I like the wicked, but slightly crazy, vibe that Tamara Braun had in the flashbacks today (3/4). It shows that despite Steve’s characterization of her as a “good kid”—the tepidity of that phrase warms the cockles of my S&K shipper heart—Ava was always a little bit off. I loved the seediness of the scenes, too, it was such a contrast to the scenes with Kayla.
Seeing “Patch” with Ava reminded me of how Steve acted with another relationship in Steve’s past. No, not Britta—she was bad, but Steve was her victim, not her partner. And not Marina either. Savannah. Here she is in a scene with Steve, getting drunk and taunting him:
Savannah was Steve’s partner in crime when Steve was a bad, bad boy. I always admire how authentic Stephen Nichols seemed as a bad boy, when (this being daytime) he didn’t swear, didn’t smoke, didn’t sleep around, and didn’t even drink that much. After he met Kayla, he hardly did anything criminal. And yet for a long, long while, he was very convincing as a dangerous, low class thug. Stephen did it all with his intensity.
Steve and Savannah were never involved, romantically or sexually, they just worked together running scams for Victor. Where Steve was edgy and intense, Savannah was cheerfully amoral. Shannon Tweed was a former Playboy bunny (I always thought Steve’s nickname for her, “Love Bunny” was a reference to that), who brought an amused self-awareness to the role that I found refreshing. Sometimes I thought Savannah was the most well-adjusted person on the show.
Even after their partner in crime days were over, they used the relationship to interesting effect. The scene above is part of what I like to call Steve Johnson’s Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Night—he was rejected by Kayla for trying to give her a gun, then found out Britta betrayed him, threatened to kill her, had his pain mocked and laughed at by Savannah, got drunk, found out about Britta’s death, cried for her alone in an alley, and then went home to find the cops waiting for him, ready to arrest him for her murder.
Another great Savannah/Steve scene is earlier than this, where she watches him attempt (unsuccessfully) to offer to walk Kayla (who she called “Carla”) to the hospital. She says, “Nice try for an amateur,” then she lets him see how it’s done when she pretends to hurt her leg so her gold-digging target, Neil Curtis, has to check her out. Steve leaves without a word, but gives her a look of grudging admiration on his way out.
There’s always a lot of talk about Steve’s friendship with Hope, and how it’s too bad we don’t have male/female friendships on the show anymore. I agree. Steve and Savannah weren’t friends, but they had something in common. Steve summed it up once when he told her, “We’re just a couple of wharf rats.”