Kayla finds out

Steve finally realizes he needs to tell Kayla the truth and deal with the problem of Marina. That is the cue for everything to blow up in his face.

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I love the drama of Marina yelling “We were lovers, Steve!” (over and over again), as the camera slowly pans over to Kayla in the doorway. Great end-of-the-episode shot.

Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans, especially Mary Beth, are both outstanding in this scene. She perfectly conveys the depth of Kayla’s betrayal, hurt, and anger, as well as her acute embarrassment at being played for a fool. When Steve tells her his relationship with Marina was a long time ago and Kayla asks “how long?”, it’s clear from how Mary Beth plays it that Kayla thinks it might have been just a few weeks ago. That alone perfectly captures how much her trust in Steve has been shaken.

After Kayla runs out, Steve goes after her and tries to talk to her. But he just makes everything worse. When he calls Marina “Marina” instead of Donna, that makes Kayla feel like even more of a fool. The picture here is of Marina and Steve, united by their secret, with Kayla on the outside. And when Steve says that he wanted to kill her, Kayla snaps, “maybe you just wanted her, period.”

This is really the crux of the whole thing, and it’s really amazingly well done by the show how much everything seems to point in that direction. Almost everything Steve says, even though we can see where he’s coming from because we saw him go through it, just manages to reinforce the impression. This is something that I think Steve can’t quite grasp, because he knows how he feels—that he loves Kayla, not Marina, and he wouldn’t betray Kayla that way—and he can’t quite see how it appears to Kayla.

My favorite part of these scenes, though, is when Kayla, after all the times she pleaded with Steve to tell her the truth, absolutely refuses to hear him out. She says flatly that she’s not in the mood to hear stories about his past now. It’s just perfect payback for Steve.

But what’s most important is that Kayla is in control of the situation. As hurt as she is, she’s the one making the choice. These scenes make a good contrast to Steve and Kayla’s early relationship. Back then, she had to have all the faith, she had to meet him more than halfway. She often had to reach out and be understanding even when he hurt her. When he stood her up for the failed date, when she found out about how he had stalked her in Cleveland, Steve never apologized. Kayla just had to tell herself, “I know he’s sorry, and that’s enough.”

That Kayla, the one who was willing to be extra understanding and do most of the work, was permanently altered, I think, when Steve broke up with her for Jack. She got Steve back but she never got her naivete back. I think she is determined never to be destroyed like that again, not by Steve, not by anyone. We’ve seen it happen, too, we’ve watched Kayla change. When Kayla pressed charges against Jack for the rape, for example, she knew that it might cause more problems for her and Steve, but she did it anyway. That time, he had to meet her halfway.

And this time, he’ll have to do even more.

I loved the Kayla that ran headlong into brick walls because she thought what was on the other side was worth it. But I also love the Kayla who refuses to.

7 thoughts on “Kayla finds out

  1. I’ve been looking forward to reading your post on this clip since you posted it at youtube. 🙂 I have to admit, the first half with the reveal feels like soap cliche to me. The second half is fantastic, though, and feels more grounded in the characters.

    I especially like the comment about how Kayla’s reaction here is shaped by everything else she’s been through with Steve. Some people wonder why she didn’t fight harder for Steve during this phase of the story, the way she did in earlier stories. But her refusal to do that here helps put them back on an even footing, as it signals to Steve that she is not willing to always do all of the heavy lifting, and that there are some struggles that she won’t nurture him through. Wonderful scene.

  2. Aw, thanks, lska.

    I think that’s really a key thing about this storyline, the fact that we see Steve fighting his way back to Kayla, instead of Kayla fighting for Steve. I really think the show sowed the seeds for this quite well, not just with Steve’s actions here but in how Kayla has changed since the early days.

  3. I love this set of scenes. I agree with lska that the early part is pretty much a conventional soap reveal, but MBE’s reaction shots make it work even at that. I love how Kayla focuses almost entirely on Steve and it almost feels like Marina’s presence is irrelevant for a moment.

    And when they go outside, it just gets better and better. I love how Kayla shies away from his touch and when Steve says he’ll follow her, she tells him not too. And, like MP, I love the Kayla who refuses to run at walls and be so understanding every bit as much as I loved the Kayla who did both. This is, in it’s own way, Steve still reaping the effects of the damage he did two years earlier when he broke up with her for Jack’s sake.

  4. I love how Kayla treats Marina as irrelevant, too. I do love the moment when Marina says she’s sorry and didn’t want Kayla to find out this way, when Kayla gives her that withering look and says, “Really.” It says so much. But for the most part Kayla is focused on Steve, as she should be.

  5. I also love these scenes, though I don’t really have anything to add. You’ve said it all so well! Still, it’s nice to see Kayla showing her inner steel again. But she always seems so devastated when he hurts her, it breaks my heart.

  6. I got annoyed hearing Marina say over and over that they were lovers. Too much. I think if Steve had been honest with Kayla who this woman was and told her everything then I think Kayla would be the fighter she always is with them.

    But when you are told lie after lie and being shut out your trust and faith in that person is not as strong as it used to be. Kayla is human and she will have doubts. Even though she found out they were lovers Steve still wasn’t honest with her about everything. She didn’t want to hear anything at that moment but later on when she came back home he still kept things. I don’t get why Steve didn’t tell her he and Marina were married after that.

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