The couple Kelly Capwell and Joe Perkins


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First couple of all the Santa Barbara history, the couple formed by Kelly Capwell and Joe Perkins occupies the center stage during the first months of broadcasting of the show.
When in July 1984 a new sun gets up on the Santa Barbara bay, Joe is in prison and Kelly is engaged to another man, Peter Flint. And nevertheless, these two beings will never stop fighting against fate.

The love story between them began well before the beginning of the show. Kelly Capwell is a young girl, a student at Lyman Prep high school, the school reserved for the wealthy children of the city. Kelly is a teenager as all the others who tends only to find the big love. She however keeps in herself some secret wounds : the tragic death of her mother while she was a very young girl, and a feeling of inferiority towards her elder sister, Eden. Because Kelly, even if she possesses a determined character, is also a fragile girl, who is regularly overtaken by her feelings.

Aged of 6 years more than Kelly, Joe went to Lyman Prep because his mother worked in the school. Except that, there was no reason so that these two people meet. Joe, of course, shared nothing with the other children of the school, in particular Channing Capwell Junior and Warren Lockridge, who were schooled at the same time than him.

Is it because he has deep blue eyes ? Is it because he shows a real difference with the other Lyman students ? Is it because he represents the perfect bad boy that Kelly Capwell feels attracted by him ? No matter the reasons, they both eventually love each other. Of a deep love. Because, even if it will displease C.C. Capwell to recognize it afterward, Joe is a straight and upright boy.

Very fast Channing Junior, Kelly's brother, realizes the bond which unites his sister to this worker's son. Channing Junior tries to make Kelly break up with Joe : a Capwell girl cannot date a boy of so low condition. Kelly is certain of her feelings : she loves Joe. She loves him deeply. She loves him sincerely. She loves him of a love without limit. And it is to protect this love that Kelly, who is 15-year-old in July 1979, succeeds in convincing Joe to run away with her.

Their love is then going to face the hardest of the trials. Nevertheless, the stars seemed to have joined them. In this evening of July 30, 1979, a reception is given in the Capwell villa. Kelly is radiant, because Joe will be present. She shines with happiness : Joe is by her side and, in a few days, she will run away with him to fully live their love. During the party, Channing Junior and Joe have an altercation : Channing was going to denounce their project to his father, powerful Channing Creighton Capwell, Then, later, Channing Junior receives a note from the butler, inviting him to go in the villa study. A shot is heard. Channing Junior is killed. The love between Kelly and Joe is broken at the same moment. Because Kelly is the first one to push the wooden door, and she has to face a horrendous sight : Joe is beside Channing Junior, and he holds the murder weapon between his hands.

The rest is only a horrible nightmare. Joe's arrest. Joe's treason. The investigation. The trial. Even if Joe does not stop crying out his innocence, Kelly remains deaf. Her love for Joe died, died at the same time as her older brother. Kelly has no more the will to think and she lets herself being guided at the trial by her father and by her brother Mason. Kelly has no more the strength to listen to her heart and she lets it getting closed.

Imprisoned in Saint Quentin's prison, Joe never stops maintaining the past alive not to sink, not to die. Day after day, he convinces himself of the innocence of his beloved : Kelly did not betray him, it is Mason and her father who have forced her to testify against him during his trial. Joe hopes. During five long years, he hopes. He hopes to return to Santa Barbara to prove his innocence and to reconquer Kelly Capwell's heart. Moreover, he writes her dozens of letters which of course remain without answers. But it has no importance in Joe's eyes : their love is so strong, so pure, that he can endure everything. So few things would be enough so that they can find themselves...

Time also passed in Santa Barbara. And Kelly chose to turn over a page. She is not any more this teenager who had been crazy about a bad boy. Today, she knows that she is a Capwell and that she is going to celebrate her engagement with Peter Flint, a former physics teacher whom her father chose to manage the Capwell Hotel. A new future looms in front of her. A future in which the souvenir of Joe Perkins has not its place anymore.

Joe's release in July 1984 is going to change the course of destiny. Back in Santa Barbara, Joe becomes allied with a mysterious informer named Dominic to try to find Channing Junior's real murderer. In parallel, he multiplies the attempts so that, at first, Kelly has confidence in him again. At the end of a few months, Joe feels that the barriers which locked his memory into Kelly's heart are going to collapse. Kelly finds the strength to listen to her heart. Deeply touched by Joe's letters which he had written her in prison, Kelly lets herself being invaded by the happiness of loving and of being loved. She leaves Peter and chooses to love Joe. Their love knows a true period of passion, firmly helped by their life of underground, whereas Joe is supposed to have drowned in the ocean.

His couple is accepted all the more easily by the Capwells as Joe is acquitted of the murder of Channing Junior by Peter Flint himself. Nothing more seems to be able to stand against their love. C.C. Capwell himself eventually accepted him within the clan. Nevertheless, in the shade, another drama gets prepared. Physically hurt and psychologically ruined, Peter Flint gets transformed : a monster wakes up in him. Reached by a brain tumor, Peter only dreams to destroy this lost love. If he cannot love and be loved by Kelly Capwell, for him no other man can love her. Become the carnation killer, Peter kills several fair-haired women, believing every time to kill the one who rejected him.

In spite of the killer and the threats which weigh on them, Kelly and Joe decide to unite their destinies. It is surrounded with the members of their respective families, with their friends and with Peter Flint who is hidden a few meters away from her, that Kelly, during a simple ceremony, becomes Mrs. Joe Perkins. The ceremony is punctuated with Jeffrey Osborne's songs. Kelly is radiant in her white dress. Her happiness is complete : she can finally freely love Joe.

It is in a room of the Capwell Hotel that they spend their first night as husband and wife. After all the ordeals, the years of separation, they completely measure the happiness of being together. However, in a nearby room, Peter Flint kills Candy, a fair prostitute who looks like Kelly.

If Joe begins to be afraid for the one he loves, Kelly, as for her, thinks that nothing bad can happen to her. Their love will protect her. Unfortunately for her, Peter succeeds in escaping Joe's surveillance : he kidnaps Kelly, rapes her, still believing that she is in love with him. She succeeds in escaping from her claws, not without any trouble. Joe finds her near a car in flames, car in which everybody hopes that Peter died. Joe embraces the one he loves, ignoring the drama which she has just lived. He swears to her that everything is finished. He does not stop telling her that he loves her, that he will protect her. But Kelly feels at the bottom of herself a cruel certainty : their love could not be the strongest.

Kelly's fears are completely justified. Indeed, Peter survived and is more than ever eager to get revenged. Now, he wants to kill Kelly, he wants to kill Joe, he wants to kill the love which exists between them. He has the certainty of it, when he will have killed Kelly and Joe, his life can be back to normal again. The fate makes him discover that Kelly and Joe are invited at a party at the Perkins. It is his chance to erase forever Kelly and Joe's love. He has to grab it.

He goes to the Perkins, more determined than ever. He knows that it is his last chance. He cannot be otherwise. That is why he is ready to go through with it at the Perkins home. It does not matter to him that he hurts other people, that he holds other prisoners; his sick brain only wants Kelly. He will find peace only when he will have destroyed the link which unites Kelly and Joe. In a terrible face to face, Peter fatally injures Joe. He is about to kill Kelly when Cruz Castillo shoots him, putting an end to the carnation killer's killing frenzy.

In spite of her suffering, Kelly leaves to join Joe at the hospital. She knows that her love is between life and death, and she wants to bring him all the strength and all the possible support. Unfortunately, the next day, Joe dies in her arms. The world around Kelly collapses. Her heart has just been broken. Joe died. It is her ability to love which has just died. She knows it, she will never be the same. She can never be able to love any more...

A lot of time and patience will be necessary to Kelly so that she learns to love again. Nick Hartley will be the first man who will succeed in alleviating in her heart the memory of Joe Perkins. Perhaps because he looks like him in his personality... Perhaps also Kelly knew in advance that this love would also end by a drama, with Dylan's death... Perhaps also because as she yelled it the day of Joe's death, she cannot really love any more. Never again. Nobody can answer in her place, but didn't Kelly Capwell try, love after love, to find Joe Perkins's memory, her first big love ?...


The couple Kelly and Joe is the first couple of the history of the show. It is also the first couple to know the uncertainties of a love triangle, with Peter Flint. The story of this couple will be marked by the relation of Robin Wright and Dane Witherspoon in real life. Would the storylines have been the same if both actors had not united their roads for real ? Their couple will also be the first one to live on storylines to satisfy the audience. After Dane's departure, the role of Joe Perkins, real hero of the first hours of the show, is recast and entrusted to Mark Arnold. The American audience, nevertheless used to these changes of actors from an episode to another, does not agree this face change. To strengthen Mark Arnold in his status, the writers eventually let themselves getting convinced and offer to Kelly and Joe the first wedding of the show. Nevertheless, Mark Arnold does not manage to make forget Dane's face. Very fast, the decision is taken. The character of Joe will not know the second season of the show : he will be killed during the first quarter of 1985.

The impact of Joe's death will not be without repercussion on Kelly's life and storylines, the memory of Peter and Joe offering a real depth and understandable choices for the future loves. But beyond the impact on the character of Kelly, the disappearance of the first hero of the show and the first couple is considerably going to modify the orientations of the show. A new hero and a new couple must be promoted. The writers choose Cruz Castillo. Cruz will be Santa Barbara's new strong man. And Eden Capwell will become the new heroine... Very fast, the chemistry between them will make the rest... A new couple has been born, a couple which will mark even more intensely the world of Santa Barbara.

Text written for this site by Lilian

Read also : The murder of Channing Capwell Jr. . The Dominic mystery . Some carnations for Kelly . Kelly Capwell and Joe Perkins' wedding