It all makes sense

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:

Kayla finds out Shane and Kim are working together

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.

28 thoughts on “It all makes sense

  1. OK…going down memory lane here for a bit. I think when you are a HUGE fan of a supercouple, like S & K were back then…it is going to be hard to see one with someone else. For me, Steve was the love of Kayla’s life, we had suffered & celebrated with them every step of the way. Whether it was Shane or someone else, I had an issue with how fast I felt it happen–also, Shane being part of another supercouple..I think that was an issue for Shane & Kim fans. If Kayla had to be put with someone, I was always pulling for Marcus–he always had a crush on her & I felt I could have lived with that pairing–I may not have liked it, but I could have lived with it. Great clip you posted…MB , I felt, has always been underestimated—-

    • I agree with you completely but I also felt that Shane and Kayla had a familial connection that made pairing them romantically feel wrong and it just didn’t seem like something either character would have done.

      I am sure if I re-watched it all now that I would be able to appreciate the soapy drama and the nuanced performances in a way that I couldn’t back in the day but my Steve and Kayla loving heart doesn’t really want to relive it. I do know when I re-watched the Marina storyline last year it wasn’t as vile as I remembered it being so if I were willing to give Shayla another shot I might enjoy it…but I still don’t want to…lol.

      But regardless how I feel about the story… was still infinitely better writing than what we have now.

      • I agree with you both. I can’t even watch the story line where S dies b/c I just can’t take it… the pain my dear K had to go thru?? I know he’s alive and well now, but damn, the woman had to suffer for so long. I know, I keep telling myself it’s ALL Fiction… doesn’t help when you have 2 characters/actors as great as SN & MBE. I agree that if they were going to set her up with someone, it should have been Marcus, and I also agree, that I would not have liked/been able to accept her with anyone else. I’ve re-watched where S comes back… I love the cemetery scene. MBE sure did plant a good one on him🙂 One of their best kissing scenes ever (IMO). But, I stop watching when he regains his memory b/c I don’t want to see them ripped apart again when those Dumb-A– writers decide to get rid of them (again).

        I’m glad I stumbled across MBE when she returned to Days. I thought, oh, she’s back, then realized K & S had supposedly divorced and said to myself BS they would’ve never… Then, I’m double glad I stumbled across just on the day SN returned. I’m glad they’re back on, although not nearly as frequent as they should be.

        I am hopeful that Days will turn S&K into Alice & Tom at some point… let them grow old together in love and teaching all the youngsters how it’s done. I am also hopeful that some day Days will release the full S&K story on DVD… I’d bet they’d sell a ton of those. My only thing is that they must tell the full story, BUT it MUST MUST MUST end with them together and happy… otherwise, if the show should get canceled, then we’re all screwed living in misery with them on our dvd set not together😦 –and there’s my 2 cents on the matter

      • DVDs of Steve and Kayla’s story would be awesome. I wish the show would do couple edits. They could sell them at fan events. Imagine them with some extras like interviews with MBE and SN. Ah, it would be great.

        Stephen said at the brunch he’d like them to be the next Tom and Alice of Days … awww, that would be so awesome. And I love that he can see himself staying on the show that long!!

      • I remember reading once, a long time ago, MB & Charles looked at each other during this story line and said to each other “What are we doing here?”–LOL I kind of agree with both you & Mary in the familial connection being a bit weird, but it could also interesting if done right. I should rewatch the Marina story line too–I was so angry at the writers for treating us like idiots at the time, because we all knew he was with Britta at the time he was supposedly with Marina! Also, didn’t his “marriage” negate their yacht wedding-UGH—on second thought, I’ll pass on rewatching–LOL🙂

      • OHHHH the Marina storyline is so good the second time through, LJ! You have to give it another chance.😀

        That’s very funny about Mary Beth and Charles. I’ve heard Mary Beth make jokes about it at events – I know she’s not a fan. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the awesome work she did in it!

    • LJ, thanks for watching the clip. Glad you liked it! Mary Beth does so well in this story.

      I think you’re right that people would have had a hard time with any pairing Kayla had — and I think that includes Marcus. But, maybe I’m wrong. My personal opinion is that putting her with Marcus would have felt like an afterthought. What’s the story? They sit around talking about how great Steve is?😛

      Shea, the family connection does feel a bit incestuous, and then you have the whole two supercouples thing, so I get it. But the family connection is what gives the whole thing its best drama, and the Brady family dynamics are soooo good and so fascinating. So I wouldn’t want to give that up!

      Watching Shayla in light of today’s show gives me an entirely different perspective …

      • Yes to all of this! I’d really love them to revisit Shayla now… not to try to make the pairing work, but take advantage of all of those connections and ties and that history. I can’t imagine that Shane and Kayla being together wouldn’t have still have ripples. Plus the actors seem to be such good friends, I’d love to see what they bring across on screen now.

        Enjoyed the clip — although I did laugh now at Kayla urging Bo to fight for Carly.

      • I knew my Shayla peeps would show up!🙂 I think it would be great to revisit Shayla and the ripples from it in the here and now. But … they won’t. I think it’s been tossed down the memory hole. And most fans I’m sure are just fine with that.🙂

      • I’m late to this conversation (where did my Shayla detector go?), but I love your analysis.

        I agree that any relationship Kayla had with any established character would have felt weird. I don’t think she would have worked with Marcus; it would have felt like one of those marriages that came about because girl was promised to older brother, he died, and she then married younger brother. Marcus was too tied to Steve — not just in his past, but also in all his storylines.

        The scenes you linked are so well-acted and I love that nobody shies away from the messiness of the situation. The scene where Kayla confronts Shane the next day at his house shows how much she has grown as a character. I love that she can say that she feels betrayed and she doesn’t just give in when he kisses her. I do have some issues with the writing of this period, namely, how and when Kim got involved in the ISA mission is never established clearly so her thoughts and motives are a bit muddled. When Kayla questions if Kim has been taken in by Lawrence, I’m not even sure Patsy Pease knew how she should have been playing that.

        Two other things. One, no matter what you think of Shayla, that ring was ugly and should never have been introduced. It paled in comparison to the cameo Shane gave Kim.

        Second, you didn’t mention the wine tasting that Shane and Kayla did right before he left to save Kim from Lawrence. Kayla wanted to sleep with Shane that night, but he told her it wouldn’t be right. It’s never clear if he sincerely felt that or if he was just putting her off because he knew he had to get to Lawrence’s (which begs the question of why Shane would go drinking in the first place). That adds to the context of Kayla learning of Shane’s betrayal — and helps explain why Shane and Kayla don’t actually sleep together for several more months.

      • Your Shayla-detector will be issued to you at Day of Days — you’re going, right? Have you heard about the Shayla convention? You are invited! We have 6 fans so far who are attending … you’ll make 7. We are hoping Charlie will be there along with Mary Beth, it’s going to be epic!!

        I completely agree that the weakest part of this whole storyline is how Kim was supposedly feeling for Lawrence. We went through like 4 different stages. Kim and Shane working together unbeknownst to Kayla, Kim and Shane and Kayla all working together, Kim working alone while they all thought she was back with him, and finally them all working together again. Or something. Through the whole thing people were questioning how much Kim felt for Lawrence and the show didn’t really know what they wanted the truth to be. By the time of Lawrence’s trial for rape Kim is finally supposed to be falling for Lawrence for real and it just wasn’t believable. Patsy did her best but it was the part of the story that doesn’t work very well. (It’s actually what I had in mind when I wrote above, “the show still tried to sell us character motivations that didn’t quite make sense.”)

        Ha ha, Erica says the ring is way better than the cameo. I am neutral on this issue.🙂

        I think you have a great point about the fancy dinner and the wine tasting (I agree, I always thought it was strange that Shane would be drinking before his big break-in to Lawrence’s). Kayla is so cute in that scene! That’s the closest they come to sleeping together for quite some time. So I think you’re on to something about the trust issue she has with Shane after that night goes awry.

      • The ring is better than the cameo. Sacrilege. I’m not sure my Shane-and-Kim loving heart can take that.

        Barring a work emergency, I should be at Day of Days. I only live 10 minutes from Universal Studios, so I can’t really claim travel or cost is a hurdle.

        Regarding Kim, in the essays I wrote about Shayla several years ago, I speculated that a significant problem was that Patsy didn’t know what the writers wanted Kim to feel. In a way, she played the role too well — she was convincing when she said she and Shane were done and she was convincing when she seemed upset about him and Kayla. There was no subtext like there would have been if she had a clear direction.

        Another flaw in the storyline for me was that Shane had no sounding-board while all of this was going. Aside from a scene or two with Peachy and a scene with Julie, who prodded Shane to acknowledge that he was falling for Kayla, we never really got a sense of what Shane was thinking or feeling during the triangle and all of this upheaval. They did have him say some things to Kim, but I don’t think he could really be that open or honest with her. I wish the writers had remembered his friendships with RoJohn and Bo. It would have been nice to have them confront Shane about what the situation was doing to the family and allow him to open up a bit.

  2. I sucked it up and watched the clip… A little stomach churning, but it wasn’t too bad. I do agree that MBE was fantastic, but she always is, so I’d rather them have gone down a different path. I think if they’d found a different way for her to find love again and move on from S, she may have been utilized a little longer than just one year after S left…. But, then, we may not have our S&K today, and that’s what most of us, if not all of us, want here, right?

    • Oh, yes, S&K is definitely what we all want!🙂

      Thanks for watching the clip. Yes, Mary Beth does a great job, doesn’t she? I agree that in an ideal world they would have brought someone new on for Kayla, like they did for Bo (Carly) and Roman (Diana, Isabella). But what’s that saying? You watch Mary Beth in the storylines you have, not the ones you wish you had. LOL.

  3. As I’ve admitted before, I always liked Shayla. Not as a “true love forever” type of couple, but as a “this works for the moment” storyline. Plus, the whole family dynamic during this time is really amazing: Kayla/Kim, Kayla/Shawn, Kayla/Shane/Kim. I miss the “days” when families interacted rather than a scene here and there and sometimes the writers even remember the characters are related (I’m looking at the current team of writers when I typed that out). Plus, it feels like to me that this was a time for MBE to shine outside of SN (and yes, I am a huge Steve/Kayla fan).

    • That’s exactly the way I feel about Shayla.🙂 I love it more for the family drama, and the focus on Kayla, than for the romance. I do think MBE and CS have chemistry, but it’s a very different kind of chemistry — obviously! — than what she has with SN and he has with Patsy. Plus like you say it was a way to explore the character of Kayla without Steve and I thought they did some really interesting things.

  4. Well, anyone who knows me knows how much I detest Shayla in every way possible. So I don’t rehash my disdain! Just wanted to add to the notion of great classic DOOL stuff – for me the Kayla poisoning was such a terrific and suspenseful storyline. Even today I can get caught up in it knowing the outcome. Look at it again. All the stuff Steve does to sleuth out the truth with the pills, the honeymoon, the false pregnancy, the fainting, and then puts it all together when time, and her lifeblood, is running out. Great suspense for a soap.

    • Agreed timeaxismedia..that was a great story line—my personal favorite –Stockhom—I so wish they would go back !!

    • I remember those days well too. Great stories… It did bug me for a while that all was “forgiven” with Jack. But, the writers did turn him into a character I really enjoyed (eventually). I got to watch Tues’s episode, finally, via NBC’s blotchy crappy streaming, but I saw my S&K again after 2 very long weeks. That time was spent watching old clips and not the actual show🙂 I set up a special pinterest page for my S&K addiction and pinned some videos to it so I don’t have to go digging for the ones I love.

      On a side note, Mary, selling videos at the fan events wouldn’t work for me… never know when they are and am probably 100s of miles away… I need them on Amazon Prime, like yesterday🙂 Wish I could meet SN/MBE someday, but I know that’ll never happen. I follow MBE’s blog and she recently posted a cute video of her and SN discussing parent/grantparenthood

  5. LJ, I’ll be honest with you, I always want to see S&K, so I am quite biased. They both do some really great work in the snippets of time they were given on Tues’s epi. What I do, is go to nbc’s crap website, wait for the commercials then move my little bubble to each time I see S&K (of course waiting thru the 2 min of commercials each time). I’ll do things like wash dishes while I’m waiting. I literally do not watch any other part of the show… I care that little about what else is happening outside the Johnson family.

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