie — and keeping Chad away from her — and Sonny’s marriage to Will seems about ready to crumble apart.

Worse, once Victor’s gone, he’s going to leave behind a massive power vacuum. For decades, he dictated who would be running Titan and more often than not, delighted in pitting family members against each other in a twisted game of Succession. But all that CEO shifting had an unexpected consequence: There’s no clear heir to the Kiriakis empire!

Sonny grabs Alex, and shoves a finger in his face on the Kiriakis couch

Alex and Sonny are likely the last two in the CEO seat… but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who want it!

Credit: Peacock screenshot

And that’s a problem because with virtually every member of the family distracted right now, there’s no telling which Kiriakis might come out of the woodwork to try to claim it. Victor was supposedly the last of his generation — but what if that’s not true? We’ve never really learned much about Victor’s brother, Titus, but it seems like he had to be a piece of work to turn out a son like Xander.

When Xander showed up, he was not a good person — kidnapping, murder, money laundering, assorted illegal operations — and that suited Victor just fine because he was useful for the Kiriakis’ criminal branch.

What if Xander’s father is even worse but had been laying low having faked his own death because of a falling out with Victor — and the realization that his brother held the reigns of power in the family. With Victor dead and a power struggle for his empire underway, it would be the perfect time for Titus to return and try to claim everything for himself.

And come on, who better to run Titan than… “Titus?”

But that kind of threat could unite the whole family in Salem — including Xander. In fact, he could be their secret weapon and win his way back into their good graces by pretending to work with his father to take control, only to turn on him and hand his family the win.

Because right now, if we’re being honest, we can’t see much other reason that anyone involved with Xander would want to forgive him anymore! Bonnie and Justin are determined to make him pay, and if Xander somehow manages to stay out of prison, we can only imagine their hunger for vengeance growing.

With a wry expression, Bonnie puts a hand on Xander's shoulder in his motel room. A glaring Justin stands behind her.

Xander’s got few options left to win back his family… and probably stay out of jail!

Credit: Peacock screenshot

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Titus could provide us with a whole new brand of villain, one, perhaps capable of staying power even after he’s beaten back from the Kiriakis empire. He would be the type of villain who could better embody the illicit side of the family that both Victor and Xander represented when they first showed up in Salem.

Even better, Titus wouldn’t be the only resurrection. Bo’s return is already in the works and it seems downright absurd to think that Philip wouldn’t be back for Victor’s funeral — and to team up with his brother and the rest of the family to fend Titus off!

Of course, once he was gone, that would still leave the rest of the family scrambling to figure out who would end up on top, but that’s a problem for another day. No matter what happens, for the first time in years, the Kiriakis clan would be at full strength in Salem, and that’s a win for us all.

Now if only the DiMeras could ever get their act together! Where’s Stefano when you need him?

Take a look at our photo gallery of Victor’s life, loves and family. The Kiriakis clan is extensive!