Patch removal

The patch removal scene is, without a doubt, the most famous and iconic scene in Steve and Kayla’s history.

Patch removal

Which is why I was stunned, on rewatching in 2006, at how early it happens in their story. I remembered it as a far bigger breakthrough than it actually is. Its power is symbolic, mostly obvious in retrospect, in the way it foreshadows that Kayla will break down Steve’s walls, just as she takes off his patch.

The way it is filmed, it is the first moment that could honestly be called a flashing neon sign that these two are slated to be a couple. The closing overhead shot of the two of them, with the credits scrolling over it, in particular screams Big Moment.

But that is at the level of the production, signaling to the viewer. At the level of the story, in terms of the characters, what happens is far more subtle. I would say the upshot of it all is Steve starts to trust Kayla, a little. That’s about it.

But, that’s everything. I would argue that for Steve, “falling in trust” is more momentous, more life-altering, than falling in love. Falling in love, that’s what he did with Britta. And as he says to Britta when he hallucinates her presence: “you weren’t here, were you?” Kayla is. And she is made of strong stuff. Stronger than he realizes, though he gets a hint of it here: “she didn’t even flinch.”

But what about Kayla? Yes, she helps him, but wouldn’t she have helped anyone? Yes, she sees him vulnerable, and that touches her. But again, any wounded animal would inspire compassion. So is Kayla just some Lady Bountiful helping Steve from on high? That’s the danger, of not showing a relationship of equals, but nurse and patient, charity case and charity giver. There are a couple of things that show that is not all that is going on here.

In the scenes after the forklift accident, I noticed that Kayla was resting her hand possessively on Steve’s chest. Take a look at where her left hand is now:


Also, there’s the way she talks to him, as an equal, not as a stray dog she’s picked up. I like the little prod she gives him in this exchange:

K: People don’t always do things to get something out of it, do they?

S: I do.

K: Maybe that’s why there’s no one I can call to stay with you tonight.

This is a challenge. It shows her attitude is different from Chris’s, who points out rather reasonably that Patch hasn’t done anything to make people be friends with him. Kayla isn’t content to just leave it at that, to dismiss Steve as a hopeless case.

But as I said at the beginning, this isn’t a huge leap forward. It’s a tentative step. The next morning, the walls are back up — Kayla’s walls. Steve actually has a bit of a moment watching her sleep, and touching her hand. She is the one who wakes up, leaps up, and withdraws. This causes Mr. Sleazebag to come out again, and we see there is only so much she will put up with, even when he’s hurt:

Morning after

The night before, when he was feverish and helpless, she tolerated his jibes, but now she is having none of it. I love this unimpressed look after she tries to leave and he is trying to get her to stay:


This forces Steve into an adorable stuttering apology, ending with, almost in desperation:  I’m sorry — all right, I’M SORRY!  Clearly not something he is used to saying.

Next, when Steve makes his comment about “Mr. Chris Kositchek, that fine upstanding citizen,” and what would he say if he knew about last night, the natural response is surely “he already knows.” That’s what I expected Kayla to say, since it’s true, and would shoot down Steve and his overly familiar insinuations. Instead, she points out that she and Chris have been over for a long time.

Interesting that she wants him to know that.

But then she rips off his bandage when he gets too mouthy, and ends up stomping off in a huff. Step forward, step back. I love it.


7 thoughts on “Patch removal

  1. I loved this scene and too bad soaps (or any show really) do these types of things anymore. Not just the vulnerability of a former villain but the slow burn and getting to know someone before you fall in love. I think nowadays coupling where one half is “bad” and the other half is “goody good” is always rushed and it makes it look like the good person is attracted to the bad one because of it. For Kayla, she was attracted to Steve in spite of it. There’s the difference.


    • I’m trying to think of a recent example of any type of show doing a slow burn love story and redemption story. Primetime shows do long terms stories now, and many of them are really good, but I think an honest-to-goodness, unapologetic love story would be considered too cheesy, for lack of a better word. Soaps are the best place to do them, but no one does them anymore — not like this.

      Sigh indeed.

      • It’s probably why since last season I got into Once upon a time. They did a slow burn redemption with the evil queen (regina) and she got a new love interest. And I love that pairing but it wasn’t slow for the characters to get together.

        And then you know there is my curse with couples I ship and it even just now hit Regina and Robin on OUAT. I can’t catch a break.

  2. I loved this scene as well. When Kayla falls asleep next to his bed and he leans over to cover her, it shows that he is not only attracted to her, but also that he cares for her. Then the next morning he shoots off his mouth and they are back where they started. Miles to go before they take those tentative steps at the same time.

    • I love that moment with the scarf or shawl or whatever it is, that he pulls over her. Shows a different side of Steve, as well as how he’s feeling for Kayla in that moment.

  3. This scene to me really shows the groundwork for their relationship. It shows Kayla’s strength nicely. That she isn’t worried about what people think (ie chris k) and that she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty (figuratively and literally – touching blood with no gloves ewwww) and she isn’t afraid to stand up to steve and will only take so much before she puts him in his place. I think Steve starts to see this and is even more intrigued by her then he was.

    • Yeah, it’s interesting to see his fascination growing, from the way she wades in fearlessly to help him, to the “she didn’t even flinch,” to forcing him to apologize the next day. And how all of it ends up inspiring him to try to help her with the baby Andrew stuff, which ends up blowing up in his face. But that’s for the next post. 🙂

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