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Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (6)

Can’t we all just get along?

Well, EJ and Nicole’s plot to turn the tables on Days of Our Lives’ Stefan didn’t exactly go as planned. And that may be just about the understatement of the year. There was so much covert cup switching going on, we thought we might have been watching a magic trick.

Stefan and EJ could sit down civilly now that it’s clear that everyone knows what’s going on and hash out their differences. But that’s not really the DiMera way. Well it is, headwriter Ron Carlivati told Soap Opera Digest in their most recent issue, but only on the surface.

The brothers do sit down to hash things out and promise the fighting will stop, but neither of them mean it. At all.

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“They’re two alpha guys that have a bit of a dark side to them,” Carlivati explained. “they’re both willing to play dirty when they have to, and now they’re going to war with each other in a Stefano-like way.”

Seeing “Stefano” and “war” in the same sentence is never good. He was the type to go scorched earth in his wars. Still, it wasn’t that long ago that EJ was promising Nicole that he and Stefan were just having a little brotherly fun — for DiMeras, that is! Sure, they might try to ruin each other a bit, but nothing permanent. Except things have changed now.

“They don’t need to be pretending,” Carlivati told Digest, “they don’t need to be smiling to each other’s face and drugging each other behind their backs.”

And don’t expect Nicole or Gabi to try reigning them in either. Lines are being drawn in the sand, and these two power couples are facing off against each other. (Sorry, Li, but you aren’t in this equation!)

Each brother wants to strip the other of power in DiMera, but if they end up fighting each other unfettered, they could lose everything. All they may do is show the world (and especially Wei Shin) that neither of them are fit to run the company as “It goes from cat and mouse to the gloves coming off, where it’s more open warfare.”

In the DiMera mansion, a grave-faced EJ grabs Gabi's arm. She glares at him.

Who will be left standing if they destroy each other’s chances of running the company? Tony or Chad would both be the logical choice to swoop in and pick up the pieces. But Tony’s never really had that cutthroat edge and Chad’s been trying to get away from the family drama and start life fresh after Abigail’s death.

But there are other DiMeras. There’s Megan, but she’s not just in hot water, she’s got the ISA hunting her. She’s an international fugitive and criminal. That may have worked for her dad in running DiMera, but times have changed. Barring some major international pardon, she’s out. Peter Blake is out there, but we haven’t seen him in decades.

And that leaves Kristen. She’s in hot water, but soon, the women whose deaths she’s supposed to be responsible for will be returned alive, Megan will be revealed as the real culprit and the orchid she kept alive may be responsible for bringing Bo fully back to himself. (At least we think? Why else is Megan keeping it around?)

And once that happens, all that Kristen will really have done was brainwashing Stefan… and that hasn’t hurt Li all that much. He’s still walking around a free man with his DiMera shares. At least until Gabi finishes her six-month sentence, er, marriage.

Would Kristen want the top chair? If she thought it could benefit her in some way, then sure. No matter how you look at it, though, the DiMeras are in for one bumpy ride.

Is there anyone else you want to see in the top spot? Stefano had plenty of offspring as you can see in our DiMera family photo gallery.