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Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (4)

And no, we don’t mean the heavenly ladies returning! 

In the weeks (Is that right? Weeks?) since Days of Our Lives Brady and Kristen made the horrifying discovery that the life-saving orchid had gone missing. In the time that followed, Kate died, followed quickly by Kayla and, eventually, even Marlena.

But while the show’s been focused on whatever is going on in the afterlife, it’s been glossing over the real mystery — until Orpheus brought it up at the beginning of the week. Who did steal that orchid?

The answer… may not be so simple. And it could open the doors to a huge upheaval in Salem.

Unless it really was Kristen or Orpheus and they’re lying — either as part of some larger plot or self-preservation — there doesn’t seem to be anyone else in Salem right now who would have done it. That we know of. So that means either a new player in town did it… or the return of someone major.

Kristen looks over her shoulder at an open cupboard. A swing arm lamp shines over a plate with nothing on it.

Actually, the real mystery is why the linens are kept in the “secret” room.

Credit: Peacock screenshot

We know the ladies are still around somewhere in the theoretical afterlife. And we know they’re coming back. Let’s face it. We’re not getting this extended sequence where they do battle with the devil just for them to fade away afterwards. Plus, the three actresses dropped this nugget.

With that said, though, there’s still the chance that they aren’t really dead and just think they are. Perhaps they’re caught in some virtual reality device, perhaps their minds are being messed with — maybe they’ve got chips put into their heads. This is Salem, as Mary Beth Evans cracked, Kayla’s removed a lot of brain chips over the years.

If they are alive somehow, then dollars to donuts, whoever stole the orchid is holding them — and using it to keep them alive.

On the other hand, if they are actually dead and will have to fight the devil for their souls (no comment) and likely a return to life in the process, then someone wanted them dead. And that’s a huge deal. Because who else would want to kill three of Salem’s most prominent citizens, but someone with a massive vendetta against one (or all of them) or has a much larger plan in motion?

So far, the show has been focused on the afterlife part of the three supposed deaths, but we have a sneaking suspicion that’s just a red herring. The true story, which has hardly been mentioned since it first disappeared, is who stole the orchid.

Stephen Nichols, Drake Hogestyn, Miranda Wilson steve john megan jpi days

“Pick a card, any card… and whoever you pick is coming back from the dead!”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

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The kicker is that the folks who would have some huge plan in mind would likely be someone we haven’t seen in a while — or someone we thought was dead. Is Vivian about to get out of prison with some plan to use her reborn Stefan to gain power? Is André going to rise from the dead for the umpteenth time just like his father used to and wreak havoc once again?

Or is Megan paving the way in Salem somehow for Bo’s return — on her arm! With Hope, we’d, well, hope, hot on their heels. It seems like it would just make sense for this one big story to lead right into the huge returns we’re waiting for.

Heck, what if Megan and André were working together to impress daddy dearest, himself, Stefano, once more! Crazy? Heck, yeah, but this is Salem! And crazy or not, just imagine if you had a pack of the “bad” DiMeras take on the “good(ish)” DiMeras.

The point is, this orchid theft is just the tip of something big, and something, hopefully, that finally takes us away from the devil and focuses us back on earth!

Sound off who you think it could be below, then check out our photo gallery of the suspects we think could have stolen the orchid!