Days has carefully established a fragile bond between Kayla and Jack. They’ve used it to create some jealousy and angst for Steve when his relationship with Kayla was at its worst, but what’s going to happen now that things are a little better?
This is a fun denouement to the plot where Jack tries to break Isabella out of Bayview. He succeeds, but in the process ends up getting himself and Kayla captured. (In desperation, he called Steve for help, but Kayla came instead.) Steve finds out where Kayla is and springs into action:
Steve pretending to be a cop is always fun. I love how Jack adds “bribery” to the charges that Steve is listing—since Jack was the one doing the bribing when he was sneaking in to see Isabella. He reminds me of snotty little brother in this scene, big brother is here to rescue him now and he can hang back and shoot off smartmouth remarks. It’s very cute. And I love the very last look between Jack and Kayla as Steve is leading her away. They seem to have a shared understanding of, “Yes, Steve is shouting and ordering us around, but it’s best to just humor him, really.” It’s a perfect way to show that the bond between them is still there, and this little adventure has reinforced it.
Back at the Brady house, Steve keeps trying to blame Jack and Kayla keeps defending him. Mary Beth plays this very calmly, though, and not with the passion Kayla usually has when she’s defending someone. She can step back enough to see he has changed and, in typical Kayla fashion, doesn’t let her own issues stop her from speaking up for Jack when the situation seems to warrant it. But, she is still not totally comfortable in that role, and I like that tension. It would have been very easy for the show to make everything hunky-dory between Jack and Kayla after this storyline, but that doesn’t happen—though admittedly this is partly due to Mary Beth and Matt Ashford and the way they play it, never letting Jack and Kayla get too comfortable with each other.
But, at the moment, she is certainly more inclined to trust him than Steve is. When Jack arrives, Steve is still unconvinced. But, he lets him in calmly (no lapels grabbing).
When Jack asks for Steve’s help, I can really feel what a brave thing this is for him to do, to let down his walls enough to reach out like this. Plus, I love the way he prefaces it by saying Steve has every right to turn him down. It shows he’s not going to play the martyr if Steve turns him down. He used to use Steve’s suspicions about him as an excuse to lash out and act even worse than he would have otherwise. Now he seems to sense that he has to accept those suspicions, and work through them, in order to have any hope of being in a position of trust again.
Steve agrees to look for Isabella with Jack (but makes it clear that it’s only because he wants to find her too). As Jack turns to leave and says “Thank you, both of you”, Kayla gives one look at Steve but leaves him alone, not pushing it. And then there’s the ending shot on Steve’s face, contemplating that Jack might have good motives, with a vulnerable look that shows he hopes it’s true. We haven’t seen his buried feelings for Jack in a long time. The irony is perfect. Steve was the last to give up on Jack (not counting Jo), and he will also be the last to start acknowledging any change in him. It shows how much damage Jack had to do to get Steve to let go. That means he will have to work that much harder to get Steve to accept him again.
After Jack leaves, we get a very nice, tender scene of Steve and Kayla together. Kayla still keeps a little distance when she expresses skepticism that he can really take care of her, listing all the things that could still go wrong. But when Steve ushers her over to the couch and says they shouldn’t think about it, she relents and lets him fuss over her. That’s a step forward in itself. Of course it’s very soapy that when he makes his heartfelt declaration of his love and faith in them, he turns around and finds she’s asleep. But then we get a sighworthy moment as he gently takes her cup from her hands and covers her up, and says, “I really love you,” in that husky voice. Perfect.