Kayla decides

Awhile back, I contended that the scene in the barn, when Kayla says she believes Steve about Britta, is the foundation of their relationship. I still maintain that’s true, but I would say that it is about their connection, their relationship, period. If we are talking specifically about their romantic relationship, I think it’s a little different.

Again, we have to look to Kayla. The attraction between them is pretty much immediate, but I think we can agree that if Kayla had not decided to pursue him, there would be no love story. So when does she decide?

Here’s a scene with Kim, where we see her thinking about it, arguably the first time we see it explicitly:

Kayla and Kim

(I love these family scenes! It’s such a great way to show what characters are thinking, and showcases other kinds of relationships, not just romantic ones.)

This is when Steve is still in jail for questioning regarding Britta’s murder. Kim asks Kayla about Chris and talks about how nice it is to have “strong arms around you.” Kayla agrees about the strong arms, but denies any interest in Chris’s. Kim, obviously referring to her own (currently busted-up) relationship with Shane, goes on to say that it’s better to have loved and lost … and Kayla finishes it:Β  than never to have loved at all.

Inspired, Kayla promptly goes to see Steve — in jail. (Not, probably, what Kim had in mind.) That doesn’t go so well.

Another key scene, perhaps the key scene, takes place in Stockholm. After Kayla has flown to Stockholm to treat Steve, she has this conversation with Hope:

Kayla and Hope

I love Kayla’s simple “Yes,” when Hope asks if she cares about Steve. I love her look of vulnerability. Kayla the fighter is afraid.

It’s such a relief to hear Kayla finally get some encouragement from someone, since Bo and Roman — and Steve! — have been telling her, and will continue to tell her, that she’s out of her mind. And Hope is the perfect person to offer that encouragement.Β  Not only because she knows Steve, and probably likes him better than anyone else in town besides Kayla and Max, but because of what she went through with Bo. I love that she says it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

When Steve wakes up, we can see Kayla already trying to take those words to heart. She goes over to him and deliberately (and a bit awkwardly) puts her hand on the bed on his other side, so she can lean a little closer. His first words are encouraging, “So I wasn’t dreaming … you’re really here.” Then his protectiveness comes out and he’s trying to get her to leave. This is going to be part of Kayla’s challenge: the more Steve cares, the more he wants to protect her — especially from him.

27 thoughts on “Kayla decides

  1. I’ve been resisting a little, but this scene made me want to do a deeper rewatch. The push and pull here is so good. There was one line in the previous post’s clip — Kayla saying to Hope that she was there “helping, just like you” which rang a little passive to me. It’s nice to see her more confident about her role here, because she’s definitely going to have to fight for it.

    (And for some reason, her sweater had me flashing back to that chapter in each of the Babysitter’s Club books where they would describe what every one of the girls was wearing. That’s a Stacey sweater.)

    • Do it! Watch along with me!πŸ™‚

      I love Kayla’s sweater! I don’t always love Kayla’s wardrobe but this is beautiful.

      I like how we see her finding her way to being that confident. She really doesn’t know how to go about it at first, plus she’s protecting herself a little too. Great push/pull, like you say.

  2. As I re-watch this an adult I certainly have more of an appreciation for Kayla’s strength and how much she fights for this relationship than I had watching as a teenager. I also have more of an appreciation for just how fragile tough guy Steve actually was. Talk about high maintenance!

    • I do too. Back when I was 14-15 watching this I was just soooo in love with Steve. I didn’t appreciate the risk she took in going after him and I missed a lot of the complexity of the love story. It’s been such fun rediscovering it as an adult. And yes, Steve is high maintenance, isn’t he?πŸ™‚

      • I was in my early 20’s and I loved Steve with a passion! But watching this now along with you, I’ve come to appreciate MBE’s performance as Kayla more and more. It’s hard to play a character who is so GOOD without coming across sanctimonious or preachy. Mary Beth’s Kayla was so truly good that she tried to see the best in everyone, but she was also pretty smart too. She felt that Steve needed her, sure, but she also saw someone who could give her things she didn’t have on her own, maybe an adventurous spirit, real-life tough experience, insane passion, and of course deep love. She senses that Steve loves deeply, and so does she.

        MBE’s Kayla was never the bad girl, never schemed or plotted, but she wasn’t weak and she wasn’t boring. She stood up to Steve, to her family, to anyone who told her “you can’t do that.” She always wanted to give of herself and help, to her own detriment at times. Her character is really a rarity on soaps. She basically has been a one man woman for thirty years (with a few disastrous efforts to move on along the way).

        She was also never showy with her appearance, never provocative in manner really. She’s a beautiful woman, but her beauty was always played mostly of her spirit. She and Eric of current DOOL are kind of kindred spirits in that regard.

        On another note. How great are she and Patsy Pease together as sisters? Totally believable. Patsy was so awesome as Kim. I loved her steadiness. I can’t remember how things were finally left with her and Shane. Is there any chance at all that Charles Shaughnessy might make an appearance for the 50th?

        It’s actually amazing how many of the original actors from the 80’s are still playing their roles! Good on Days.

      • I love how Kayla radiates goodness and integrity, and great point that Eric has the same quality. I think you’re right. And I do think it can be difficult to play these GOOD characters without seeming preachy, self-righteous, or boring.MBE and GV can both do it.

      • Oh, and I think Kim and Shane are supposed to be together now. They left separately in the 90s but had an implied reunion in 2010ish when they both came back at the same time. Not sure if CS could come back or not. He’s doing My Fair Lady on stage right now.

      • I’ve definitely come to appreciate Kayla more as an older woman than I did when I was watching them in my early twenties.

        And I definitely agree that Eric is a kindred soul, though he’s a little more emotionally volatile at times. (Interesting that both characters have been raped, by the way. I wish they’d played Eric’s rape aftermath with the same care they played Kayla’s, though).

        I see Nicole as a kindred soul with Steve as well, though. Both grew up in abusive households. Nicole actually shot her father (and Steve would have shot his, given the chance). Both of them yearn for love and acceptance but never quite know how to go about finding it. Nicole tends to self-sabotage more than Steve does, and like Steve, she never feels worthy of being loved, even as she yearns for it. I hope the new writers remove her from the bright orange glow of Dr. Dan and return her to the Nicole she was during the rectory story, when she really started to believe she could be a better person.

        Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to seeing if Dena Higley and Josh Griffith can capture the magic of Steve and Kayla again, too, at this stage in their lives.

      • Eric does differ from Kayla in interesting ways. He has more trouble being fair when his own emotions are involved, and has more of a tendency to lash out.

        And I agree about the parallels with Nicole/Steve, especially their feeling of being unworthy of being loved. Whereas Steve responded by pushing everyone away, Nicole responds by feeling she has to scheme and lie to “fool” someone into loving her/ staying with her.

      • Oh, and agree about the show neglecting the aftermath of Eric’s rape. It’s part of my reading/fanwank on the “season of hate” that I’m working on a post about.πŸ™‚

  3. Love these scenes and I have been watching along with you. I think they put MB/Kayla in the off white sweater and skirt to help her look even more like the rescuing angel or even Steve’s guardian angel. Her 80s big fluffy blond curls help, too. I’m wondering, as I am writing this reply, if the idea of Kayla, being Steve’s rescuing, guardian, etc angel may have been intended somewhat, by the writers. I have always, thought of her as not just as a physical healer (nurse) but as a spiritual healer, but never really as her character being written, on some level, as being Steve’s personal angel. I’m sure other fans have thought of this, but, it just hit me.πŸ™‚ There surely, is enough evidence of Kayla being an angel for Steve throughout their story,

    In the jail scene, the reaction that Steve has when Kayla asks what pushed him to threaten to kill Britta is so conflicted. There is no way he would ever tell Kayla that it was Britta starting to threaten her, that made him break. We know he never would have killed Britta but, his intense violent threat to Britta probably shocked and scared him and shocked and angered Britta.

    I am finding in watching this storyline, that as much as I love SK when they finally get together, I think this if probably my favorite of all their stories. (so far;-)

    • I think what drove him to threaten Britta the night she was killed was finding the pictures she took of his tattoo. He realized she only slept with him to get the picture. He said he would find out what she was up to, and he would kill her. He did threaten her another time, though, over Kayla and Bo.

      I think you are right about why they dressed her in the angelic white sweater in these first scenes. It really does make her have this otherworldly kind of look and fits with how she appears out of nowhere like a vision or dream. That’s how Steve obviously sees her.

      I don’t love the idea of Kayla as Steve’s angel in general, though, because I like the aspects of Kayla so much that play against that. Her stubbornness that borders on bullheadedness, her sexual forthrightness. But I have no doubt Steve saw her that way.

      • Yep, you’re right about the death threat. I did a rewatch. It’s amazing how our memories sometimes tweak stories to the way we want them.

        I would love to see the character profile of how they changed Kayla when she returned as MBE and how the character evolved in relation to Steve and even how Steve changed in relationship to Kayla. We know SN had major influence on the development of Steve originally, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during those character development discussions.

      • “I think what drove him to threaten Britta the night she was killed was finding the pictures she took of his tattoo. He realized she only slept with him to get the picture.”

        Kinda what Serena did to Eric…

        I always saw Steve as Kayla’s angel. He made himself her protector long before she trusted him. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only reason he continued working for Kiriakis as long as he did was so that Kiriakis didn’t hire someone else who might actually hurt her and Bo.

        He may have perceived Kayla as an angel, but he was definitely hers.

      • Love this.πŸ™‚ It’s long been my feeling that Kayla was drawn to the “love without limits” aspect she sensed in Steve’s character, and as the perpetually overlooked Brady she found that particularly appealing.

    • I just posted before seeing your reply and I agree with you- at least in these scenes, they definitely did play up “angelic Kayla” as Steve’s healer in more ways than one. But I think that was sort of how Steve saw Kayla before he really got to “know her” For example: He saw a different side of her when they were on the run together. As they fell deeper in love, he began to see her as his partner/equal (although he always put her on a pedestal, as it should beπŸ˜‰ ).

  4. Love the comment about Kayla’s sexual forthrightness! She was never played as a “temptress” or really provocative in any way, so when she WAS bold it was so cool. She was much bolder in both act and fantasy than Steve, who at times early on acted like a scared virgin! The scene where Kayla gets drunk and comes on to Steve is one of my very favorites!

    I also used to love when Kayla would “do” Steve. Call him sweetness or make fun of how he always talked to her. There’s the scene where she give him the book inscribed with the passage from The Rose. He thanks her sincerely and she says something like “I found it in a garbage can and thought, can’t let that go to waste.” It literally makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it. Great stuff.

  5. I thought I had scene every Steve and Kayla scene ever but I’m in shock: I do NOT remember EVER seeing that Kim and Kayla scene and I am kinda giddy about it!!! wow! I love that Kayla immediately said it wasn’t Chris she was thinking about when Kim suggested it was “his strong arms” she was thinking about. Aww If I had seen that as the 13 year old watching Days, this scene would have had my heart doing triple flips.
    I mean…Kayla was admitting out loud to someone that she had feelings for Steve (without mentioning his name), already at that point in the story. Well thats pretty huge to me since I hadn’t seen it. (maybe I am getting the timeline wrong, it’s happened before-i am getting senile lol- but isn’t this pretty much the first time she did that?)

    And then there’s her talk with Hope about Steve as they watch him sleep. At this point in the story, Kayla is so insecure about what Steve’s feelings are, which was justifiable considering his whole bravado/jerk act. Hope -who knew Steve’s softer side even better than Kayla did at this point- was able to encourage her sister in law/friend that she wasn’t wasting her time trying to get through to Steve. In fact, Kayla (and needing Kayla) was exactly what was on Steve’s mind when he was hurt- and Hope makes sure she knows that. That encouragement from Hope was clearly just what Kayla needed. She wasn’t just “imagining” things or “hoping” for something that wasn’t there.

    *sssigh* “I wasn’t dreaming, you’re really here” was just the sweetest thing…

    Regarding Kayla’s sweater: I too loved that (even though I didn’t always love her outfits)! Assuming the intention was to make her look like an angel in white arriving to save the day- it was very perfect!
    Also loved Kayla’s hair in these particular Stockholm scenes. Soft and pretty and not very 80s (in contrast to Hope’s lol).

    • Ha – so glad I could show you a new scene! I think it is the first time we see her talking about it. Obviously she’s being indirect there but it’s clear what she’s thinking. I’m always tickled by the fact that this sweet conversation leads her to the jail. But it makes Steve’s hostility even harder to take.

      Yes, I love that Hope tells her Steve said her name earlier. Like you say, it’s just what she needs to hear. And it’s such a relief for us too, seeing Kayla finally get some encouragement. She really needs it right now, having just taken the big step of coming here.

      • LOL you’re so right –it’s pretty hilarious that Kayla has to go see Steve in jail after that “pep talk” from Kim lol. It was quite the opposite of a romantic night inπŸ˜‰ I think dinner with Kim was probably the better option. ..maybe? lol

  6. I love these scenes. Kim talking about Chris’ “strong arms” and then Kayla running off the jail to see Steve. Definitely not what Kim was thinking about. I’m also watching Shayla on my old DVD’s and it’s sad to see the differences in the sisters’ relationships.

    Now to go back to Steve and Kayla in Stockholm. At this time, it seems to me that Hope is the only one that really realizes Steve and Kayla care for each other. They are both beginning to admit it, but until Hope asks Kayla, neither one of them had said it out loud. I love the fact that Hope was the first person to see the real Steve and she’s able to help Kayla see that he is OK and just needs someone. In a scene with Roman after this she makes the comment that she thinks Steve is rather fond of Kayla. I love the word “fond” because it is so much more than that.

    • I’m watching Shayla too, as you know.πŸ™‚ I agree it’s hard to see the contrast between their closeness in this scene and all the conflict we’re seeing in 1991.

      I love that scene too, where Hope tells Roman Steve is “rather fond” of Kayla. Roman does a great reaction, shouting “fond?!” so incredulously. Hee!

  7. Loved the oppressive big brother stuff during this period. Roman and Bo were such pains in the butt to poor Kayla, but the closeness of the family bonds were played out so wonderfully. They really felt like a family, like real brothers and sisters. Remember when Kayla first returns, and she is afraid to go and see “Roman” because he’s going to look different. Then when she gets to his house, he asks her what she thinks of his new face, and she says “it’s a big inprovement.” From then on the brother/sister relationship was set. They all really played well off of each other. I wish they had just kept Drake as Roman.

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