Today was Steve and Kayla’s last day. It was nice to see overprotective!Steve with Stephanie, and to see flashes of his dislike of the Kiriakises. It reminded me of Steve repeatedly warning Adrienne away from Justin. And I have to remark on the irony of Kayla worrying about FancyJudgmentalFace and Hope and Bo’s latest breakup, when part of the reason she came back to Salem three years ago was because of their last breakup.

They were good scenes, but certainly nothing befitting the sendoff of a popular couple. I just have to keep telling myself that it’s better than being paralyzed or turned into a murderer.

What do you think of our exit story, Steve?

When I look back on the whole of their second run, while it is assuredly filled with disappointments and missed opportunities, there are a lot of good things to remember as well. The reunion scenes. The babymaking scenes. Steve as an undercover agent at the DiMansion. The beginning of BSC Steve. The deprogramming scenes. The fallout scenes from the Ava storyline.

But, ironically—-ironic because of all the times I have trashed JER as a hack writer—one of the best storylines they had was a little mini-arc in 2006, when JER was still writing the show. When Nick Stockton arrives in Salem with Jack, he is not sure he wants to dive into Steve Johnson’s life. But, eventually, he is persuaded to try to find out what happened to him all those years ago. He and Kayla team up and go to Cincinnati, where Steve was living as Nick Stockton, to look for clues. When they go to Steve’s Cincinnati hangout, with all his friends welcoming him and calling him “Nick,” (including a girlfriend, Della) Steve suddenly feels comfortable again, for the first time in weeks. He tells Kayla this is where he belongs, and he won’t be going back to Salem with her.

Kayla tearfully calls her mother from outside the Cincinnati bar, telling her she’s lost Steve for good. In the meantime, Steve realizes going back to being “Nick” might not be possible. This was one of the only times Nick felt like a real character, a man without a past who had built up this small life for himself. Della derisively calls Kayla “Blondie” and Steve lashes out at her. I love seeing Steve like this, in a dive bar, drowning his sorrows … trying not to think about Kayla. And I love the fact that, as devastated as she might be, Kayla leaves, and once in Salem, tries to pull herself together.

Steve reasons that someone went to a lot of trouble to “kill” him and take him away from Salem, and that someone might be a threat to everyone in Salem—including Kayla. This arouses all his protective instincts, and Della confronts him about the fact that he has feelings for Kayla. Steve doesn’t say much, but next thing we know, he’s back in Salem:

YouTube link

If you watch this not thinking about what’s coming next, or the fact that all of these story threads were immediately dropped, it’s really a wonderful arc. I highly recommend going through the whole thing on OLAB, starting with July 26, 2006 and finishing up on August 7.

Screencap S&
Clip courtesy OLAB

10 thoughts on “Goodbye

  1. Great scene! One of my favorites from the return. I agree with all of your comments. At least they got a happy ending, even if TBTB had no clue what else to do with them. Farewell Steve and Kayla. Thanks for the magical ride!

  2. The first time I read this post, I was so sad I couldn’t reply. I’m still very sad, not just for all the wasted stories, but for the lame ending. Why couldn’t they at least give the fans a final scene with them happy and loving in their home, not in the hospital propping Stephanie and Philip?

    But I am grateful for the wonderful characters MBE and SN created and for how they made me believe in them. And there’s always our DVDs!

  3. Flaco, I agree. All I can envision is Steve and Kayla permanently in that hospital room much the way Neil Curtis is lost in the hospital doing rounds, and Don Craig is still looking for a mailbox. If they do bring them back I hope the first thing Kayla does as Chief of Staff is make some changes with regards to patient care!

    Okay, done with the rant. I do love MBE and SN and the way they brought Steve and Kayla to life with so many interesting layers and depth. They conveyed so much more than the written page that it was always a pleasure to watch them. I’ll be going back to my DVDs also and look forward to happier “angst”.

  4. It’s very comforting knowing I have the DVDs. From a fan perspective it makes this an easier pill to swallow, but I’m still indignant on behalf of SN and MBE.

    Poor Don! They didn’t know what to do with him after Marlena and Don broke up, and he just ended up fading away. And Neil deserved better too. He was on the show for so long.

  5. And there’s the upside to all of this. I now no longer have to watch current DOOL. Even on perpetual fast forward, it was very painful.

  6. We all had such high hopes for Steve and Kayla’s return to Salem. I can’t believe that a story couldn’t have been written for two such fine actors. As many fans have stated in the past, I’d watch them read the phone book. It’s a sad day for this fan.

    One other thing, it still boggles the mind that Ken Corday and all involved in the day to day goings on of this soap, feel that fans are disposable.

    Sherry S.

  7. I know, it’s very sad, Sherry.

    I can’t feel that Ken Corday has ever made a good decision about Days, but I also don’t envy the situation he’s in, having to cut the budget by almost half.

  8. Well, you have more sympathy for him than I do. I also feel a massive disrespect. I have no reason to believe this is true, but it feels like Dena had some grudge against them. She refused to write for them until they became disposable.

    On the other hand, I’ve read in other places that ratings are up, so what do I know?

  9. I don’t feel sympathy for Ken, exactly, but if he has to cut the budget by 40% somebody has to go. I wouldn’t want to have to make that choice either.

    And I do feel the way it was done was disrespectful, with no exit story and all. They deserved better.

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