I really hope the show does have a few unaired scenes with Joe in the vault somewhere. I can't think of another reason why it's worth pretending he is definitely still alive. I know, I know, he's the Phoenix, blah blah blah, but when an actor isn't there to do the work himself you can't pretend that the magic isn't gone.
You'd think Days of Our Lives would have taken a cue from The Bold and the Beautiful's Sally Spectra mess. The actress is long dead and gone but they keep talking about her character as if she's off on some Grand Vacation well into her 70s surrounded by cabana boys. Yeah, cuz that's realistic.
I was actually pretty worried that I would find a Peggy Memorial tasteless because they were artificially creating hoopla around Will and his impending demise that was only going to be undone in a matter of seconds. The fact that they had his grandmother appear to him and send him back was actually very touching, so I'm going to give them a pass on that one. Also, I suspect the show was caught off guard by Peggy's passing and just had to insert the memorial into whatever stories were already in play.
Overall this show doesn't do exits very well. When they brought back Bo for the 50th they wanted us to all be super happy, and then super emotional about them immediately killing them off. You can't have it both ways. You can't just push buttons and expect the viewers to be happy and sad one minute to the next. You have to earn those reactions and the show is incredibly manipulative about what it wants to milk from the viewers on any given day. I was completely checked out of the recent Marlena in a coma storyline because it had been done much better in the fall with a lot more buildup.
And I fully agree with those who think Jack should have stayed dead. I don't say this out of any dislike for the character - it's just that I think that the writers did a decent enough job over the course of the last few years of showing what Jennifer was going through without her husband, what JJ was going through without his father, and how people in real life have to move on no matter how painful it is. Bringing a character back from the dead should be a very rare occurrence and something the fans can get really excited about - not a once every 3 months cheap thrill.
The show had no freaking clue what to do with Andre after he returned for the 50th. He was Stefano's keeper, all the while scheming again Stefano, but then again not really, but maybe...then he was trying to avenge Stefano after Hope murdered him and Rafe helped cover it up, which was a really weird flip cuz I was actually rooting for Andre in all of that...then he was manipulating (sigh) Chase and Aiden...then he was becoming Abigail's best friend...then he was bedding Kate, which made no sense...and then he was murdered.
Strangely, even though I initially had no idea who Anna was, watching her walk around with that urn in Prague and in Salem, watching her try to date Roman again and try to deal with her grief...it was actually the most interesting part of anything that happened with Andre and Tony for me these last few years. I hate that that's all about to be undone. I actually thought it was kind of a nice storyline for Anna to have, considering how rarely she appears on the show. Seeing her struggle to deal was kind of moving. What the hell was the point of all that if they were just going to bring her lover boy home inexplicably?
I will say this: if TP comes back as Tony, I hope he's lost the gut. Andre was, in my mind, the one with the big belly who let himself go because he's a villain and shouldn't give a crap. It would be nice if there was something at least a little bit different about Tony.