Call me Patch

Awhile back, esp13 and I went through the Steve and Kayla clips together, from the closet in Cleveland to the honeymoon in the Orient. Since I know I have some readers out there that are as obsessed with S&K scene analysis as we are, I thought I’d post a snippet. (And if y’all like this, I’ve got more, lots more! Hee!) This is our discussion of just one scene, when Kayla thinks Steve is guilty of Britta’s murder.

I looked for this clip on YouTube, but couldn’t find it. So I had to upload it myself—and in doing so figured out how to embed videos here. (Actually, it’s embarrassingly easy.)

Some background: Steve and Kayla are just getting to know each other when Britta comes back to town and throws a monkey wrench into their growing friendship. Kayla sees them together several times, arguing. She also sees Britta in Steve’s room after having obviously spent the night. All this makes Kayla take a big step back from Steve. One night, Steve finds out that Britta only slept with him one last time to get a picture of his tattoo. In the ensuing confrontation, he threatens to kill her. Kayla overhears. Later that night, Britta is murdered.

This is the next morning.

Link if the embed doesn’t work for you

maryp: I want to say at the outset how much I love this little triangle. It’s great drama, the best kind, where everything flows from understandable character motivations. I can’t think of a way they could have structured this whole thing better. I love that Kayla doesn’t have faith in him here, because it’s such a different dynamic than they have later. I also love that Steve still has feelings for Britta, instead of it being all One Big Misunderstanding. It’s all very “real,” which is what is so great about early Steve and Kayla. Later plots like the senator’s shooting are more contrived and soapy (though still really fun). But here, it really is believable that Steve could maybe snap and kill Britta.

esp: They really set up everything perfectly for the moment that Kayla hears Steve threaten Britta. She’s stepped back and built up a few of her own walls by trying to see him only as everybody else does. She’s seen him be quite menacing and threatening to Britta in the Emergency Center. She’s even heard Britta tell her that Steve’s dangerous. And now she hears him very specifically and angrily threaten to kill her. When Britta shows up dead and seems to name Steve as her killer, there isn’t much left for Kayla to hold on to.

maryp: I’d like to say one more thing about Britta before we leave her to rest in peace. The wrongs she committed against Steve were never righted before she died—she never found out she was wrong about Steve, or wrong about Kayla. She never got her comeuppance. This final betrayal by Britta is one that drives Steve further back into himself, which is a good leaping off point for our love story. If Steve had evened the score before she died, it would have been more about Britta than about Kayla. As you so brilliantly pointed out in your last message, no matter how much he loved Britta, he’s never been truly loved in return.

esp: I have to give MBE kudos because she really does convey a real fear of Steve when he first shows up. If she doesn’t sell Kayla’s fear, then the rest of the conversation really doesn’t work nearly as well. But, she does sell it — completely.

maryp: My heart just breaks for Steve during this scene, because it doesn’t occur to him that Kayla will think he’s guilty. And when he realizes his mistake, it’s another nail in the coffin. He thought she saw him as a person and not just a “Patch,” and when she thinks he’s guilty, well, it kills him. His reaction, though, is really telling, and I think fits with his reaction when she called him a “thug”–he acts scarier than ever. I just love the way SN says the line, “But I’m a murderer, and I killed somebody that I once loved.” There’s so much menace there, and he’s almost smiling, and yet behind it we can hear his hopelessness.

esp: It is a heartbreaking scene for Steve. Particularly at the beginning when he doesn’t know that she heard him threatening Britta or that Britta said his name when asked who shot her. All he knows is that she thinks he killed Britta just because of who he is — “Patch.” And all he can do in response is try and prove her right by being as scary and menacing as possible. Even when he realizes why she thinks it could be true, it’s too late. He’s already been betrayed, so to speak.

maryp: But, sigh, I have to admit that this is a very fine Kayla Brady moment. Because here she is, alone with a possible murderer and he’s grabbing her and acting threatening, and she answers his questions honestly and even says “I think it’s terrible that they call you Patch, and I just won’t do it.” The other part I love is when he says, “But I’m all bad, right?” and she says, “No,” immediately, and then hesitates before saying she’s seen him care about Max. That hesitation is perfect. Her feeling that there’s more to him is so complex and so, I don’t know, private, maybe, sacred, that she just picks the safest example in Max.

esp: I love that moment when, in the middle of everything, she tells him exactly why she won’t call him Patch. Because her answer is evidence that she isn’t pretending to be different, she really is different from everybody else. I also love that she’s still telling him that he’s not a bad guy, that she’s seen the good side of him. It shows that deep down she still can’t just see him as some thug. It’s beautifully played on both parts because both come off as sympathetic characters. We know Steve’s being accused of a crime we know he didn’t commit. But, Kayla also generates sympathy simply by being honest and trying to help even though she has been intimidated and semi-threatened, and is clearly unsure what to believe.

I think it’s important to lay the groundwork as carefully as they did to protect the very essence of the Steve and Kayla romance — namely that she sees a different side of him from everybody else, and believes in him when nobody else does, and he needs that belief like he needs a drug. If Kayla could just believe that Steve killed Britta based on nothing but the conversation on the pier, then it would undermine the supposed faith she has in him, even this early on. But, by setting it up with several different incidents, it provides a strong basis for having significant doubts about Steve’s innocence. And, it sets up for the next big step forward when she does finally believe him.

maryp: Yes, they did a beautiful job with this. This is perfect example of the step back having the step forward built into it. They could have played this very black and white, a complete seesaw from suspicion now to belief later, but instead they gave Kayla every single reason in the world to believe that he’s the worst he could possibly be, and yet there’s a seed in there, that seed of belief, that we saw in the Andrew kidnapping and even more importantly here.

esp: I also think Kayla’s physical fear at the beginning is based on the way Steve chooses to approach her. By grabbing her and restraining her, he immediately freaks her out and she can’t hide that response. And, I love the scene at the end, just as he is about to leave, where he tells her she doesn’t have to be afraid of him. It’s very sad and sincere and I think goes a long way towards convincing Kayla that, if nothing else, there is more to the story.

maryp: I think the reason Kayla doesn’t give him up to the cops is because of what they say, “He killed once, he’ll kill again.” Even though Steve just acted in a really menacing way towards her, that core of belief tells her he won’t hurt her. If the cops had said instead, “If he’s innocent, he’ll have nothing to worry about,” or some such thing, she might have given him up. Of course, she still wants him to turn himself in, but she has just enough faith restored to reject the cops’ version of Steve.

esp: It’s funny, I think MBE does a great job of showing Kayla really is scared when Steve first shows up at the EC. But, I think she does an equally fine job of showing that her fear was really an initial response based on the circumstances and not really how she feels about him.

maryp: I think it’s the difference between a primal, physical fear for one’s safety vs. mentally doubting someone’s guilt or innocence. At the beginning of the scene, Kayla has that physical fear based on everything she knows about the evidence against him, but by the end of the scene that physical fear is gone, even though her intellectual opinion of his guilt is still uncertain. Her body knows the truth of his innocence before her mind. And, of course, this seed of belief sets up the great moment in the barn, when she tells him she believes he’s innocent. The two scenes are like mirror images of one another, with the delightful on the run adventure in between.

For those of you who can’t get enough, here are some setup scenes:

Steve warns Britta away from Kayla … and Kayla calls him a “thug.” I think this scene sums up why I love this triangle, because the angst is so realistic and believable (and heartwrenching)—though you have to ignore Amy Stock’s acting. I uploaded this one to YouTube also. 🙂

Britta tells Kayla Steve is dangerous
Kayla puts the smackdown on Britta.

Britta’s Death 1
This is the beginning of the arc of Britta’s murder (what I like to call “Steve Johnson’s Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Night”).

Britta’s Death 2
Kayla hears Britta name Steve as her killer, Steve is out getting drunk.

Britta’s Death 3
Steve shows up drunk at Kayla’s door, but it’s Hope who gives him the news that Britta is dead.

And for those who like happy endings:

Kayla tells Steve she believes him


18 thoughts on “Call me Patch

  1. I do so very, very much love this part of the Steve and Kayla storyline. Really, everything up to the first kiss is about as perfectly written and executed as any love story on daytime TV, and I’d argue almost anywhere else.

  2. I’m glad you posted this, MP. It’s fun to reread (and I think you fixed all my many typos). I so much enjoyed going through the entire love story with S&K. It really pointed out how each moment built on a previous moment in such an organic way. The step back, step forward dance they did was beautiful in every way.

  3. Oh COMMENTARY!!! How very DVD of you! Hee.

    Let me ask, Mary, you once preferred Britta for Steve than Kayla but by this time I presume you were already won over by Kay?

    Sigh, now I want to go watch S/K clips.

  4. Um, Tripp, you’re going to make me admit very embarrassing things. Yup, when I was a teen I still preferred Britta for Steve at this point. I loved angstful Steve, and she brought out that side of him. I cringe watching Amy Stock’s acting now—her screaming is terrible. I do think she can be effective in the moments of silence, just playing off of SN’s intensity.

    Anyway, I liked Kayla a lot, but I was unsure about a love story for them. Given Days history of over-redeeming people, I was afraid that Steve would become domesticated and “good,” ie boring. I loved my bad boy Steve, and I didn’t want that to change.

    And in the end, it did sortof happen (Steve being over-redeemed), but it happened to Kayla as much as it did to Steve. And what a ride getting there! I think it’s a testament to the show, that they were able to win me over to Steve/Kayla, and this storyline is a big part of that. It put the Steve/Britta relationship to rest in a very effective way, so that fans of that couple could be won over.

    It’s actually really fun for me to rewatch clips with the different perspective I have now, and remember how I felt at the time. It’s an interesting comparison, and adds to the facets of this whole thing for me.

    By the way, the reason the scene above, the “call me Patch” one, is one of my favorites is that it was the first scene back then that made me think I could maybe ship Steve/Kayla.

  5. Ah yes, MP’s hidden Britta love. We had a little fun with that.

    But, it’s funny because she did convert me a little bit. Not to having any real affection for Steve and Britta, but to the idea that Steve’s relationship with Britta was real and the fact that it was very real was very important to Steve and Kayla’s relationship. Steve and Kayla’s love story isn’t minimized by the idea that Steve really did love Britta. It actually enhances the story.

  6. Aw, I’m so glad I could convert you a little bit, esp. I think it definitely enriches the Steve and Kayla love story that Steve had really loved Britta, and was loved but betrayed by her. It reinforced his association of love with betrayal (his mom, after all, loved him too), and made what Kayla was offering him so much more special.

    Also, the fact that Steve really loved Britta was part of what made Kayla see another side to him, going all the way back to the picture she finds in her apartment in Cleveland.

    Anyway, I just love how they used Britta’s return to drive a wedge between Steve and Kayla, but then to ultimately bring them closer together—when she believes in his innocence, and when he is able to open up to Kayla a little bit about it all.

  7. I loved the way they used Britta’s return as well. It was perfect timing for Kayla to make a conscious decision to step back from Steve after growing closer during the Frankie/Max storyline. Then, in true soap fashion, they used that as a way of throwing them together which forced them to become even closer than they had been before Britta arrived. It was genius in many ways.

  8. Kayla’s step back is the other reason I love this storyline. It makes for a unique time in their early history because Kayla was chasing Steve for so much of it. Also, I think having this pullback makes her decision to go for it (in the barn, with “I believe you” ) so much more meaningful. Her decision to go after him is partly because she can’t help herself, but partly a very deliberate one. I just love that combination of strength and vulnerability.

    And it’s so angsty (in a good way) because she steps back just as Steve is realizing how much he cares for her (of course she cares for him too, but she is trying to pull back from that). So Steve is getting it from both sides: he’s got one woman who he still has feelings for, who knows just how to twist the knife and hurt him where he lives, and the other woman he’s falling for is trying to put a wall between them. Poor Steve.

  9. Apparently I can’t go a day without an anti-Chan comment, but it occurs to me that what they’re unsuccessfully trying to do with Chelsea and Daniel (two people who have no reason to be together but can’t seem to stay apart) is what they successfully did with Steve and Kayla. Setting aside chemistry issues (for I still don’t see any between Rachel and Shawn), I think one way they’re very much botching the story is by making them both decide to just go for it without too much soul-searching. Daniel says something in today’s episode to the effect that he knows that on paper, the relationship shouldn’t work, but it just feels right and he’s gonna go for it. And goodness knows, he and Chelsea certainly went for it at the picnic with the whole family watching.

    Compare that to poor Steve being drawn inescapably to Kayla, the one woman in the world who seemed truly out of his reach on almost any level. He fought it. He denied it. He ran from it out of fear that they’d both get hurt. He was embarrassed to even hold hands with Kayla in front of her family for the longest time. His internal conflicts created a wealth of obstacles for that relationship, and yet because we understood that so much of those conflicts came out of his understandable fear of both getting hurt and hurting her, we rooted for him.

    If Daniel showed half as much consideration of Chelsea’s well-being, I think I might find him a lot less creepy.

  10. Well I have no affection for Chan, but I agree there are ways they could have made the whole thing much more compelling. Having both of them a little unsure about the whole thing would have been a good start (although I didn’t want to see Chelsea stringing Nick along). Then, having them in each other’s orbit by circumstances (i.e. Chelsea interning at the hospital over the summer) would have created some longing as they inched closer despite their best intentions.

    But hey, just think how much better the S&K love story would have been if they had just seen each other around town, decided that they were meant to be by the end of the Frankie/Max storyline, and started snogging at every opportunity immediately thereafter. We wouldn’t have had to endure months of longing and UST and wondering if things would ever work out. Who wants that kind of stuff anyway?

  11. *sensing anti Chan talk*

    Well, I have a knee jerk reaction when we are comparing (even mildly) chan to S/K. The pairing was botched from the getgo, but what they APPEAR to be doing now, is setting Chan up to be a couple that is going to crash and burn badly which in and of itself is something they rarely do on daytime. Since Paula mentioned Daniel’s “it’s wrong but to hell with it” attitude in today’s show, he comes across as reckless at best but creepy at worst, while today we got bitch/bratty Chelsea back who was selfish enough to be outraged people were not wanting to watch them make out out a family event.

    Um, hopefully this Chan talk doesn’t wind up hurting you though Mary, I’d hate for you to get a certain persistent commenter who is famous across the boards and who won’t leave my anti Chan blog alone.

  12. I’m always blown away by how much there is to talk about in these early scenes.

    The wrongs she committed against Steve were never righted before she died—she never found out she was wrong about Steve, or wrong about Kayla.

    Loved that. It would have been too pat and typically soapy, and the way it leaves her doubts echoing unanswered in Steve’s mind is delicious.

    I loved the way they used Britta’s return as well

    I loved finding out about the timeline of Britta leaving Salem, and how it gave Steve a specific motivation for his particular mania around the time Kayla came to town. It really humanizes him to know that he wasn’t just running around being a prickly (and very funny) jerk.

    I did rewatch the early stuff a while back with the intention of making a Britta/Steve mvid, which never really happened. It was fascinating, though, to look at some of the scenes through more through her eyes and to see her pain at knowing Steve would never forgive her. I also love that they found a way to make Britta’s betrayal of him about sex, but that didn’t involve her sleeping with someone else. (Current writers take note.)

    It’s too bad that the show never picked up on Steve’s fear of betrayal/abandonment to make drama later on in the Steve/Kayla relationship. It was such an absolute point for him — Britta left him and he didn’t care why she had to do it, that was it for him. Would have been nice to see him revisit that place somewhere in his marriage and to see how he’d react differently, although I’m not creative enough this afternoon to think of a scenario that would work.

  13. Well, it could have been an underlying issue when Kayla left Steve after the Marina fiasco. It would have been interesting to see Steve react to that as an abandonment. But, I’m not sure that would have been fair to Kayla since she did have fairly legitimate reasons for leaving. I’m not sure how sympathetic I would have been at the time had the show played it up as a perceived abandonment of Steve by Kayla.

    But, I do think there were slight (very slight) hints of it in the BSC!Steve storyline. When Kayla turns him into the cops and he has that big diatribe against her and Bo in the copshop, there’s definitely an aspect of his anger/fear that their betrayal/abandonment of him. It comes up again when Adrienne tries to break him out when he talks about how Kayla left him there (which breaks my heart every time).

    What I love about the Britta/Steve relationship is that it provides a totally understandable motivation for Steve’s walls. He never had someone love him when there wasn’t betryal ultimately attached (particularly if you include the Marina retcon). So, believing that Kayla wouldn’t ultimately betray/leave him in some way was almost impossible for him. It made for great internal conflict.

  14. Yeah, I don’t think it could have worked well during the Marina story, since Steve was already in the wrong there. I so wish the BSC Steve storyline had lived up to its potential. It would have been a perfect time to explore Steve’s fear of abandonment, at a time (after 16 years of separation) their trust in each other might be more fragile.

    A Steve and Britta mvid, lska? Be still my beating heart! 🙂

  15. I’ll add my two cents; well, maybe 1 cent!!!

    I’m one of those fans that doesn’t necessarily read between the lines; I watch simply for entertainment purposes. And S/K and Britta were pure entertainment! There was always that push/pull that’s needed for any kind of romantic storyline. And truthfully, I felt like the music added to the story. When I go back to rewatch past scenes and the song “The Border” plays, well, it just adds to the heartbreak that’s normally going on in the storyline.

    Thank you for the indepth analysis of the storyline…continue on.

    Sherry S.

  16. Hey, it’s worth a lot more than 1 or 2 cents to hear from someone who doesn’t hate Steve/Britta! Watching the triangle now, even though I am firmly on the side of S&K’s developing romance, I always sympathize with Britta a little bit (if nothing else, like lska points out above, her point of view is interesting).

    And I agree about the music—I think Steve and Britta got better songs than Steve and Kayla, frankly. “Somewhere Tonight” is still one of my favorite songs they ever used on Days.

  17. Britta added to the story; I didn’t see her as a threat…probably because I realized early on that S/K were endgame…there was so much chemistry; I know it’s probably a word that’s overused, but there was definately a connection between Stephen and Mary Beth…and it showed! How lucky we all have been to be part of this couple.

    Sherry S.

  18. This design is spectacular! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!)
    Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to
    say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

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