Determined Steve

One of the most delightful things about the early Steve and Kayla story is watching Kayla slowly break down Steve’s resistance. We get to see her woo him, convince him, try to seduce him, yell at him, or comfort him even when he’s shutting her out. So many of the wonderful things she said to him then—that if they loved each other they could work through anything, that if they take a risk the end result with be worth it—find their echo in this storyline. But this time, the roles are reversed.

This scene takes place right after Kayla has gone to get an ultrasound without asking Steve to come with her. Steve finds out about the appointment and sneaks in to be there, and afterwards they have a confrontation:

YouTube link

This scene is Steve’s wake up call as to how much her faith and trust in him have been damaged. When Kayla says she wishes she could forgive him and everything would be all right, he says immediately that if she forgives him, everything will be all right. This is an echo of what Kayla used to tell him, that if they loved each other they could work through anything. But it also shows how much Steve is used to having Kayla’s trust and forgiveness—from his point of view, they’ve done this before, he’s screwed up, she’s forgiven him, and they’ve worked it out.

This is really the first time that Kayla opens up about all her doubts, and it’s very painful to hear. She says, if she comes back, things are never going to be the same, she can never be that trusting again. She’s wondering if that means that she and Steve are over. It puts it out there beautifully, all the subtext we’ve been seeing. What happens when Kayla no longer has that blind faith? That is, in many ways, the fundamental question in all of this. Kayla was always the emotional rock in that relationship. She believed enough for both of them and, ultimately, Steve found faith in her faith. Now, Steve has to find his own faith in their relationship, and that has to be enough for both of them for a while. Can he do it? He’s never had to before. Even in the rape storyline and the deaf storyline, both stories that showed Steve working hard in their relationship, he never had to face such a strong fundamental doubt from Kayla.

One thing I also appreciate about this time period is how clearly we can see that Kayla not only still loves Steve, but that she really wants to forgive him. (She just doesn’t know if it’s possible, or even if it is, whether their relationship can survive.) This creates an interesting tension where Kayla is fighting against herself. She wants to believe what he’s saying so badly that she doesn’t trust her own reading of it—is it real or just what she wants to hear? At the end of the scene, when Steve kisses her belly and tells her he loves them both, Mary Beth shows how much Kayla is affected by that. I think part of the doubt and pain in her face is not just about the future of their relationship, but uncertainty about how long she can hold out in the face of Steve’s continued pursuit.

This scene takes place soon after the one above:

YouTube link

There are so many great moments here. I love when Steve makes an explicit callback to their early days, reminding Kayla of how much she believed in them then. He says she’s never given up on them, that no matter what they went through, she always knew they’d make it. And we see Kayla weakening a little as Steve goes on that he still believes in them and he knows deep down in her heart, she does too. Kayla tries to say it doesn’t change things, but Steve says it changes everything. It changed him, remember?

Then the moment when the baby kicks is wonderful. This is the first time Steve has been there for it, so he asks if he can feel. I love how the camera focuses on Kayla’s hands guiding Steve’s hands to the right place. It’s just such an intimate moment. Then Steve feels the baby kicking and I love how Stephen plays Steve’s amazed reaction. That reaction is the key to Kayla’s barriers coming down as she kneels with him and says “it’s amazing isn’t it?” And his hands go to her face and for once she doesn’t pull away. It’s a moment showing how much they share despite all their distance. (Note that this is how you use a baby to bring an estranged couple together.)

But, the moment is broken as we hear a crash outside. It’s Marina—of course. And again Mary Beth plays Kayla’s reaction perfectly, the hurt, anger, and hopelessness that they can ever escape from Marina’s presence in their lives.

I also like this scene because it shows both of them making mistakes. Kayla is being a little unfair when she seems to expect that Steve can control what Marina does. She obviously thinks that Marina wouldn’t keep coming around unless he was giving her some reason to hope (perhaps there is some projection going on here—after all, Kayla kept coming around because he kept giving her reason to hope). And Steve isn’t a model of patience, tenderness, and unselfishness, either. I love his cry of “What about me?” at the end of the scene when Kayla is leaving. It hurts to keep putting yourself on the line, over and over again, and to be rejected, over and over again (as Kayla knows only too well). It makes his determination to keep doing it that much more meaningful.


45 thoughts on “Determined Steve

  1. Okay, I admit it. The payoff for this storyline does make it worth all the pain. I kept remembering the infuriating period when Steve was lying to Kayla (again) and the horror of the faux Kayla, but there are also many, many wonderful moments like these. I love Steve’s wonder at the ultrasound and when the baby kicks. SN and MBE always really bring it to those kinds of moments — it’s what always made their storyline work. And I also love how he’s trying to be so patient and understanding with her — before giving into anger and frustration and driving her away. What’s really sad as you watch him talking about how he wants to be a father to his baby is that you know he won’t be — he’ll be “dead”. (Which brings us back to the tragedy of wasted opportunity that was the return — sigh)

    I sort of wish Kayla had shown a little more of her inner steel throughout this storyline — because that is an essential part of her. She’s more than sweet — she’s also the woman who pounded on the walls he built around himself and wouldn’t be denied. And being in a relationship with Steve is tricky — she can’t just trust him because he’ll always think he’s acting for the best and he’s often wrong. So it’s actually not such a bad thing for her to develop a slightly stronger sense of self-preservation. She sort of had after the Jack debacle, but she seemed to lose it again before Marina came along.

  2. Kayla always forgived Steve but sometimes I think when a line is crossed for you personally then it’s not as easy. He has lied to her before but this time she felt they were better than that and they were. I don’t know why Steve had to lie about Marina. He thought she was dead. He just made things worse and caused Kayla to have doubts in them.

    I love this part of the story where Kayla doesn’t just forgive him and he has to to fight for them. He gets shot down but in a way he deserved that. Sorry to be mean but he did. I wish in the second run during the Ava story Kayla would have had the chance to voice doubts and Steve fight for her. That story crossed lines for me but there were similar things about it. When all you get is lies then it’s hard to know what is true because you are so hurt and confused. You want to protect yourself. I can tell Kayla wanted to believe him but was afraid and every time she got close there was Marina there again.

  3. “I sort of wish Kayla had shown a little more of her inner steel throughout this storyline — because that is an essential part of her. She’s more than sweet — she’s also the woman who pounded on the walls he built around himself and wouldn’t be denied.”

    I always felt that Kayla did show that inner steel, just in a different way. She showed it when she walked out of that hotel room early in the storyline and when she walked out after finding out that Steve and Marina shared a past, and when she left him after finding the marriage license. She didn’t stay and just let him mollify her with words of love and promises to fix things. She made him do some hard work and made him carry the load for them.

    And what makes this part of the storyline so great is that he does just that. As frustrated as he might get at times, he doesn’t give up and doesn’t let Kayla give up. He pushes when he can, but backs off when he needs to as well. He gives her the space she asks for, but also makes her face the issue when its required. And, ultimately, all of Kayla’s fears and doubts can stand up to the reality of Steve’s love for her and her love for him. But it doesn’t happen overnight and the reconcilation process is always fragile. And it’s all beautifully done by SN and MBE.

  4. I thought Kayla showed strength too. I think her leaving took strength. She loved Steve so much but she needed to think about herself for once. His dead wife came back and it’s not unrealistic to think maybe he wants her and still has feelings for her.

    The lies and everything broke that trust and faith she had. Something like that takes time to heal. Then she had to think of her baby too. The stress wasn’t good for her. I actually don’t think it would be right if Kayla did all the fighting and understanding all the time.

  5. You’re right, she does show strength in leaving him. It’s just that she seems so sad. I guess I’m looking for a little anger. A little “You don’t get to decide what to protect me from and how to protect me! I’m an adult.” I may be being unreasonable here. I just want to see her fight back.

  6. Well, that anger actually comes up a few times, but a bit later on than these clips. I have a hunch that MP will probably post the one from the EC at some point, but she does express her anger at being shut out quite effectively. And we get a little more of that anger as the threats from Victor become more imminent. So, it does come out, just maybe in a slightly different manner.

  7. I think she is sad because it should be a happy time for them. In the ultrasound to see her baby on the screen should be so great but it wasn’t how she had hoped (she didn’t know that Steve was there with her). I think also that I think Kayla thought they were beyond lies and all that. After they got married they were suppose to share everything. She is the one that believed in them the most. He did too but it was Kayla that was persistant and never gave up.

    Maybe in her mind she was thinking that possibly everything she had believed in was wrong. I think too that finding out they weren’t really married broke her heart. I know it was sad for me. In scenes I could feel her anger with him but I felt the sadness more especially seeing it in her eyes.

  8. It is very sad to see Steve talking about being a father and his plans for the baby, and thinking he’s going to miss all of it. Sad, sad.

    This storyline has so much hurt and pain in it, with not many moments of relief from it. I agree that to see Kayla express anger and basically call Steve out for everything could a cathartic, you-go-girl kind of a moment. She would do that occasionally during their early days when she would give up on him (temporarily) and they usually were fun to watch, and good for the balance of power. But, things are different now, and while it’s hard to see Kayla be that devastated, it totally works that she is that devastated. And her strength is standing up for herself in the face of that devastation, and not just going back to Steve when it’s obvious she really wants to. And we do get those moments of anger too—there’s a scene on the pier right after the ultrasound one above, where Kayla talks about the fact that he’s still legally married to Marina, and there is a depth of anger in her voice when she says, “I don’t know what that makes me, and I don’t know what that makes my baby.” But that’s not the kind of cathartic anger that’s fun to watch. It’s more a manifestation of a bone-deep sense of betrayal.

  9. I think it hurt Kayla a lot that they were not legally married. To her it was a dream come true and she was proud to be Steve’s wife. I remember after they reunited they went to a lamaze class and all the couples were married and they introduced themselves. Steve and Kayla looked awkward and Kayla said he was her husband anyways. Then when Adrienne and Justin remarried she was a little sad they were not married. Maybe in their hearts they were married but legally they were not. I hated that this story made their beautiful boat wedding invalid.

    You have the lies Steve told and then they had a past and were lovers but to find out that this other woman is really his wife and not you was painful. She wasn’t sure about anything anymore and that was understandable.

  10. Myself, I’ve installed a retcon levee that keeps the retcon out of the vulnerable low-lying areas of the original story. 🙂

    A lot of great comments and observations here! I have to agree that I’m not sure what a stronger Kayla would have looked like at this point in the story. About the only thing she could have done was toss Steve out instead of leaving, or maybe had more confrontations with Marina herself. But I think showing her sadness and her doubts is necessary.

    >But that’s not the kind of cathartic anger that’s fun to watch. It’s more a manifestation of a bone-deep sense of betrayal.

    Just in terms of watchability, this may have been a problem for the storyline, just like it was a problem for S&K’s return story. But it’s great to see them play this out so realistically. I’m not sure how else it could have been played and stayed true to the characters and their story.

  11. I actually use the wonderful invention known as “retcon repellant” on any part of the S&K story that could be infected by Marina’s existence. 😉

    I do think that’s kind of the key to being able to appreciate the Marina storyline for all the things it brings to the S&K love story without letting it damage any other parts of that story. You just have to accept it as the retcon it is and not let it invade those earlier moments.

    And I totally agree with lska and MP that this works best because it is played out so realistically and completely in character. It does make it harder to watch in some ways, but good things are often also very difficult things.

  12. I will always love the boat wedding. For me that will always be their real wedding. I loved the snow wedding with the two of them but the boat wedding is the one.

    I wore out my VHS tape from rewinding and watching it so many times lol.

  13. Okay, this is totally off subject but I’m dying to hear your input on this. I started watching DOOL at the time S&K were kidnapped and held in that barn, so I didn’t see the early stuff. I’ve been watching pre-Kayla Steve clips lately. It’s been really interesting. When he came on, he was clearly just an obstacle for Bope. Then, you gradually see Steve emerging. I particularly loved it when he was hiding the Pawn planning to sell him to Kiriakis. Nevertheless, he couldn’t help but get kind of emotionally involved. He worried about the Pawn being frightened, he expressed empathy for him, he fretted about what the Pawn was eating, he played him lullabies. It was classic Steve.

    Now some questions. When did you become a Steve fan? When do you think the show became committed to him as a character and not a menace? I can now understand why you were a Britta&Steve shipper. Why did TPTB change direction on that relationship? (Of course, I’m glad they did.)

    I’m just at the point when Lars (gag) has defected. Steve and Bo seem pretty chummy. Yet later on, Bo seems to hate Steve again. It’s puzzling.

    On a side note, I’ve seen some Melissa/Pete stuff while watching this. Talk about whiplash. They got married in late fall or early winter and by the next summer, Melissa’s all into Lars? So fast moving relationships coming out of nowhere aren’t just a product of the current regime at DOOL. Pete and Melissa were clearly supposed to be “in love”. How long did that last?

    I apologize for this long post, but I’m hoping you’ll forgive me.

  14. Flaco, I’m not the best person to ask because I actually have only seen pre-Kayla Steve in bits and pieces, and not recently.

    To the best of my recollection, I stopped watching Days sometime in 1984 and only watched in bits and pieces until around the time Kayla moved to town. But that summer (1986), I was hooked on Steve right away. I liked Kayla too but I was somewhat anti-recast at that time of my life, and I really had liked Catherine Mary Stewart as Kayla (and I shipped her with Chris, hee!). So I think that made me a little bit wary of MBE’s Kayla at first.

    I was really drawn to Steve’s angst and the way he was a tortured soul, and I liked the way he was with Britta because it brought that out. I was wary of Steve getting together with Kayla and losing his edge and being redeemed and domesticated, after having seen what happened to other grey characters I liked, like Anna DiMera. It’s a tribute to the the writers, and MBE, that they were able to win me over to a redemption story and make me fall in love with them as a couple, and Kayla as an individual in her own right.

    I did go back and watch the pawn storyline in online clips, and I agree that Steve was very Steve-like in that story. And as for Pete and Melissa, I really did like them and was really incensed what they did to Pete in favor of Lars. Other than that, all I can say is I am eager to offer my opinion on your questions, but it will have to wait. I will be watching that era when I start watching my full episode DVDs, which start in late 1983 and will go through mid 1986. They are all in a stack waiting for me to get through the 89-92 stuff!

  15. Just an observation re: Pete and Melissa:

    Recently I’ve been watching more of their early storyline and while I agree that the Lars hook-up bugged (mainly because Lars was such a blah, jerky character), I thought Pete and Melissa’s general break-up was handled rather well and realistically. From the beginning they were established as a Romeo-Juliet couple filled with big teenage emotions, but short on maturity (especially Pete). They married too young, as some teens do. Even at the time of the wedding, Pete was screwing up by lying to Melissa and becoming indebted to Victor, which only led to more lies, more crime, Todd’s death, etc.
    It seemed during the course of their brief marriage both grew up and realized that their teen love wouldn’t hold up to the realities of adulthood. Melissa needed to explore life on her own and Pete needed to become a responsible adult. It was actually a big growth step for him to leave Melissa and return to Ivy and Charlie. They could have explored all these topics and come to the same conclusion without Lars, IMO.

    There is a great scene during Melissa’s infatuation with Jack in which Mickey talks to his adopted daughter about her poor track record in choosing men (mainly as a warning that Jack is yet another loser). It was a consistent theme of Melissa’s character (of course, when your biological mother is a lying, abandoning madame, you don’t start with good role models). I LOVED the send off when she dumped Jack at the alter and went to Europe on her own. It was a GREAT way to send off her character.

    Unfortunately, as we will see soon, Melissa came back rewritten as a singer who pursues Emilio, a Pete redeux. Ugh! Totally ruined my Melissa love.

  16. MP, I will try to be patient. I will say with your love of angst, you’re in for a real treat when you watch the old Steve and Britta stuff. After seeing everything up to the time when Britta leaves Salem, I’m still puzzled over why they decided to abandon that story. Though Amy Stock was really not a good actress, she was better in that early stuff then she was when Britta returned to Salem.

    Melarus, I never saw the Pete and Melissa story and she drove me crazy during the Melissa/Lars stuff (though compared to the unspeakably boring Lars, she looks great). But I really got to like Melissa during the Jack phase. I liked her haircut, I liked the way she was involved in the S&K&J story. I loved it when she told him off at the altar. That should have been the end of that character — especially since they decided to match her up with Emilio.

    It’s too bad the Lars storyline was so lame. A good dance storyline might actually be interesting. At least it would be different from the endless aspiring singer story lines. But Lars was such a creep, the dancing was not good, and they really didn’t commit to the story. I actually work with a lot of dancers and their lives could make good soap — endless struggles to succeed, no money, constant temptations to get involved with other dancers, intense commitment.

  17. Melaraus, I always liked Melissa. I liked her with Pete and I carried on liking her even through the Lars triangle and when she was mooning after Jack. I loved when she finally found her strength to tell Jack off and go out on her own. I agree with you that her return didn’t make sense.

    I am curious to revisit Pete and Melissa, first because I liked them back in the day and I’m curious whether I still will. And, I think they might have been Sheri Anderson’s inspiration for Steve and Kayla. I always loved Melissa’s long, wavy hair, so I’m afraid I can’t agree with you about her haircut during the Jack storyline. Flaco. 😛 I was so bummed when she got that cut!

    As for why they didn’t continue to pursue Steve and Britta, I really don’t know. I’ve always thought it was a combination of Amy Stock’s acting, and the fact that Britta was someone from Steve’s past. They couldn’t do the long drawn out supercouple type story because they already had feelings for each other. I think they decided Stephen Nichols was A-list material and the Britta storyline was more a “B” type story. This is just speculation on my part, though.

  18. That makes a lot of sense, though given all the issues they had, it could still be a pretty angsty storyline.

    Sorry you didn’t like the haircut. Her hair was beautiful, though I do think you have a serious addiction to long wavy hair (cough “Emilio” cough). I think it was more an improved attitude or something that appealed to me. She dressed better. She had always seemed a little too dishraggy for me. Probably because she was always mooning about something.

  19. Hey, I like Emilio but I do draw the line at his hair. 🙂

    You are right that I have an addiction to long wavy hair, though. That was especially true when I was younger—I loved Eve’s hair, too. And Mary Pickford’s, hee! It’s probably because my hair is very fine and straight and I generally wear it short, in a bob.

  20. I have seen very little of the Steve and Britta stuff before Kayla and I admit that I have some trepidation about viewing it (when we finally get there). I have such a deep and abiding love for Kayla and for Steve and Kayla’s love story that I much prefer Britta in the abstract than in person. I love all of the things that Britta’s existence brings to the character of Steve, but it’s easier accepting all of that when I don’t have to see it.

    But, I’ll do it because the story isn’t complete without it and because I do love Steve and SN. And because I think it’s a tradeoff with MP for forcing her to watch the post Steve’s death stuff. 😛

  21. esp, I think we’ve got a good tradeoff going: Stitta for Shayla! 😛 And afterwards we might as well go through the Steve and Kayla stuff again, right? Hee!

    I know what you mean, though. It’s going to be strange to see Steve and Britta as a real couple and not as the contrast to Steve and Kayla. Watching now, I really like Britta as a thorn in Steve’s side, and it’s going to be strange to see them presented as a real rooting couple. I watched a few episodes online of (pre-Kayla) Steve and Britta, I guess about a year ago. It was weird, very weird, seeing them happy. I didn’t quite know how to react to that.

    It will be really interesting to see the development of Steve as a main character, as Flaco was asking about above. And since we’ll have full episodes, we’ll get to see Sheri Anderson’s intricate plotting, always a plus. That might help mitigate the trauma a little bit. 🙂

  22. MP, I loved Eve’s hair, too. And her eyes. In fact, I was deeply envious.

    esp, it’s not painful at all. It starts out a little painful because Steve’s such a bad guy. But the whole relationship with Britta is so flawed that it doesn’t really threaten S&K’s love. And the anguish is really great!

    On the other hand, watching post-Steve Kayla may be too much to ask. I haven’t gotten there yet so I’ll see. I do plan to FF a lot.

  23. esp, I think we’ve got a good tradeoff going: Stitta for Shayla! And afterwards we might as well go through the Steve and Kayla stuff again, right? Hee!

    Yeah, I’d say it’s a fair tradeoff and I probably get the better end of the deal. And I’m quite sure that after watching the entire pre-Kayla Steve story, we will have no choice but to watch all the Steve and Kayla stuff again just to make sure we fully appreciate it. 🙂

    esp, it’s not painful at all. It starts out a little painful because Steve’s such a bad guy. But the whole relationship with Britta is so flawed that it doesn’t really threaten S&K’s love. And the anguish is really great!

    Thanks for the info, that makes me feel a little better. I hope you give the post-Steve Kayla stuff a fair shot. MBE has some amazing performances and there is a lot of interesting things added to the character. Granted, there is some stuff that is difficult to watch, but overall I tihnk MBE is very underappreciated because everybody just dismisses the post-Steve stuff.

  24. Well, esp, now that I’ve watched all the pre-Kayla Steve stuff, I’m very tempted to just go ahead and watch everything again in order. I haven’t decided yet.

    There was one thing that really bothered me in the Britta-Steve scenes. She kissed his tattoo. Logically, it makes a lot more sense for Britta to do that, but I felt outraged because it was such a special gesture between Steve and Kayla. I especially remember it in the safe house and when they were reunited. So there are things that are painful to watch.

  25. Flaco, if that bothers you, then I highly recommend against checking out the details of the Chris/Kayla romance… (Although I keep hoping some dedicated CMS or JT fan will pop up with clips some day!)

  26. Apparently, there was a significant drunk Kayla scene with Chris. (And was there one with Shane, too?) She was also given poisoned coffee, and not knowing who was responsible, Chris took her to his place to protect her while she recovered. These things are inevitable on a soap, I guess!

  27. Oh, dear. But I comfort myself with the thought that it’s not MBE, so it’s not really Kayla. (And before you express outrage, MP, let me add that I really like Catherine Mary Stewart. I just never saw her Kayla so she doesn’t exist for me.)

  28. No worries, Flaco. I am not outraged. I tend to think of CMS and MBE as two different characters myself. And I really don’t remember the first Kayla very well at all. I just remember she and Chris were my favorite couple on the show at the time. I have a feeling that JT would annoy me if I watched it again, because his verbal tics and mannerisms have become so ingrained (and so annoying) as Roman.

    lska, I don’t remember it but I have heard before that CMS had a drunk Kayla scene too. That’s pretty funny. The only thing that weirds me out a little in retrospect about Kayla and Chris is knowing that Kayla lost her virginity to Chris. I have no idea why because I certainly don’t wish for Kayla to have been a virgin with Steve, and I loved the way they used the Chris and Kayla history when Kayla came back as MBE. It’s just, I don’t know, Chris??

    Regarding Britta and the tattoo—I actually sort of love the evolution there. After all, Britta and Steve (and Bo, of course) got those tattoos together, so it’s natural that it would be link between the two of them. But after everything went sour, for Steve I think it symbolized not so much Britta but a link to a time when he was happy, uncomplicatedly happy. And it represented both a good memory that it was hard for him to let go of, and a constant reminder and mockery of his current sad, embittered state. That became even more true when Britta betrayed him over it (when she slept with him to get a picture of the tattoo).

    But then, over the course of the Stockholm mystery, the tattoo brought Steve and Kayla both into danger. Orpheus kidnapped Kayla to get Steve’s tattoo, after all. But it also brought them closer together. That story laid the ghost of Britta to rest for Steve, and at the same time I think made the tattoo more about Kayla and Steve than Britta and Steve.

    This is probably me reading too much into this (as usual), but I love that tattoo and the way they used in the plot and in character development.

  29. Re–Chris and Kayla:

    From my vague recollection as a wee babe (hee!) even back then it seemed Kayla could do better than Chris, however it made perfect sense for her to lose her virginity to him since he was the biggest womanizer in Salem. Not in an evil way, just in an “I’m a fun and charming boyfriend, but not the settling down type.” (He and Savannah actually made a good pair, IMO) Looking back at the old clips, it seems at one point or another Chris hit on every woman in town. I think he finally had to leave Salem because he had run out of potential conquests! [classic example, in recently reviewing clips of the night of Renee’s murder, Sandy Horton asks Chris to take her home and the tone of their exchange makes it very clear it will be a hook-up. I LMAO watching this scene, thinking, “Only Chris would use the murder of his friend as an opportunity to get laid!”]

    That said, I thought the writers dealt with Chris and Kayla’s past relationship very well when she returned to town. It stirred twinges of jealously and inadequacy in Steve, thinking Chris was more her type. Yet it highlighted Kayla’s independence in that she never seriously considered dating Chris again, even when he seemed to hint that he would like more than friendship. Steve was stirring up a LOT more within her than Chris ever did.

    Finally, I admit I liked Chris as a character and mentally refuse to acknowledge any connection between the JT that played him and the robot that now plays Roman!! Worst Days recast ever!

  30. Hee, I do remember him hooking up with everyone in the cast. He was the hot blue collar guy, a forerunner of the rough around the edges guys Days would specialize in. I remember when he ran that health club, the Body Connection? Something like that. I think that the Chris/Kayla pairing was the only one that really clicked with viewers. But the character was popular enough, I think. Too bad they had to cast JT as Roman. I agree, worst recast ever.

  31. I haven’t seen much of him as Chris, outside of the scenes with MBE in 1986, but he was hot with Shannon Tweed.

    >It’s just, I don’t know, Chris??

    Hee. Yeah.

    I do like that Kayla has a past on the show, though. The summaries talk about her wanting a commitment and Chris not being able to give her one. It gives a little extra to her putting herself out there whole-heartedly for Steve. She’s been burned before, but decides to go after an even more intractable case. And it shows she’s not really that naive about men, just a little crazy, in the best way.

  32. I always loved that Kayla had a past in Salem as well and never minded the previous relationship with Chris. I thought MBE and JT played friendly exes really well and I think it was a good idea to use that past to hint at a possible Chris/Kayla reunion when MBE first returned. Of course, all of that is why I would feel squicky whenever RoChris and Kayla shared scenes.

    There’s a really interesting scene during the post-Adrienne breakup where Kayla and Chris are talking about Kayla’s difficulties in moving on. Kayla talks about how when she and Chris split, it was hard but she got past it because she knew that she and Chris were never really meant to be together. But, she can’t get past Steve because she did believe it about them. I always kind of love that they gave Kayla this scene where she talks about the past relationship but also talks about how her feelings for Steve are different and to have Chris be her sounding board for that. It just really worked well.

  33. I always really liked the friendly exes vibe of Kayla and Chris as well. MBE plays the awkwardness really well when she first comes back to town, and suggests there may still be some feelings there. She’s better than JT, in fact. JT plays Kayla’s brother with exactly the same vibe as he plays her ex! Part of the reason the RoChris scenes are squicky, IMO. It’s unfortunate that my loathing for JT’s Roman has colored my previous liking for Chris.

    I love that scene you are talking about, though, esp. It’s just a great use of history.

  34. I also used to like Chris, but found RoChris destroying that feeling. What the recast does is painfully highlight the limits of JT as an actor because Roman is pretty much Chris with a different name.

    I sort of liked the scene you described, MP, but even though I never saw the Chris/Kayla relationship, I suspected it was a drastic retcon. I mean, she had to leave town to get over it. That sounds pretty serious.

    I just remembered another squicky thing about Britta and Steve. According to Britta, she never slept with another man after she left Steve in Stockholm. Of course, she was a major liar, so it may not be true. But if it is, it firmly establishes that Steve is right — one night with him spoils a woman. She’ll never want another man as long as she lives. While I’ll admit a certain sympathetic understanding of that concept, I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s bad enough that Kayla had to go into a nunnery (metaphorically speaking) after Steve’s death, but every woman he touches?

    • Flaco:

      I wouldn’t take Britta’s celibacy claims too seriously, since she was a big fat liar about almost everything. I think that was just another ploy to manipulate Steve.

      Of course, with Kayla its believable, not just because of their great love, but because she has always been a character who doesn’t take sex lightly. My impression is that was part of the reason she left town to get over Chris. She had waited a long time for her “first” (she was in her 20s, already a nurse) and had a hard time coping with the fact that he didn’t see marriage as the inevitable progression of such a relationship. She needed space in Cleveland to reassess and reevaluate herself. Her eagerness to sleep with Steve testifies to the strength of her attraction. No man ever got to her like he did.

      ‘Can’t imagine the same for Britta.

  35. “I sort of liked the scene you described, MP, but even though I never saw the Chris/Kayla relationship, I suspected it was a drastic retcon. I mean, she had to leave town to get over it. That sounds pretty serious.”

    I don’t think it’s a retcon, I think it’s just a different perspective gained through time. I’m sure that, at the time she first left, Kayla was very upset. But, looking back she can see that even then she knew, deep down, that she and Chris weren’t meant to be. She didn’t feel then the way she feels now about Steve. So, I don’t think it’s a recton, or even an attempt to minimize her relationship with Chris (which is why I like the scene). It’s just the contrast between the two and how Kayla talks about it that I find very wonderful.

    Britta’s claim of celibacy is interesting. I’m sure we’re supposed to believe it as evidence of her love for him, but wasn’t this the same woman who was sleeping with Bo and Steve at the same time (which is why Steve ended up with one less eye)? Somehow that makes her alleged self-imposed celibacy less meaningful, I guess — at least to me.

  36. Melarus & esp, I get what you’re saying about Kayla and Chris. That makes sense.

    I also agree with your assessment of Britta’s honesty. But you’ve got to admit — women seem to get obsessed with Steve.

  37. >women seem to get obsessed with Steve.

    And we can’t relate to that at all. 🙂 I agree, it’s somewhat over the top that this is the pattern for all of Steve’s relationships. It would have been better for his character if they’d thrown in something else for contrast. Maybe this is why the idea of Della is not all that irritating.

    Kayla not moving on with her life is the biggest retcon, though. I can believe that Steve’s death left her a changed woman in other ways, but her relationship with Shane is canon.

      • Me too. I know some people interpret it as a retcon, though — “it didn’t work out” meaning it wasn’t consummated.

        There were also a handful of mentions of Kayla dating throughout the years when Kim would stop by the show. But the overall impression when Kayla came back was that she was still stuck in 1990 emotionally, and I think that’s arguably not where we left her in 1992.

  38. Well, I’ll go out on a limb and say that I’m not sure either Britta or Marina was particularly obsessed with Steve. Both of them seemed to want him back, but they both happily put their current schemes above Steve. Steve was the one who loved each of them honestly and sincerely. Britta betrayed him with Bo and then used him to further her own ends, not once but several times. Marina kept coming around even after she got the key (or had it all along, or whatever), but it seemed to me that she just wanted to win more than anything else. For both women, there was love mixed in, yes, but it always seemed secondary to whatever else they were up to. That was what messed Steve up so much about them. He’d never had anyone actually put him first, with a real, unselfish love, until Kayla.

    • MP:

      I think I concur with your analysis of Britta and Marina. Neither was “obsessed” so much as they were both users who took advantage of Steve’s feelings for them to serve their own purposes. Both were limited in their ability to love him (as Britta put it so well in her one moment of honesty – “I loved you the only way I know how.”) Another reason I find Britta’s celibacy claims false—her behavior with Bo and Steve shows she easily used sex to accomplish her goals. I’m sure she used it to her advantage while she was on the run. Steve was obsessed with Britta because she was the only woman he thought had ever loved him (before the Marina retcon) and her betrayal scarred him both physically and emotionally.

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