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Background: Victor Kiriakis

Victor Kiriakis is a subject near and dear to my heart.   Played by John Aniston, he came into Salem in 1985 as a suave, debonair millionaire -- a Greek tycoon whose roots were in the small, Midwestern town.  But we soon learned that the suave exterior cloaked an villainous interior.  Victor was the head of a drug cartel and ruthless, a Greek version of John Gotti, if you would.

Victor also was the perfect foil for Shane Donovan -- think Victor as Blofeld to Shane's James Bond -- and even though he wreaked havoc on the lives of the other Bradys, especially their mother Caroline, who was his former lover, and Bo, who learned he was the product of the affair, I don't think Victor was ever better than when he and Shane first matched wits and he preyed on Kimberly.  But a little explanation of how that came about is in order first.

Before Victor arrived, Shane and Kim had progressed from the friends stage to being lovers.  (More on that in a later essay.)  But, as would become habit with their relationship, the brief moments of happiness would soon be derailed by some crisis.  In this instance, the return from the dead of Shane's wife Emma, who turned out to have been brainwashed by the terrorist known as the Dragon.  Brainwashing was a major plot device of Days in the 1980s, most notably with John Black, who was brainwashed and implanted with Roman Brady's memories so that he thought he was Roman for numerous years.  But going back to Emma's return, it drove a wedge between Kim and Shane, who felt responsible for Emma even if he no longer loved her.  Here's a nice angsty scene < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvHrapjcWUY > where she leaves him in London after Emma's return.  (Emma also turned out to be a destructive bitch who tortured Kim at every turn.)

Emma's return was not the only crisis.  Kim's vision problems progressed, resulting in complete blindness, originally believed the result of a virus but when that went into remission, the blindness remained due to emotional strain.  When Shane found out (courtesy of Kim's brother Bo's housewarming present < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WklOADHD3bs >), Kim pushed him away (Part One < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM5XE4nKaC4 > and Part Two < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PyVw9DkNuM >.

So that set the stage for Victor's arrival.  He breezed into Salem and set his sights on Kimberly.   Initially, he was a source of support, someone who could be a friend, but did not come with the emotional baggage that she had with Shane.  Eventually, she moved into Victor's house, much to Shane's dismay, because he knew Victor's true background and was investigating him for the ISA.

Shane's investigation led to a number of classic scenes as Shane and Victor squared off in a series of competitions.  There is a great six-part set of clips on YouTube titled "Shane vs. Victor," I'll link the scenes where Shane explains his plan to his superior, Nickerson, in Part 3 < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJuAbUBRIH8 > and where he faces off with Kiriakis at his private club < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dzFAGgM5Qg >.

Soon after, Kim regained her sight and figured out that Shane was investigating Victor.  Insisting on helping him from inside the Kiriakis house, she continued to pretend that she was blind and remained there even as she and Shane renewed their relationship.  He had a penchant for using his secret agent training to sneak into her room < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq0HeFIlWyg >.

Eventually, the action moved to Miami.  Victor found out Kim had been faking her blindness and forced her to break up with Shane.  It also turned out that Victor was involved in a bigger game a competition for three prizes: the Purse, the Power, and the Pawn.  The Purse was a treasure of Victor's, the Power was freedom from international law enforcement (provided by Shane's boss, Nickerson), and the Pawn was a man of unknown origin (who later turned out to be John Black).  In Miami, Shane, whose ISA cover was betrayed by Nickerson and now known to Victor, infiltrated Victor's house to try to find evidence of his illegal dealings and repeatedly escaped Victor's attempts to kill him using roundabout means like tricking Shane into falling into an alligator pit, placing a poisonous tarantula in Shane's bed, and sabotaging Shane's boat in a yacht race.  (That Victor definitely had style).  Meanwhile, Victor grew even more brazen with Kimberly and planned on forcing her to leave the country with him once his competition was over. 

Events came to a head when, on the final day in Miami, Shane got trapped in Victor's library while trying to decode a book that he thought contained the details on Victor's drug and prostitution operations, but actually revealed that Bo and Hope were about to walk into a trap.  The doors were on a timed lock, so Victor was going to wait until 4 p.m. and, when the doors opened, kill Shane.  Kim did the only thing she could under the circumstance -- seduced Victor long enough for the doors to open and Shane to escape < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv5MuSrfpmY >.  Victor is arrested and returned to Salem.  (They have a meeting at the jail, which is referenced by Victor in the prologue of the story < www.youtube.com/watch > ). 

In that last video, both Kim and Shane make statements about Victor that are quite premature, as Victor not only gets released but does not get out of Kim's life.  Far from it.  He finds out that he might be the father of the child Kim soon learns she is carrying (Andrew).  The single event of Kim sleeping with Victor to save Shane becomes the key event that governs the next few years of their relationship, as Kim keeps secret what she did, Andrew's paternity tests are switched by Emma so everyone believes he is Victor's son, Andrew is kidnapped for nearly a year, Kim stands trial for Emma's murder, Andrew is found, Kim loses custody to Victor, Andrew's true paternity is revealed after he is hit by a car, Emma's true killer is captured (she turns out to be Shane's ISA partner), and Shane and Kim finally get married.   But more on some of those events later.  I will post one more set of scenes, because they really are critical to the entire Victor/Kim/Shane dynamic -- the scenes where Shane finds out that Victor might be the father of Kim's baby.  Parts 1 < http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=wYuYlCrIiB0 > and 2 < http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=r5Yvw5kMTJw > show Shane finding out.  Part 3 is the brutal scene where Shane confronts Kim about her lies < il.youtube.com/watch >.