Contributing writer: Cindy Stock
Our first sighting of Steve is a visit to the Brady Fish Market where he’s obviously following Bo Brady, and out for revenge. Steve “Patch” Johnson is hired by Savannah Wilder as a henchman. He helped to smuggle drugs and other nasty deeds (Keep in mind that although he was told to kill people at certain times, he never actually did kill anyone, an advantage when the character later became so popular). He taunted both Bo and Hope with secrets of his past. Sexual innuendo’s abound between Steve and Hope, with Bo reacting with fear and anger. We later find out that Bo and Steve had been best friends in the Merchant Marines and in Stockholm were both involved with a woman named Britta. When Bo caught Steve and Britta in bed, a fight ensued and he took out Steve’s eye. A fire left Britta supposedly dead. Hope’s worried about Bo and tries to find out the truth about his past.
Steve is ordered by Savannah to find a lost roll of film that holds picture clues to a treasure that Kiriakis wants. Searching Kimberly Brady’s house and possessions he finally finds the film in her purse, but when he tries to double cross Savannah, a photo mixup puts the pictures into the hands of Bo and Hope. (Originally many suspected that the Steve character was supposed to be killed off at this time, but his popularity changed this.) Following the picture clues they all end up in Miami. Steve kidnaps Hope, tormenting her with the possibility of acid falling on her face to get the clues from Bo. Steve reveals to Hope the torment and pain he feels, and that he blames Bo for it.
Bo and Hope find the treasure in the ocean, but Steve and Savannah are right behind and hold both them and the treasure on Kiriakis’ boat, the “Dolphin.” The treasure turns out to be a bomb. It explodes as Shane rushes to the rescue. In the confusion Steve is shot but Bo saves him from drowning. Later in the hospital Bo asks Steve to put the past behind them, but Steve refuses, saying that they still aren’t even. (Kissing Hope’s picture you know that he means Britta.)
In the Miami Hospital Steve sees the Pawn just before the surgery and recognizes him (We don’t know yet that he’s Roman Brady, and there are hints that he could be Stefano Demera). Steve escapes from Miami and heads back to Salem to continue stalking Hope and tease her with his new secret.
When he’s caught and put into the Salem jail Hope begs him for the truth but he only gives her hints and innuendo’s. Finally Bo tells Hope part of the truth, that he’s responsible for Steve losing his eye when they fought over Britta. But he doesn’t tell her everything and agrees to get Steve out of jail on the condition that he never tells Hope the truth. The Pawn is part of a game that Kiriakis is playing. The Pawn’s being held by Kiriakis but while being rescued by Shane there’s a car accident and the confused Pawn escapes into the woods where he’s found by Steve. He’s all bandaged up like a mummy but Steve realizes he’s found the Pawn.
When he goes to Kiriakis with the news, he sees how much Kiriakis wants him back and decides to try to keep him and collect a higher reward. The plan backfires when the Pawn gets wise and leaves without anyone seeing his face. The pawn calls himself John Black while searching for his identity. Steve is in a lot of trouble but talks his way out of it by lying and telling Kiriakis that he saw the Pawn’s face and is the only one who can find him.
Kiriakis frames Shane for espionage but Bo confesses to the crime. He admits to being tricked into passing government secrets after being seduced by the Russian spy named Britta Englund. Hope realizes that this was the secret that Steve had over Bo, and goes to Steve to beg for his help. Kiriakis is upset that his plan to frame Shane didn’t go as planned and wants Bo freed too. For a price Steve tells Kiriakis that he might be able to find a way to free Bo and then he agrees to help Hope. Steve and Hope head to Stockholm to find the one person that can tell the truth, the supposedly dead Britta. Worried about what Steve will do to Hope, Bo escapes from prison and heads to Stockholm. While in Stockholm, Hope sees a different side to Steve, and they form an alliance of sort. When Bo finds them together, he’s furious but they eventually convince him that Britta is alive. They finally find Britta hiding in disguise from the KGB but she refuses to help, saying her life would be at risk. When her brother is captured by the KGB, Steve forces her to return to Salem, where they try to get her to testify for Bo.
Bo remains in hiding while Steve watches Britta, confronting her betrayal of both him and Bo. Steve loved Britta but felt betrayed by her and is afraid to trust her again. Hope and Steve form a friendship and she realizes there’s a lot more to Steve than what he shows. With the ISA’s help they devise a plan to get Lars (Britta’s brother) away from the ISA. He’s a ballet dancer and when the troupe comes to the U.S. They trick the KGB and get him away. Britta is finally free to testify for Bo and he’s freed.
Kiriakis was involved with Britta back in Stockholm and forces her to keep quiet. She tries to get Steve to forgive her but he can’t see how anyone could love him after what he’s turned into, and can’t let himself trust her again for fear of being hurt again.
When Steve finds out that John Black is really the Pawn, Kiriakis is angry at Steve for not finding him sooner and puts a hit out on his life. Britta decides to stay in town in hopes that Steve might forgive her and is staying with Kiriakis. She’s asked to spy on Kiriakis and agrees when she finds out that Kiriakis is after Steve. Afraid for Steve’s life she rushes the plan and Kiriakis has her shot. Steve blames Bo, but when she recovers he admits to her that he loves her and they plan on living together. Kiriakis forces Britta to leave Steve without an explanation, leaving him alone and bitter.
In her plot to kidnap Andrew, Emma Donovan Marshall approached Steve to do a little job for her. Still reeling from Britta’s leaving him, Steve blames Kiriakis and remains bitter at Bo. The job involved a little intimidation of a woman in Cleveland.
At first he refuses her, but when he finds out that it’s Kayla Brady, Bo’s sister, he agrees. He ransacks her apartment and makes frightening phone calls telling her that he’s watching her. She’s glad to escape when Kim calls to say that Bo needs her help. (Bo’s found out that Kiriakis is his father.)
In Salem, Kayla find finds Steve around every corner while he keeps an eye on Bo and Kayla for Kiriakis. Reconnecting with her family, Kayla decides to stay, running the Emergency Center, and to try to find out what is really going on with Bo. Kayla finds herself both frightened and drawn to the Patch Man when he saves her from a drunken bum and warns her to be careful. He constantly finds ways to annoy her with subtle sexual taunts. Kiriakis hires Steve to be the foreman while Bo manages the canning plant to further keep an eye on Bo. Lars tries to get Steve to help him find Britta when he hears from her, but Steve overhears a phone call where she says that she can’t ever be with Steve. Roman in the meantime is searching for info on his past and needs to find Britta too. When the other workers try to teach Bo a lesson, it goes wrong, Bo’s almost crushed to death. Steve saves Bo’s life by pulling to safety just in time, but they both fall. When Steve rushes Bo to the Emergency Center, he collapses in Kayla’s arms. He has visions of Britta that are replaced by Kayla’s face. Kayla sees a different side to Steve when he helped Bo, but when she goes to his place to check his head injury in thanks for what he did, he continues to tease her and she storms out. He uses the head injury to find excuses to be around her.
Steve just leads Kiriakis along with information but when he finds out that Hope is pregnant he doesn’t want to hurt her and tells Kiriakis he quits. In retribution Kiriakis has him beat up and leaves him on the pier. Kayla finds him and helps him back to his room where despite Steve’s refusal of her help she insists on staying and takes care of him. He emotionally tries to prevent her from removing the patch, but she tells him to trust her and removes it. We see the emotional scaring that losing his eye caused him. Steve’s stunned and confused by her kindness. Feverish, he has a vision of Britta again where she promises to never leave, but again he finds Kayla in her place as he cries out begging her not to leave again.
Overhearing a conversation, Steve figures out the reason Emma had him get Kayla out of Cleveland and tries to help find the kidnaped baby Andrew. Kayla becomes suspicious and he ends up getting arrested just as he’s about to find the kidnapers. He denies being involved but tries to give Shane clues, but Kayla’s still suspicious.
Passing by the fish market Steve prevents Kayla’s purse from being stolen by a young street punk. When her mother asks him if he had anything to do with the kidnaping he emotionally reacts and tells her that he’s not an enemy to the Brady’s, and that the one thing he’d never do would be to take a baby away from its mother. Later Steve saves the young man’s younger brother from drowning and brings him to the Emergency Center. Young Max doesn’t talk and Kayla and Steve both suspect the children are in trouble. Steve finds them living alone and remembers his own painful childhood memories. He warns and begs Kayla not call social services. In an emotional scene he reveals the pain of losing his baby brother and being left alone in an orphanage as a child. Kayla calls the social services anyway but regrets it when the boys are separated and Max runs away. Kayla tries to make amends and Steve gives her a second chance after she convinces her parents to take the boys into their home. The solution is hard on the teenager who’s used to doing things his own way, but Steve convinces him to stick it out for his brother’s sake.
Roman brings Britta back to town to help him in his search for answers to his past. Britta has some sort of plan of her own, but she’s still afraid of Kiriakis. Steve confronts her telling her that it’s over between them, but then he begs Bo for help. Bo makes a deal with Kiriakis to leave Britta alone.
Britta helps Roman find an ISA agent with information to Roman’s past but when he comes to talk to Roman he’s found shot. He whispers the clue “the three knives” as he dies. Later Roman calls Gregory (the tattoo artist from Stockholm) from Stockholm. He is an old friend of Steve’s and Gregory calls him, but Britta overhears and tricks Gregory into coming early. While Roman and Marlena renew their wedding vows, Gregory is found shot by Steve and Britta. Britta is trying to find the clues to where bonds are hidden behind Roman’s back and tricks Steve into sleeping with her when he mourns Gregory’s death. She takes pictures of his tatoo, and drugs Bo to take pictures of his tattoo. Steve finds her with Bo and the camera and destroys the pictures, but still can’t figure out what she’s up to. Britta senses Steve’s attraction to Kayla, telling Steve he’s a fool if he thinks that anyone like her could ever love someone like him. Steve saves Kayla from a drug addict, and helps tend her wound.
Kayla fantasizes about Steve kissing her but it’s interrupted by him checking on her. He tries to give her a gun for protection but she refuses. Britta tries to warn Kayla that Steve is too dangerous for her, but Kayla tells her that she’s not afraid of Steve and can handle him just fine. When Steve confronts Britta on the pier, he finds the pictures of his tatoos and feels betrayed again. He fights with her telling her that he’ll kill her, as Kayla overhears. Britta is shot by a mystery man and Steve is the suspect. Asking for Kayla’s help to get away, they’re both kidnaped and handcuffed together by phoney cops who want to find out from Steve what Britta knew. They escape and Kayla convinces him to return to Salem. Fearing that he’ll be arrested for murder Steve doesn’t trust the system, but Kayla begs him to trust her and to turn himself in. Mourning Britta, Kayla tells Steve that if he needs a friend she’s there for him. When he’s arrested, Kayla’s frustrated by the system and by Steve’s feelings of being betrayed again.
Marlena is kidnaped and Roman asks for Steve’s help. Because he realizes that someone is killing off anyone involved in the Stockholm affair and that he’s probably next on the list Steve reluctantly agrees to help. Steve is able to explain that the clue “the three knives” means Bo, Britta, and Steve’s tattoo’s. Kayla overhears that Steve was working for Kiriakis. She’s angry at him, but he tells her that he’s through with Kiriakis. She asks why she should trust him and he lets it slip that he can’t lie to her anymore. Hope, Roman and Steve go to Stockholm to question Steve’s friend Lana, Gregory’s wife, but they’re too late and find her dead. Steve’s shot in the shoulder and Roman’s arrested. In pain Steve calls out “sweetness,” and Hope realizes he’s calling out for Kayla. Hope calls Kayla for advice on what to do for Steve’s wound, but worried about Steve, Kayla decides to go to Stockholm herself. Steve’s overjoyed to see her but he’s afraid she’ll get hurt and tries to convince her to leave.
When Kayla admits to Hope that she cares about Steve, Hope encourages her to keep trying, that Steve’s worth it. They end up spending a night hiding in a box together when they try to find evidence to clear Roman, and Roman isn’t too happy with the idea that Kayla might care about Steve.
They find a camera that shows a picture of Orpheus, the man that is out for revenge on Roman. Anxious that he’s the next target of Orpheus, Steve is tense and watching his back. When he finds Max in his room trying on his patch, Steve confronts him, getting him to talk.
Kayla invites him to dinner but when he shows up Bo meets him and convinces him that he’s no good for Kayla, so he leaves. Kayla thinks he stood her up to be with a hooker and slaps his face when he tries to explain.
Steve decides to leave town but when Kayla stops by to apologize she tells him that he can’t leave. He tells her to listen to all the people that tell her that he’s not good for her, but she emotionally tells him that she will give her heart to whomever she wants.
Before they kiss they’re interrupted by Bo. When Kayla finds out that it’s because of Bo that Steve didn’t come to dinner she tells him that what she does with Steve is none of his business, and Steve says he’s going to stay.
Kayla’s kidnapped by Orpheus and is in tears when she thinks he’s killed Steve. Steve rescues her and they escape from the boat with the picture evidence. Steve doesn’t trust the ISA and wonders how Orpheus is always one step ahead of them. Steve wants to keep the information they have to himself but Kayla convinces him to tell Roman, who’s angry with Steve for not telling him right away. Roman turns around and tells the ISA everything, making Steve uneasy again. Kayla thanks Steve for saving her life and tells him that she knows that he cares for her in some way because he risked his life for her.
With the new evidence Roman figures out where the bonds are hidden. Roman and Steve head back to Stockholm to find the bonds, but Hope and Kayla follow to warn them that Kiriakis and Bo are also on the way to Stockholm. When they’re in Stockholm Steve visits where he used to live with Bo, and when around Helga reminiscing, Kayla sees the fun loving person he used to be. Orpheus almost kills Steve and Kayla in a storm drain, but they’re freed by a mysterious woman who’s been following Steve with a picture of him as a child.
They all eventually find Marlena and free her from Orpheus. Kayla sees a different side to Steve in Stockholm and wants things to be different when they get back.
An old buddy of Steve’s pays him to smuggle gems into the U.S., but at the last minute Steve decides to change his mind and leaves them in the hotel room. Unsuspecting Kayla brings the jacket with the hidden gems with her and gets stopped at the airport. Kayla’s angry with Steve and refuses to return the stones. When Steve’s knifed by the man who wants his gems back, he refuses her pleas to change his ways and insisting that he’s already dead inside, and wants to live his own life without her help. She realizes that no matter what she does she can’t stop caring about Steve and brings the gems back to him, asking him what she’s supposed to do about how she feels. He finally succumbs to his feelings for her and passionately kisses her. He refuses to let her stay the night, saying until he figures out why she wants someone like him he can’t let it go any further. Kayla tries to convince Steve that they aren’t really that different, ending up drinking a beer with an egg in it, and getting him to teach her how to play pool. Steve starts to feel someone watching him, but can’t put a finger on it. When Marlena is thought to be killed by Orpheus, Steve stays with Kayla and they fall asleep on the couch.
When her mother finds him in the morning she’s upset and Steve confronts Kayla with the fact that her family will never accept him. When Steve takes Max to the pool hall Kayla gets upset and he reacts by telling her that he’s never going to change and that they aren’t right for each other. When she tells him that she doesn’t want to lose their chance, Kayla gets him to finally admit that he cares about her too. Kayla gives Steve a pool cue, overwhelming him with emotions, but he still refuses to sleep with her. When she asks why he says it’s because she isn’t like other women – if he loves them he can leave, but if he loves her he might not be able to leave.
When he helps her out at the Emergency Center, he gets everyone singing Christmas carols. When he makes a dinner for her in his place he gives her a massage and she falls asleep.
Kayla tries to get Steve to spend Christmas with her family but he refuses saying he doesn’t like Christmas. She’s upset when she sees him playing Santa and giving presents to the kids on the dock. He admits that he’s afraid to let her see the good side to him because it’s the side that makes her care about him. Later she gives him a cookbook with the words to “The Rose” written in it, and he gives her a necklace (one that belonged to his mother, and means an emotional commitment that he can’t yet admit to).
When they spend New Years alone, they are about to make love when they are interrupted by a messenger with info about Steve sent by Kiriakis for Bo’s sake. When she reads about all the things he did, she finds out that he’s the one that stalked her in Cleveland. Kayla tries to get Steve to be honest with her and can’t understand why he can’t open up to her.
Steve continues to sense someone following him, and is haunted by memories of his childhood. Kayla hires a young woman, Adrienne that Steve realizes is the person that’s been following him. He’s bothered by her, but he can’t figure out what it is about her that makes him upset. When Kayla and Steve make arrangements for dinner again she thinks he stood her up, but when she finds out the truth that he was helping a friend, she waits by his steps and accidentally drinks too much with Adrienne. When he finds them, Kayla’s drunk and he carries her back to her apartment and tries to put her to bed. She tempts him by undressing, and asks him to stay the night but she passes out. When she wakes up, she can’t remember and he teases her about if anything did happen that it wouldn’t be something she could forget.
Max is accidentally shot, and Steve finds the memories of his childhood continuing to haunt him. Adrienne is constantly around, and when he finds a picture of him as a child and an article about him in her purse he confronts her. She tells him that she’s his sister and that she needs his help. He’s angry, and wants nothing to do with her or the mother that gave him away. He can’t tell Kayla and she’s hurt that he’s keeping secrets from her. In a very emotional scene he tells her that there are things in his past he can’t talk about with anyone and begs her to trust him, even if she doesn’t know everything. When she wears the necklace, he tells her that it had been his mother’s. When Kayla sees Adrienne wearing a similar bracelet, she figures out that Adrienne is Steve’s sister.She tries to convince him to not to turn her away but he refuses. His mother, Jo turns up seriously beaten, but Steve is emotional traumatized by her return.
When his father, Duke shows up, Steve tells Kayla how he tried to kill his abusive father when he was five years old. Trying to prevent his father from taking his mother back home, Steve almost kills his father but he’s stopped by Kayla. They get Jo into a safe house and she thinks she’s free.