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Stefano reappears in his hospital bed this week, on the brink of yet another new lease on life.

"He's coming out of a coma," affirms Joseph Mascolo (Stefano), cracking that "everybody was in a coma during the writer's strike and under the regime that regulated his powerful alter-ego to a vegetative state. But all that's changed now, thank goodness."

Mascolo, who was written into oblivion after Marlena injected Stefano with a mysterious drug in January, admits he "was very angry" about the move. "But the trauma of losing my father was at the same time, so I was not in a happy state of mind," concedes the actor. "Also, it was failing the audience. They had such expectations, then it turned into pudding."

Yet he had faith in his good friend, Days Executive Producer, Ken Corday, would remedy the situation, and he didn't disappoint. Corday phoned Mascolo in June proposing his return.

"Ken and I have a special relationship," says Mascolo, noting Corday wasn't happy with the turn Stefano took during the writer's strike, either. "He called and said, 'Let's see if we can now take this step that we should have.' So here I am. I'm hoping the change and writing staffs can get it right this time; that Stefano takes control and gets back into Machiavellian mode."

That should be no problem. During his coma, "Stefano wasn't able to communicate, but he was aware of everything going on around him. So he knew who all the rat bastards were," chuckles Mascolo.

Stefano returns bent on revenge, particularly towards Marlena, who put him into the coma. "Marlena should be spanked. She's going to be his first (target)," says Mascolo, who assumes Stefano will want his mansion back from half-brother John, too. "I imagine he'll say, 'I hope you enjoyed your little stay. Now get the hell out!''

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SOW: Look who's back... · DAYS: News, Spoilers & Discussion