Finally, we’re getting somewhere in this kidnapping plot—but first ….
The scene is mostly filler as we get ready for the big exchange (Kayla for the key), but there are some interesting moments here. Steve is openly hostile and suspicious toward Isabella, but it’s obvious that part of the reason for it is plain nervousness. Now that things are close to being resolved, he’s so worried and keyed up that something will go wrong, and Isabella makes a handy target. Having Marcus there trying to soften things shows that Steve is being unfair.
The phone call to Victor where Steve says “I got your damn key” is a lot of fun. I always feel that Stephen and John Aniston manage to convey, with every interaction, the fact that Steve used to work for Victor. They have a banter that shows they are used to dealing with each other. And Steve is so blunt and Victor is so smooth and indirect, it’s just fun to watch the contrast.
But the best part about this is Steve attitude towards Jack. Earlier, Jack sent Isabella to Steve with the key, saying he wouldn’t come himself because Steve would just doubt his motives. That was mostly a cover story because Jack wanted to follow up a lead without telling anyone, but here we see he was absolutely right. It’s hard to see Steve be so hard on Jack, since we’ve seen how much Jack cares and how much he’s been working on this. Steve sneers first that Jack should be here to get all the credit. Later he says he “apparently” had something better to do, and in this we can see that Steve is a little hurt that Jack isn’t there.
Somewhere inside Steve believed, or at the very least wanted to believe, Jack’s constant talk about wanting to help. His absence now suggests to Steve that Jack didn’t care that much after all, and that hurts. Yet, we know that if Jack had actually been there, he would have been as much a target for Steve’s hostility as Isabella is—more so, no doubt. In this we see what Jack is up against. But at the same time, we are reminded of Steve’s underlying feelings for Jack—in fact those feelings are partly what is fueling his hostility. It’s a way to show a step back and a step forward at the same time. And that gives us hope for them.
Next time—Steve and Kayla are reunited, finally!