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.
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.