I’m going to beat a dead horse again.
One thing I didn’t appreciate about classic Days, until I experienced the modern version, is how well-structured it all was. Sure, there are exceptions, but if you go back and watch stories, even the “bad” ones, you’ll be delighted and amazed that they have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Situations were milked for dramatic possibility. Conflicts were presented that naturally arose from different points of view. Suspense was drawn out so we could get invested in things before the Big Drama.
Crazy, huh? Now, I’m not saying things were perfect. The show still tried to sell us character motivations that just didn’t quite make sense. They still pursued couples that didn’t have chemistry. Stories devolved into repetitive rehashing of the same issues. But the storytelling bones of the show were strong, strong enough that the flaws are ones I can live with.
But I digress. As you may guess, I have been watching Shayla again. And I have just seen a very strong climatic arc to the story of Kim and Shane working together to bring down Lawrence, while keeping Kayla in the dark. Three separate story threads come together in a wonderful way. Let’s watch:
So we start out with a very happy Kayla, looking at an emerald ring that Shane has given her. She said she wasn’t ready to wear the ring when he gave it to her, but we can see here that the gift is precious to her and she is obviously getting ready to take the plunge with Shane and tell him she loves him. Then Shawn shows up (who you may remember from my last post is dead set against Kayla and Shane). And Kayla makes the same plea to him now that she did then, that Shane helped her when nothing else could — but this time, Shawn relents.
As I said above, unbeknownst to Kayla, Shane and Kim have been working together for months to bring down Lawrence. While Kayla is rhapsodizing about Shane and what a difference he’s made in her life, Shane and Kim’s secret plans are finally coming to head –they lure Lawrence into attempting to murder Kim with a rare disease he’s been deliberately spreading. At the crucial moment, Shane jumps out and they catch Lawrence red-handed.
This same disease, meanwhile, has infected Bo, which makes him behave erratically and get into a fight at the Cheatin Heart. Roman breaks up the fight and calls Kayla to help with little brother Bo at the police station. This, of course, puts Kayla there conveniently in time to overhear Kim and Shane when they bring Lawrence in. And the big secret is revealed.
I love the dramatic reversal — Kayla has decided she can trust Shane, she can open up to him. She’s ready to tell him she loves him. Even her father has relented. At the station, she gives Bo a moving speech about the importance of opening up, taking the risk to trust someone … and then, she abruptly discovers that Shane has been keeping a big secret from her for months. With his ex-wife. Who is, of course, her own sister. And all the pain Kayla has felt watching her sister romance the man who killed Steve has been based on a lie too. Ah, it’s so satisfying!
The little nuances, that add so much, aren’t neglected — Bo’s special relationship with Kayla, which is why Roman calls her to come to talk to him. Roman’s anger at Shane for involving Kim in the plot against Lawrence. And Mary Beth just kills it — the scene with Shawn, the scene with Bo, and the scene with Shane.
It’s all so well done, it honestly kind of breaks my heart that people hate Shayla so much.