Steve & Kayla—Stockholm I (5)

Note: This is the fifth in a series. The series starts here: Steve Stalks Kayla

Kayla is taking a huge risk by gambling on this man, and she knows it. She doesn’t immediately plunge into wholehearted pursuit. Making the decision to pursue him—and to get him to trust her—is different from actually doing it, and Kayla is trying to figure out how to proceed. At the same time the fragile bond between them begins to be noticed, and everyone agrees: Kayla deserves better.

Except Kayla.

In Stockholm, Steve is shot. Hope calls Kayla for medical advice, and when Kayla hears that Steve is hurt, we can see how much it matters to her. She doesn’t think, she acts. She goes to Stockholm.

The moment when the wounded Steve sees Kayla so unexpectedly, Kayla who has flown all night to come to him, is to me the moment when his attraction, longing, trust, and desire for her all crystallize irrevocably into love. An angel of mercy, dressed in luminous white, stepping forward from the shadows into the light. His momentarily open, vulnerable expression of pure joy is almost painful to see.

Her coming is such a definite step, a positive, no-argument mark of attachment, that it’s the elephant in the living room. So how do they act around each other? Why, the same as usual. As we’ve seen many times before, Kayla bandages Steve as Steve shoots off his mouth. They both retreat into their familiar roles as they engage in a very funny conversational fencing match, eyeing each other across the thicket of their defenses.

They each seem to want the other to crack first. Finally Steve decides that if verbal sallies don’t work, try brute force. He reaches over, grabs the back of her hair and says harshly, “Why did you come here?”

Kayla throws it right back at him. “Because my brother is in trouble. Why else would I come?” There’s a touching mix of defiance and vulnerability in her manner. I think she’s challenging Steve to acknowledge that there’s something between them.

At this moment Hope comes in, breaking the tension. But later, when he’s sleepy from a sedative, he tells her he appreciates her being there. That’s enough, for now.

When Steve is feeling better (quickest recovery from a gunshot wound, ever!), he and Kayla go back to the tattoo parlor to look for clues, and find a hidden camera. They are forced to hide overnight from the police (pressed up against each other in a confined space, naturally). Coming back the next morning, they are confronted by a suspicious and disapproving Roman. “Tell your brother what nasty old Patch was doing to you all night long,” Steve sneers, deliberately coarse from a combination of agreement with the sentiment (Kayla has no business with someone like him) and a desire to shoot the messenger. The truth hurts.

Later, Roman does his best to warn her away. When Kayla repeats her soon-to-be mantra that there is “another side” to Steve, Roman acknowledges it: “Okay, so he’s got a few good points. It doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s got a stack of bad ones a mile high.” And going in for the kill: “Those bad points are are not just going to disappear with love of a good woman.”

This is the crux of the matter. Kayla knows it, so she sidesteps. “I am not in love with him.” When that doesn’t work, she ends the argument. She doesn’t try to further explain her incipient faith, or justify the course she’s embarking on. She just says she’s an adult and she can make her own decisions. That night, after listening to Steve needle her all day about “Ro-Man,” Kayla marches over to Steve’s room to tell him the same thing. If she thinks this will make Steve take her in his arms, or tell her how he feels, or even noticeably react, she is disappointed. This is wary, defensive Steve, and he stonewalls her. If she needed confirmation that Steve is not going to meet her halfway, this is it.

Back in Salem, after seeing Steve get Max to talk, seeing again that flash of innate goodness that keeps tantalizing her, Kayla ventures further out on the limb. She tries the direct approach: she asks him to dinner at the loft.

Steve, disarmed, accepts. After Kayla leaves (they’re at Shenanigans), Chris pulls Steve aside and attacks Steve’s weakest point: “I am asking the good man [in you] to leave Kayla alone.” Everyone—including Steve—makes the assumption that it is the bad man in Steve who is interested in Kayla and the good man who will push her away. It will be a long, hard road before Steve can see that the truth is precisely the reverse.

Steve makes his way to Kayla’s regardless of Chris’s warning, but when he runs into Bo, who gives him the same speech, it’s too much. He drops the flowers he’s brought, and leaves. He goes to a bar and gets picked up by a hooker. What a comedown! But Steve feels this is where he belongs, this is the best he can have. He brings the hooker home with him, and stands kissing her outside the door, where Kayla comes upon them. She runs away in tears (Steve doesn’t see her), and then Steve changes his mind and sends the hooker on her way. Steve is caught between longing for more and being unable to settle for less.

When he goes to the Emergency Center the next day to apologize, a cold, angry Kayla slaps him and throws him out. As angry as Kayla has been in the past, she has never treated him like this. This is it. The shoe has dropped. And again, Steve’s self-loathing tells him it’s no more than he deserves. “Look at you, man,” he jeers, hitting his reflection in the mirror. “Who do you think you’re kidding?”

But Kayla gets another visitor at the Emergency Center. It’s Florence, the hooker from the night before. A very chatty Florence, who lets Kayla know that a “terrific hunk” gave her fifty bucks and “didn’t even want anything!” This sends Kayla over to Steve’s to apologize. (He still stood you up, Kayla!)

What follows is a thrilling scene, where all the issues that have been percolating for months are brought out into the open. She accuses him of running away because he’s afraid; he tells her he’s doing her a favor by getting out of her life; and most importantly, they argue over who he really is. He says, “What kind of a weird fantasy do you have about me, Kayla? Do you think there’s a knight in shining armor in here just dying to get out?” Is the real Steve the one Kayla sees, or the one everyone else sees? Is he nasty old Patch or a knight in shining armor?

Kayla denies that she is mistaken about him—“I have seen you do good things!”—and passionately argues that she’s not going to let others’ perceptions dictate her actions. “I have a mind of my own, I have a heart of my own, and I will give my heart to whoever I want!”

And there it is. Kayla is taking the plunge, throwing the dice, stepping out into thin air. Though he surely knew or suspected her feelings, and he’s been stonewalling her or pushing her away for weeks, Steve can’t help but succumb to this declaration. He moves to take her in his arms, she takes a step toward him…

Then that soap opera classic: the Timely Interruption. The first of many. Argh!

Go on to part 6: Stockholm II

Go back to part 4


19 thoughts on “Steve & Kayla—Stockholm I (5)

  1. Gotta tell you – just love your commentary. Really brings me back to why I love the Steve and Kayla story. Looking forward to the next installment!

  2. Hey, I’m actually going to Stockholm in September. I’m going to try to find Helga’s while I’m there (and some missing treasury bonds if I get half a chance). 🙂

    Great analysis MP. This is probably my all-time favorite storyline for overall goodness. I might like pieces of others a bit more than I like anyone piece of the Stockholm stuff, but overall, it’s the best.

    My favorite part of the scene in Steve’s apartment after he stood her up is when, right after she gives the classic “heart of my own” exclamation, Steve gets this amazingly tender and vulnerable look on his face and just says softly “If you’re trying to tell me something, baby, please just say it.” And she says “don’t you know what I’m trying to say.” I swear, it’s the moment that could have cut a good 6 months off their courtship if Bo hadn’t walked in when he did.

  3. Hey, ESP. Don’t forget to jump down into the sewers below the streets. 😉

    This storyline is where Bo became the pre-Adrienne…the interruption before anything good happens. The date, her nearly admitting her feelings and while at Helga’s when they are arguing.

  4. That’s true, Bo was almost as good as Adrienne, although he never interrupted at quite the same kind of moments as she did. And, funnily enough, she was apparently running around Stockholm at the same time (which I never, ever did figure out what that was supposed to be about).

  5. I always thought Adrienne being in Stockholm was a little wierd considering that she was supposed to be this poor girl on a limited income.

    Hey esp, while you’re in Stockholm see if you can find that funky chamber that Steve and Kayla get trapped in and almost drown. I always thought that chamber was a little odd also – but loved the “wet” look. 🙂

  6. I think Adrienne in Stockholm was the only way they knew to introduce the next storyline so that viewers knew someone from Steve’s past had found him. Probably at the time, they hadn’t worked out exactly what Adrienne’s status would be quite yet so they quietly dropped the fact she had followed them to Stockholm and even the part where she saved their lives in the sewer.

    I mean, can you imagine Adrienne then being savy and in control enough of following them down into the sewers then calmly turning off the water and walzing away undetected? Judi Evan’s Adrienne fell to pieces if she couldn’t find the phone book. (Don’t yell at me. I love Judi Evans but I had no idea until I rewatched the scenes that Adrienne back then was so needy, so….OMG, she was so Belle like in the way she needed both Steve and Kayla.)

  7. Thanks, everybody!

    esp, I’m with you on the awesomeness of “Please say it”/”Don’t you know what I’m trying to say?”. I love how that little dialogue exchange illustrates a key element to their relationship at this point: the only way she can get through to him is by letting him see her own vulnerability. He needs to see it before he can open up even a little. And her saying, you already know this.

    And yeah, that look on his face … wow.

    Adrienne is a good example of a well-done needy character. I don’t know if any other actress could have pulled it off. She had to be needy for Steve to respond to her, but if she wasn’t sympathetic it wouldn’t have worked as well. I’m sure some people probably were annoyed by her, but I loved her—at least at first. When she was with Justin they were a little too sticky-sweet for me.

    Kathleen—it doesn’t make sense, does it? Days always tried then to get their storylines to overlap. They were probably overly zealous this time by having Adrienne following them around Stockholm. That scene of her on the plane with the picture of “Stevie–age 5” was a pretty good shocker, though. I still remember how intrigued I was.

    I thought they were really in Stockholm too! Esp, you’ll have to tell us how well Days simulated it.

  8. I liked Adrienne overall, although I wanted to throw things at her for her lousy timing. But, she was also the person who supplied the liquor that led to the Drunk!Kayla scenes which easily rank in the top 3 of all Kayla scenes, so I couldn’t be too upset with her.

    I’m looking forward to my trip to Stockholm. A stop at Helga’s, a visit to the tatoo parlor, a walk through Old Town, a little adventure in the underground sewers — somewhere in there I ought to find those pesky bonds.

  9. Hi, marypickford! I’m really enjoying this series and your blog. It’s a great excuse to watch this stuff again… as if I needed one.

    I liked early Adrienne because she had this gritty undercurrent in addition to the neediness. There was the flask mentioned above, and her whole manner which was so like Jo’s. I’ve only seen Justin and Adrienne in clips, but it seems like she lost this in the aftermath of the rape, which was too bad.

    The hooker scene is one of my favorites. The look on his face when Steve realizes this woman isn’t honestly interested in him absolutely breaks my heart. And it magnifies the value of what he’s just walked away from. Of course, since someone posted that the actress was SN wife, I’m always distracted when I watch them now.

  10. well, I loved Adrienne too. But I think I really just like her post reveal when Steve has accepted her as his sister. They have some great scenes together. I love the one when Jo is having her surgery and they sit in her room talking. Awwww. *Feeling sentimental*

    My favorite part of the hooker scene is where she goes and talks to Kayla. LOL. I just love how on TV when a guy turns a hooker away, they wish they could have been with him. But the fact that Kayla goes to Steve to apologize with that rose is so awesome.

  11. Hello, lska! Thanks for visiting my blog. I always enjoy reading your posts at TWoP.

    I had no idea that the woman who played the hooker was SN’s wife. That’s funny. I was thinking as I watched the clips this time that she had a very authentic hooker “look”—pretty but not polished, a little bit trashy looking. Now I feel bad for thinking that.

    SN really makes you feel his comedown in his scenes with the hooker. That whole failed date scenario is great. Back in 1986 I knew something was going to go horribly wrong as soon as Kayla had her little “fantasy” about it—I knew that fantasy sequence wouldn’t be there otherwise! I was covering my face with my hands like it was a horror movie or something. Even on rewatching I would have to cover my eyes at the moment where Kayla sees him with the hooker.

    I didn’t watch the whole thing with my eyes open until just now for this blog post. I hope you guys appreciate what I went through for you.

    ETA: Hee, Tripp, that hooker sure liked Steve an awful lot, huh? Who can blame her?

    Hands down, my favorite Adrienne/Steve scene is the one soon after Duke’s murder trial when Steve and Adrienne talk about Duke and then Steve tells her he loves her. The way her face lights up and she says, “I love you too” and throws her arms around him always brings tears to my eyes.

  12. I had the chance to visit Stockholm a few years ago, and it took me awhile to realize that the Old Town footage was filmed in California–the yellow buildings looked pretty darn authentic.

    I think the hooker issue IS the issue for Kayla. She could probably have lived with him standing her up. But her weakness is that she thinks he’s not going to find her sexually desirable enough, that all of his advances were just teasing, not real. So to see him with another woman at the moment that she’s put herself on the line is too much.

  13. And also (sorry to post again in a row), I do find it interesting that Chris has started to see that Steve HAS a good side. A few months before that, he wouldn’t even have tried appealing to his good side. People may not understand it at that point, but it’s starting to become more visible, thanks to the relentless onslaught of Kayla.

  14. Ha! It’s ironic, isn’t it? The “good man” that Kayla is bringing out in him is the one who is going to push her away. (Of course he pushed her away for many different reasons, but “for her own good” is one of them.) It’s funny how Chris, Roman, Bo, and Steve are all united in their opinions about this.

    This is somewhat related to the (very astute) point you make above about sex and shyness/insecurity. It’s funny how reticent they both are about it—even Steve who is so brazen on the surface. One of my favorite moments in that fight is when Steve says, “You’ve got no right to spy on me—and who I sleep with or don’t sleep with is none of your damn business.” I thought it was nice attention to character to have Steve feel touchy and angry on this point. He’s remembering how humiliated he felt, for one, to be with a hooker in the first place, and then even more humiliated to be caught NOT sleeping with her—because what he’s really touchy about is his finer feelings, the ones that made him send her away. If that makes any sense.

  15. That does make sense Mary. He’s mortified to be caught with the hooker in the first place but it bugs him him even more that she knows why he couldn’t sleep with her.

    And Julian makes a good point to with Kayla feeling like Steve wants someone different than her. Sadly, she never got over that insecurity which rises again when she and Marina have that final confrontation before the horrible woman’s death.

  16. I always notice that Peter Reckell is just a little late on his cue to knock on the door. You can see S&K pausing just a but unnaturally, waiting. Its as if everyone on the set, include Reckell, were so caught up in the drama and their unflinchingly honest and great acting, that he forgot to knock.

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