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).
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.
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:
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.