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Background: Early Kim and Shane

Indulge me a bit.  A couple of friends who I know from a different fandom have looked at the story, but mentioned that they don't know the characters.  So I am going to periodically provide some links to YouTube clips from the show that I think might help give some understanding of the characters and also some background essays.  I'll label the posts "background" so people familiar with the show don't get too bored with me.  I've asked people on the Sony Boards for suggestions of choice clips as well and have received a few suggestions that I intend to use, and at some point, may even do a Shane/Kim chronology of the major events in their lives between 1984 and 1992.  That may be a significant undertaking because Shane and Kim probably experienced more soap opera cliches in eight years than just about any other soap couple.  Let's see, there was: (1) the dead wife who turned out not to be so dead; (2) the psychotic ex-wife (the one previously thought dead) who tried to destroy the couple; (3) hysterical blindness; (4) two "who's the daddy" storylines (Andrew, who was believed to be Victor Kiriakis' son for a year, and Jeannie, thought to be Cal Winters' daughter); (5) a kidnapped child (Andrew); (6) a long-lost daughter (Shane's daughter, Eve, who was also a prostitute and tried to break them up); (7) a miscarriage (or two, I'm not entirely sure); (8) a wrongful conviction for murder (Kim for killing that previously returned-from-the-dead, psychotic ex-wife); (9) an evil twin (Shane's brother Drew, who turned out to be working for the evil Stefano DiMera); (10) a "death" (Shane, thought dead in an explosion during an ISA mission); and (11) amnesia (Shane, following that explosion).  And, come to think of it, those take us only through 1990, about six years.  And during that time, they had myriad break-ups, reunions, near-death experiences (by my count, Shane was shot four times and stabbed twice, not to mention escaping death numerous times on missions, while Kim was in a car accident, attacked twice, nearly killed by Shane's crazy ISA partner -- anyway, you get the picture), plus the damage they inflicted on one another.  And, then, after 1990, the show really messed up the couple, by splitting them up and due to uncertainty about Patsy Pease's (Kim) status, they paired Shane with Kim's sister, Kayla, in what is still considered one of the most reviled pairings in soap opera history (it was so bad that both actors involved left the show).  Yet, despite the absurdity of the plots, they still managed to carry off the storylines and made you want to root for them during it all.

Let me start with a quick summary of early Shane/Kim.  Kim was the oldest sister in the Brady clan, one of the core families in Salem.  Her older brother, Roman, was a police officer.  Younger brother Bo was a rebel who road around on a motorcycle.  She also had a younger sister, Kayla, who returned to Salem a few years later.  Kim's return came after several years living in Europe where she worked as a photographer by day and a high-priced call girl at night. 

Shane was an agent with the ISA (the International Security Alliance, a mishmash of CIA/FBI/MI5, that originally seemed mostly to consist of Brits, but later was identified as part of the US Government).  Kim's brother Roman also worked with the ISA, and his contact for years had been Shane.  They never met in person, but talked regularly and became very close friends.

Shane came to Salem in 1984 during an investigation of three prisms that the evil Stefano DiMera was trying to recover.  During the investigation, a number of Salem residents, including Bo and his lover Hope, were in a plane crash and stranded on an island that Shane believed to be controlled by Stefano.  Believing Kim had photographed the island, he conducted surveillance on her apartment, and learned that she was a prostitute (albeit unwillingly).

That leads to one of my favorite early scenes, which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsfaZMvzp30.  Shane is about to try to find the stranded passengers and plans to meet up with Roman, who is already in the Caribbean.  Shane goes to see Roman's wife, Marlena, to assure her that he will send Roman back to Salem.  (That plan later goes awry when Shane is captured by Stefano's lackey and doesn't manage to reach the island.  Roman goes ahead, but is in a fight with Stefano).  In any event, before Shane talks to Marlena, Kim confronts Shane about his intentions regarding her past, the answer is not what she expects, and her interest is piqued.

Their friendship grew over the next few months, revealing the strong chemistry they had together.  Kim realized she can tell Shane things that she never told anyone else, including revealing to him that she was molested by her uncle < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWiHZ80oqzg&feature=related > and he helps her find the strength to confront her molester and also escape someone who was blackmailing her into prostitution.  There are a lot of cute scenes of the pair of them during this "friendship" phase, including this little scene where they bond over a cheesecake < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ9QFAOeIA0&feature=related >.  They had some ups and downs, though, as she tried to break down his defenses and he tried to figure out what she felt for him.  At one point, Shane left Salem, but was called back to testify at a trial where they reconnected < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwtYM1d4p24&feature=related > and decided to try a relationship < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWLRsbAJ-Fc&feature=related > leading up to him taking her riding for their first date (in 2 parts): Part 1 < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEFmd1xeVtM&feature=related > and Part 2 < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJqWvmfwoHs&feature=related >.  (There are hints at Kim's upcoming blindness storyline in these scenes.)