One thing I love about the Steve and Kayla story is that while there were external obstacles aplenty, they didn’t need them to complicate their story. They (well, mostly Steve) could create obstacles without any help at all.
But before we get there, let’s enjoy this happy, happy ending to the Frankie and Max story:
This scene is particularly special because while it is small, it is pure happiness. Kayla asking Steve, “So, how’d I do?” Steve thanking her for helping him, back when he was injured. And, of course, that kiss on the cheek. Swoon. The steps along a supercouple journey seldom give us such uncomplicatedly blissful moments.
More typical is oh, something like this:
I always find this excruciating to watch, and I don’t know why, exactly — it’s not rip-your-heart-out angst like we’ll get later. I think it’s because it follows that lovely scene we saw above, and we so much want them to be able build on that. We can see they do too, which makes it hard to watch this evening unfold. It’s painful to see Steve obviously looking forward to his date with Kayla, primping outside the door and almost giving her a flower. Then he’s so clueless about her obvious hints that she has plans, and so transparent in the way he keeps repeating “it’s no big deal to me.”
Then, it’s painful to see Kayla cancel her date with Chris and join them after all, only to have Steve turn on her:
Here is what makes this so great: Yes, Kayla has a date. But Chris isn’t the obstacle. In fact, he’s quite nice about it all. Steve’s reaction to Chris is the obstacle. And then Kayla’s reaction to Steve’s reaction … well, you get the idea.
It all turns out all right: Steve thanks her sincerely for showing up, he offers to walk her home and she accepts. But we end on a bittersweet note. He pauses outside the door to pick up the flower he almost gave her — symbolic of their missed connections tonight.