Little Stephanie

I hope y’all don’t mind if I don’t spend any more time (or, any time) talking about Kayla’s trial. Stephen and Mary Beth do their usual fine job, but beyond recounting the many, many legal travesties (which my friend esp13, who is a lawyer, has helpfully filled me in on), I don’t have that much to say about it.

But of course, one big incident happens in this time period, smack dab, in fact, in the middle of the trial: Stephanie’s birth.

What I find funny about all this is that if you watch all this by itself, the birth scenes and the days in the hospital afterwards, you would have very little idea that anything else was going on in their lives. It’s as if the show knows what a bum deal they are giving us with Kayla’s conviction and they decide to (nearly) ignore the whole thing for a week or so. And it is a relief to see them be happy, Kayla especially, so I guess I won’t complain.

I don’t have much to say about the labor and delivery, though it must have been interesting for Mary Beth Evans to fake being in labor and having a baby, when she was getting close the end of her pregnancy in real life. Apparently the Days folks were concerned all that acting would somehow bring on her real labor, hee! And Stephen Nichols is great as the nervous prospective daddy. I love how he plays the bumbling and nervousness but doesn’t overplay it, so that it stays believable and real (and very cute and funny).

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And of course, as Days used to do so well back then, it’s a wonderful family celebration as all their loved ones gather at the hospital with them.

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It’s fun to see the way the siblings conspire to dress up as interns and come in to see the baby. I love the banter between the Bradys as Kim is holding the baby: Roman in big brother mode telling Kayla she was cute when she was a baby, and teasing Kim to “pass the kid quick” when she starts getting emotional. And Judi Evans is wonderful showing how bittersweet this is for Adrienne. She wanted a baby so much with Justin, and (at this point in history) thinks she’ll never have children.

Apparently the way Jo then hands off Stephanie to Jack is a bit of a sore point among Steve and Kayla fans, but I actually love this scene. Knowing how hard Jack has worked to help Steve and Kayla, and how much he was motivated by the baby, means he has earned this moment. But what really makes it special is the look Stephen Nichols has when Jack is holding the baby. We know how long Steve hung onto the idea of “uncle Billy” being a part of their lives, long after it made sense to do so. Now it’s actually happening. But Stephen doesn’t play Steve’s reaction as happy—he’s incredibly moved, but almost to the point of being upset about it. It’s a wonderful way to reference a lot of history. And then Mary Beth shows Kayla’s reaction too, of knowing this is a big moment for Steve, turning to him and putting her hand on his.

This is pretty damn adorable:

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It’s so perfect for Steve, too, the way he wants to be—as he says—a knight in rusty armor for his wife and daughter. What a great callback to that early scene where Steve asked Kayla so derisively if she thought there was a “knight in shining armor” inside him waiting to get out. The baby’s reactions are perfect (I always said Stephen brings out the best in his co-stars!), as is Kayla’s as she comes in to hear the end of his bedtime story. This scene is bittersweet because we know what’s going to happen in just a few short months. But, even without knowing that, it’s wonderful after how hard Steve and Kayla fought to get to this point, and the fears and doubts Steve had about being a father.

3 thoughts on “Little Stephanie

  1. Yes, it’s much better for my sanity if we don’t discuss the “trial” at all. Or ever call Mickey a lawyer. 😉

    I love Stephanie’s arrival. It is an oasis of joy in the midst of a whole lot of not joyful stuff. SN and MBE play the whole thing really well — the nervousness, the excitement. I love the stories Steve tells when Kayla tells him to just talk. It’s a couple of nice flashbacks.

    The family stuff after Stephanie is born is the type of thing that I love about soaps. There is a real sibling vibe with Roman, Kim, and Kayla. Steve being able to see his sister (and, later, his brother) hold his daughter is also wonderful given his family’s history.

    The scene with Jack is the one that tends to stand out though. Just the fact that Jack is there during the waiting and that it doesn’t feel wrong is amazing. And I think that the moment when Jo hands him Stephanie is a wonderful moment, but only if you’ve really watched the story of Jack’s redemption. Because it is earned in so many ways.

    But, the first time I watched it was as a stand alone. I vaguely recalled Jack’s redemption story, but didn’t remember it that well and all I could think was that it was wrong for Jo to just hand the baby to Jack. But, the next time through, having seen the whole process, it didn’t feel wrong at all. And SN and MBE play the reactions perfectly. Great moment.

  2. I love the moment between the first two clips when Steve goes out to tell the family about Stephanie. He oh-so-innocently refuses to tell them any more than the fact that “Kayla and ‘the baby’ are fine.” Everyone looks about ready to burst as Steve stands there, smug as can be. Of course, they finally shout, “Well?! What is it?!”

    “It’s a girl! Her name is Stephanie Kay Johnson, and she is [I forget the weight] ?pounds, ?ounces of pure Sweetness!”

  3. RileyKay, I love that moment too. I love how Steve teases them by not saying if it’s a boy or girl. Then he just stands there like “What?”

    Esp, I agree that Jack has earned this moment. But without watching all of the leadup, and the way that Jo hands the baby over without really asking, and Steve and Kayla looking not-exactly-happy, it would be easy to get a little ticked about it. But I really do love it.

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