Steve & Kayla—Honeymoon in Handcuffs (4)

This the fourth in a series. The series starts here: Steve Stalks Kayla

This part of the Steve and Kayla story is all about trust and faith, suspicion and betrayal. Trusting someone enough to take them at their word. Trusting someone enough to ask them for help. Can Kayla trust Steve? Can Steve trust Kayla?

We start with a relationship that is devoid of trust—Steve’s and Britta’s. They have a final confrontation on the pier where he discovers the pictures she took of his tattoo. He doesn’t know what the pictures are for, but he knows that she had an ulterior motive for seducing him that night. He’s angry at her, but also at himself, for getting “sucked in” again by Britta (for trusting her), and his rage drives him to threaten her life.

This obviously serves the plot purpose of having Kayla overhear and give her a reason to believe that Steve is guilty of Britta’s murder. But it also does much more. As low as Steve sinks here, this is a step in Steve’s redemption. Steve draws a distinction between himself and Britta for the first time. He says, “We’re not the same. I don’t play with people’s feelings the way you do.” And also for the first time, Britta acknowledges the difference. When she says, “I loved you … the only way I know how,” she’s saying she knows her love is lacking, and implying that his is not. This paves the way for Kayla to later honor and value Steve’s love for Britta as something good about him, while realizing that the relationship was bad and unhealthy.

But that’s in the future. When Britta is shot later that night, Kayla has pulled back far enough from Steve, and she has seen enough of Britta and Steve’s twisted relationship, to believe that Steve might have killed her. She says to Roman, “He wouldn’t do something like this … would he?” She doesn’t want to believe it, but she does. She doesn’t have the unquestioning faith in him that she will have later.

But oddly enough, Steve does trust Kayla, at least enough to go to the Emergency Center for help when the cops are after him. And even more, he assumes that she will believe he’s innocent. The betrayal he feels when he realizes his mistake is heartbreaking. (“Why don’t you call me ‘Patch’ like everybody else?”) He wants her faith in him, but he won’t try to convince her, or even ask her, to believe him. In fact he seems to go out of his way to convince her he’s guilty, first by acting like more of a thug than ever, then by telling her, “But I’m a murderer. And I killed somebody that I once loved.”

Soon after, Steve is “arrested” by two cops who turn out to be fake (they’re working for the as-yet-unknown bad guy). Because Kayla is there, they grab her too, and handcuff them together. They escape and take refuge at a hotel (still handcuffed together), where they are mistaken for honeymooners by the slightly loony innkeeper. This little interlude is unique in Steve and Kayla’s history, because even though they’re on the outs, the scenes are light and fun. This is a relief after the heavy drama they’ve just gone through. They have to pretend to be happy and in love for the innkeeper (“Pretend you love me if you love life,” Steve says between gritted teeth), they needle each other and argue about food and sleeping arrangements.

After a night spend handcuffed together in the honeymoon suite, building up unresolved sexual tension—prepare yourselves for a long wait, you two—they deal with the handcuffs, and are ready to go their separate ways. Thinking he’ll never see her again, Steve asks Kayla if she still thinks he killed Britta. At first she makes a noncommital response, which he accepts. Then she asks, “Did you love Britta?” Kayla is trying something here. She’s inviting Steve to convince her he’s innocent. This is what he wouldn’t do at the Emergency Center.

So he opens up, a tiny crack. He won’t admit that he loved Britta, not yet, but he says,”She loved me. I could never hurt her. It’s important to me that you believe that.”

And Kayla does: “I believe you.” Steve takes the tiny baby step of simply asking her to believe him, and admitting that it’s important to him, and she does. Poor Kayla. One little crack in the armor, and she’s hooked for life.

After this, Steve allows himself to be convinced to return to Salem. He takes a gamble and trusts her. And at first it looks like the gamble pays off. Roman thinks Britta’s death is due to “more than a lover’s quarrel” and is part of the larger Stockholm mystery; in fact, he wants Steve’s help in unraveling it.

But the district attorney has other ideas, and Steve is booked for murder. This back-and-forth of Steve deciding to trust Kayla a little bit, and getting burned by it, will be repeated several times throughout their early relationship. Each time his reaction is the same: rage. Kayla has to stand up to that rage, to see past it to the hurt behind it, to demonstrate not that she’ll never hurt him or let him down (that would be impossible), but that she’ll never stop trying to do the right thing by him. That tenacity is what makes Kayla the right woman for Steve, not her sweetness, not her gentleness—though those are also important.

And eventually, Steve is cleared, but the trust issue hovers in the air, unsettled. Was Steve right to trust Kayla? Maybe. But that’s progress.

What distance they’ve traveled is illustrated in a scene that takes place just before Steve, Hope, and Roman go to Stockholm. It returns to the other side of the trust issue: can Kayla take Steve at his word? Can she believe him? She discovers that Steve worked for Victor, that he was spying on her and on Bo. She’s angry and in no mood to listen to explanations. But this time he does try to convince her, not that he’s innocent (he isn’t), but that he isn’t as bad as it appears. Kayla says, “Why should I believe you? You’ve lied to me before.”

And he says, “Because I can’t lie to you anymore.” And it’s like he’s poured out his heart. And Kayla knows it.

Go on to part 5: Stockholm I

Go back to part 3

32 thoughts on “Steve & Kayla—Honeymoon in Handcuffs (4)

  1. Excellent analysis as always and I have to say I am very much looking forward to your take on the Stockholm storyline since it has some of my all-time favorite scenes.

    Britta’s murder was certainly a huge turning point for Steve and Kayla. To me, it’s the point that it turned from some undeniable attraction to a relationship of sorts. The “relationship” had miles and miles to go, but I always viewed this as the start.

    Kayla’s simple act of telling Steve that she believed he didn’t murder Britta combined with Steve’s somewhat unexplained need to have her believe in him has always stood out very strongly. It’s a simple, vulnerable moment that is also quite beautiful.

    The other great thing about this part of the story is that it starts the oh so familiar pattern of Kayla trying to convince Steve to do the right thing, Steve reluctantly doing the right thing, and Steve getting screwed over for it, and Kayla moving heaven and earth to undue it.

    As a bonus, Kayla getting Steve out of jail (or trying to) always gave us some great moments with RoJohn. Oh, how I miss RoJohn.

  2. I heart your blog too! Though I do have a question. When Kayla found out that Steve worked for Victor before Stockholm, was it revealed what she knew he was doing for Victor then? I thought that he was spying came out with the stalking news on New Years. *Yes, I need a life.*

    I love this storyline. I get sad because this mini-OTR storyline gets lost compared to the gigantic one in the spring. So many elements to it I love. They are hilarious in the comedy (“Sometimes I think he will be holding my hand the rest of my life” just cracks me up). My favorite part is earlier on when he realizes that Kayla is actually scared of him and then gets angry at her for it. I think Kayla, who is very much believing shot Britta at this point and is scared he might hurt her, still will not bring herself to call him Patch and explains the very reason why she hates that nickname. Hearing explanation hurts him even more.

    However, one thing that irks me….what kind of an innkeeper walks into a newlywed’s couple hotel room with breakfast bright and early?

  3. Tripp, I believe there is a continuity error with the working for Victor thing, but someone correct me if I’m wrong. In the scenes I talk about above, Victor comes to see Steve while Kayla is there. She leaves but stays to eavesdrop. Victor makes a reference to Steve following Kayla for him. Kayla is mad. Steve explains it this way: “It’s true I was working for Kiriakis, and that’s why I was following you around. But I never gave him any real information, just bogus stuff.”

    On New Year’s Eve, I don’t remember as specifically, but I must say it’s a bit screwy. Someone (we never find out who, I don’t think) sends Kayla a copy of a report about Steve following Kayla (who wrote this report? Steve? Like I said, it’s screwy). She quizzes him about it, and it’s like she has no idea he ever worked for Victor. And then the stalking stuff comes out too. SN and MBE do great with the scenes, but my theory is that the HW change happened somewhere in between, which might explain some of the continuity errors and screwiness.

    I have no life, either!

    billyjill, nice of you to stop by. And thanks.

    esp13, I’m a bit nervous about doing justice to Stockholm. It’s so good in so many ways. And if I had to pick a moment when their relationship began, I would also pick that conversation in the barn.

  4. There’s actually a double continuity problem with the NYE report reveal, at least in my opinion. The first part is what you’ve already pointed out — Kayla found out about Steve working for Victor before he left for Stockholm the first time. So, her shock and outrage about the report on NYE was kind of strange.

    The second part is the stalking reveal. When I watched those clips again recently, I realized (and I think you pointed this out in your blog entry about the stalking) that he calls her Sweetness on the phone and then leaves a yellow rose. Since then, I’ve had a hard time believing that Kayla would not have remembered that when Steve called her Sweetness back in Salem (plus the fact that he wasn’t disguising his voice and talked exactly like Steve talks). Since I refuse to believe Kayla’s stupid, I just feel like she had to know that was Steve. And, if she did know, then his reveal on NYE shouldn’t have been a surprise.

    So, in my little fanwank world, I’ve decided that she did know and that it was the combination of seeing it in writing and his crappy attitude (i.e. refusal to apologize) that really ticked her off. This also plays into their conversation in the alley a few days later when she tells him that all he had to do was take her in his arms and say he was sorry and it would have been okay but he couldn’t do that. It may not be how the show played it, but it makes more sense to me.

    As for the report itself, it was Victor who sent it. Bo and Hope stopped by the loft and were there when Steve shows up in his tux. Bo, as usual, is not happy about Steve being with Kayla and he runs into Victor after they leave the loft. He mentions to Victor that he doesn’t like Steve hanging around his sister and so Victor, trying to be Mr. Good Dad, sends the report to Kayla. What’s really funny is that I remember all of the above solely from watching it 20 years ago. Why do I remember this? Because I was soooo mad at Bo for ruining S&K’s NYE that it took me a long, long time to forgive him. In fact, it may be why I’ve never been a huge Bo and Hope fan. It’s kind of scary how certain things just stick with you.

  5. The show seemed to address the continuity error when Steve says to Kayla in the midst of the NYE fight–“Damnit, Kayla, you knew about this.” I suppose it was seeing it in black and white, and exactly how long it went on was what pushed her over the edge, and of course, the Cleveland reveal.

    I think, most importantly, and this goes back to the discussion we’ve been having over on the TWOP boards, is that Steve had done some truly awful things all the way through 85 and 86, and to make him a rootable character, he really had to suffer a lot to make up for it.

  6. Ok, I rewatched the pre-Stockholm clips (LOL, like I needed a reason). And now I realized, Steve tells Kayla in the loft before they leave for Stockholm that he never told Victor any information about her and Bo; he simply strung Victor along and took his money.

    The reveal in the NY showed that he was lying about that (at least in the earlier reports). The surveillance report shows her actions to be thoroughly documented and I think it freaks her out. Steve began to feel bad about tailing Kayla and he wound up lying to Victor which led to him getting beat up for it. But he did leave out that for a certain amount of time he told Victor a good deal of what Kayla was up to.

    *Pretends to go back to reality now*

  7. Tripp,

    That was a brave sacrifice you made on our behalf, forcing yourself to watch all those old clips. I commend you for it.

  8. Oh, I forgot about Steve saying, “You knew about this.” That helps. That supports Tripp’s theory that it was the thoroughness and extensiveness of the spying that unnerved her.

    esp, thanks for the info regarding Victor sending the report. I have no memory of that! I’m glad the NYE reveal is not as screwy as I thought.

    But you bring up a great point about Kayla not putting the pieces together re: the stalking. I was struck by that too, when I rewatched the clips last summer. Hm, creepy guy in Cleveland stalking me calling me “Sweetness,” creepy guy in Salem following me around, calling me “Sweetness.” And then she saw him in Cleveland when she went back there, right outside her apartment. It’s funny to think that maybe she knew all along—that would explain returning the picture of Britta to him, that she found in her apartment.

    She does seem pretty shocked when she says, “That was you?” on NYE, though.

  9. Oh, I don’t think she put the stalking thing together at all until NYE. I asked about her being a bit dim not putting a guy calling her “sweetness” in Cleveland to a guy calling her that in Salem. Fans told me that in Cleveland she never actually hears him say the “Sweetness ” word because she hangs up the phone beforehand.

    And no I didn’t rewatch those clips. LOL. I don’t like watching stalking Steve hiding in Kayla’s closet at all

  10. Yeah, she was pretty shocked on NYE so that doesn’t work with my fanwank, but it just bugs me to think that Kayla couldn’t have put 2 and 2 together with the stalking thing. It’s not just the “Sweetness” remark, it’s the sleazy way Steve talked to her on the phone and the sleazy way Steve talked to her in Salem, and then, as you point out, him showing up in Cleveland again.

    I just have to believe she figured it out or was at least pretty suspicious, but didn’t really WANT to know, so she didn’t pursue it. Then when he acknowledges the truth on NYE, she also has to acknowledge it and gets mad. Okay, so it still doesn’t really work, but it’s all I’ve got to work with.

  11. Not that I’ve watched the clips a thousand times or anything, but when he says “Sweetness,” she is about to hang up because she thinks he can’t really be following her, and she’s not taking any more of his crap, so she has the phone almost to the cradle when he says it. Then he reveals that in fact he knows exactly what she was up to the night before, and what she’s wearing at the time, and she pulls the phone back up to her ear.

    I also thought that Kayla had some awfully nice friends back in Cleveland who went through all the trouble to get that apartment back in its pristine condition before she came home to quit her job with Dr. Dennison. . .

  12. Besides missing the Sweetness remark, maybe Kayla didn’t put together the sleazy talk to the stalker in Cleveland to sleazy Steve in salem because she was attracted to Steve personally. The guy in Cleveland no doubt scared her and there was no attraction. She meets Steve who says a lot of nasty things to her but instead of feeling scared (like she was in Cleveland), she shamefully is drawn to him and she focuses on that instead of the similarities between the two guys.

    LOL, Julia! I actually always wonder if she ever got her mail from that friend who was going to pick it up and keep it for her. Plus, who packed up her personal items and sent them to her?

  13. Tripp — the instant attraction to Steve in Salem is my best (and pretty much only) rationale for why Kayla probably knew it was the same guy, but didn’t push the issue.

    Maybe whoever packed up her place in Cleveland and sent all her stuff to her is also the same person who packed up her place in LA and sent all her stuff to her this year (well, clothes anyway — she doesn’t need the furniture yet because she is STILL living in the Salem Inn).

  14. I do recall that the loft really didn’t look that different after Bo and Hope moved out, right down to the sheets, so I wonder if Kayla just sent for her personal items and left the rest behind in Cleveland. . .

  15. No, problem Marypickford. I wanted to send you a PM or something, you’d think WP would have that capability (or TWoP for that matter) to make sure it was ok. But then, I figured if you didn’t want people coming to it, then you wouldn’t make it accessable to anyone.

    I’m using my WP blog more in case anyone is interested.


    marypickford, I love the story analysis.

    I found this site from the link from the S& site. I am thankful for the link. I have really enjoyed what I have read so far.

    I need to go rewatch some old clips now.

  17. Here I am obsessing about the past again, but I wonder if you agree with me. When S&K get back to Salem, they have this scene at the loft where she’s offering him a relationship and he’s saying no. I feel like that scene is a mistake. It belongs later. They were closer after that adventure, but not that much closer. I feel like the writers realized they were rushing things and backed off. What do you think?

  18. I absolutely agree. That scene makes no sense for where they are at this time. It’s like the scripts got shuffled and a scene from Stockholm II got placed here instead.

    In fact, in the very next scene, that looks like it takes place the next day, it seems like the scene never happened. Kayla/MBE doesn’t act like someone who just got rejected, and Steve/SN doesn’t act like he knows she cares about him. But they are both dancing around it a little bit in a guarded way—which is perfect for where they are if that scene you’re talking about had never happened. Which makes me think that maybe SN and MBE were part of the decision to dial back a bit.

    The other thing I don’t like about the scene, which is very well acted as a stand-alone scene, is that I feel Steve would react differently to Kayla’s first declaration of her feelings—that he would be more surprised, more touched, more caught off guard. So I generally just pretend it didn’t happen in my mind, and think of the “heart of my own” speech as Kayla’s first declaration (where he does react that way).

  19. yes, that should definitely be the first declaration. And it comes after all the turmoil of the missed date. (Which I also just watched. The way SN plays Steve trying to get up the courage to go to Kayla’s while everyone else in Salem is trying to head him off is just fantastic. One of my favorite parts of this story is the issue of whether or not Steve will ever be brave enough to take a chance on Kayla.)

    You’re absolutely right about the scene in question. It does belong in Stockholm. I never thought of that before. I had actually blocked it from my memory until I was watching the DVDs.

  20. The failed date is a masterful little subplot. So much tension and suspense over such a simple thing, whether or not someone will show up for a dinner date. Bo is really hard to take in that segment, first telling Kayla that Steve will never show up, when she is obviously so eager and nervous. He plays on all of her fears. Then he runs into Steve and makes all of those fears come true, when he sends Steve away.

    It still makes me cringe to see Steve with the hooker, and when Kayla comes upon them and sees them kissing. The show really knew how to twist the knife back then. (And I mean that in a good way.)

  21. Bo was really a pain about Steve. I understand all the anger between them, but it’s always obvious that Steve still cares about Bo. He’s angry, but he doesn’t want anything really bad to happen to him. On the other hand, Bo treats Steve like dirt for a long, long time. Maybe it’s guilt. Maybe the writers wanted to give S&K another obstacle. I wasn’t watching the show when Steve first came to Salem and I haven’t ordered those DVDs yet, so maybe I’m missing something. But he’d tell some story from the past illustrating what a great friend Steve used to be and that would be the reason everyone should reject him now.

    What gets me is when Steve is talking to the hooker at the Heart, and he thinks she’s just being nice for a while, then he realizes it’s all about business. His face at that moment — then he sort of accepts it like that’s all he deserves. Again, the struggle between his hope for love and his fear of hurt (and of himself — whether he’s capable of being loved.) It was so good.

  22. The expression on Steve’s face when he realizes he’s talking to a hooker instead of just a sympathetic woman just breaks my heart. Especially, like you say, because he has this look that this is what he deserves.

    I think they could have made Bo’s role in S&K’s early relationship a bit more complex and interesting. He could still be adamantly opposed to the match, but it would have been interesting to see Kayla find out onscreen how Steve lost his eye, for example. Say if it came up in a conversation where Bo was scolding her about Steve, and Kayla talks about how much Steve has been hurt, and wonders aloud and how Steve lost his eye. That would take the wind out of Bo’s sails.

  23. Yes, that would have been interesting. It would also be interesting to see Kayla deal with the fact that a member of her family could do something pretty awful.

    I was just thinking — Bo is always complaining about Sean and Roman being judgmental and harsh to him, but he’s equally judgmental and harsh towards Steve.

    I thought I had just forgotten Steve and Bo’s reconciliation before Bope left town, but now that I’ve rewatched that period, there really wasn’t one. Nevertheless, Steve went to say goodbye. It was a consistent aspect of Steve’s character — he could endlessly love someone even after they had hurt him (Jo, Bo, Billie).

  24. I always think Kayla knew about Steve following her around some in Salem because she overheard that conversation between him and Victor. But she didn’t know the extent of it or the reasons for it. She didn’t know about the Emma connection or the stalking in Cleveland. She didn’t put that together.
    So, even though she KNEW about Victor, she didn’t really put all the pieces together and then on NYE, all those pieces were sitting there in that report and the extent of it all shocked her and hurt her feelings.

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  26. I never cared for the fake cops/honeymoon/handcuffs bit. It went into the totally unbelievable territory here. And has anyone questioned how they were kidnapped for several days…did either ever have to go to the bathroom…? I know its a soap, its fantasy. But I always found that kind of ridiculous.

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