…. I can write about Steve and Kayla again. I think I understand now how people can say that couples they loved are “ruined.” (I would still never say that, though, because I’m too softhearted, and I always hold out hope for redemption.) Ever since the scenes where Kayla found Steve in bed with Ava, I truly have not been able to enjoy them. Not because he was in bed with Ava (though the scenes there were horribly written), but because of the lack of fallout after it. It made all their interactions seem a little off, somehow wrong. So their scenes today (7/21) were a welcome relief.
We never would have gotten these scenes if Stephen and Mary Beth hadn’t lobbied for them, and if the fans hadn’t followed suit by writing letters and posting on Dena’s blog. It’s baffling to me that getting these scenes had to be subject of a letter writing campaign. To me, the emotional fallout is the whole reason to have contrived scenarios like psycho ex-girlfriends at all. Otherwise, why bother? The show spent weeks building up to the the Big Shock, and then shrugged and abandoned the whole thing.
So, given the delay, it was nice that the show gave us a specific trigger for the fallout to happen now—Steve and Kayla are bringing Joe home when they find Ava looking at Sami’s apartment across the hall. Here they are, out of the hospital, back in the real world, and suddenly Ava is there again. It was a nice touch when Kayla said she had run out of patience, because it implied that she had been burying her emotions about Ava, until now.
Part of the reason these scenes were so necessary is that Kayla needs a reason to forgive Steve (and so do the viewers). It never made sense that he was willing to just dive into bed with Ava without any guarantee that doing so would actually save anyone’s life. If he was trying to trade sex for freedom, it was a really stupid way to go about it. But if he was trying to gain her trust, with the very Steve-like goal of sacrificing himself permanently for Kayla and the others, it makes more sense. His line about being in a “shallow grave” highlighted the sacrifice he thought he was making. This explanation also better preserves his love for Kayla. Their fidelity to each other, unique on soaps, really is a part of what makes them special.
When Kayla asked him why he hadn’t just told her about Ava to begin with, they made it clear that Steve didn’t remember her until he saw her in Ireland (nice clarification there), and reminded us that he was trying to protect Kayla’s pregnancy. And Kayla’s perfect response was that it didn’t work, that Joe was born early anyway, and Steve keeping her in the dark may have contributed to that.
Steve saying that he couldn’t ask for her forgiveness or love, because he never deserved either of them, hit on another important point, the fact that it has seemed like Steve has taken both of those things for granted ever since he came back. While Steve certainly loves Kayla, he hasn’t seemed to appreciate her or what she’s been through—the 16 years alone, Billie, BSC Steve, now Ava. He’s been happy to be reconciled with her, but he’s shown none of the self-loathing and guilt that I would expect from Steven Earl. So I particularly liked the line that the worst thing for him was that she would think he had abandoned her, because it showed some awareness of everything he’s put her through.
The final hug was perfect, with Steve pulling Kayla in and her hanging back a little but then going to him. It showed the tentativeness of the reconciliation, and didn’t tie it up too neatly. I doubt we’ll get much more after this, but it was still a great note to end on. For a brief moment, I felt that I was watching the couple I remembered and loved.
screencap days 2