Sweetness and Light
The Golden Days of Patch and Kayla
By Naomi Rabinowitz
Soap Opera Digest, September 19, 2006
The recently returned Steven Johnson and Kayla Brady (a.k.a. Patch and “Sweetness”) were one of soaps’ most beloved supercouples in the ‘80s and still remain one of the most popular pairings of all time. Here’s a look back at their years of romance and adventure on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
Kayla Brady returned to Salem after a three-year absence. The nurse set up the Riverfront Clinic and then met Steven Johnson a.k.a. “Patch.” The pair soon fell in love; he even let her take a peek under his eyepatch. Later that year, they went to Stockholm with several other Salemites to rescue Marlena from Orpheus. While there, Patch and Kayla enjoyed their first smooch.
At the clinic, Kayla became pals with co-worker Adrienne (Judi Evans, now Bonnie), who turned out to be Patch’s sister. He was plagued with nightmares about Adrienne (who killed their biological father, Duke, after he raped her) and pulled away from Kayla. Patch took the blame for Adrienne’s actions, but he was cleared. Kayla was hired as a nurse for Jack Deveraux, who was suffering from Hodgkin’s Disease. Jack fell for her, but she still loved Patch. She and Steve made love for the first time on the roof of her building. He encouraged Kayla to stay with an ill Jack (who turned out to be Patch’s brother). Kayla wed Deveraux and his condition improved.
Kayla and Patch continued to sneak around. When Jack found out, he raped his wife and had Steve beaten up. Patch and Kayla went to the mountains and had a symbolic wedding. However, Jack soon found his wife and hauled her home. A rooftop fight between the brothers ensued, and when Jack fell, he was badly injured, Patch donated a kidney to Jack; Kayla filed for a divorce. In lieu of pressing charges against jack, she accepted a settlement instead.
Later that year, Kayla was attacked by The Riverfront Knifer (who turned out to be Harper Deveraux, Jack’s adoptive father) in her building. The killer accidently knocked over a can of gasoline and the basement blew up, rendering Kayla deaf and mute. When she and Steve wed, the bride miraculously regained her speech in time to say, “I do.” During their honeymoon in the Orient, the duo encountered a deft child named Benji and brought him back to Salem. Benji’s mom, Ellen, warned them to keep the boy away from his evil father, who was revealed to be Stefano.
Benji left Salem with his grandfather, Orion. Patch then encountered a badly burned man, who was actually a presumed-dead Nick Corelli. Nick thanked the couple for caring for him by giving them an old mansion. In it they found old Civil War-era clothing and a diary featuring the story of the author, Emily (Evans), and her beau, Gideon (Nichols). When Steve’s friend Marcus needed help getting information on his past in South Carolina, Patch and Kayla traveled with him and brought along the diary. Patch had surgery, got a glass eye and assumed the alias “Daniel Lucas” so that he could bring down scammers who were disguised as a religious revival group.
After they returned to Salem, Steve’s presumed-dead wife, Marina (Hunter Tylo), arrived claiming that they were still wed. Patch went to Italy with her so he could help her find a family treasure. While fighting with Victor over the key to the treasure, Steve’s eyesocket was damaged, forcing him to wear a patch again. When Kayla learned she was pregnant, she went to Italy to tell patch and caught them in a compromising position. Still, the Johnsons managed to keep their marriage intact.
Steve and Kayla planned to retie the knot, but during the ceremony, she was arrested for Marina’s murder. After Kayla gave birth to their daughter, Stephanie, she was sent to prison. She escaped after Stef was kidnapped by her nanny. Marina’s sister, Isabella, then confessed that she had killed Marina in self-defense. The baby was found in Australia, Kayla was freed and she and Patch finally rewed. Tragedy stuck, however, when Steve was injured in an explosion that was meant for Bo. At the hospital someone tampered with his IV and Steve flatlined. At his funeral, the coffins were switched. A grieving Kayla had a brief romance with Shane Donovan, but went to California with her daughter in 1992.
Earlier this year, Kayla returned to Salem. Meanwhile, an ailing Jack met Nick, an orderly at the hospital where he was recuperating…but Nick was actually an amnesiac Steve! Jack brought Steve home, but he couldn’t recall his past with Kayla. She summoned Stephanie (Shayna Rose) to Salem, hoping their daughter would jog his memory. Then it was revealed that he had another life – and wife! – in Cincinnati. But Steve has bonded with Steph, and he’s even called Kayla by his nickname for her, “Sweetness.”