Poor Steve just can’t catch a break.
First, Kayla encourages him to go to Italy and help Marina find the key she’s looking for, with the goal of getting her out of their lives. So he goes, thinking he’s doing something Kayla wants. He does have a moment of temptation while he’s in Italy, but he gets past it and really seems to have shaken off Marina’s ghost. He just wants to find the key so he can come home to Kayla. When he does find it, some guy stabs him in the (fake) eye. He’s hurt and in pain and, again, all he wants is Kayla. But she’s thousands of miles away and she doesn’t answer the phone, even though he keeps calling and calling. Instead he’s got Marina, who fusses over him and tries to use his helplessness make further inroads with him. He can’t even relax because he practically has to fight her off all the way home. When he finally gets home, he finds out Kayla has left him.
All this is quite deliberate, of course. Steve has been keeping secrets from Kayla for months. He’s been shown to be attracted to another woman. Now the show is making him pay, as a way of gaining sympathy for him, and to balance the scales of power between him and Kayla. And then there’s Kayla’s newfound relationship with Jack. Steve clearly doesn’t know what to make of it, and it bothers him. A lot. When Steve shows up at the house looking for Kayla, he finds Jack there instead. And when Kayla finally comes to the hospital to visit him, it’s Jack who brings her there. And Kayla very deliberately does not explain this; she lets him wonder.
This scene is a good example of that:
You would think there would be something inappropriate about the show using Jack as the person Steve is jealous of, given all the history, but somehow all that history makes Jack the perfect person. No one else would have the same effect. If Kayla were confiding in Marcus, Steve might feel excluded, but he wouldn’t feel the acute dislocation he does with Jack. It shows the distance between him and Kayla and the depth of their problems more than anything else ever could. How far has Steve sunk in Kayla’s estimation that he now ranks below Jack?
The other half of the clip above, of course, has Jack telling Steve Kayla is pregnant. I’m never exactly sure how I feel about Jack being the one to tell Steve. Part of it is just my shipper-ness, wanting a scene where Kayla tells him—although under the circumstances, it probably wouldn’t have been a really touching scene anyway. I also feels like Jack is betraying Kayla’s confidence. But, Jack’s motives are good ones. He seems to be trying to break them out of the stalemate they are in, and he thinks it will amp up Steve desire to make things right—which it does.
Here, Steve goes to find out if what Jack said is true:
One thing that this scene establishes very well is that Steve really is happy about having a baby. That was something Kayla was worried about, and that is laid to rest here. I love how he calls the baby the “best thing that ever happened to us” and “dammit, this is not about Marina, we’re having a baby.” He says it with so much passion.
This scene also provides some balance back the other way. The show has been beating Steve up, and now he gets to be, well, not happy (this isn’t a happy storyline) but at least in the right. Steve is really hurt by this—and he has a right to be. We see Kayla respond to his emotion, his pain. When he buries his face in her neck and embraces her, we get a moment of connection, she doesn’t push him away.
I love that she finally reassures him that she didn’t turn to Jack on purpose, that he guessed that she was pregnant. That makes Steve realize that Jack has been more observant about Kayla than he has. I like to think he’s realizing that Jack was right when he told him earlier that he’s been too caught up in the past to see what is happening right in front of him. That maybe Kayla had reason not to confide in him. When Kayla says, “Do you really think I’d tell him before you?”, it obviously is what Steve believed. He says he doesn’t know what to think anymore, and Kayla agrees, saying, “Neither do I, and that’s what scares me.” Here is one thing they can finally agree on. So sad. But this is the closest they’ve come to connecting for a long, long time, and it shows the bond between them is still there.
Kayla is going to stand her ground—but she opens up to him, to explain why. That in itself is a step forward. She says that all she could think about for the last few weeks was him, and the baby, and how this should be the happiest time of her life—but that this baby doesn’t bring her to closer to him, all it does is make her realize how far apart they are. I love that Steve listens to what she’s saying, but in the end insists that they still love each other and that’s what matters. He says he’s not giving up and “neither are you,” and that’s both a pledge and a plea. I love his vulnerable look when he adds, “… okay?” Steve is starting to get it, that this is not going to be simple and straightforward, where he apologizes and Kayla forgives him. Kayla has always been the one to be understanding and to have faith in them. Now he’s the one who will have to have enough faith for both of them. This is new to him, and maybe a little scary.
After she asks him to leave, I love when he gives her that little kiss on the back of her neck, determined to make a small connection before he goes. And then right after he leaves, the baby moves. This symbolizes their missed connection but it still gives us some hope, as Kayla clearly wants to share the moment with him. And at the same time Steve outside the door marveling at the fact that he’s going to be a father. Great scene.