Ah, kidnapping—a go-to story for established couples, or to give an actress (it usually is an actress) some vacation time, as an excuse for an adventure and an umbrella story … the possibilities are endless.
There are challenges, of course. If the actress isn’t on leave, one challenge is keeping things interesting for the captive, whose role by necessity mostly involves sitting around. The writers can jazz it up a little bit with multiple escape attempts, but right now, because of Kayla’s pregnancy, the show is limited in that regard—she can’t be running around beating up the bad guys. She has mostly been stuck with her nurse, Grace, having the same conversation over and over.
I do appreciate the show trying to make things a little more interesting. Grace thought she was working for Kayla’s husband at first, and Victor even hired a Steve lookalike so when Grace described the man she was working for to Kayla, it would sound like Steve. Kayla figures out that this man is not Steve (she never sees him, but puts it together based on his actions), gradually convinces Grace of that fact, and wins her over to her side. This all gives Mary Beth Evans something semi-interesting to do and prevents Kayla from just being a passive captive.
We also see Kayla’s wavering faith. As her kidnapping stretches longer and longer, Kayla wavers between positive certainty that Steve will rescue her, and discouraged hopelessness that this will never end. (This isn’t a reflection on Steve, but just the general situation.) It’s a nice touch to see that Kayla, always so hopeful and optimistic, can have moments of doubt and despair.
During one of these low points, however, she gets a surprise:
This is actually the continuation of the adventure that I introduced in in my last post, where Jack and Steve work together. On the pier, we get a little moment reinforcing that theme. Steve tells Jack not to screw up, hat he is counting on him, and Jack says, “It’s been a long time.” (This is a nice nod to history that Jack and Steve did, a long time back, actually work together.) Steve doesn’t say much—he’s very focused on Kayla—but his expression softens just a little, showing he is affected by this too.
Then we see Kayla pacing in her cabin on the boat. She lays down on the bed looking hopeless and teary-eyed. When Steve appears and opens up the door, she looks at him disbelievingly, like she has conjured him out of her fantasies. Her line, “Is it really you?” captures that uncertainty. (The way this is shot it could be a fantasy sequence—though who would fantasize about that wetsuit??—so we too are hoping against hope, right along with Kayla).
Then the kiss is so awesome. I love the angst and desperation. The crisis of the moment allows all their emotions to rise the surface, and Stephen and Mary Beth show that intensity so well. Even putting the whole kidnapping plot aside, this is a great payoff for us, since we haven’t seen them kiss since the Marina separation (except once at Christmas).
After this, of course, the rescue all goes wrong, and Steve ends up knocked over the head into the water, and Kayla is put on a helicopter speeding away from Salem. But, by giving us this little teaser, the show has reignited our interest and stoked our anticipation for the real reunion.