Stefano devil Mardevil Joseph Mascolo mashup jpi NBC getting
Credit: Paul Skipper/JPI, Jill Johnson/JPI, NBCU Photo Bank

Long live The Phoenix. 

We know, we know. After briefly surmising that the devil wasn’t the one behind these contracts and the run-around that Days of Our Lives‘ Marlena, Kate and Kayla were getting in the afterlife, it looks like he is the mastermind after all. But as much as he’s worn his welcome out after last year’s possession shenanigans, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

Why not? Well, because of who we could — nay should — be getting as the ultimate evil in the Days of Our Lives universe: Stefano DiMera!

So far, the folks Orpheus’ victims have met in the afterlife have been a mix of doppelgängers like Susan and Adrienne and cameo returns like Jordan and Nick. Granted, they all turned out to be Nick in disguise, but you know what we mean.

Now, though, the ladies have demanded to see Nick’s boss, the devil, after having inadvertently sold their souls for three crisp, clean two-dollar bills. They want out of their contracts, so it looks like they’re going to have to take their case to Satan himself — which means the show’s going to need to show him when he’s not possessing a character in Salem!

And they’re going to need him to take a form we all recognize as true, unfettered evil. Who else would fit that bill but Stefano?

Joe Mascolo "Days of our Lives" Set NBC JPI Stefano reading the paper

“‘Breaking News: Stefano to Be Replaced With a Computer?’ I think not! Heads will roll if this happens!”

Credit: Paul Skipper/JPI

Of course, unless Days of Our Lives has the money for a convincing deepfake AI video recreating Stefano, we can’t imagine the late, great Joseph Mascolo appearing in the role. (And even if they could, that feels disrespectful to the great actor’s legacy.)

But that doesn’t mean we can’t get Stefano… or maybe we should say, “Stevano.” Think about it. The last time we saw Stefano he had taken over Steve’s body, so when he was “killed” for the (possibly) final time and his “essence” destroyed, that’s who he looked like.

So why wouldn’t he adopt the look from when Stefano pulled the wool over Kayla’s eyes, convinced Kate to go along with his mad scheme and made one last ploy for Marlena? Because in the end, we can’t think of a single character, dead or alive to better embody the devil himself… or perhaps be the devil himself?

Stevano and Gina plot on Days

“‘Breaking News: Stefano to Replace the Devil.’ Now that’s a story I can get behind!”

Credit: Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

More: Judi Evans recreates the ultimate flashback!

Hell (pun intended), we don’t even know the rules here. We don’t know where in the afterlife the ladies are. Why would Nick be allowed to run around doing the devil’s bidding in heaven? Everything is up in the air at the moment.

So what if the devil, after failing in Salem not just once, but twice, was demoted, and a soul as twisted as Stefano took his place? If anyone would want to claim Marlena, Kate and Kayla (if only to stick it to Steve one last time) as his own, it would be The Phoenix.

Look, at this point of the story, all bets are off, and it feels like all rules are off too. So if anyone should be revealed as the ultimate evil behind the curtain, then by God, it should be Stefano.

What makes Stefano the best candidate for the devilish job? Check out our photo gallery of his top 10 crimes to see why!