The Jacket

Well, I’ve been wanting to move on from Steve’s death, but I can’t resist this beautiful scene of Kayla giving Steve’s jacket to Bo:

The jacket

You all know I absolutely love the meaningful use of a good prop, and this is fabulous. Steve’s leather jacket was always such an important part of his character. From early on—after his introductory, criminal phase—here was a bad boy who wasn’t committing crimes anymore, couldn’t swear (this was daytime!) or smoke (bad example for kids!), or even drink very much. Steve’s black leather jacket and black patch were one of the only ways to establish his dangerous edge. The rest, needless to say, was all Stephen. I give him serious props for creating an authentically edgy, threatening character almost purely from his voice and body language. If “Patch” wasn’t scary, it would be easy for him to be ridiculous.

But back to the jacket. Watching this scene made me remember a wonderful little subplot that featured this jacket: the smuggling of some emeralds from Stockholm. I love this storyline partly because it’s one of the few times we see Steve, after TPTB decided to redeem him, consider doing something genuinely criminal (not “soap” criminal like trying to kill Duke). Here’s the story: while in Stockholm, Steve and Kayla have finally tentatively started some kind of relationship. Steve is tempted by an old crony to smuggle some emeralds for him into the states. He sews the gems into his leather jacket, but then has a change of heart and leaves the jacket in his hotel room. But, Kayla grabs it, thinking he’s forgotten it. On the plane, while Steve is sleeping, she puts it on. Complications, to put it mildly, ensue.

Here’s a taste:

Emeralds 4

What I love about this is the one step forward/one step back supercouple dance this represents. Steve, inspired by Kayla, decides not to leave the jacket behind. Kayla, feeling good about Steve, puts on the jacket because it’s a girlfriend-like thing to do—I’m cold, so I’m going to wear my boyfriend’s jacket. But in soapy irony, these baby steps forward lead to a major rupture as they both get strip searched at the airport, Kayla is disillusioned with Steve, and Steve refuses to defend himself.

(Lots of great little moments in that clip above: Steve’s reaction to the customs agents forcing him to remove his patch; Kayla’s death stare at Steve right before she gets searched; her disdainful line: “Oh, I forgot—your jacket,” as she tosses it back to him at the end.)

Eventually, of course, as all Steve and Kayla fans know, this leads to Steve getting stabbed, Kayla patching him up, major angsty arguments, and then their first kiss:

Emeralds 6

It would have been easy to have their first kiss be in Stockholm, when they were getting closer (God knows they had enough near-misses!). But this is so much more interesting. A rupture over real issues (remember, he was tempted to smuggle the emeralds) leads to a major pullback and then a major step forward. And all, of course, with my favorite, a good use of a prop.

13 thoughts on “The Jacket

  1. Hi Mary pickford,
    Nice to see a new entry on your blog. I think the death of Steve was so so sad. They finally had it all, (paraphrasing Adele) only for it to go too soon. Such a richness in the writing which sadly is not seen on soaps these days. The connection of siblings, Kayla and Bo is something you don’t see very often nowadays.

    On another note, how sad is it to see Matt ashford being booted off Days yet again. The re-boot in my opinion failed fans of jack and Jennifer immeasurably. The out of character writing for Jennifer without an ounce of compassion once she knew of Jack’s captivity diminished her character. Sad to see that viewers did come back to Days with goodwill to be blindsided with bad writing and dropped storylines once again.

  2. I love the scene with Bo and Kayla. PR and MBE just play all the emotions so well and the show did a good job of using their common grief to help them help each other.

    And Steve’s jacket was such a part of him. As much as the patch in some ways. I love the days when certain props, wardrobe, or locations because almost like characters in the show. Steve’s leather jacket, the emergency center, the loft, Bo’s motorcycle, the Spectator, etc. It all helped bind the characters to the fabric of the show.

  3. Wow! I just recently found this site and have been reliving all the great S&K scenes from the beginning (of course I find it as you blog about the end). Thank you so much for doing this. One question: where did you find all the DVD’s to relive all of this? I had VHS tapes (yup, tells you how long ago), but when I moved I had to get rid of them and that is a regret I have.

  4. Any comments on this week’s developments re: Steve and Kayla? (That is, if you bothered to watch. Can’t say I blame you if you didn’t.)

  5. I watched. I thought Mary Beth did a great job. She conveyed Kayla’s sadness at the situation between her and Steve. Some people say that Steve’s choice to work for the ISA is out of character, while Kayla’s leaving in the face of that decision is also out of character.

    I don’t think it is.

    I think Steve would certainly work for the ISA if the incentive was there…and the show could easily write a good reason why he would do it even though Kayla has understandable objections.

    Do I love the idea that Steve and Kayla are separated? No. But it was strange watching Kayla in the pub for so long. The fact that they didn’t address Steve’s absence in any real way over the past six months made everyone wonder what was up. Kayla’s explanation made sense…and the fact is that this has the makings of a very personal story for Kayla, which I would enjoy watching.

    What I DON’T like is that I’m afraid they’re going to put Kayla and Abe together, and I don’t think they fit. I don’t mind their friendship, but I don’t want to see them thrust into an insta-relationship just because Lexie’s gone and Kayla and Steve are on the outs.

    I’d also prefer to skip any relationship that develops quickly. I’d wish the writers would take their time and just let Kayla be single for awhile.

    I’m also not blind to the fact that should Stephen ever return, there would be a story there, ready made for him and Kayla, with higher stakes than almost anything they were given from 2006-2009.

    I can’t help wishing he could come back to play this out. I’m all for the drama and the angst. I just wish I knew that in the end, they’d be together. I always thought they deserved that.

  6. Good to see some movement on this board. Sorry to see Steve being trashed in absentia, just like Jack.
    As for Kayla and Abe, heavans his wife just died, please , some decorum.. As well, what is wrong with male and female characters being just platonic friends?? This is what in part is ruining Days, you have madison/brady who went from business partners to lovers in a nano second. rafe and cariie, falling in lust, abigail’s obsession with austin which was neatly tied up in one episode, etc. etc..

    Back in the days, one had marlena and Eugene, Steve and Hope, and Jack Isabella who maintained a strong bond without crossing into romance.

  7. Hey all, thanks for commenting. I have heard some of the buzz about Steve and Kayla but haven’t been watching. I’ll be glad for Mary Beth to get some interesting material to work with but I can’t get behind Abe/Kayla. I’m not even totally opposed to Kayla being with someone else, if it’s done in an interesting way that’s true to her character (of course I have no particular confidence that this would be the case!), but Abe? Sigh.

    I’m in the middle of a remodel and it’s just been crazy—the general disruption, as well as all the little decisions that have to be made. What the heck are bullnose tiles?? But I do want to keep this going—I’m still going to watch the DVDs, after all.

  8. Kayla and Abe have been having scenes, and you can see that the idea for Abe and Kayla is there. So far, I have no objection to the scenes because they’re friends, and it’s nice to get some insight into what Kayla is thinking and feeling. But I hope it goes no further. With a new writing regime in place, changes could take place, and with regard to Kayla and Abe, I hope the changes keep them as friends.

    But I do want a story for Kayla, and not just “I’ll listen to your problems and never tell you anything about mine” which is what she was getting for months. I want a story with meaning, and that’s why I can deal with the idea of divorce, because divorce is a very personal thing, and could lead to wonderful material for Mary Beth. Stephen’s otherwise engaged, and I want Mary Beth to have her chance to be engaged in something interesting too.

    But I would want Steve and Kayla together in the end. I’ll never believe either of them would have a love with anyone else that would be as wonderful or powerful as the love they have with each other.

  9. It’s been a year — any chance Spoiler Free Days will ever rise from the grave with new posts? C’mon Mary, we miss you!

  10. Hello, GnuHopper! Sorry I have been incommunicado this last year — wow, has it really been that long?? We finished the remodel of our house (whew!) and if I can get my act together you should see a new post soon. Thanks for checking in!

  11. I have been reading over some of your past blogs. I so enjoy the insights from you and the comments. That said, I watched Steve’s death when it was originally on. I have tried several times to watch the whole SL again, ( and I have the DVDs) but I just can’t get through it. The characters have become like my invisible friends from when I was little. It is just too sad. I don’t like that they had them divorce, but heck, they are alive, and there is hope and fanfiction.

  12. Thank you very much! I really love the whole Steve/Kayla storyline and it’s really rewarding to watch it all the way through, in order. I highly recommend it. 🙂 As far as current Days goes, yeah, it’s tough that they had them divorce and it kind of kills me that Steve is not getting to raise little Joe because of that. But it’s great to have Kayla on the show and I wish she had more airtime. But, sometimes lots of airtime isn’t so great, depending on what the story is …

    And I love the comparison with invisible friends, hee!

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