Best scene ever

…. from the trial storyline, anyway.

But no kidding, it really is good. If you love Steve and Kayla, if you love what Stephen and Mary Beth can do with layered, meaty material—if love angst like I do—you must, must, must watch this scene:

We open with a fantasy, which is always a nice relief when things are sad and angsty. Then I really like the fact that Steve wants to jump bail and skip town. It’s just so very Steve, consistent with how he behaved when the police were pursuing him for Britta’s murder and for Harper’s shooting. He hasn’t been able to do a thing to help Kayla since she was arrested, and this seems fueled as much by a desire to act, to do something, as really thinking it’s a great idea. Plus I love the idea that the DA was right, when he justified asking for a high bail for Kayla because her loose-cannon husband might encourage her to skip town. Case closed.

This is old-school Steve and Kayla, too, in that Kayla is arguing against running away—just like she did when he was a suspect in Britta’s murder. But there’s a difference. Kayla has seen enough now that she knows the system doesn’t always work. She wants to stay not because she is so sure she will be cleared, but because it is in her nature to stay and fight. (And isn’t it ironic that for all of Steve’s fears about being railroaded by “the system,” that it’s Kayla that it happens to instead?)

Because he frames his whole issue by asking her to trust him, when Kayla rejects Steve’s suggestion, it comes across as a direct rejection of Steve’s help. This taps into a recurring theme for them—that Steve “I love to play God” Johnson needs to believe he can fix any problem. All along, he has been reassuring her that he’s going to fix this for her and make sure she doesn’t go to jail. Kayla has accepted those reassurances, without, I think, being particularly reassured by them. What is reassuring to Kayla is Steve standing with her, loving her and supporting her, not a belief that he will make the problem go away.

All this goes back to a conversation they had during the rape storyline, when Kayla told Steve she used to think he could fix everything, and now she knows he can’t. Because circumstances won’t always allow it, for one, but more importantly that the “hero” in Steve has his dark side too—as she found out, only too well, when Steve pushed her away for Jack’s sake. It’s bittersweet that she doesn’t see him as the all-conquering hero anymore, because he still wants to be that for her. In fact, early on one of the things that drew Steve to Kayla was her vision of him, her recognition of him as a hero. But in the end losing those rose-colored glasses makes her continued love and faith in him more meaningful and real.

Then I love, love, love the moment when Kayla says she can’t remember the last time they faced a problem, and Steve correctly reads that as a reference to the way he hid Marina’s existence from her. I love to hear Kayla talk about how much it hurt to be kept in the dark, to doubt him and to doubt them. It’s a wonderful way to connect what’s happening now, which are mostly external problems, with the more internal issues of the Marina storyline. It’s like she’s thinking, haven’t you learned anything?

Then comes Steve’s wonderful breakdown. He’s shattered and a little scared to hear Kayla talk about how she felt then—it reminds him of the time when he wasn’t sure she was going to forgive him. It’s very cathartic to hear him say that not a day goes by that he doesn’t kick himself for not doing the right thing, and then the way he hurls the music box as he says he just wants to do something.

I love the double meaning when Kayla picks up the music box and Steve tries to say that he’ll “fix it.” This is where they started, with Steve trying to fix something that is unfixable. Stephen is wonderful showing Steve breaking down, saying he’s sorry, over and over again. It encompasses so many things—hiding Marina from her, letting Marina hurt her, not facing the problem then, not knowing what to do now. And we can see Kayla relent as she sees him at the end of his rope, and her strength comes out as she takes his face in her hands and says they will face this and fight it out. Kayla might have been angry, but she hasn’t lost her faith in them. It’s a wonderful place to end the scene.

8 thoughts on “Best scene ever

  1. Sigh. I really do love this scene. So many great moments. I love how Steve asks Kayla to trust him about leaving, needing her to believe he can fix things and needing to believe it himself. But I love even more that she says no. She can’t trust him to fix it because she knows that it might not be something he can fix. That’s a continuing theme throughout this time period. Steve needs to believe that Kayla will be set free to survive, Kayla needs to be realistic to keep her grounded. Yet, they both understand why the other needs something different.

    Steve’s breakdown is wonderful. There is so much catharsis is hearing Kayla tell him about the hurt she felt and seeing Steve’s deep remorse for the hurt he caused and his complete frustration at his inability to fix things now. And the best moment is the very end when Kayla shows her strength by promising Steve that they will get through it all, not by running, but by staying and fighting. She may not believe that he can make everything all right again. But, she clearly believes that they, can make it through no matter what. And, in the end, that’s what really matters.

  2. I love that balance too, between Steve needing to believe he can fix everything and Kayla needing to be more realistic. Most of the time they can find a good balance between those two points of view. But here I love the way they connect that characteristic to Kayla’s old hurt about all the Marina stuff, and it all boils over. Wonderful scene.

  3. Catching up on some old posts on a slow afternoon…

    It’s interesting to compare this with what they’re doing with Bo and Hope on the show now — although maybe not fair, because the intent is obviously to break them up. But to see the issue of blame brought up here once, instead of over and over, and then more or less hashed out, is so refreshing.

    You guys have covered all the bases of why this is a great scene, including how it calls back to early Steve. If this is the scene I’m thinking of, there’s also a sweet moment in the wrap up montage where SN gets a chance to show the vulnerability Steve feels, which works well as a contrast to his explosive anger.

  4. You make an interesting point contrasting this to the Bo/Hope/Carly stuff that’s going on now. I have been watching that in bits and pieces, and it’s been pretty painful watching Hope descend into FancyJudgmentalFace X10. It made me wonder where on earth they think they can go with the character (and the the Bo and Hope relationship) after this. Then I remembered that this show has no problem turning on a dime.

    You are remembering the scene correctly—there is a music montage after this where Steve has laid his head on Kayla’s lap. I included it the first time I clipped the scene above, but it was yanked by YouTube. Apparently whoever owns the copyright to that song is very, very vigilant. Hee!

  5. Can I see the montage? I want to.

    Please, Mary Pickford?

    I love this scene, and watch it now and then…Heck, I watch Steve and Kayla (both stints) more than I watch what’s actually on television now.

    I love everything about it.

    Steve’s still feeling intense guilt over what happened with Marina, and probably guilt over Kayla ending up in this fix at all…so he needs to make it right. But nothing’s working out the way he wants it to, and he loves her, so what now? Run!

    But Kayla rejects that notion. They’ll stay. They’ll fight it out together. They’d lost their way for awhile, in the wake of Marina, but in the end, they faced things together.

    That’s them in a nutshell, no matter the time period.

    They’re always very special to me.

  6. I was cruising some clips and came on this discussion. As always, I get so much from your insights. This scene was so refreshing after all the Marina nonsense. We get to see the real Steve and Kayla, the ones we fell in love with originally. Kayla is not a saint, but she sees the good in Steve that allows her to forgive him, because she knows the depth of his love and the goodness of his soul. As they deal with things together their bond just gets deeper and they both continue to heal. Steve knows he shouldn’t play God, but never will get over the need to fix things. He couldn’t fix it for his Mama when his was just five, so he will try to fix it for those he loves for the rest of his life. Frankly, in my own little fantasy world, this is where Steve is now, (off screen) protecting his family. Whether, Kayla, secretly knows and is not able to say or due to the danger involved or Steve has never told her why he had to leave her. This is the only way I could believe that they would split up. After all they had to go though to finally be back together and have another child, their is no way Steve would have left Kayla and his baby boy, unless it was life or death. In fact, it would be a classic Steve move to protect his family no matter what happened to him or even what they believed about him. He would willingly sacrifice his life to keep them safe, even if they never knew the truth. Classic hero. When he returns (on or off screen) Kayla will be mad but will take him back. The love always stays true. ( that is my story and I am sticking to it)

    • I know just what you mean about Steve. I agree that he wouldn’t leave Kayla again, and miss another child’s childhood, unless there was absolutely no choice. I understand why they did what they did — when one half of the couple is on the show, it’s only so long that the other one can be “in the other room” or whatever.

      I have hopes that they will get a story kind of like Adrienne and Justin did, where Adrienne was back without him, and then Justin came back and they did a conflict/resolution story for them. Since we never really got one in 2006 (the cabin scenes were great but they were too abrupt), it would be doubly good.

      And isn’t the scene above great? Just classic Steve and Kayla.

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