Heart of my own

This is surely one of the greatest breakthrough scenes of all time. I wore out my VCR watching this over and over again back in the day.

Let’s take a look at the setup:

Failed date 3

I love that Kayla gets to express her anger. After all, Steve did stand her up, even if she doesn’t know the full story. Her anger here is a thing of beauty. When she realizes it is him standing there, her body language clearly says, I can’t believe you have the nerve to show your face. And then when he says he wants to explain what happened (and I always wonder what he was planning to say), Kayla is having none of it. That slap!

Stephen also does well showing Steve’s dawning awareness that this time is different. Kayla isn’t just exasperated with him, this is something far more serious. Being Steve, he can’t break through and try to fix it. But I love that he sticks around as long as he does, he doesn’t run away immediately. This is part of the subtlety that makes their early story so good. Yes, the overall dynamic is that Kayla is the active, determined one, and Steve is the one who is ready to run away and give up. But the way he lingers here even after it’s clear that he is not welcome — it shows how much he wants this, how he doesn’t want to let it go. Even when she slaps him, he grabs her hand and doesn’t let go.

After he does leave, finally, the prostitute comes in. I think she lays it on a little thick, but it gets the job done. I do think Kayla is a little too willing to forgive him after this. After all, he still stood her up. But I could see two things factoring into her reaction: the fact that she knows he did show up (because of the flowers), and the fact that he came by the next day and actually wanted to explain.

Failed date 4

There are so many classic elements here. The water, of course. Kayla coming over soaking wet is a sign from the beginning that this is going to be a key scene for them. It gives Steve a chance to say about five times that she needs to “get out of those wet clothes.” Hee! He’s very concerned about that.

Before she gets there, though, we get a “Steve in the mirror” scene. This shows how much her anger has affected him, and how he has internalized it as self-loathing. We also see that he believes Kayla has rejected him forever, and his reaction is to pack up and leave town. Good thing Kayla shows up when she does.

I really love the moment when Kayla explains that she saw him with the prostitute, his reaction, his anger at that. He is remembering how humiliated he felt the night before, and the fact that Kayla saw him adds to that humiliation. I think he’s even more touchy about not sleeping with the prostitute. He knows that Kayla knows, or guesses, that he sent the hooker away because of how he feels for her. That makes him even more vulnerable, so he lashes out.

But, when Kayla tries to leave after that, he can’t let her go. He has no clue how to fix anything between them, but he can’t let her leave like that. So he makes it about the rain, and her getting out of her wet clothes. And when she sees his bag, she puts it all together.

Stephen and Mary Beth clearly rehearsed and prepared for the scene that follows, their body language, the way they are talking over each other. Here is where Steve and Kayla both lay it out on the table, all the issues that have been percolating. I think my favorite line is when Kayla says Steve is the one who made a big deal about the dinner party by not showing up. Not that she didn’t care about it, but he was the one who turned it into (with some help from Bo and Chris) The Great Defilement.

I love the way Kayla says so passionately, “I have seen you do good things!” And Steve asking if she thinks there’s a knight in shining armor in here just dying to get out. When he grabs her and says “look at me, Kayla!” it is a perfect echo of the earlier “Steve in the mirror” moment. What does she see when she looks at him, and how it is different than what he sees? Who is the real Steve? This is what their argument is really about.

Then, Kayla’s declaration, that she has a heart of her own and will give it to whoever she wants. I love the look on Kayla’s face when she realizes what she just said. I think she’s every bit as shocked as Steve. For one of the few times, Kayla actually turns away from Steve. And Steve’s body language in response, his whole body seems to be yearning for her as she turns away – and the look in his eye, so open and vulnerable. When Kayla says, “Don’t you know what I’m trying to say?” her slight dodge there shows her vulnerability too. The walls have come down for both of them.

And then, Bo comes in and spoils it. The first of many timely interruptions.

And, the aftermath back at the loft is pretty wonderful too:

Failed date 5

I love how Kayla rips into Bo when she hears that he was the one who turned Steve away last night. And Steve’s facial expression as Kayla does it is absolutely priceless.



33 thoughts on “Heart of my own

  1. The “I will give my heart to whoever I please” scene is probably my absolute favorite of all time. I don’t know why this one resonates with me over and over, when there are so many great scenes to choose from, but this is my #1. I think it’s because the acting and connection between the actors is so strong here. The moment you pointed out, where Kayla turns from Steve, realizing what she’s just admitted, and his reaction, “if you are trying to tell me something, just say it” is SUCH a pivotal moment. it’s where the audience truly knows that this is it. She loves him, and he loves her. Of course they are miles from finally admitting it.

    The writers teased us with it previously. But, I think this is the moment that everyone, Steve, Kayla and audience, KNOWS.

    I rewound and watched this a million times too. And probably will again thanks to you. Perfect scenes to post today, with them finally having a real scene together tomorrow for the first time in a long time.

    Thank you!

    • This is up there in my favorite scenes too. I think the scene where Steve tells Kayla Jack is Billy is my absolute favorite (if I had to choose), but this one comes a close second, I think. So many “classic” S&K elements are in this scene: he rain, the “Steve in the mirror” scene, the “look at me” moment, even the timely interruption.

      And watching in order like I’ve been, it struck me how so many things are put into words here for the very first time. Steve saying he’s “doing her a favor” by leaving, Kayla accusing him of running away because he’s afraid, and the “It’s not how you look, it’s how you are” line. All of that makes this so pivotal, as you say.

      I thought the timing would be good if I did the failed date last week and ended with this scene over the weekend. 😉

  2. >I love how Kayla rips into Bo when she hears that he was the one who turned Steve away last night. And Stephen’s facial expression as Kayla does it is absolutely priceless.

    This is my favorite thing. He calls her sweetness, but he’s attracted to her fierceness, too. I love that, and love his silent grin as he’s totally content to let her have the last word with Bo on the subject, at least for the moment. Their dynamic as a couple is starting to emerge here, even though it’ll be ages before they’re truly together.

    • Yes, her fierceness is such a great part of her character. The writers of the second run didn’t get that, they saw her strength as more patient endurance, and that was never her. She was active and persistent, sometimes bullheaded. I love that part of her and love that Steve gets it and appreciates it.

    • I love that too…When Kayla surprises him and stands up for herself (and for him) and follows her own heart, he does a double take. It’s like we see his chest swell up with pride in her, and he just loves her even more for it

  3. I had been interested in this couple before, but I think this was the moment I thought “this is my new couple.” I love this scene when Steve asks Kayla if she thinks there is a “knight in shining armor” wanting to get out because years later Steve tells baby Stephanie the story about the knight in rusty armor. Back to this scene, when Kayla just blurts out “I have a heart of my own” and suddenly Steve realizes that she also has feeling for him (he might have wondered before, but this confirmed it in his mind). The look on both MBE and SN’s faces just shows how much thought they have put into the characters, not just reading the words on the paper. On another note, I would have enjoyed seeing the conversation between Bo and Kayla after this 🙂

    • I love the callback, deliberate or not, to this scene when Steve later talks about being a knight in rusty armor. It shows he’s come to see himself more like Kayla sees him, and it’s more the packaging that’s “rusty.” So great.

      Steve has been obviously totally mystified as to why Kayla seems interested in him, and it all comes boiling over here. He thinks she’s wrong about what she sees when she looks at him.

  4. I stumbled upon your blog a couple of months ago and love it! Your character analysis is spot on and I enjoy reading other’s comments especially regarding my favorite couple, Steve and Kayla. I have been a DOOL fan since the early 1980’s though I agree that the last few years have been dismal. When I was in college, a girl on my hall had a VCR so she would record Days and a bunch of us would meet in her room around 4 each day to watch it. This was during the mid-eighties when Days was amazing! I am beyond excited that Steve is back!
    Thank you for posting these scenes! The “I will give my heart to whoever I please” is one of my favorites. The way they USED to develop characters and relationships was so awesome. SN and MBE are the best!

    • Thank you, Cathie! Yes, SN and MBE are the best!

      I was in middle school/high school during this time and taped it every day. My mom and I watched together. I stopped watching when I went to college – no way to tape it! So I never saw the early 90’s stuff until now.

  5. Thank you! So much goodness in these scenes! I told you it wasn’t fair to make me wallow without the payoff of these two clips!

    First of all, I am not sure Steve had a real plan of what he was going to say to Kayla but he just couldn’t stay away so he went to see her at the EC. He seems a bit surprised by how angry she is but he has no idea she saw him with Florence. I love the slap! But i also love Steve’s response..”I guess I had that coming, for being stupid enough to think I owed you an explanation of any kind.” He is the king of deflection, always reverting to sleazy comments or jokes when things got too real. And Kayla’s response that they don’t owe each other anything and asking him to leave seems to hurt him. He doesn’t have any trouble pushing her away but then he can’t take it when she does it to him. I think this is when he realizes she has the ability to hurt him and it scares him.

    I think this is first time we see Steve’s “flight” response but luckily Kayla’s fight response trumps it when she shows up and confronts him when she realizes he is about to run away. It’s funny how many thunderstorms followed Kayla around in those days. Obviously I could go on and on about Kayla’s declaration and what that means for our story but you all have pretty well covered that.

    I love the part back at the loft with Bo and Steve. First of all, I have my theory that it was after this when Kayla finds out the truth about Bo and Steve’s past. Steve’s comment about how “When Bo Brady cuts someone loose that’s it, it’s goodbye.” i think that is Steve really talking about his relationship with Bo. Steve is over what happened in their past but it’s Bo that keeps putting him down and telling him to get lost. Steve’s references about “more than meets to eye” and referring to himself as the “one-eyed man” are interesting to me. it feels like he wants to remind Bo of his role in making him the bum that everyone thinks he is. Of course Kayla returns and overhears the part about Bo lecturing Steve the night before. I love how she doesn’t hesitate to stand up to Bo and I love Steve’s reaction. It’s funny when she cuts herself off a bit when saying “What Steve and I do is…” The way Bo looks at Kayla and then Steve and Steve looks at Bo and then at Kayla. It’s like the cat is out of the bag, a clear declaration that Steve and Kayla are going to be together. Again, I REALLY wish we had gotten to see Bo and Kayla have that long talk she tells him they are going to have! Why couldn’t they just give me that?

    Although Bo still objects to them being together I think this is the last time we see him confront either Steve or Kayla about it. Obviously he vents to Victor and that leads to Victor’s interference on New Years Eve….New Years Eve 2006…probably my favorite scenes of all time.

    • He is definitely surprised by the depth of her anger. He knew she would be mad, but he wasn’t expecting the total freeze-out that he gets. I like your point that he is always pushing her away but he freaks out when she does it to him. SN plays it so well, not wanting to leave, but not being able to do anything to make it better and maybe making things worse.

      I like the Steve/Bo scene too. A lot of good undercurrents there. Their relationship is so interesting. Good point that he might be reminding Bo of his role in making him the way he is — and of course the way he is is why Bo is warning him away from Kayla. So there might be a little jab there. But when Kayla comes in and rips into Bo Steve is obviously content to let her do the talking. Hee!

  6. Remember when they used to use those kind of close-ups on the faces without any words? The looks between Steve, Kayla and Bo at her apartment are so great. They didn’t need any dialogue! Priceless.

    I have to add that I always crack up at the scene at the hospital later. That bandage on Dr. Horton’s head is hilarious (I miss MacDonald Carey and Frances Reid), and also the line from the orderly, “let the patients have the doctors first.” Steve’s lingering look at Kayla as he leaves, and her awareness of him, even when focused on her job. Sigh! I was a Steve girl from the get go, but rewatching all this made me fall in love withe Mary Beth and Kayla. It’s hard to be Ginger Rogers to Fred Astaire, and often the female half of the partnership doesn’t get as much credit as they deserve. She was such a perfect partner for Stephen. I’d love to hear about her auditioning for the part, and how they connected (I assume he must have read with her), since this was a planned couple, not just an accidental chemistry situation.

    • Oh, you have to hear them talk about her audition and their reading together! They’ve talked about it in interviews. She says she was a little scared of him because he was super intense and all outfitted in his leather jacket and patch. And he says he loved how she turned him after their first reading of their scene and said, “Well, that was crap.” I love the way they talk about it, it’s so funny.

      I’ve used the Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire metaphor too, to describe their dynamic. You know how they say she had to do everything he did, only backward and in high heels. Hee! I admit I was kind of all about Steve back then too, and revisiting it has made me appreciate how interesting her character, and her journey, are.

      • Oooh I’ll have to look around and see if I can find an interview where they talk about it! I bet it was intimidating working with Stephen that first time. He seems very focused and serious about this work! MBE is always so entertaining in her interviews. She’s so light and talkative, and really not like Kayla much at all. I always enjoys their interviews together. Especially how much they love each other.

        I’m sure you saw on twitter that he sent her yellow roses to celebrate his first airdate. How sweet was that? It’s so nice to hear how highly they think of each other, and how much fun they’re having. Days seems like a great place to work right now.

    • Well now, that’s the best news ever! I’m so excited that TPTB are finally realizing that even though they don’t have the budget of the 80’s anymore, that the style itself worked. It must be hard for the actors with the fast shooting schedule, but it keeps everyone on their toes, and the vets like Stephen, Mary Beth, Kristian and Peter must be thrilled to have a venue to really showcase their acting chops like this again. And what a great challenge for the younger actors. This kind of thing builds camaraderie in a cast. Everyone wants to do their best and not let anyone else down. Good on Days!

      It’s thrilling that there seems to be so much emphasis on S&K also. Mary Beth is constantly posting photos of herself studying scripts. Could this mean we get our slow burn one more time??? !

  7. There’s not much more I can add to the already eloquent discussion that’s been posted in the blog and replies above….I can only share my reaction 🙂

    I do think it is *so* telling that Steve showed up (at the emergency center) to try and explain, instead of sulking or putting up his walls again. He entered the emergency center- without a plan of action or explanation- but he did it anyway. It’s important to him to at least try to do something…but his walls do come up as soon as he sees Kayla’s anger. He doesn’t expect her to shut him out completely. He doesn’t expect her to slap him. He feels like his major effort to just show up is useless. And anyway, he was sure she was going to see “the real Steve” and walk away at some point anyway, and figured this was that moment. So he walks away in defeat and makes plans to leave Salem.

    And then…Kayla learned that she was wrong. Instead of being prideful, she walked right up to Steve’s place and (in one of my favorite parts) gave him one of the roses he had left at her doorstep, an olive branch of sorts. She was going to be vulnerable if that’s what it took, but she wasn’t going to back down and let things go just because of their argument at the emergency center.

    I always liked Kayla. I really did. From the minute Mary Beth came on the show, I knew I liked her spunk and energy and the love she had for her family. I loved how caring, connected, strong, and loyal she was for the people she cared about. And I fully understood that was exactly what Steve needed in his life, and never had. I appreciated how much she had to give even when she got little in return. But these scenes depicted Kayla as more than just “someone to lean on”. She was someone who “had a mind of her own, a heart of her own” and was willing to stand up for those things no matter how difficult the circumstances.

    I know I was not alone telling Kayla “You TELL him OFF girl!”. That argument was so beautifully done. It wasn’t one sided. We watched it escalate from Steve putting his usual walls up and Kayla throwing it back in his face. She was tired of hearing it and she was tired of not being heard. She almost just exploded and her feelings came pouring out of her mouth. As a viewer I just wanted him to be quiet and to hear HER for once. And then he did. He really really did. And it was beautiful.

    Steve had that surprised reaction on his face (same one we saw in Stockholm) when he finally heard her. He just could not believe that Kayla actually did see *him* and loved *him*. She finally broke down his last wall and he was stupified.

    Oh my gosh they were so close….so close…And I was a *puddle of goo*

    And then Bo. And I just hated Bo SO much at that moment

    I still do, every time I watch it. LOL (thank goodness for Kayla telling him off later).

    • I love how you put it, that you just wanted him to HEAR her, and he did in that moment.

      That earlier scene is so interesting because part of me is saying, you stood her up, doofus! But it’s true that it was seeing him with Florence that made the difference. After all, when she saw the flowers she went to look for him, even though he had already stood her up by that point.

      It’s unconscious, maybe, but he’s gotten used to Kayla meeting him halfway, more than halfway, and he expects she’ll at least hear him out. When she doesn’t he leaps to the conclusion that that’s it, she finally wised up.

      • I felt like that too. Like he was being so defensive and yet… HELLO STEVE she has a right to be angry. LOL…I was mad that he seemed to forget that. But it just fed into his deep insecurity about whether he deserved her in the long run anyway, so he wasn’t willing to fight too hard for forgiveness at that point.

      • PS SO true/great point about Steve jumping to conclusions when Kayla is angry/upset or unwilling to hear him out.

  8. I had forgotten how good that scene was from when Steve came to apologize. So many great layers on both sides. I hope they let MB really play pissed off Kayla, she does it so well.

    I think Kayla coming to apologize to Steve is the start of the getting them all wet trend. Love it. Poor MB she really was looking like a wet kitty here.

    Also, do you know if the actress playing Florence is SN’s wife, Lisa?. Seems like I read that somewhere before.

    • I seem to remember hearing that was his wife back in the day but when I look at her she looks too old to be Lisa. I guess it could be the wig and makeup but I am not sure.

      • I remember hearing the rumor too. But I’ve met his wife at different plays through the years (and she’s lovely). That’s definitely not her.

      • Oh, I think we will get our pissed off Kayla wish! I have my hopes very high this time around. Please, writers, do the right thing!

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