Hope everyone enjoyed that ray of sunshine, because it’s gone, gone, gone.
All right, this isn’t too bad. But it marks the beginning of the next angstful story, because we see Kayla obviously feeling guilty and hiding something. (Kayla thinks she might have killed Marina, because Marina collapsed and hit her head when Kayla was struggling with her that night. Marina got up again, but Kayla is worried she might have collapsed again after she left. This is all a bit strange because Marina died months ago and we’re only just starting to see Kayla worry about this.)
But that’s not what makes this scene worthy of a blog post. It is, of course, Jack and Kayla. I say it every time I talk about the two of them, but I really love the physical and verbal awkwardness Mary Beth and Matt always play when they share a scene. The history of these two characters is always there between them, preventing them from ever feeling at ease with each other. Nevertheless, it doesn’t feel strange that Kayla chooses to confide in Jack here, regarding her doubts about remarrying Steve. He was her only confidant during the worst of the Marina mess, and is the best position to know how hard it was for her.
Matt brings an interesting vibe to Jack this scene. I really love the line about Steve being a knight of the round table in a past life. I think Jack is not only comparing himself to his hero brother, but remembering all the times that Steve rode to his rescue—and those are painful memories for many reasons. He also sounds a little wistful, maybe for what he wanted to be for Kayla but wasn’t, maybe because he’s written off ever getting a happy ending for himself.
I also like the way Jack is a little put out that Kayla is hesitating to marry Steve. He’s been working for their reunion for months, so he’s earned this reaction. Matt does a great reading when Jack says, “I thought you loved the guy.” It’s a little fillip of irony, like Jack is thinking that if there’s one thing he knows, it’s that she loves Steve. He banged his head against it all through their marriage, he got his heart stomped on because of it, he changed into a horrible person because of it. If he doesn’t know that she loves Steve, then he knows nothing. It’s a great layer.
Mary Beth’s best moment is at the very end, after Jack says he wants her to be happy and he was just trying to help it along. Kayla really knows that’s true, and I love the way Mary Beth says “I know,” so softly. Her manner totally changes for that final line. This is where the constant awkwardness and instinctive defensiveness pays off, when we see it drop away, just a moment, before she leaves.