This is another reason I love the Frankie and Max storyline. It marks the very beginning of the Steve/Kayla/Jack triangle:
Joseph Adams (Jack #1) isn’t even a twinkle in the casting director’s eye yet, let alone Matt Ashford, and Billy-Jack is already an important player. We even catch of glimpse of the baby in one of the flashbacks (with, presumably, Harper and Camille!) — so, come to think of it, that baby is actually the first Jack.
Steve has been insisting that if they call Social Services, Frankie and Max will be separated. Kayla doesn’t see how he can be so sure, so he tells her: the same thing happened to him. What this scene does beautifully is show how much Steve trusts Kayla already, as he tells her about the little brother he lost. I love everything about this scene. I love how his pain is obviously still raw, and I imagine this is the first time he has ever opened up to anyone about this. I also love the moment when Kayla reaches out to him tentatively, and he lifts up his arm to ward her off. He can’t accept sympathy in that moment, without falling completely apart.
But, as wonderful as this is, they don’t try to do too much with it. Kayla doesn’t change her mind about calling Social Services. They keep fighting and working at cross purposes. The best follow-up to this scene — in this storyline — is when Steve pleads with Kayla to help reunite the boys, even if it means breaking the law:
He grabs her and says “Look at me … is this what you want Frankie to turn into?” (And oh, Kayla’s eyes here, looking into his face so searchingly — incredible. This is the first of many times Steve would grab Kayla and demand that she look at him — but she never saw what he expected her to see.)
What he essentially says here is that his life all went wrong from that moment, when he lost his little brother. This is so important for what comes later, when Steve gives up Kayla for Jack. If we don’t believe that this was a pivotal moment, the pivotal moment, in Steve’s life, we don’t believe he would do that. It’s a hard sell, but I absolutely buy it — and it all starts here.
And, I just have to say, it’s nice that baby brother Billy can draw Steve and Kayla a little closer here, given that later he is going to rip them apart. The little baby Steve is talking about with such pain, and Kayla is listening to with such sympathy, is going to rape Kayla.