Wrong

My worry all along about Dena, as a writer for Steve and Kayla, is how she would write for Kayla, or really all of the female characters. She doesn’t seem to know what to do for the “good” women. She seems to enjoy writing for bad girls, like Nicole in the babyswitch story, or Ava (gag) in her first run. But her supposed heroines are often bystanders, dupes, indecisively drawn to two or more men, or gone temporarily bad (like when Hope was taking sleeping pills that turned her into a nighttime mugger who tried to kill Bo  — remember that story?)

So far, in this run, it hasn’t been that bad. I have enjoyed how she has written for Marlena, showing her as a doctor, a profiler, and someone willing to go toe to toe with Orpheus. The writing for Kayla hasn’t been as good as that, but I have enjoyed the scenes with Kayla as a doctor, particularly the scenes with Abe. And I have enjoyed watching Steve and Kayla cooperating and working together since this whole business with Orpheus and the other villains began. I appreciated that Steve and Kayla’s reconciliation seemed to happening (somewhat) slowly, and I really liked when Kayla contrasted her optimism that Steve would rescue her when Orpheus kidnapped her in 1986, to how she feels now. Even if it wasn’t exactly accurate (she thought Steve had been killed in 1986), the larger point was a good one: her earlier faith and naivete has given way to a realistic awareness that things don’t, in fact, always work out for the best.

So, I was feeling a little cautious optimism. Then came this week.

First, I did enjoy the scenes where Kayla helped Steve evade the lockdown at the hospital so he could go after John.

stevekaylascarf

It was fun to see her arguing with the hospital administrator, and to see them cooperating for John’s sake. Stephen and Mary Beth always add a little extra something to their scenes. This time, I loved Steve’s look when Kayla asked him if he could make out on the fire escape: it seemed to say, do you know who you’re talking to? And then of course their kiss — the way she grabbed him was really lovely.

But then, when Kayla told Adrienne about what happened, Adrienne said “You couldn’t talk him out of it?” And Kayla’s response … “I’ve come to accept this is who he is.”

Is this Dena’s understanding of what their problems are? That Kayla can’t accept who Steve is? She even told him after he quit his job at Blackpatch that it wasn’t about him changing who he is — that would only lead to him resenting her for it. Instead it was whether she could live with the danger that he always seemed to attract. AND another issue, which they haven’t come close to addressing, is trust. Can she trust Steve not to keep her in the dark, not to play God with her life and Joey’s life. They’ve never properly addressed what happened in Africa that made him run off, nor have they really hashed out what happened with Ava. All the pain that Kayla has gone through, and she’s the one in the wrong? I said recently that I was worried that their issues were being boiled down to, “Does Kayla realize that Steve is, in fact, a hero?” And that seems to be exactly what has happened.

Grr.

Screencap Forever_SAFE

21 thoughts on “Wrong

  1. Preach it, MP!!

    That single line sent me into a soap rage on Wednesday. It’s not just wrong, it’s insulting – to the character and to the fans. Instead of being at least a little about Steve’s bad choices, it’s now entirely about Kayla apparently not appreciating how wonderful Steve is. Ugh . . . I can’t even.

    So thanks, Dena. Now instead of looking forward to a true reconciliation, I’m trying to brace myself for just how much this is going to be about Kayla apologizing for ever having doubts in the first place.

  2. That did bug me a little – Kayla’s optimism that Steve would rescue her in 1986, was in reality entirely inaccurate. She thought Steve had been killed at sea. She was totally distraught, and assured he was dead. Her tearful relief upon seeing him all wet in the boat (a great performance by her then) does in fact go against what was said this week. Why do the writers get these things wrong, and why don’t the actors go, uh, hold on there young writers who were in diapers when we did these scenes…not quite how it happened…

    • I don’t think the real problem with the scenes was that Kayla remembered what happened in 1986 incorrectly. It’s that the writers don’t bother to deal with Kayla’s feelings that were part of the story like a month ago.

      Nonetheless, the reason the actors don’t always fix those things is because they don’t remember either. It was 30 years ago. They’ve had a gazillion storylines since then, played other characters on other shows, and don’t have the benefit (or, I’m sure, the desire) of watching the old storylines and clips on a regular basis.

      There’s really no reason that Stephen or Mary Beth would remember that, for a few minutes, Kayla thought Orpheus had killed Steve. If they remember it at all, I would expect them to remember the rescue part (i.e. the part that was shown in the flashback).

  3. I don’t know if I agree with that entirely – I think actors for the most part remember their work. For one, I would think a scene like that, intense and full of tears, would be memorable for MBE. 30 years is indeed a long time, and yes they had other soap work since then. And yes they probably don’t go back like us fans and re-watch old eps. But I have to wonder, this is their passion and life’s work and I’m not sure they would forget stuff, certainly not key moments like this when their storyline was pretty young, leading to the most popular daytime wedding in history, if I’m not mistaken.

    • It does seem like they would remember because they bring so much to it and do it so well, but I think Erica is right. I heard that Mary Beth didn’t even remember, when she came back in 2006, that Jack raped Kayla! So I think it’s a pretty safe bet she wouldn’t remember a moment from a single episode, even one as intense and as good as this one was.

    • You don’t have to agree with me, but as MP said, MBE has flat out told people (including me) she doesn’t remember a lot of details from the first run 30 years ago.

      And yes, it was intense to film, I’m sure. But MBE probably had 30+ scenes like that (tears, intense emotions, etc.) between May and November of 1986. And that doesn’t count the hundreds she had in the years after. SN hasn’t been as forthcoming about not remembering the details, but I have no reason to believe he’s substantially different in that department.

      Acting is certainly their passion and life’s work. But acting encompasses everything they’ve ever done, not just one role or one story. They are both very committed to these characters, but that doesn’t mean they remember every detail of every scene or story. They remember the basic love story and I’m sure there are a few memorable scenes. But they just don’t remember everything. You might not like it or agree with it, but it’s true.

  4. Just jumping in here—I can see where both sides are coming from. It is amazing that MB would forget that Kayla was raped by Jack, a fairly pivotal moment—but, professionally & personally, for both her & SN—-life has been busy for the last 30 + years. I remember scenes & details pretty quickly—but I haven’t had to read thousands of pages of dialogue since then. I believe the fault in the history fail, with this instance & Orpheus acting like he doesn’t know Hope—-falls on the producers or whoever was pulling up the old clips. These ’86 clips had to be looked through to pull out the ones relevant to the current story line. They were the ones who should have seen those details involved in the ’86 story line and gotten them correct.

  5. Yeah, it’s been frustrating to see Kayla’s POV fade out.

    I saw some comments on twitter the other day that the writing only gives POV to one character in a couple, but I don’t even see much POV for Steve in this. Maybe a little in his occasional peevishness toward Kayla, but he hasn’t really had a chance to talk about how he feels about their breakup or her supposed attitude either. And the notes that have been missing all along, under both Josh and Dena, about him leaving his family and trying to win them back, are still not there. What he is getting is more like “fan service” — being called a hero, the action moments with John, Kayla seemingly warming up to him. I think fans are responding to that. But even then we aren’t hearing much about how that makes him feel.

  6. To go back to the original point. When I heard Kayla say that ne single line the other day my heart sank. Welcome to Dena world. Where strong independent woman are reduced to standing by their men. Very disappointing but I guess it is better than the second run. I think I will start calling the Dena years the 4th run from now on.

  7. I should have known Dena wrote that Hope storyline when she was the nightime mugger. Ugh. Worse was Bo basically choosing to be with Carly over Hope during that long storyline.

    I’ve accepted not to expect much from Steve and Kayla as long as Dena is there. I’m just trying to enjoy the little crumbs of romance we get.

  8. I wondered if that little line to Adrienne bugged anyone else but me! Speaking for myself, (and I am not slamming MBE here at all) if I had been handed that script with that line I probably would have marched into Dena’s office and threw that crap in her face. It just baffles me why there isn’t more here; deep meaningful conversations that actually resolve issues instead of maybe 3 minutes that barely skims the surface. So much has not been dealt with (Africa, Ava and Steve’s God complex) and I agree with you guys; I don’t want to see Kayla portrayed as the whiny, grudge holder who is pathetically glad to have any crumbs thrown her way. Welcome to Dena’s days. I really don’t hold out for much anymore.

  9. Ok this might be long so forgive me 😄. It doesn’t bother me that Kayla accepts Steve for who he really is because she’s always loved him for that. Personally, I don’t necessarily see him as being drawn to danger as much as I do it finding him, though I do still feel like he gets some excitement from these situations. Looking back at their history, I don’t feel like he was seeking out the situations. He was the bad boy turned good from the love of a woman. Over the years, everything he did was to help a friend or family, and usually that was one of the Bradys. The Steve of the late 80s was content to take the job with the Salem PD and settle down with his family. Until of course his death that immediately followed. Fast forward to Steve during the 2nd run. Most of us were disappointed with the initial return and different bits that followed. Maybe I missed it, but it could’ve been explained that being gone for so long, living a different life put the Steve we knew into the danger mode, but again I felt like it was more of dealing with issues from his past that caught up to him more, than he sought them out. I only got the whole “family isn’t enough, he craves danger and excitement” during Kayla’s explanation to Abe and Jennifer for his absence and explaining the divorce. Now all may not agree with me, but when I heard that I thought “no way!” This is not the couple we know!! But I understood they had to explain his absence. Fast foward to 2015 when Steve finally comes back. To me, this is where they dropped the ball. They set up this story that he only left Africa because of the infamous and still mysterious threat. We all waited patiently to hear what the threat was. But we never got that explanation. So many good missed opportunities! Ava- the ISA could’ve really needed him to get rid of her and she threatened his family so he walked away to protect them and take care of her. It could’ve had to do with finding out Bo was missing and he was searching for him but couldn’t reveal that because, well it’s the ISA and it would put them in danger. ORPHEUS!! How cool would it have been that it had to do with him! That maybe he was behind his original “death”, that Orpheus knew Lawrence and with the whole John Black/Forrest Alamain, there could’ve been some connection! Heck, they could’ve even connected Isabella’s death to Orpheus. OK so my imagination is running wild but I had hopes, lol! Anyway, my point is that things fell back apart with the whole Ava thing. She forgave him for Africa and though it was rather quick, they moved past it, in part to Bo’s death bringing them together. Then, he slept with another woman! To me that is plenty of reason for her to be angry and push him away. Instead, the writers didn’t even bring that up when Kayla was breaking off the engagement. She said it was because he finds trouble and trouble finds him. This is true. And she had every right to say that. But not once during this separation did we hear her bring up Steve sleeping with Ava. That is what is so frustrating! During their 2007 run, when they bring Joey home from the hospital, she let it all out about Steve almost sleeping with Ava. Yet this time we get nothing. That changed everything between this couple for me because it’s something that had never happened before. The other things should be secondary to the trust that was broken. Love them both and want nothing more than for them to get back together. But let’s do it the right way and make Steve earn it and it not all be on Kayla.

    • > She forgave him for Africa and though it was rather quick, they moved past it, in part to Bo’s death bringing them together. Then, he slept with another woman! To me that is plenty of reason for her to be angry and push him away. Instead, the writers didn’t even bring that up when Kayla was breaking off the engagement. She said it was because he finds trouble and trouble finds him. This is true. And she had every right to say that. But not once during this separation did we hear her bring up Steve sleeping with Ava.

      I never quite believed they had genuinely dealt with the Africa stuff… It felt like an underlying faultline that they had pushed aside first as a leap of faith, and later because there were other, more pressing things. I understood why she didn’t bring up Ava raping Steve… I think she was conflicted, because it did affect how she felt about their relationship, but she didn’t feel her feelings were fair because he was forced. It was kind of interesting how Steve kept telling her this summer that she was the only one for him, while she was saying her issues were about danger and being sure that things would be different.

      As much as the story was dragging, I thought they were doing a pretty good job letting those twists and turns in the story become subtext, up until recently.

      • Good points!! Africa has always been their underlying issue. And you’re right, Steve did sleep with Ava against his will. I wish that whole storyline never existed!

    • Michelle, you are spot on!!! I am probably going to make some folks mad with me but here goes. Yes I know some people think Ava forced Steve to sleep with her, and yes in a way she did. She held Kayla’s kidnapping over him & pretty much told him she would let Kayla die if he didn’t sleep with her. I get that. BUT WHY THE HELL DID HE KISS THAT BITCH? If it was meant to be a rape story line, then why did he kiss her? ok and while I am being petty, why did he take off all his clothes? The way it was filmed made it look like it was raunchy rough sex; not rape. Steve laying there after with his shirt off, and Ava on top of him? That just didn’t go over well with me at all. The whole SL didn’t go well with me but if it was rape, why didn’t he push that skank off of him and throw that damn phone in her smug face instead of lying there?Guess I am having trouble moving past it, but I haven’t felt the same about Steve since then. I know he told Kayla he hated himself for it, but he still has not groveled enough for me.

  10. Great points brought up by both Mary & Michelle. Remember when, a few weeks ago, Steve was lamenting that he wasn’t there for Joey growing up and Kayla actually said “You more than made up for that when you were willing to go to prison for him.” Seriously—give me a break–I just about screamed at that line. Okay, you’re absent from your son’s life for 15 yrs….no problem–ugh !! As for the time MB came back & SN didn’t—still don’t understand why the writers couldn’t leave well enough alone and just set up some scenario where Steve stayed back in Africa & they would talk periodically & she would go back & visit. Let’s face it, Kayla wasn’t on all the time & they didn’t pair her up with anybody—so, why not ? The way they set up the whole idiotic divorce thing had me feeling that Steve was basically a dirt bag. I love S & K, but, that really needs to be hashed out—-he was a low life for abandoning his wife & son—vague references don’t cut it–hard for me to let go of that, although the writers seem to have no problem moving on from it. Let’s deal with the trust issues Kayla justifiably has…..maybe Steve does go into therapy & realizes what a low life he was for what he did–no matter how he has tried to spin it.

    • 15 years?! The timeline for how long S/K we’re separated isn’t clear to me. They aged Joey so we’re to assume they were apart another 15 years?? No way. In my mind it was about 3 or 4 years.

      • Hey Michelle…well the 15 yr reference was in soap time — lol. They left in 2009 — Steve returned in 2015. I was basing it on Joey being a toddler when he left and then a senior in high school when he returned. Soap timelines are crazy, but my main point is that he missed the bulk of Joey growing up & I couldn’t believe Kayla came out with that line😮 !
        Good news all S & K fans—the previews show Kayla without a head scarf–yippee !!

      • They’ve never said exactly, but Joey has talked about things that happened as a family when he was a kid. He was 16 when Steve returned, so 15 years is probably too long. I guess 8-10.

  11. Wow, Michelle and LJ, you guys are right on… I have nothing to ad🙂 As to whether SN & MBE remember details of story lines/scenes… They had sooo much stuff from ’86 to Steve’s death. I’m not surprised they don’ t remember. If MBE didn’t remember K’s rape or even drunk K for that matter (which was probably a ton of fun for her), then I’m not surprised she doesn’t remember stuff from Orpheus days since that was so early on in their 1st run. The only things I’ve heard MBE say she remembers is the deaf story line and the 1st wedding (b/c of all the bugs she said).

    We can only hope that Dena et al hears the fans and gives us what we want… strong, non-victim women… just how Marlena was portrayed w/profiing, doctoring etc and Kayla at Abe’s bedside and in doctor mode. Fingers crossed that our faves aren’t ruined again and gone from us for good either at their choosing or pushed out….

  12. Yeah, that was a stupid line. Dena is just plain old shallow, among many other things. For me, it could’ve been improved about 1000 percent if Kayla had said something like “You and I both know, you can’t talk Steve out of it. And for John’s sake, that’s a damn good thing. For me… well, we’ve still gotta figure that one out.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s