China doll

And now, the second hash-it-out conversation (after “heart of my own”) I wore out my VCR watching:

After omelet dinner

This scene starts with Kayla trying to continue the moment they had over dinner. Steve is smiling but acts ultra-casual, trying to forestall her. When she persists, he tries to push her away with his (probably false?) story of the hooker who taught him to cook. Kayla doesn’t fall for that and tries to propose another toast, so Steve gets mean – when he says they aren’t “setting up housekeeping” or anything, are they? That jab doesn’t discourage Kayla entirely, but she does retreat a little, talking about being “friends” and “friendly” – when they both know that isn’t what this is about.

She also says she wants a relationship that’s honest. When Steve pushes her over to the mirror, I love that we’ve had so many “Steve in the mirror” scenes that we know Steve is being 100% honest about what he sees – sweet, perfect Kayla next to the man with a “patch over the hole in his head.”

Again, their body language is so good here. I love that when he gets done with his little harangue and steps back, his hands run over her shoulders in a kind of caress.

Kayla calls him on how he treats her — here’s someone who has a good feeling about him, “however small that feeling might be,” and look how he responds. And then she turns the tables on his tough guy act by essentially calling him chicken — when she says she expected him to be a little tougher and braver, and take the risk of being her friend.

Then I love how he turns the tables on her in return. He says she didn’t open up her heart to him at all — the implication being that she’s going on and on about being “friends” but she’s dancing around the truth too. I love that he asks her to take a risk, tell him exactly what she’s feeling. He’s right — she’s holding back a little bit too (understandably so, but holding back), hoping he’ll meet her halfway.

Bo’s entrance is perfect because it’s so acutely embarrassing, especially for Steve, to be caught in this vulnerable moment. But Kayla has had enough of these alpha males, and she lets them have it with both barrels. I love this! She’s right, both men feel like they know what’s best for her, and they’ve been trying to run her life and make decisions for her. My absolute favorite line is the way she turns to Steve and says “you treat me like some china doll who’ll shatter if you just touch me.” Mary Beth adds a little zip of longing to the way Kayla says “just touch me.”

And that’s what this is really about.


5 thoughts on “China doll

  1. When we watched the omelette and fries part I failed to mention that this is one of those rare occasions where both Steve and Kayla are having a really good (80s) hair day. By 80s standards both are big enough but not too big, with just the right amount of feathering. And then Bo comes in with that glorious mullet of his! I love it!

    I remember wearing out the VCR tape on this one too. My best friend and I would both record the show and then watch when we got home from school. Then usually call each other and while on the phone rewatch the parts we loved so much and then we would save the tapes at least for a few weeks (some forever) and we would have sleepovers on the weekends where we would watch these scenes over and over. Then we would go buy all the soap opera magazines we could find that had S&K in them and we would made these scrap books all about S&K…LOL. I know I should be embarrassed about it but I am not.

    FYI…I always figured the hooker story was true. When Steve says “We’re not setting up housekeeping or anything?” and Kayla retreats a bit with her reply “That’s not what I meant.”, I always got this hit of disappointment on Steve’s face. This is such an awesomely written scene but it’s acted out even better. Steve moves around like he’s trying to dodge the feelings that this is all bringing up. He spends so much of the scene facing away from her or looking down instead of looking right at her. It’s like a perfectly choreographed dance. I love right before the mirror scene where she is talking about being friends and enjoying a meal together his back is to her and he is smiling. We all know that’s what he wants but he can’t admit it.

    Bo’s entrance is perfect but again it makes me furious that we never had a scene where they tell Kayla about the patch. Kayla is right, Steve is hiding behind the patch and using as an excuse to push her away and she just called him out on it and right on cue here comes Bo. Kayla is great standing up to both of them and putting them in their place. Of course as soon as she is gone we get another one of Steve’s jabs about Bo seeing 20/20. I still laugh at Steve’s mistake in referring to Kayla as Bo’s “little sister”.

    The tensions between Steve and Kayla seem to have settled a bit by the time they return to the hotel to learn about Roman’s plan and we have this beautiful music video moment where Kayla touches Steve’s cheek before he heads out on this dangerous mission. OMG I wanted him to kiss her before he walked out that door. Although their first kiss is pretty much perfect this moment would have worked for me too but we just get this weird little head bob thing.

    • Don’t be embarrassed – I wish I had had friends who were into S&K like I was back then. I had one friend who watched Days but she wasn’t that into Steve and Kayla. My mom wasn’t either. So I had to wait 20 years to find my peeps online.🙂

      I totally agree about the hint of disappointment on Steve’s face around the housekeeping line. If he could just admit it, it’s what he wants more than anything.

      I agree the writing is great but the acting is even better! A “dance” is a perfect way to describe it.

  2. Love everything you mentioned MP- will only add-

    That electric blue top…I mean, how much more 80s can Kayla get LOL🙂 I loved it back then though LOL

    I SO loved Kayla standing up to both Bo and Steve, it was a highlight for me for so long (well it still is but it packed a bigger ‘punch’ back then when Kayla was always being told what to think about Steve/feel about him). But I kind of didn’t like that in the next scene Steve’s casually walked with her back to the hotel. I wanted there to be a little left over anger and maybe an apology from Steve…Then there was that moment before he walked out to go help Roman. So I couldn’t stay upset over it lol.

    • I loved that top too, Liz! Very 80’s, but better than neon green.🙂

      I know what you mean about the lack of follow through back at the hotel room. Sometimes the plot demands that these big emotional moments get shoved aside. But I do love that last little moment too.

  3. I love it so much I had to watch it again. One other thing, when they return to the hotel and Steve is drawing the map for Roman and Kayla asks what could happen if he made a mistake and Steve chimes in “Come on have a little faith, baby. It’s one of your best qualities.” It’s a perfect line. Her faith in him is the only thing that keeps this relationship going.

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