This is an old story. A woman who is disillusioned with her true love will lean on a man who hasn’t let her down, and in doing so ends up dating him/kissing him/falling into bed with him. Off the top of my head, Hope did it with Patrick, and Jen did it with Frankie. It’s a specific variation on the “Mr. Simple” story — more like “Mr. Dependable” — and when it’s done right, it can address a problem of breakdown of trust in the main couple. And here’s the thing: Steve and Kayla have never done this story. When Jack #1 came along as Mr. Simple in 1987, Kayla never wanted to be more than friends. It was fantastic to see Jealous Steve, but it was clear to us as viewers that all Steve had to do was declare himself and Kayla would come running.
This is different. I don’t know how seriously Kayla will consider dating Fynn, or kissing him, or (eek) falling into bed with him. I’m guessing her reaction after today will be to try to put some distance between them. But the real issue, which was clear in today’s episode, is that she is unable to trust Steve.
I’m sure there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth on Twitter and message boards about the kiss today (I’ve been staying away). Not just because of the kiss, but because Steve was off rescuing Joey while Kayla was falling into Fynn’s arms. She pointed out correctly that Steve was keeping her in the dark, but it would be easy for a viewer to justify Steve not telling her the full story while it was still unfolding (and while there was no time to lose). But if you know their history — even of the last few months! — Kayla’s frustration was logical and justified. Steve “playing God” Johnson was reverting back to form, even after the debacle of Ava and knowing how much Kayla hates secrets and has trust issues with him. As a mark of good faith, he should have been sharing every clue, every lead.
So yes, I do think she is justified. But in the end, I actually don’t care if Kayla is “right” or not. It is human and understandable for Steve to keep her in the dark so she won’t worry, but it is also human and understandable for her to turn to the closest source of comfort in a moment of distress (and pain medication).
I’m prepared for this story to go south, and quickly, but at the moment I am still — cautiously — on board.