Marcus Hunter, played by Richard Biggs, joined the cast back in 1988, in what seemed to be a good faith effort to beef up the non-white population of Salem. Lexie joined the cast around the same time (played by a different actress), plus a social worker named Vanessa Walker. A few more family members popped up here and there. Marcus and Abe were both interested in Lexie before Marcus started dating Vanessa. After that Days even teased us with an interracial romance, when Faith, corrupt preacher Saul Taylor’s naive daughter, developed a crush on Marcus. Marcus seemed interested (despite, I must say, Faith’s utter vacuity), but Saul put the kibosh on that one.

Speaking of Faith, she was played by Melinda Clarke—John Clarke’s daughter!. A quick Google search today yields some interesting results:

What would Preacher Taylor say????

What I loved best about Marcus, of course, was his relationship with Steve. I loved that he grew up in the orphanage with him, because that was something Steve couldn’t share with anyone else. There were things they understood about each other that no one else could get. His introduction scene, during the Kayla poisoning story (when Steve had Kayla hidden at the safehouse) is a thing of soap beauty:

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A great fight between Jack and Steve. Steve is trying to play innocent and keep Jack’s suspicions to a minimum, but he can’t help throwing it in Jack’s face that he knows he’s been having him followed, and then throwing that last barb about how if he did have Kayla, he would take a lot better care of her than Jack did. Marcus appears and breaks up the fight, and I love how he and Steve stand there catching up as Jack stares at them. Ha!

Then, in the next scene, back at the safehouse, we see Marcus as a sounding board and supporter, who could also challenge Steve when he needed it. I love that Steve is able to open up to someone about how much he loves Kayla and how worried he is about her. At this stage of the storyline, he’s had no one to confide in for months. (Well, other than Jo—a dubious comfort in this case.)

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Marcus was paired with a number of different short-term characters on the show, but none of them lasted—which I always thought was a shame. He was always very upfront about the fact that he wanted what Steve and Kayla had. He never found it. In the end (after Steve’s death) Marcus actually fell for Kayla. She was with Shane by then, and apparently (according to soapcentral—I haven’t seen this part yet) it’s what made Marcus leave town. I must admit that the idea of Kayla and Marcus together intrigues me. Would “Karcus” (hee!) have been better received than Shayla?

10 thoughts on “Marcus

  1. I LOVED Marcus. During the years when Days wrote friendships so well, the relationship between Marcus and Steve was one of the best. You’re right, it was nice for Steve to have someone who understood him from childhood. They were truly like brothers, always loyal yet honest enough to call each other out on stuff (usually when Marcus calling out Steve). I loved Steve’s constant teasing of Marcus’s lack of success with women and Marcus’s retorts that Steve was useless without Kayla (see the scenes when Kayla left town for a few days to train as a rape counselor).
    Even though I hated the SL in which Steve lost the eyepatch, I did like that plastic surgeon Marcus was the one able to fix it for him.
    I missed the period after Steve’s “death” when Shayla emerged. For me, I don’t think Karcus would have worked, mainly because there was such a brother-sister vibe between Marcus and Steve. I seemed more appropriate for him to step in as protector and friend, watching over her in Steve’s absence.
    I’ll be curious to see how they handled his growing feelings for Kayla and exit.

  2. Sometimes it’s hard to believe Faith Taylor and Julie Cooper were played by the same actress!

    I saw that bit in Marcus’ SoapCentral write-up, and was wondering about it, too, and if it was right. There was some info about RB’s comings and goings in an ongoing thread at DR. He was on contract until 9/92 and then recurred more that winter, long after MBE left. I’m curious how it all fit together.

    I think Karcus would probably have been better received than Shayla, just because of the math of messing with half of one supercouple instead of two. But whether the chemistry would have been any better is hard to know — I lean towards probably not.

  3. I liked Marcus too. It was so poignant when Jack wrote the note, remember he had lost his voice, asking Marcus to be his best man. Marcus was moved as well and said sure, he would fill in for Steve. Also when they were getting Jack dressed for the wedding, there was some funny parts with Marcus taking off the cowboy boots. Looking at the wedding photo sad to think that three of the people have died.

  4. I loved Marcus as well. I loved the way he was introduced and used as both a confidante and voice of reason for Steve during the Jack storyline. Steve needed someone who could call him on his need to play God and Marcus did that well.

    I also loved that, throughout his time with Steve and Kayla, Marcus was a good friend to both of them. Even during the Marina stuff, he never really took sides, just supported both Steve and Kayla. And he was always there when they needed him.

    As for the potential of Karcus, I know that I would not have liked it better. I don’t think RB and MBE had that kind of chemistry, but more than that, it just really would have felt like Marcus was some kind of Steve substitute. It wasn’t just a matter of Marcus being Steve’s friend, but that pretty much all of Kayla and Marcus’s relationship/history was tied up in Steve. For all the issues that existed in the Shayla relationship, Kayla and Shane’s history was not built around Steve.

    But, I do think it might have been more widely accepted by other folks, just because somehow being involved with Steve’s best friend was better than being involved with her sister’s ex. And, as lska points out, it wouldn’t have involved two supercouples. But, while I have some issues with Shayla, I wouldn’t trade that for a Marcus/Kayla pairing.

  5. Good point, esp, that Kayla getting together with Marcus would probably be too much about Steve. I think I was mostly tickled by the couple name. The jokes write themselves: Days is beating a dead Karcus, desecrating the Karcus of Steve and Kayla’s love story, etc.

    I could see, however, a nice little story arc of Kayla and Marcus hooking up together one night, and then both realizing that it was their grief that brought them together. Days doesn’t really do stories like that, but see a glimmer of something like that working, at least in my head.

    My real “might have been” coupling for Kayla is still Michael T Weiss’s Mike Horton! I think he and MBE have a really nice bantery chemistry. I know he was gone from the show by the time Steve died, but I could see it working as a really good, very different kind of love story for Kayla.

    And yes, it’s so sad about Richard Biggs’ death. He was so young.

  6. I think that if MTW had still been around when Steve “died” then a Mike and Kayla romance could have been really interesting. They had their own history, having dated before Kayla ever met Steve (and before the characters were played by those actors). They also had good chemistry. I’m not sure they had any great internal obstacles (at least after the “getting past lost loves” part) but I think they could have been a good couple at least for awhile.

    I always wanted the show to bring somebody new on, someone who would have some immediate conflict with Kayla, and who had no idea about this great love between her and Steve. It would have involved a fairly contentious relationship for six months or so, then see it become a friendship, then maybe something more.

  7. On the other hand, since MBE did leave the show, I kind of liked the idea presented in her return that she never got over Steve (to the extent that after the mistake of Shayla she apparently became celibate, focusing only on becoming a doctor and raising her daughter). MP’s idea of a grief-fueled one night stand with Marcus would actually fit in with this SL, as she slowly accepted that no one could ever really replace Steve in her heart. In a way, I don’t think anyone could ever replace Steve in Marcus’s heart, either.

  8. I never minded the idea that Kayla never really got over losing Steve, but I hated that the show made it out like she spent 14 years crying in her pillow every night. As much as my shipper heart appreciates that, it did a lot of damage to the character early on in their second run and the writers never did repair that damage.

  9. Yeah, I think I would have rather seen Kayla try desperately to make something work that didn’t work, either with Marcus or Shane, acknowledge that it was out of grief, and then move on to a more healing relationship. But Days has never really done those bridging kinds of relationships, except maybe for Bo’s one-night stand with Emmy. (Which hardly counts!)

    I’m another who would’ve been on the MTW bandwagon. Fishlips could have been the new sweetness.

  10. You’re right, esp13, about the idea of her crying into her pillow every night being overdone. I prefer to think of her burying herself in work and motherhood to avoid dealing with her feelings (lord knows any single mom who went through med school while raising a small child wouldn’t have had much time to date). I could see Kayla thinking that what she had with Steve was so consuming (and, let’s face it, sometimes draining) that she decided to just consume her time with other things for a period of time. After awhile, without even realizing it, that period of time had stretched into years—something that didn’t really hit her until Stephanie grew up and moved out of the house.
    Of course, the writers during the return never dealt with such nuances, but I like to imagine them in my own retcon of the storyline.🙂

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